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Town Center Merchants Considering Lawsuit Over Paid Parking

by Dave Emke — February 3, 2017 at 11:15 am 87 Comments

ParkRTC sign in Reston Town Center

Reston Town Center merchants report a significant drop in sales from this time last year.

Now, an estimated 60 of those merchants are considering a lawsuit against Boston Properties over what they see as the cause of that decline — the installation of paid parking.

Aaron Mervis, who runs RTC’s Big Bowl, is one of the organizers of the group. Mervis, who has been in restaurant management since 2000, said he has never seen anything quite like this.

“I’ve never seen the amount of customers that are upset and are just flat-out boycotting the Town Center as a whole,” Mervis said. “As for retailers, I’ve never seen the amount of different retailers grouping together. Usually, when I’m talking to other retailers, it’s seeing what we can do to help cross-market each other’s brands. Talking about protesting and lawsuits, that’s unprecedented.”

Boston Properties initiated paid parking at Reston Town Center on Jan. 3. Backlash from the community, particularly on social media, began quickly thereafter. Mervis said RTC restaurants have been gathering to fight since the paid-parking plan was first proposed by Boston Properties last year, and retailers have since joined the groundswell as well.

Mervis also runs Wildfire restaurant at Tysons Galleria, and he said the trickle-down effect of the parking controversy reaches there as well.

“People are openly talking about it at the bar, saying they are only there because their friends won’t meet them anymore in Reston, or they themselves refuse to park in Reston,” he said.

Cosmetics store Origins closed in mid-January, citing paid parking as one of the reasons. The Bike Lane also announced last month it is actively seeking relocation outside of the Town Center.

Orange parking garage, Reston Town CenterMervis said estimates provided by Town Center merchants show a 10-50 percent decline in sales from January 2016. He said Big Bowl validates two hours’ parking for its customers, but the system doesn’t make sense from neither the business’s nor the customers’ standpoint.

“A $4 beer and $4 for parking, that doesn’t make any sense,” he said. “Our customers are appreciative that we’re doing it… but they still say they’re not coming back. They say it’s too much of a hassle.”

The merchants are planning a meeting Monday at Vapiano restaurant (1875 Explorer Street) to continue to discuss their future plans, including potential litigation. In a press release, reasons for their unrest are spelled out:

Besides being onerous, the system itself is driving people away. It includes:
— Having to download an app, which customers say is confusing, does not work well
— Pay stations are often not working and confusing
— Little or no assistance from Boston Properties and no way to explain the system to non-English speakers
— Confusion: Some retailers have provisions allowing free guest parking in one lot but not another
— Filled parking spots forcing guests to park in a different lot where a retailer may not validate (not all retailers can afford to purchase validation codes for all lots)
— Overnight charges for restaurant guests who have been drinking and want to leave their cars overnight while they walk/taxi/Uber home
— Forcing guests to park in nearby development and angering tenants
— There is no quick parking accommodation for guests to do pickups, dropoffs, etc.
— Unclear rules about weekend parking (holidays? Fridays nights?)
— Validation codes have major limitations (guests must change garages to have their ticket validated for both a movie and dinner at certain restaurants)
— Guests with disabilities without smartphones must find a pay station (not conveniently located)

There are also issues which affect the retailers:
— Negative publicity has spilled over to the retailers
— Employees are affected and are looking for other work
— All retailers are charged the same fee to validate parking (bad for small retailers)
— Employee parking is inconsistent and difficult to manage
— Parking security is not trained to help or answer questions
— Retailers are struggling to hold weekday events because people who would attend do not want to deal with paid parking
— Boston Properties has made changes without notification

“This is unbelievable, what’s happening, what they’re doing,” Mervis said. “Guests don’t want to deal with this. They just want to come in and eat.”

Rob Weinhold, spokesperson for Boston Properties, said it would be “inappropriate” for the real estate trust to speculate on or respond to the merchants’ legal threats. However, when contacted by Reston Now, he did wish to clear up “misinformation” about parking validation “that requires immediate clarification:”

“Each retailer and restaurateur, at their sole discretion, decide[s] which garages they choose to validate. As previously communicated, each retailer and restaurateur makes their own business decision about (1) participating in the validation program and (2) what validation terms they choose to incorporate within their unique business model, to include validating for all or select garages.”

