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Update: Tetra Working Group Eyes Usage Plan by December

by Karen Goff October 19, 2015 at 1:00 pm 13 Comments

Former Tetra buildingThe 14-member Tetra Working Group met last week to talk about what the future should hold for the building purchased by Reston Association over the summer.

RA closed in July on its $2.65-million purchase of the former Reston Visitors Center. RA members narrowly approved the purchase in a referendum last spring. The referendum capped a busy few months of community discussion, debate and opposition to the purchase.

RA purchased the building in order to preserve green space, stave off potential commercial development and add a community event space.

The acquisition gives the association 98 acres of contiguous space at Brown’s Chapel Park and Lake Newport Tennis. During community meetings, RA said it expects to use the space for events and rentals, after-camp care, a conference center, among other suggestions. Preliminary plans also call for a park on the shore of Lake Newport.

RA also forecasts earning revenue of more than $100,000 annually in rentals for events and groups.

RA recently organized a Tetra Working Group made up of community members to come up with specific uses for the building. Here’s an update of what the group discussed at its first meeting, according to an RA statement:

By December 2015, identify short and long-term indoor community use programming opportunities for the building.

By February 2016, propose concept plans that increase outdoor community use opportunities with the goals of: a) preserving and enhancing the existing green space; b) exploring the feasibility of reducing impervious surfaces in the parking lot that contribute storm-water runoff to Lake Anne.

During the meeting, group members were asked by Intec Group, the architectural firm selected to renovate the interior building space, to respond to the following comments/questions:

  • Describe what RA is to you and what you value about the association.
  • How do you want RA’s identity/brand/reputation reflected within the space?
  • How should this space reflect what you believe are RA’s values?
  • Think about other public spaces you have been in and what kind of programming you see that could fit in this space.

During its next meeting (Oct. 28), Intec will present to the working group concept drawings based on the capacity of the space and input provided by the working group.

Also, as part of the settlement agreement when the association purchased the property, $275,000 was put into an escrow account by the seller (Tetra Partners, now called Lauer commercial) for exterior maintenance on the building.

Repairs to the brick wall, siding, painting, and door and window replacement will begin before the end October.

In early November, the skylight and cedar shake roof will be replaced, RA says. In preparation for these repairs, the association’s arborist team used a lift to cover the skylight with a tarp to protect the building’s interior from rainwater leaks.

RA’s landscaping and arborist teams have also removed dead trees and invasive plants on the property in August.

The building may also get a name change. Comstock earned 10 years of naming rights for the site as part of a developer contribution deal. Comstock gave RA $650,000 as part of a development deal concerning BLVD apartments at Reston Station.

  • MJay

    Amazing that our homeowners association was able to sway its members into voting for a $2.5 million loan on the promise of earning a notional $100k per year, yet RA did not even have a plan for how to achieve that goal. Who but a naive CEO and board would think overextending RA without a plan was a good idea? Oh wait, their wealthy lakefront friends who are the only beneficiaries of this debacle. Get ready for the dues increase!

    • meh

      I hear the RA wants to open a Blockbuster Video rental store in town center. The big blue and gold sign shaped like a movie ticket is just what the town center is missing, and its sure to bring in a profit in no time.

      • Greg

        Thankfully, RA has nothing to do with Reston Town Center. Best decision (Simon?) ever made.

        • concordpoint

          Mobil, Reston Land,made that decision, I think.

      • Mike M

        . . . and a book store!

    • JustSayNo

      The dues paying members voted for the purchase, nobody twisted their arms to vote ‘yes’. They will have to pay the price in the form of a dues increase since they didn’t do due diligence in making their decision, (beavis and butthead would comment, “heh, he said doo doo”). That’s just how the democratic process works, you don’t have to have a speck of intelligence to simply vote. And you might as well prepare yourself for Trump for the same reason.

      • cRAzy

        Trump’s running for the RA Board??!!!
        I think he’d fit right in.

      • Ming the Merciless

        There might not have been arm twisting, but there was a good deal of misrepresentation – oh heck, I’ll just call it LYING – when it was presented to the voters. This made “due diligence” difficult to do.

  • Terry Maynard

    Appreciate the work on the exterior, but what about the interior? The property inspector noted a strong must odor inside and photos showed substantial rain damage to interior walls & ceiling and, more importantly, around electrical circuits.

    • LakeNewportLady

      I’m assuming the interior will be redone once the plans for it are finalized….

      • cRAzy

        Well, that would be a first!

        RA already spent our money on Tetra without a legit fiscal analysis or a plan.

  • Grandpa Jack

    When you first start wearing a turban, probably the most common mistake is wrapping it too tight. You have to allow the head to breathe.

  • Wings!!

    I’ll have an order of the daytona wings, and a cold coors light please.



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