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You’re Invited: Reston Town Center’s 25th Birthday Party

by Karen Goff October 1, 2015 at 1:00 pm 4 Comments

Mercury Fountain at Reston Town CenterReston Town Center will celebrate its 25th birthday later this month with a community party.

Reston Town Center — which opened on Oct. 18, 1990 — will mark the milestone with Reston Town Center Day on Oct. 18, 2105 from noon to 4 p.m.

There will be free refreshments, live music, entertainment, games, pumpkin decorating, hayrides and more at Fountain Square and in the Pavilion at Reston Town Center. VIP remarks will take place at 1 p.m.

When Reston Town Center opened, it was about four blocks of shops and restaurants anchored by the multi-screen movie theater and the Hyatt Regency Reston.

Reston Town Center was a groundbreaking idea for its time — an outdoors, built-from-scratch downtown in the suburbs. It was built at a time when indoor malls were still trending nationwide.

However, town center set the model for dozens of similar developments to open nationwide in the following years.

Reston founder Robert E. Simon always envisioned such a place, and the 85-acre parcel was left undeveloped for Reston’s first 25 years.

Several attempts to get the project underway collapsed, mainly because there weren’t enough people living nearby, Kenneth P. Wong, senior development manager for the original project told The Washington Post when RTC was ready to open.

“The idea of a downtown in the suburbs was something that no one really had a grip on,” he said. “It’s a very complicated proposition that needed a long [research and development] gestation period.”

And when it did open in October of 1990, it did so in a huge rainstorm. And in the midst of a recession.

Nonetheless, RTC was successful from the start, has greatly expanded, and its last remaining undeveloped parcel, the surface parking lot, will soon be transformed.

Several original tenants remain, including the Hyatt, Clyde’s, Talbot’s and Ann Taylor. RTC’s current footprint is 2.8 million square feet of office space, 50 shops, about 30 restaurants and three residential high-rises. Office space, meanwhile, is 100 percent leased, officials have said at several commercial real estate events.

  • Chuck Morningwood

    Help celebrate our 25th birthday by coming to our shopping plaza, spending your money, enriching our tenants so that we can charge them higher rents.

    I’m not cynical. It really is a celebration of a monumental event within the Reston community. Oh, wait a second, they’re not actually part of Reston are they?

    • Leila Gordon

      Reston Town Center is very much a part of Reston. They are covered by Small District 5 (funding RCC) and are well within the boundaries of the Planned Residential Community zoning that applies to Reston. It isn’t true that only Reston Association boundaries are “Reston”. Reston includes its “downtown” and always has.

      • Chuck Morningwood

        Maybe RTC is part of your Reston but so far as I’m concerned, it’s a disgusting monument to concrete commercialism. I can’t speak for you, but every time I go there, I like it less.

  • John Q Public

    U nailed it Chuck….I wont be celebrating the clown center either….everyone can get drunk & be seen at Jacksons talking about how important they are.

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