by Karen Goff — April 24, 2015 at 7:55 pm 26 Comments

Tetra building Tetra Partners has reached an agreement with Reston Association to perform $275,000 in repairs to the building on Lake Newport that RA seeks to purchase.

The two sides reached an agreement on Friday. The money will be held in escrow until Tetra repairs or replaces the HVAC system, roof, windows, paving and other items, according to the contract addendum. The items in disrepair were found during an inspection last month.

RA put in a conditional contract to purchase the 3,128-square-foot building for $2.65 million in late March. The purchase cannot go forward unless a quorum of RA homeowners approves it via referendum. The referendum runs through May 8.

RA said on Friday that the asking price remains $2.65 million. It also estimates it will cost an additional $260,000 to rehab the interior of the building. RA will get a $650,000 developer contribution from Comstock and will also get money from Tetra renting back the building from RA into 2016.

RA wants to repurpose the building — which formerly served as Reston’s Visitors Center and currently serves as Tetra offices — and its 3.48 acres for community space and a lakefront park. It also hopes to stave off commercial development and bring in income in event rentals and child care programs.

The property off of Baron Cameron Avenue sits in between Lake Newport Tennis and Brown’s Chapel Park and would give RA 98 acres of contiguous space.

Opponents of the purchase say the price for the property is too high as its most recent Fairfax County tax assessment was $1.2 million.

RA held a town hall meeting this week to address member concerns about the purchase.

by Karen Goff — April 24, 2015 at 4:50 pm 3 Comments

Fairfax County Police Fairfax County Police have charged Stephen Thompson, 29, with malicious wounding after he allegedly shot his wife in an argument at their Reston home early Thursday.

Police said that Thompson shot his 33-year-old wife and then himself. Both remain hospitalized. Thompson was served the warrant in the hospital, where he is in non-life threatening condition.

His wife, whom police did not identify, remains in life-threatening condition.

Police were called to the home in the 2300 block of Branleigh Park Court near Hunters Woods Village Center about 2:30 a.m.Thursday after someone called 911.

Both Thompson and his wife were found with gunshot wounds and were taken to a local hospital

by Karen Goff — April 24, 2015 at 4:20 pm 0

Searching for a new home? Check out these open houses this weekend. For complete real estate information and more open houses, visit Reston Now’s Real Estate section.

2024 Chadds Ford2026 Chadds Ford Drive
3 BR, 2 FB, 2 HB TH
Open Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m.


11569 Lake Newport11569 Lake Newport Road
4 BR 3.5 BA SFH
Open Saturday & Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m.


1517 Stuart Road1517 Stuart Road
5 BR, 3.5 BA SFH
Open Sunday, 1 to 3 p.m.


1937 Sagewood1937 Sagewood Lane
2 BR, 2 BA TH
Open Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m.


12000 Market12000 Market Street
3 BR, 3 BA Condo
Open Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m.


2186 Pond View2186 Pond View Court
3 BR, 2 FB, 2 HB TH
Open Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m.


by RestonNow.com — April 24, 2015 at 3:00 pm 0

YMCA RestonBring the whole family to the YMCA Fairfax County Reston on Saturday for fun fitness activities, healthy snacks and the chance to win prizes at the YMCA’s Health Kids Day.

The free event, which begins at 10 a.m., will feature activities to keep kids and families moving and learning about ways to build and maintain a healthy lifestyle,” YMCA representatives said.

Among the activities: fitness demonstrations; relays and obstacle courses; family games, swimming, cycling; recipes; arts & crafts; raffles and giveaways.

The YMCA is located at 12196 Sunset Hills Rd. in Reston.

There will also be a community shred event at the YMCA from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. For $5 a box, you can have sensitive documents disposed of on-site.

by RestonNow.com — April 24, 2015 at 2:00 pm 36 Comments

Tetra buildingThis is an op-ed from Reston Dave Williams. It does not reflect the views of Reston Now.

What is the cost of RA NOT buying the Tetra property?

It seems that most Restonians are in favor of RA buying the Tetra property, but are concerned that the price may be too high.

Viewing this purchase in the context of a commercial purchase is, in my view, the wrong perspective.

Rather, the purchase should be viewed from the perspective of value in the context of residential Reston. This is a unique, perhaps one-time, opportunity to purchase wonderful waterfront property located between Reston-owned spaces and in the heart of a number of residential communities.

