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Growth highlighted at John Marshall economic summit

If the economy is recovering slowly, you can’t tell from the number of projects underway in Loudoun. Many of these were highlighted April 18 at the Loudoun Economic Summit, hosted by John Marshall Bank at Lansdowne Resort.

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.


Skyprince…you are so right.  The developers who bought off our local government years ago have made a visual eyesore of the county.  Nuke, pave and leave… 

We have a local government that never, ever thinks about quality of life issues.  Lazaro is the worst of the bunch (only because he sells out for so little) but then coming here from Long Island, you can certainly wonder about his sense of aesthetics.

These people have no clue as to the damage they are doing and have done to this area. How many shopping centers is needed? Lazarro is a fool to keep building more and more retail in Purcellville. It is like trying to keep up with the Jones’ If Leesburg builds something, then they want something. Both towns were fine the way they were because they offered something that no one else had, a nice small town look. Leesburg’s first downfall was creating that mess they call the Outlets.It made Leesburg look like any similar town off I-81 or 95. It made that part of town just look like junk.

And is there an uglier shopping center than the one where Wegman’s is? Since that was just an empty field before they desecrated it, couldn’t they at least bury all those power lines to make the approach from the west look nicer? Take a look next time you are Route 7. It looks awful! Not only do you have wires everywhere, you have poles at diagonals etc…it looks unprofessional. I went into that shopping center ONCE, when it opened and screamed to get out. It just yells cheaply done! For Weggies, I go to Frederick.

Loudoun never built quality looking shopping areas. A quick trip down to Hampton Roads and even Richmond will show you how they can make shopping centers at least look good. Ever visit the malls in Charlotte? They tuck them into the forests without taking the trees down. But in Loudoun they score the earth and then replace the old trees with spindly ones that just look cheap. Loudoun may think they are doing great things, but they have beat the golden goose to death many times over. Truly sad.

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