A rendering of Loudoun Station. Reminiscent of Reston Town Center, which has not lacked for success. (Comstock Partners LC)

And now, it’s slowly happening. Metro is creeping toward Loudoun County. On Wednesday, with federal Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan and Loudoun Board Chairman Scott York looking on, developer Comstock Partners broke ground on a giant mass of retail, residential and hotel space that Comstock is modestly calling “the essential downtown” of Loudoun County.

The Loudoun Station project is scheduled to have 1,500 “luxury residences,” 300,000 square feet of shops and restaurants, one million square feet of Class A office space and a 200-room hotel. It will be located between the Greenway and Shellhorn Road in the Ryan neighborhood, and between the Ryan Road and Loudoun County Parkway exits on the Greenway. The planned Silver Line station is not scheduled to open until 2016 (it’ll be the last stop on the line), but Comstock hopes to have some residences and retail open next year.

Erika Jacobson Moore in Leesburg Today has more complete coverage here, including maps and diagrams. Comstock’s website for Loudoun Station is here.