If RA does not purchase this property, one can be certain that at some point it will be developed commercially to its maximum commercial value — perhaps repeatedly over the years. Commercial development in the heart of a residential area will have a tremendously negative impact on the value and quality of residential Reston.

Viewing this purchase from a commercial investment point of view, I believe, misses the point. Part of the point of the purchase is in fact to prevent commercial development. Of course the owner wants to sell for its maximum commercial potential value. RA wants to use the property but also to prevent such commercial development. However, to expect to be able to purchase the property at a non-commercial value is unrealistic. And it makes it difficult to negotiate with the owner when the purchaser’s bottom line is (rightfully so in this case) publicly available.

We moved to Reston over 20 years ago. We did not move here for its commercial value. We moved here because of its residential value. We moved here because of the woods, the open spaces, the trails, the wildlife and the beautiful peaceful lakes.

For us, RA is primarily in the business of assuring excellent residential quality. If the primary purpose of RA was commercial development, then we should cut down all the trees and fill the open spaces with high rises and commercial development.

Failure to purchase this property would be a huge mistake. If RA cannot purchase the property and has no control over its development and use, years from now, as this property is developed Restonians will look back with regret and say “I can’t believe we let this opportunity slip away.”

Please vote YES to purchase the Tetra property!

Something on your mind? Send a letter to news@restonnow.com. Reston Now reserves the right to edit letters for spelling, style and clarity.

by Elizabeth Arguelles — April 24, 2015 at 1:00 pm 0

Live Beyond 9 Lives banner

This is a sponsored post by Elizabeth Arguelles, veterinarian and owner of Just Cats Clinic at Lake Anne Plaza.

Spring has finally sprung, and many of us are spending more time outside. Unfortunately, the blossoming of flowers and the reemergence of grasses bring with them certain risks and dangers for your cat. Chief among those are pests and parasites looking to feed on your beloved pet after a winter of dormancy.

In this article, we’ll discuss one of the most common and most dangerous: the tick.

What are ticks?

Ticks are parasites that feed on the blood of their animal hosts. Though commonly called insects, ticks are arachnids, just like spiders and mites. By themselves, their bites are not generally harmful to humans or pets. However, many ticks carry diseases that can be passed directly into your cat’s bloodstream, and that can potentially be fatal. Even when those are not transmitted, the bites can still result in nasty infections.

Ticks are most prevalent in the late spring and early summer.

How do ticks get on your cat?

Ticks generally live in tall bushes or long grasses. When an animal brushes past, the parasites quickly climb onto the potential host. Once there, they proceed to bite the animal and begin sucking its blood.

Fortunately, ticks can only crawl and cannot fly or jump.

Outdoor cats are obviously more likely to pick up ticks, but indoor kitties can also get them if their owners or any other pets living in the house bring them inside.

What diseases can your cat get from a tick bite?

If you think that your cat has been bitten by a tick, please don’t hesitate to seek veterinary help immediately, as ticks can transmit several potentially fatal diseases. These include:

  • Babesia, Cytauxzoonosis and Mycoplasma, which are similar to Lyme’s Disease. Symptoms of those vary but tend to include fever, loss of appetite, jaundice and severe anemia.
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
  • Severe blood loss
  • Skin irritations and infections

How can you determine whether your cat has ticks?

Because ticks swell once they begin ingesting blood, they are generally visible to the naked eye once they get on your feline friend. However, there is always a possibility that they are obscured by your cat’s fur. So if you live in an area where ticks are common, it is a good idea to check your kitty regularly and with more than just a visual inspection. (more…)

by Karen Goff — April 24, 2015 at 12:00 pm 0

Fairfax County Police Fairfax County Police’s Reston District Station reports three break-ins this week.

The first incident was in the 2200 block of Stone Wheel Court on Sunday, when a resident reported someone entered the residence and took property.

The second was on Tuesday in the  11600 block of Charter Oak Court. A resident told police someone entered the property, but nothing was taken.

In the third, a woman entered a house in the 10800 block of Oldfield Drive, Thursday at 3 p.m. The intruder entered through an unlocked door, a resident told police. She immediately left whem she saw someone in the residence and nothing was taken.

In other crime news this week:


1600 block of Reston Parkway, purses from business

1900 block of Winterport Cluster, merchandise from business

12800 block of Wrexham Road, merchandise from business

600 block of Dranesville Road, phone from school.

2700 block of West Ox Road, property from business.

by Eve Thompson — April 24, 2015 at 11:00 am 0

Reston Real Estate: Just Listed

This is a sponsored post by Eve Thompson of Reston Real Estate.

