Decision on Renaissance Centro Project Deferred to January

by Fatimah Waseem December 7, 2017 at 4:00 pm 21 Comments

The Fairfax County Planning Commission deferred a decision on a proposal to bring a 20-story condominiums to 1801 Old Reston Ave. Wednesday night amid questions about the building, which includes up to 150 units and a parking garage.

Although the developer Renaissance Centro, and the county’s planning and zoning staff resolved major issues raised in a technical staff report, the parties continued to disagree over how the condominiums incorporate workforce housing.

Renaissance Centro has pledged to build 24 for-sale condominiums, a commitment that allows the developer 24 additional market-rate units in bonus density. However, the developer is seeking to not comply with a policy that says additional market-rate units should be no more than 10 percent larger than workforce units for the development.

Zoning staff said workforce units should be similar in size to market rate units, especially since the developer is already exceeding the floor area ratio outlined in the plan while pursuing an exception that could potentially allow the developer nearly 40,000 square feet in bonus density.

The commission also raised concerns about the amount of parking in the development. Residents of the condominium would pay for in-house parking, a structure that members said was problematic because residents of workforce housing may not be able to afford paid parking and may instead have to park on the curb on North Shore Drive.

The development would also remove overflow parking used by some residents of the neighboring Harrison Apartments.  Currently, some residents use the surface parking lot on the site, according to zoning staff.

The commission deferred its decision to January 25.

Andrew Painter of Walsh Colucci Lubeley & Walsh, the developer’s representative, however, said the county should recognize the unique financial challenges in building a high-rise development. He said the developer was committed to providing 24 workforce units that would have the same number of bedroom units as market rate units but smaller overall units.

Painter also said the developer, which also developed the Carlton House condominiums in Reston Town Center, is keen on pursuing the development as a “legacy project” that would be the “crown jewel” of the area. He noted the proposed project would, if approved, be the first for-sale condominiums to be constructed in Reston in more than 10 years with the hallmark feature of providing home ownership opportunities for workhouse housing.

“This is kind of the last piece of the puzzle,” Painter said.

  • 40yearsinreston

    5..00 pm
    Traffic gridlock at Old Reston avenue and Temporary Rd is worse than ever
    Vehicles exiting the parking lot and trying to break in the traffic backed up to the O&D trail haven’t a hope. Since there is only one entrance they are trapped

    Good luck parking on North Shore drive
    All spaces are already filled by construction workers from Oracle at 7am
    Wait till the Spectrum starts up

    • Mike M

      Custer fluck.

  • 40yearsinreston

    Whining about the ‘unique financial challenges’ will resonate with Hudgens
    She Should be good for another give away

    • Guest

      NoVa is chock full of high rise structures of every description. Any financial challenge is borne by the developer alone. Not unique. It’s part of the capitalist system.

      • Mike M

        Wrong. There are subsidies provided by the county in the form of what little additional infrastructure is required – sewer, run-off, emergency services, schools. Oddly there is no thought of roads and sidewalks. I am all for capitalism but some capitalists ought to learn a little more about economics.

        • The Taxman Cometh

          Sewer, public safety services, schools, streets,etc., are NOT subsidies to anyone. These are typical gov’t services paid for with both residential and commercial property taxes, as well as income, personal property and excise taxes as well as a host of fees and service charges levied by federal ,state and local gov’t.

          • Mike M

            Your views are simplistic. If there is just enough road for a certain density level, then all new developments (and increases in density) boost requirements. If the developer doesn’t pay for them, and I do, then that is subsidy. If my existing public emergency services is stretched out to cover more because of them, that too is a subsidy in the form of lower levels of service. If I pay for additional services to cover them. THAT is subsidy. It is the job of the local representative government to manage our growth so that it does not come as additional burden to those already in the community. It’s a job they seem unwilling to do.

  • Scott Blackerby

    “crown jewel” = last straw. Welcome to complete gridlock in Reston.

  • Phallus

    This is awful! The building just reeks of male aggression and power, it literally spells out sexual misconduct.

    We should abandon this design and snip it at the first floor.

    • Mike M

      I’m thinking you had way too much fun writing that.

    • Chkitout1

      Build, baby build.

    • Umust B Kidding

      Methinks the architect has small hands–for which he is trying to compensate.

    • Greg

      Um, your Brutalism bias is showing. No more Brutalism.

    • Mike M


  • Greg

    “…residents of workforce housing may not be able to afford paid parking and may instead have to park on the curb on North Shore Drive.”

    Give us a break! They get highly subsidized housing and they want still more?

    Among other details, the cost of parking is unknown.

    Ride the darn bikes! Take the Silver line! Walk, Carpool, Uber, Lyft!

    • Reston Roulette

      Yes, the needs of residents in subsidized housing was considered as part of the picture for parking.
      Just because you take for granted your ability to afford a car with gas, maintenance, taxes, and parking does not mean a lower income resident can. And if they have kids are they supposed to pay to ride a bike or pay for a stranger to drive them? Also currently the silver line only goes east so hope that’d be the direction they were going!

      • Greg

        Again, if one cannot afford to live in Reston one should not live in Reston!

        Or, conversely, if a “workforce” person or family chooses to live in Reston, the burden on doing so should be theirs. Cars are luxuries, not necessities.

        Or. there are plenty of nearly empty buses patrolling frequently around Reston and headed to points all over — take the buses.

        Or, “workforce” residents should be grateful they can live in Reston, at a lower standard of living, than elsewhere.

      • Mike M

        Taking for granted my ability?
        No. It’s why I got educated. It’s why I have gone to work most days for the last 40 years or so.
        Perhaps someone else is taking for granted their ability and ours.

  • Reston Realist

    Screw this guy…If they don’t like what the county is making them do, don’t build the project. Yes, they are taking a risk and probably paid too much for the land, but it’s not the county’s job to make the numbers work for them. this entire workforce algorithm BS that the county comes up with is arcane and essentially a farce anyway…. We do not need this building at 1801 RP and we don’t need to muck up the traffic anymore than it is already.

    • Greg

      We definitely don’t need more “workforce” housing. We need housing for the 50,000+ Amazon workforce.

      • Reston Realist

        …..From your lips to god’s ears.


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