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More Residential Development Plans Submitted for Corridor East of Wiehle Avenue

by Dave Emke — March 15, 2017 at 4:00 pm 29 Comments

1808 Michael Faraday Court

A developer has submitted an application to rezone another property off Sunset Hills Road near Wiehle-Reston East Metro station to residential use.

Faraday Partners LLC has made the request for 2.9 acres at 1808 Michael Faraday Court to become a multifamily dwelling area. The Washington Business Journal reports the proposed project is a seven-story apartment building with up to 261 units.

Quoting the statement of justification, the project is described as drawing upon “traditional motifs that are reminiscent in design, height and historic loft-style industrial buildings found in revitalized urban areas.”

Michael Faraday Court is a short road off Sunset Hills with no outlet. In addition to the property in question, it is home to the SkateQuest facility and an office building.

A 2-acre portion of the site is currently zoned I-5 (general industrial), while the other nine-tenths of an acre is zoned I-4 (limited industrial). The site is the former home of the Academy of Christian Education, which moved to Parkridge Boulevard last year.

This is just another in an ever-growing list of residential projects proposed for the corridor east of Wiehle Avenue. Others include:

Numerous additional projects are in the works on the west side of Wiehle Avenue as well. In 2014, Fairfax County reworked Reston’s land-use plan to encourage such development in the area of the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station, as well as the future Reston Town Center and Herndon stations.

“In the future, the three station areas could become home to a total of 30 million square feet in offices and 28,000 housing units,” the county said in its announcement of the plan’s revision. “The plan aims to make [the Wiehle-Reston East] station area an education-focused neighborhood with housing that is well-connected to transit by new walkable streets.”

  • Nyla J.

    Too much residential not enough retail.

    People are never going to ditch their cars and walk around this area if there is nothing for them to walk to.

    • JoeInReston

      McTacoHut is all the food one could possibly need. But if you insist, I’ll throw in a Sweet Heat BBQ and an Exxon A-Plus mini mart.

      • The Constitutionalist

        What about Pizza Hut? That’s all the food groups in one block: pizza, burgers, and tacos.

      • RVA_101

        That’s funny because that’s probably what was there anyway before the mixed use development. It caters to the easy pull in and drive through car culture. Now look. Reston Station (for example) has at least marginally higher brow Starbucks and Founding Farmers. Be patient, give it time, the retail below residential model works, tenants will sign on. Until then don’t be so negative and anti development

    • The Constitutionalist

      People are never going to ditch their cars and walk to work when they work 40+ minutes away in any direction. The gridlock isn’t caused from people driving to and from retail stores, it’s caused from people driving to and from work.

  • Chuck Morningwood

    BOHICA.

  • Moon Lotus

    One less recreational facility!

    Work live and pay…

  • Arielle in NoVA

    That is not a good spot for residential.

    • meyerweb

      It’s not a good spot for ANY additional development.

  • meyerweb

    Sunset Hills is already gridlocked during rush hour. When this building frenzy is done, nothing will never moving. It’ll take half an hour just to go from Whiele to Reston Pkwy, or to Hunter Mill. But the developers will make their money, and share it with the Board of Supervisors, so we shouldn’t look far any rational, people focused plans.

    • The Constitutionalist

      The building frenzy won’t be over until everything is gridlocked. They won’t stop because their actions are causing the gridlock, the gridlock will stop their actions.

    • Scott

      Don’t worry. After they cut the road through Hidden Creek and install their grid of streets, it will be all sunshine, lollipops, and addl tax revenue for the County BoS to control.

    • Eric Carr

      Sunset Hills needs serious work. I wish the county would focus on that instead of this wishful (and extremely unlikely) road through Hidden Creek. A safer, multi-modal Sunset Hills would support residential and commercial development, and can take pressure off the need for cars on this proposed street grid, which could then primarily support walkers. We could turn this development into actual neighborhoods connected in walkable fashion, and then tie those neighborhoods into Reston writ large. The result: developers can still be profitable, but Reston has less of a physical scar running through it.