Mervis said his restaurant is trying to do the right thing for customers by validating parking, but the end result is hurting their bottom line.

“We’re paying the same price as the guest pays,” he said. “We spent $1,600 in January to validate parking, and at our price point, that has drastic effects for us.”

  • cosmo

    Good. I’m not opposed to pay parking but the system BP implemented is way too complicated and goes overboard. If their goal was to cut down on or eliminate commuter parking, they should A) not allow entry to garages or else require a permit before 10:00 a.m. (which is the setup at Tysons Corner Center) and B) allow for free or very cheap parking for the first 2-3 hours, like Tysons West (free), Ballston Common ($1) or numerous other places. Also, they should integrate any paid parking with the commonly-used Parkmobile app instead of creating their own app, which apparently isn’t user-friendly. I have too much crap on my phone already and I don’t want to download their stupid app. For those who can’t download the app because they don’t have a smartphone, I understand there are very few kiosks. This whole process is a cluster**** and I’m glad they’re getting so much pushback.

    • ichrysso

      I agree and while BP is within their right to charge, the system is confusing and not well thought out at all. The problem is that they introduced this while businesses were within their leases. Changing the terms and conditions of the business environment while people are under lease is outrageous.

      • Guest

        I bet most businesses have a quietly vague “parking changes” provision in their lease, which makes it legal but still dirty pool.

        I think I remember that at least one RTC business gets free validations because they had a wily negotiator, but can’t find that quote or comment among the many, many articles on this subject. Doesn’t make the app any less of a PITA, of course.

        • Adrian Havill

          Jackson’s

          • Guest

            Thank you! I should have known it was GAR.

      • Enough is enough!

        And it’s my right to boycott. And so I will.

        • ichrysso

          As I have myself.

  • Willie Reston

    BOOM

  • johnQPublic

    I also really like the push-back they are getting on this. I have held true to one of my news years resolutions to NOT GO TO THE CLOWN CENTER due to this money grab slash invasion of privacy. Go away BP!

  • Gregg Rosenberg

    Reston Association should change the zoning ordinances to prohibit paid parking within the city.

    • cosmo

      Since Reston isn’t an incorporated city, this would be a Fairfax County issue. The Town Center area isn’t part of RA anyway.

    • Kara Gardner Wills

      Cosmo is totally correct…Reston is officially a ‘census designated place’ or CDP, not a city with their own governance. Fairfax County is the governing authority for essential services and legislation.

      Reston Town Center is not part of Reston Association. There are few areas ‘within Reston’ that are not under the RA umbrella. Most are in RTC or along the 267 corridor, there are a handful of subdivisions, as well.

  • Wm Nix

    I haven’t been to the town center since paid parking was implemented, and will not go again unless it is removed. This is sad, because I used to go there several times per week.

    • Xmas in February

      You should have invested in the stock and all your parking would have been paid for.

      Boston Properties Inc. BXP reported fourth-quarter 2016 funds from operations (“FFO”) per share of $1.54, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.50. Also, the bottom line came in higher than the year-ago figure of $1.28.

      FFO per share for full-year 2016 came in at $6.03, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $5.98. The company recorded FFO per share of $5.36 in 2015.

      Total revenue during the quarter rose 1.9% year over year to $636.1 million. Also, the top line comfortably surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $605.2 million.

      • RC

        This is exactly why I SOLD my BXP a few months ago: I could not, in good conscience, profit from their greed! But as I suggested in a letter to the company’s directors, I think it’s just as likely that BXP will lose a fortune at RTC by driving away customers and merchants, which will be reflected in the stock price.

      • EADGBE

        Wow, I didn’t realize they’re looking like that. No chance in hell they keep that pace. I’m guessing we’ll see a few missed projections in the upcoming quarters. Seriously considering shorting.

        • Xmas in February

          The issue here is the lawyer to lawyer ratio 10:1 or more.

          Basically we are looking for a democrat judge…

      • Did they get it on paid parking in their “Towns?” That is quite an achievement!

