An office building adjacent to Freedom Hill Elementary School is the latest commercial property in Tysons to be considered for housing instead.
The owner of 8221 Old Courthouse Road has submitted a proposal to Fairfax County that would convert the existing three-story office building into 55 one and two-bedroom apartment units, including six designated as workforce housing.
Filed on Friday (Feb. 10), the application says the conversion will address the need for housing to serve Tysons’ growing population, while revitalizing an “underutilized” site, as the office market continues to cool.
“With pressure from newly delivered office space with high quality amenities growing, older office space in the Tysons office-heavy market is declining as demand for multifamily continues to increase,” Robert Brant, a legal agent for the property owner, wrote in a statement of justification. “The proposed office-to-residential conversion will infuse the neighborhood with some new renewed foot traffic.”
Built in 1986, the office building is on a 87,472-square-foot site owned by 8221 Old Courthouse Road LC, an affiliate of the housing developer Dittmar Company, according to county property records.
Current tenants include Northern Virginia Foot & Ankle Associates, an Atlantic Union Bank and the software company Armedia. However, vacancies “are expected to increase dramatically in the next few years,” the application says.
Renovations are also needed, but the owner has determined they’re “not viable” based on “the current and future outlook for the office market.”
“However, the property is well suited for residential use, being located on the edge of Tysons and adjacent to an elementary school site,” Brant said.
According to the application, the shell of the existing building would be retained, along with a 5-foot-tall brick wall separating the property from Freedom Hill Elementary. No changes to the building footprint or height are proposed.
However, the developer is seeking to eliminate 90 spaces from the surface parking lot, leaving 66 total spaces to serve the new residents.
The parking reduction will allow for a 7,000-square-foot, publicly accessible park along Old Courthouse Road, featuring “a meandering trail,” benches and gardens. The applicant also intends to provide approximately 8,400 square feet of private, outdoor amenity space for residents, including outdoor seating and grilling stations.
According to the submitted plan, the project will reduce the amount of impervious surface, which currently covers 81% of the property, and add landscaping, including an 8-foot-wide buffer between the street and sidewalk on both Old Courthouse Road to the north and Lord Fairfax Drive to the west.
As part of the project, the applicant says it will widen the sidewalks on Old Courthouse and Lord Fairfax to 8 feet wide and 6 feet, respectively.
“New pedestrian paths in the public park space, around the building, along the southern Property line, and to the building entrances at the front and rear…will be provided,” the application says.
The rezoning application hasn’t yet been formally accepted for review by the county.
Photo via Google Maps