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Peterson Looks To Add 500 Residential Units To Loudoun County Retail Project

The Commonwealth Center development in Ashburn, featuring an iFly and a Topgolf.

A 205-acre Loudoun County development planned for retail and entertainment uses could soon add hundreds of residential units.

Peterson Cos. filed plans Friday with Loudoun County to build 526 multifamily units at Commonwealth Center, citing challenges with retail leasing in its decision to shift the project's plans, the Washington Business Journal reports

The development at the intersection of Route 7 and Loudoun County Parkway features entertainment anchors iFly and Topgolf. The remainder of the site had previously been planned for other entertainment and commercial uses such as a bowling alley, climbing gym, brewery and restaurants.

The new plan calls for adding residential to a vacant, 23-acre portion of the property. The developer is seeking to build a 272-unit apartment building and 254 two-over-two units. 

The developer attributed the pivot to the lack of leasing momentum in the retail market, which faced challenges before this year that have been worsened by the coronavirus pandemic. It said in the application that adding residential will make the property more vibrant throughout the day and night.

Peterson Cos. President of Development Taylor Chess said at a June 2019 Bisnow event that Loudoun County needs more housing options. 

"What Loudoun really lacks is the diversity of product type of housing to allow first-time homebuyers to come," Chess said. "A lot of kids who graduate from college who grew up here, I hear they can’t move back because housing prices are escalating. New developments need to emphasize workforce housing."