Hadid Investment Group is proposing two 12- or 13-story office buildings on the Koons Pontiac site instead of a 30-story hotel originally planned, after the plan generated strong opposition from residents of nearby neighborhoods.
The 12-acre site is west of Tysons Corner on the south side of Leesburg Pike east of the Dulles Road interchange.
The office buildings will contain approximately 521,000 square feet of space, about the same as the hotel would have had.
The developers' decision to cut the height by such a significant amount surprised many opponents of the original plan.
The site is near the 23-story Sheraton Hotel complex now under construction. Residents and some county staff members had expected the Hadid Group to hold out for at least the same height as the Sheraton tower.
"We originally requested a 30-story building. We met with the communities surrounding the site and reduced the height to two 200-foot buildings. Now we have cut it to two 150-foot-tall buildings," attorney Martin Walsh said.
Project architect Tom McDuffey said the same square footage could be put in one building.
However, the decision was made to go for two.
"We will have 57 percent open space on the site, with a 90-foot setback for the first building from Route 7," he said.
The second building will be placed beside the first one but further from the highway. "The two will eventually be connected by an atrium," he said.
The project is being designed as a "corporate urban park," Walsh said.
Three tiers of parking will be built behind the office towers. Part of that parking space may be placed below ground, depending on the soil conditions under the pavement and buildings now on the site.
Extensive landscaping is planned, including on the rooftop of the structured parking building.
The site abuts a park that is part of the Vienna community, and Walsh said present plans call for trying to buffer the project site to help merge it into the park land visually.
"The Fairfax County Park Authority also has expressed an interest in expanding that facility," Walsh said.
No arrangements between the park authority and the developer have been worked out, but such details are likely to be part of a Fairfax County planning staff work on the project.
The Fairfax Planning Commission has deferred several planned public hearings on the proposal at the request of the developer.
Hearings are now tentatively planned for mid-March. The board of supervisors will hold a hearing and take action on the proposal approximately two weeks after action by the planning body.
Although the 30-story building originally planned would have been the tallest in the Tysons area, it would not have towered over other area buildings.
Structures in the Tysons II complex under construction include a 22-story hotel, and Tysons II is on top of a hill, more than 100 feet higher than Hadid's site.
"We are totally consistent with the new height study," Walsh told a recent meeting of the McLean Citizens Association's planning and zoning committee.
That study has just been released, and many committee members had not seen it when they heard Walsh's latest presentations.
That committee deferred a vote on the proposal until they could examine the height study.
While the Hadid Group has been changing its plans for the Koons site, Joe Koons, owner of the Pontiac dealership, has been getting ready to move.
A new building that is almost a duplicate of the present one has been built on part of the land occupied by JKJ Chevrolet at the intersection of Route 7 and Chain Bridge Road.
JKJ is owned by John Koons, brother of Joe Koons. The Koons family owns various auto dealerships in Northern Virginia and Annapolis.