Agreement on New County Affordable Housing and Library in Reston Town Center Terminated
Foulger-Pratt has terminated its agreement with the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority to build up to 350 new affordable apartments and a new regional library in Reston Town Center.
The developer cited significantly higher construction costs and recent interest rate hikes as the primary reason for ending its agreement with the county. In its termination letter, Foulger-Pratt said that the project’s cost had increased by about 24% compared to its original estimates. This increase would have delayed completion of the project.
The project would have been built on a 4.49-acre site at the corner of Bowman Towne Drive and Town Center Parkway. It proposed to deliver two, five-story buildings with up to 350 rental homes that would have replaced the county’s existing affordable housing at this location called Bowman Towne Court. The project also included a new 40,000 square-foot Reston Regional Library, plus parking for these two uses and the adjacent Reston Police Station.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT
County housing officials say that redevelopment at this location is inevitable given its proximity to Reston Town Center, the Reston Parkway Metro Station and easy access to amenities, jobs and county services. The 30-unit Bowman Towne Court complex is reaching the end of its useful life, and the FCRHA will prepare to seek county-led redevelopment proposals in the future.
Until then, the county’s housing authority will continue to maintain its units at Bowman Towne Court, provide responsive customer service and communicate regularly with its residents and the surrounding community.
Meanwhile, the Fairfax County Public Library is reviewing its options to meet the immediate challenges of its aging building, as well as find a new location for this library including as part of another redevelopment project.
The recently created Reston Town Center North Task Force will help advise the county on the library’s future location, along with other public facilities in this area.
Construction of a new Reston Regional Library will be delayed for several years. It is anticipated that a new library would be built through a public-private partnership in order to leverage a $10 million bond that voters approved in 2012. The existing library is at the end of its useful life, and a new building is urgently needed.
Originally, the redevelopment project resulted from an unsolicited proposal that Foulger-Pratt submitted to the county almost two years ago. In December, the county signed an interim agreement with the company to begin the first steps to move the project forward. This agreement allowed the developer to initiate community outreach and start the land use and zoning approval process.
The project site included the existing 2.89-property owned by the FCRHA and about 1.6-acres of the Reston Police Station Parking lot, which is owned by the Board of Supervisors.
The proposed redevelopment of Bowman Towne Court would have represented a significant step towards the joint goal of the Redevelopment and Housing Authority and Fairfax County to create 10,000 units of affordable housing by the year 2034.