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Developer proposes hotel with condos in place of long-planned Tysons office building

A D.C. developer is officially scuttling plans for City View, an office high-rise once expected to break ground near Tysons Galleria a decade ago.

Four Points has asked Fairfax County to amend its plan for the 1.7-acre site at 7901 Westpark Drive so it can build a 28-story hotel and condominium tower instead of the 10-story office building that the Board of Supervisors approved in 2012 as part of the Arbor Row development.

“The Applications continue to propose a predominantly commercial use of Block F in the form of a world-class hotel and ground floor retail use,” Matthew Roberts, a counsel for the developer, wrote in an April 30 statement of justification. “New, luxury residential condominium units will complement and add to the variety of uses at the Property. Further, the condominium units will provide additional ownership opportunities for residents who wish to live, work, play, and contribute to Tysons.”

Announced in 2013, City View was intended to replace the headquarters of the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT), which owned the property. The CEO of American Real Estate Partners, the enlisted developer, declared it would be “the most desirable office building in the market” due to its proximity to the then-incoming Tysons Metro station and I-495, Commercial Property Executive reported at the time.

Though a groundbreaking was initially anticipated in late 2014, AMT’s existing office building wasn’t demolished until late 2018 — two years after the trade association relocated just a block away to 7901 Jones Branch Drive.

Four Points, which bought the vacant property for over $10 million in 2021, still trumpets City View as a future “crown jewel of the new Tysons” on its website, but the developer has now determined that an office building is “no longer feasible” for the site “due to persistent market conditions,” according to the application submitted to Fairfax County.

“Yet, a primarily commercial use of the site is viable, in line with the Tysons Plan’s vision for Arbor Row,” Roberts wrote.

Topping out at 365 feet, compared to the 175-foot maximum height for City View, the newly proposed building would consist of 225 hotel rooms, 32 condo units on its upper floors and 4,000 square feet of retail on the ground floor.

The building would be supported by 270 on-site parking spaces in a mostly underground garage and about 24,000 square feet of private amenity space, including a second-floor terrace with a swimming pool. The developer has offered to provide 0.25 acres of publicly accessible park space and an 8-foot-wide sidewalk along Westpark Drive.

According to the application, the hotel, condos and retail will generate fewer peak-hour vehicle trips than the planned office building would’ve, and the retail will complement the businesses in the adjacent Nouvelle Apartments, whose current tenants include the Mediterranean restaurant Agora Tysons.

A lack of proposed workforce dwelling units (WDUs) could be a sticking point for county staff, which has objected to a similar omission in another potential Arbor Row building. Four Points believes a cash contribution in lieu of WDUs is justified by the “unique circumstances” of its development, which will be mostly devoted to commercial uses.

“The residential component of this development will consist of luxury condominiums with price points and associated condominium fees exceeding other typical for-sale residential products,” the application says. “This will likely be prohibitive and generate a financial burden for lower-incomes residents.”

According to Roberts’s statement, the only residential building in Tysons to include for-sale WDUs is Monarch, which opened in Arbor Row last July, and those units have been “difficult to implement.”

The City View site is one of six blocks in Arbor Row. The approved plan for the neighborhood calls for almost 2.7 million square feet of mixed-use development on 19.4 acres along Westpark Drive near Tysons Galleria.

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