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Sunrise Valley Drive Office Building Set to Come Down, Make Way for Townhomes

by Dave Emke — February 22, 2017 at 11:30 am 54 Comments

11720 Sunrise Valley Drive

The demolition of a six-story office building at 11720 Sunrise Valley Drive will likely soon begin.

11720 Sunrise Valley DriveA permit to tear down the structure was filed with Fairfax County last week. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved in October an application that would see the building brought down and replaced with 54 townhomes on the 3.5-acre property.

Located on the eastern end of the Reston Heights development, the 69,000-square-foot building was bought by Rooney Properties in 2013. Signage outside the building shows its most recent tenants having been QVine Corp.PVBS and GreenTec-USA.

The property is located across Roland Clarke Place from the former location of the API building, which was razed last year to make room for the future Sunrise Square cluster. Also owned by Rooney Properties, that will consist of 34 townhouses and 10 condos.

Rendering of RP 11720 Sunrise Valley/Fairfax CountyThe new development at 11720 Sunrise Valley Drive is planned to have a quarter-acre pocket park located north of a private street that will run through the center of the property. The park will include benches, a butterfly garden, public art and more.

Developers also plan to build six-foot sidewalks along Sunrise Valley Drive and Roland Clarke Place to help make pedestrian connections to Silver Line Metro stations. The plan also incorporates a separate, 10-foot wide path for bicycles along Sunrise Valley Drive.

The entrance to the community will be on Roland Clarke Place. The developers have a dedicated right of way for a future traffic signal at the corner of Sunrise Valley and Roland Clarke.

  • June Smith

    The way the area is being rezoned for higher density – within a year, our roads will be gridlock 5:00am to 9pm M-F. This is getting ridiculous — no one I know signed on for another Tysons Corner in Reston

    • 30yearsinreston

      Ms Hudgins loves it

      • June Smith

        Oh that’s a “for sure” – I can’t help but wonder how much she’s making off these deals

      • Ken Perkal

        Who is this Ms. Hudgins you speak of? Thx

    • Rational Reston

      Or it’s an area zoned for a place where people ‘drive to’ to places where people ‘drive from’.

      54 Townhouses could mean 100 cars. That office building (if filled) would probably draw 200+ cars.

      In this case, I’d bet it’s barely something anyone would notice for traffic.

      • June Smith

        This is just one pocket of redevelopment – there are 4 – 5 other projects going – which equates to 1,000 more cars on the road during the day …

        • Crypers

          The net effect is still less traffic under the new configuration for this particular property. Maybe try stopping the B&M for B&M sakes.

          • June Smith

            You sound very much like a politician or real estate investor/developer …. who probably doesn’t even live in Reston. You attempt to try to justify the over development of Reston – while not using your real name is one of your “tells”

          • Ken Perkal

            Crypers and Reston Rational do not live in this Reston Heights area on Sunrise Valley Drive.

          • Ken Perkal

            Calling out you BS reply… This building has less than 25-30 vehicles in its parking lot on a daily basis for the past 4-years.
            “Reston Rational” is not living in reality. Your arithmetic w pencil on paper is way, way off to the actual impact of the property in question.
            You obviously don’t live in the immediate area. You don’t know the truth of which you speak. Wake up!

          • Rational Reston

            See below.

  • Nyla J.

    Bleh. Not a single one of these units has a view of both Popeye’s and the gas station like in the other weird oversized building on Sunrise Valley.

    • Greg

      No worries — both will likely be gone very soon.

      • LakeNewportLady

        How is Popeyes still there?! I don’t get how that didn’t get knocked down with the last acquisition

        • Greg

          MMSC Reston LLC (aka Dr. David Ho) bought the Popeye’s property for $89,000 in 1997. It’s assessed at $1,171,750 today, but was assessed as high as $1,720,800, so the owner is likely waiting for a better offer than the oy vey, or whatever it’s called, developer offered.

          It’s a shame that the Reston Association, with offices literally across the street from the dilapidated Popeye’s, doesn’t crack down on the numerous covenants violations: kitchen apparatus on the long-neglected patio? Overgrown vegetation? Mold-stained stucco?

          Not to mention the irony of a physician owning a Popeye’s franchise — one business feeds (pun intended) the other, no doubt.

