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JBG Plans New Retail, Dining Destination Close to Metro

by Karen Goff — January 26, 2015 at 9:00 am 2,578 16 Comments

Developer JBG Companies is planning a new development at Sunset Hills and Reston Parkway that will bring Reston Town Center-type amenities closer to where the future Reston Parkway Metro Station will be located.

The developer is seeking a special exception in order to add retail, restaurant and food stores to the 13-acre site that currently houses three office buildings.

The new development will be called RTC West. The area is bordered by the W & OD Trail on the side of Reston Town Center, Town Center Parkway, Sunset Hills Road and the complex that currently houses Chipotle, Potbelly, Chick-fil-A, Carrabba’s and Extended Stay America.

“The development vision includes the upgrade of the first one or two floors within the office buildings to be more suitable to retail uses, and extensions of the retail program in specific areas of the site,” says JBG materials included in a Fairfax County Planning Commission Staff Report.

“This development will transform RTC West into a retail destination with a vibrant pedestrian-friendly environment to complement the existing office components.”

JBG’s application to the planning commission says the project will have 40,100 total square feet of retail stores, eating establishments, quick service food stores, and fast food restaurants.

JBG says it plans to convert 15,100 square feet of office space to retail/restaurant space and add 25,000 square feet of new retail/restaurant space (on the southwest corner of the site) within an existing office campus on three parcels. JBG says it will convert the first two floors of each building to turn office in to retail.

The plan includes:

Connecting an existing walkway to the adjacent trails along the public roadways and adding two new crosswalks across Town Center Parkway, as well as connecting the development to the W & OD trail, which runs on the northern part of the property. One development condition for JBG is working with the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority (NVRPA) and Dominion Virginia Power to establish an easement for a pedestrian connection between the site and the W&OD trail.

Adding 1,538 parking spaces to the current 1,600 that already exist.

Leaving 15 percent open space (90,000 square feet) as per zoning requirements.

Closing the existing exit-only driveway on Town Center Parkway and to construct new signalized access point about 440 feet north of the intersection at Sunset Hills Road. Constructing an entrance in this location will require the relocation or closure of an existing entrance for the property across Town Center Parkway to avoid an unsafe intersection, JBG says. JBG will have to work out an agreement with Boston Properties, which owns that parcel, as a condition of development.

Other development conditions in the county staff report:

More road improvements, including a new turning lane on Reston Parkway, and pedestrian improvements.

Attention to keeping existing trees and planting new ones and meeting underground stormwater management standards.

See the entire staff report on the Fairfax County Planning website.

The plan will go before the Fairfax County Planning Commission in a public hearing Feb. 4.

  • Greg

    Excellent idea. I used to work in that complex. Entrance and, especially, leaving was challenging at best. I am sure we were trespassing, and perhaps irradiating our bodies, but we used to walk under the power lines to get to RTC.

    It sure would be nice of those ugly power towers were buried and the nearby trailer park owned and run by RA were eliminated.

    I am surprised no housing planned at RTC West? It’s just steps from the future metro stop, no?

    • GB

      Agreed. There should be housing here.

    • Sean

      It is not a trailer park. It is an RV/boat storage area. One cannot keep such things at their home in Reston.

  • RestonRed

    I’m not opposed to redeveloping this parcel, but a few concerns:
    1) another stoplight on town center parkway between Sunset Hills & Bluemont Way? That is ridiculous–very short distance. It will just contribute to more backups on Bluemont Way–people leaving the Town Center, especially the garage at VeriSign with everyone turning left on Bluemont, then left on Town Center Pkwy, then right on Sunset Hills.
    2) Any new development between the Town Center north of the toll road and maybe South Lakes Drive south of the Toll Road needs to contribute proffer money to build another Toll Road crossing (over or under). This would not be a toll road entry/exit, but simply a pass through. This is desperately needed with the backups on Reston Parkway and Fairfax County Parkway both north/south at rush hour. Any new development that will bring people to this area needs to contribute. I am also thinking of the proposed changes to the area where the Reston Sheraton/Westin/Chilis is south of the Toll Road. That area is already super backed up a rush hour.
    Development will come, but we’ve got to build another crossing for the north/south commute.

    • Greg

      Good points. If another stoplight is needed, should it not be on Sunset Hills at the main entrance to this property?

      I believe there are plans for toll road crossings at Edmund Halley / Town Center and some sort of extension of Soapstone to the toll road. Neither of these are inexpensive shoe-horned-in solutions, though, and are needed now before much more of any development arrives.

      I would also like to add that these roads need to be repaved. Town Center and where it extends as Bennington Woods are becoming crater-infested. The patches on the patches last no more than a few weeks especially at this time of year.

      • Resident

        You’re right that there is a Toll Road underpass planned for Town Center Parkway. It will simply be extended under the Toll Road and connect to Edmund Halley. The same goes for Soapstone connector. Soapstone will be extended over the Toll Road and connect to Sunset Hills at the Dominion VA substation adjacent to the golf course:

        http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpz/comprehensiveplan/area3/upperpotomac.pdf#page=86

        The good question is, is JBG, as part of this application, proffering any money or land towards this Town Center Parkway underpass of the Toll Road?

