Proposal for condos at McLean office park sails through county board hearing

A condominium building could replace some of the McLean Professional Park’s offices (via MV&A/Fairfax County)

A redevelopment of McLean Professional Park as condominiums will move forward with Fairfax County’s approval.

The Board of Supervisors gave a unanimous thumbs up on Tuesday (May 7) to property owner T&M McLean Ventures’ proposal to replace half of the office park’s 12 commercial townhouses with 104 for-sale residential units in a single, five-story building.

Occupying about 2.8 acres of the 4.4-acre site at 1477 Chain Bridge Road, the planned 235,000-square-foot condo building will be served by a 192-space underground parking garage and a private courtyard for residents with a multi-use lawn, firepits and grilling and seating areas.

The development plan features a 12,970-square-foot park space along Chain Bridge Road that will be open to the general public. T&M McLean has also committed to undergrounding utilities and constructing a 12-foot-wide shared-use path on Chain Bridge Road.

“The applicant has designed a very attractive building that’s going to add to the mix of uses in downtown McLean,” Walsh Colucci Lubeley & Walsh land use attorney Lynne Strobel said during the board’s public hearing on Tuesday, where she represented the developer.

Though a resident expressed concern about traffic and crowded schools at the Fairfax County Planning Commission’s hearing in March, T&M McLean’s proposal got only endorsements when it went before the Board of Supervisors.

Greater McLean Chamber of Commerce President Paul Kohlenberger testified that the business advocacy group supports adding housing in downtown McLean, arguing that new residents will help sustain local businesses long-term while protecting existing residential neighborhoods from “additional development pressure.”

The McLean Planning Committee (MPC) similarly made a case that the condos will further efforts to revitalize the downtown area, including by creating a more pleasant environment for pedestrians with the addition of the public park.

“We are due to see some positive development in this area, particularly of residences,” MPC Vice President Winnie Pizzano said. “We reviewed the project, and there was no opposition. As a resident, I look forward to improved streetscapes as well as the park area and the progression towards a more vibrant downtown McLean.”

Dranesville District Supervisor Jimmy Bierman concurred that residential development will be “absolutely critical to revitalizing the area,” describing the proposed building as a good fit for its surroundings.

He was particularly impressed by the property owner’s plan to outfit at least 20% of the garage parking spaces with electric vehicle charging stations.

“There are lots of things I love about this application, including the green space, including the park along Chain Bridge Road, including the undergrounding of utilities in front of the building, things that make it more walkable, more inviting,” Bierman said. “I like to say I’m looking forward to a time when McLean is a place to go to, not just to go through, and having more people living there and being part of that community is very helpful.”

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