1831 Michael Faraday Drive Project Goes Before Board of Supervisors Tuesday

by Dave Emke September 11, 2017 at 2:45 pm 37 Comments

A public hearing on redevelopment at 1831 Michael Faraday Drive will take place at this week’s Fairfax County Board of Supervisors meeting.

In July, the county’s Planning Commission voted to recommend to the Board that the 3.85-acre property be rezoned to residential, with an option for 10,000 square feet of non-residential uses. Rooney Properties has plans for the property include 13 single-family attached and 283 multi-family dwelling units. The property owners say the multi-family structure would have seven stories, 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.

Rooney hopes to begin construction on the project in the first half of 2018.

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.

At the hearing on 1831 Michael Faraday Drive, scheduled for about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, the Board will discuss the recommendation from the Planning Commission that they approve the rezoning and the conceptual development plan. In addition, the Planning Commission has suggested the Board go along with waivers on the setback from the Dulles Toll Road, the requirement for 200-square foot privacy yards for single-family attached dwelling units, the barrier requirement and more.

The project 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.”

  • Arielle in NoVA

    Why is it OK to get rid of the setbacks and the yards?

  • cRAzy

    Is there some good reason why EVERY new residential development proposal looks like a box of boxes? Come on, developers, let’s look for some architectural excellence! OK, I’ll settle for mediocrity, but this is shite.

    • Reston Realist

      These look like future tenement buildings. This architectural age is truly lacking in originality.

  • CaptainObvious

    Again, no charm or character. They look more like Springfield or Manassas, not Reston!

  • Big Drop

    There are more than 2,000 rental units that are entering the market right now: Signature in Town Center (500+), Next to Oracle (400+), Next to Weihle Metro (450+) and next to the Sheraton/Weston (450+). Additionally, there are numerous units available at the 21 story high rise at Weihle Ave which had a sign out in front a couple of weeks ago advertising “four months free rent.”

    I must also note that a townhouse is now for sale on our street whose asking price is $100 LOWER than it last sold for in 2007. Our own town house appraised for less in 2016 than it did in 2006. Dead money for eleven years. Asking prices at Town Center condos are dramatically lower than they were a year and a half ago.

    And mortgage rates are in the three’s!

    Has the new office building at the Weihle Metro rented any of its 16 floors? Almost every development on both Sunset Hills and Sunrise Valley seem to have for lease signs in front of them.

    I simply want to know where the tenants are going to come from if there are no new jobs in Reston? Please note that I didn’t mention paid parking at Town Center.

    • Mike M


      • Thomas Day

        Dang, I missed another one. Maybe you ARE trying hard enough. Are there any articles you didn’t comment on today?

        • Mike M

          Yes, clown. And any clown can see that for themselves. Conversely, there are very few comments I have made that you haven’t commented upon. That appears increasingly sick and pathetic. Keep up the good work. After studying my commentary so closely, maybe you’ll be able to contribute an independent comment of substance. But I won’t hold my breath, Tommy.

    • EliteinReston

      A 41 percent increase in Hunter Mill population is projected in the next 25 years. Whether you agree or disagree, developers are responding to this demand. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/demogrph/gendemo.htm

      • Mike M

        Did you question the true sources of such predictions?

        • EliteinReston

          Source: Procreation.

          • Mike M

            So, babies born here stay here and buy condos here? That has not been my experience.

          • EliteinReston

            A baby is born in the world every seven seconds. Some of them wind up in Fairfax County. They need a place to live. https://www.census.gov/popclock/

          • Mike M

            I suggest Oklahoma. Or Springfield.

          • EliteinReston

            The football is better in Oklahoma.

  • meyerweb

    Oh boy! More gridlock! The board of supervisors never met a developer whose bribes (excuse me, “contributions”) they wouldn’t happily accept.

  • Reston Roulette

    Yes, please allow the homes to be close to the road but by no means should you widen the road that it takes to travel to your new home. Increased density in Reston is only a problem as the roads are not equipped to handle the compounded increases. Roads first. Develop later.

    • TBex

      Except expanding the roads only induces more development. Leaving the roads narrow is the best way to limit development. That, and building offices, homes, and stores directly over metro stations so having a car is pointless.

      • Mike M

        You are wrong. We have tremendous development here even before any plans to adequately expand road capacity to support it. Ironically, TBex, it was mass-transit that “induced” it. Unfortunately, only a small percentages of trips for the new population can be accommodated by an increasingly expensive and dangerous Metro. I call your logic perverse. Do you walk everywhere or Metro?

