Loudoun officials question scale of development planned along Route 28
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
A proposal to build a large mixed-use development along Route 28 in Loudoun County is drawing criticism from elected officials.
If approved, Kincora Village would be built at routes 7 and 28. The development would include office buildings, space for a $30 million baseball stadium -- and millions of dollars in county road improvements.
In a meeting Tuesday, the county Board of Supervisors asked whether the project would add too many large retail stores and homes to an area that has several such developments, including Dulles Town Center and a similar project under construction, One Loudoun.
"It's almost like we're setting out to build another urban town center similar to Dulles Town Center across the road," said Supervisor James Burton (I-Blue Ridge), a critic of the Kincora project.
Kincora would sit at the crossroads of two of Loudoun's most important traffic corridors, and supervisors think the location will be attractive to high-profile commercial tenants. The development is jointly owned by Tritec, a New York-based real estate firm, and Norton Scott, a developer based in Great Falls. Supervisors rejected an earlier proposal from the two developers in 2007.
In the latest proposal, developers promise to spend $65 million on road improvements, including two bridges over Broad Run connecting with Loudoun County Parkway. As envisioned, Kincora Village would have two hotels, a grocery store, a fitness center and a 5,500-seat ballpark.
But some supervisors are balking at what they view as Kincora's emphasis on residential development, which runs counter to the county's master plan for the area. The project includes 1,400 multifamily residential units; Loudoun planners say it should be limited to 720 units.
At the meeting, Supervisor Susan Klimek Buckley (D-Sugarland Run) asked developers why office space had not been given greater focus.
Dan Coughlin, a partner in Tritec, said that Kincora Village would have 4 million square feet devoted to office space. He said the retail and residential components are critical in luring high-profile office tenants.
"You can't build office buildings in fields anymore," he said. "You have to frame out the environment. You have to provide the coffee shops, the residential community and the hotels that attract employers."
Speaking in defense of the project, Supervisor Lori L. Waters (R-Broad Run) challenged county planners' analysis, saying that they were "a little unrealistic" in the way they evaluated the proposal's potential job growth.
Waters also challenged other objections to the project, which include the architectural style and the location of the site's parking garages.
Further action on the proposal could come this summer.