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Leesburg’s Courthouse Square development dealt a major setback

Negotiations for a downtown Leesburg parking agreement between Loudoun County and developers of the Courthouse Square project downtown have fallen through, putting in flux the future of the years-in-the-making mixed-use project.

Courthouse Square developers were relying on selling more than 200 parking spaces within the 112,000-square-foot development to the town and county to kick-start financing for the project.

But according to county staff and the developers, there are no ongoing discussions, which means it's back to the drawing board for Courthouse Square, a planned mixed-use class A office and retail development.

The property takes up more than one-quarter of the block outlined by Loudoun, Market, King and Church streets, including the former Loudoun Times-Mirror building.

Members of both the Board of Supervisors and Leesburg Town Council were briefed about the proposal in closed sessions, but while Leesburg was reportedly on board, the county wasn't willing to pull the trigger.

According to a parking study exhibit from Courthouse Square developers, the developers were offering to sell 204 parking spaces to the county for a cost of nearly $10.2 million, or $36,475 per space. Of those spaces, the Town of Leesburg had indicated it would purchase 75 spots for $2.7 million, meaning the county would pay a net of $7.4 million.

With the county declining on the parking arrangement, Courthouse Square developers say they will continue to study and consider viable options for the property, likely from the private sector.

An anchor tenant – a brew pub from craft beer powerhouse Victory – is attached to the development, and officials with the development said Victory has shown no signs of walking away.

The proposed parking agreement was also viewed as a means to eliminate constructing a fourth story on the county's forthcoming Pennington parking lot downtown. Additional parking is needed downtown to accommodate the county courthouse expansion.

Editor's Note: Peter Arundel, publisher of Virginia News Group, which produces the Times-Mirror, is the majority stakeholder of Courthouse Square LLC.

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