  • Edward Calvert

    This whole thing is a gargantuan mess. Community residents and businesses should have more of a say in this versus some faceless out of state private corporation.
    This paid parking is small potatoes to a multi billion dollar company versus some small business owner paying 1600 a month.
    Small businesses there are residents that support you in this endeavor. Anyway we can help including donations for legal costs to fight back against this. A go fund me page might be in order.
    Who ever heard of 3 an hour street parking at night. They don’t even do that in dc or arlington. And dc is broke. And I know of private lots,, bank lots, and government lots and garages that allow free parking over night in dc metro so there’s plenty of precedent.
    Good job for ruining a good thing, BP. this is the suburbs.

    • Scott

      Residents and businesses do have a say and it is being felt. They are speaking with their wallets.
      Your assertion that a private company can’t do what they want with the own property is equally as dangerous. The free market appears to be sorting it out just fine. Nothing else is required.

      • Edward Calvert

        While I agree with you in principle there are also limits at the extreme. Usury is one example

    • jmsullivan

      “This whole thing is a gargantuan mess. Community residents and
      businesses should have more of a say in this versus some faceless out of
      state private corporation.”

      Well, that’s the problem with having what should really be public spaces owned by a private interest. Despite the name, Reston Town Center isn’t a downtown area. It’s a mall, albeit one without a roof, (as is the fashion these days). It looks like a downtown – quite deliberately so – and so people expect it to behave like a downtown. But at the end of the day, it isn’t. And that’s going to be a problem in more ways than one going forward.

  • Joyce W

    I used to think that we were a planned community. That outside corporate entities couldn’t change the fabric of this town for their own interests. Boy, was I wrong!

    • Guest

      That’s kind of been the case since 1967 (Gulf Oil).

    • Richard

      Don’t quit on your beliefs too soon. I think you’ll find that Boston Properties ends up reversing their stupid decision because of the backlash.

  • Restonite

    Go merchants go!!! Wish there was a way that Reston residents could sue BP!

    • 30yearsinreston

      They can do better without lawyers
      Boycott!

  • Generic User

    While Bunny Polmer’s (awesome name) list from her letter (see link below) is certainly inclusive of many of the problems that exist with RTC’s system, it is incomplete without the inclusion of customers not willing to pay for parking that should be free (at least for three hours) as the central complaint.

    http://www.fairfaxtimes.com/articles/opinions/reston-town-center-merchants-considering-lawsuit-over-paid-parking/article_14880ea6-e991-11e6-baa8-43e246d61ae8.html

    • JoeInReston

      If I was a greedy business owner, the first implementation of the parking fees would just that – free parking for the first three hours. Introduce the unpopular concept in the least painful way possible. Set the paid parking precedent so that very few are negatively affected. Than slowly tighten the noose over time. Reduce free parking from the first three hours to the first two hours, than to one hour. Than make it $1 for the first two hours, etc.

      These idiots can’t even do evil correctly.

      • xtr657

        My thoughts exactly put into words. At Ballston Common, I could at least enjoy a happy hour knowing I was only going to be charged $1 for parking.

  • JoeInReston

    Rob Weinhold quote in the article: “Each retailer and restaurateur, at their sole discretion, decide[s] which garages they choose to validate”

    *bang head against the head*

    Yet another stupid implementation idea. Why create a indirection between validation ticket and parking garage? This is absurd.

    Somebody in Boston Properties need to be forced to spend more time with their family.

    • LC

      I’ve never seen such a stupid concept. What if you go to the RTC with the intention of running in to a store….then realize “hey I’m hungry let me grab something to eat.” Go eat and then find out you didn’t park in the right garage for validation. WHAT?!? Don’t you want to encourage people to visit multiple places while they are there!?

    • Generic User

      Hey now, Rob is just trying to do his world-class best. He was handed this world-class turd that he has to world-class polish. Cut him world-class some world-class slack. World-class.

    • This is exactly what I ran into — we went to the movies, and then thanks to a very nice man who works there, we learned that only certain restaurants would validate the green garage. So we couldn’t go to our first choice. We had to select from green garage restaurants. Crazy!

