Here’s a Look Around Google’s New Reston Station Office Space

Google’s Reston employees will have quite the view once they move into their new office space next to the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station.

The tech giant will have the top four floors of the 16-story, Helmut Jahn-designed building at 1900 Reston Metro Plaza, Maggie Parker, a spokeswoman for Comstock Companies, told Reston Now.

Reston Now took a tour of the top floor for a look at Google’s future workspace.

On a clear day, Google employees will have views of Tysons to the east and Dulles International Airport to the west, Parker said. Looking south, they’ll be able to see the Fairfax County Government Center. The building offers a glimpse of Sugarloaf Mountain in Maryland.

The area around the building is also set for some changes in the future. Plans for a hotel, two residential buildings and an office building will give a new look to the land between Reston Station Blvd and Sunset Hills Road, Parker said.

While Google hasn’t officially announced its new Reston residence (the secret is out, thanks to permits), the company previously said it will significantly expand its operations in Northern Virginia as part of a $13 billion round of investment in new offices and data centers across the U.S.

“With new office and data center development, our workforce in Virginia will double,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai wrote in a blog post on Feb. 13.

Parker said she does not know how many workers from nearby offices (there’s one in Reston Town Center) or new jobs will fill the Google space.

Google won’t be moving into an empty building — a workspace called Spaces currently occupies the fourth and fifth floors.

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Friday Morning Notes

Reston fire earlier today — Firefighters were on the scene of house fire in 2500 block of Freetown Drive around 2 a.m. The fire is now out. [Fairfax Fire and Rescue]

Development finds financing — “Rooney Properties secured $29.1M in preferred equity from Parse Capital for the 407-unit Faraday Park development… The project, branded as Faraday, will consist of two seven-story multifamily buildings with 10K SF of ground-floor retail at 1831 Michael Faraday Drive in Reston.” [Bisnow]

Playdate Cafe — The Great Falls Library is hosting a playdate from 10 a.m.-noon for kids under the age of 5 accompanied by an adult. [Fairfax County]

Photo courtesy Adam Smith

 

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Virginia Lottery Surprises Aldrin ES Student with Prize for Art Contest

An Aldrin Elementary School student received a surprise celebration in front of her classmates today (March 21) for her artwork.

Shortly before 2:30 p.m., Aldrin students assembled in the lobby of the school for an announcement by Principal Shane Wolfe. The Virginia Lottery then surprised fifth-grader Elizaveta G. with the news that she is one of three winners statewide in the “Thank a Teacher Art Contest.”

Jennifer Mullen, the public affairs and community relations manager at Virginia Lottery, told the students that the lottery started the artwork contest last year as an addition to its notecard writing to thank teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week. Three students’ pieces were selected from 700 entries, Mullen said.

The Virginia Lottery presented Elizaveta with a $150 gift card along with $1,000 for Aldrin’s art department.

Elizaveta’s original design will be used on thousands of thank you notes that will be distributed to public school teachers in Virginia during National Teacher Appreciation Week in May.

Wolfe facilitated a Q&A between Elizaveta and her classmates, who asked questions about her favorite color (“blazer blue and red”), how long it took to make the art (“one to two hours”) and who told her about the contest (her mom).

The other two winners have not been announced yet.

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Money Matters 2.0 — A Blue Print to Achieve Financial…

The Reston (VA) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated presents Money Matters 2.o — A Blue Print to Achieve Financial Wellness and Entrepreneurial Success.

We have assembled a panel of distinguished, exciting and knowledgeable finance experts to speak on the various topics. We will have two distinct tracks. The Adult Track will include strategies for investing, saving, creating, protecting and transferring wealth, along with the keys to entrepreneurship, i.e., securing funding, creating a business plan and establishing your brand.

In addition to targeting adults, we’ve again expanded our audience to include teens and young adults ages 13-20 years old. The Youth and Teens Track will be centered around the fundamentals of financial literacy, insight into investing and saving, as well as tips on turning ideas and hobbies into profitable business ventures. Our objective is to begin a conversation about finance at an early age and to empower our youth to choose how they will live as they age.

