Almost 30 years after first getting land for an Ashburn Recreation and Community Center, the county may actually get one after a land swap that will allow 60 additional homes at Broadlands.
The project goes back to the beginning of the Broadlands project, when the board approved a rezoning application in 1989 that came with just under 19 acres for the county to use for a community center. Since then, the parcel has seen concept plan amendments, designs, and a bond referendum, but no building. As county planners have worked on the property, they’ve hit snags due to the property’s elongated shape and sloping terrain. That has pushed costs up, particularly as it became clear the county would need a parking garage for the center.
In February, Planning Commission Chairman Cliff Keirce (Broad Run) approached the Broadlands developer, Van Metre, and in March, Van Metre and the county government began talking about a land swap. Van Metre would trade a larger, flatter, more regularly shaped property to the county, and build more homes on the parcel the county has today. The exact boundaries of the new site, next to the Dulles Greenway and off Broadlands Boulevard, are still being negotiated, but it is expected to be 21.3 acres. The new site would put the community center near the Lidl grocery store at the corner of Claiborne Parkway and Broadlands Boulevard.
Moving to the new site is expected to cost the county $2.9 million to $5.2 million due to design costs and delay—but also expected to save the county $7.6 million to $10.6 million, mostly because the county doesn’t expect to build a parking garage. Overall, the county expects to save $4.7 million to $5.4 million by trading spots. The county budget currently sets aside $85.9 million for the center.
Van Metre, for its part, will abandon a site previously planned for offices and take over a parcel zoned for mixed-use housing at up to three units per acre. It will apply to the county for permission to build 60 single-family houses on the property.
This article was updated June 26 at 11:18 a.m.