Robert Seldin, of Highland Square Holdings, hopes to approve the first leases at Mission Lofts by the end of the year. Under a flexible concept approved by the Board of Supervisors three years ago, tenants will be able to use their units to live, work, or both.
Work on converting the nine-story former office building at 5600 Columbia Pike is nearly complete, Seldin says. All that needs to be done is landscaping, streetscape improvements, and some finish work inside. “In construction, it’s always the last 5 percent that’s the hardest to complete,” he says.
Meanwhile, Seldin is working with the Wolff Co., a real estate private equity firm based in Scottsdale, Ariz., that purchased three mostly vacant 16-story office towers at the Skyline Center. Somera Road Inc. purchased the other office buildings in the complex, as announced last month.
Wolff’s plan calls for Highland Square Holdings to convert the three buildings – at 5201, 5203, and 5205 Leesburg Pike – to a live/work concept. Wolff is also a partner with Seldin on 5600 Columbia Pike.
Seldin says he plans to begin working with the county in December on gaining approval to repurpose the three buildings. “We’re still evaluating what is the best outcome. We think it could be done through a proffer amendment.” He hopes the regulatory process could be completed this summer.
According to Seldin, both the Skyline project and Mission Lofts will “revitalize and bring great changes to Bailey’s Crossroads.”
“We think both 5600 and Skyline will have tremendous appeal to small business owners,” he says. Both projects are in federal Qualified Opportunity Zones, he notes, which offer “really compelling tax benefits for businesses.”
They will also enable Bailey’s Crossroads to become an “innovation center,” he says. “This is one of the few places in the county that can be incredibly welcoming to small business startups and can offer solutions they can’t find anywhere else.”
A proposed bus rapid transit system along Leesburg Pike would be a huge benefit for people who live and work at Skyline. But Seldin says, “we’re not relying on BRT; it’s not a necessary component to make Skyline a great place in and of itself.”