Commercial Property Acquisition and Leasing Opportunities in Fairfax City
Fairfax City has a strong and varied local economy in a crossroads location, with a substantial retail base and foundation of small-to-mid-sized business excellence. Population and regional median income have grown steadily in the City since 2000, and opportunities to accelerate that growth will be plentiful in the coming years as the City’s trade area continues to make room for further development. As the old saying goes, one of the most important variables in a business’s success is “location, location, location.” The Fairfax City Economic Development Authority (EDA) ensures that existing, new, and prospective business leaders in the City have access to the resources and support they need to make informed decisions about their property acquisition and leasing options in the Fairfax City commercial real estate market.
The Commercial Real Estate Market in Fairfax City
Fairfax City’s current pattern of land use is primarily the result of its history and location. Initially developed as a small agricultural settlement at the intersection of two major roads, the City quickly became intertwined with the Washington metropolitan region’s economy and eventually developed cohesive plans and ordinances to guide future development. In recent years, changing demographics, intensive development, technological advancements, the growth in federal government employment and contracting, strong regional population growth, the City’s finite land resources, and new market preferences have all influenced development trends in the City. As a result, most recent development and most new development that takes place in future years will primarily involve the redevelopment of previously developed lands.
Commercially-zoned land currently constitutes 620 acres, or 18% of all land, in the City. Most of this commercial land is already developed and prime for usage by local businesses, with less than 3% of the land currently undeveloped or vacant. Primary examples of general commercial uses in the City include freestanding retail and service-oriented establishments, and those contained in office buildings and shopping centers. The vast majority of the City’s general commercial development is located along the Fairfax Boulevard and Main Street Corridors, with concentrations of office developments also available around the City.
Real Estate Assessment
Each year, the Fairfax City Real Estate Assessment Office appraises all commercial and real estate property in the City (approximately 8,992 land parcels) to determine its value for tax purposes. All assessments of real property, which includes land and permanently affixed structures, are based on 100% of fair market value and are equitable with the assessments of comparable properties. The Real Estate Assessment Office also lists, inspects, and appraises new construction and redevelopment.
The Real Estate Assessment Database is a valuable tool for business owners interested in property acquisition or leasing opportunities in Fairfax City. The database provides basic information for all properties located in Fairfax City, including:
- Tax maps and account numbers
- Property owners’ names and addresses
- The property’s legal description, land size and sales history
- Current assessment and assessment history
- Property details
Important Dates You Should Know in 2017:
- January 1
Effective date of 2017 assessments
- January 27
2016 supplemental assessment notices mailed
- March 3
2017 assessment notices mailed to property owners
- April 14
Deadline to request a review of assessment
Real estate tax bills mailed to property owners
- June 30
Deadline to file an appeal with the Board of Equalization
- August 31
Deadline for filing 2017 income/expense surveys
Resources and Information
Fairfax City keeps a running documentation of all commercial development and provides easily accessible online lists of all developments in the City including office buildings, office parks, and shopping centers.
Additionally, Fairfax City provides current-to-the-month listings for available office space, available retail space, and available industrial space for business owners interested in intra-city relocation or moving their operations into the City.
The Fairfax City Treasurer’s office publishes current and accurate tax information for properties in the City for informational use.
For intra-city property movement, you can easily request a mailing address change online.
The Virginia Association of Assessing Officers and the International Association of Assessing Officers are also valuable resources for business owners interested in learning more about the assessment process.
Tax Relief Programs and Exemptions
A real estate tax exemption for certain disabled veterans and their surviving spouses exists as created under Virginia law. Under this program, the disabled veteran or surviving spouse of the veteran does not have to pay local real estate taxes on the veteran’s principal residence. To quality, the veteran must be declared 100% service-connected, permanently and totally disabled by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. To inquire about applying for this exemption, please email the Fairfax City Finance Department. More information on the Disabled Veteran Tax Exemption is available from the Virginia Department of Veterans Services.
Fairfax City also provides varying levels of real estate tax relief and rent relief on a year-to-year basis to residents who are age 65 and older, and for persons with disabilities. Applications are sent out in early February and must be completed and returned to the Finance Department no later than April 15 of that year. More information on Tax and Rent Relief Programs is available here.