Retail

Mystery facility proposed for prominent Ashburn intersection

It’s been a while since we had a good mystery here at The Burn, but the unnamed company behind a large delivery facility proposed for a prominent Ashburn intersection has folks wondering (and by folks, we mean us). Could it possibly be a new Amazon delivery center?

(Image here and at top: NV5)

The location is on the northwest corner of Ashburn Village Boulevard and Russell Branch Parkway. That’s a large wooded lot across the street from the Ashbrook Marketplace shopping center (Lidl, Starbucks, Planet Fitness, Rubino’s Pizzeria, McAlister’s Deli, etc.).

Paperwork was filed last week with Loudoun County that outlines the project. It’s currently called the “Ashburn Village Delivery Station.”

According to the filing, the purpose is “to operate a 142,796 (gross square foot) e-commerce parcel delivery station with 1,480 daily trips, primarily consisting of passenger vehicles, but including 42 tractor-trailer truck trips and 460 delivery van trips a day.”

It has been well reported that Amazon is currently building a string of small warehouses around the country — what they call “last mile delivery stations.” Packages are sent to delivery stations from nearby Amazon fulfillment centers, then loaded into trucks and vans for final delivery to area customers. Could this new project be one of these “last mile” centers?

There is no brand name associated with the “delivery station” in the documents. The paperwork has been filed by a Florida-based consulting firm called NV5. NV5 has done traffic study work for Amazon in the past. Does that mean this is definitely an Amazon project? No.

Reports about other Amazon delivery centers plans describe how they intentionally schedule their drivers to minimize vehicles coming and going during peak traffic hours — specifically morning and afternoon commute times. Tellingly, the documents filed with Loudoun County last week include a similar schedule, showing how the center will reduce its vehicle traffic during morning and afternoon commute times.

The Burn reached out to Amazon for comment and received the following statement: “Amazon is a dynamic business and we are constantly exploring new locations. We weigh a variety of factors when deciding where to develop future sites to best serve customers, however, we have a policy of not commenting on speculation or our future roadmap.”

The property is currently owned by the BF Saul Real Estate Investment Trust. There has long been interest in building high-density residential housing on that plot of land. There is an active rezoning application on file with the county dating back to 2016, proposing to build apartments or residential units. The parcel is currently zoned for light industrial, meaning the delivery center wouldn’t likely need any rezoning. It would be what is known as a “by right” development.

A proposed layout for a residential community on the BF Saul land at Russell Branch Parkway and Ashburn Village Boulevard, from 2016. (Image: Bowman Consulting)

We have messages in to the property owners and other parties. We’ll continue to dig for more information on this project and who might be behind it. Whether it’s Amazon or some other delivery service, if it comes to fruition, it will be a noteworthy development due to its location at a major intersection in Ashburn.

One interesting side note — we’ve heard from several sources that this is the last undeveloped parcel in the Ashburn Village neighborhood that started way back in the 1980s. If that’s accurate, it’s an interesting historical footnote to this latest development story.

7 Comments
  1. Sue 1 year ago
    Reply

    All the trees and plant life that will be destroyed, all the wildlife and their habitats that will be eliminated…..Loudoun County is becoming a greedy, cemented desert.

    • Dan 1 year ago
      Reply

      Yes it is. We need to be rid of this horrible BOS as quickly as possible..

    • Humbert 1 year ago
      Reply

      Every other bit of land in Ashburn needs to be developed as densely as possible. I think they accidentally left some trees up near Discovery ES. They should really do something about that

  2. Kingpin 1 year ago
    Reply

    Sad to see the trees go, and not looking forward to the truck traffic, but THANK GOD they’re not building more houses

    • Janice Saylor 1 year ago
      Reply

      I live a block away. The increase in traffic noise when they opened that one-block section of Russell Branch Parkway between Ashburn Village Blvd and Ashburn Rd was bad enough. Add “42 tractor-trailer truck trips and 460 delivery van trips a day” to that noise and exhaust.

  3. Imposter 1 year ago
    Reply

    SO MUCH development going on in LoCo… ironic since the County is lead by, and full of, people that claim to be “pro environment” (just look at all the Tesla’s haha). At the rate imperviousness is increasing LoCo will be Fairfax County v2.0 in no time. Like they used to say “Don’t Fairfax Loudoun”. We should be learning from their mistakes, not making the same ones. People should look up all the stormwater issues Fairfax is dealing with right now and the efforts/funding allocated to “fix” (hint: $xx millions/yr). Don’t be surprised when real estate taxes increase to fund fixing LoCo’s short-sighted goals (e.g. additional tax apart from the general funds like FFX’s Stormwater Service District Tax).

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