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Supervisors Approve General Dynamics’ Secure ‘Jewel Box in the Woods’

by Karen Goff — September 21, 2016 at 2:00 pm 4 Comments

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The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved General Dynamics’ plan to build a new headquarters in Reston.

The defense contractor, which currently leases space in Fairview Park, looked at many spots around the country but found that the Reston site  — 22 wooded acres on Sunset Hills Road — “fit that [description] to a T,” said land use attorney Mark Looney, representing General Dynamics.

“They were looking for a facility they could own and occupy,” Looney said at the supervisors public hearing. “They wanted room for 175-200 employees that was private and natural. They don’t want to be seen and don’t want to see other people. The CEO said they were looking for a ‘jewel box in the woods.’ ”

General Dynamics plans to keep 84 percent of the space as natural and wooded, adding extra privacy for the site at 11011 Sunset Hills, between Wiehle Avenue and Hunter Mill Road.

The site has long been designated commercial, and General Dynamics’ plan is actually much smaller than the previous zoning approvals for three buildings and nearly 400,000 square feet, Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins said.

“This has been a good-news development,” said Hudgins. “The Sunset Hills Road planned development of the site was planned for much higher intensity. This really is an improvement over what zoning would have allowed.”

General Dynamics plans include three levels of below-ground parking and some surface parking for 347 cars, as well as a pocket park.

The company plans a 10-foot security fence and an access road through the property so traffic will not back up on Sunset Hills as employees and visitors go through a security check gate.

As part of the proffer conditions, General Dynamics will have to make some improvements to Sunset Hills, including widening it for turning lanes and providing money for additional traffic signals.

General Dynamics plans to move into the new facility in late 2018, said Looney.

Graphic: Rendering of plans for General Dynamics’ Reston headquarters/Credit: Fairfax County

  • Reston Resident

    If you think you are going to do development in Reston without a fight, you are insane! This is Reston…We don’t care if you are going to keep the trees, increase open space, and pay for public projects – We are here to fight you every step of the way! Let’s see…..what can we complain about….mmmm…..oh there it is….and underground garage! What about the worms! Worms are people too…where are they going to go. And run-off! That’s right….the old standby….what is this monstrosity going to do run-off. We need studies, and charts, and graphs, and flip charts…..oh and meetings! WE LOVE MEETINGS!!! Make sure they are at 7pm on a weekday because this way we can get the early bird special and still be home in time for Matlock.

    • Mike M

      I think they are doing it the way it ought to be done. I’m sure I am not alone in that belief. But then there are many projects that are definitely not in the interest of most residents. Don’t look now but your straw man is falling down.

  • Arielle in NoVA

    I object to a lot of the other building in our area, but this project sounds very good – well thought out; reasonable size and setback; not huge compared to what’s around it; reasonable proffers; no unreasonable demands – from what I’ve heard so far.

  • Why do you bother?

    My only concern is more traffic.

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