RA Will Answer Tetra Questions at Community Meeting

by Karen Goff April 8, 2015 at 3:00 pm 25 Comments

Tetra building Reston Association will hold a community meeting on Tuesday, April 21 (6 p.m. at Brown’s Chapel) to answer questions about the planned purchase of the Tetra Building.

RA announced in January it wants to purchase the building at 11450 Baron Cameron Ave. The 3.48-acre property, which features a 3,128-square-foot-building and parking, sits on Lake Newport and served for 20 years as Reston’s Visitors Center.

The 32-year-old building is currently owned by Tetra Partners, a commercial real estate company, as serves as its office space. It is currently zoned convenience center and an addition of more than 6,900 square feet would be permitted to be added if a business bought it.

RA wants to use the building for community and recreational space in general and camp programs, after school care and classroom space in particular. It also forecasts revenue of more than $100,000 annually from event rentals such as weddings, parties and corporate retreats.

RA has put in a conditional contract on the property for up to $2.65 million, but the price could change based on repairs (including a new HVAC, roof and water damage) that need to be done per a recent inspection.

Fairfax County’s most recent tax assessment values the land and building at $1.2 million. RA says in its fact sheet on the purchase that the assessment is different than an appraisal value of $2.65 million, which looks at the “highest and best use of the property.”

The purchase plan needs votes from a member referendum to proceed. The referendum begins April 13 and will run through May 8.

At the meeting, RA staff will address current zoning of the site vs. RA preferred zoning; potential community recreational uses and interior renovations; conditional contract and appraisals; and the building condition based on property inspections, both from Criterium Engineers and RA Covenants administration.

RA members will have a chance to vote on the referendum at the meeting.

Meanwhile, RA has added more information on the building to its Tetra page on the RA website. Among the new files: zoning information, Criterium Engineering’s property condition report, and renderings of past restaurant proposal, which features a large addition overlooking Lake Newport.

Also, a group of Tetra purchase opponents have started a blog called Say No To Tetra and a Twitter feed StopTetraNow!

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