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Project Planned Near Vienna Metro Station With 900 Units, 250K SF Of Office

CRC Cos., formerly Clark Realty Capital, is seeking an office tenant to kick off a 10-acre mixed-use development at the western terminus of the orange line. 

CRC at Metrowest
The site plan for the CRC at Metrowest development at the Vienna-GMU Metro station

The developer has retained Newmark Knight Frank to lease the 250K SF of office space planned for the CRC at Metrowest development just south of the Vienna-GMU Metro station. 

The mixed-use project is planned to include up to 900 multifamily units across three buildings and 50K SF of retail. The project is part of the larger MetroWest development that also includes 500 recently built residential units, a combination of townhouses and condos, from Pulte Homes to the south of where CRC is planning the site's mixed-use core. Fairfax County in 2006 approved the 1.4M SF of density for the 56-acre site, which previously contained 65 single-family homes.

"We've had the zoning since 2006, and then we hit the recession and other headwinds," CRC Managing Director Jay Sotos said. "We have been exploring ways to catalyze or reinvigorate our effort." 

The developer aims to land a pre-lease before breaking ground on the office component, Sotos said. It does not plan to start on the multifamily buildings until it has an office anchor or retail tenants to provide amenities for residents. CRC may go back to the county to alter the project's design, Sotos said, but it does not need any more approvals for the site's density. 

CRC is working with Paraclete Realty on leasing the retail space, which it has been actively marketing for about one year. Sotos said multiple large grocers have turned down an opportunity to anchor the project, but he is still hoping to land a speciality grocer and other food and beverage users. The site has the advantage of being at a terminus Metro station with thousands of daily commuters, but it also has its disadvantages, Sotos said. 

"One of the challenges is our project backs Metro and I-66 so it's kind of a one-sided retail site," Sotos said. "Having I-66 as a barrier kind of inhibits it. Arlington Metro stations pull off 66 so there are 360-degree developments around the station, but here it's really a 180-degree development." 

Arlington-based CRC has developed projects such as the 232-unit The Clarendon apartment complex, the 143-unit Ten at Clarendon community and the 257-unit Flats at Atlas in D.C.

Vienna Metro development site CRC
The 10-acre site next to the Vienna Metro where CRC is planning its development

The developer has the option of splitting the office parcel up into multiple buildings and does not have to pre-lease the full 250K SF before breaking ground, NKF Executive Managing Director Andy Klaff said. 

"We can design this in a way to provide flexibility," Klaff said. 

At 9500 Saintsbury Drive, the site sits just off Interstate 66 and Nutley Street, sandwiched between a Metro parking garage and a Kiss & Ride lot. Klaff said the combination of being next to Metro and having direct highway access will make the site appealing to office tenants. 

"It's extraordinarily easy to get to, even if you're coming by car," Klaff said. "If you look at Dunn Loring, it's not an easy Metro to drive to. That's going to be a big advantage to our project. We have fantastic accessibility and public rail transportation."

NKF Andy Klaff and John Boland
NKF Executive Managing Director Andy Klaff and Vice Chairman John Boland

Given these advantages, Klaff expects to pull tenants from Fairfax County's traditional suburban office parks who want locations with better transit access. He said he expects technology companies and government contractors will be particularly interested in the project. 

"We will attract tenants from Fairview Park to Fair Lakes," Klaff said, referring to two suburban Fairfax County office parks. "We offer a unique opportunity those areas do not have. Especially as you go further west, because we're the last Metro station on the Orange Line. I think we're going to get interest from Oakton and Fairfax City."