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Nonprofit eyes parking lot in Tysons for affordable housing project

A nonprofit is looking to build affordable housing in Tysons by the Spring Hill Metro station (via KGD Architecture/Fairfax County)

The nonprofit Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing is looking to develop a two-acre parking lot into the first entirely affordable housing project in Tysons.

The project would construct a six to nine-story building with 125-175 units on the north side of Spring Hill Road, according to a July 2 letter for a rezoning application that is currently under review by Fairfax County planners.

“APAH is excited for the unique opportunity of providing a fully affordable building within the heart of Tysons,” Scott Adams, a McGuireWoods land-use attorney representing APAH, wrote in the letter. “This important project…will serve as a benchmark for the crucial goal of providing new affordable housing options close to employment and transit.”

The proposed residential building would have 34 three-bedroom units, 109 two-bedroom units, and 32 one-bedroom units available to individuals and families with up to 30% to 60% of the area median income level.

The chosen parcel is adjacent to a joint Land Rover/Jaguar auto dealership and about a six-minute walk from the Spring Hill Metro station.

The site of Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing’s proposed project at 1592 Spring Hill Road in Tysons (via Fairfax County)

According to the Washington Business Journal, which first reported the story, Fairfax County could play a crucial role in the deal by buying the property — likely through its redevelopment and housing authority — and leasing it to APAH.

The property belongs to Tysons-based Capital Automotive Real Estate Services (known as CARS), which is owned by the real estate firm Brookfield Property Partners. Fairfax County has assessed the parcel at $8.5 million each year since 2015.

The application materials submitted to the county include an affidavit signed by CARS, signaling that it is permitting APAH to proceed with its project.

CARS previously obtained zoning waivers and modifications from the Fairfax County Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors in 2017 for mixed-use development of the site. APAH is seeking to use those approvals with its application and not require additional zoning waivers.

However, the application calls for reducing the minimum parking requirement of 175 spaces to 105 spaces. That’s because the project, which would include a parking garage, is within a quarter-mile of the Metro station, and the lower number would support the expected parking needs based on the nonprofit’s experience with similar projects, Adams wrote.

The development would be part of the Planned Tysons Corner Urban District that the Board of Supervisors established in 2010 to transform the area from a suburban office park and activity center to a mixed-use neighborhood geared toward pedestrians, bicycles, and transit.

The application says the project fits with a requirement there that a development contributes to urban parks, reduces vehicle trips involving a sole driver, and addresses other urban revitalization factors.

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