  • Scott

    2 weekends ago, I attempted to go to Not your average Joes. It was mobbed and an hour wait. The parking lot was also more packed than for NYAJ – obviously people were walking over to RTC. B/c of the wait, we walked over to RTC. There were over 4K parking spaces available according to their sign. The streets were a ghost town. Restaurants had decent crowds, but there were obviously open tables at 8pm on a Friday which should be their busiest time. Every retail store we passed had ZERO customers.
    The market is speaking. I don’t know if a lawsuit is the answer, but it will sort itself out. My only fear, is that with all the backlash and posturing, BP will be stubborn about admitting defeat and businesses may fold before they are are forced to give in due to empty storefronts and reduced rents.

  • Tom

    Was just there yesterday to eat at my wife’s favorite restaurant Bar Taco and didn’t know about the paid parking. Attempted to download the app and bring up the RTC pay website and we both said forget it…too much work and just went somewhere else. Kinda worked out….our bill was cheaper than we would have paid for our food and parking

  • Thorny

    This is a fiasco, although, i must say it is nice to have some of the street parking spots open again / available. It is nice to be able to run up to RTC and park on the street if you just need to run into one of the stores to pick something up or grab something very quickly ( like 10 min stop ). When the parking was free, these street spots were always taken – and individuals who worked at the town center would park all day in these spots! There was not any monitoring of the 1 hour parking sign.

    SO – I have no problem with leaving the street parking spots as paid parking. Apparently Boston Properties spent a great deal of money installing some crazy elaborate parking system – so leave it in place for the street parking. If you want the convenience of not having to park far away and just want to run into a shop – then you pay for that convenience. Otherwise, park in a garage ( for free ) and walk.

    All of the garage parking should be open and free to park after 9:30 am. If you need to enter before 9:30 am, as an employee of one of RTC’s businesses, then you have an electronic entry card issued to you – which business can pay for / purchase for their employees. Tysons corner 1 does this for their garages with great success in keeping metro commuters out as most will need to use garage parking before 9:30 am.

    These solutions will at least allow Boston properties to generate SOME money from all of this expense they went to in installing this new fiasco parking system ( street parking and employee parking badge ) while making it not soon expensive for consumers of businesses ( having to validate for shopping consumers ). Its a compromise !

    • 30yearsinreston

      They can afford to pay for their mistakes

  • fergusonjlf

    I won’t go there… Il Fornaio had become our favorite restaurant. I know that they validate – but am sure that they need to raise their costs to cover the validation. Haven’t been there since the paid parking started!

  • Anonymous

    Didn’t think it would be a big deal until I used the system. It’s not suitable for a diverse population. I would feel bad asking my friends who live outside of Reston to endure the process to meet me there. We will go elsewhere.

  • Nate_VA

    It’s almost as if they’re intentionally trying to drive away customers. What exactly do they want to accomplish? The place is sterile enough already, so pushing out the non techies and middle class will make it unbearable.

    • JWI

      The question is really how much damage they will inflict. Many people I know have pure hatred of Boston Properties, and will not forget this any time soon, even when the parking situation is reversed.

  • Lauren90

    I have to agree. It is absurd. Using the excuse of “metro riders park here” was BS. They could have blocked entrance or monitor till 10:00 AM like they do at Tysons Corner. Sad to walk around and see the places always empty. It is too expensive, to complicated of a process and is affecting all the business here. At least One Loudoun has been benefiting of this.

  • Reston Realist

    This is probably the first time I have seen so many comments all sharing the same complaints with absolutely no rebuttal. It’s obvious that BP really missed the mark with their ridiculous concept and implementation of paid parking. What really irks me is that they absolutely lied when they said it was to prevent commuter parking. Many of you have described the problems and potential solutions more eloquently than I can. My comment is “Ditto”

    • 30yearsinreston

      BP lied ?
      What a shocker!

  • Irina Roz

    I think that Reston Association needs to get involved as well. We are all residents of Reston and members of RA by living here. What’s going on in RTC with this paid parking is simply unacceptable and inconsiderate of all of us living in Reston for years. I myself have only visited RTC once on Sunday (park for free day) since January’17 versus our weekly family visits before that and my friends truly don’t want to meet with me in RTC anymore. This week I had to drive to Herndon Woodlands Crossing instead to see a friend. So sad…. We need to get a petition from Reston residents to change the rules on paid parking, collect signature, etc. Could RA take a lead on it?

    • dick

      RTC is not part of Reston Association…

      • Tom

        That is correct, however a failing RTC can negatively affect property values.

