Board of Supervisors Designates Government Center Parking Lots for Potential Affordable Housing
Transfer of Property to FCRHA a Critical Step Forward
At its January 26 meeting, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors authorized the transfer of ownership of a portion of its over 1300 space surface parking lot on the Government Center Campus to the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA) for the potential development of affordable housing. The site could provide affordable housing to serve over 250 low- and moderate-income households – similar to the award-winning Residences at Government Center development also located on the Government Center Campus in the Braddock District.
“It is a priority of this Board to advance affordable housing opportunities throughout the county, and publicly owned land is one of the resources we can bring to the table to achieve that,” said Chairman Jeffrey C. McKay. “It drives down the price of development and enables the creation of safe, centrally located homes to help bridge the affordability gap we are experiencing in the county.”
The site (known as Parking Lots G and H on the Government Center Campus with 340 parking spaces) provides access to bus transit and is within walking distance of a future extension of the Metro Orange Line from Vienna, retailers, employment opportunities, an elementary school, trails, and numerous community recreation amenities. Such a location is consistent with the emphasis to incorporate affordable housing in the development of transit-oriented, walkable communities in Fairfax County’s highly sought-after activity centers.
“This is a concept that I am very excited about, and I don’t know if there is a better location in the county for affordable housing than this,” said Braddock District Supervisor James Walkinshaw, who originated the motion. “By allowing this transfer, we’re enabling the FCRHA to really see what is possible in partnership with private-sector developers and to deliver on our commitment to leave no stone unturned in providing equitable opportunities for residents across the income spectrum to enjoy the benefits that living in Fairfax County has to offer.”
The authorization to convey the property was a critical first step to allow the FCRHA to begin the process of exploring the residential development options for the property via a public-private partnership. The potential development partner will be selected through a competitive Request for Proposal (RFP) process in accordance with the Public-Private Educational Facilities and Infrastructures Act of 2002 (PPEA). It is anticipated that an RFP is likely to be issued by mid-2021.
There will be extensive opportunity for community input and feedback on design concepts and local impacts as the project moves through the Comprehensive Plan Amendment and land use entitlement processes. If it is determined that a residential project should not be pursued, the property will be transferred back to the ownership of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.