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UPDATE: 2+ Years Later, No Movement at Fairway

by Karen Goff — September 19, 2014 at 9:30 am 3 Comments

Nearly 2 1/2 years after plans for a major redevelopment at Reston’s Fairway Apartments near Lake Anne were finally approved, there have been no changes to the 346-unit garden apartments that were the source of major discussions a few years ago.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved developer JBG’s plans in the Spring of 2012, and it was not one that sailed through the Reston channels easily.

JBG was sent back to the drawing board many times over three years by Reston Association’s Design Review Board, and later the county planning commission. Many Reston residents spoke up in 2010 and ’11 about proposed density, the design elements and potential traffic on North Shore Drive.

Finally, the developer tweaked the design to a sustainable one  — but not the “Texas doughnut” that was previously disdained by the DRB.

The approved plan calls for a mix of townhomes and multifamily units, with 804 residences in all. The final plan also includes 38 percent open space in the new complex, pedestrian connectivity, and more than 47,000 square feet of preserved tree canopy. JBG has also pledged about 80 units for workforce housing.

Because the redevelopment is not a rezoning, JBG was not required to provide any certain level of workforce housing.

A development source says the plans are still on, but that no start date has been booked and might not be for some time.

That is sometimes the case with development plans. Lerner Enterprises received approval in early 2013 for a major redo of Reston’s Spectrum Center, but developers say that building may be as many as 10 years away.

Since Fairways’ approval, other Lake Anne-area residential projects have launched. Last summer, Fairfax County selected Lake Anne Development Partners (LADP) to redevelop Crescent Apartments, a similarly aging 18-building apartment complex near Lake Anne.

About 1,000 residential units are planned for the revamped Crescent. Developers hope the renovation of Crescent — which also includes a retail element in Lake Anne Plaza’s current parking lot, additional parking, added office space and a rerouted entrance to the plaza — will bring needed added density and vibrancy to Lake Anne. LADP is required to replace all 181 units of affordable housing and must also provide 151 units of workforce housing.

LADP’s plans will go before the Planning Commission in a public hearing Nov. 5. If the planning commission recommends approval, the plan will go to the Board of Supervisors Nov. 18. Both of those dates are subject to change. If approvals go forward on that schedule, LADP President David Peter said he expects construction to begin in 2015.

Meanwhile, a plan to tear down and rebuild nearby senior housing at Lake Anne Fellowship House, as well as an additional housing complex on the same land, fell apart in recent weeks “when county officials were not receptive to the idea of offering Section 8 housing vouchers to existing residents, which the Fellowship Foundation needed in order to progress with the zoning application,” Fellowship House officials said.

When Fairway and Crescent are completed, it will increase housing at Lake Anne by nearly 2,000 units.

  • carolee

    Are the residential plans going to be for sale, rental only ?

    • Karen Goff

      I don’t think that has been decided yet.

  • avejoe1

    Who thinks all this denser redevelopment is a good idea? First it was bull doze Jonathans Keep to increase density. Then Reston golf course, shot down but I doubt it’s the last we’ve heard of it. Then Fairway which thankfully is in limbo right now. St. John’s Wood got shot down but I doubt that’s over. There’s another building going up at Plaza America, which is not even a 1/4 mile down Sunset Hills from the metro. On the other side of the toll road International Center is being redeveloped. How is all this added traffic going to move? Building out the new metro has only just started. Do people really think that won’t effect traffic just because it’s at the metro? Traffic on Wiehle going over the toll road has been a mess ever since VDOT widened the bridge. That’s how long those traffic lights have been out of sync. You have a fire station at that intersection that is now at gridlock in the morning and not much better in the afternoon. How many people will die because help can’t get to them? There is no room left in Reston to get any real traffic improvement, but they continue to build. There are cities that are less dense that have a subway. Not this above ground abomination in Tysons but an honest subway, with multiple lines. Reston has one mass transit line that should’ve been built 30 years ago. How do buses help when the roads are already gridlocked? At some point someone has got to realize when it’s enough. Yet we still have voices telling us there should be more density. Restons roads and mass transit can’t handle what we have today. What’s going to happen with just completion of what’s under construction now? Yet there are people that want more. In my 30 years living in Reston as a working adult I never had a job in Reston. I never had a job that I could take mass transit too. I am not an anomaly in this. Reston will always have vastly more commuters than not. Yet the powers that be are continually making commuting harder, with no end in sight. None of this takes into account the current building at RTC and the plans for further build out there. When will it be enough?

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