      • JoeInReston

        Can you elaborate on this multi modal concept on Sunset Hills and Reston writ large a bit further? Is this the vision to encourage (via no real alternative choice) people use buses instead of cars?

        • Eric Carr

          The idea is for the road network to facilitate walking and cycling as much as driving, which will be critical as these areas redevelop. For Sunset Hills, it needs a proper median and turn lanes, and it needs sidewalks and bike lanes. That means more space, which will have to come from the parking lots and ditch by the McTacoHut. Then that proposed “grid” should be similarly built so that it’s not super-convenient for cars (narrow streets, limited parking) but great for walkers and riders. That gives us two good outcomes: a safer Sunset Hills that moves traffic more smoothly, and plenty of non-vehicle options for the people who live in those new communities.

          For multi-modal roads to work, though, a critical mass is key. Sunrise Valley will need similar treatment. Take Soapstone. It’s pretty walkable, and has good bike lanes, but once you get to Sunrise Valley you’re in a live-action Frogger game. Hence nobody walks or rides their bikes on Soapstone. When the Soapstone Connector is built, it needs to have these lanes to connect to these improved streets by Sunset Hills. Once we do that, then we can have development without crippling vehicle traffic.

          • Conservative Senior

            You are living in La La Land!

      • Get Real

        Nearest grocery to Michael Faraday is Plaza America, a mile up the street. Nobody is going to walk that far for groceries. They’re going to drive.

        • JoeInReston

          Plaza America parking lot is awful as is. 1,500 new residents is going to make even worse.

          County is going to have plan this out carefully. **snort snort**

        • Eric Carr

          Completely agree. The Wiehle neighborhood will need another grocery store.

          • restonista

            Yes, another grocery store will be needed. While I’m not a necessarily a fan of a grocery happening at Tall Oaks (moot point,) it just proves that Jefferson Apartments’ “market study” provided wasn’t inclusive of future development. They kept pointing out that there are plenty of grocery shopping opportunities close by. Therefore, they have gotten approval without considering all of the future development! We need to THINK FORWARD AND THINK SMARTER! Reston was a cool place to live and it still could be, even with development, if the county, RA and others cared more than just passing standard-fare buildings (“world-class architecture,” ummm, NO!) with little creativity required from the builders/developers to incorporate parks, paths, hidden/ample parking, and so on.

      • Conservative Senior

        Wishful thinking. No one will give up their cars.Obviously you don’t commute along Wiehle. It’s a mess & will only become worse thanks to the BOS. Developers rake in billions & homeowners suffer with congestion & a transportation tax district. How is that fair? What ever happened with the transportation study that was done a long time ago by Hudgins for almost $100K? Eric who will you be representing if you are elected as an at large director?

      • meyerweb

        Walkers. Right. They’re going to walk to Home Depot, and the grocery store. They’re going to walk to Town Center (well, maybe they will, just to avoid paid parking). And they’ll definitely all walk to work.

        You’re dreaming, I’m afraid.

        • Eric Carr

          I can’t imagine them walking to Home Depot, and I didn’t imply that in my note above. They will walk within that neighborhood vice driving to another neighborhood, if–and it’s an important if–the neighborhood is built right and populated with the right amenities. Similarly, office workers might walk to a nearby restaurant for lunch rather than drive somewhere, again depending on that If.

  • Peter Newman

    Does the BOS not share the same roads we do? I am perplexed as to how this benefits the community. Let’s hope no accidents/fires occur during rush hour, seeing as how the emergency vehicles stationed on Wiehle are not immune to the gridlock.

    • meyerweb

      They probably have drivers.

  • Generic User

    Where are all of these people coming from that are going to live in the this glut of residential they are building? I am not aware that there is some huge clamoring for more apartments. The development is out of control.

    • meyerweb

      As long as developers make campaign contributions, and developments result in tax revenue, nothing will change. The Board of Supervisors is so desperate for more revenue they ignore the costs that go along with it. More fire, more police, more traffic, more pollution, more sewage treatment. Fairfax government doesn’t represent the citizens, it represents the developers.

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