New look at the future Avonlea in South Riding

New county filings regarding the planned Avonlea project in South Riding have offered the most up-to-date glimpse so far at what the long gestating development will look like. And — good news — retail continues to be a proposed part of the plan despite a scaling back from the original vision.

Residents in SoLo (South Loudoun — we’re trying to make this happen) have waited for years and endured ups and downs in the plans for a big retail development at Avonlea. In recent years, as the developer — Peterson Cos. — struggled to get tenants signed and then the retail market softened during the pandemic, a new Avonlea was announced.

Gone was a luxury movie theater and streets filled with restaurants and shops. In its place was a center with multiple office buildings and an assisted living facility, 400+ apartments, and a scaled down retail section.

Now, we have new images that gives area residents an idea of what Peterson is pursuing at the moment. It includes a large public square/green space — dubbed Avonlea Plaza. While not guaranteed, it also holds out hope that some of the 200,000 s.f. of commercial space would be office buildings with restaurants and stores on the ground floor.

There’s also the potential for free-standing buildings for future retail as well. This includes a proposed spot for a drive-thru restaurant.

We’re not going to make any predictions on what will actually rise up from the overgrown, empty lot sandwiched between Highway 50, Pinebrook Road and Tall Cedars Parkway — we’ve been down this road too many times before.

But the headlines here are A) the images look attractive and inviting and B) the hope for some new retail and restaurants remains alive in the latest submissions.

  1. Jim 2 years ago

    Hopefully not another Starbucks or any of the same stores as nearby town centers.

  2. Rich 2 years ago

    Another “bait and switch” deal. Originally was going to be retail with an upscale movie theater. Now it is going to be housing of several sorts with maybe a little retail — no movie theater, no upscale grocery store — and a plaza that is good for nothing. Time to leave it undeveloped.

    • Rob 1 year ago

      Nothing is here moving from overpriced dead area

  3. Shirley 2 years ago

    It would be nice to have a Marriott or Hilton with a cafe and nice bar area; relaxing open green space outside.
    Also have a few retail shops, wine and cheese cafe, etc.
    There is not anything around here that appealing.
    It has a close proximity to Dulles Airport, Stone Springs Hospital, Data centers and would be convenient for visitors and employees coming to area for training or a short stay, etc.

  4. Jim 2 years ago this is the guy that needs to be convinced to convince Whole Foods to come. It will be the critical point to bring in great retailers

  5. Jasmine 1 year ago

    We need nice restaurants, no more fast food. We have to drive far away and go to Reston, Fairfax or Ashburn for that

  6. Bb 1 year ago

    Ditto. We need upscale restaurants

  7. Brian Jordan 1 year ago

    At least there are choices along the Rt 50 corridor, compared to how I remember it in 1996.
    I just wish they would have something more convenient near Braddock Rd and Gum Spring Rd. When will they ever complete the little shopping center at the corner?

  8. John 1 year ago

    Office Buildings? Are the buildings sitting empty in Fairfax, Chantilly, Tysons, Dulles Corridor not enough? Half the employees work remote or hybrid nowadays anyways….seems like an awful waste of space.

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