Firm Lists Reston National Golf Course as ‘Coming Soon’ for Developers

by Dave Emke March 1, 2017 at 10:15 am 33 Comments

Reston National Golf Course

An investment advisory firm has listed Reston National Golf Course as a property “coming soon” for developers, which has angered a local advocacy group.

Rescue Reston was formed in 2012 to oppose efforts to redevelop the golf course’s open space into a residential area, and it was successful. However, it now appears the group has a new fight on its hands.

ARA Newmark has recently distributed information announcing that “168 acres of by-right residential development” would soon be available at the golf course. In an emailed statement to media, Rescue Reston says the advertisement’s use of the term “by-right” is “highly misleading.”

“The Development Plans filed with Fairfax County for the Golf Course and the Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan clearly designate the land as open space to be used as a golf course. Any residential development plan would require a review by County Planning Commission staff, a public hearing before the County Planning Commission, a public hearing before the County Board of Supervisors, and ultimately an amendment to the County Comprehensive Plan.”

Rescue Reston president Connie Hartke says her group believes the ownership of the golf course, RN Golf Management, is putting out feelers to potential developers.

“After consulting with our attorney, we suspect this is the first round to determine what the market will bear. A call for bids, if you will,” she said. “RN Golf let it be known in this letter of March 4, 2016 that they intend to pursue ‘available redevelopment options’ to develop Reston’s permanent open space. This is why we have remained vigilant and are able to react so quickly to this news.”

The Reston National site is listed on ARA Newmark’s website, with a price designated as “TBD by Market.”

Hartke said Rescue Reston plans to “mobilize [its] allies and supporters as necessary to oppose any attempt to amend the Comprehensive Plan that would threaten our open space.”

  • Drip

    Rescue Reston lost me when they came out in support of the Tetra boondoggle. That tanked a lot of their credibility because it demonstrated a lack of pragmatism.

    • Scout

      Agreed! Boondoggle is mild. Rescue Reston is off my list of “Icare.”

    • Guest

      I heard that RA Prez twisted RR’s arm to support Tetra or RA wouldn’t support RR’s save the golf course effort. Welcome confirmation or denial here by the two parties.

    • JoeInReston

      Sounds like someone needs to rescue Rescue Reston.

    • Bah

      RR logic:

      1. If it happens south of the Toll Road, in my backyard and affecting my property, OUTRAGEOUS OUTRAGE THAT MUST BE STOPPED.

      2. If it happens north of the Toll Road… meh.

    • OverYourComplaints

      Drip- you really should get a new drum to beat. Tetra is over. The RNC fight is a worthy one, and I might add not inconsistent with what Tetra achieved; permanently dedicated open space that could NEVER be threatened by development. Move on.

      • Drip

        You just proved my point… Tetra is only over if you ignore the extensive cost overruns and the fact that it will likely cause our dues to be increased despite benefiting only a small portion of the community. Tetra also caused other projects to be delayed or likely scrapped. It’s an albatross on the community, and will be for years to come. Which comes to Rescue Reston’s lack of pragmatism. You solely focus on the permanent open space, but utterly ignore the cost and unintended consequences. So how about this… You (or RR) cut a check to clear Tetra from the books, and I’ll agree that it is over.

        • Greg

          What s/he said.

        • Sick of RA

          Excellent response! Tetra will never be over as it will be a negative drain on RA members forever. And the way it was done should NEVER be forgotten. Abuse of power on display, and in hiding.

    • Greg


  • Road Rage

    With all the developments on Sunrise its probable the road will have to be wider taking out half the golf course.

    • Guest

      It’s widening, but eastbound on the course? Fan fiction time?

      Rezone, develop the whole thing, and reroute Sunrise on a straight shot down hole 10. The northern loop becomes International Center Drive.

      Indian Ridge Road condos get more parking like they always wanted. Rentals slowly creep over critical mass.

      The Eye of RTC shifts its gaze south and prepares a fell army for the march.

  • Mike M

    Somewhere in Fairfax or Richmond, a judge has a fatter bank account?

  • Chuck Morningwood

    Maybe RR was wrong about Tetra — based on available evidence, I might have been too. Still, that in no way diminishes that the green space of RNC needs to be preserved, whether it’s a golf course, a part of RA property, or turned into a Fairfax County park.

