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Tysons residents will soon get to shape the plan for Fairfax County’s community center in the upcoming Dominion Square West housing development.

The county’s Department of Neighborhood and Community Services (NCS) staff will host a trio of community engagement forums later this month to gather feedback on potential services, activities and programming for the new facility, which will fill 30,000 square feet at the base of a 20-story residential high-rise at 1592 Spring Hill Road.

“In advance of the center’s opening, the county is engaging the community to ensure the new facility meets their needs and interests,” NCS said in a news release on Tuesday (June 28).

Floor plans for the community center suggest it will have two levels and feature a 7,500-square-foot gymnasium, 2,100 square feet of administrative offices, a 675-square-foot kitchen, and multipurpose space.

Accoording to the county’s Department of Housing and Community Development, spaces labeled as multipurpose in the proposed layout will be more specifically defined based on the public’s suggestions for programs and services.

“It is our understanding that the overall square footage of the community center is fairly fixed,” the department said. “There may be some opportunities to refine sizes of the spaces within the community center to a certain extent based on feedback from the community.”

NCS is planning to discuss its vision for the center at two virtual forums — one in the morning, one in the evening — as well as an in-person meeting at the end of July:

  • Session 1: Thursday, July 14, 10:30 a.m.-noon *This session will be held virtually via Zoom. The Zoom link will be emailed to you separately.*
  • Session 2: Thursday, July 21, 6:30-8:30 p.m. *This session will be held virtually via Zoom. The Zoom link will be emailed to you separately.*
  • Session 3: Thursday, July 28, 6:30-8:30 p.m. *In-person session at the PARC at Tysons, 8508 Leesburg Pike, Vienna, VA 22182*

Advance registration is required through Eventbrite. Community members can sign up for more than one meeting, since “each session will build on the prior session,” the registration page says.

Made possible in part by a $55 million grant from Amazon, the Dominion Square project will deliver two 20-story buildings with a total of 516 apartments — all of them aimed at people who earn 60% or less of the area’s median income.

Located near the Spring Hill Metro station in Tysons West, the development will also have five levels of underground parking, with 140 spaces reserved for the community center. Proposed amenities include a 1,900-square-foot skypark for the community center.

Fairfax County is currently reviewing nonprofit developer Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing’s plan for Dominion Square, which was submitted in early June. Public hearing dates for the application haven’t been scheduled yet.

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The Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH) is scaling up its ambitions for Tysons.

The nonprofit has submitted a new plan to Fairfax County for its much-touted affordable housing project in Dominion Square West, the planned redevelopment of a strip of car dealerships on the west side of Spring Hill Road.

After getting the county’s approval in January for a 175-unit, nine-story residential building at 1592 Spring Hill Road, APAH wants to bump that up to 225 units and 20 stories in height in order to match a second tower that it can now construct, thanks to a $55 million investment from Amazon.

Collectively, the two buildings will deliver 516 units — all aimed at people earning 60% or less of the area’s median income, according to the application, which the county received on Thursday (June 2).

“This important project addresses a key objective for the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors by providing significant affordable housing opportunities within close proximity to Metro,” Scott Adams, a McGuireWoods land-use attorney, wrote on APAH’s behalf in a statement of justification dated May 31.

The final development plan for the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing’s Dominion Square West affordable housing high-rises (via Fairfax County)

Designated as C5 in the plan, the second building will allocate up to 33,500 square feet on its ground floor to a community center that will be operated by the Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood and Community Services.

The community center will be much larger than the 15,000 square feet of retail currently allowed by the existing Dominion Square West plan. Despite the increase in units and height for the approved building C6, the developer says it’s proposing 69,000 fewer square feet of residential space than what it could have to compensate for the additional commercial use.

The buildings will be constructed on top of five levels of underground parking, which will provide one space for each housing unit as well as 140 spaces for the community center. There will be two loading spaces and 209 bicycle storage spaces, including 15 for the community center.

According to the submitted development plan, the buildings will abut each other, but they will have separate lobbies. Proposed amenities include:

  • Private skyparks for both buildings, totaling 12,900 square feet, with swings, an outdoor kids’ play space, lawn games, a community garden, and movable tables and seating
  • A 1,900-square-foot skypark for the community center
  • A 14,800-square-foot interim park with publicly accessible seating on turfed areas along a planned Boone Boulevard that will extend west off of Spring Hill Road

The interim park will eventually become a 3,700-square-foot urban park once the property on the other side of Boone Boulevard is redeveloped, shifting the road’s final alignment.

APAH’s proposal covers two of the six buildings envisioned in the Dominion Square West conceptual plan that the county adopted in 2017. Final plans for the other four buildings — two office buildings and two residential — haven’t been submitted yet.

While the new application hasn’t been formally accepted yet, the county has previously said construction on the all-affordable housing project could begin by the fall of 2023.

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(Updated at 8:30 p.m.) An infusion of funds from Amazon will help accelerate the construction of Tysons’ first entirely affordable housing project.

Officially announced at 2:30 p.m. today (Tuesday), the $55 million investment from the Amazon Housing Equity Fund will allow the nonprofit Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH) to construct both of its Dominion Square West buildings instead of breaking the project up into phases.

