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1831 Michael Faraday Site Has Thursday Date With Planning Commission

by Dave Emke July 12, 2017 at 5:00 pm 21 Comments

After being deferred five times, the redevelopment of property at 1831 Michael Faraday Drive will have a public hearing Thursday in front of the Fairfax County Planning Commission.

The plans for the 3.85-acre property include 13 single-family attached and 283 multi-family dwelling units, along with 7,500 to 10,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial uses. According to the project’s specifications:

The multi-family structure would be designed with seven stories and be approximately 85 feet in height. In addition to residential units and parking, the first floor of the multifamily building would include retail space, a bicycle storage room, and a loading area with two loading spaces. The attached parking structure would be designed with seven parking levels.

The proposal also calls for 22 percent open space. This would include a linear open space, or mews, which would be located between the single-family attached units and the multi-family units. The mews would feature a patio, seating, game tables, lawn and sidewalks.

The adjacent 11111 Sunset Hills Road property, which is also up for rezoning, would have mirrored townhouses and courtyards. In addition, it would include an extension of the open space at the southeast corner of the Michael Faraday site to create a “more extensive and coordinated park” on the southern portion of the properties. That site has a Planning Commission hearing scheduled for Nov. 16.

The site is owned by Rooney Properties, who hopes to begin construction on the mixed-use project in the first half of 2018. The hearing with the county Planning Commission was first set for October 2016 and has been rescheduled four more times before Thursday.

The 1831 Michael Faraday Drive plot is just one of many sets of redevelopment plans on the table for the Wiehle Avenue/Michael Faraday Drive area. Numerous developers are working together to turn the property east of the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station into what they call the “gateway to Reston.”

Renderings via 1831 Michael Faraday LLC

  • 40yearsinreston

    Hudgins will be pleased

  • Mike M

    “3.85-acre property
    include 13 single-family attached and 283 multi-family dwelling units,
    along with 7,500 to 10,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial uses.”

    If this doesn’t scream “no,” what would? Are we the suburbs or Manhattan?

    • RestonAssurance

      Manhattan Lite is the new goal.

      • vdiv

        This will make the Greenwich Village seem like the boonies. If Manhattan is what they are after how about use the better parts of it as an example?

    • John Farrell

      Please stop with the Manhattan hyperbole.

      Manhattan has a population density at noon of 250,000 per square mile. Reston currently has a density of about 5600 per square mile.

      Even if these proposals are approved, Reston’s density won’t exceed 10,000 per square mile which is equal to D.C. and 1/25 of Manhattan.

      • Mike M

        Geez! I am so sorry, John Farrell. I guess I should embrace what this super dense development is doing to our roads and schools and let you and your ilk have your way with our community. It’s all relative, j-a.

        You are OK with a rapid doubling of the pop density? I AM NOT.

        • John Farrell

          Doubling the current population would get Reston just over 11,000 which is still short of the original density in the 1965 Simon PRC plan. So you bought that when you moved here.

          These land use issues are far more nuanced and need more careful analysis. Use of “Manhattan” hyperbole are distractions from more careful, valid critiques like whether we really want 90 dua around the village centers/shopping centers.

          I’m not speaking in favor or against the Faraday application; I’m very skeptical of the PRC amendment; and I opposed the Lerner attempt to convert the RNGC. So I don’t know exactly what meant by “your ilk.”

          • Mike M

            Dude, we are moving in the direction of Manhattan. Compared to what we were, we are becoming Manhattan in a relative sense. I communicate like that to make my points. I think it is appropriate and effective. Maybe you are a dry engineer and don’t understand the art of communication.

            Once I move into a community I am not beholden to any plan that came before if I can change it. It’s called Democracy. I believe the residents of a community should have a say about what their community is to become. So, I don’t get your point.

