Press Club

Review Process Set to Begin for Wendy’s Development Project in Courthouse

The county review process is just about to begin for Greystar Real Estate Partners’ proposed redevelopment project for the vacant Wendy’s site in Courthouse.

It’s the same process that former developer Carr Properties went through seven years ago to get county approval to build an office building. After Carr received the County Board’s go-ahead in 2015, the fast food spot was demolished in 2016 but the office building never materialized.

For almost five years the triangle lot sat vacant; for the last two years it was used as a construction staging area for the 2000 Clarendon condo project across the street. Now, the site plan review process is about to kick off for Greystar’s plans to turn the 0.57-acre lot at 2025 Wilson Blvd into a 16-story apartment building, with up to 231 residential units and 4,000 square feet of retail, according to the county’s site plan website.

In September, residents will have an online engagement opportunity in which they can comment on land use, building size, architecture, transportation and open space. Site plan review meetings are slated for the fall, but dates for the final approvals from the Planning Commission and the County Board are still to be determined.

As part of the project, Greystar proposes a nearly 3,300-square-foot public pedestrian plaza at the intersection of N. Courthouse Road, Wilson Blvd, and Clarendon Blvd. The plaza, with movable tables and chairs and space for temporary vendors, would surround a possible retail entrance at the tip of the Wendy’s site, facing N. Courthouse Road.

The project includes a 104,789 sq. ft. transfer of development rights from “Wakefield Manor,” a small garden-apartment complex less than a half-mile from the proposed development. The housing on N. Courthouse Road — featuring Art Deco and Moderne design elements — is designated as having “a historic easement,” according to the county.

That could be part of Greystar’s plan to achieve higher density while providing affordable housing. Greystar’s proposal clocks in at 166 feet tall and 16 stories, much higher than the recommended maximum of 10 stories in the Rosslyn to Courthouse Urban Design Study.

Documents filed in April stated Greystar “is open to the provision of on-site affordable housing to further justify the increase in height” but said nothing further than that the developer is committed to “work with staff throughout the site plan process to develop an affordable housing plan.”

Another development preparing for site plan review also proposes using the transfer tool. Insight Property Group plans to transfer density from garden-style apartments it owns on Columbia Pike to the Ballston Macy’s, which is set to be redeveloped as an apartment building.

Greystar, meanwhile, has another project in the works nearby. Demolition has started of the low-slung commercial buildings that make up the Landmark Block, making way for a new 20-story apartment building adjacent to the Courthouse Metro station.

Hat tip to @CarFreeHQ2

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