Fairfax Park Authority OKs Reston Land Deal

Map of Reston Town Green area/Courtesy Fairfax County Park Authority

The Fairfax County Park Authority unanimously voted on Wednesday in favor of a land deal that will clear the way for an indoor recreation center and other community space at the area known as Town Center North.

The deal involves a land swap between the county, the park authority and Inova. The park authority is giving a plot of land back to the Board of Supervisors in consideration for a 2.6-acre urban Central Green. It also provides the park authority’s commitment to the plan for a 90,000-square-foot indoor recreation center, as well as “other items for consideration that may be advantageous to the Park Authority mission.”

The recreation center will be just one feature in the the 47-acre Reston Town Center North area bounded by Baron Cameron Avenue, Fountain Drive, Town Center Parkway and Bowman Towne Drive.

Speaking in favor of the plan at Wednesday’s park authority board meeting were Reston Community Center Executive Director Leila Gordon and Reston Association Senior Director of Parks and Recreation Larry Butler.

Park Authority Board Chair Bill Bouie says a first proposal for the space should be assessed by the park authority by the end of the year.

“From that point, we will have a better idea of timing and what is contained in that first proposal,” he said in an email. “In the meantime, we will have discussions on the board next Spring about what is contained in the Bond package in 2016 relating to all capital programs. ”

The exact cost of building the rec center, which would likely contain a 50-meter indoor pool, is not yet known. However, studies done in the last two years by Reston Community Center, which looked into building a smaller facility at Baron Cameron Park, estimated the cost of that building at $35 million. The Town Center North facility is likely to cost much more.

Bouie has said the rec center would primarily be funded with bonds. There are two upcoming bonds to be voted on — an $87.7 million bond to be put to voters in 2016 and an $88 million bond on the ballot in 2020, said Bouie. He added the park authority would seek developer proffers to help pay for the facility. Typical proffers are around $800 per residential unit, he said.

Photo: Map of Reston Town Green area/Courtesy Fairfax County Park Authority

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