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UPDATED: Council Switches Gears, Approves Manassas Drive Development Project

Developers of the project came back with additional perks to the project including water tap fees and additional retail space.

Manassas Park City Council voted Tuesday to approve a $55 million retail and residential development they voted down less than a month ago.

The proposed 14-acre development known as will be built after all. The council voted 5-1 to approve the project; councilman Suhas Naddoni was absent and councilman Preston Banks voted against the project.

the council voted against the development in a 4-3 vote. 

The developers of the project, Digital Park LLC, appeared before council again Tuesday and to amend the proffer conditions, saying they would now pay the city $1 million in water tap fees up front, add 5,000 feet of retail space to the project—2,500 in phase I and 2,500 in phase II— including some $4.5 million in proffer agreements. 

in a council meeting that they would put forth a $500,000 commercial deposit in escrow within two months of the closing of the residential parcel. 

The developers said they would agree to let the zoning of the property change back to business if they didn't start the phase one of the projet within 24 months. Phase one is slated for Manassas Drive and Railroad Avenue near the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) commuter station in Manassas Park.

Phase two of the project will be on now-vacant property across Manassas Drive at the intersection of Railroad Avenue.

Manassas Park Vice Mayor Bryan Polk said the main details of the amended proffer agreement that pushed the project more toward what the city envisioned for it's downtown area.

The project now has more retail space and now shows a "real commitment" that the development is going to be build, Polk added.

Polk, who is also on the Manassas Park Planning Commission, showed real concern earlier this year about the project being approved only to be never built by the developer.

In late July, many Manassas Park residents spoke out for and against the development; citing the lack of business in the already constructed as a negative, and the

The approved project is now known as Park Place at The Station, but that's not the final name, Manassas Park Economic Development Director Vanessa Watson said at an earlier meeting. The final name isn't clear, but it won't have the words "park," "place," or "station" in it, she added. 

Patch editor Lauren Jost contributed to this story. 

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Isaac Cohen August 23, 2012 at 03:09 AM
About the Roberts rules of order: How convenient!
mojavegreensnake August 23, 2012 at 07:03 AM
I commend Councilman Leeper and the Patch for keeping us informed on this matter. I look forward on why Councilman Banks voted against it and question why Councilman Naddoni was absent. I find it refreshing never the less that local government leaders voice their opinion onhow they vote. Please continue to keep the no parking signs on Digital Drive up please. The end of the road near MP station is looking quite GTS and Irongate as of late. Can't say I like to see landscape trailers, boats, and RVs here, but what can you do? Would like to see a pharmacy once the retail is in motion. It would be beneficial for the senior apartments around the corner and residents in general to walk too vs trucking down to/ through Manassas. I am sure that we could support it. Would like to see regional and national brands in general in ALL empty areas of retail in MP. Don't forget about the shopping centers near the police department,near Sheetz, and near Guapos- aka the old section of town. Also, what ever happened to the proposed annexation from the county of the land near the NOVEC power station and Birmingham green? Any plans on the Conner Drive extension to 28? Kudos to VDOT on the construction near 28 and Old Centreville Road. I look foward to the "no left turns" there and the longer turn lanes.
Isaac Cohen August 23, 2012 at 01:31 PM
Agree with you Bloomie! It's not right that something should be rushed like that. there was not time for anyone to say anything. I think it was done that way on purpose so people couldn't say anything The mayor probably worked them over good after the last meeting. He probably leaned on them big time. Think about that, and also think about their bad judgment passing the water bill increase (only Mr. Banks voted against it). now they're trying to throw their car in reverse and do something at the last minute that would lower the water bill, but the damage is already done. Most of council have already shown their bad judgment and willingness to cave in to the mayor
Leo Mahoney August 23, 2012 at 10:24 PM
See URL, USA Today, "2013 Tax Increases: Should You Be Worried" - also see USAA financial planner advice at end of article: Don't take extra risk / make big bets; tighten belt/pay down debt; stay alert. I guess our city officials believe in the time honored adage, the early bird gets the worm. Recommendation to the council from a well informed citizen / federal employee: "batten down the hatches, now." http://www.military.com/money/personal-finance/taxes/2013-tax-changes-should-you-be-worried.html?ESRC=finance.nl
Kathy S. September 07, 2012 at 11:02 AM
very disappointed that the retail is empty at City Center. I agree that City Center retail space should be 100% leased before adding more.

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