          • I’d rather post as a guest

            It’s great that RA has no jurisdiction…. The chicken there is really good, it’s hard to drive by without stopping.

          • Greg

            The Reston deed is recorded on that plat, so RA does have jurisdiction. Regardless, the property’s exterior is not being well maintained and it’s a countywide ordinance violation to store equipment on the patio.

          • Peter Newman

            get bent Greg, Popeyes is a Reston staple that I hope never gets shoved out by Hudgins and her corruption.

          • The Constitutionalist

            Yes, it really elevates the community to new heights.

          • Peter Newman

            Why does it need to elevate the community? Isnt there enough “elevation” taking place as is? You know, the elite RTC, high rise project after high rise project, ever rising RA assessments, a gridlocked wheile ave? Focus on the real problems bozo, Popeyes is delicious.

          • The Constitutionalist

            It appears the joke was lost on you. No surprise there.

          • The Constitutionalist

            Who are you and why are you talking to me?

          • Ken Perkal

            I don’t need you to call me. I don’t need any work from you.
            This little blog news is what it is.
            Your a troll if you took the time to find my phone number, etc.
            perhaps you should seek your own employment, take a walk or go read a book.

          • Greg

            No need for vulgarity and rudeness; however, I am sure we agree that “staple” or not, its days are numbered.

          • Peter Newman

            You are right, uncalled for i suppose. But it seems you are approaching this topic with an elitist mentality, of which my home town has become all too familiar with. Your life must be pretty boring if you are concerned with Popeyes needing a powerwash and weed whacking. Maybe you should be more concerned with the eyesore that is being constructed next to it and the influx of traffic that is about commence.

          • Greg

            “Maybe you should…” #smh

  • Arielle in NoVA

    BOO-HISS. I love this building. Also, that’s an awful place to put townhouses. Homes should stay on the other side of Sunrise Valley.

    • Ken Perkal

      Arielle in NoVA, does anyone know how to petition against this change in property use or demolition of the building and new development of this property.
      As a neighboring resident of this property I find this rezone for additional high density residential housing abhorrent to the current neighborhood.
      The posting of this article is the first I have been made aware of which comes a week after the county’s permit approval.
      Enough is enough, an injunction to halt this activity planned by the developer/owner of this property will commence via a community petition will take place immediately.
      The greed of developer/property ownership has consumed our community on this area of Sunrise Valley Drive between Whiele Drive and Reston Parkway. The road system is already at a “Grade F” in terms of traffic as it exists today. This new change in development will not stand without a fight from the community. The current residents deserve better than this, a legal fight in now in order. Quitetly rezoning via rubber stamp by the Fairfax county zoning department and/or commission will not stand. This aggression will not stand without a voice from the current Reston community. Legal and vocal media response will be imminent. This additional higher density re-zone is an outrage. We will not accept without a fight.

      • Arielle in NoVA

        I first heard about this proposed tear-down and residential construction when the API building was condemned a few months back, but I don’t know who, if anyone, could overrule the BoS now that they approved of everything.

        • Ken Perkal

          I’m an abutting property owner (one of 500 condominium owners owners west of the 11720 property) and we did not receive any written notice of a public hearing regarding any application of zoning change or action prior to the approval(s). This is a violation of any abutting property owners rights to participate in any public hearing held to voice our concerns or rebuttals. I am currently looking into this issue and will make a report to all those concerned.
          Thank you.

      • Greg

        Reston Now does a good job of covering planned redevelopment, so be sure to subscribe to the daily digest. The previous editor also reports on Reston redevelopment at the Washington Business Journal. That’s a paid journal, but it offers a daily digest with some free content.

        Also, subscribe to Hudgins’ propaganda. She buries the materials, and the exact locations are often coded in obtuse tax-map language, but they are there and list the dates and times to influence first the planning commission and then the BoS when final decisions are made.

        http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/huntermill/

        For some obscure reason, Fairfax County “advertises” local (re)development with yellow, illegible at driving distances and speeds, sandwich boards near the planned works. If you see one of these, you will know that something is planned for that site.

        Here’s a link to the entire Byzantine process:

        http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpz/zoning/devoverview.htm

    • Rational Reston

      It’s not a great building, it’s inefficient and has been stated here on RestonNow, it’s been vacant and it does not offer what tenants want.

