Reston 2020: RA Still Overspending on Lake House

by Karen Goff September 22, 2016 at 2:45 pm 10 Comments

New Lake HouseAn analysis by advocacy group Reston 2020 says Reston Association will spend $1 million on the Lake House this year.

The Lake House — formerly Tetra — has been hit with financial difficulties since it was purchased for $2.6 million — about twice its assessed value — in 2015. RA showed a cost overrun of $430,000 last spring, due in part to a six-figure expected rentback from former owner/tenant Tetra that did not happen.

Exterior renovations to turn the building from offices to a community use building for afterschool care, meetings and events, also cost way more than anticipated.

RA CEO Cate Fulkerson will outline the Lake House financial outlook at tonight’s regular RA Board meeting. The board is also expected to pick an outside firm to conduct an independent audit of the Lake House cost overrun.

According to RA documents and Reston 2020’s analysis, RA will spend in 2016:

  • $700,000 on renovation of the interior and exterior of the Tetra building.
  • More than $107,000 on operating expenses, some $95,000 comprises employee-related expenses.
  • Mortgage payments that will total nearly $184,000 this year.

RA numbers show it is now bringing in money as afterschool care began this month and it is booked for many events.

Total revenues were $3,677 in August, but are expected to jump to $31,000 this month and grow each month, according to RA’s spreadsheet.

But Reston 2020 compares the numbers with the original estimates in RA’s 2015 Tetra purchase fact sheet to show the ground it must make up, including:

  • 2015 estimate that operating expenses would be $45,011 in 2016.  RA’s latest report puts operating expenses at $107,303–more than double RA’s “fact sheet” projection.
  • No program expenses because RA anticipated that the building would be leased back to Tetra developers through 2016.  Now RA anticipates $107,303 in operating/programming expenses for this year.
  •  2016 overhead expenses, including “existence cost” expenses and loan costs, were expected to reach $228,623 in the fact sheet. They are now projected to grow slightly to $247,072 this year.

Read more on Reston 2020’s blog.

  • Greg

    For shame, RA, for shame.

    • Mike M

      Don’t worry. That money will “be replaced.”

      • cRAzy

        Yep, from your higher assessment fee next year.

  • cRAzy

    Like everything else about this purchase, this year’s expenses are TWICE THE ADVERTISED PRICE.

  • Franz Beckerbauer

    If this was a drug deal a lot of people would be dead right now. If it was a bank deal gone wrong probably someone would have to go to jail. But because it’s RA a few people should get promoted.

  • freestylergbb

    This makes me sick.

  • JustWondering

    Who is 2020 and why are we supposed to believe everything they say?

    • Terry Maynard

      Reston 20/20 is a committee of Reston citizens focused on highlighting issues in planning and development our community. Tammi Petrine and I are its co-chairs.

      Almost all the work you see on our blog is work I have done examining the facts of various situations, the Tetra purchase & renovation in this case. All I have done is taken the data RA has provided and analyzed it so it makes sense to an interested reader (rather than just spewing numbers in a spread sheet).

      The data is all RA’s; if you don’t believe what Reston 20/20 is saying, you’ll have to blame it on faulty data from RA. We just parse it and report what it says.

      We almost always take official data (RA, County, US) in conducting our analyses. That way we can’t be accused of just making things up as you seem to be doing here.

      But, yes, once in awhile, we make an error as an astute reader pointed out last week in my understating the cost of potential FC contributions to Reston’s needed roadway improvements in a RestonNow op-ed. I acknowledged and apologized for the error in the comments. We do want to keep things straight.

      Thanks for your interest.

    • Overrunhell

      It is an offshoot of the Reston Citizens Association (RCA). If you will note, Sridhar Ganesan, is RCA’s President and now the overnight President of Mediaworld — the entity that bid to be the “independent” review body for just $1. Do some searching and you’ll find all the interconnections of this body.

      As we are seeing in this election cycle, statisticians can spin data any way they want.

      • cRAzy

        Not much spin here, it looks like Reston 2020 just added up the numbers–and the results are UGLY!

        How would you “spin” it differently?


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