This event is free to the public but registration is required. Visit our website restonlinks.org to register.

Police: Flooding Closes Hunter Mill, Fox Mill Roads

Two roads in the Reston area are closed due to flooding, according to tweets from the Fairfax County Police Department.

Hunter Mill Road between Hunting Crest Lane and Mount Sunapee Road closed shortly before 4 p.m. today.

Fox Mill Road between Folkstone Drive and Thoroughbred Road in Herndon closed around 2 p.m.

Police advise locals to avoid the area and use alternate routes.

A Flood Watch is in effect for Fairfax County and surrounding areas until midnight, according to the National Weather Service.

More from NWS:

* Until midnight EDT tonight

* A widespread soaking rain around 2 inches is expected. Isolated amounts of around 3 inches are possible. The steadiest rain is expected through 6 pm this evening, with residual runoff possibly persisting through late this evening.

* These rainfall amounts may cause small streams and creeks to go out of their banks, as well as cause flooding of low-lying, urban and poor drainage areas.

Images via Google Maps 

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Missing Endangered Older Adult

A 72-year old woman from Reston has been missing for over a month; a report has been filed with Fairfax County. If you have seen Candace Noonan or know anything about her whereabouts, please report it to the Fairfax County police at 703-556-7750 or 703-246- 7800 (Detective Thornton; Case # 2019-0380061).

Poll: Which Reston Village Center is Your Favorite?

Now that spring has finally arrived, warmer weather will invite locals outside to mill around Reston’s many shopping areas.

While Reston has an abundance of stores at Plaza America, Reston Town Center and the Spectrum, one of Reston’s unique design elements lies in its mix of residential and retail at its five village centers.

The first one — the Lake Anne Village Center — looks almost the same today as it did in 1976.

Many of the other village centers, though, are undergoing transformations, including South Lakes and Tall Oaks.

The Hunters Woods Village Center, which saw most of its original buildings demolished and replaced with more modern retail in the 1990s, is on a 2017 list of potential spots for new residential development put together by the Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning.

Meanwhile, North Point Village Center has seen retailers and businesses leave and open. Most recently, a Thai restaurant opened at the village center.

Reston Now wants to know if there is a certain village center you frequently visit or really love going to.

Photo via Courtlyn McHale/Flickr

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Lakeside Pharmacy Fundraiser Lags, Hopes for Boost at Next Week’s Triathlon

Despite some noble intentions, fundraising to save the Lakeside Pharmacy icons is not going well.

The Reston Historic Trust and Museum’s GoFundMe — which started in August — has only raised $1,663 of its $15,000 goal.

The goal of the fundraiser is to clean and reinstall the icons, currently being held in storage, in a new exhibit about the 1960’s pop art aesthetic that was a core part of early Reston history.

Alexandra Campbell, a media contact for the Reston Museum, said despite public interest — Campbell said stories related to the icons are some of their most popular social media posts — the donations to the fundraiser have been slow to trickle in.

While Campbell said there have been a few donations to the fundraiser outside of the GoFundMe, Carolyn Flitcroft, elected chair of the board for the organization, said in an earlier interview that it can be difficult to rally support for a fundraiser that’s for something that seems less dire than homelessness or hunger.

Campbell said the Reston Historic Trust is hoping for a boost with a fundraiser next week. A triathlon hosted by New Trail Cycling Studio and Lake Anne Brew House on March 27 will give a portion of the proceeds to the Reston Historic Trust.

Despite the fundraising setbacks, the organization is moving forward with the permitting process to get the icons on display. According to Campbell, the deadline to get the permits scheduled for review in April is next week, so it’s all hands on deck as the group works to get the application finalized.

Photo via Reston Historic Trust

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Del. Ken Plum: Crossroads

This is an opinion column by Del. Ken Plum (D), who represents Reston in Virginia’s House of Delegates. It does not reflect the opinion of Reston Now.

Last week I attended the annual meeting of the Virginia Forum, “an organization for scholars, teachers, writers, museum curators, historic site interpreters, activists, librarians and all those interested in Virginia history and culture to share their knowledge, research and experiences.”

