March 12, 2021
Supervisors OK “upscale” Vint Hill apartments project
File Photo/Lawrence Emerson
The developer hopes to start construction this year and to begin leasing 183 apartments in the old Army barracks at Vint Hill in 2023.
Based in South Boston near Danville, Echelon Resources Inc. expects to invest $25 million to renovate the barracks, vacant since the 1990s.
Part of what makes us successful at Old Bust Head and what makes Vint Hill successful is that we’re starting with buildings that already belonged to the community. Preserving the barracks is going to be a huge part of that.
— Old Bust Head Brewing Co. co-owner Julie Broaddus
In short order Thursday night, Fauquier’s board of supervisors approved a creative plan to turn the vacant men’s and women’s Army barracks at Vint Hill into 183 apartments.
After about a seven-minute public hearing, the five-member board unanimously granted VHL East LLC and VHL West LLC a special exception to convert the long-neglected structures at Sigler Road and Bludau Drive into mostly one-bedroom “upscale” units.
Five people — all in support of the project — spoke during the hearing.
“We’re ready to move forward, and I’m very excited,” said Vint Hill Lofts developer Edwin Gaskin, president of Echelon Resources Inc., based in South Boston near Danville and the North Carolina border.
Mr. Gaskin would like to start construction later this year and begin to lease apartments in 2023.
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Julie and Ike Broaddus, who own Old Bust Head Brewing Co. at Vint Hill, support the project.
“We’re so excited to have been so lucky to find someone willing to come in and renovate the barracks and preserve them,” Mrs. Broaddus said of the long-neglected all-brick Cold War-era structures at Sigler Road and Bludau Drive. “Part of what makes us successful at Old Bust Head and what makes Vint Hill successful is that we’re starting with buildings that already belonged to the community.”
Reusing such structures helps create a sense of place that draws people to Vint Hill, she explained.
“Preserving the barracks is going to be a huge part of that,” Mrs. Broaddus told the supervisors.
Supervisor Holder Trumbo’s Scott District includes Vint Hill.
“It fills a (housing) niche that we need in our community,” Mr. Trumbo said of the project, moments before the board vote. “It reuses an existing building that’s been a blight that actually has the potential to be really well done.”
Vint Hill Lofts will offer three types of apartments — “studio” units starting at $995 per month, one-bedroom starting at $1,350 per month and two-bedroom starting at $1,750, according to the project website.
At least 80 percent of the units would be one-bedroom apartments and some would be “discounted for teachers and emergency responders,” according to the application.
The supervisors previously had changed the county ordinance and rezoned the 10.4-acre site to accommodate the Vint Hill Lofts’ proposal.
Bealeton apartment rezoning rejected
Also Thursday, the board unanimously denied a rezoning application to construct 48 rent-controlled apartments on 9.98 acres at 6206 Aspen Way in Bealeton.
Supervisor Chris Butler, whose Lee District includes the 9.98-acre Aspen Village site, opposed the project for various reasons.
Among other things, applicant North Forty Aspen Plus LP failed to seek input from neighbors on the project or properly maintain existing and adjacent Aspen communities it developed and owns, Mr. Butler said.
He also believes proposal would generate more than the applicant’s projected 10 school-aged children, even though North Forty Aspen Plus used the county’s model for determining such impacts.
The applicant proffered $6,150 per apartment unit to help offset the project’s demands on public safety and parks and recreation services.
But the total proffer of $295,200 included no money for education because 10 additional students would have little or no impact on the school system, according to North Forty Aspen Plus.
Only the applicant’s planning consultant, Chuck Floyd, spoke during Thursday’s public hearing.
Vint Hill Lofts Special Exc... by Fauquier Now
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