            Also, I don’t hold Simon in such high regard that his Ten Commandants (sorry, John, it’s not REALLY the ten commandments) must stand for eternity. Most of his ideas were a failure. Most were overturned and ignored for the better. In fact, he left in a snit because of that, no? I know a little more about Simon than most of his worshippers.

            No, I didn’t buy “the plan” when I got here and I was under no obligation to do so in perpetuity. You just want me to stop saying I think Reston has been let down by its elected leadership.

          • John Farrell

            And we’re moving in the direction of Alpha Centauri and that’s more relevant than Manhattan.

            It’s 7 principals. No one forces you to live here but if you live here you’re bound by them as implemented through the RA CCR’s, the Comp Plan and the PRC plan. While some of his ideas didn’t pan out, the core idea of a city open to all ethnic groups of all economic classes living in harmony with nature in close proximity to their jobs was decades ahead of its time and has been immensely successful.

            BTW, we just rewrote the Reston Comp Plan and not one person at any of the work shops or public hearings advocated reducing the population cap. Where were you?

            No one is trying to stop you from saying anything. Analogies can be illuminating but hyperbolic dystopias only undercuts your crediblity.

          • Mike M

            John, I am opposed to the new density and the curb-to-curb development because we cannot afford to subsidize it. Not with our money. Not with out quality of life. OK? No one forces me to do anything. I live here because I choose to live here, although that may change. While I do, I speak my mind. Simon was a failure. Ethnicity has NOTHING to do with it. Your obsession with my use of the concept of Manhattanization is perverse and off-target.

          • John Farrell

            Given that General Electric refused to fund Simon unless he placed racial restrictions in the covenants which he refused to do and got his financing from the Mellon family through Gulf Land instead, ethnicity has everything to do with it. Especially when racial restrictions were being imposed in Vienna.

            Come to think of it, Vienna may appeal to you more.

            Actually, a court can force you to comply with the CCRs. And absent electoral action, there is nothing you can do to stop the density to which you object.

          • Mike M

            Yes, and we are certainly absent electoral action around here with our unopposed leaders who proceed to hold us down while the developers have their way with us. But yeah change happens to all plans as reality changes and the people involved change. That would be healthy.

            But funny thing about the racial issue you felt compelled to raise. Other jurisdictions got over all those issues without Bob Simon, the hero. And the simple that Bob’s basic planning concepts did not work.

            So back to my original point John. I don’t like the Manhattanization of Reston because I believe it is very bad for Reston.

          • John Farrell

            The rest of Fairfax hasn’t “gotten over all those issues” much less other jurisdictions.

            Simon’s 7 principals have been immensely successful: 60,000 people of all ethnicities and income levels living, working and playing on 11 square mile of heavily wood land.

            The Mahhattanization of Reston is a dystopian myth equal to the War on Christmas and the murder of Vince Foster.

          • Mike M

            The entire USA has gotten over those issues without Saint Simon. You just described Herndon and many other communities too. Dystopia will be a good name for Reston in two years, thanks to you.

          • John Farrell

            Wow, that’s delusional.

          • Mike M


            Do you ever work for developers? Thought so.

            And racializing is pathetic.

          • John Farrell

            I’ve represented both sides of land use debates.

            The denial of racism is racism.

          • Mike M

            So, ultimately, everyone who disagrees with you be it over the issue of development or Saint Simon, well, they are just a racist. Been there. Done that.

            By the way, counselor, I know which side pays better, so I know where your “heart” is.

  • Density is Community

    The neo-liberal classical lines of architecture leave me stunned, I wonder if we really deserve such large scale grandness, maybe lets notch back on the colour and get the DRB involved for final recommendations. Otherwise, I think its a smashing success, lets hope they will all be like this. Paid parking its a prerequisite on this one I would think, elite property no less.

    • RVA_101

      Eh. looks to be within walking distance of Wiehle.

      • Mike M

        Yes. Everyone will take Metro to the grocery store. Everyone works next to Metro. Metro is a fine operation.


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