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by Dave Emke — May 17, 2017 at 4:00 pm 8 Comments

Groundbreaking on redevelopment of the Tall Oaks Village Center is getting closer, but it is still at least half a year away.

According to information provided recently from the office of Fairfax County Supervisor Cathy Hudgins:

“Supervisor Hudgins received notice from the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services that the Site Plan for the Tall Oaks development has been accepted. The Plan number is 009550-SP-003-1. It generally takes about 3-4 months for review if all of the stars align and then bonding process begins for the project. At the earliest, it will probably be about at least six months before the groundbreaking would actually occur.”

The village center was bought in December 2014 by McLean-based developer Jefferson Apartment Group. Plans to redevelop the property into a mixed-use community were approved by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in July 2016.

The plan will redevelop 7.14 acres of the approximately 18-acre village center. It includes approximately 5,800 square feet of office, 8,500 square feet of retail and 156 residential units consisting of:

  • 70 condos in two four-story buildings
  • 42 apartments in units that are stacked two-over-two spread across four buildings that have exteriors designed to look like townhomes
  • 44 four-story townhomes

Green or open space will make up 36 percent of the development. Jefferson has provided an animated virtual tour of the plan.

Located on a dead-end of North Shore Drive off Wiehle Avenue, Tall Oaks Village Center struggled for many years before the redevelopment proposal arose. Its longtime anchor tenant, Giant Foods, closed in 2007 and further vacancies followed quickly afterward.

The 70,000-square foot center was 86 percent empty by the time the redevelopment was approved. Jefferson had conducted a market study that showed attracting a new retail anchor was not an option.

Rendering courtesy Jefferson Apartment Group/Reston Association

by RestonNow.com — May 17, 2017 at 2:45 pm 0

More than 96 square feet of love will be on display at Lake Anne Plaza for six days in June.

The Virginia Tourism Corporation will bring its “LOVE” display, 16 feet long and over six feet high, to the plaza June 9-14. The artwork is part of the Virginia Is For Lovers campaign, designed to promote vacation experiences throughout the state.

Visitors to any LOVE display throughout the state are encouraged to take their picture with it and share it on social media using the hashtag #LoveVA.

While the display is up at the plaza, handmade artwork will be going down as well. The fourth annual Chalk on the Water festival will take place Saturday and Sunday, June 10 and 11.

Artists can participate in four categories: family/elementary, family/junior and senior high school, amateur artists, and professional artists. Cash prizes are available in each category.

Registration is $10 for families and students, and $15 for amateur and professional artists. Only 100 total spots are available.

The festival is sponsored by Friends of Lake Anne, Reston Art Gallery, and Lake Anne Coffee House and Wine Bar.

For more information about this event and other upcoming events at Lake Anne Plaza, visit its website.

Photo at top courtesy Virginia Tourism Corporation, photo at bottom courtesy Lake Anne Plaza

Pet of the Week: Jackie

by RestonNow.com Sponsor — May 17, 2017 at 1:30 pm 0

This is a sponsored post from Becky’s Pet Care, a professional pet care service in Northern Virginia.

Meet Jackie, a Boxer and Labrador Retriever mix available for adoption.

Here is what her friends at Boxer Rescue and Adoption Inc. have to say about her:

Jackie has come a long way since she came into rescue. She was so afraid of everything, but now is far more outgoing. She loves taking walks, but needs some training in walking nicely without pulling.

Jackie takes treats gently, loves attention, is crate trained and housebroken. She is a pretty girl who loves being in the yard with us and enjoys her creature comforts when inside. She has a nice soft blanket that she snuggles into.

When our volunteer first started walking her, she had her tail tucked, but now, she’s just full of enthusiasm to be out and about. She is not a fence jumper or a digger and does like other dogs. We’re not sure about cats, though. She would probably be too much for toddlers.

If you are interested in meeting Jackie or any of our other rescues, please email [email protected] for an adoption application and arrange to visit Jackie or any of our other rescues.

Are you and Jackie a match? If so, let us know and our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, will send you some treats and prizes.

Want your pet to be considered for the Reston Pet of the Week?

Email [email protected] with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least 3-4 horizontally-oriented photos of your pet. Each week’s winner receives a sample of dog or cat treats from our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, along with $100 in Becky’s Bucks.

