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Fairfax Exploring New Uses For Empty Office Buildings

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Fairfax Exploring New Uses For Empty Office Buildings

Property tax revenue from office buildings has dropped by over $23M in Fairfax County since summer 2013 and county officials are looking for ways to fill 20M SF of vacant office space.

The Office of Revitalization in Fairfax County recently formed a committee to figure out how to fill the vacant space and put at least some of the buildings back to good use, the Washington Post reports. The committee is made up of business leaders, county officials and housing advocates who will review vacant buildings on a case-by-case basis.

County officials are also looking into zoning changes or other fixes that may entice property owners to renovate or sell some of the vacant buildings. The hope is that more landlords will follow the lead of Washington REIT's Silverline Center in Tysons, which underwent renovations for $53M and recently signed Capital One as an anchor tenant. But that building is near the Silver Line, while most of Fairfax is miles from rail transit.

Committee members also have their sights set on addressing a long list of community needs by putting the vacant space to better use, ranging from affordable housing and additional schools to retail and manufacturing uses. This is the latest proactive plan initiated by Fairfax County, which recently kicked off plans to establish “innovation hubs” around dense, Metro-accessible areas in hopes of creating an ecosystem of innovation[WaPo]