      So what do we do? How can we keep buildings that are unwanted? I don’t think we can live in a little time capsule things evolve, this property is ready to evolve.

      • Ken Perkal

        Not a great building? It’s the same as all the rest. What’s happening is developer greed to re-zone and build housing all along the south side corridor of Toll 267 on Sunrise Valley Drive from Reston Parkway all the way east to Whiele. With NO traffic mitigation. Currently this stretch of road is GRADE F.
        They are planning to add 1000’s of housing units in the works. These two lots at 11720 SVDr. Are just the beginning townhomes adding total of 98 units x two cars min. Per unit and JBG adding 168 units (x 2cars per unit min.) plus Commercial use
        On ground level. Its in construction now half way built. All this and no county demand for additional roadway traffic to the area. This is a travesty.

        • Rational Reston

          A lot of those buildings along that stretch are/were very poor office buildings thrown up in the 1980’s. Last I saw a business owner’s objective is to make money, in this case it’s disposing of unprofitable commercial property in favor of residential.

          And there are transportation developments and discussions going on right now…..like for example the one mentioned three articles down from this one we’re in right now:
          https://www.restonnow.com/2017/02/21/reston-transportation-funding-plan-meeting-set-for-thursday-in-herndon/

  • Naveen Itil

    Corruption in high action in County look like. Zoning needs to deny this. they will be total gridlock.

  • Ken Perkal

    Does anyone know how to petition against this change in property use or demolition of the building and new development of this property.
    As a neighboring resident of this property I find this rezone for additional high density residential housing abhorrent to the current neighborhood.
    The posting of this article is the first I have been made aware of which comes a week after the county’s permit approval.
    Enough is enough, an injunction to halt this activity planned by the developer/owner of this property will commence via a community petition will take place immediately.
    The greed of developer/property ownership has consumed our community on this area of Sunrise Valley Drive between Whiele Drive and Reston Parkway. The road system is already at a “Grade F” in terms of traffic as it exists today. This new change in development will not stand without a fight from the community. The current residents deserve better than this, a legal fight in now in order. Quitetly rezoning via rubber stamp by the Fairfax county zoning department and/or commission will not stand. This aggression will not stand without a voice from the current Reston community. Legal and vocal media response will be imminent. This additional higher density re-zone is an outrage. We will not accept without a fight.

    • 30yearsinreston

      Ask Ms Hudgins
      Don’t hold your breath

      • Ken Perkal

        Note: I’m an abutting property owner (one of 500 condominium owners owners west of the 11720 property) and we did not receive any written notice of a public hearing regarding any application of zoning change or action prior to the approval(s). This is a violation of any abutting property owners rights to participate in any public hearing held to voice our concerns or rebuttals. I am currently looking into this issue and will make a report to all those concerned.
        Thank you.

        • Greg

          The only time you may receive notice is for the following conditions: a rezoning, a special exception, a special permit or a variance from Fairfax County. Even then it’s up to the requester to decide to whom he mails the notices. No more than 25 such notices are required.

          Otherwise, by-right zoning runs with the land and does not require special notices. This is what many posting here don’t understand — most of what is being (re)developed was planned 50 years ago and built to a lesser density than was originally planned. Those plans have been updated (the comprehensive plan), and that’s the time and place where one can make the most difference in what could be built in future years.

          So, don’t confuse REzoning with by-right development.

          http://www.fcrevit.org/programs/byright.htm

          By right development refers to projects that are permitted under their current zoning and do not require any legislative action by the Board of Supervisors or the Board of Zoning Appeals. They are approved administratively and do not require public hearings.

          http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpz/zoning/devoverview.htm

          • Ken Perkal

            This was a re-zoning. County has no paper records of notices sent out to abutting owners. A violation. Big mistake.

          • Ken Perkal

            This is a RE-ZONING PROJECT.

  • Naveen Itil

    As if we are not waiting long enough at those red lights. How about removing Reston Town Center and putting town houses there …. can county do what ever they want…high times of non sense … rooted with corrupted rules.

  • Naveen Itil

    How about free homes for county officials at this building after renovation..

  • Naveen Itil

    this will cause more nonsense….

  • Sam W.

