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Planning commission backs massive mixed-use town center at Innovation Park

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Both a “University Village at Innovation” and a “Town Center at Innovation Park,” with a total of more than 2,600 student housing units, apartments and townhomes, has been approved near George Mason University’s Manassas campus. 

A mixed-use community with more than 2,600 homes and commercial uses at George Mason University’s Manassas campus received the backing of the Prince William County Planning Commission on Wednesday.

Commissioners recommended that the Prince William Board of County Supervisors approve a proposal to rezone 132 acres of agricultural land bordering Prince William Parkway and GMU’s Science and Technology campus for two separate developments. 

The “University Village at Innovation,” proposed by developer Castlerock Partners LLC, will primarily provide student housing and commercial buildings on 24 acres on University Boulevard. The plan calls for up to 1,480 student housing units, 150 market value homes, a luxury hotel, restaurants and retail space. 

The student housing buildings are intended to serve both graduate and post-graduate students at GMU’s campus. 

Commissioners voted 7-0 to recommend the plan’s approval with one commissioner absent from the meeting. 

On an adjacent 108-acre parcel, Stanley Martin Homes is proposing a “Town Center at Innovation Park.” The development proposes a total of 996 homes, including apartments, “two-over-two" condominiums and townhouses, as well as mixed-use commercial development and light industrial uses. 

The homes will range in price from the mid-$300,000s to the upper $400,000s, according to Truett Young, vice president of land for Stanley Martin Homes Northern Virginia division. 

Commissioners voted 6-1 to approve the project, with only Gainesville Commissioner Rick Berry dissenting. 

Both rezoning applications will now head to the board of county supervisors for final approval. No date has been set for a hearing yet. Construction could begin on both developments as early as 2024 with board approval later this year. 

Both developments are intended to support the expansion of GMU’s “sci-tech” campus, where two new academic buildings are planned for completion by 2026 and plans for a future medical school are being hashed out by university and state officials.

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