        • TBex

          I walk, metro, bus, and bikeshare, yeah. Sometimes I get a zipcar on the weekends.

          But I agree building the silver line induced development, and it was wholly unnecessary and made the metro worse. The 267 corridor could’ve been left to rot in traffic and suburban decay and the metro area wouldn’t have missed it too much.

          • Mike M

            TBex! Don’t put words in my mouth. I said it was getting more dangerous and more expensive. Also the utility of Metro – the benefit against which to weight the costs – is dwarfed by autos due to the range covered. Also, good for you! Gold star. You live the life of an outlier and you feel righteous about it. Don’t expect the real world to completely reverse itself for you. Most of us live in places that are not served by Metro. And we DO pay for the roads and first responders. So, whay also pay for MEtro and special roads for unwanted development? What you speak of is not progress it is regression.

          • TBex

            The range? You mean how much asphalt the federal government paves and keeps reserved for you? The highway trust-fund has not been actuarially sound in a long time, and how tenable it is to avoid driving is entirely dependent on how much money per person the government keeps dumping into it for little gain.

            You don’t know what you’re talking about and you’re the self-righteous one here.

          • Mike M

            The range means I have to get to the super market. I am not going to be able to take metro. That is the world in which we live. Not the la-la land you want to try to impose upon us. I would gladly trade entitlements for transportation.

          • TBex

            This is a choice we make. There are grocery stores with housing on top. If you choose not to live there, you suffer the consequences. That’s personal responsibility.

            The idea that you would make those choices and suffer no cost is the la la land. Here in the real world, people keep being born faster than they die, we can’t pave over all our land at government expense so everyone can get a detached house and a yard, and we can’t extract fossil fuels willynilly for anyone’s preference for wasting space, if only because they’ll eventually run out.

          • Mike M

            So, we should all abandon the homes we bought in the past 30 years to conform to your standards? Do you see how Maoist that sounds?

          • TBex

            No, you should internalize the costs more and more and then let the market determine what you will bear and what your home is truly worth.

          • TBex

            If building a ten-story building is an option on your plot of land, you’ll probably profit handsomely to sell anyway.

          • Mike M

            Not necessarily. What if traffic or lack of roads makes it inaccessible? What if crime in the area is extremely high?

          • TBex

            Yes. Holding capital is a risk. Asking the government to subsidize you to minimize your risk is immoral. If you aren’t comfortable with the risk, you may want to sell and start renting.

          • Mike M

            If I sell and rent, and I may, I still have to live somewhere. I am not moving over or near a grocery store.

          • TBex

            You can choose to do whatever you want, just don’t ask people who make less burdensome choices pay for you.

          • Mike M

            Well that’s a hard one to unscrew. We are paying for you too in other ways. I don’t necessarily trust that you would be objective in assessing burdens.

          • TBex

            I would welcome a chance to truly pay for my own costs. Actuarial transparency on all roads and transit (with granular tolling) and a cap and trade system for carbon emissions would be a start. I advocate for policies that may result in me paying more, and I vote based on them too.

            You want roads to be widened, but I don’t hear you asking for tolls to pay for it, or even new property taxes on detached homes.

          • Mike M

            I think we agree on lots. But you will recall the Dulles Toll Road story. Tolls were to be paid until the road was paid off. I would gladly pay tolls to improve and expand it. But polls lied and after the road was paid the tolls were continued and rates planned to skyrocket. So, the devil is in the details. Also, you can;t impose your lifestyle on others. But level the marketplace? Yeah. More transparency and honesty, sure!

          • TBex

            Yes, sometimes drivers bear extra burden because of our inexact account and the DTR is an example. I think when we improve things, my lifestyle will be money-saving, in addition to having health benefits and all-around more flexibility. It’s impossible to know which of us is getting more than we’re paying in taxes right now, or how the free market would build neighborhoods if it was given the chance.

            Maybe we’ll find out someday.

          • Mike M

            I can accept that. For example, we should internalize the costs of entitlements and defense too. But you have to be careful to be objective about costs and realistic about benefits. Therein lies the rub.. And you can’t impose overnight changes. These are generational adjustments and they should be. I believe most of the costs are already internalized. Markets, when working, are a lot smarter than leftists generally seem to believe.

  • Freeway

    A little height please. Why not 30 or even 40 stories? You’ll regret you didn’t 10 years from now.


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