The Reston real estate market is turning quickly, with property coming on and off the market at a nearly even pace.

This week we had 41 new properties come on the market and 36 go from Active to Pending. The past 30 days we’ve had 101 properties sell, which leaves us with a three-month supply of housing inventory.

Here are a few of the new listings for this week.

1657 PARKCREST CIR #101. 1BR, 1 BA. List Price $220,000. Open Sunday.

11569 LAKE NEWPORT RD. 4BR, 3.5BA. List Price $1,545,000. Open Sunday.

12025 CREEKBEND DR. 4BR, 4.5BA. List Price $975,000. Open Sunday.

10704 MIDSUMMER DR. 4BR, 2.5BA. List Price $825,000.

1937 SAGEWOOD LN. 2BR, 2BA. List Price $349,000. Open Sunday.

11759 NORTH SHORE DR. 3BR, 3.5BA. List Price $499,900.

Visit Reston Real Estate for more listing information.

by Karen Goff — April 24, 2015 at 9:30 am 24 Comments

New Tall Oaks Village Center owners The Jefferson Apartment Group (JAG) envision 154 residential units on the nearly empty shopping center’s seven acres at Wiehle Avenue and North Shore Drive.

The residents just want their grocery store back.

That’s the message the room full of Tall Oaks residents tried to convey to JAG Executive Vice President Greg Lamb and Senior Vice President Jim Duncan and their attorney, Mark Looney of Cooley LLC, on Thursday.

JAG, which bought the 40-year-old village center in December for $14 million, came to Reston Association headquarters Thursday to show their preliminary plans for and get feedback on medium-density residential and a small amount of retail at Tall Oaks.

Here is what JAG envisions (though it admits this is just the earliest stages): 46 townhomes; 42 “2 over 2″ townhomes; 66 condos in two four or five-story buildings; underground resident parking; an enhances trail network; and about 8,500 square feet of retail, with first dibs given to the remaining locally owned small businesses at Tall Oaks. Tall Oaks Assisted Living would remain, as would a small office building.

Here is what the residents essentially had to say: The development lacks recreational space; new residents will overwhelm the Tall Oaks pool; North Shore will be choked with traffic; and JAG needs both a more community-focused idea process and a better traffic study.

And just bring back a grocery store.

“You are selling yourself short short on retailers,” said one resident. “Tall Oaks could have survived without a grocery store if [previous landlord] was able to provide reasonable rent.  They had grand ideas about making money, and that drove a lot of [the vacancies].”

Looney says that when Tall Oaks first opened the in mid-1970s, it could support a 25,000-square-foot Giant Foods because there were not that many options nearby.

Looney points out that Tall Oaks began its decline in the 1990s, after new retail at North Point, The Spectrum, Reston Town Center, Trader Joe’s and Plaza America all opened nearby.

After Giant left the center in 2007 — residents say it was a corporate decision on smaller stores and not from lack of use — followed by 7-Eleven in 2008, the vacancies began mounting.

“In part, it’s because of competition from other retailers,” said Looney. “But there are site challenges. There are mature [RA owned] trees blocking the center on North Shore. Many people don’t know it is there. There is only one way in and out on North Shore.”

Looney predicts Tall Oaks, which had a nearly 90-percent occupancy rate in 2007 and currently has a 13-percent occupancy rate, will be 6 percent occupied by early 2016.

“The reality is, every anchor store knows this center and has passed it by,” said Looney, adding that there was no recent retail developer interest to purchase Tall Oaks.

“We tested the market. Crickets. No one in retail wanted to buy it in its current condition. JAG stepped forward, They are keeping the retail component. They are taking a drab retail center and turning it into Reston’s next great cluster.”

Many residents — some of whom have lived nearby for 30-plus years — are not impressed.

Said one resident: “Brand new townhouses are going to make my townhouse look like garbage.”

Added resident Tammi Petrine: “People bought homes with the expectation this was going to be a retail area. We need a grocery store.”

Said Looney: “The lack of grocery at this location is not something in our abilities to solve. The market is going to dictate that no matter how much we try to wish it.”

JAG will be back at RA Monday at 7 p.m. for another community meeting.

Rendering of Tall Oaks residential courtesy of JAG

by Karen Goff — April 24, 2015 at 8:00 am 0

Town Square Park Sculpture Dedication Saturday — The Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE) will formally dedicate the public art project by Patrick Dougherty on Saturday at a reception from 5 to…


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