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A housing development has been proposed for two vacant office buildings on Worldgate Drive (via KTGY/Town of Herndon)

A plan to redevelop two vacant office buildings on Worldgate Drive in Herndon is barreling towards official approval.

At a meeting on Monday (Feb. 26), the Herndon Planning Commission unanimously approved the redevelopment plan for 13100 and 13150 Worldgate Drive.

The developer, AM Worldgate Owner, intends to turn the existing office buildings into multi-family, stacked and townhouse residences. According to plans submitted to the town, the redevelopment would include 460 dwelling units.

A Fairfax County Fire Marshall review of a new entrance off of Worldgate Drive is pending but expected to wrap up before the Herndon Town Council reviews the application, town staff said in a memo.

The nearly 10.5-acre property is located on the north side of Worldgate Drive, east of Elden Street, west of Wilshire Lane and south of Chandon Park.

The redevelopment plan for 13100 & 13150 Worldgate Drive (via Town of Herndon)

Staff and the planning commission worked with the developer to iron out concerns with the design of the new secondary access point called Road A. Ultimately, a new curb cut on Worldgate Drive, west of Wiltshire Lane, was proposed. Exiting traffic will be limited to right turns onto Worldgate Drive.

“These conversions are a bit quirky,” said land use attorney Ken Wire, the applicant’s representative. He noted that the developer expects to receive the final approval on the zoning map amendment application from the fire marshall soon.

The proposal was approved with little discussion.

“We’ve gone over this quite thoroughly in my opinion,” Planning Commission Vice Chair George Burke said.

A cosmetology business is eyeing a spot in an office park on Herndon Parkway (via Google Maps)

A cosmetology business is seeking the Town of Herndon’s permission to open up on Herndon Parkway.

At a meeting on Jan. 22, the Herndon Planning Commission unanimously approved a special exception to move forward with the plan for Rosslyn Cosmetology to open in suite 106 at 299 Herndon Parkway. Specifically, the commission agreed to allow special exceptions for personal services and retail sales uses.

In a report, town staff noted that the zoning ordinance allows flexibility in instances where businesses traditionally located with other commercial service and retail sales have “operational characteristics that make them appropriate to operate in traditional office park developments.”

Rosslyn Cosmetology will be located in a strip of office condominiums that already hosts Fancy Lashes and Beyond, a beauty salon, and multiple spas.

“In this case, the proposed personal services and retail sales uses are consistent with the purpose and intent of the Commercial Office Zoning District and the additional controls that can be implemented through the special exception process,” staff said in the report.

Fadrique Iglesias, a community planner with the Town of Herndon, told the commission that the town previously granted special exceptions for personal services businesses in 2022 and June 2023.

The business currently under consideration will likely include a spa, salon and cosmetic services with up to six people at the business at any time, Iglesias said.

The business will take up roughly 916 square feet of space, if approved for the building.

Image via Google Maps

A housing development has been proposed for two vacant office buildings on Worldgate Drive (via KTGY/Town of Herndon)

A decision on the proposed redevelopment of two linked office buildings on Worldgate Drive in Herndon is going to wait until January.

At a meeting on Monday (Dec. 18), the Herndon Planning Commission voted unanimously to defer the decision on whether to recommend approval of plans to redevelop 13100 and 13150 Worldgate Drive into a residential community with a 360-unit apartment building, 49 standard townhouses and 52 units of stacked townhouses.

“We take the responsibility of being the gateway to the Town of Herndon seriously,” said Shawn Sullivan, who represented the developer, Boston Properties, at the public hearing.

Staff said they needed more time to work with the applicant on specific issues, like the design of Worldgate Drive’s westbound entrance, a trail connection into Chandon Park, improvements to the pedestrian circulation throughout the development and the design of a bus stop along Worldgate.

The developer plans to repurpose an existing parking garage for parking. In response to concerns about a request to reduce parking to 1.42 spaces per multi-family unit, staff said that amount of parking appeared sufficient based on a parking study of neighboring and comparable developments completed by Boston Properties.

Sullivan said the parking garage has a buffer of between 70 to 80 parking spaces that would be more than enough for guest parking.

“It doesn’t serve us to under-park our clientele,” Sullivan said.

Bryce Perry, a deputy director of community development for the town, told the commission that the town’s existing parking rate for its more transit-oriented areas is lower than what the developer is providing.

He noted that maintaining the town’s current parking requirements in more transit-oriented areas is difficult to implement.

“In a site like this with the smaller lots…especially with the multi-family [housing] the way it’s designed, that approach is a challenge to maintain,” Perry said.

After the planning commission completes an advisory review, the application will go to the Herndon Town Council for its consideration. The proposed development requires rezoning the approximately 10-acre site.

An addition is planned at Herndon Elementary School (via FCPS)

(Updated at 1:40 p.m.) The planned expansion of Herndon Elementary School (630 Dranesville Road) is moving forward following voters approved a bond referendum last Tuesday (Nov. 7).

