New ownership group gets behind Dulles World Center project
A new joint venture has gotten behind the Dulles World Center project in Loudoun County and has big plans for the 85-acre site.
Chicago-based Origami Capital Partners and an affiliate of Westport, Conn.-based Greenfield Partners said they would develop the site on Metrorail’s Silver Line. Located less than a mile from Washington Dulles International Airport, the joint venture has renamed the project The Hub, because of its central location.
The partnership, DWC Holdings LLC, plans a billion dollar build out for what would be a 24-hour, mixed-use gateway combining retail, entertainment, multifamily residential, office, and hotel uses.
The Hub is located at the intersection of the Dulles Toll Road and the Route 28 Technology Corridor, adjacent to the future Innovation Center Metro station, which is scheduled to open in 2019-2020.
The property is approved for up to 5.5 million square feet of density including 400,000 square feet of retail space, 1,265 multifamily residential units, 3.5 million square feet of office space and 350 hotel rooms.
Aspiring to build on the success of nearby Reston Town Center, The Hub’s new ownership said they would provide developers the opportunity to purchase land bays approved for office, retail, multifamily and hotel development.
According to the developers, a partially protected 20-acre land bay on The Hub’s western border is suitable for a secured, contained federal campus with up to 1 million square feet of office space.
“This is a phenomenal location, just minutes to the airport, which will be visible from The Hub’s new buildings,” David Bennion, an ownership representative, said in a statement. “We envision taller buildings, with spectacular architecture, that will create an exciting environment of innovation, culture, community, and activity.”
Within a 10-mile radius of The Hub’s site is a population of more than 660,000 people with an average annual household income of $159,000. The joint venture reports that $17 billion is spent annually in the area on apparel, entertainment and services.
The Hub’s focal point will be a central promenade including outdoor recreation, retail and entertainment space. One level of retail will open to a landscaped outdoor plaza with water features, while a lower level will face the commercial buildings’ street-level stores.
The Hub’s lead retail consultant, Mitchell Friedel of Newman Grubb Knight Frank, said that retail amenities would be anchored by up to a dozen full-service restaurants, along with at least one significant entertainment venue.
The ownership group has invested a reported $9 million in two nearly completed transportation improvements that will open The Hub to development: realignment of Innovation Avenue to provide for a town center-style grid within the site and a new Innovation Avenue interchange at Route 28.
“With the first phase of Metro’s Silver Line completed and the second phase under construction, The Hub’s time has come,” says Colleen Gillis, a partner at Cooley LLP.
Gillis recently worked to gain county approval for mixed-use development of the 335-acre Loudoun Quarry site, to be renamed Waterside, adjacent to The Hub. “Loudoun County, one of the fastest growing and most affluent counties in the U.S. is growing in new directions – from a bedroom suburb to a more urbanized live-work-play environment — while preserving its traditional rural character in the western area,” she commented. “The Hub epitomizes this modern evolution …”