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Loudoun, Va., supervisors approve mixed-use Kincora Village Center

By Caitlin Gibson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 14, 2010; B05

A $2 billion development at the crossroads of routes 7 and 28 can begin to take shape now that the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors has approved a plan for the 424-acre mixed-use community.

The board split 5 to 4 Monday amid concerns that Kincora Village Center could overwhelm the area. The plan includes more than 2 million square feet of office space as well as retail space, two hotels, a state-of-the-art performing arts center, and 1,400 multifamily-residential units.

A separate Kincora application for a 5,500-seat baseball stadium and a mixed-use office and retail complex was approved by the board a year ago. The stadium will be home to a new franchise with the independent Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. An announcement regarding the timeline for construction and the team name is expected in the "very near future," according to a statement released by VIP Baseball, a group operated by Waterford businessman Robert Farren.

Plans call for the Kincora development to be built over the next 15 to 20 years.

Before the start of Monday's special meeting, the front rows in the first-floor boardroom of the Loudoun County Government Center began to fill with frustrated residents holding hand-lettered signs. "You were elected to say no to unnecessary development," read one sign. "Taxpayer relief, not more taxes," was printed across another.

"We don't feel that we need more roads, more houses, more offices," said Tony Fasolo, a Leesburg resident. He gestured toward the supervisors. "These people were voted in with the promise not to do this."

Supervisor Lori L. Waters (R-Broad Run), who introduced the motion to approve the development, said she believes that Kincora's "vibrant, mixed-use environment" represents a better use of Loudoun's Route 28 corridor than the industrial park zoning that previously applied to the land, which is in her district.

"Growth is going to happen in Loudoun County," Waters said. "This is the right place, the right project, for the right vision." She also referred to an outside consultant's fiscal impact study, which estimated that Kincora would provide net tax revenue of $179 million over 19 years.

After more than an hour and a half of debate, the measure passed, with Supervisors James Burton (I-Blue Ridge), Sarah R. "Sally" Kurtz (D-Catoctin), Andrea McGimsey (D-Potomac), and Kelly Burk (D-Leesburg) opposed.

McGimsey said the proposal effectively dismissed the county's comprehensive development plan. "This board ran on a platform of stopping overdevelopment," she said. "Who cares what the comp plan says? . . . Well, I for one care a lot."

County officials and residents had expressed concern at previous public hearings and board meetings about the effect of the development on surrounding roads. In response, developers updated their proposal after a June 15 board meeting to include $31.9 million to pay for a bridge to connect Gloucester Parkway to Loudoun County Parkway -- one of two bridges over Broad Run to be paid for by developers.

Despite the change, Burton was unmoved. He said that authorizing the rezoning would compromise the board's ability to defend future land-use decisions. "All for two bridges and a shuttle bus," he said. "How sad. How very sad."

The Kincora Village Center development is owned by NA Dulles Real Estate Investor LLC, a partnership of Tritec, a New York-based real estate firm, and Norton Scott, a development company based in Great Falls. An earlier proposal by the two firms for a mixed-use development that included residential units but no ballpark was rejected by county supervisors in 2007.

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