High Rise Planned for Parcel Between W&OD and Hidden Creek

by Karen Goff May 12, 2016 at 9:30 am 21 Comments

Another high rise may soon be part of the Wiehle-Reston East skyline — and this one is also may cast a shadow on one of Reston’s Golf Courses.

Golf Course Overlook LLC has filed a rezoning application with Fairfax County seeking to convert a three-acre parcel wedged between Sunset Hills Road and a corner of the private golf club. The site, northwest of the W&OD Trail, is about one-third of a mile from the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station and currently is Golf Course Plaza, a 45-year old, three-story office building with surface parking.

Developers would need to change the zoning from I-5 (General Industrial) and RE (Residential Estate) zones to Planned Residential Mixed-Use to proceed with the plans for a single high rise with 413 residential units.

Plans call for replacing the office building and surface parking lot at 11480 Sunset Hills Rd. with an approximately 392,600-square foot building with three levels of underground parking.

“The property’s location, adjacent to the private Hidden Creek Country Club and Washington and Old Dominion (‘W&OD’) Trail, provides a unique opportunity for a residential use in the Wiehle-Reston East Transit Station Area,” the application says. “It will allow natural views across the attractive golf course and immediate access to the W&OD Trail for both recreation and access to the Metro Station.”

The property is part of Isaac Newton Square, an aging low-rise office park  that is considered to be Reston’s next big area for transformation. This is the first application filed for Isaac Newton Square, which currently has allowed densities of up to a 2.0, which is relatively low density. The new project would seek much higher density due to its location close to the Metro.

It is also one of several rezoning or development applications surrounding Reston’ golf courses. While a years-long zoning appeal to change public course Reston National has been shelved for now, there are plans for major development (API building, Association Drive, Commerce Park, VY) along Sunrise Valley across the street from Reston National, which ultimately will be located in between Wiehle-Reston East and the future Reston Town Center Metro.

This is the first application that plans to build near Hidden Creek’s property, but is part of several development projects along Sunset Hills and Wiehle (1831 Wiehle, The Aperture, Michael Faraday).

The application states “the attractive structure will provide an elegant addition to the TSA, visually different to some of the other residential buildings existing and proposed.”

The building, designed by Davis Carter Scott, will be constructed of steel or concrete. “By going up, rather than out, the project is able to achieve more within a smaller footprint.”

The developer says higher densities are necessary to afford the extra constructioncosts necessitated by the design.

The applicant also seeks to  remove an existing point of access from Sunset Hills to the VDOT park-and-ride lot and provide access to the lot through the property. It also plans 34 percent open space, some of which will be as an urban park between Sunset Hills and the W&OD Trail. The park would have a lawn area, landscaping, and a shade structure that includes equipment for bike repair or maintenance.

  • Dodge

    Well I certainly hope they plan on changing the crossing of the W&OD at the entrance to the property. Right now riders have to dip down a hill to a crossing with low visibility. Luckily there isn’t much traffic on that road, but with hundreds of apartments and a re-routed access to the VDOT lot, this will be a highly hazardous crossing for the W&OD.

    • RunDMC

      Yeah I thought of that too… *maybe* if they build a new building they’ll have to widen/change the entrance road so it will be flatter and bikes will be more visible. I suppose we can hope, right?

      • W&OD Biker

        Or maybe put a bridge over the road so bikers and walkers can be safe.

        • Anonymous

          Sure, that’ll only take ten years to complete.

        • Margot Hahn Lebow

          that would be safer.

  • RunDMC

    Nooooo…. no no no. Not unless they change the entrance/exit. People stopping in the middle of Sunset to turn left into that building already screw traffic up enough- that’s halfway down the hill just after coming out of the stoplight in front of Whole Foods and a really AWESOME place to have a fender bender because you cannot see if someone’s stopped to turn left until you’re over the hill and come around the curve a little.

    Definitely noticing a trend in all the comments on the articles about new construction around the metro station… God I hope traffic doesn’t bring the entirety of East Reston to a standstill twice a day but unfortunately I think it will.

    • Brad

      Yeah, this is only acceptable if the entrance/exit is into Isaac Newton Square, and not the existing exit across the W&OD onto Sunset Hills. It’s not clear from the last paragraph if that’s the case.

      I do like the design though.

  • UStifosi .

    Isn’t it unsafe from a health standpoint to live that close to a powerplant and power lines. If people do there homework they won’t want to live there.

    • Mike M

      That is bunk.

      • UStifosi .

        Not according to developers who go out of there way to convince you otherwise with selective science.

        • Mike M

          I think every study that proximity to power lines causes cancer or whatever has been debunked. But I won’t be offended if you leave on your tinfoil cap.

          • Greg


            Electric and magnetic fields together are referred to as electromagnetic fields, or EMFs. The electric and magnetic forces in EMFs are caused by electromagnetic radiation. There are two main categories of EMFs:

            Higher-frequency EMFs, which include x-rays and gamma rays. These EMFs are in the ionizing radiation part of the electromagnetic spectrum and can damage DNA or cells directly.

            Low- to mid-frequency EMFs, which include static fields (electric or magnetic fields that do not vary with time), magnetic fields from electric power lines and appliances, radio waves, microwaves, infrared radiation, and visible light. These EMFs are in the non-ionizing radiation part of the electromagnetic spectrum and are not known to damage DNA or cells. Low- to mid-frequency EMFs include extremely low frequency EMFs (ELF-EMFs) and radiofrequency EMFs. ELF-EMFs have frequencies of up to 300 cycles per second, or hertz (Hz), and radiofrequency EMFs range from 3 kilohertz (3 kHz, or 3,000 Hz) to 300 gigahertz (300 GHz, or 300 billion Hz). Radiofrequency radiation is measured in watts per meter squared (W/m2).

          • Mike M

            Um, . . . what he said. Yeah.

          • Del Mueller

            I’ll pass on living in close proximity to high voltage power lines. Yeah you can state some studies but that noise they emit unnerves me. And what they know about EMFs in the future could be markedly different of what they know now.

          • Mike M

            Yeah, and next month a study will say typing on this board is bad for you.

    • Greg

      What power plant?

      • UStifosi .

        The one that’s a football field long and makes a buzzing noise right next to the W&OD trail

        • Greg

          That’s not a power plant; it’s a substation, and it along with the accompanying high-tension power lines, have been there since before Reston.


          The nearest power plants are at the I-95 incinerator in Lorton and at NIH in Bethesda.

  • Jean

    Karen do you know the address of this building?

    • Karen Goff

      11480 Sunset Hills Rd

  • Nyla J.

    Another one bites the dust.


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