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Thursday, July 30, 2020

Supervisors consider tax incentive to promote redevelopment

These three office buildings at the Skyline Center will be transformed into live/work units. [File photo]
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on July 28 agreed to consider a new economic incentive program (EIP) to spur investment in the county’s five Commercial Revitalization Districts (CRDs).

The CRDs are in Bailey’s Crossroads/Seven Corners, Annandale, McLean, Richmond Highway, and Springfield. 

The BoS will hold a public hearing on the EIP proposal on Sept. 4. 

Also at the board’s July 28 meeting, supervisors deferred a decision to approve the Skyline redevelopment proposal in Bailey’s Crossroads so it could take advantage of the EIP.  

The EIP would offer a partial real estate tax exemption “calculated as the difference between the pre-redevelopment (base) assessed value and the post-development assessed value.” The incentives would also include expedited processing and a 10 percent reduction in site plan review fees.

To qualify for the EIP, the applicant – a developer or one or more property owners – would need to have newly assembled a minimum of two parcels not previously approved for a rezoning or site plan that collectively would comprise at least two acres. 

The property must be be zoned to permit commercial or industrial uses or multifamily residential development. The proposal must comply with laws and policies on affordable housing and conform to the county’s Comprehensive Plan.

If adopted, the EIP would take effect on July 1, 2021, and would expire on June 30, 2031.

The current real estate tax is $1.15 per $100 of assessed value. As an example of how this would work: If the base assessed value of a property is $5 million, real estate taxes would generate $57,500 per year. Assuming a post-development assessed value of $120 million, the partial tax abatement would be calculated on the $115 million increment or difference between pre and post-development values. 

With a tax rate of $1.15 per $100, the total tax abatement would be $1,322,500 per year for a maximum tax abatement of $13,225,000 over the 10-year life of the program.

The Board of Supervisors will vote on the Skyline project Sept. 15. That project, endorsed by the Planning Commission July 22, calls for three office buildings to be repurposed to allow tenants to use their units for living, working, or a combination of those uses. 

The three buildings would have a total of 720 units. The ground floors of each building would have 100,000 square feet of amenities, retail, or restaurants. The site would have a minimum of 45 percent open space, including a 1-acre urban park and two large lawn areas for outdoor gatherings. 

The building interiors would be completely gutted except for elevator shafts and the location of existing restrooms. The windows will be replaced. 

The project has widespread support among community business and residential organizations. No one testified at the board hearing on July 28. 

1 comment:

  1. Finally, the BoS is actually using some brain power to incentivize development. Of course as the Mason ghettos lingers and expand, they will now blame COVID. Last time it was the financial crisis. They always have an excuse for not putting their thinking caps on or doing their jobs.