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Developer seeks to convert Tysons office building into ‘live/work’ units

Developer Madison Highland has proposed some new amenities as part of a conversion of 2000 Corporate Ridge in Tysons into live/work units (via Fairfax County)

A developer that turns aging, underused office buildings into apartments designed for residential and work use has set its sights on a property in Tysons just east of the Capital Beltway.

Madison Highland hopes to repurpose the offices at 2000 Corporate Ridge into about 236 live/work units that would range in size from 500 to 2,000 square feet, according to a rezoning application recently submitted to Fairfax County.

Built in 1985, the 10-story office building is an ideal candidate for a live/work conversion, the developer says, citing its “sustained vacancy” and proximity to existing housing, offices and retail, including Tysons Corner Center just on the other side of the Beltway.

“These building and site improvements will transform an underperforming office building into a neighborhood amenity, providing this part of Tysons with a generational opportunity to secure forested natural park space and recreation areas that will also serve as a logical transition from the adjacent residential neighborhoods to nearby commercial amenities,” McGuireWoods land use planner Mike Van Atta wrote in a Sept. 12 statement of justification on the developer’s behalf.

First reported by the Washington Business Journal on Friday (Sept. 16), the proposal furthers Madison Highland’s plans to introduce more “live/work loft communities” to the D.C. area. The group formed this spring as a partnership between developers Madison Marquette and Highland Square Holdings.

The firms previously joined forces to build the Mission Lofts apartments in Bailey’s Crossroads and convert three buildings at the Skyline Center, a project that’s currently under construction. Fairfax County is also reviewing plans to turn two more Skyline buildings and a pair of Merrifield offices being vacated by Inova Health Systems into live/work residences.

In his statement, Van Atta says live/work conversions reflect shifting expectations for office space, as employers seek to accommodate an “unprecedented” rise in people working from home in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2000 Corporate Ridge site already features sidewalks to Magarity Road, some trails and interior noise mitigation measures that were required when the county originally approved the office building, according to the application.

“This application seeks to build off of those commitments and retrofit the site to accommodate both the modern workplace expectations and necessary amenities for residential uses,” Van Atta wrote.

Proposed amenities include a new neighborhood park and pedestrian path that would be accessible to the general public as well as resident-only facilities, including a park with outdoor sports courts, a rooftop vegetable garden, and a boardwalk shaded by trees through an existing natural preserve space on the site.

According to the application, the apartments will retain a conference center, fitness room, and community kitchen that can already be found on the office building’s ground floor.

Parking will also be largely unchanged, with surface and garage spaces being restriped to provide 702 spots total — a decrease from the 895 spaces on the 8-acre site right now, according to the development plan.

The county’s Department of Planning and Development received the application on Thursday (Sept. 15) but hasn’t formally accepted it yet.

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