Developer Don Knutson had his date before the Board of Architectural Review Thursday night, and has his eyes set on moving dirt on his downtown project.
King Street Station envisions multifamily, downtown living steps from the W&OD Trail, with an accompanying 4,000-square-foot commercial space—perhaps a restaurant—next to the development. The residential component of the project includes four buildings with 16 residential units in each. Buyers will have the choice of one-bedroom, two-bedroom, or a two-bedroom with a den, units. The commercial space, in which Knutson envisions a single tenant, will be for lease. Knutson changed course on the location of the commercial building from a year ago, choosing now to move it up closer to South King Street.
“It’s much more in keeping with the scale of what happens along that street,” he said. “It’s definitely a much better solution.”
Knutson received his legislative approvals from the Town Council just about a year ago with a rare unanimous vote on a residential project. During a two-hour review Thursday night, the project’s design drew largely favorable reaction from the BAR, which is expected to issue its approval as early as Nov. 20.
Under that schedule, Knutson expects to begin demolition of existing buildings on the site along Town Branch—including the Battery Warehouse and other small retail units—in February. Construction on the first buildings would begin next fall, with residents hopefully moving in by the following spring or summer.
Along with the residential and commercial construction, a big piece of the project is the creation of a pedestrian plaza and pavilion for downtown residents, visitors, and patrons of the W&OD Trail. Improvements to Town Branch will also be undertaken, including excavation, adding stone weirs to pump water, and doing some wildflower plantings. Knutson also said a future mural alongside either side of the King Street bridge—a project being overseen by the Friends of Leesburg Public Art—will add to the aesthetic enhancement of the area.
The site has been a challenging one to navigate from day one, as it sits in the town’s floodplain. But the exercise has been well worth it, Knutson said, and he believes the end result will turn heads.
“Every time you enter Leesburg my goal is for people to go ‘wow, that looks excellent’,” he said.