1,078-acre development tract comes on the market in Stafford County
It’s the deal of a decade, according to the commercial real estate firm marketing George Washington Village, the largest development tract in the Washington, D.C., area to come on the market in the past 10 years.
The 1,078-acre tract is located off I-95 in Stafford County along the new Courthouse Road interchange. The interchange is undergoing about $189 million in improvements to widen the road and add lanes — an infrastructure bonus for the tract.
The site is close to Stafford Hospital, which is planning a 110,000-square-foot expansion, and is about 15 miles from Marine Corps Base Quantico, which employs 12,000 people.
“It’s a unique opportunity because it’s so large, and we don’t see many properties with the zoning potential of this one,” says Mark Anstine, executive managing director for land services in the Tysons office of ARA Newmark.
ARA, a Newmark company, is marketing the property for its owner, The Garrett Cos., a commercial real estate firm based in Stafford.
The property currently is zoned for 4.5 million square feet of light industrial commercial use (such as data centers, hotels, warehouses and wholesale distribution) 2 million square feet of urban commercial space and 500 residential lots.
As part of Stafford’s comprehensive plan, the tract also has a pending rezoning application for 1,868 residential units and 758,000 square feet of commercial space. The zoning does not include the entirety of the property, leaving hundreds of acres in the southwest portion open for future phases of development.
According to Anstine, the property’s rezoning application is not subject to proffer legislation affecting residential development that passed the General Assembly in 2016. The law has proved to be a barrier to development in Northern Virginia, he adds, because there’s confusion over how it should be implemented.
“There’s no real definition of what is unreasonable” in terms of proffers under the new law, he explains. “In Northern Virginia that’s been taken as, ‘Okay, we don’t know what reasonable or unreasonable is, so we’re not going to do anything until you fix it. ‘”
ARA Newmark plans to set an offer date for bids for the property in the next two weeks. The property will be sold “as is,” meaning that it is not subject to specific entitlements.
Asked about the list price, Anstine would say only that he expects the sale to command “more than $25 million and less than $100 million. I’m reluctant to give you a number, because that will be perceived as what we are looking for.”