Asbestos Abatement Preps Former Chili’s for Teardown

The former Chili’s Bar & Grill at 11840 Sunrise Valley Drive has taken on a new look in recent weeks. The building is tented with plastic covering and other safety accoutrements as crews work on asbestos removal in prep for the building’s demolition.

Asbestos is a fiber formerly found in many construction materials and can cause lung damage. The Chili’s building was constructed in the early 1980s, before many uses of asbestos in insulations, water pipes, and roofing, among other places, were banned by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The restaurant closed at the end of 2014. The building, along with others at the former Reston International Convenience Center, will be torn down to make way for the second phase of The JBG Companies’ Reston Heights development.

A Wells Fargo Bank there closed last August, and the remaining strip of stores, including 7-Eleven and Reston Kabob, closed in the last few months. Construction fencing was being put into place around those former stores on Wednesday as that strip prepares for asbestos removal and demolition as well.

Here’s what JBG has planned:

A six-story residential building, a 15-story residential building, a five-story building that incorporates a parking garage with residences and retail space; and a 10-story building that mixes office space, parking and retail space.

The plan includes 145,000 square feet of above-grade retail, 100,00 square feet of below-grade retail, 428,225 square feet of office and 498 residential units.

Only the stand-alone Popeye’s will remain as a holdover from current tenants.

JBG has signed 24-Hour Fitness as a major tenant.

There will be an entrance to the development from the Reston Parkway side, something the area currently lacks.

In a presentation to the Reston Association Design Review Board in 2013, Cunningham Quill Architects and Olin, a landscape architecture firm, said they were seeking a design that engages with the landscape and connects with the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station via bike and foot paths.

The new plans will also be harmonious with the adjacent Reston Heights project, also built by JBG. That includes the Westin Reston Heights hotel and the Mercer Condominium, as well as office space.

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