A new mixed-use development featuring dining, stores and 900 apartments is on its way to North Woodbridge, according to developer IDI Group.
The $380 million North Woodbridge Town Center project comes just over a year after the Prince William Board of County Supervisors approved a small-area plan meant to draw a mixed-use “town center” to the area. According to the IDI Group and Boosalis Properties, the project will be built in phases over the next five to 10 years. When completed, the developer says the project will consist of 160,000 square feet for stores and restaurants, as well as the 900 apartment units.
The 19.3-acre site on the northwest corner of Route 1 and Occoquan Road, encompassing the vacant Cowles Ford auto dealership, sits directly across Route 1 from the Woodbridge Virginia Railway Express station. Just after the approval of the small-area plan last year, George Boosalis – owner of Boosalis Properties – purchased 13.1 acres of the project site for $19.1 million. It currently is the Station Plaza shopping center. IDI Group is also the developer of the Rivergate property on Marina Way in Occoquan.
Board Chair Ann Wheeler said she believes the project will require a change to the underlying zoning, but that because of the small-area plan approval, that should be more of a formality. The Economic Development Authority provided developers a $750,000 grant to help with the purchase of adjacent parcels.
“Sometimes it’s hard to get financing on non-income producing property like that … so we’re just bridging that gap to help them out with the financing,” Wheeler told InsideNoVa. “I’m excited that someone … bid upon the small-area plan, because we thought it was a good plan. … I think it’s going to be a really interesting project and put North Woodbridge on the map.”
While other parcels included in the small-area plan still have no redevelopment projects slated, the county hopes the town center will draw more interest to the surrounding properties.
In a news release, Boosalis said, “We’re eager to bring this exciting development to North Woodbridge. I have seen the transformation of this area since I was a kid, and it seems like this is the natural next step.”
In adopting a number of small-area plans, the Board of County Supervisors has repeatedly emphasized the need for further transit-oriented development in the county to reduce car trips and congestion. Woodbridge Supervisor Margaret Franklin, who also serves as the chair of the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission’s board, said in a statement that this is the kind of development the board is seeking because of its proximity to the VRE station and a number of OmniRide routes.
Additionally, the county and PRTC have applied for a $200,000 Federal Transit Administration grant that would allow them to study the potential for expanded bus options along Route 1 from Dale City to Occoquan.
“This project is a catalyst for transit-oriented development and represents the first step in realizing the goals of the recently adopted North Woodbridge Small Area Plan,” Franklin said.