Before the first zoning application has been filed, Loudoun supervisors and the county’s economic development staff are pushing a new development on Metro’s Silver Line as a win.
The county on Wednesday announced plans for a, 4.4 million square foot mixed-use development called Rivana at Innovation Station, which will straddle the Loudoun and Fairfax county line. Plans on the Loudoun side are said to include 1,954 housing units, 1.8 million square feet of office space, a 185,000 square foot retail area, a 265-room hotel, and an 11-acre park.
All of that is only the first phase of a planned 103-acre development situated in both counties, including both the formerly state-owned Center for Innovative Technology and the site of former plans for The Hub, itself formerly known as Dulles World Center, a project that was talked about for years but never got off the ground.
The land, at the northeast quadrant of the Rt. 28/Dulles Toll Road interchange, has been envisioned as Loudoun’s more prominent gateway for decades. It was first rezoned to permit a high-density research and development park in the late 1980s. More recently, it was revived as the Dulles World Center, in 2012, a project that included 1,265 homes and 1.75 million square feet of office. In 2018, The Hub was approved for the same number of homes with 250,000 square feet of office. Now, Rivana at Innovation Station, backed by a conglomeration of four development firms called Novais Partners, is proposed to go even bigger—although still more zoning modifications will have to be approved by the Board of Supervisors.
But before any public land use review process has begun, county officials are already talking construction timelines—planning to break ground in early 2022—and pushing the project as a win for Silver Line development.
“Loudoun County’s vision in the 2019 Comprehensive Plan was to create walkable, urban environments around the upcoming Metro stations, and this project brings that vision to life. Innovation Station will allow generations of Loudoun County businesses, residents, students, and visitors to take advantage of world-class environments in which to live, work, learn, and play,” stated Chair Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large). “The Novais plan for Rivana checks all the boxes for a world-class development that will create value and opportunity for everyone in our community for decades to come.”
A press release from the county Department of Economic Development paints those plans as “bucolic urbanism.”
“Unlike other developments on the East Coast, the vision for Rivana at Innovation Station is more than square feet and total units, it’s a chance to deliver a more humanized environment that reflects who Loudoun is now and where we are going,” stated Loudoun Economic Development Executive Director Buddy Rizer. “Innovation Station will position Loudoun as an attractive option for major corporate users looking for high-quality office space in a post-COVID environment.”
“When I voted to bring Metro to Loudoun County in 2012, it was with projects like Rivana in mind. And when the Board of Supervisors created a new urban policy area in our comprehensive plan, it was exactly to attract projects like this. This site is more than 100 acres, ready for the type of high-quality, integrated development that will be attractive to commercial users while providing a destination for entertainment, recreation, retail and a variety of housing types,” stated Supervisor Matthew F. Letourneau (R-Dulles), who chairs the Board of Supervisors’ finance committee. “Novais has committed to an aggressive timeline and a collaborative process with both Loudoun and Fairfax counties, to get this exciting project to market in the next few years.”
“The project’s developers have committed to delivering twice as many residential units and six times the number of affordable dwelling units as previously planned,” stated district Supervisor Sylvia R. Glass (Broad Run). “This will make a significant impact in our mission to provide a variety of housing options to serve Loudoun’s growing population. Providing a continuum of housing is critical to Loudoun’s future growth.”
A land use application is expected to be filed the week of April 5.