Dittmar wants to have a temporary “reading park” occupy a site along Leesburg Pike until work on a new hotel starts in a few years.
In 2014, Fairfax County officials approved plans for a hotel on the site, which is on the northbound side of Leesburg Pike at the intersection with Westpark Drive.
Now, Elizabeth Baker, a senior land use planner for Walsh Colucci, told Tysons Reporter that Dittmar plans to temporarily use the site for commercial parking, vehicle storage and the public park before starting work on the hotel.
Baker said that Dittmar expects work to start on the hotel in about five years because the residential development company is currently focused on a project in Rosslyn that will take several years to complete.
The Tysons site previously had a hotel, which has been torn down. Parking from that hotel is still available at the site, Baker said, adding that, until recently, the Meridian Group was using the site for construction staging and parking while The Boro development was underway.
Baker said that Dittmar is paying significant taxes on the site because of the future development. The company wants to make use of the site “so it doesn’t sit in its current state, which is not the most attractive for Tysons,” she said.
Currently, Dittmar has the right to offer commercial off-street parking, which they plan to pursue, Baker said. The developer is seeking the county’s permission to allow vehicle storage and create the pop-up park. The vehicle storage would benefit nearby dealerships who are losing storage due to new developments, Baker said.
“At the same time, [Dittmar is] looking to make some type of gesture toward the future with place-making activity,” Baker said. That’s where the park comes in.
The rectangular park would be located along the western portion of the property.
Baker said that she’s been working with Dittmar and Tysons Partnership on the interim park to serve as an “outdoor reading room” — a nod to the future community library proffered in Tysons.
Sol Glasner, Tysons Partnership’s president and CEO, told Tysons Reporter last week that public parks are one of the key components that the organization is looking into as the area continues to urbanize.
“It is definitely a topic that is a very, very significant topic for Tysons and other urban centers,” he said.
Designed for all ages, the park would have lounging chairs for people who want to read, an outdoor library and food trucks, Baker said.
“It’s a different theme on a pop-up park,” Baker said. “I think it’s kind of fun.”
Baker said that newly accepted application does not yet have a proposed timeline from Fairfax County staff, but she’s hopeful it will take four to five months to progress through the county’s approval process.
Images via Walsh Colucci
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