Buchanan Partners plans ‘Quartz District’ for 145 untouched acres in Woodbridge
February 11, 2019
Gaithersburg-based Buchanan Partners is planning to transform 145 undeveloped acres in Woodbridge into a walkable mixed-use development.
If built, the “Quartz District” project would add to Buchanan’s growing portfolio in Prince William County and the city of Manassas, where the firm has developed more than 1 million square feet of retail and commercial over the past 20 years. The Quartz District is planned for the prominent intersection of Prince William Parkway and Minnieville Road. It is owned by a venture of Mitchell Phelps LLC of Woodbridge and Buchanan Partners. Located near Potomac Mills, the project is slated to include 125,000 square feet of retail, 1,000 residential units including townhomes, multifamily and condos and approximately 200,000 square feet of office.
Kingsley McAdam, a principal with Buchanan Partners, said the company is currently working with the county on an application it submitted in October to rezone the property to a planned mixed-use district. He hopes to gain county approval by the end of this year or early next year. Initial infrastructure work could begin by 2021.
Buchanan’s goal with Quartz District is to develop an untouched piece of land that is essentially a “hole in the doughnut” amid a fully developed suburban area with grocery-anchored shopping centers, single-family homes and a substantial population in place, McAdam said.
“There’s nothing there,” McAdam said. “It’s truly unique that there is a property of this size that has been untouched.”
He said the development would feature a walkable neighborhood center with pedestrian friendly streetscapes, open spaces, a grocery store, and “experiential retail” that will distinguish the Quartz District from other surrounding shopping centers. It will also include a man-made lake that will function as a storm water management facility and offer an opportunity for a variety of uses along its perimeter including outdoor seating for restaurants and a plaza for gathering and programmed events.
McAdam said the project is in keeping with the Dale City Small Area Plan that encourages walkable mixed-use environments and less car-centric development than is prevalent in the area.”It’s just a sea of parking and big-box retail,” he said. “Prince William is looking at this area and looking at the potential for redevelopment of the older commercial areas in a way that doesn’t exist in this market.”
He declined to disclose total buildout costs, adding that the development is still in the early planning phases.
In the meantime, Buchanan Partners is working with community engagement platform CoUrbanize to crowdsource feedback about the project on everything from community benefits to place-making design concepts and transportation infrastructure.
“The comments we have gotten from the CoUrbanize site have confirmed that transportation is a big issue here,” McAdam said. “We are doing a lot of analysis and work with Prince William County to find ways to remediate the traffic. There’s going to be significant traffic improvements here.”
Buchanan’s other Prince William projects include The Landing at Cannon Branch, a 40-acre master planned mixed-use community in Manassas that includes 274 townhomes, office and retail, and Heathcote Commons, a 390-unit townhome development in Gainesville.