RA Likely to Reaffirm Stance on Tall Oaks’ Future

Total Rehab has moved from Tall Oaks Village CenterBefore the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors votes in June on the final changes to Phase 2 of Reston’s Master Plan, Reston Association’s Board of Directors wants to ensure that language is in place to allow Tall Oaks Village Center to undergo significant changes.

RA has a motion on its agenda for this week’s regular Board of Directors meeting whether to “reaffirm or change the Association’s original position requesting that the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors delete Tall Oaks Village Center from the list of Village Centers and added to the list of Convenience Centers thereby allowing it to be redeveloped to residential and convenience center uses.”

RA formally voted in February to change Tall Oaks to convenience center designation.

The 40-year-old village center has not been a vibrant retail center for several years and is only about 13 percent occupied. In December, Tall Oaks was sold to the Jefferson Apartment Group (JAG), which plans to redevelop the location as 154 condos and townhomes and about 8,500 square feet of retail.

Meanwhile, the latest draft of the Reston Master Plan Phase 2, which the Fairfax County Planning Commission recommended for approval in mid-May, suggests  removing of the requirement for Reston’s village centers to undergo comprehensive plan amendments in order to redevelop.

The draft also adds language for Tall Oaks to recognize that the redevelopment plan may include a significantly reduced non-residential component.

Other convenience centers in Reston include the former Reston Visitors Center that RA is seeking to purchase, the Soapstone convenience center, Sunrise Valley convenience center and the Home Depot shopping center.

A convenience center designation for Tall Oaks would make it easier for developers to proceed without having to preserve existing retail space. JAG representatives said at April community meetings that there was virtually no interest from retail tenants to move to the space as is now.

Many residents maintain that Tall Oaks could return to life if it had the right management. Some have started an online petition to maintain a balance of retail and residential at Tall Oaks.

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