County Planning Commission Votes in Favor of RTC West

The Fairfax County Planning Commission voted on Wednesday to recommend JBG’s RTC West project for approval. RTC West will bring 40,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space to what is currently an office park off of Sunset Hills Road close to the future Reston Town Center Metro station.

The planning commission held a public hearing on the project three weeks ago, but deferred decision. There was no significant opposition, but the developer had to agree to many conditions, mostly to add traffic and pedestrian access.

There may be more development at the site years down the road, however.

“This is what I call an ‘interim development’ of this site,” said Frank de la Fe, the planning commission’s Hunter Mill representative. “In the future, I am sure we will be seeing [the location] with new redevelopment under the new [Reston] Master Plan.”

“This makes sure what is being done in the interim meets current needs in marketplace without negatively affecting what we envision in master plan for this site,” said de le Fe.

A January county staff report recommended approval for RTC West, provided transportation conditions were met.

The 13-acre site currently houses three office buildings. Much of the development will convert the first two floors of the office buildings.

JBG’s 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). The planning commission approved outdoor restaurant seating for the complex.

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 the staff report.

Some of the transportation conditions:

Connecting an existing walkway to the adjacent trails along the public roadways and adding two new crosswalks across Town Center Parkway.

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.

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.

Two new crosswalks across Town Center Parkway at a new access point.

A new turning lane on Reston Parkway.

The project now moves on to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors for final approval.

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

Photo: Rendering of RTC West/Credit: JBG

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