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Woodbridge Towers Plan on Chopping Block

By Potomac Local August 24, 2012 8:41 am

5 Comments

U.S. 1 and CSX rail lines cross the Occoquan River between Prince William and Fairfax counties. (Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)

U.S. 1 and CSX rail lines cross the Occoquan River between Prince William and Fairfax counties. (Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – The plan to build two towers at the entrance of Prince William County might change.

Approved in 2005, the planned Rivergate complex on Annapolis Way in Woodbridge included two 15-story towers overlooking the Occoquan River. Inside was going to be 720 condominium homes, and the buildings were going to be a keystone in an effort to revitalize the area near the heavily used commuter routes U.S. 1 and Va. 123.

But now things have changed. The developer of the project, which is also behind the famed Watergate Hotel in Washington, now wants to scale back and build five apartment buildings instead. These buildings would range between four to five stories tall, a stark contrast to the original plan.

“So they’re more like garden-style apartments, where the towers were going to be condos,” said Prince William County Planning Manager Deborah Bruckman.

The newly proposed apartments would bring just 387 new homes to the area. Market conditions prompted the developer’s change in plans. 

The proposal is under review and is awaiting a public hearing. Afterward, the plan is expected to go before the Board of County Supervisors next spring, said Bruckman.

The towers are a component in an overall broader effort to revitalize the U.S. 1 corridor in Woodbridge. When fervor for the towers was high in 2005, many said the new buildings would give commuters coming south from Fairfax County a new impression of Prince William’s growth and place on the regional stage.

Though the tower plan could change, revitalization is underway. Marumsco Plaza — once a major shopping destination prior to explosive growth around Potomac Mills mall in the late 1980s and the 1990s, is well underway with new tenants lined up for the changing shopping plaza.

Plans for a new housing development, Potomac Shores, are also ramping up, and the development is to include a new Jack Nicklaus golf course. Planners are soon expected to hold a private briefing with the Southbridge Home Owners Association — the neighborhood adjacent to the planned community, said HOA President Jim Riley. 

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  • Vinny Darby

    The original plan was for 3 towers http://www.idi-rivergate.com/. The old site plan is still up :)

  • Vinny Darby

    That’s really a shame that they will now be garden style. With such a great location it would be awesome if they could at least keep them as high as 8 stories. North Woodbridge needs the density so mass transit will make more sense.

  • Guest

    So, whats going to happen if the sequestration kicks in, NoVA loses 200,000 of these high incom cgovernment/contracting jobs and the local economy dips, and people can’t afford to live in these high dollar communities anymore? The developers won’t care, since by that time they will have made their money and it will be we county residents who are stuck with the mess.

  • http://www.facebook.com/john.bonich John Bonich

    So whats going to happen when the sequestration kicks in, NoVA loses 200,000 of these high dollar government / contracting jobs, and the local economy dips? Who will be able to afford to stay in these high dollar housing communities the BOCS is so intent on cultivating? The developers won’t care, since they will have made their money. It will be we taxpayers, as usual, who is stuck with the mess.

  • Cindy Jones

    Follows along with the plan the developer in Belmont Bay has proposed to turn the former “over 55″ area to garden style apartments. Between the two projects the entrance to PW County across the Occoquan River will have at least 1000 apartments for rent in a few years if approved by the county.