Leesburg Council approves South King Street mixed-use development


A mixed-use community with 64 residential units and 7,100 square feet of commercial appears poised for development in downtown Leesburg.

Town Council on Tuesday night unanimously approved a special exception application for the project known as South King Street, located on nearly three acres on the east side of South King Street and bordered by the W&OD Trail, Church Street and Town Branch. The complex is being developed by Donald Knutson, one of the builders at the recently opened Crescent Place community along nearby Harrison Street. At the South King Street site, Knutson plans to demolish seven of the eight existing structures to build four four-story buildings. Those structures will include residential living, commercial space and recreation amenities.

As proposed, each multi-family residential structure will have an elevator, contain 16 dwelling units and 12 individual garage spaces for a density of approximately 22.5 dwelling units per acre, according to town documents. The recreation and open space amenities include a small park on South King Street and a seating area at the foot of Church Street adjacent to the W&OD Trail.

According to town officials, four of the eight existing buildings on the site are occupied by businesses that will have to relocate. Waterford Development’s building will remain because it’s deemed historically significant. Battery Warehouse and the other structures will be demolished. Because the land falls within a floodplain, Knutson’s KMI King Street, LLC, must still secure approval from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Additionally, the town’s Board of Architectural Review will have to sign off on the final design of new residential and commercial structures.

The residential element of the project is expected to house about 20 school-age children and have minimal impact on traffic, according to town staff, which recommended approval. The town’s Planning Commission also gave the site plan a thumbs up. The South King Street development is expected to generate roughly $1.5 million in revenue to the town over the next 20 years. Council members cheered on Knutson’s plans, saying it’s a strong proposal for positive and attractive development in what many consider a less-scenic slice of historic downtown.