    The redevelopment/infill of the properties between Soapstone Dr & Wiehle are far more concerning for me than these townhouses filling in vacant/underused lots. I live off of Soapstone and the farthest I’ve seen Reston Pkwy/Sunrise Valley light backed up is to these lots. New residents aren’t going to add to that — they’re going to be turning into neighborhood and getting off road.

    Every road in every job center sucks at rush hour — that’s why it’s called rush hour. Could they be improved? Yes. But the other 20+ hours a day, these roads are empty. You could always adjust your schedule to beat or wait out the rush.

    • Ken Perkal

      Adjust your schedule? Wtf? The working people’s world doesn’t work that way.. as if?? Unreal. Wake up, we are not retired folks going shopping. WE WORK for the man.

  • rgj

    “RP 11720, LLC

    #11720 Sunrise Valley Drive

    #PCA B-846-03, PRC B-846-04

    #The applicant hopes to amend the existing development plan (DP-117) in order to construct 49 Urban-Style single family attached dwelling units at 11720 Sunrise Valley Drive. The PRC Plan and Proffered Condition Amendment are to add proffers to the property. The existing building and surface parking will be removed. The Planning Commission public hearing is scheduled for Thursday, June 16 at 8:15 p.m

    • Ken Perkal

      Rgj: Why are you posting this today? In these comments…Proper public notice to abutting property owners are due specific written legal notice of property changes a month 30 days before the public hearing date by law. 500 condo owners receive nothing. No hard copy records held with Fairfax County. Big mistake.

  • Rational Reston

    Nifty. We can do this. Though I won’t resort to your name calling, and frantic arm waving.

    I’ll spell it out for you.

    54 townhouses. Assume two cars per household on average. This yields 108 cars. I approximated 100 cars as a round number.

    As for the office building, I DID use the term “at capacity”. And I was underestimating what a capacity building would hold. Of course there were only a handful of cars there in recent years, as this building is a failure. Hence the concept of converting it to townhouses. If this building was a success it would likely have a greater traffic impact than 54 townhouses.

    What if this building is not converted to townhouses? Raze it and replace it with a ‘better’ office building? If successful, that would mean adding greater than 108 cars to the mix.

    BTW, I live in the Glade District, so I know the area quite well.

    • Ken Perkal

      Across the street on east side Roland Clarke @Sunrise Valley same developer building 34 town homes and 10 condos add that to JBG development to west of Sheraton hotel on Sunrise Valley adding 168 condos plus commercial use add all the massive development to happen between soapstone street and Whiele on Sunrise Valley north side of street adding MASSIVE additional housing.

      Sunrise Valley Drive between Reston Parkway and Whiele traffic currently has a Grade F and there is no mitigation of the street planned to accommodate all the additional vehicle traffic these developments will bring.

      “Rational Reston” who EVER you really are (afraid to reveal yourself by name?) The worst I called you is “a fool” because you are blind to the conditions we who actually are from this exact location in the community are having to deal with. You are one of those NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) commentators who should oppose your community neighbor’s having to consume the negative impacts of poor street traffic planning for the sake of the all mighty greedy developer(s).

      For that you are foolish and selfish. Do us all a favor and go play in traffic.

      • Rational Reston

        In the wise words of Sgt Hulka, “Lighten up Francis”

        You’ve tried to deflect by talking about me and other posters instead of discussing the issue.

        You’ve posted on here that you live in the condos that are adjacent to the property in question. Which leads one to believe that you live in the Mercer Condos. A building that was constructed 11 or so years ago. It replaced a partially wooded lot. I remember when it was built, I remember when some people objected to the construction of the building that you currently live in, their knee-jerk reaction was traffic impacts. Now we’re talking, literally, about YOUR backyard, who’s the selfish one here?

        I absorbed your traffic, I absorbed Metro traffic around Whiele, I saw that the predictions of carmageddon due to Soapstone ‘Road Diet’ were unfounded, I opposed redeveloping the golf course (right across the street from you), more things will change some things will be good, somethings will introduce some growing pains. This is just Reston growing, a lot of it is due to the Metro coming through Reston. The growth of Reston Town Center drew offices from Sunrise Valley Drive to RTC, those properties will need to become something? Got a better idea? Throw that better idea out here.

        • Ken Perkal

          Yeah, leave well enough alone.

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