    • 30yearsinreston

      Petition?
      Boycotts are more effective
      Vote with your wallet

      RA ?
      Too busy covering up the Lake House fiasco

  • 30yearsinreston

    Never going to pay
    I’ll go somewhere else

  • LRF

    Had to buy a Smart card at the bus station, in town center, for the march the day after Inaugeration Day. I parked across from the station. It took not more than 5 minutes and it cost me $3.00 for parking on the street. The last time I’ll do that!

  • Bob Morrison

    Started to run into William Sonoma last Friday after work to pick up a birthday gift and then remembered the parking situation. Decided to download an online purchased gift certificate for a spa treatment instead. The birthday girl lives in Pennsylvania so no benefit to William Sonoma, to local merchants or to Fairfax county from sales tax. Looks like a lose-lose-lose situation. Brick and mortar retailers have enough problems without their landlords driving customers to more online sales.

  • Dusty

    Greed!!! Absolute Greed! I hope they sue and win big!! Reston Town Center WAS a fine place to go.. no longer…

  • jvb11

    Just was over there tonight. I parked at Best Buy. They had close to 4,000 open spots on the sign. Nobody was at Big Bowl (well 2-3 people), only half full at Jacksons (when have you seen that, especially on a Friday), zero people at Sweetgreens and all the vanilla cupcakes were available at Red Velvet. If I was a restaurant I would file a complaint. This could be easily be resolved if someone at Boston Properties took hold of it. Likely the case that nobody over at local BP has the confidence to call HQ and let them know that this was a big mistake and end this paid parking. I don’t want to see Red Velvet or Bike Lane or Sweetgreens have to move out.

    • Big Drop

      I am making this number up but I am guessing I am close: paid parking is probably worth X or so millions a year to BXP. Over ten years this is a truly significant amount of money. I am also guessing they will include free spaces and/or discounted spaces in lease negotiations with tenants. With a 97% occupancy rate they obviously feel that they can get it. I am also assuming that their business model assumes an amount of public disagreement along with the assumption that it will dissipate with time. People will return to the merchants, condos will hold their value, apartments will continue to rent for the price they need and the Hyatt will maintain its occupancy rating. Also that the press which could influence this will be limited, at least limited to local. And the stock price not impacted because national Press will be held to a minimum.

      All are assumptions and part of the business model.

      • JoeInReston

        There are two groups in play:
        1 Those who oppose paid parking
        2 Those who aren’t happy about it but will pay if the price and experience are reasonable.

        Certainly the business model didn’t account for an atrocious parking policy that put people from the camp (2) on the boycott list.

        The only way this will work is if they drastically change their policies. Not saying that has to mean the elimination of paid parking, but it does mean a completely revamped system that is easier and more intuitive than the current system.

  • freestylergbb

    The very few stores and restaurants we like at RTC makes this so easy. Go elsewhere — and if that means Tyson’s, god forbid, plan ahead and grin and bear it. There’s also Vienna for some good eating. Maybe even McLean or Herndon! Convenience is valued, but to pay for visiting chain stores and restaurants, most of which are pricey, I think not.

  • Ruth Sievers

    I really wish the merchants the best in combatting this. I want to give them my business. I live within 1.5 miles and have walked to RTC a couple of times during the day. But my husband and I no longer go there for dinner, which we used to do frequently. I’m not going to walk at night and I absolutely refuse to download the app.

    • restonista

      This is exactly my view as well.

  • Drip

    This week we have had family in town and birthdays where we have typically spent a lot of money at RTC. Because of BP’s silly paid parking scheme, we discovered another great cupcake shop in Vienna; consequently, Red Velvet lost a very large order and we may never go back. Jackson’s lost out on a large group, which again may never go back. The Bow Tie also lost our business as we explored other theaters in the area.
    Overall, boycotting RTC has been a breeze. I’m also glad to have discovered Lake Anne as an alternative shopping area for walking around and buying stuff. No chains, free parking, and mellow.

  • Motoring

    As a big fan of RTC, it hurt me to see this happen. I haven’t been to the TC since this went into effect. I don’t plan on going back even though I can walk there. I feel bad for the merchants but hopefully a boycott of Boston Properties RTC will help change the situation so that both parties can agree on a system that works.

