County supervisors have authorized the Loudoun County Economic Development Authority to issue up to $60 million in tax-exempt revenue bonds to finance the design and construction of 101 new residential units and 43 covered parking spaces at the Janelia Research Campus in Ashburn.
That will go toward a six-story building with 81 one-bedroom apartments, 20 two-bedroom apartment units and a parking garage on the first level. It also comes with ground-level amenities, a roof terrace and an indoor lounge.
According to a county staff report, Howard Hughes Medical Institute intends to issue $51-52 million in 30-year bonds in early May. The institute enjoys Aaa and AAA credit ratings from Moody’s and S&P.
No county money is put up for the project, and authorizing the bonds does not represent an endorsement of the bonds from the county—the county acts as a conduit between the borrower and lender and allows the bonds to have tax-exempt status.
Opened in 2006, the campus featured teams of scientists specializing in neurobiology, studying how the brain enables cognition. The resident scientists also develop new tools and methods for scientific research and discovery. It counts among its staff 2014 Nobel laureate Eric Betzig, whose Betzig Lab develops optical imaging tools to study molecules, cells and neurobiology.
The campus is situated at Janelia Farm, with a mansion on the National Register of Historic Places that was completed in 1936 for journalist and author Robert Pickens and his wife, artist and community leader Vinton Pickens, who chaired Loudoun’s first Planning Commission.