Email signup

Live-work development approved for Inova’s former HQ in Merrifield

Developer Madison Highland has proposed a “game table community park” outside 8110 Gatehouse Road, which will be repurposed as live/work units (via Fairfax County)

Inova Health System’s former administrative headquarters in Merrifield will soon be transformed into a combination of workforce housing and live/work units — a kind of development that’s still relatively novel for Fairfax County.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted 8-0 to approve the project from developer Madison Highland after a public hearing on June 27. Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross and Braddock District Supervisor James Walkinshaw recused themselves because they respectively serve on Inova’s board of trustees and quality and reliability committee.

The developer — a joint venture by Madison Marquette and Highland Square Holdings — now anticipates breaking ground on the office building conversions at 8110 Gatehouse Road and 2990 Telestar Court by the end of the first quarter of 2024, Highland Square Holdings CEO Robert Seldin told FFXnow by email.

“I think this definitely shows quite a bit of opportunity and repurposing as we look…to build additional affordable and workforce units and try to address an area that’s becoming much, much more urban, to have it be accessible and address the multimodal needs in that community,” Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik said.

Vacant since last fall, the six-story Gatehouse building will be converted into up 240 live/work units that tenants can utilize as a residence, office or both. An existing five-story parking garage on the site will be left intact.

The four-story Telestar building will be turned into 82 workforce dwelling units (WDUs) for residents earning up to 60% of the area median income.

In its proposal, Madison Highland highlighted plans to provide sizable open spaces for both future residents and the general public, including:

  • Game Table Community Park: a 20,300-square-foot publicly accessible park adjacent to Gatehouse Road with seating, walking paths, game tables, and a mist fountain
  • Woof Park: a 13,600-square-foot publicly accessible park west of the Gatehouse building with seating, a gathering space, and a fenced dog park that will include waste stations and a drinking fountain
  • Community Play Zone: a 20,800-square-foot park along Telestar Court frontage with open seating, walking paths, and four children’s play areas
  • Resident-only common areas, including a courtyard, an “amenity zone” with grilling stations and table games, and a space on the garage’s top deck with pickleball courts, gardens and other amenities

To make room for the new open spaces and additional landscaping, the developer will eliminate “excess” parking spaces, but it will still meet the 768 spaces required by the county’s zoning ordinance, according to a staff report.

“I’m excited about turning some of the parking lot space that is currently impervious into some community use space, while knowing that there are large garages there that will be able to meet the majority, if not more than the majority of the needs for parking,” Palchik said.

No one at the public hearing voiced opposition to the development, but some area residents expressed concern about the potential impact on parking and traffic.

Insufficient parking is “the only issue that has come up over and over again” at board meetings for the High Pointe at Jefferson Park townhomes, according to resident and board member Ann Sweetser.

“Certainly there’s no need to add any parking, but it seems that there’s an emphasis on moving toward a minimization without any connection or consideration of the neighborhood,” Sweetser said, requesting that the developer consult residents before pursuing any parking reductions.

McGuireWoods Managing Partner Greg Riegle, who represented the developer at the hearing, noted that the live/work building will use office parking standards, which are higher than those for residential developments.

Though no commitment has been made, he indicated that Madison Highland is open to discussing the possibility of providing overflow parking for nearby residents.

“There are other instances in this county where uses like ours have been able to share parking with the community on an as-needed basis,” Riegle said. “As the history evolves and we can find those opportunities, there’s no reason not to do that if we have the ability.”

While the developer will deliver some sidewalks and crosswalks, more substantial traffic safety and road improvements will be handled by the county, which has buffered bicycle lanes planned for Gatehouse and initiated a study of Gallows Road earlier this year.

A Fairfax County Department of Transportation staffer confirmed that the study will include the Gallows and Gatehouse intersection, which is already “pretty heavily backed up,” one resident said.

Charles Rimbach, who identified himself as a resident of Gatehouse, said the road is used as a cut-through around Gallows, and westbound cars in particular “have been speeding up and down.”

Riegle suggested that repurposing the office buildings could help improve safety.

“Right now, there’s no activity there. There’s no reason to slow or be careful,” he said. “So, I think it’s a combination of that on-site package and then the collaboration with what you’re doing at a county-wide level, it starts to be a really good solution.”

Recent Stories

For Town of Vienna residents who have thoughts about traffic on Maple Avenue or the state of local parks, a chance to share those opinions has arrived. Starting this month,…

Virginia’s so-called “sore loser” law is supposed to ensure that when a candidate is defeated in a Republican or Democratic primary, they can’t drop their party affiliation and appear on…

Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA and D.C. with McEnearney Associates in Vienna. You can follow Laura on Instagram at @LauraSchwartzRealtor or her Facebook page. Laura can be reached at 703-283-6120 or I…

Electric buses have at last joined Northern Virginia’s largest local bus fleet. Fairfax Connector launched the eight battery-powered vehicles out of its West Ox Operations and Maintenance Center (4970 Alliance…

Explore your creative side this fall at Art House 7 with our Fall 2 Session of art classes beginning October 30th. Whether you’re a budding artist or looking to unleash your artistic potential with something new, there’s a class for everyone!

Short and Drop-In Classes:

Dive into creativity with our short-term offerings, including a 3-week still-life painting course, a 3-week knitting class, a 5-week Painting the Portrait and Figure workshop led by acclaimed local artist Danni Dawson, and a mesmerizing 4-week exploration of Japanese Suminagashi and modern paper marbling. Plus, we have a drop-in class specially designed for parents and toddlers (2-4 years old) to introduce them to the world of art.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

Public invited: “Fur-th Birthday” brunch celebration for Woofie’s of South Riding-Aldie, Sunday, October 8 at The Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar

Woofie’s of South Riding-Aldie, providing premium mobile pet services throughout Aldie, Middleburg, South Riding is celebrating its fourth anniversary with expansion to Centreville and Chantilly and its fourth Woofie’s pet grooming van. The franchise, owned and operated by Loudoun County residents, husband/wife team Sebaot Gebre and Teferi Dejene, has grown by 900% since its first full year in business.

Services include:
• Mobile pet spa grooming
• Dog walking
• Pet sitting
• In-home or overnight pet sitting
• Customizable services

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.


We invite you to join us at STEAMOLOGY’s annual FREE STEM Fest for elementary and middle school students, taking place on Saturday, October 14th at South County High School, 8501 Silverbrook Rd, Lorton, VA 22079.

STEM Fest is an exciting

Arlington Metaphysical Chapel Presents Metaphest, October 14-15, 2023

Workshops on: ~ Meditation ~ Intro to Tarot: The Aces and Major Arcana

~ Ageless Aging ~ Past Life Regression ~ Animal Communication and Healing

~ Psychometry ~ Spiritual Healing ~ Self Soul Love ~ Consciously Clearing Clutter ~ Awareness/Mindfulness/Consciousness.


Subscribe to our mailing list