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Petition Asks That Tall Oaks Remain Retail Center

by Karen Goff — May 14, 2015 at 1:00 pm 14 Comments

Total Rehab has moved from Tall Oaks Village CenterA group of Reston residents has started an online petition to demand that Tall Oaks Village Center remain a village center — and not a residential development.

The petition, posted by “Concerned Residents of Tall Oaks” is aimed at Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins and Reston Association CEO Cate Fulkerson.

“Tall Oaks community needs and deserves a Village Center with retail that we can walk to and green space where the community can gather,” the petition says. “A balance of residential and retail in a plaza-like setting would be a good compromise.”

Tall Oaks has been losing retail tenants at a fast clip the last several years. It is currently at 16 percent capacity, land use attorney Mark Looney said in a presentation to residents in April. In 2007, it was 92 percent occupied.

The village center was sold to McLean’s Jefferson Apartment Group in December. The company is in the early stages of envisioning what to do with the 40-year-center.  Preliminary plans include 154 new homes in a combination of mid-rise condos and townhouses, as well as 8,500 square feet of retail.

The plans were presented to Tall Oaks-area residents at two meetings in April. They were not well received. Many residents said a retail center would be successful if it had the right management and that more residents will choke traffic on already slow Wiehle Avenue.

“Tall Oaks community needs and deserves a Village Center with retail that we can walk to and green space where the community can gather,” the petition says. “A balance of residential and retail in a plaza-like setting would be a good compromise.”

Changing the county zoning from commercial to residential may be more flexible under changes to the Reston Master Plan.

Many of those who signed the petition list their reasons why they want Tall Oaks to remain retail.

“Please represent the people of Reston instead of developers,” said one commenter.

Wrote another: “I grew up down the street from Tall Oaks and loved it when it had a Giant and a 7-Eleven. Being able to walk with my mom or ride my bike to the store to get something was awesome. My parents still live there and I pass Tall Oaks every day, and I’m sad because I remember what it used to be. Would love it if they could bring something similar back. Plus, when Robert E Simon designed Reston it was for a planned community where everyone is supposed to be within half a mile of a village center.”

Photos: Top, current empty spot at Tall Oaks; Bottom, Jefferson Apartment Group rendering of residential development.

  • Ming the Merciless

    Tall Oaks community needs and deserves a Village Center with retail

    No. Wrong.

    You don’t need it because you don’t have it now and you can easily shop elsewhere.

    You don’t deserve it because when you had it, you didn’t patronize it enough to make it economically viable.

    What’s next, a petition to have RA buy the plaza? MOAR OPENGREENSPACE, yaay!

    • Wings!!

      Tall Oaks doesn’t need a Village Center.
      Tall Oaks doesn’t deserve a Village Center.
      However,
      Restons NEEDS a Hooters.

      • Jason Rub

        who are you

        • Ming the Merciless

          He is a man who believes Reston needs and deserves fine chicken wings!

          • Wings!!

            I’m a man who has big plans for Reston.

          • JCSuperstar

            Wings!!, are you willing to talk to developers?

            Herndon is.

            “Merkel said the town has not decided how to approach the solicitation process — whether there will be a formal request for proposals, or an informal bring-us-your-best-offer type situation. Either way, she said, “We want to make sure, when we get this out to developers, that this actually gets built. We’re ready.”

            http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/breaking_ground/2015/05/opportunity-in-herndon-big-site-planned-for.html?s=print

          • Wings!!

            I’ve got big plans for East Herndon too.
            #HootersForEastHerndon

    • FULL TIME BOJANGLER

      Ming,

      they are demanding……….hahahah .

    • JCSuperstar

      The proposed development plan looks like a winner. I suspect the JAG will tweak things before the final plans are agreed to.

  • JCSuperstar

    This is going to get interesting.

  • pho

    As a 1 year Reston native, Tall Oaks to me means “That huge empty parking lot with the kinda ok pho place if you don’t feel like driving very far”.

    • vdiv

      Mama Wok, and I am willing to drive rather far for some Pork with Garlic Sauce.

  • JCSuperstar

    Brings about $100,000/year (present assessment) to the members.

  • Greendayer

    Perhaps the group of residents would be willing to fund the retailers they think would be successful. As it is, the market has spoken and Tall Oaks cannot support such retail.

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