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Progress Report: Hear About Vision for Lake Anne, Crescent on Monday

by Karen Goff January 31, 2014 at 9:30 am 0

Artists Rendering of Lake Anne Redevelopment/Credit: LARP

Lake Anne Redevelopment Partners (LARP) will update the Reston community on Monday about the plan to revitalize Crescent Apartments and the Lake Anne area.

LARP (a division of Republic Land Development) was chosen by Fairfax County summer after a Request for Proposals process that took more than a year. Since then, LARP has offered up renderings of the vision, and a few key events have happened as the project moves forward.

Principals will give an update on the progress at an open house at 7 p.m. Feb. 3 at Reston Community Center Lake Anne.

The county issued the RFP to make over the 16-acre site housing the county-owned Crescent Apartments, an aging affordable housing complex close to Lake Anne Plaza. Republic had many meetings with residents, Lake Anne business owners and Reston founder Bob Simon, among others, to determine what the community wanted to see for the area.

The retail and residential of Lake Anne Plaza itself will not see big changes, as historic designation prevents that.

However, an interim agreement is in place for LARP to proceed with the process of county planning, Reston Association Design Review Board and other land use approvals necessary to rework the surrounding areas.  The approval of the project design and land use permits is expected to take more than a year, said Republic president and CEO David Peter.

Peter previously said  the redevelopment will be built in stages, with the replacement for Crescent units built first, as well as retail improvements in the now-parking lot of Lake Anne Plaza. The entire process would take 10-12 years, he said.

The farmers market would be relocated to a nearby spot while construction is underway, but would return to the plaza’s grand concourse when completed.

Reston Association approved a controversial land swap in late 2013, trading an acre of RA’s wooded land at Lake Anne for another parcel along Baron Cameron Avenue, as well as financial incentives and improvements. The developers plan to build a 120-space parking garage on the site.

That move did not sit well with environmental advocates and other concerned citizens, who protested that it paves the way for other projects to remove mature trees in Reston.

In the end, RA’s board voted 6-2 to give the land to LADP.

Here are some other major points of the preliminary plans for the project:

  • About 1,000 new residences and an additional 193,000 square feet of office and retail space.
  • A half-circle design for Crescent itself as well as additional retail in what now is the Lake Anne Plaza parking lot, complementing Lake Anne’s existing horseshoe design.
  • Straightening out Village Drive so one turns into a grand entrance – “a front door” – to Lake Anne – where the lake and plaza is readily visible and inviting. Developers envision a boutique grocery store along Baron Cameron near the entrance to Lake Anne. This will require tearing down the building that houses the Association of School Business Officials.
  • Mid-rise affordable housing that will replace the 181 units of affordable housing at Crescent. There may be more than 1,000 housing units eventually between Crescent and other residential to be built at Lake Anne. Other housing will be townhouses, mid rise and one 15-story high rise, as well as an active seniors community.
  • Community amenities to be built at Lake Anne include an amphitheater and an outdoor movie screening area.
  • Additional retail and residential above in what now is the parking lot for Lake Anne Plaza. Retail parking will be below ground. The plans include about 50,000 square feet of office space.
  • Public trails will connect Crescent with Lake Anne Plaza and other nearby areas to minimize need for cars. They would also like to connect Lake Anne and Reston Town Center with a bikesharing operation.
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