I have attended the forum many of its 14 years because of my interest in Virginia history and because so many of the issues on which I work in the legislature can best be understood in their historical context. Furthermore, many of the experiences at the forum, including the papers that are presented, are fascinating and stimulating.

The forum meets at a different location each year with most meetings being held at a college or university and takes advantage of the uniqueness of the region where the meeting is held. While the meeting this year was held at Longwood University, the opening session was next door at the Robert Russell Moton Museum, the National Historic Landmark Robert Russell Moton High School, the site of a 1951 student strike led by 16-year-old Barbara Johns which became one of the cases decided in the 1954 Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education to end school segregation.

Just being at the site was meaningful, but having a session feature a panel of adults who were living in Prince Edward County during the five-year period (1959-1964) that Prince Edward County closed its public schools to resist desegregation was even more telling to understand the depths to which racism dominated the region. There were many other incidents of racial bigotry and hate throughout the Southside region and other parts of the state that linger in the background of dealing with the racism of today.

Recommended reading from the forum is “Israel on the Appomattox,” a 2005 book by Professor Marvin Patrick Ely of William and Mary that won the Bancroft Prize and was featured in the New York Times Book Review and Atlantic Monthly Editors’ Choice.

“Israel on the Appomattox” tells the story of liberated blacks and the community they formed, called Israel Hill, in Prince Edward County. There, ex-slaves established farms, navigated the Appomattox River and became entrepreneurs. Free blacks and whites did business with one another, sued each other, worked side by side for equal wages, joined forces to found a Baptist congregation, moved west together and occasionally settled down as husband and wife. Slavery cast its grim shadow, even over the lives of the free.

The book is a moving story of hardship and hope that defies what many expected of the Old South, yet the forces of racism and white supremacy overcame their efforts and continued to perpetuate the beliefs of the day that black people could not succeed on their own. These ideas continue to cast a shadow on racial issues today.

A realistic understanding of the challenges of today is best considered within some historical context — not the romantic visions of the Old South that have been perpetuated in Virginia and other places for too long. How we got to where we are can help us live together without the myths of race from the past.

File photo

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Ballston Quarter Changes the Game with 5 Wits

Joining the latest and greatest at Ballston Quarter, 5 Wits officially opened for business earlier last month, bringing its unique style of interactive entertainment to the Arlington area.

Located in a 15,000 square foot facility within the mall, 5 Wits creates deeply immersive, theme park-style adventure experiences. Guests travel through real, physical environments, interacting with their surroundings through challenges, puzzles and elaborate special effects.

Each adventure tells its own story, with its guests’ performance deciding the outcome: the ending actually changes depending on how well its participants perform.

While the technology that runs this massive $2 million venue is cutting edge, the company behind it isn’t exactly new — in fact, 5 Wits is celebrating its 15th year in business. Its arrival in Ballston Quarter signals a shift toward entertainment-based offerings that set the redeveloped center apart as a destination.

“5 Wits is excited to bring our adventures to the Arlington area in such a unique and dynamic project. Ballston Quarter is curating an experience that the community is going to love,” says Frank Cerio, the company’s COO.

As Nothern Virginia’s newest dining, shopping and entertainment destination, the revitalized Ballston Quarter’s focus on experiential entertainment retailers continues well beyond 5 Wits. Offerings like play space Nook, entertainment complex Punch Social Bowl and Onelife Fitness compliment new expansive gathering spaces and fresh retail and culinary brands.

Community members and visitors are invited to experience the new heart of Ballston with continued openings, spring and summer holiday celebrations and seasonal programming that make Ballston Quarter a year-round community experience.

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Reston Real Estate: Just Listed

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

Inventory is finally creeping up – slowly, but new listings are finally starting to hit the market.

Reston has 171 properties on the market, not robust but on the rise. The market remains stubbornly price sensitive; listings perceived by buyers to be over-priced will sit, while those coming in right at the market price will get multiple offers, often going above list price but not by huge amounts.

The cautionary tale to sellers, you need to be the best priced, best presented item in your category. You can be a “fixer” but try to be as well presented as you possibly can be, and get to the right price!

Here are some new listings in Reston this week.

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