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Update: RA Tetra Purchase on Track for July Closing

by Karen Goff June 30, 2015 at 9:30 am 21 Comments

Tetra buildingReston Association’s purchase of the Tetra building is still on track for a summer closing — and could be in use as early as next spring, says RA CEO Cate Fulkerson.

RA members voted in a spring referendum to allow the association to purchase the former Reston Visitors Center, which is currently being used as office space for Tetra Partners commercial real estate.

After a often-contentious community discussion, RA voters approved, by a narrow margin, the association borrowing up to $2.7 million for the purchase. RA plans to repurpose and renovate the 3,128-square-foot building for community, meeting and event space.

Fulkerson said RA is finishing bank paperwork and hopes to announce a closing date soon. RA said in its contract it wanted a closing date of July 31, but would not take possession of the property until 2016.

“We are talking with a full service firm for exterior and interior renovations,” said Fulkerson. “”We are trying to see if there is a possibility of finishing renovations by mid- April. It would be a dream of mine to have [the April 2016] annual meeting in the facility.”

RA plans to borrow $2.7 million with an interest rate of 3.35 percent locked in for 10 years, at which time RA would most likely refinance.

Developer Comstock is contributing $650,000 to the project as part of a deal for adding its new residential building, BLVD, to the association. Comstock will also get naming rights to the building for up to 10 years.

A Tetra working group is also in the process of being formed, said Fulkerson. The group will formulate some potential uses for the building, which is set on the shores of Lake Newport, where RA also plans to add enhancements for a lakeside park.

RA projects more than $100,000 in annual revenue from special event rentals and after-camp care at the building.

The task force will be made up of one resident from each of RA’s districts (Lake Anne/Tall Oaks, Hunters Woods/Dogwood, South Lakes and North Point); three residents of the neighborhoods adjacent to the property; and a member from each of RA’s advisory committees.

 

  • cRAzy

    Call me cRAzy, but wouldn’t it have made more sense if RA had the complete, accurate cost projections for repairs and renovations BEFORE they closed on this deal?

    …but then that would be the sensible thing to do. In fact, they should have done it before they even proposed the Tetra purchase.

    My “dream” is that Fulkerson is fired before the next annual meeting, maybe even in the Tetra building.

    • Mike M

      U krazy!

      • cRAzy

        thanx!

        • Mike M

          U welcome.

        • NIMBYS UNITE!

          Confirmed cRAzy !

  • NIMBYS UNITE!

    In my mind all non essential RA staff should work from home and all others should work at Lake Comstock. This to ensure a green environment, better employee productivity and a more central location to conduct business from. Also no work place sexual misconduct and lawsuits. Problem solved.

    • Mike M

      Sounds like you got some stuff on the RA that I ain’t gotr. Share?

    • IMBY Coordinator

      Even tho its a good idea it cannot be done because the thought originated from NIMBY. Chances are limited use of frontal lobe, so yes, bad idea.

  • Greg

    Now we are in the business of funding Cate Fulkerson’s dreams. #smh. It’s time, IMBYs and NIMBYs to stop the madness.

    • JCSuperstar

      While I don’t agree with the purchase, I recall it was the community that voted and spoke. The opposition had its chance, it didn’t succeed.

      • Reston Realist

        JC–I’m sure you would agree the “playing field” for the referendum wasn’t level. RA failed to do due diligence (never once mentioning that Chesapeake preservation law), sought only to garner approval–not a discussion, and used secrecy NSA would be proud of to hide pertinent details.

        • JCSuperstar

          Again, not to rehash an old debate. It was shown, and I agree, the Chesapeake preservation law did not apply to any of those properties with existing, and I say again for emphasis, [existing] development plans — i.e. all properties on the lake.

          RA still shows their opinions/arguments on the webpage. All the facts were there for me and the majority that voted.

          I still believe the property would be better suited to a developer/owner with grander ideas, but, my neighbors disagreed with me. So be it.

          And the rest of your argument seems more emotional, which I appreciate, but it’s hard to support.

          • Reston Realist

            Nice assertions, JC, but I can find not one piece of real evidence to support what you say. Sounds like RA Board-speak to me. Are you an RA Board member???

            1. Please provide me a link to any document on the RA website connected with Tetra that MENTIONS the Chesapeake Bay preservation law or the County ordinance. And please provide the specific quote.

            2. Please show me ANY official state or county link that states that the CB law doesn’t apply “to any of those properties with existing . . . development plans”. And please provide the specific quote.

            3. Please show me any Fairfax County approval of any office or restaurant development (the alleged approvals applied for or accepted at Tetra) to which the CB law applies within the last decade (when the CB law was strengthened). Please include specific identification of the project, its approval date, and any reasons (waivers, etc.) for why it was allowed.

            Don’t bother to respond until you’ve done your homework and can offer some facts, vice Board-speak.

          • JCSuperstar

            RR, I think I’ll call you Terry.

            We’ve had this conversation way too many times on this board. I’ve done my homework, and shared my thoughts on all your rehashed questions (above) way too many times. Why I would do the work you are incapable of doing (i.e. read, gather facts, ask questions). Read my prior posts on this subject, it’s all there.

            I’m empathetic to your feelings about this, but I think it’s time for you to move on from this fixation on the Tetra matter.

            JC drops microphone.

          • JoeInReston

            I don’t think a mic drop is warranted by a “question has already been answered and I won’t do so again here” answer.

      • Ming the Merciless

        Which does NOT mean the “opposition” should shut up and go away. It is more necessary than ever – and this will be more obvious as we learn, as we certainly will, what a bad deal this was.

        I agree whioleheartedly with Greg that the madness must be stopped.

        • Wings!!

          I’d like to get a lake front Hooters IMBY!

  • Let Families Leave RA

    It feels so wrong that in order to live in a certain part of the country, you are forced to be a part of an association like RA. I love the schools in the area, the proximity to the airport, to DC, to the metro….but I want nothing to do with RA. New home owners have no idea what they are getting into and by the time they do, it is too late. On top of that, the rules keep changing….useless properties get purchased….dues go up….and there is no way to get out except to move.

    • JCSuperstar

      Then move. The majority of HOMEOWNERS disagree with you. There are plenty of gated communities in Orlando that you would absolutely fall in love with.

  • Sally Forth

    “RA also plans to add enhancements for a lakeside park”
    Do these “enhancements” still include eliminating a whole row of nearby parking to put in extra trees? This is absurd IF the real reason for the Tetra purchase was to actually USE the Tetra building for community activities. Where do members park conveniently if these parking spots are gone? If there is not enough parking, the Tetra/Comstock purchase will be guranteed to be a very expensive farce. The topography of the site does not require more trees in the parking lot location to be a successful facility; it does require adequate parking however.

  • Nyla J.

    I demand a recount of the votes. I think there may be dangling chads with this one.

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