Two major high-density mixed-use commercial and residential developments that would include more than 3.3 million square feet of office space are being planned adjacent to the Vienna Metro station at I-66 and Nutley Street.
The station is scheduled to open in June 1986.
Plans for rezonings of a 61-acre site and an 11-acre site, both north of I-66 and west of Nutley Street, were filed with Fairfax County late this week. If approved, the projects are expected to bring urban design concepts to the areas around the station which are presently dominated by schools, single-family houses and a park. Plans include a 600-room hotel.
The Vienna station, sandwiched between the towns of Fairfax City and Vienna, is the terminus of the Orange Line into Northern Virginia. It is being built in the I-66 right-of-way. When completed, it is expected to be one of the system's most heavily used stations.
Fairfax Metro Associates is planning to build on the 61-acre tract, located south of Nottaway Park, west of Nutley Street.
"This is the largest single-company-owned site adjacent to a Metro station in Northern Virginia," said James W. Todd, president of Hazel/Peterson Cos., of which Fairfax Metro Associates is a part. Hazel/Peterson Cos. are best known for the giant mixed-use development in Fairfax known as Fair Lakes
P. Reed Wills, another Fairfax developer, is planning to construct residential and commercial buildings on his 10 acres south of Country Creek Road and north of I-66 adjacent to station parking areas, according to attorney Martin Walsh.
Walsh said his client is "excited about the proximity to Metro."
Todd said the Vienna station has the best road access of any Metro station in Northern Virginia. He cited nearby Nutley Street where major improvements, including additional lanes and a full interchange with I-66, are scheduled for completion by the Virginia Department of Highways and Transportation by 1987.
Fairfax County's 1984 annual plan review says, "The Vienna station, because of the existence of relatively large pieces of vacant land and excellent visibility and access from I-66, probably has the greatest potential" of the thee Metro stations now under construction in the area. The other two are Dunn Loring and West Falls Church.
Walsh said his client has been working with Hazel/Peterson staff on the applications, but added that the projects are not related, except in geographical proximity.
Both developers are seeking PDC (planned development-commercial) zonings.
The 61-acre Fairfax Associates site is currently zoned PDH, planned development-housing, and R-8 residential. Long ago, Fairfax approved construction of 86 town houses, 300,000 square feet of office space, 50,000 square feet of retail space and 1,250 residential units for the property. Some buildings were to be 21 stories tall.
That plan had a ratio of 70 percent residential to 30 percent commercial, Todd said. The new plan would reverse those figures, he said, adding that the new ratio reflects the desires of Vienna officials.
The new plan calls for 2.9 million square feet of office space, 150,000 square feet of retail space, 370 town houses and 600 hotel rooms. Approximately 180 of those residential units are meant for the elderly.
Fairfax Metro Associates plans tall buildings -- perhaps 12 to 14 stories or higher -- but those details are not yet available.
The Wills' project is much smaller, but will add to the overall feeling that the entire area has been developed by plan, rather than happenstance, a county official said. The Wills' proposal calls for construction of 200 apartment units in multi-story buildings, 33 town houses, 30,000 square feet of commercial space and 427,000 square feet of office space.
Fairfax Associates terms its development a "Metro-oriented employment center" designed to take advantage of what its officials see as a continuing increase in "reverse commuting" by people from the District and close-in suburbs.
"The adopted improvements to the Nutley Street/I-66 interchange and to the Metro-related bridges, ramps and roads will provide the best access to any station area in Northern Virginia," a Fairfax Associates spokesman said.
The 61-acre site is a consolidation of two parcels -- a step that had been recommended by the county if the site were to be developed for high density and mixed use.
"We want to put it under one comprehensive zoning, to lay it out differently than it is now," Todd said. "It is not as if we are starting with a property with no zoning. The old plan decked the whole site in concrete and provided only limited access to Metro facilities," Todd said. He said his company has worked out and will pay for an extensive internal road network. Public transportation improvements are already in the county's six-year construction plan, he said.
Developers claim that the Fairfax Associates' proposal "meets almost every criterion set forth by the county for development around the Vienna station site." The firm has worked with residents of nearby neighborhoods, according to Todd. He pointed to Nottaway Park, north of the development site, and said preliminary plans call for a park-like open space connection between the station and the park which would bisect the commercial development.
"There will also be an extensive pedestrian system for those who want to walk or ride a bike to Metro," he said.