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Developer Seeks Rezoning for More Wiehle-Area Housing

by Karen Goff April 1, 2015 at 3:00 pm 1,755 23 Comments

1825 Michael Faraday Drive

Pulte Home Corp. has filed an application with Fairfax County to replace an office building at 1825 Michael Faraday Dr. in Reston with multi-family housing in walking distance to the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station.

Pulte intends to build 42 stacked “two-over-two” townhome-style residences on the site, which is less than a quarter mile from Wiehle-Reston East.

The Michael Faraday location is surrounded by other office buildings, but is just past the office building at 1831 Wiehle Ave., where developer JBG is seeking to rezone an office building and construct 504 multifamily residential units and up to 61,000 square feet of retail.

Also nearby, the 540-unit BLVD Apartments are nearly completed, and Bozzuto is planning to build 421 apartments in the 11400 block of Sunset Hills Road, where a mini-storage facility now sits across the street from Wiehle-Reston East.

The Pulte project would need to rezone the 1.58-acre parcel from the I-4, Medium Intensity Industrial to R-30 residential district. As part of the rezoning, Pulte is asking to modify the minimum R-30 district size from three to 1.58 acres to allow the “infill” project.

Pulte is also asking for waivers on the minimum front and side yard sizes (from 20 to 10 feet) and the amount of open space (from 40 percent to 23 percent).

The existing 11,000-square foot, one-story building has been owned by the Hardwood, Plywood & Veneer Association since 1976. Pulte would have to own the property before rezoning, and likely has a contract to buy conditional on the rezoning, commercial real estate sources said.

“The proposed development will replace a single-story office building with attractive and high-quality facades, enhance the mix of uses desired near the Wiehle Avenue East Metro Station, and facilitate the planned grid of streets for the Transit Station Area,” states the Pulte’s rezoning document.

Pulte’s plan includes residences that will be “distributed in two rows oriented east-west to align with the future grid of streets, with a central private street to provide access to the rear of the units.”

The plan will take advantage of additional pedestrian and vehicular access on new streets planned for the surrounding area. It also calls for eight-foot wide sidewalks and a pocket park in the northeast corner of the site.

Pulte says that because the other new construction planned for Wiehle-Reston East is high-rise buildings, offering townhomes will serve a broader segment of housing needs.

Photo: 1825 Michael Faraday Dr. in Reston is currently an office building.

  • Robert Mowbray

    What impact, if any, will this have on tree cover?

    • JCSuperstar

      Your cracking an April Fools Day line…right?

  • Melissa Helmick

    WHEN will the County Board say enough is enough? Our roads are crammed with traffic and parking spaces are all but obliterated by 9 a.m. every work day. Please consider joining Rescue Reston and support our community to maintain our quality of living.

    • Rational Reston

      Is Rescue Reston going to turn into an organization to oppose any development or modernization? I support the golf course stance, but this isn’t something that appears to cause harm, unless there’s a fraction of people who bought a nearby home with the understanding that a 1980s-ish office building would forever be in their view.

      • Mike M

        She has a point about the need for road adjustments. Pedestrian access needs the attention it never got as well.

      • Chuck Morningwood

        So, RR, adding more people with more cars to Reston is a good thing?

        • Rational Reston

          42 homes, that’s probably a maximum of 100 cars. The range will likely be between 60 to 85. Does that make a difference? And it is within walking distance of Metro, so it will not contribute to any Metro parking or driving issues.

          Also the article plainly states:

          “Pulte’s plan includes residences that will be “distributed in two rows oriented east-west to align with the future grid of streets, with a central private street to provide access to the rear of the units.”

          The plan will take advantage of additional pedestrian and vehicular access on new streets planned for the surrounding area. It also calls for eight-foot wide sidewalks and a pocket park in the northeast corner of the site.”

          So there will be new roads in that area AND improved pedestrian access.

          All of the instant knee-jerk reactions of Reston appear to have been addressed before anyone reacted.

        • Ming the Merciless

          It is an inevitable thing. Baked in the cake with the arrival of the metro.

    • Melissa

      I just recently joined Rescue Reston so I cannot say what they are going to oppose. I am trying to learn ways to become involved in our community to maintain a community feel not a high rise feel like Tysons Corner. I am not delusional thanks and did think businesses would clearly want to be a part of this area however adding thousands more people in each high rise without (so it appears) consideration for traffic and parking seems a bit short sighted. However if we were to add more lanes, more parking, then we come full circle again and have a community of high rises and paved roads. It’s great to welcome more residents and businesses to Reston; I am thinking there is a fine line between being at the top of the apex and slipping downward?…

      • JCSuperstar

        It’s apparent Rescue Reston is not rescuing Reston, rather, just the golf course. It’s a worthy cause, but short sighted in my opinion, if only focused on one parcel in the entire community.

        • Melissa

          I guess I will learn more about all they do as I volunteer with them.

      • Ming the Merciless

        They are not building high rises here, so your complaints are wide of the mark.

      • ReadTheTaxRecord

        None of these high rises contain “1000’s” of people, even the largest of the RTC condos, the Mercer contains 370 max.

        • Melissa

          There are only 370 people who live in the Mercer condos?? I was assuming more than one person lived in each dwelling so thanks for correcting my numbers…….

  • RestonResident

    What did you think was going to happen when the Metro came to Reston? I agree that changing a golf course to houses is too far, but anyone that thinks that developers are going to pass on turning every parcel of land into a home or a high rise is delusional.

  • Rational Reston

    Turning a lousy dated looking office building into housing within walking distance of a Metro station? What a radical idea.

    It’s an improvement.

  • shaman

    Pave paradise……etc. As it is the over development of Reston has produced more storm/rainwater run off to drains and totally destroyed the small streams that fed a lake just below the Lake Anne Dam. The lake is gone………scrub brush has taken over. Once there were beavers and heron, fish and fishermen. Oh, the lake fed the marshland just above Lake Fairfax. Guess that’s gone now too. Glad I moved away and I can watch bald eagles from my back deck flying over Bull Run.

    • Adam Petersen

      New construction has to abide by very strict storm water guidelines which didnt exist 10 years ago. When the existing buildings were constructed storm water management wasn’t even a dot on the radar.

      • shaman

        Thanks for the update. Too late for the lake and marsh.

    • RestonResident

      If you moved, why do you still read Reston Now? Seems like buyers remorse to me.

      • shaman

        Nope. ‘Reston Now’ comes up on my companies daily newsletter.
        Not a -whit- of buyer’s remorse!

  • GravyBoat

    If they don’t make it section 8 housing I guess I could live with it

  • Michael P. McHugh

    She has a point about the need for road adjustments. Pedestrian access needs the attention it never got as well.

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