Replacing a car dealership parking lot on Spring Hill Road, the multifamily residential buildings will collectively include more than 500 dwelling units, all of them priced for households that earn a low to moderate income, according to Fairfax County.

“We know that an investment in affordable housing is more than just a building,” Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay said at a press conference. “It is an investment in what our residents will achieve given the firm foundation of a safe, livable, and affordable home.”

The Fairfax County Planning Commission approved the project’s first phase — a nine-story, 175-unit apartment building on the northern side of the 2-acre property — on Jan. 12. The units will be aimed at people who earn 30, 50, and 60% of the area’s median income, which was $127,866, as of 2020.

The Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing will build buildings C5 and C6 in Tysons’ Dominion Square West development (via Fairfax County)

For the second building on the south side, designated C5, the conceptual development plan that the county adopted for Dominion Square West in 2017 allows two options:

  • A 260-foot-tall high-rise with 16 to 25 floors and up to 320 units
  • An 85-foot-tall building with six to eight floors and a maximum of 175 units

Both options allow for up to 15,000 square feet of retail space.

While the Amazon funds will cover construction, APAH still needs to get a final plan for the building approved by the county, Fairfax County Department of Housing and Community Development spokesperson Ben Boxer confirmed.

Officials announced today that the site will include a 30,000 square-foot community center with a gym, fitness room, senior and youth multi-purpose rooms, an art/maker space, sensory room, and more. The programs and resources will be provided by the county’s Department of Neighborhood and Community Services.

“As the planning process gets underway, NCS will solicit input from the community to consider programming and services that will meet the needs of the surrounding community,” the news release said.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors allocated $43 million in January to buy the Dominion Square West land and help APAH finance the first building in the project. The funds came from a variety of sources, including commercial developer contributions, federal COVID-19 relief money, and the county’s affordable housing fund.

The county also designated Dominion Square West a revitalization area in February to help APAH apply for Low Income Housing Tax Credits. While the nonprofit is developing the buildings, the property will be owned by the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority.

Launced in January 2021, Amazon’s Housing Equity Fund is intended to offset the soaring real estate prices that tend to follow the retail giant. However, the $750 million pledged in the D.C. area so far has mostly been aimed at the higher end of its 30-80% AMI target, The Washington Post reported last month.

Construction on the Dominion Square West project could potentially begin as early as the fall of 2023, the county says.

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Morning Notes

Caliburger is among the retailers coming to The Boro in Tysons (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Filler-Corn Ousted as House Minority Leader — Tasked with trying to retake a majority in 2023 — or this year, pending the outcome of a court case — the Virginia House Democratic Caucus removed former Speaker of the House Eileen Filler-Corn as their leader in a secret ballot vote yesterday (Wednesday). Filler-Corn, who represents part of Fairfax County as the 41st District delegate, was the first woman and first Jewish person to serve as speaker in the chamber’s 400-year history. [Richmond Times-Dispatch]

Tysons Housing Project Lands Big Bucks — On Tuesday (May 3), officials from Fairfax County, the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing, and more will announce a $55 million investment in the Dominion Square West project. The county says the funds will allow APAH to construct two planned buildings, instead of just the one that has been approved, accelerating the delivery of over 500 units of affordable housing. [Fairfax County HCD]

Herndon Police on Lookout for Missing Teen — “Town of Herndon Police are asking the public’s help in locating a runaway teenager, according to a post on the department’s office Twitter account. Bryan Escalante Gomez, 17, was last seen by his family at 7:45 p.m., on Sunday.” [Patch]

FCPS Updates Covid Isolation Policy — “In a message to families Wednesday, Fairfax County Public Schools said that starting May 1, students who test positive can return to in-person classes, activities and sporting events after at least five days of isolation. Previously, 10 days of isolation were required.” [WTOP]

Vienna Lowers Tax Rate — “The Vienna Town Council voted [on Monday, April 25] to reduce the Town’s property tax rate by 1.75 cents to 20.5 cents per $100 of assessed value. The new rate is .75 cents lower than the one cent reduction in the proposed FY2023 budget presented by the Town Manager in March.” [Town of Vienna]

Huntington Gets New Latino Supermarket — “There’s a new grocery store in the area. Juana Supermarket officially opened its doors on Saturday (April 23). The new store replaced the La Latina Market at 5838 N. King’s Highway in the Huntington Station Shopping Center.” [ALXnow]

Summer Music Series Schedule Announced — “Fairfax County Park Authority’s Summer Entertainment Series is back! This year the Summer Entertainment Series features more shows at 18 locations, a new global dance and music series Wednesday evenings in Falls Church, Starlight drive-in movies in Centreville Saturday evenings in August, plus 180 live performances to choose from.” [FCPA]

Peloton Instructor Plans Tysons Book Talk — “Beloved Peloton instructor Tunde Oyeneyin is launching a debut book titled Speak, and on May 3 — the day the book comes out — she’ll be hosting the first stop on her book tour at Tysons Galleria…Seats for the event are already sold out, but the event remains open to the public, and additional guests are welcome to join for standing room.” [Washingtonian]

It’s Thursday — Clear throughout the day. High of 56 and low of 33. Sunrise at 6:16 am and sunset at 8:00 pm. [Weather.gov]

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