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Report: Developers ‘Concerned’ About Number of New Reston Rental Units

by RestonNow.com October 23, 2017 at 10:15 am 28 Comments

At a panel event last week, developers said that filling the thousands of new rental units coming to Reston’s Metro corridor is proving to be a “bumpy road.”

Commercial real-estate news source Bisnow hosted a “Fairfax County State of the Market” event last week, at which representatives of several top area developers spoke about the boom in development in Reston and Tysons. According to Bisnow’s report, the areas are currently in a state where supply is outpacing demand.

“In Reston we’re a little sick, but Tysons is in hospice in terms of the glut of apartments,” said Greg Trimmer, JBG Smith executive vice president of development, according to the Bisnow report. Trimmer is reported to have said that apartment rents in Reston are flat — and in some cases slightly negative — due to the amount of new multifamily construction.

JBG Smith is involved in numerous residential projects around Reston, including the next phase of the RTC West project, which would include 700 dwelling units in two towers. It also has a stake in the 1831 Wiehle project, which would bring in about 1,500 new residents. In addition, Fairfax County has approved JBG Smith’s plans for about 500 more residential units and more at the Commerce Executive Park; however, the developer may be looking to unload that property.

Trimmer is reported to have said that Reston is positioned well to be a residential success, but that it is currently experiencing a “blip.”

“In the long term we’re set up well, but right now we do have a bit of a problem,” Trimmer is reported to have said.

Comstock CEO Chris Clemente is reported to have agreed, saying that the 450-apartment BLVD has not leased as quickly as expected. He says the hope is that will change once the full Reston Station development begins to take shape.

“I think a lot of that has to do with the lack of understanding of what this neighborhood here is going to be,” Clemente is reported to have said. “The new residential buildings will benefit from that lifestyle that only comes when you have a more complete environment.”

Comstock’s additional plans include 460 more residential units where the Sunset Hills Professional Center currently stands.

Mike Henehan, Bozzuto’s senior vice president, also spoke on the issue during the forum. He is reported to have given similar comments about the glut of new apartments and the supply surge in Reston.

Bozzuto is currently leasing apartments at its new 421-unit Aperture building.

“There is still some rent growth in this market,” Henehan is reported to have said. “It certainly doesn’t keep up with construction costs and some of the other costs, so I think there will be a little resistance there over time.”

File photo of Bozzuto’s Aperture apartments under construction, August 2016

  • John Smith

    Then stop charging 2k a month for a one bedroom

    • Constitutional Conservative

      Just visited Blvd’s website and studios are down to $1,500/month and they’ll give you free rent for December if you sign now.

      It’s any wonder Blvd can’t find tenants. I pay <$500 in rent, the RA fee for the pool, and then a membership for a gym. I'm not paying $1,500 for the same perks.

      • Anonymous Person

        Where do you pay less than $500/mo in rent around here? Are you renting a level or something in someone’s home?

        What I’m trying to say is I’m impressed.

        • Constitutional Conservative

          When I saw the listing on Craigslist I assumed it was a scam. But the key here is many roommates and a landlord with no intention of raising rent. I am lucky to live in this townhouse off of Sunrise Valley near South Lakes.

          • Anonymous Person

            Nicely done! That all makes sense, interesting. I’m glad it’s working out for you.

          • Greg

            How many roommates?

  • Heh

    In 20 years all these glossy new “luxury” apartment buildings will be run-down smelly pestholes full of Section 8 trash.

    • Constitutional Conservative

      You’re moving in in 20 years?

      • OneReally

        We’re moving in together. 😉

      • Heh

        Away from Reston sooner than that. The writing is on the wall. Reston will either become Ballston or a favela, and neither one is desirable.

        • Constitutional Conservative

          With your exit Reston will become the regions largest exporter of hyperbole.

    • TheKingJAK

      If the model of every other city holds true, and we ignore their mistakes, then yes, that absolutely can happen.

