The first pieces of the long-anticipated redevelopment of Springfield Town Center are officially moving forward.
At a Nov. 30 meeting, the Fairfax County Planning Commission voted to approve the replacement of a surface parking lot with a five-story hotel — a move that the applicant says could jumpstart the rebirth of the area that surrounds the mall.
David Gill, the applicant’s representative from Wire Gill, said the hotel — Home2 Suites by Hilton — is a “great first step in analyzing the vision that was thought of nearly a decade from now.” The building sits across two parcels fronting Loisdale Road on property owned by Philadelphia-based Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT).
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will hold public hearings tomorrow on the hotel and a companion application for the Hanover, a mid-rise residential building with up to 460 units.
Overall, in 2007, the area was approved for 2 million square feet of commercial space and up to 2,736 residential units, in addition to the roughly 1-million-square-foot mall.
The hotel piece of the property only covers a roughly 5.4-acre piece of the overall development plan.
The latest proposal swaps the hotel with the original location of the first office building planned on the site. The plan also calls a reduction in hotel rooms from 225 to 140 rooms and a reduction in the ground-floor retail from up to 23,000 square feet to a small portion that will serve hotel guests.
Gill said that the applicant plans to build suites only.
Braddock District Commissioner Mary Cortina expressed concerns about the deferral of a Central Park that was previously set to be triggered by the development proposal, due to challenges with “no build” areas maintained by restaurants.
“When are we ever going to see the park part of this? Could this use be indefinitely put off? And I think it would detract from the property value overall,” Cortina said.
County staff noted that the applicant is still committed to the Central Park, but when market conditions and associated easements allow it to move forward in a realistic manner.
Planning Commissioner David Lagana lauded staff for their work on the project.
“We worked very hard to get this application ready for this board date. It was a Herculean effort,” he said.