vanessa-newVanessa Remmers covers Stafford County government and schools for and The Free Lance-Star.

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Professor makes case to planners for more apartments in Stafford

Stafford County needs a more balanced rental market that includes luxury apartments, a George Mason University professor said.

Steven Fuller made the case to the county’s Planning Commission on Wednesday as part of the public hearing for a two-in-one apartment project rezoning on the Celebrate Virginia Parkway.

“You wouldn’t build a project like this unless you were assured of having a customer base for it. I’m sure there’s going to be plenty of customers,” said Fuller, professor of public policy who studies growth and housing trends.

A high-end 480-apartment complex in Celebrate Virginia North, off U.S. 17, is part of a package deal proposed by the Silver Cos., with a 196-unit secured complex for use by federal agents at a growing law-enforcement training facility. (Here’s what neighbors said about the project at the first night of the public hearing last month.)

Fuller, who wrote a report last year focused on the housing needs facing Northern Virginia, said Stafford needs to add at least 10,000 units in the next decade to accommodate a changing population and growing workforce.

“An increasing share of these should be rentals,” Fuller said.

Find out what else was said at the meeting in a complete story tomorrow.