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.