At a meeting tonight (Monday), the Herndon Planning Commission is set to consider a proposal by Fairfax County Public Schools to add roughly 25,000 square feet to the school, which has been in the school system’s renovation queue since 2009 and was built in 1969.

The school currently has an enrollment of 805 students. The proposed addition would boost the student design capacity to 1,050 students, according to materials submitted to the town.

The proposal also includes 63 additional parking spaces in an effort to “alleviate the overcrowding onsite,” according to a memo.

FCPS also plans to create two entrances for vehicles to separate school buses from student drop-offs and pick-ups. The move is intended to create a “safer” and “more efficient environment,” the memo says. The proposal would also reduce long lines that disrupt traffic along Dranesville Road.

Herndon Elementary School was last renovated in 1991. Voters approved a $4 million bond referendum in 2021 to fund planning and design for the project.

Construction on the project is expected to begin in the summer or fall of 2024, putting it on track for an anticipated completion in winter 2026, according to FCPS spokesperson Julie Moult.

In this year’s general election, 67% of voters approved the sale of $425 million in bonds to fund the renovation and building of schools, including Herndon Elementary.

“The approval of this bond referendum is a clear statement that our Fairfax County voters are committed to continued investment in the excellence of the Fairfax County Public Schools educational experience,” FCPS Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid wrote in a statement.

A public hearing on the proposal is set for tonight at 7 p.m. in the Herndon Council Chambers (765 Lynn Street).

Fairfax University of America is proposing a new postsecondary institution on Grove Street in Herndon (via Google Maps)

Fairfax University of America, an accredited higher education institution, is looking for a new campus in Herndon.

The institution — which offers graduate and undergraduate degrees in business administration, management information system, computer sciences and other fields — is seeking the Town of Herndon’s permission to take over three office buildings on Grove Street.

The application, which is set to go before the Town of Herndon’s Planning Commission tonight (Monday), proposes that the college would operate at 500, 555 and 585 Grove Street, accommodating roughly 295 students.

Roughly 71,000 square feet of existing office space would be repurposed to serve as classrooms, teacher offices and related amenity space, according to the application.

The property would have to be rezoned from commercial services uses to business uses.

“The applicant believes that the office climate has been evolving over the past few years and this evolution has resulted in large amounts of vacancy,” the application says.

Existing businesses in the buildings would remain.

So far, town staff said they generally support using the site as a post-secondary education campus because of the layout of the buildings and their central location in the town.

“Staff has been working with the applicant to address site concerns through updates to the [Generalized Development Plan],” staff said in a report. “Staff issued a comment letter expressing concerns with accessibility and circulation.”

Fairfax University’s campus is currently located at 4401 Village Drive in Fairfax.

Image via Google Maps

Layout of the new self-storage facility being planned for Herndon (via Town of Herndon)

A new self-storage facility appears likely to replace a soon-to-be-demolished, four-decade-old warehouse in Herndon.

On Monday (Sept. 26), the Town of Herndon’s Planning Commission unanimously approved plans to construct a 30,000-square-foot Security Public Storage facility at 331 Victory Drive. The old warehouse currently on the site, located in a business park, would be demolished.

This came after a public hearing where a couple of neighbors shared their own approval for the project.

The new building will replace a warehouse originally built in 1982 that currently houses several tenants, including Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, which uses the space to build and store sets and props.

“This proposal will demolish an aging industrial building with a modern building that more efficiently uses the town’s limited space,” reads the staff report.

The project was first brought to the town’s Architectural Review Board back in April.

Renderings of the self-storage facility on Victory Drive in Herndon (via Town of Herndon)

Even with the commission’s approval, there remain several steps before demolition and construction can begin.

Next, the project goes to the Herndon Town Council for a public hearing. If it passes there, a site plan will undergo an administrative review, then return to the Architectural Review Board for another public hearing on the exterior. Finally, Security Public Storage can apply for building permits to start construction and demolition.

If and when all of that does happen, demolition and construction could take about a year to complete.

Several commissioners and neighbors said during the public hearing that the new building is expected to be an improvement over what’s there now.

A drive aisle will be removed, trash dumpsters will be shifted indoors, air conditioners placed on top of the building, and an on-site stormwater treatment solution will be installed.

Residents hope the changes will lead to less traffic, better landscaping, improved water quality, and a decrease in noise around the building, which borders about five single-family residences in the Van Buren Estates.

“Overall, we are very pleased with what the new building will be, removing the road, and moving the…trash dumpsters from the building,” one resident of Van Buren Estates said at the public hearing. “It’s definitely a big improvement.”

Residents and the commissioners still had some questions or concerns about the details of the plan. The length, material, and continuity of the fence dividing the self-storage facility from the residences as well as the landscaping were topics of discussion.

Some also wondered if the community actually needs another self-storage facility. With several multi-family developments in the pipeline for Herndon, Security Public Storage made the case that more self-storage would be needed.

While a couple of commissioners questioned that assertion, the project nonetheless proceeded forward.


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