  • Tammi Petrine

    How is it possible that this significant development is being publicly announced on Jan 26 and already going to P & Z on Feb. 4th!!! That’s lightening fast, no?

    It would be nice to give folks a little time to consider the impacts! I know we are just the people who have lived here for 40 years but don’t we deserve a little more notice given that our community is becoming grid-locked and difficult to navigate? This does affect our property values and quality of life.

    Thank you.

    • GreenVillage
    • Greg

      Hudgins claims she send an email containing this sort of information to her constituents who request it. HOWEVER, if one is not a Democrat, she purges one’s name from her list. Even after asking to be restored, she failed to do so.

    • Vina Hutchinson

      It’s already grid-locked and difficult to navigate, so I do understand the concerns about it becoming even more so. I live near Lake Anne School and used to work over on Association Drive, and it is ridiculous that drive could take up to 45 minutes some morning. Afternoons were not much better with the bottleneck around Colt’s Neck Road area. I can’t even imagine how the proposed development right around in that area will impact traffic that already slowly rolls along at rush hour.

  • Vina Hutchinson

    It surprises me that people in Reston seemingly did not stop to consider the impact the Metro would have on development. It’s almost as if some people thought it was being for “Restonians” (however *that* is defined, maybe by property taxes) only and everyone else should stay the hell out.

    • Greg

      “Restonians” apparently rarely venture far, change infrequently, and fail to see that there are better alternatives. They believe their 50-year-old quiet, but dysfunctional, HVAC (HAZMAT?) system, Brutalist eyesore architecture, and dilapidated and commerce-starved village centers should be preserved as important history. Their liberal supervisors and RA Directors, meanwhile, see the development as additional tax/assessment dollars to feed their pet projects — typically social housing for six-figure wage earners, pay raises for their part-time jobs, and yet more expensive “amenities” that are neither needed nor wanted.

    • Tammi Petrine

      Vina, you are kidding, right? Reston as a community could not have stopped Metro if they had wanted!

      Community leaders knew that and worked with county officials for more than 5 YEARS to make the new development as good as it could be or so we thought. The Task Force appointed by our supervisor was weighted heavily by developer interests so reasonable standards suggested by community thinkers (who gave up 5 years of their lives for the good of all and absolutely zero compensation) were roundly dismissed. (Those representing developer interests on Task Force will walk away with fat wallets when their projects are approved.)

      In fact, the county supervisors approved a plan highly advantageous to development knowing that there is NO money for proper transportation improvements and devoid of needed recreation facilities. To add insult to injury, county rec officials skated on their cheap-out by saying RA (privately owned and funded HOA) had a ‘rich tapestry’ of amenities close by that new residents and non-RA members could use!!!

      The county was begged by citizens to phase development with building of necessary infrastructure and to allow a coordinating entity which would control proffer $ to keep it in Reston and timing/priority of development and improvements so existing town and the Reston life-style would not be destroyed. NO DICE there either.

      Now a greedy insurance co. is trying to take our public golf course/ permanent open space and convert that space to dense housing? And you say Restonians are selfish and want others “to stay the hell out”?

      No, ma’am, Vina. Restonians are in shell shock and trying their damndest to protect what little will be left of their beloved ‘planned community’ and highest tax producing district in the entire county if someone does not grow a brain and slow down the destruction express!

      PS: Reston was planned 50 years ago to include all races, religions, economic groups, ages, etc. living together in harmony. We are welcoming to newcomers. We are also organized, smart and passionate about protecting our homes and community.

      Reston Residents: Phase 2 last and final public meeting is Thursday, 1.29.15 at 7PM at LA RCC. Come to have your say on protecting the residential and Village Center parts of Reston. This the last chance to protect OUR part of the community and demand some say in our neighborhoods and VC’s.

      • Mike M

        Tammi, nothing new here. Reston has been targeted as a free-fire zone for developers for more than decade. No one who zombies ito the polls every two years and votes for the same Democratic candidates should complain. They are behaving just like the GOP would, and did. But if the candidates got voted out for these performance issues, the problem would become tractable. It is the only way!

      • Vina Hutchinson

        I’ve not lived here that long, but I do wonder why Reston hasn’t fought for status as an independent city. Surely the tax base is here for Reston to support itself, and then Reston could have strictly controlled the development within its borders. Tammi, I do understand that Reston could not have stopped the Metro, and the Metro is a good addition for Reston, but sadly, along with the Metro, comes the over-development that goes along with it. As for Reston welcoming to newcomers, I’d say my personal jury is still out on that. But maybe that’s just the Lake Anne area that is less welcoming, and other neighborhoods are different.

        • Tammi Petrine

          I am so sorry that you have experienced unfriendly folks… But to your point about creating an independent ‘city’, there are a lot of folks who are also beyond frustrated and talking about creating some type of municipality. When that gets rolling, please join that group. There are tons of cool people who live in Reston! Thanks for your comment!

          PS: Sign up for the Reston 2020 blog if you are interested in keeping up with events re: development and important Reston news. reston2020.blogspot.com or just Google ‘Reston 2020.’ Tons of info there, all indexed.

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