Tysons, VA

Westpark Plaza is about to get a little greener – and a whole lot more literary.

The Fairfax County Planning Commission voted on Dec. 9 to approve developer Dittmar’s request to amend its plans to allow for an interim public “reading park” and new vehicle storage.

The park and vehicle storage will occupy the 2.91-acre site at 8401 Westpark Drive north of Leesburg Pike until Dittmar starts construction on its massive, currently idling redevelopment plans, which call for two residential buildings, a new hotel, and retail.

At 16,500 square feet in size, the interim park will be a “multi-generational public park space designed around the idea of an outdoor reading room,” with food trucks, a Little Free Library, phone charging stations, sidewalk chalk art, and other amenities, Dittmar says in its amended development plans.

Walsh Colucci senior land use planner Elizabeth Baker told the planning commission last week that Dittmar developed the idea of a book-themed pop-up park in discussions with the Tysons Partnership, since its original proffers for the Westpark Plaza development included support for a planned future community library.

“We believe it’s going to be a fun addition to the Tysons park program,” Baker said.

The proposed new vehicle storage will contain approximately 480 total spaces, including 80 that could be utilized for commercial off-street parking, which was already permitted as an interim use for the site.

Previously occupied by a Best Western Hotel that was demolished in 2016, the 5.3-acre property is currently an asphalt parking lot that was used as a construction staging area while The Boro was under development.

Baker says the vehicle storage is expected to be on the site for up to five years, after which work on the Westpark redevelopment is supposed to commence.

“The applicant remains committed to the development as previously approved,” Providence District Commissioner Phil Niedzielski-Eichner said.

Image via Walsh, Colucci, Lubeley & Walsh

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