Kingstowne Towne Center will transform from a shopping center into a mixed use community, following our approval to build up to 800 apartments and condos there.
The Board of Supervisors signed off on the plan on Tuesday, and the action highlights the continued anemic market for office space in the D.C. region.
Previously, the center was approved for 1.2 million square feet in office, but developer Halle Cos. requested to convert two unbuilt office buildings into residences instead.
Change in Plans
In 2008, Halle received approval to build these two, 200-foot offices, citing the demand for new office space due to the move of jobs to Fort Belvoir as a result of the federal base realignment and closure plan.
When it recently reversed course, the developer cited a fundamental shift in demand for future office space following the recession, saying the need for large space “is not anticipated to fully return as a new generation accustomed to collaborative and flexible offices enters the workforce.”
At 886,000 square feet in total, the new apartments and condos will make up 52 percent of the square feet of development at the center—making it a primarily residential.
Retail will make up 29 percent of the site
Office uses will constitute 19 percent
Four residential buildings will rise up on an almost 5.5-acre site that mainly a surface parking lot south of Kingstowne Village Parkway. The developer anticipates that three of these buildings will be apartments, and one may be a condo, and 10 percent of the total number of units will be reserved for people 55 or older.
Halle said that it included the units for older adults because many residents from the surrounding Kingstowne neighborhoods, a planned community of 5,335 homes, want to downsize. County demographics point to a future demand for housing for people age 50-plus who will make up 33 percent of residents.
The up to 150-foot buildings will be oriented around a pedestrian-friendly spine street, and they will be built on top of four-level underground garage to serve residents and shoppers. The approval includes 68,000 square feet in new shops and restaurants, which will be located on the ground floor of each of the four new buildings.
Halle also will make improvement to the existing public plaza located across from the movie theater. It will add a seasonal ice skating rink and interactive water feature, along with tables and chairs and landscaping. One of the residential buildings will offer a pedestrian breezeway that will connect directly to this updated plaza.
Kingstowne is currently developed with 305,000 square feet in offices, 254,000 square feet of shops and restaurants, and 70,000 square foot movie theater.
This development supports the county’s Economic Success Plan. In part, this plan calls for building dense, mixed-use, transit-oriented developments where people can live, work, shop and play. These projects attract more residents, jobs, and businesses. These are the kinds of these communities that millennials to baby boomers increasingly want to live. Last year, the National Association of Realtors conducted a nationwide survey that found that 45 percent of Americans want to live where can easily walk to shops and restaurants.