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Tonight: Hear What Future Holds For Tall Oaks Village Center

by Karen Goff — May 10, 2016 at 10:00 am 4 Comments

Empty Tall Oaks

Will Tall Oaks Village Center get another shot at being a retail destination?

Come to a community meeting Tuesday, May 10 to find out the results of a retail study — and whether it has any impact on Jefferson Apartment Group’s (JAG) plans for the ailing shopping center.

The meeting is at 7 p.m. in the vacant anchor store space at Tall Oaks.

The future of the village center has been been a development topic for more than a year and JAG’s proposal is now scheduled to go before the Fairfax County Planning Commission on June 23.

JAG purchased Tall Oaks in December of 2014. The group held a series of community meetings in the spring of 2015, where it initially outlined plans to turn the 70,0000-square-foot center into more than 100 multifamily units and townhomes and limited (about 3,000 square feet) of retail.

Tall Oaks’s 25,000-square-foot anchor space, occupied for years by Giant Foods and then briefly by two international grocery stores, has been vacant for more than five years.

At a meeting last year, Tall Oaks representatives said at community meetings in spring of 2015 that Tall Oaks’ current retail space — which went from 90 percent occupied in 2007 to 13 percent in 2015 — was not viable.

They said they shopped the store vacancies, including grocery store space, to retailers but there was no interest.

That did not sit well with neighborhood residents, who said the center could work as retail if marketed properly. Reston Association also said in a letter to county officials last summer that the plan fell “woefully short” on retail and community space.

JAG then came back with a new proposal, which offered a reduction in the number of residences and doubled the planned retail space to 7,000 square feet.

Several Tall Oaks-area residents have said they would like to see a study done independent of the one JAG is conducting.

They have also said they would like to see about 10,000 square feet of retail, as well as more green space, on the site.

Graphic: Tall Oaks concept as of June 2015/Credit: JAG

  • Mike M

    I am thinking all the retail and office space that has been vacant for such long periods of time in Reston will be converted to high density housing in the next 12-15 years.

  • Greg

    “Several Tall Oaks-area residents have said they would like to see a study done independent of the one JAG is conducting.”

    At their own expense, right? #smh

    • Ha

      “What they would like to see” is neeeeeever the same as “what they are willing to pay for.”

      Neighborhood residents: “You guys should totally spend a bunch of your money doing what we think is a good idea even though we have no knowledge of business or stake in the outcome.”

      JAG: “Uhhhh, OK then.”

      • Greg

        And, of course, history speaks for itself. The neighborhood residents failed to support the retailers that were there — it has nothing to do with “proper marketing.” Village centers have failed in Columbia, Reston and Greenbelt. Those that survive do so only because of heavy government / taxpayer support: Lake Anne and Hunters Woods get the subsidies; Tall Oaks doesn’t, and it festers and decays. Best and highest use for that land is ALL residential with ZERO retail.

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