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Comstock May Get Naming Rights on Tetra Building

by Karen Goff — May 14, 2015 at 9:00 am 69 Comments

Comstock's BLVD Apartments

Are you ready to attend a party at the Comstock Center on the banks of Lake Newport?

That could be the name of the former Reston Visitors Center, commonly referred to as the Tetra building, according to terms of the deal to add BLVD Apartments to RA.

Reston Association members recently approved by referendum the purchase of the Lake Newport-area building from Tetra Partners commercial real estate for $2.65 million.

RA announced earlier that it would be getting a $650,000 contribution from Comstock Partners as part of the deal to add the 540-unit BLVD Apartments to the association.

As part of the terms of that deal, Comstock will have naming rights to the Tetra building for 10 years, RA says.

Some of the terms of the deal, which are open for a discussion at the first of two public hearings on May 28 at 6 p.m. at RA headquarters, 12001 Sunrise Valley Dr.:

RA will be paid $300,000 (as required by Fairfax County proffer for recreation), as well as an additional $350,000, which will be used in the refurbishment of the Tetra property. Comstock will get certain building naming rights for a period of 10 years, RA said.

The offer of RA recreational packages for purchase by tenants of the apartment units at a fee annually established by the RA Board of Directors.

Comstock will market the RA recreational packages to its tenants.

At such time the apartment units are converted to condominiums, the payment of a certain percentage of the RA annual assessment rate.

In fulfillment of additional county proffer requirements, RA will be responsible for the administration and staffing of the design review process in coordination with Comstock and, under the direction an Urban Redevelopment Review Panel, responsible for administering design guidelines for the area. Reston Association will be paid an annual fee for such services by Comstock.

The RA Board of Directors voted in March to start the process to add BLVD, which will have one-, two- and three-bedroom luxury units at Reston Station, adjacent to the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station. BLVD is expected to begin leasing later this year.

Under RA Bylaws, properties can be added to the association with written consent of fee simple owner (in this case, Comstock Properties) and a two-thirds vote of the board.

The Board of Directors passed a motion several years ago to make adding new construction in Reston a priority for the association. Properties within Reston Town Center are not in RA territory.

New buildings such as The Harrison, which recently opened on Reston Parkway, and BLVD, as well as planned new and replacement construction at the Crescent Apartments site, are slated to be RA members.

The second hearing will be held June 25.

Photo: BLVD Apartments/file photo

  • JCSuperstar

    As is pointed out — entities within the Corridor do not have to belong to RA. The fact that RA is getting anything from the developers demonstrates good collaboration by both sides.

    “While inclusion in Reston Community Center services is a given due to the geography of small district 5, membership in Reston Association is not a given and should be encouraged. This will help achieve the goal of reintegration in a seamless and coordinated way that helps to off-set impacts and meets the needs of new residents.”

    http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpz/projects/reston/phase1.htm

    • John Farrell

      Sorry, anonymous, the $1800 does not automatically go to FCPA. The Zoning Ordinance provides that It could go the the adjacent hoa, which would be RA, or it could go to RCC.

      FCPA can take that money and spend it anywhere in the County.

      At least if the $1800 went to RA or RCC it would benefit Reston.

      Or that used to be my view until RA’s recent misuse of those funds.

      Notice how this Comstock deal was kept secret (again) until the referendum was over.

      RA’s transparency is blinding.

      • JCSuperstar

        Actually, I was attempting to agree with you. The FCPA proffers go anywhere in the county, not RA.

        If you need to vent, do so to the County, not RA.

        As I understand RA doesn’t have enough park areas to take the $1800. Hence $1800 paid by developers within Reston, go elsewhere — no benefit, at all, to RA.

        • John Farrell

          Wrong again.

          At one point three years ago, I had added up over $10 million in recreation proffer money which RA had failed to even ask for.

          That was more than enough money to fully funded an in-door tennis facility; or make a vary big dent toward the cost of a 50 meter indoor pool; or light the 90′ field at Browns Chapel; or heat more of the RA pools; or repair and replace the dams on the 6 ponds RA maintains.

