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RA Estimates $122K Annually From Tetra Rentals, Programs

by Karen Goff April 3, 2015 at 4:20 pm 21 Comments

Tetra building Reston Association is expecting the repurposed Tetra building will bring in about $122,000 of revenue annually from rentals.

The association has put in a conditional purchase contract on the 3.48 acre property for up to $2.65 million. The 3,128-square-foot building, which served as Reston’s Visitors Center for 20 years, has been the offices of its owner, Tetra Partners commercial real estate, since 2003.

RA members will be asked to vote in a referendum in order for the contract to go forward. The referendum, which will ask is RA should go forward with the purchase of the building at 11450 Baron Cameron Ave.; renovate and repurpose the existing building and land for community and recreation program uses; and, borrow up to $2.6 million for the purchase.

The referendum starts April 13 and runs through May 8. The results will announced May 11. The referendum needs votes from 1,751 households (10 percent of eligible households) to be valid.

RA officials said one reason for the purchase is to add indoor recreational and community use space to RA’s offerings. The association currently has conference rooms at its headquarters at 12001 Sunrise Valley Dr., Walker Nature Education Center, and Brown’s Chapel (limited use) for indoor usage.

“RA’s current year-round indoor programming spaces are limited,” RA President Ken Knueven said at the South Lakes District Meeting last week. “RA staff believes there are many opportunities to conduct a variety of community based programs for all ages at the property, in the building and on the grounds. By keeping the existing building foot print and reconfiguring the building’s interior, RA would have the ability to provide a venue for instructional, art, health and wellness programs and events.

“In addition, the space will offer an attractive venue for corporate and event rentals, as appropriate in a residential neighborhood. ”

RA says it will put hourly use limitations in place “so as to mitigate possible noise pollution to the surrounding neighborhoods during weekday and weekend evenings.”

RA says it will ask members what programs they would like to see added at the new building, should they acquire it.

Meanwhile, with some basic usage categories in mind, RA staff has developed “a conservative rental and programming plan” to project potential revenues from the use of property, which could include:

  • Youth holiday and break. Full-day program for three weeks serving 30 children — $17,850
  • After camp child care — $4,700
  • After school programming for 30 children for the full school year — $46,900
  • General programming for children, family, seniors and one-time programs — $4,055
  • Instructional & educational programming for all ages — $15,100
  • Corporate/community rentals, 65 annually, 2-hour minimum — $8,500
  • Weddings and Celebrations, 15 weddings or celebrations in key months May/June, September/October — $25,500

See more income and expense forecasts for the building on the updated Tetra Fact Sheet on RA’s website.

  • John Farrell

    How much of the $122,000 is new income? Versus moving existing programs from other locations to this site?

    • JCSuperstar

      You just don’t like those folks over at Reston Association, do you John?

      • John Farrell

        I like’em fine. It’s snake oil I dislike.

        • JCSuperstar

          Said the man who voted for candidate Chew.

          • JoeInReston

            John may have made a seemingly unwise vote for candidate Chew based on an incomplete view of the circumstances at the time – unaware of Chew’s second vote that occurred much later in a meeting that lasted over 5 hours with two long breaks in between – and you intend to dismiss every comment he says because of such vote? Lame…

          • JCSuperstar

            Nope, not lame. As I stated, it appears he just doesn’t like those folks over there at RA. Based on all the Op-eds, comments and posts here he seems to hold some sort of open animosity towards them. But, I prefer not to talk about John in third person.

          • Reston Realist

            At least you’re not talking behind his back . . . and he’s WATCHING YOU!


      The whole thing is based on magical thinking. Pure speculation.

      • JCSuperstar

        Said the man who voted for candidate Chew.

        • JCSuperstar

          Sorry BO…typing fast, meant to reply to JF.

  • David

    So this is revenue, but how much will it cost to get that revenue? For example, “After school programming for 30 children for the full school year — $46,900.” You would need a couple of staff for that. How much will their salary and benefits cost? Will the revenue even cover the cost?

