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Lake Anne Revitalization May Finally Get Go-Ahead

by Karen Goff — March 2, 2015 at 3:00 pm 11 Comments

After years of community discussion, a few months of tweaks to the plan and a snow delay, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is finally set to approve Lake Anne Development Partners’ vision for Crescent Apartments and the Lake Anne Plaza area.

The Board of Supervisors will vote on several LADP-related items at its meeting on Tuesday. Approval will mean the massive overhaul — which is slated to add more than 1,000 residences to where the 181-unit, county owned Crescent Apartments stands today. The votes were deferred from the supervisors’ Feb. 17 meeting due to a snowstorm that day that may have prevented people from attending the public hearing.

LADP’s plan also calls for 78,000 square feet of office space and 58,000 square feet of retail space, a modest-sized grocery store and realignment of Village Road. The project will also have a 1.1-acre central park, an outdoor amphitheater, a bike share station and 12 public art works, according to the project’s county staff report.

The interior section of Lake Anne Plaza, Reston’s original village center, has historic designation and will not be altered. However, developers hope the increased density and revitalization of the surrounding area will draw retailers and people to the plaza.

The project was recommended for approval earlier this year by the Fairfax County Planning Commission. The Board of Supervisors held public hearings on the project last month, where they were reminded to remember the residents of Crescent who count on affordable housing.

As part of its agreement with the county, Lake Anne Development Partners must provide 185 replacement affordable apartments and designate 20 percent of the other units as affordable and workforce housing.

LADP was chosen by the county in 2013 to redevelop the aging Crescent Apartments, which was purchased by the county for $49.5 million in 2006 for use as affordable housing.

Among the specifics the supervisors will be voting on at Tuesday’s meeting:

A reduction in parkingLADP requested to reduce by nearly 500 (18 percent) the number of parking spots in the Crescent area.

LADP says Crescent redevelopment is being planned in a more urban style, so it should not have to meet suburban standards and that the project has proffered a comprehensive transportation plan with specific goals and strategies targeted to reduce auto ownership among future residents as well as reducing parking supply. The project has proffered an overall 25-percent trip reduction goal for the resident and office users, which corresponds to a strategy that reduces the parking supply, acccording to county documents.

There will still be 2,167 total spaces when the project is fully developed, says LADP. That includes hundreds of garage spaces for Crescent residents and a 120-space parking garage to be built on a parcel of land adjacent to the current Lake Anne Plaza. That land, formerly owned by Reston Association, was the subject of a controversial land swap in late 2o13.

Land issues. The Supervisors will vote on the agreement for the 99-year ground lease by the county of the site for the replacement affordable units; the conveyance of the remaining approximately 1.2 acre portion of County owned land to Reston Association, who will in turn convey approximately 1.04 acres of adjacent land to LADP to facilitate the project (this is the final ruling on the 2013 land swap). Read more specifics in the Supervisors Agenda Package.

Earlier this year, LADP met county development conditions by agreeing to increase its contribution to the Fairfax County Park Authority from $100,000 to $500,000.

Renderings courtesy of LADP

  • Chuck Morningwood

    Something doesn’t smell right. If the county owns 181 units, why would LADP need to provide 185 replacement units?

    I suppose that doesn’t really matter, though. The four extra low-income units is pretty much dwarfed by the additional 160 low income units.

    • FULL TIME BOJANGLER

      Because, Chuck, more low income housing is better. Instant slums.

    • Greg

      And it means more votes for the lefties.

      • Typical Conservative

        Facts mean nothing to me.

  • JoeInReston

    The 18% reduction in parking is a concern. Despite pretending otherwise, Reston is not DC. We don’t have various metro lines running around the area. We have one metro stop in Reston that only goes east. Additionally, the area around the new metro stops has not been built up. Reston is still a suburban car community.

    The “comprehensive transportation plan with specific goals and strategies targeted to reduce auto ownership among future residents as well as reducing parking supply” – what exactly does it entail?

    • Karen Goff

      There will still be more than 2,000 parking spots in the new Crescent. Here is more info from a previous story. https://www.restonnow.com/2015/02/02/supervisors-considering-less-parking-for-lake-anne-project/

      • JoeInReston

        The link was short of specifics with a lot of circular logic – parking reductions will benefit the community because of the benefits of limited parking. It doesn’t explain the exact strategies that will help people make do without cars.

        We are living in a suburb that requires the use of a car, based on the design and layout of the area. The powers that be would like a more urban environment with increased walkability. However, you can’t get from A to B by simply removing the cars from the suburb and expect magic to happen. More changes are needed in the design to get from A to B.

        There will either be a ton of overflow street parking, or if that is made illegal, a lack of demand for these apartments.

    • The choices are simple: take a step forward or fall back further! This will create a dramatic change for Lake Anne perhaps taking it back to the late 1960s when I first visited. And the JBG development at Fairway Apartments will add people, energy and money to Lake Anne. The cost of maintaining Lake Anne will
      receive a shot in the arm and we will see lower HOA and condo fees which will enhance the value of homes around the Plaza and lake.
      For the first time in generations the prospects for Lake Anne
      look bright…and if this were not so the developers would not be riskinghundreds of millions on the idea.

      • JoeInReston

        Step forward being the key. Removing parking is a 10 step leap which requires improving the area onto which you leaping towards. What is being done to help residents make do without a car?

  • FULL TIME BOJANGLER

    It already is a ghetto for the most part . Stabbings have occurred. There is so much loitering. Its scary.

    • comfortinmycar

      Haven’t been back to lake anne restaurants for 2 years. We were followed to our car last time by a couple of teens demanding $20.00!

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