          If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

          In Tysons, even the office and commercial building make the recreational proffer. Why isn’t RA demanding the same treatment that the McLean Citizens Association gets?

          • JCSuperstar

            That’s a good question… they should. The county should not get first rights.

            But, at least it appears they [RA] are with Comstock.

          • John Farrell

            The people in McLean didn’t have to slap the developer’s name on the swimming pool.

          • JCSuperstar

            I get it. Geez.

          • John Farrell

            No, you don’t.

            Ad Hominem taunting people who post knowledgeably in their own names here while you cowardly spread misinformation and ideological cant anonymously doesn’t demonstrate how clever or special you are. It just reduces the quality of the life in Reston and the value of this blog.

          • JCSuperstar

            I’m sorry your having a bad day Mr. Farrell.

            It just seems every comment you provide is meant to deride and condescend.

            You certainly have a lot to say, you’re overly proud of your credentials, and your lifelong experiences solving all of what ails Reston. But just remember, in the world of blogging your comment is just an opinion, nothing more.

            If you want to turn this into an elitist forum, I suggest you go elsewhere and start a wiki.

            Aint free speech great!!
            JC

          • John Farrell

            Just the opposite, anonymous coward. It’s been a great day.

            The inability to distinguish correction of inane misinformation from derision accentuates the limitation of your perceptions and contributions here.

            The cumulative IQ of Reston diminishes with each of your feckless postings.

            But then responding to your insipidness is just feeding the trolls.

            I’m out, milksop.

          • JCSuperstar

            Again, sorry you feel that way. But, again, your response tends to make my point.

            Hope you have a great evening.

          • guest

            Amen!!! JC Superstar? Arrogant as hell and an idiot. Can you imagine the hubris of someone who views himself as “JC Superstar” and is anything but??? Butt maybe. What a fool!
            Thanks, Mr. Farrell.

          • JCSuperstar

            ….Everything’s Alright
            Try not to get worried
            Try not to turn on to
            Problems that upset you
            (oh) Don’t you know
            Everything’s alright…

            http://www.musicnotes.com/images/productimages/mtd/MN0110430.gif

          • RAmember2

            Well, we don’t know what else RA gave away to Comstock beyond the naming rights. And, of course, we won’t find out until it’s too late to do anything about it.

          • JCSuperstar

            I believe what RA is negotiating is described in the article above.

          • RAmember2

            It so much easier to pluck members’ pockets than it is to actually negotiate with the County or anyone else. RA’s inability to negotiate anything with anyone is evidenced by this stupid Tetra deal. Horrible, horrible deal for something we don’t need.

  • Ricky Spanish

    “Comstock will get certain building naming rights for a period of 10 years, RA said.”

    Certain building naming rights… Doesn’t have to mean the entire building…

    The Men’s Restroom, brought to you by Comstock, Comstock Water fountain, or Comstock Folding Entertainment Table….

    Just some ideas…

    • meh

      I think Hunters Woods needs to do some advertising to improve their image, maybe they can sponsor a urinal. “We don’t miss” – Hunters Woods Neighborhood Watch

  • Stop the Insanity

    “Financing the Purchase — To finance the purchase of the property the Association would obtain a loan from a local bank. In addition, the Association intends to use $650,000 from developer contributions to off-set expenses that will be incurred to renovate, repurpose and maintain the property once obtained.”

    Funny that wasn’t mentioned in the fact sheet. I wonder what other facts should have been included? Actually this seems like a good trade $350K for a small plaque. Heck, I would hang a banner across my house in Reston for $350K, if the DRB would approve it of course.

    • JCSuperstar

      Uhh, actually it was mentioned in the fact sheet.

      “Financing the Purchase — To finance the purchase of the property the Association would obtain a loan from a local bank. In addition, the Association intends to use $650,000 from developer contributions to off-set expenses that will be incurred to renovate, repurpose and maintain the property once obtained.”

