The Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority’s commissioners voted yesterday (Oct. 20) to approve an interim agreement with the developer for up to 350 affordable apartments and a 40,000-square-foot Reston Regional Library on the 2.9-acre property owned by FCRHA at the intersection of Bowman Towne Drive and Town Center Parkway.
Foulger-Pratt submitted an unsolicited proposal last year under the Virginia Public-Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act of 2002 (PPEA). The FCRHA’s vote kicks off a period of community engagement that is set to begin this winter.
“In consideration of the Interim Agreement, we received and considered a great deal of feedback from the community,” FCRHA Chairman Melissa McKenna said. “We are eager to continue the discussion, as we have with communities across the county in PPEA projects such as this, in order to further explore the opportunity for expanding affordable housing on the FCRHA’s property, and deliver well-integrated, high-quality housing in one of the largest activity centers in the county.”
Foulger-Pratt’s plan includes apartments for households between 30 and 70% of the area median income, a parking garage, and landscaping. It allocates 240 parking spaces for the library, along with a drop-off area for patrons and book returns.
The agreement has been criticized by developer Norton Scott, which asserts that a competing proposal it submitted should also be considered with more opportunities for public comment.
“Reston deserves a thoughtful and public process to determine the placement of a new Regional Library. This is only possible if the community can consider all of the options available,” wrote Chelsea Rao, a senior Vice President with Norton Scott, in a statement to FFXnow.
If the Foulger-Pratt proposal moves forward, the county would finance, own and operate the public library, while the developer would finance, design and operate the affordable housing component of the property.
FCHRA’s vote to approve the interim agreement is not an official vote in favor of the project. Separate rezoning and land use approvals will be required.
Following a community outreach program, FCHRA will enter into a comprehensive agreement with the developer, with the ultimate goal of moving towards permitting and construction. An exact timeline was not immediately available.
An affordable housing option for seniors will soon be available in an area of Braddock District where housing stock has been limited.
At a board meeting on Tuesday (May 10), the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a financing plan to rehabilitate 120 senior affordable housing units and construct 60 new units at a project known as Little River Glen.
Financing on the project is expected to close in October. The county will likely begin once financing is secured following a two-year schedule.
“Accordingly, current projections would have completion in the fall 2024,” said Benjamin Boxer, spokesperson for FCHRA.
The project is spearheaded by the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority, which owns Little River Glen I, a 120-unit building built in the 1990s and a senior center. FCHRA also owns an adjacent property that’s approved for 60 new senior affordable housing units, known in planning jargon as Little River Glen IV.
Both options will be restricted to seniors age 62 and above with incomes at or below 60% of the Area Median Income.
FCHRA is seeking multiple funding options for the project to move forward, including $7 million as a loan from the authority’s funding resources, $1.5 million from its operating fund, and $1.4 million in a loan from the county’s affordable housing development and investment fund.
Overall, the project requires up to $40 million in bonds to be authorized.
“Historically, the competing requirements tied to various funding sources have made it difficult to apply multiple resources to a project,” FCRHA Chairman Melissa McKenna wrote in a statement. “We’re proud of the fact that, over the last several years, we have led the way in rewriting the affordable housing playbook when it comes to the strategic investment of public resources to make it possible for projects like these to come alive.”
Both projects will be conveyed to LRG Apartments Limited Partnership, a limited partnership created and controlled by FCHRA as the sole controlling member.
Once completed, Little River Glen’s campus will see a boost in affordable housing options. It already includes Olley Glen, a 90-unit senior independent living building, and Braddock Glen, which includes 60 beds.
The existing community will get new cabinetry, upgraded kitchen appliances, new toilets, light fixtures, HVAC systems and bathtubs, and upgrades to the existing senior center.
A plan to possibly convert a portion of the Reston District Police Station’s parking lot into affordable housing is moving forward.
At Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn’s request, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors directed staff yesterday (Tuesday) to schedule a public hearing to consider conveying county-owned land to the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority.
“This will be for the development of affordable housing with appropriate replacement of secure parking spaces dedicated to police use and subject to the stipulation that in the event the FCRHA no longer pursues the project, the FCRHA will transfer ownership of the property back to the Board,” Alcorn wrote in a statement.
The move sets in motion the redevelopment of the Bowne Towne Court area. The county received an unsolicited proposal from Foulger-Pratt last month to build affordable housing on the existing parking lot, a new Reston Regional Library, and a parking garage. The area is located at the intersection of Bowman Towne Drive and Town Center Parkway.
After receiving the proposal, the county began advertising for competing proposals to determine next steps for the project. The project would redevelop a nearly three-acre parcel owned by FCRHA and includes 1.6 acres of the nearby board-owned police station.
A date for the public hearing has not yet been determined.
Bids for the project close on May 16 at 2 p.m.
Alcorn emphasized that moving forward with the transfer of property to FCRHA does not mean that the county is in favor of the recently submitted plan. All options will be considered as the proposal moves through the development process.
The board recently upped its goal for additional affordable housing units to 10,000 by 2034. Alcorn set a target of 1,000 additional affordable housing units in the Hunter Mill District by the end of 2027.
For years, discussions have swirled around the possibility of developing the Bowman Towne Center and Reston Regional Library.
With the receipt of an unsolicited proposal to redevelop the property, Fairfax County is beginning to formalize plans to move forward with the project.
The Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA) has issued a call for competing bids on the project, which is at the intersection of Bowman Towne Drive and Town Center Parkway, according to a March 31 release.
The unsolicited proposal from Foulger-Pratt aims to redevelop an existing 2.9-acre property owned by the FCHRA into an apartment building for working families, a new Reston Regional Library, and free parking for all.
The plan also calls for another building with affordable housing on the parking lot currently used by Reston District Station officers and staff. A new garage is planned for police use. The building would have up to 400 units, replacing 30 affordable rental townhomes on the site.
“Our approach to unlock the value of this property addresses not only housing but also the community infrastructure necessary to grow and thrive in our complex world,” the proposal says. Project details — including renderings — are largely redacted.
“This announcement is an exciting step forward for a much-needed new Reston Regional Library and the sustainable and socially responsible redevelopment of Reston Town Center North,” Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn said in a statement.
The request for proposals closes on May 16 at 2 p.m. Whatever plan eventually gets approved would be under the terms of a long-term, nominal ground lease from the FCRHA.