Becky’s Pet Care, the winner of three Angie’s List Super Service Awards and the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters’ 2013 Business of the Year, provides professional dog walking and pet sitting services in Reston and Northern Virginia.

by Dave Emke — May 17, 2017 at 11:30 am 0

In a work session Tuesday (video), Reston’s Design Review Board and Kensington Senior Development made progress on the latter’s plan to put a 91-unit assisted-living facility at 11501 Sunrise Valley Drive.

A re-worked sketch for the proposed facility presented to the DRB at the session pushes the building farther away from nearby townhouses on Approach Lane, part of the Wethersfield Cluster. Where previous proposals had the building within 50 feet of the nearest residence, the new configuration leaves about 80 feet.

The proposal also caps the building at three above-ground stories over one level of underground parking. The center portion of the building would have only two above-ground stories, with a rooftop garden accessible from both sides.

Previous designs for the proposal featured as many as five stories.

This seems to me to be progress,” said Richard Newlon, DRB vice chair, who was very critical of previous plans. “I think this is going in a direction that is going to be just better.”

The facility would be at the site of the current Good Beginnings School. The property has not yet been sold, with the deal contingent upon the plan’s approval.

Several residents of the Wethersfield Cluster spoke during the session, expressing their concerns about lowered property values, privacy and architectural compatibility.

The sentiment of the community is that the mass and height of this building is inappropriate at this location so close to a residential community,” said Stephen Cerny, president of the Cluster Association.

DRB members remained skeptical of how the facility would be viewed from Approach Lane and from the adjacent Sunrise Valley Convenience Center. They implored the developer to bring more detailed exhibits to future meetings to address those issues.

While DRB was happy with the effort to move the building farther away from the nearby townhouses, retaining more tree buffer in the process, they asked the developer to explore whether inching even closer to the Sunrise Valley Drive side of the property would be possible.

Screencap via Reston Association/YouTube

by RestonNow.com — May 17, 2017 at 10:15 am 1 Comment

Fans of public art now have greater access to Reston’s collection, as it has been added to a national online database thanks to the efforts of Public Art Reston.

Three dozen pieces of public art in the community are now catalogued in the Public Art Archive. They can be accessed by searching for “Reston, VA” on the website, which is currently featuring on its front page Patrick Dougherty’s “A Bird in the Hand” temporary installation outside Greater Reston Arts Center.

“We are pleased to incorporate Reston’s public art collection into the Public Art Archive after months of extensive collection management work by Public Art Reston’s art administrators,” said Lori Goldstein, the archive’s manager. “Reston’s collection shows outstanding diversity in the variety of projects, artists and sites chosen for both permanent and temporary public art throughout the community, and it is evident that Public Art Reston has excelled in establishing collaborative and creative partnerships to bring projects to fruition.”

Among the works pictured, detailed and mapped in the archives are sculptures, fountains, architecture and more. Public Art Reston committed to contributing content to PAA’s digital repository in order to give broader access to the community’s public art collection, its executive director Anne Delaney said.

“Creating greater awareness of Reston’s cultural assets supports Public Art Reston’s mission to inspire an ongoing commitment to public art and create a new generation of artworks in Reston,” she said.

Screencap via PublicArtArchive.org

by Dave Emke — May 17, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Record Highs Possible Today — The National Weather Service is predicting high temperatures in the low 90s for the entire region today. The record high at Dulles International Airport for this day in history is 89, set in 1986. [National Weather Service/Twitter]

First RA Board District Meeting Tonight — Residents of the South Lakes District are invited to attend a meeting with their representative on the Reston Association Board of Directors, Julie Bitzer, tonight from 7-8:30 p.m. at Terraset Elementary School (11411 Ridge Heights Road). [Reston Association]

SLHS Grad Honored for Social Activism — Ainsley Eakins, a 2014 graduate of South Lakes High School, has been honored with the Wesleyan University’s Social Activism Award. It is given for exemplifying the spirit of social activism and helping constructive social change happen. According to her LinkedIn page, Eakins is a member of a Student Advisory Committee task force assigned to develop a student resource center for marginalized groups on campus. [Wesleyan University]

File photo via Fabio Rossi/Flickr

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