      • Stop the Insanity

        JC, did you notice I included the same section from the so called “fact sheet” to make my point? I was referring to not mentioning the selling of the naming rights. If that is a condition of the proffer, shouldn’t that be disclosed to the RA membership?

        Maybe RA should sell the naming rights to the picnic areas and the Pony Barn for additional proffer money to cover the rest of the cost of the purchase. Not to mention the pools and tennis courts. All the bridges and tunnels along the pathways are also ripe for selling as billboard/advertising space.

        We agree in several areas, mainly that the owner should have placed the property on the open market and let demand set the price. If RA wanted to make a bid they should have done a referendum that was more open ended, not to buy at a fixed price but an authorization to pursue the purchase from the open market. If there were other entities interested there could have been a bidding contest which RA may or may not have won. If there wasn’t other interest, the purchase price may have been reduced to an appropriate level according to the market demand. That wasn’t in the best interest of the owner (get the most money for the property) or RA (guarantee the purchase by signing an exclusive deal) for their respective goals.

        • JCSuperstar

          Yup, RA should not have intervened, my point from day one — let markets prevail.

          But, this mob vendetta against the association seems to be misplaced.

          Just me sayin’

          Also, perhaps getting naming rights, etc., is something RA should do.

          • Stop the Insanity

            I don’t have a problem with RA being involved, they are technically part of the market. My problem is the exclusivity of the deal.

          • JCSuperstar

            Well, I believe the buyer and seller did what was within their rights. I didn’t like it either. But, if everyone here are so concerned about this, why the silence regarding RA spending so much money fighting (and possibly purchasing) the RNGC?

            Now there’s a community movement telling RA to intervene and allow a larger redevelopment at Tall Oaks.

            Maynard, and his minions, are fighting the expansion at St. Johns Woods.

            This community of “experts” is definitely fickle. No wonder we are the laughing stock with the likes of Lonney et al.

          • RAmember2

            If you don’t see the difference between Tetra and RNGC, you shouldn’t be commenting in this dialogue.

          • JCSuperstar

            There is no difference. RA intends to intervene, just like Tetra, and purchase the golf course (if legal fight fails). All in the name of protecting open spaces. That is huge!

          • Ming the Merciless

            There is a difference.

            1. Tetra is a worthless property and the RA massively overpaid for it. There was no competition for the sale; the developers were glad to let us suckers have it.

            2. RNGC is a very valuable property and the RA will face intense competition from the developers. If the RA wants to buy it then we better come with mucho dinero indeed.

          • JCSuperstar

            You make some very good points. You and I will have to agree to disagree regarding the Tetra property being worthless.

            But, this fight over RNGC is a big item, and very little attention being paid to it. What will the political will of that board be? Then, the community fighting for and against Tall Oaks.

          • Ming the Merciless

            Seems to me a LOT more people will care about RNGC than cared about Tetra. Like everyone whose house borders the course, to start with. Will the RA have the political will once they see the price tag? That is another question. But so long as the RA approaches that as dishonestly as they approached the Tetra purchase, they may well prevail.

          • FULL TIME BOJANGLER

            Ming,

            I don’t believe RNCG will be offered for sale. If the owners get what they need from the County, they will want to DEVELOP. For RR and RA to say, “oh we will just buy it” is silly.

          • Ming the Merciless

            It wouldn’t be a sale in the sense of “list it with RE/MAX and see who makes an offer.” However, if the owners got approved to develop the property, I am sure the owners would entertain an offer from the RA, and there is some price at which the owners would sell to the RA rather than proceed with development. Whether or not the RA is willing and able to pay that price – which would certainly be large – remains to be seen.

          • FULL TIME BOJANGLER

            Yes in theory that could be possible. But I have been told by a sales & marketing VP of a regional builder that they have first rights of refusal on building lots and that they are a development partner with Northwest Mutual. The engineering, development and sales & financing could be worth ???…..i don’t even know how much to guess? Tens of Millions …….hundreds of millions??