  • Nancy

    The #BOYCOTT is real. As a previous loyal customer of the RTC businesses, rest assure that I will take my business elsewhere!
    The merchants and their employees will suffer because of the greed of Boston Properties.

  • 30yearsinreston

    Who is best at managing to contrive a disaster because of their ineptness
    BP or RA?

  • Ken Fredgren

    We went to see “Hidden Figures” at Regal Fairfax Towne Center 10 instead of going to Bow Tie. Free, close-in parking, comfortable theater. Went to BB&T on Fox Mill Rd instead in RTC. There are worthy options to most everything.

  • Damon Feldman

    It seems universal. Nobody posting below I can see is happy, and few people are willing to pay. BP will have to cave sooner or later.

    In the meantime, I wonder what’s going on outside RTC with two groups:

    – Fairfax and Reston Association board members? Crickets so far.
    – Other BP developments around the country. Do they know about these dirty tricks? Are they insisting on protections and guarantees for those BP developments BEFORE they are approved.

    The only path to get BPs attention, is in their wallets, and I think pushing for regulations and oversight are a great way to do that.

    • Reston Resident

      Who controls Reston Town Center anyway? Does RA have any control at all? Does Fairfax County?

      • Motoring

        RA has no control over the decisions Boston Properties make at RTC. They are separate entities.

        • Reston Resident

          What about Fairfax County? Does anyone have any control of them at all? After all, we are in a planned community.

          • Edward Calvert

            Someone else commented that fairfax county is the government body who legislates traffic code and zoning regulations for rtc.

    • Big Drop

      BXP reported on Tuesday after 4:00 and had their conference call on Wednesday morning. It is available on line. The only mention of Reston Town Center in either was of the 97% occupied rate. Nothing about parking, an App or negative press. I am guessing that most stockholders of the publicly traded REIT have no idea that there is possibly a problem here. I must note that I was truly surprised reading through the extensive transcript and finding no mention of Town Center’s parking discussion.

  • My friend and I parked in the Reston Town Center paid parking last night, and we had a Kafkaesque experience. He could not download the app. I managed to sign up on the site, and despite the incredibly poor and garbled directions given to us by the attendants, who were well meaning but not quite clear on the whole concept, we got our ticket. It took about 15 minutes in a freezing cold garage. Later, despite our best efforts to get validation, our time ran out and our second validation didn’t work. When we got back to the garage, the validation machine wouldn’t let us sign in. The instructions that were posted were beyond confusing. It wasn’t past 9:00 and there was nobody there to help. We finally had to call the number posted, and after a long rigamarole, they agreed to “try” to credit us. We’ll see if that works. We spent a toatl of 30 minutes in that d**n garage. Next time, different location. Not RCT. Wow.

    • Big Drop

      This is a similar experience to what the 1,600 or so condo owners and apartment renters are having. At some point there will be publicity about them to suppliment retail with the question of the impact that Boston Properties’ decision may have on the value of a condo or the ability to rent an apartment. Ironically, Boston Properties are building the Signature which has 500 rental units as well as retail. It will be interesting to see if they realize that they may have shot themselves in the foot.

      • They are undervaluing the good will of the people — something that’s hard to earn, and harder to earn back. They are looking at short-term gain and overlooking the long-term pain of a poor reputation and people who won’t go there or buy properties due to built-up resentment. I can’t imagine living there, and telling your friends that they are going to have to go through this parking ritual and then pay, just to drop in on you. Everyone will say, “Let’s meet at my place instead.”

    • Generic User

      See! So complicated, even a PhD can’t figure it out. What chance do the rest of us have? I hope you’re happy, BP. 😛

      • Haha! Not sure what good a PhD in psychology will do me, other than letting me examine the heads of the people who made this decision. Speaking generically of course.

