Still Growing: Leesburg Nears Buildout

The Town of Leesburg looks to be closing in on 20,000 housing units, and 26,000 jobs in town, if growth projections over the next five years prove true.

            Public Information Officer Betsy Arnett recently delivered an update on the town’s growth statistics to members of the Planning Commission. She pointed to the growth of the town, now the commonwealth’s largest, in just the past five years. More than 1 million square feet of nonresidential uses have been developed during that period, with flex/industrial space being the biggest commercial addition, followed by retail and self-storage space, respectively. It’s no surprise that residential development has again begun in earnest following a post-recession lull. Almost 700 residential units have been added to Leesburg in the past five years.

            “We’ve exceeded 200 units this year alone,” Arnett said. “That’s the most we’ve done in a single year since 2009.”

            That number will likely not slow either, given the 444 residential units approved for construction, with more under construction, and the more than 1,900 projects in the development pipeline.

            Commercial growth also continues, she said. Just shy of 90,000 square feet of nonresidential development is under construction, and in the next five years Leesburg could add another 1.5 million square feet, should everything in the development pipeline come to fruition. 

            Five years from now, Arnett estimates the town’s population will be at least 58,000. The latest Census estimate from July 2018 pegged the town’s total population then at 53,917. Historically, she said, the town has always exceeded that estimate.

            Also in five years, Arnett projects 18,800 housing units in town, 26,000 jobs, and a total of 14 million square feet of nonresidential development, if everything that’s in the pipeline gets built.

            There are currently less than 700 acres of undeveloped land left in town, with an active application of some sort on 288 of those acres, as the town approaches full buildout. 

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