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Sneak Peek: Vornado’s Big Plans for 1.5 Million Square Feet Near Wiehle-Reston East

by Karen Goff September 16, 2016 at 2:40 pm 17 Comments

Another plan to revamp a portion of Sunrise Valley Drive will go before the Fairfax County Planning Commission Sept. 28. This one asks for a giant-sized (1.5 million square feet) mixed-use development south of the Wiehle-Reston East Metro.

Vornado Realty Trust is seeking to rezone 12 acres at Wiehle Avenue, Sunrise Valley Drive and the Dulles Toll Road.

Vornado seeks to keep office buildings at the current Commerce Executive Park but replace open space and surface parking with a seven-story, 200-unit residential building; a 24-story, 300-unit residential building; a 22-story, 385,000-square-foot office building; and a 175-room hotel. There would also be retail in the first three floors of several buildings.

The 22- and 24-story towers will be about the same height as One Reston Town Center, the approved plan for redeveloping a five-story office building into Reston’s tallest building at 1760 Reston Parkway.

The staff report says the project would be developed in four phases, with the 200-unit largely brick residential building going up first along Sunrise Valley Drive and Wiehle Avenue. Next would be the residential tower at Wiehle and the Toll Road, followed by the office building adjacent to the Metro, and the hotel.

The plans also call for pedestrian paths to the Metro, bike lanes, pocket parks and a plaza. The staff report recommends approval.

Earlier this week, the planning commission approved rezoning an office building for 54 townhouses and began demolition of the 42-year-old former American Press Institute building. Both of those projects are on Sunrise Valley south of the Dulles Toll Road.

The second phase of JBG’s Reston Heights is also under construction, with a 385-unit apartment community and as well as 89,000 square feet of retail.

Renderings of Commerce Executive Park courtesy of Fairfax County.

  • Arielle in NoVA

    More destruction of Reston. If you approve this? Way to go, Fairfax Board of Supervisors. We should just call you #FfxBS rather than #FfxBoS, because you really don’t care about the continuation of this area at all – just the new stuff coming in. Traffic is already horrible around there at rush hour. There are modest-looking, normal-sized residences across Sunrise Valley from that monstrosity. What makes you think any of this makes sense? GRRRRRR. #greed #moneyOverSense yet again.

    • Scott H

      You need to get it over it Arielle. The fate of Reston was sealed the day Metro opened in Reston. If you don’t like it, blame and vote against Gerry Connolly who counts Metro as his greatest achievement as a politician. We get the government we vote for and FFX county is now Big Govt Blue that favors trains and tax hikes over whatever you think Reston should look like.

    • Rational Reston

      I don’t really care for the concrete slabs of what folks call the ‘Old Reston’ so I welcome the new version.

  • oy vey

    Traffic.

  • Scott H

    This is a pretty awful business park. Not sure how they turn it into a location people would want to live.
    And yes, traffic…Getting out of that business park is already nearly impossible if there is even moderate traffic. There will need to be major traffic improvements in this area. There should be HUGE proffers for traffic as part of any plan to approve this development.
    Reston’s development fate was forever sealed when Metro was approved. We now just need the FFX BoS to manage it competently to make sure it doesn’t exascerbate transportation and budget issues. The costs of development should not be shifted from developers to tax payers. It should be solely funded by the builder and new residents/tenants.

    • Rational Reston

      I think the right turn on to westbound Sunrise Valley would be quite easy. Also there’s currently access to the traffic light for Soapstone (that drivers don’t use but they ought to).

      As to why people would live there, I would think it’s because it’s easy to get to the Metro and to the development on the other side of the station.

      Yes, those buildings currently add nothing to Reston, maybe this will improve things.

  • cosmic93

    This will never work. I’m not opposed to metro or development like some here, but this combined with Reston heights will be a disaster. The only for it to be feasible is with another bridge across the toll road to divert some of the traffic currently crowding Sunrise Valley Drive.
    Unfortunately the way things are Hudgins will probably get this latest project approved and built before they even break ground on the W&OD crossing of Wiehle, which should have been done years ago. No developers lining her pockets there, so we get a great chance to see her priorities in action.

    • cRAzy

      Another bridge is in the works: The Soapstone Connector.

  • Nyla J.

    This is great.

    • ah

      Reston is the last frontier before Loundon County. Maybe I should move to Culpepper.

      • ah

        Thats their plan anyways… scoot the lower class out and move the upper class in to take over. gentirification.

      • Crushed

        Culpeper is already priced out of reach for most common folk and so is Haymarket. Maybe look into some of those container living spaces.

  • Mike M

    Sharon Bulova, Kathy Hudgins, Gerry Connolly.

  • 500 units

    Most people realize by now that the 90s condo boom is over. Current condo prices are not sustainable and a good reason for that are HOA fees. I can count the number of well run condo communities in the metroarea, it’s not more than 5 – even those have to run a very tight ship to control corruption and labour costs. Also, timing is less than perfect, the next housing crash will put more people under water.

    For the government this is very OK, assessments are coming in very high so for them this is a big win.

    • Ped Antic

      “Labour” costs? Well, if the workers are imported from the UK it’s no wonder why costs are so high!

  • Edward Calvert

    I hear front royal is the next dc

  • GrandmaJean

    Why does the Planning Commission never say “no” to these huge condo developments? And why does the BOS never consider the wishes of the residents of Reston? Are they all paid by the developers? There’s not going to be enough people willing to pay the high prices of all these places and when the next crash comes they will sit there empty, a blight on our town. Is there nothing we can do to stop this madness?

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