February 18, 2021
Vint Hill barracks project seeks special exception OK
File Photo/Lawrence Emerson
The board of supervisors in September rezoned the 10-acre property, paving the way for conversion of the former Army barracks to apartments, which requires approval of a special exception permit.
Vint Hill is absolutely the place for this type of thing. It’s a tech park. I’m hoping it will draw the kind of folks who would be working in tech and would find it appealing to live in that type of environment.
— Planning Commissioner Adrienne Garreau (Scott District)
Fauquier’s planning commission next week will consider a proposal to convert two vacant Army barracks at Vint Hill into apartments.
Applicants VHL East LLC and VHL West LLC seek a special exception permit for a maximum of 183 one- and two-bedroom units in the all-brick Cold War-era structures at Sigler Road and Bludau Drive.
The 10.4-acre site lies at the southwest corner of the approximately 700-acre former Army base near New Baltimore.
The five-member commission will conduct a public hearing on the Vint Hill Lofts project at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24, in the Warren Green Building at 10 Hotel St. in Warrenton.
The commission serves as an advisory panel to the county board of supervisors, which has final authority.
The supervisors last September granted the applicant’s request to rezone the project site for the proposed use — paving the way for the special exception permit’s certain approval.
Developer Edwin Gaskin, president of Echelon Resources Inc. based in South Boston, near Danville and the North Carolina border, would like to start construction this summer or early fall.
If that schedule holds, he hopes to begin leasing about 135 apartments in 2023, Mr. Gaskin wrote in an email.
The remaining 48 or so apartments could become available in the summer of 2025, he said.
But, Mr. Gaskin cautioned: “These are, of course, approximate timetables — all subject to change.”
Vint Hill Lofts will offer three types of apartments — “studio” units starting at $995 per month, one-bedroom at starting $1,350 per month and two-bedroom 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.
Vint Hill Lofts will include a club room, fitness center, an outdoor grilling area, storage and business offices.
Planning commission Chairwoman Adrienne Garreau, whose Scott District includes the site, strongly supports the project.
“Vint Hill is absolutely the place for this type of thing,” Ms. Garreau said. “It’s a tech park. I’m hoping it will draw the kind of folks who would be working in tech and would find it appealing to live in that type of environment.”
The planning commissioner also believes the project could prove a catalyst for attracting more desirable uses and businesses to Vint Hill.
“I think you’d start seeing a certain amount of critical mass or synergy going on that would produce some nice stuff around there,” Ms. Garreau said.
Mr. Gaskin has estimated The Vint Hill Lofts’ development cost at more than $25 million. Federal and Virginia historic rehabilitation tax credits will be used to finance the project.
Because of a hazardous weather forecast, the planning commission’s meeting originally scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 18, will take place Wednesday, Feb. 24.
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Truepat · February 19, 2021 at 6:17 am
This should be a no brainer, it's a shame that the buildings were allowed to get this far in disrepair
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