          • Terry Maynard

            BTJ–My understanding is that Northwestern Mutual doesn’t intend to develop RNGC itself, but plans instead to sell the property to a developer once it obtains final court approval for residential development to occur. The price would be in the hundreds of millions of dollars and RA could afford to compete as Ming says.

            OTOH, if NW Mutual loses in court and the property is determined to be ONLY usable as open space/golf course, then the value of the property would be maybe $10MM (possibly less) because no one but RA would buy it and NWM would want to get out of the investment (only doubling its purchase price or so).

            Of course, the actual future price even if the court rules in the community’s favor depends on inflation and how long the legal battle continues. Also important would be RA’s actual willingness and ability to negotiate a reasonable deal–and keeping the RA membership informed in the process.

          • JoeInReston

            Permit me a dumb question – if the court rules in the communities favor, why would Reston want or need to buy the property? The ultimate desire is for the place to remain open space. That goal is automatically met if the court rules in our favor. Its a variation on’why buy the cow if the milk is free’.

          • Terry Maynard

            Good point, Joe. But, if you follow RA’s logic for Tetra, they would be compelled to buy the golf course to prevent a possible future change in its status as open space. In the RA Board’s mind, if you don’t own it, you can’t control it.

            But I like free milk–pasteurized, homogenized, non-fat, please.

          • Terry Maynard

            JC, the ONLY comment Reston 2020 has made (and I didn’t write it–nor did one of my tens of thousands of “minions”) on St. Johns Woods is about the then-upcoming meetings on the SJW proposal and the proposal’s details, including feedback from earlier meetings.

            Read it here: http://reston2020.blogspot.com/2015/04/three-meetings-this-week-on-st-johns.html

            You might have more credibility if you stuck with the facts you knew instead of those you make up and inaccurate personal attacks.

          • JCSuperstar

            You stated you were against it:

            Terry Maynard > JCSuperstar • 23 days ago

            I support the County’s draft Reston Master Plan that calls for all residential neighborhoods to remain “as is.” Ergo, I do not support this proposal.

            https://www.restonnow.com/2015/04/21/first-look-plans-for-st-johns-wood-redevelopment/

          • Terry Maynard

            Wrong. YOU stated I was against it:

            JCSuperstar>Terry Maynard • 23 days ago

            “So, you are against it.”

            Same source.

          • JCSuperstar

            And you replied:

            Terry Maynard > JCSuperstar • 23 days ago

            I support the County’s draft Reston Master Plan that calls for all residential neighborhoods to remain “as is.” Ergo, I do not support this proposal.

          • Terry Maynard

            . . . and that is not the same as saying I am ” fighting the expansion at St. Johns Woods.”

          • JCSuperstar

            OK fair enough. Let’s let the community watch you wiggle:

            Here is the thread:

            JCSuperstar • 23 days ago

            Has Mr. Maynard approved this yet? Mr. Looney better beware of the wrath of 2020

            Terry Maynard JCSuperstar • 23 days ago

            I support the County’s draft Reston Master Plan that calls for all residential neighborhoods to remain “as is.” Ergo, I do not support this proposal.

            https://www.restonnow.com/2015/04/21/first-look-plans-for-st-johns-wood-redevelopment/

          • Terry Maynard

            and, yes, you forgot the next line in the thread, your comment:

            “So, you are against it.”

            Having been around this circle twice now, I’m done.

            Maybe we could talk about this over coffee, but then you’d have to reveal your identity–and you don’t have the courage to do that.

          • JCSuperstar

            So, are you against it?

          • Terry Maynard

            Nope, all in favor of having a cuppa with you to discuss if you have the courage to do that.

          • JCSuperstar

            You refuse to answer the question: The existing Bozutto redevelopment of Hunters Woods. You stated “Ergo, I do not support this proposal.”

            So, you are against it.

          • Terry Maynard

            You refuse to reveal your identity, even offline, AND we’ve been around this twice. I repeat: I’m done.

            And, unless I’m mistaken, we were talking about St. Johns Woods. You can’t even keep your story straight.

          • JCSuperstar

            Cool — your statement stands.