  • Ken Perkal

    Boston Properties are after fools gold w this paid parking situation. Word is out and masses of people will and are boycotting the entire RTC at this point. Their greed will fail because they have a serious problem on their dirty hands and people don’t forget. Merchants will suffer or leave due to lack of business. FAIL Boston Properties!!
    How many people will you outrage before you drop this failed paid parking policy. BOYCOTT RTC !! BOYCOTT ANY PAID PARKING PERIOD. we the public have plenty of other free venues offered to us within a few more minutes. RTC is not a stadium it’s a small shopping center w/o a roof. Take heed developer/PR/management we will prevail at your expense. Learn how to be a good neighbor and make RTC an engaging experience again. Otherwise we BOYCOTT RTC PAID PARKING

  • Big Drop

    Boston Properties ( BXP which is a publicly traded REIT) reported on Tuesday and had their conference call on Wednesday morning. Transcripts are on line. The only mention in the transcripts of Reston Town Center is to note that they are 97% occupied. From the transcripts and the fourth quarter report there is NOTHING that has been said about problems at Town Center. To the best of my knowledge stock holders of this REIT have no idea there are any issues at Town Center.

    I must also mention the 1,600 or so condo owners and apartment renters: they have similar issues as the merchants. People visiting them whether friends, business or a plumber or engineer all confront the App and paid parking. A very real question is will the introduction of the App and paid parking influence the price of a condo at Town Center? Will it influence the ability to rent an apartment?

    Then there are the Terms and Conditions. They should be read in detail. There may be a surprise or two.

  • javamaster

    Went to the movies (again) at the recently renovated Worldgate 9 in Herndon, free underground parking, comfortable recliner seating, excellent sound, and the popcorn tastes exactly the same. Take the hint.

  • Motoring

    I suggest contacting supervisor hudgins to make her office aware of the issue. The BOS has no power to fix it but perhaps they can be an ally.

    • 30yearsinreston

      Don’t expect anything from Hudgins
      She is a developer shill

  • There is one positive to all this. Today l had to go to the town center for a business meeting and there were dozens and dozens of empty spaces all along the streets. I do not have an app but I just went ahead and parked and nothing happened…no tickets etc after more than an hour. Lots of empty spaces. AND TODAY, SUNDAY, I WENT TO THE TOWN CENTER AND ALL THE PARKING SPACES ON THE STREETS WERE TAKEN!! BUSINESS IS BOOMING IN THE RESTON TOWN CENTER.ON SUNDAYS!!!!!.

    • 30yearsinreston

      Never mind the rest of the week

  • Generic User

    So apparently, but perhaps not surprisingly, good old world-class Rob Weinhold, BP’s hired gun crisis management consultant, is lying.

    Over on Reston Patch, Andy Pforzheimer, owner of Bartaco and Barcelona, commented on a story about Rob’s claim that the tenants picked their own garage for validation saying “I am a retail tenant. This is a complete lie. In our leases, we were given a garage in which we have (had) free parking. Upon the conversion, that garage became our “validated” lot – there was zero choice on our part which garage we preferred.”

  • ABM

    It’s hard for me to believe Boston Properties is not making enough money on commercial real estate in RTC. Additionally, why would someone pay for parking in RTC when everything else around is free. RTC is cool, but it’s not that cool. And I’m especially not paying to quickly run to Sweet Green for a salad or run into Bike Lane to quickly pick something up. Greedy move BP.

    • JoeInReston

      I can testify that Sweet Greens has lost potential monies. Feel bad but I am not going to pay $2 in parking to pick up a salad.

  • Hank from Reston

    I wrote to BP with the following message. Please write to them at http://www.bostonproperties.com/pages/contact and call them.

    Boston Properties has violated their core Values.

    Your core values state “This Code of Business Conduct and Ethics (the “Code”) governs the business decisions made and actions taken by the Company’s directors, officers and employees and is an expression of the Company’s fundamental and core values, which include: (i) integrity and honesty in the Company’s and its employees’ dealings with customers, suppliers, co-venturers, competitors, shareholders and the community; (ii) respect for individuality and personal experience and background; and (iii) support of the communities where the Company and its employees work.”

    You have violated your commitment to support the Reston community with your implementing paid parking in Reston town Center. Paid parking has harmed the merchants, caused parking problems at the close-by hospital and library and has alienated the community. The community has also signed a petition protesting paid parking, with almost a third of the adult community signing this petition. There is now an active boycott of Town Center and many people will no longer patronize the merchants because of the paid parking. You have lost the good will of the community and it will take a major roll-back of paid parking to even begin to recover.

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