Growth highlighted at John Marshall economic summit
Speakers included Tom Flynn, director of Loudoun’s Department of Economic Development; Marantha Edwards, director of Leesburg Economic Development and Purcellville Mayor Bob Lazarro.
Each area buoyed by the approval of rail to Dulles, Flynn seemed particularly happy with progress on One Loudoun, a project delayed by the recession. The site will now be home to the Loudoun Hounds baseball and Virginia Cavalry FC soccer teams. Alamo Cinema is expected to open May 3.
Flynn concentrated largely on the strides Loudoun has taken as a leading location for data centers, focusing on the new expansions within the Carpathia data center and the well-publicized RagingWire facility. As one of the largest Internet exchange points in the world, Loudoun sees up to 70 percent of Internet traffic pass through it.
Flynn also highlighted the eight sites presented as options for the new FBI headquarters. Competing with several jurisdictions in the region, Flynn feels that Loudoun has an advantage in “long term viability,” meaning there is room for growth and expansion in the future.
Things are moving forward in the town of Leesburg according to Edwards, who focused on three major projects: Courthouse Square, Crescent Place and Lowes Center.
Courthouse Square, a 110,500-square-foot retail and office complex at the site of the Loudoun Times-Mirror building was approved by the Board of Architectural Review in September. Crescent Place, planned at the Barber & Ross property at Harrison Street and the W&OD Trail, is planned as 336 residential and commercial units in downtown Leesburg. Lowes Center at Route 7 and Battlefield Parkway is expected to begin review by the town council this summer.
Edwards expects these projects to have a “ripple effect” through the town.
Not to be outdone, Lazarro highlighted several new businesses in Purcellville, but concentrated on how these added options didn’t reduce the livability of this western Loudoun town. The Purcellville Gateway project opened up significant retail space on the outskirts of town with the Purcellville Downtown Improvement Project representing an investment of nearly $2.2 million in improvements in the town’s core – largely focused on utility upgrades, landscaping and pedestrian improvements in the historic area.