Innovative development planned along Silver Line
Big plans are in place for a 103-acre plot on the Loudoun-Fairfax county line, property originally pitched by the two counties as a potential location for Amazon.com Inc.’s HQ2 East Coast headquarters.
Rivana at Innovation Station, the first phase of the 4.4 million-square-foot Innovation Station mixed-use development project announced in March, is ideally positioned for a changed business world, says Loudoun Economic Development Executive Director Buddy Rizer.
“This is coming online at a time when we can react to post-pandemic demand. We can respond to what office users of the future want,” in terms of safe building design such as smaller elevators and wider hallways, he says. “We can compete for large Class A office users. I think it’s a game-changer.”
Innovation Station will be connected to the planned Innovation Center Metro station, expected to open in Herndon this summer on the Silver Line.
In addition to more than 1,950 apartments and 1.8 million square feet of office space, Rivana’s plans call for an 11-acre park that will allow for the kind of open-air activities that have become popular since the start of the pandemic, Rizer says. “We’ll be able to capture that new dynamic. You can do all kinds of things. There can be corporate meetings on the lawn, yoga in the park.”
There also will be a 3,000-seat performing arts venue. “There can be concerts or TED Talks, community use. It will be a great location for corporate meetings,” he says.
The goal of the project is “to create a sense of place,” says Jeffrey D. Young, managing partner of Origami Capital Partners LLC, based in Chicago. Origami is one of four real estate and investment firms, most based in Texas, that co-own Novais Partners, the master developer of Innovation Station and co-developer of Rivana with Houston-based The Hanover Co.
“We want to draw people in, so they want to come and spend the day,” Young says. The developers plan to do that by “curating local culture into the retail, having farm-to-table restaurants, celebrating the Loudoun winemaker who sells wine, so that people have something they’re not getting at any other place.
“I envision people wanting to get married there,” he adds. “There’s the park setting and the entertainment venue and a hotel nearby.” (Rivana plans also call for a 265-room hotel.)
Groundbreaking for Rivana is set for early 2022. Fairfax County will be more involved in the development’s second phase, Young says.