George Mason University      
Faculty/Staff Housing Project

Project Scope

  • 157 units of 1, 2, and 3 bedroom townhouses
  • Located on 27 acres of university land
  • Land leased to private, non-profit organization, Mason Housing, Inc. (MHI)
    • MHI secured private financing to construct the development.  There are no state or university funds devoted to this project
    • MHI will construct and manage the property for the term of the ground lease
    • University officials participate as minority members of MHI board
  • With MHI, university developed a priority policy for unit assignment/rental
    • Project geared for newly hired faculty in need of housing
    • Open to all others within the university and if university fails to fill all the units, is open  to City of Fairfax and Fairfax County public employees
Significant discussion with local community throughout development
  • Fairfax County
    • Personal briefs to Sharon Bulova
    • Regular discussion in Braddock District Council
  • City of Fairfax
    • Personal discussion with Mayor
    • Several presentations to City Council resulted in changes to plan
  • Environmental highlights
    • Pervious pavement
    • Eliminated one stream crossing (was concession in state environmental process, but was desired by City
    • Native plantings
    • Retention pond will meter flow downstream through county residential neighborhood
Project goals are supportive of City interests as a whole
  • Reduces traffic to/from campus
  • Provides buffer with university
  • Prevents really disruptive development on site
  • Improves pedestrian flow along Roberts Road
    • Extends pedestrian trail south from  Aspen Willow Road to University entrance at Shenandoah
    • Roberts road has no sidewalk there now
    • When tied in to County trail this summer will provide pedestrian/bike access from Braddock Road into City of Fairfax
  • Business model is three-year transitional rental, not sale - faculty will still buy into local market elsewhere at some point
Community concerns
  • Any change is bad change
  • Any university development is bad development
  • Loss of trees buffer between Green Acres School and houses
  • Mitigated through agreement to enhance school fields and basketball court
  • Negotiated directly with Mayor and City Council on this
  • Loss of animal habitat

Contributed by Thomas G. Calhoun, Vice President, Facilities
Feb. 10, 2009

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