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Take an Animated Tour Through the Tall Oaks of the Future

by Karen Goff — May 12, 2016 at 2:45 pm 15 Comments

Tall Oaks animation rendering/YouTube

The owners of Tall Oaks Village Center set up in the center’s empty anchor space on Tuesday to present both a market analysis of  why no grocery store will be returning to Tall Oaks and what owners Jefferson Apartment Group (JAG) have planned instead.

JAG has been planning mostly residential development at the nearly empty center since it purchased it in 2015. Community input to JAG’s plans was not well received in spring 2015, when it showed renderings of residential developments with limited retail (first 3,000 square feet, then 7,000 square feet) to citizens. Citizens also criticized lack of green space for the site.

What JAG plans now is essentially the same amount of housing — about 150 residences, which will be a mix of condos and townhouses.

However, an independent Fairfax County review of the retail analysis says the neighborhood could support up to 8,500 square feet of service and retail. JAG says it will acquire an additional existing office building to develop into service/retail.

Meanwhile, Bignell Watkins Hasser Architects have prepared a pretty cool animated 3D flyover tour of new Tall Oaks. Check it out below.

JAG also envisions well-planned outdoor space to give Tall Oaks a community feel, which was the original goal when Reston’s village center’s were planned. The plans include grassy areas, an outdoor terraced amphitheater area, benches, a children’s play area, and outdoor exercise stations.

The plans do not include an anchor store. The study presented Tuesday showed nearby competition and poor visibility means a grocery store — even a speciality one such as MOM’s Organic Market or Trader Joe’s — would not thrive on the site.

The 25,000-square-foot anchor site, which was the home of Giant Foods from 1974 to 2007, has been empty since Compare Foods (an international grocery) left in 2011. It has led to further vacancies at the 70,000-square-foot center.

  • Arielle in NoVA

    Nice video and some nice open spaces – but they *do* need a grocery store, both for the folks there and in the residences farther back and for the folks in the retirement home.

  • JoAnne Norton

    No sound came through. Was there supposed to be?

    • Mike M

      Um, . . . birds chirping sweetly. I know because it’s always summer and sunny at Tall Oaks under the new plan. Nice presentation. They have the money to sprinkle on getting their way here. I wonder where else they have been sprinkling it. I am surprised they show the many windowless walls. Those are part of what makes places like this ugly in reality. Where you have a windowless wall, you tend to get trash and general rundown.

      • Ming the Merciless

        Not sure I’d buy a townhouse that looked directly onto a public area. I’d feel like I was living in a fishbowl. But no doubt some people will go for it.

  • Just an out of date idea that every subdivision has to have a grocery store. In the early 1980s we lived on Hunt Club and Tall Oaks was the only grocery store other than Lake Anne which no one wanted to use or Herndon
    Then as soon as North Point opened we never went back to Tall Oaks again. And things continue to change and It takes more than a couple of sub divisions to justify a shopping center…which is we are talking about. That was what it was back in the 1980s not a “village center.”
    When the Reston Station area is completed there will be dramatically more residences there than in a dozen subdivisions close to Tall Oaks. Times are changing.

  • Thomas Day

    Nicely done!

  • LakeNewportLady

    I don’t really understand the beating of the dead horse on the grocery store. There has been one there repeatedly and they’ve all shut down. Does any grocery store *want* to open there?? It’s all great what folks may want but if a business doesn’t want to open there they won’t – the developers can’t force them. I’d like a indoor kids playground in Reston but clearly that’s not viable so I know I have to schlep to Loudoun county all summer.

  • ParkcrestRes

    If they could get this area to be 85% as good as this rendering it would be a vast improvement over what’s there. I agree with LakeNewportLady, everyone can *want* what they *want* but unless a business wants to come there stamping your feet and demanding that you get your retail won’t get you anything but what you’ve got which is awful. Someone forwarded me an email from a cluster president over there asking us to COMPLAIN to the Supervisor’s office! I think we should say YES thank you!

    • Mike M

      OK. Have you considered the distinct possibility that the developer wanted this place the way it is so that they could get it residential and make a boatload more money?

      • ParkcrestRes

        I was at the meeting and heard the market data and believe that it was a reasonable outcome. I’m sick to death of crazy conspiracy theories, it’s a crap pit and is pulling the value of my condo down. I say bring on the bulldozers.

        • Mike M

          Conspiracy? They are a business. They seek to maximize profits. This will go through. But my point is things are going pretty much the way the developer planned when they bought it. This is not a conspiracy theory.

  • Nyla J.

    Sorry, but this is hilarious. Nobody is going to use the space like this rendering.

  • Sandra James

    This looks great. So much better, please bring it on!

  • Ming the Merciless

    I like the way they bricked up Tall Oaks Assisted Living. Nobody wants those creepy old folks looking out the window at them, and nobody wants to look in the windows and be reminded of depressing old age.

  • reston is changing

    why are only 10% of the people moving? everyone else is frozen in space and time. and the man stuck on an invisible treadmill between the parallel bars needs help.

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