Welcome back to the Quartz District discussion on coUrbanize!
While we apologize for how long it has been since our last post, we are extremely pleased with the progress we have made over the past year and a half. We are excited to continue with regular updates and news about the project and our progress towards bringing Quartz District to life. The focus of this update will be transportation, and our next update will focus on the updated concept plan for Quartz District.
As you may recall, we submitted the initial Quartz District rezoning application early in order to introduce the vision and potential for the project concurrently with the Dale City Small Area Plan process. Our initial intent was to continue with the second submission of the rezoning in early 2020, immediately upon the adoption the Small Area Plan by Prince William County.
However, in 2019 Prince William County decided to pursue an interchange initiative for the Prince William Parkway and Minnieville Road intersection instead of the quadrant road solution that was envisioned as a part of the initial Quartz District concept plans. As a result, we conducted a search for the best type of interchange concept to facilitate the vision for, and success of, Quartz District. The perfect example was found in Charlottesville, VA with the recently constructed grade separated intersection at Route 29 and Rio Road. This exact type of intersection improvement was included in the County Transportation Bond Referendum that voters approved overwhelmingly in November 2019.
Since that time we have been working to accommodate the grade separated intersection concept into the overall Quartz District vision and we believe this has resulted in a better plan and ultimately a better project. In addition to the planning process, we have advanced considerable preliminary engineering design work and approval processes to facilitate both time and cost savings of the redesigned Prince William Parkway/Minnieville intersection. A critical component of this effort has been focused on identifying and maintaining the critical access points into, and visibility of, the project with the new intersection. Direct access and visibility are vital to bringing the top flight retailers, restaurants and amenities to Quartz District.
There continues to be strong market interest in Quartz District and we are pleased to say that we are currently working with a great anchor tenant and hope to announce a signed lease soon. The important first step to bringing this anchor, and interested restaurants and retailers, into the project was to educate them about the planned intersection and access into the project. For this, we prepared a graphic model and renderings to show how the ultimate intersection will work. The images found at the link below show the concept for the intersection which will ultimately allow the north/south traffic on Prince William Parkway to move freely beneath an elevated Minnieville Road where all of the other turning movements will occur. This will allow this currently failing intersection to operate at acceptable levels.
While we have made significant progress on the transportation front, there are still critical issues related to project access that must be resolved in order to meet the lease requirements of retailers and allow Quartz District to reach its full potential. Stay tuned for an update on our new concept plan for the project.
Click here to view the new Quartz District Views & Renderings
Happy New Year, we finally have significant progress to report! Thanks to hard work by County staff and community involvement and support much was accomplished during the second half of 2019 that will benefit the Dale City area and Neabsco District. These accomplishments include the approval of the Dale City Small Area Plan by both the Planning Commission and the County Board of Supervisors. In addition, the Prince William County residents voted to approve both the Park Improvement Bond Referendum and the Mobility/Road Improvement Bond Referendum. In this update we will highlight the Dale City Small Area Plan. Future updates will address the bond referendums and the potential benefits to the community and Quartz District.
The Dale City Small Area Plan was approved by the County Board of Supervisors on December 10, 2019. This process began with community stakeholder meetings in September 2018 and was followed by public town hall/charette sessions in March 2019. The function of this small area plan is to identify strategies to create opportunities to develop mixed-use communities in established areas of Dale City. Additionally, the plan will provide for improved pedestrian safety and connectivity and a sense of place.
This plan will benefit Prince William County by ensuring long-term economic and social viability through a series of achievable action strategies. The plan also addresses Prince William County's Strategic Plan goals and identifies necessary improvements to the multi-modal transportation network with a focus on safety and connectivity. As a result of this study, the County also hopes to highlight the potential for mixed-use communities, increased private sector investment, and improved transportation infrastructure.
We are excited that the Dale City Small Area Plan is now approved as a guide for making Quartz District a reality. Thank you all for the insightful input and ideas you’ve shared with us so far as your input is also very important to making Quartz District a success. Stay tuned for additional updates soon with information on the bond referendums and the transportation and recreation improvements that they will facilitate.
Click below for a link to the approved Dale City Small Area Plan document.
Prince William County Planning Department staff conducted the charrette type planning sessions for Dale City Small Area Plan on March 11th and 14th. The three hour sessions were both open to the public at large and were well attended. The attendees divided themselves into four working groups, and the groups were seated at separate work tables. Each table was managed by two members of the Planning Department.
The groups reviewed strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that affect the Small Area Plan area. The groups then discussed different ways to utilize strengths and opportunities to address or overcome weaknesses and threats. Edges, landmarks, development nodes, transportation, land use, environment and parks, open space, mixed use development, amenities, cultural attractions, hiker/biker trails, pedestrian connectivity, public transit, technology, demographics, economic development, activity centers and housing options were also discussed by each group.
Each group then generated goals, suggestions and ideas for the area and incorporated them onto maps of the overall Small Area Plan area. Near the end of the second session each group gave an overview of their discussion and a brief explanation of the suggested planning maps they had prepared. There seemed to be a lot of general consensus on locations for development nodes and that the Quartz District property is a viable location for new mixed use development. There also seemed to be general consensus on the need for:
- transportation/transit system improvements,
- improved pedestrian and trail options and connectivity,
- new and redeveloped mixed use development nodes with employment opportunities and new/varied housing options to be attractive to different age groups,
- parks, recreation and open space amenities
- providing transportation, transit, technology and other infrastructure to create economic development opportunities and attract/retain employers and workforce of the future
The next step is for the Planning Department to digest all the information and input gathered in the focus meetings, the stakeholder meetings and the charrette sessions and prepared a draft Small Area Plan document. This document will then go through a series of work sessions and public hearings with the Planning Commission and the County Board of Supervisors.
For more updates on the Dale City Small Area you can click the link at the bottom of our home page or use link below.
We appreciate that so many are providing feedback. Your comments, suggestions and ideas are helpful for selecting and prioritizing potential amenities and uses for Quartz District.
We have understood from the beginning of our involvement in the area that the Prince William Parkway and Minnieville intersection is not operating at an acceptable level of service, and that without major transportation improvements conditions will get worse. We feel that the Quartz District development can provide the resources to make necessary transportation improvements a reality.
The Quartz District development team has spent the past year analyzing the existing traffic patterns and infrastructure, and identifying potential improvement options. The development team is committed to working closely with VDOT and the Prince William County Department of Transportation to come up with viable intersection solutions and improvements to achieve acceptable levels of service in conjunction with Quartz District and into the future.
Thank you again for participating and influencing the future of your community. We’ll follow up with more updates as soon as we can. If you have any additional feedback, visit our comments section.
Quartz District Comments Section
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