Peterson pitches residential for Ashburn’s Commonwealth Center

WASHINGTON BUSINESS JOURNAL – The Peterson Cos. is looking to add residential to its Commonwealth Center development in Ashburn, a major shift for the retail- and entertainment-focused project.

The Fair Lakes-based developer on Friday filed preliminary plans in Loudoun County requesting that shift, outlining its intent to build 526 multifamily units on the remaining vacant 23-acre portion of the property located at the intersection of Route 7 and Loudoun County Parkway. Specifically, Peterson is eyeing 272 apartments atop a parking garage and 254 stacked, two-over-two units.

That means residents could someday find themselves living within walking distance of a Topgolf and an iFly indoor skydiving center, along with the other restaurants and retailers bound for the property. The developer had previously contemplated other uses for the remainder of the 205-acre site, generally with commercial — a bowling/entertainment venue, for example, climbing gym and a brewery/restaurant, in addition to restaurant pad sites.

This request for residential is a first.

“Despite numerous attempts to complete the development of Commonwealth Center, the property remains vacant,” Peterson’s land use attorneys wrote in their application. “Traditional office was unsuccessful, and retail, even pre-Covid, was challenged. The applicant is presenting this residential proposal as a way to infuse Commonwealth Center with vibrancy as it extends the day/night draw of the development.”

In an interview, Stuart Prince, Peterson’s executive vice president for residential, said the company has long contemplated adding homes to the mix at Commonwealth Center. But the timing wasn’t right until two key pieces fell into place.

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