What are they building headlines insidenova.com electricity quiz grade 9


But that’s not exactly true, says Wade Hugh, director of development services for Prince William County. While new construction has picked up in recent years, the pace of building is about the same as it was last year and is still nowhere near its pre-recession peak.

Neabsco Mills Road in Woodbridge has been a hub of new building and road projects for the past several months. Two major projects are in the works. The first is a new “mixed-use” development called Neabsco Commons – featuring two hotels, apartments, a parking garage and retail or office space. Next, there a 204,000-square-foot campus for the 8,000-member Harvest Life Changers Church, currently located on Telegraph Road in Woodbridge.

According to the church website, the new building will house a 4,000-seat sanctuary, a chapel, a food court, a gymnasium, a fitness center, a television-production studio, a children’s area, classrooms, offices and a bookstore. The church recently launched a special campaign to raise money for the $50 million facility, which is hoped to open in two years.

Meanwhile, at nearby Neabsco Commons, work is being completed on two Hilton hotels – a 113-room Homewood Suites, designed for extended stays, and a 141-room Garden Inn. Both are expected to open sometime early next year, according to Michael Collier, president of Uniwest Companies, the Falls Church-based developer of the project.

The five-story building at the front of the development will house 186 apartments — mostly one- and two-bedroom with a few three-bedroom units on the second through fifth floors. The first floor is reserved for retail stores, restaurants, medical or office space. An open courtyard at the center of the building will feature a swimming pool, spa and other recreational features.

A multi-story garage going up behind the courtyard will provide parking for the apartments as well as two office buildings that are not yet under construction but planned for the area between the main residential building and the hotels, Collier said.

The project is also approved for a second mixed-use residential building, which could offer an additional 150 apartments, and space for a bank with drive-through window. But Collier said there is no planned construction date on those additional buildings as the timeline will depend on how quickly the first building fills with residents.

There’s no word yet on what kinds of retail stores or businesses will move into the first-floor space of the main residential building, as leasing efforts have just begun. There’s also no word on apartment rents, as those won’t be marketed until early next year, Collier said.

“[The college] might take advantage of the public meeting spaces available at the hotels and certainly with the housing, whether it’s for the teachers, professional staff or students who might be working and going to school and might want to live close by,” Collier said.

As always, traffic is a concern along the relatively narrow Neabsco Mills Road. As part of their agreement with county officials, Uniwest spent more than $2 million to widen the road from Dale Boulevard to the entrances of the NOVA and Freedom High School. Widening the rest of the road is on the county’s long-term road project wish list, but the project has yet to receive funding.

New construction near the Lake Ridge Nursery, along Old Bridge Road in Lake Ridge, will bring about 20 luxury homes to Lake Ridge, an older eastern Prince William community that hasn’t had much new single-family home construction in recent years.

The 13-acre lot was once home to Clarke Electric but received county approval back in 2006 to be developed for new single-family homes. Like Neabsco Commons, the project was put on hold during the recession. According to county planning documents, the homes, built by NVP Inc., will be built along just two streets, leaving about 60 percent of the area open green space.

Shifting over to the west end of the county, near Manassas Mall, a new development near the corner of Sudley Manor Drive and Ashton Avenue has people wondering what might be planned besides a new Sheetz gas station, approved by county supervisors last year.

The intersection sparked a bit of controversy last fall because some were concerned about Sheetz’s bright-red illuminated awnings disturbing area residents. In response, Sheetz promised not to light the awnings and has pledged to build a fence dividing nearby neighborhoods from the property. Sheetz also won approval for a drive-through window, which is somewhat unique for the gas-station chain.