    • Sick of RA

      Well perhaps WAY back in the 60s and 70s, those responsible should have ensured that it would always remain open space. The way I have read the documents, it would seem they were a bit lazy about it all. The fact remains that there is significant wiggle room in the way the zoning was done, and, it’s private property. So, there is potential for it to be sold and developed if somebody jumps through all the hoops, and gets the approvals. I own property overlooking RN, near the pond. The last thing I’d like to see out my kitchen window is a condo complex. That said – private property rights are also important to me. So there is that. Oh, and Tetra has been a disaster.

      • John Farrell


        • Greg

          Not quite. The VA supremes have yet to rule, no?

          • John Farrell

            Northwestern never filed a petition for cert. Their case is over.

        • Sick of RA

          You might be better informed that me, that’s one of the reasons I qualified my statement with “the way I read the documents”, in other words, this is how I understood them. That said, if the Phase II Reston Master Plan locks it down so tightly, why is there even a fight? As much as I’d love for you to be correct here (I live on the golf course….), I’m not sure you are.

          • John Farrell

            It’s the “greater fool” theory of marketing: “I may have been a dope to buy this white elephant but there’s always a greater fool out there who will take it off my hands.”

            Do you think Northwestern Mutual knowingly and intentionally bought the dogfight they experienced?

            Just Like RA and Tetra, sometimes a buyer doesn’t do its homework and winds up with a pig in a poke.

  • east297

    RA should buy Reston South and add it to its other bad investments. RA can turn it into a dog park and other non paying endeavors.

    • 30yearsinreston

      They could build a lake, put up a shack and market it as community space

  • 30yearsinreston

    Ask them if they will swap the Golf Course for the Lake Shack

  • 30yearsinreston

    Any Multi million $ homes with Lake Views near the property?
    If there are, RA realtors would be interested in helping out

  • 30yearsinreston

    How about gettin Hudgins to buy the property

  • Tammi Petrine

    I too was furious that RR joined the Tetra fray!!! BUT IF and WHEN RNGC is threatened, we all have to put aside our anger over Tetra and prevent the development of our open space. Do not cut off your nose to spite your face!

    Legal documents that covered the open space designation were stolen from multiple sites around the county. This was not accidental and was spurred by parties seeking to make billions of $$$ in new development. Once development comes south of Sunrise Valley Road, NOTHING will make safe the rest of our community, north or south of the DTR. We will no longer be a planned community or anything remotely resembling current-day Reston. For this reason, we must unite for protect open space/the RNGC.

    PS: Do you not think the golf course owners and developers are thrilled with now publicized internal squabbles that suggest a fractured community??? C’mon! We’re smarter than this! Let’s link arms now.

    PS #2: We are not even close to closing the Tetra book. We will get to the bottom. Too many people are now on-board. Please vote carefully for the RA candidates that you KNOW will help overturn the controlling board majority so true reform and transparency can become reality. RA can and must be our HOA and not a vehicle for special interests and insider deals.

  • John Farrell

    The failure of the broker to acknowledge the overwhelming regulatory constraints on this land and disclose them to prospective purchasers could constitute bad faith were prospective purchaser to spend large sums of money to discover the facts that the broker is withholding. Fairly dangerous behavior by the listing broker.

    Maybe they and the Quiet Company are playing the “greater fool” marketing strategy.

  • Donald

    As I recall, Rescue Reston, RA, and the County have done a very good job to date, protecting the RNGC. They have spent the last 5 years in this public fight, let’s hope they continue to stay united.

  • Justsayno


  • Joe Gatto

    Awesome!!! Can’t wait to play the course!

  • Ken Perkal

    Block the rezoning option.
    On books as open space.
    You guys Realtors homeowners and developer have plenty of options to do your business elsewhere.
    Currently the brokers website listing has no information about the property its zoning land us as open space. We all need to understand the balance of open space, park land and housing property for a healthy community. That’s what Bob Simon was all about. May he Rest In Peace.

  • Howard Perlstein

    It is not such a far-fetched idea to pressure either the Fairfax County Park Authority or the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority to use eminent domain to acquire Reston National and turn it into a public golf course. I’ve played Herndon Centennial and Brambleton, to name just a few local public courses, and there is no reason why Reston National cannot become a public course. Just something to explore.

    • John Farrell

      Because its a profitable operation; just not in Northwestern’s normal portfolio.


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