    • 40yearsinreston

      The neighborhood will be overin by fried chicken joints and pawn shops
      Just like Route 1

  • Ryan Schulz

    All of these recent developments only appeal to a small sliver of the population: single, transient, 22-29 year old young professionals with too much disposable income. I know this area has a lot of that demographic, but hopefully this glut of empty luxury high-rises shows developers that real estate appealing to families, lower-middle income, established professionals, etc.. is also needed.

    • Mike M

      Consultants have convinced certain impressionable that Millennials are all that matters. It’s comical. The people in commercial real estate I have met are among the most vapid ever!

  • TheKingJAK

    Reston was always built upon charm, but it lost much of it. If you stray from the original concept then you will of course find it ever more difficult to attract residents. You cannot out-Tysons, Tysons, nor can you out-Arlington, Arlington. If somebody wants what so much of this new development is proposing, then they can easily find it elsewhere. What cannot easily be found elsewhere are the founding aspects which made Reston great, and it’s that unique difference which attracts residents and gives value to our community.

  • Arlene Krieger

    Looks like the developers if not the government have heard the people. I think this is good news for preventing any density change. Maybe Reclaim Reston has won the day for everyone. Now it is really time for Fairfax County and the Supervisor to pull the plug on this plan. But all still need to show up tonight. This news from the developers has always been the logical conclusion for those paying attention. I’ve seen over development In other parts of the country, lack of demand or affordability turns these developments into slums. We need affordable housing for the middle class, if anything.

  • Drip

    I wonder if another factor is that people are starting to get wise to the fact that the Metro/WMATA is poorly run, cost prohibitive for many people, and unreliable. No point in living next to the Metro if other transit options are easier. In Arlington, Uber is a viable occasional option, as is biking, but not out in Reston.

    • Salmon

      The Silver Line’s real end of the line is Ballston. Doesn’t consistently make it pass that point going towards D.C. What a wast of time and money.

  • Wings!!

    It is getting a bit crowded, but I think we still have room for a Hooters.

    #HootersForReston

  • 40yearsinreston

    Hudgins has fouled the nest
    Who could have known

  • I’d Rather Post As A Guest

    If there is one thing that developers know how to do , it is to overbuild a market. It should be no surprise to anyone that the big boxy apartment/condo buildings going up now are/will be very slow to fill. I would expect a few of the projects that have already been announced will be postposed indefinitely until the market firms up considerably. As long as a builder can obtain construction financing and has a viable exit strategy, the project goes up. The rest of us are stuck with having to look and live with these monstrosities. The principals and financiers of these development companies, of course, do not live here. Continued development at this pace will ruin Reston, the county planners who followed the advice of their developer friends re: the proposed new density proposals don’t seem to care. I will be at the meeting Monday night, you (fellow Restonians) should be, too,

  • Tammi Petrine

    The important thing tonight is to get this zoning amendment STOPPED. Once it becomes LAW, it can not be rescinded. Too much has already been granted in corridor that advantages developers. NO MORE. Come tonight if you value a planned suburban community. Only a crowd will show we mean business. Staying at home is anonymous and useless. So are letters to BOS. Sadly, ONLY in-person presence means anything these days.

    • Ray Wedell

      Good work, Tammie. I think it went well for the people.

  • Ray Wedell

    The fact that this is just now being said is a total joke. These same “experts” derided those of us who said correctly two years ago that they were living in a dream world to think they can keep building the same “luxury” units and expect demand to fill them. By the way, CHCI stock is now at $1.60. Pardon me for pointing that out.

    • Greg

      Wasn’t CHCI (Comstock Holdings) stock near 200 not too long ago?

      • Ray Wedell

        $23.18 high five years ago. The 10K’s are good reading. Now they say things are surprisingly slow at BLVD. projects in Maryland seemed to have had just a little bit of difficulty last year….check it out. All in public record; look into detailed news when pulling up CHCI stock on Fidelity. But my point is this: Why are these people still waxing poetic at investor conferences and treated like experts? They have missed it time and again, and missed big. Why do I pay even the slightest heed to their future predictions???

  • Just a guest

    Anyone remember the wave of residential building that was happening as the dot com bubble burst and how many of those sat empty for years? There was a lot of open space to build there, Reston doesn’t have that luxury.

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