    • Greg

      I think the revenue is for use of the building (rent). Not total revenue for the program.

  • ConcernedDuesPayer

    The numbers on the fact sheet seem a bit cooked to make things look better…

    What happens if the 650,000 from the developer doesn’t manifest itself?

    Why aren’t the potential costs associated with the initial inspection report factored into the financials?

    How is 50% of first year income from after schools programs going to be recognized when the facility doesn’t open until July?

    Why is adding 1 single acre to green space considered to be a major selling point? Does that acre really offset the greenspace requirements needed for population growth?

    Selling point: “Reston’s current indoor year-round indoor programming spaces are limited”: yes, that’s because we have to obey the laws of arithmetic: there are 25 spaces, therefore spaces are limited to 25. If we add 2 spaces, there will be a limit of 27.

    Why bother with a statement that the cost per member doesn’t include the potentially 600 new residents, that 600 only changes the values by 0.12? This is a tactic to make the numbers to look . This will never be a revenue generating piece of property. This IS going to cost members money on an ongoing basis and the dues are going to raise.

    Here is a for sure statement: If RA does not buy the property, teh the cost of buying the property will not be reflected in our dues.

    Why is it that I have heard more than a dozen times in my lifetime that “this something or other is a once in a lifetime opportunity”?

    • Greg

      Reston’s Indoor programming spaces are far from limited, and those that are present are far from well used. The RA “conference center” is vacant most of the time. Same for the Lake Anne RCC space. The Glade Room (dump that it is) is often vacant. Brown’s Chapel sits vacant most of the time.

      And, of course, there is no probability attached to any of these revenues and not a penny of cost allocated to any of them. None of those imagined revenues will come without substantial costs, many of which are fixed.

      Let’s not forget that there are plenty of private / commercial Reston and nearby indoor rec spaces available — all of which are crying out for visitors. Not to mention a plan for a grand county / government rec center in a very valuable piece of central-Reston property just a few blocks from this Tetra property. How will this affect the Tetra property for whatever use RA may envision?

      Hudgins just built a grand new palace with yet more community space. How will that affect the Tetra property?

      There’s lots of talk about a (dire need for a) new Reston library with still more rec space. How will this affect the Tetra property.

      The Southgate community center is underused.

      The Tetra building is is a dilapidated distressed property passed over by every other commercial entity. It’s remained unsold for more than a decade, It’s in an undesirable location deep within a high-end residential setting sited atop a flood spillway and is highly unfit for these so-called (and imagined) unmet needs in Reston.

  • JCSuperstar

    Let it just go it’s natural course.


    • edgyone

      If that is your fear then please explain what the plan is to turn lake newport into the hottest destination in NOVA? Are you going to build a marina there?

  • Ming the Merciless

    RA will plant more trees and shrubs as well as explore the feasibility of increasing greenspace on the parcel by reducing impervious surfaces (parking)

    It’s going to be a really great and often rented community facility… with hardly any parking. Just what you want in a wedding venue!

    What a load of baloney all their talk about “greenspace” is.

  • JCSuperstar
    • edgyone

      Why are you so in favor of this? The property is valued at 1.25 million by the county, do you believe the owner gets a 50% discount? Or are you on the receiving end of the money?

  • Reston Realist

    What the somewhat overcooked pro forma “fact sheet” shows is that this facility will lose money every year it operates. Extrapolated from its five-year projection and using RA’s own assumptions that virtually all the revenues and expenses will grow at 3% per year, that means AT LEAST 20 YEARS OF GROWING LOSSES–the minimum time it will take RA to pay of the $2.65 million it plans to borrow to pay for this boondoggle.

    Come on, don’t swallow RA’s propaganda whole! This will cost Restonians hundreds of dollars per household over the next two decades and more.

  • Wings!

    I think this would be a great location for a delightfully tacky yet unrefined, Hooters.


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