While Fairfax County officials struggled over the recently approved Tysons II project, Washington's king of suburban regional mall development, Theodore Lerner, tried to revive plans for a regional shopping mall in Loudoun County.
Lerner is a partner in the development of Tysons II, a 107-acre mixed-use development approved this week for construction just west of Tysons Corner Center. Lerner developed Tysons Corner, White Flint Mall and other regional shopping centers in suburban Washington.
Now he is proposing to build a 600,000-square-foot mall at the intersection of Rte. 28 and the Leesburg Pike, approximately two miles west of Sterling Park.
Although the application has been on file for some time, sources predicted that Lerner would not be ready to build on the Loudoun site for several years if he can get approval for it.
In 1980, Loudoun County, which does not have a regional shopping mall, won a long court battle blocking Lerner from building a mall on the site. However, the attitude toward commercial and retail expansion in the eastern section of Loudoun has changed dramatically in the past four years. The county is waging a campaign to sell Loudoun as a good place to live and to attempt to lure high-technology firms to the county.
Major tracts of land in Loudoun near the governor's Center for Innovative Technology, which will be built on the Loudoun and Fairfax County lines at Rte. 28 and the Dulles toll lanes, have been rezoned for commercial use. Lerner's proposed shopping center would be north of the CIT.
The mall is expected to have the same name -- Windmill -- as Lerner proposed in 1980.
Loudoun officials have been looking for the best spot to allow for construction of a regional mall during the past year, but no specific site has been chosen. Fairfax zoning attorney John T. (Til) Hazel, who represented Lerner in the previous attempt to build the mall, will not be involved in this case, sources said. Lerner reportedly has hired Leesburg attorney Tom Nalls to handle this case. Nalls could not be reached for comment.
Sources said Lerner will have joint venture partners in the eventual development of Windmill.
Traffic studies focusing on the impact of Windmill on the Rte. 7 and Rte. 28 corridors were submitted to the Loudoun planning staff earlier this week.