            “Ergo, I do not support this proposal.”

          • Terry Maynard

            . . . and now you are “upvoting” your own comments! For God’s sake.

          • JCSuperstar

            Absolutely… why not.

          • Ming the Merciless

            Being against something and fighting it (alone or with minions) are different things. I bet Terry is against a lot of things he and Reston 2020 aren’t “fighting”.

          • JCSuperstar

            OK, I’ll give Mr. Maynard a break. He is not in favor of the existing St. Johns Woods proposal. His 2020 blog has not stated that – yet.

          • Terry Maynard

            Just for the record, Ming, I’m FOR a lot of things that Reston 2020 isn’t fighting for either–starting with motherhood and apple pie.

            One Reston thing I’m for, but can’t get a grasp on a good solution, is economically and socially successful village centers as Bob Simon has described them–“neighborhood gathering places.” Ours have failed (LA, HW, TO) and/or are merely strip malls. I don’t think the Lake Anne more-of-everything approach is necessarily the right answer although some greater neighboring density is useful. There really are significant cultural and climatological impediments (who wants to gather in a Reston VC plaza in mid-January?) to their success. One of my multitudinous minions is drafting a paper on the topic as I right. We’ll see how that works out.

            Otherwise, you are spot on.

            And be careful not to tread on my “minions.” They, too, are merciless, and that’s on a good day.

          • YouDon’tKnowEverythingTerryM

            Terry- you can drop the “holier than thou” crap, your pretend name postings are pretty easy to spot.

          • John Lovaas

            Really–“Comstock”?! This is what we can expect from this RA Board. After the land swap ideal, nothing should surprise us. Next an EXXON Wing and maybe the Koch Brothers Konference Room? Tetra is sounding better all the time.

          • JCSuperstar

            So, I take it your not a big fan of the developers either.

            Are you implying you don’t want RA do bring the Comstock BLVD into the association?

            No proffers, no nothing?

            What about the rest of the proposed developments in the corridor? Just leave ’em be? Don’t ask for anything?

            I might suggest you, Farrell, Maynard and Flashman need to confer and get your talking points down.

            JC

        • Greg

          Your way is called capitalism. The RA way is called socialism.

    • Greg

      Apparently they did so for The Harrison…there was a very large banner facing the toll road advertising the place. Liveharrison.com I think it read (may still be there).

      • JCSuperstar

        The Harrison is within the Reston PRC, pays full-boat.

  • RAmember2

    Just wonder if the Tetra building will stand the full 10 years with Comstock’s name on it. It is a piece of crap.

    How proud Comstock will be when it just collapses after a major thunderstorm, a testament to their development (and naming) skills.

  • JCSuperstar

    This piece is intriguing:

    “In fulfillment of additional county proffer requirements, RA will be responsible for the administration and staffing of the design review process in coordination with Comstock and, under the direction an Urban Redevelopment Review Panel, responsible for administering design guidelines for the area. Reston Association will be paid an annual fee for such services by Comstock.”

    • RAmember2

      Yep. What the hell does that mean–and how much will it cost me?

      • JCSuperstar

        It’s a money maker and apparently RA administers a deign guideline group for the corridor.n Not unlike the old Architectural Review Board for that area.

  • Wings!!

    Could the perhaps name it Hooters?
    #HootersForReston

    • JCSuperstar

      There’s definitely going to be retail there, as well as at Isaac Newton Square. So, keep working it Wings!!

  • Can’tBeRight

    So…. RA bought the property to protect it from being developed…. and then RA sold naming rights to…. a Developer?

    • Ming the Merciless

      In exchange for… unspecified future favors.

      • Greg

        RA: Transparent as mud.

  • HoodWinked

    RA hoodwinked us and sold us out big time on this one.
    I wonder if eventually Comstock will change the name of Reston to “Reston, brought to you by Comstock”

  • FULL TIME BOJANGLER

    Republican Congresswoman Barbara Comstock will be thrilled to hear a building in Gerry “belly to the buffet” Connolly’s district is being named in her honor.

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