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by Fatimah Waseem February 1, 2018 at 3:30 pm 4 Comments

An affiliate of Angelo, Gordon & Co. hopes to transform nearly four acres of the Reston Corner office center into a mixed-used project with up to 145 residential units and a parking garage.

The company is seeking to create a “new urban neighborhood” at the heels of the future Reston Town Center Metro Station in an area slated for transit-oriented, mixed-use development. The residential building will create an “attractive” and “appropriate” transition from more intense development in the transit station area and low-rise residential development south of the property, according to a Jan. 4 proposal.

The project is located on the southwestern quadrant of the intersection of Reston Parkway and Sunrise Valley Drive.

The developer lays out a vision for a seven-story residential building with up to 1,500 square feet of secondary uses to serve residents. The 85-foot building would tower over office buildings near the site, which range from 55 to 69 feet.

The development implements the county’s vision to “achieve a better balance of residential and non-residential uses,” wrote Ben Wales of Cooley LLP in the statement.

A garage will replace surface parking used for three office buildings in Reston Corner. Residents would use the existing access onto Sunrise Valley Drive to limit the number of cars passing through Reston Corner.

The plan was set in motion when the company partnered with Atlantic Realty to purchase a portfolio of buildings in Reston in a $82 million deal. More development is envisioned as part of the partnership against the backdrop of commercial activity spurred by the Silver Line.

Other features of the plan include the following:

  • A four-level garage with a maximum height of 40 feet.
  • The garage will be screened from view from Reston Parkway by existing office buildings and the residential project.
  • 12 percent of the residential building will be set aside as workforce housing.
  • The developer seeks special exception to increase density across the existing office uses.
  • Outside seating on the western edge of the residential building for “gathering and relaxation.”

The complete plan is available below.

File photo of Reston Corner II courtesy Atlantic Realty

by Fatimah Waseem February 1, 2018 at 1:30 pm 1 Comment

As prom season approaches, Reston Community Center is participating in its 16th annual Diva Central Dress Drive.

Beginning today through Feb. 28, the center will collect gently-used formal wear, including dresses, shoes, jewelry, handbags, scarves, shawls and accessories, at its Hunters Woods and Lake Anne locations.

RCC is accepting donations between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays. All donations are tax-deductible.

Donations should ideally be no older than five years old and dry cleaned before donation. If items cannot be dry cleaned, RCC staff should be notified during drop-off.

At a giveaway on March 24, dresses will be given to Reston-area middle and high school students. This year’s event will take place from noon to 6 p.m. at RCC Lake Anne (1609-A Washington Plaza).

Diva Central aims to promote self-confidence by providing dresses to students, including middle schoolers who participate in school dances.

Eileen Boone, RCC’s leisure and learning director, said the drive will help alleviate the financial burden often experienced by local teens as they prepare for school dances.

“We hope to lessen that financial burden by giving local teens the opportunity to create their entire prom or dance look for free,” she said.

For more information or to volunteer, contact LaTanja Jones, RCC’s Collaboration and Outreach Director at 703-390-6158 or  [email protected]gov.

Photo via Reston Community Center

by Del. Ken Plum February 1, 2018 at 10:15 am 10 Comments

This is a commentary from Del. Ken Plum (D-Fairfax), who represents Reston in Virginia’s House of Delegates. It does not reflect the opinion of Reston Now.

An article in the most recent issue of Money magazine described the best places to live in each of the fifty states; not surprisingly for Virginia the highest ranked place to live is Reston. Reston is not a county, city or town but a big community of 61,319 mostly happy people.

As a native Virginian who has traveled extensively throughout the state, I fully concur with the selection of Reston as the best place to live in a state that is filled with many desirable places to live. However, I was disappointed in the narrative that justified Reston–even their explanation of Reston’s history missed the mark.

I agree that “Reston was once just an idea,” but calling Robert E. Simon “an architect and economist” misses the mark of who he was and what his significant contributions were to building a best place like Reston. Bob Simon was a visionary, philosopher, community builder and developer, and humanitarian. He envisioned a community in which people could live, work and play, and his success in bringing about such a place against great odds continues to be celebrated.

Justification for the selection of Reston is understandably limited as the magazine contained descriptions of 50 communities. It says about Reston, “the thriving Washington, D.C. suburb offers a woodsy atmosphere that includes expanses of parks, lakes, golf courses, and bridle paths. Over 50 miles of pathways were designed to weave in and around its communities to increase pedestrian safety and to ensure that most residents’ homes were no more than a half-mile walk to village centers.” It mentions Reston Town Center that it calls “the community hub,” with an array of dining, entertainment, and shopping venues along with headquarters of major corporations.

Beyond quibbling with some details of the description, I would have chosen other factors that make Reston such a desirable place to live. Noteworthy is the openness of the community to all people from its very beginning. Simon was inviting African Americans to the community while the rest of the state was opposing fair housing laws. The diversity of people living, working and playing together that is occurring in communities throughout the country was a hallmark of

Reston from the beginning and is a value that is baked into the DNA of the community. Muslims pray in local synagogues. A local ecumenical church has four denominations meeting in one service. Its schools are happy places with children of all abilities learning together. It has a variety of housing options, from apartments, condominiums, town and single-family homes and senior and assisted living. It may be the only community in America that requested a homeless shelter be built in it. On a recent weekend, community members attended a social event that raised nearly $450,000 to pay for the relocation costs of families moving out of the shelter.

I love the lakes, trails and facilities of Reston. Most of all, however, I love the people of Reston –their caring, activism and spirit, all of which make it the best place to live in Virginia.

The General Assembly is going full blast. I will update you on what is happening in future columns.

by Fatimah Waseem February 1, 2018 at 10:00 am 19 Comments

VY, a 385-unit apartment community by JBG Smith, is officially open. Six tenants are expected to take up ground floor retail slots by the summer.

Tenants include Super Chicken, Allure Nails, Signature Thai, and Reston Kabob. WillPower Functional Fitness, a 35,000 square foot gym, was the first retail tenant confirmed in 2016.

The building on 11830 Sunrise Valley Drive is part of JBG’s Reston Heights project, which includes Westin Reston Heights, the Sheraton Reston, the Mercer Condos and office buildings along Sunrise Valley Drive.

VY, which stands for “very,”  contains a mix of one, two and three-bedroom apartments with two-story lofts.Monthly rents range between $1,800 and $3,320. Amenities include an two open-air lounges, a pool, fitness center, courtyard with fire pits, a lawn, on-site dog park, a pet spa and a bike maintenance center.

Greg Trimmer, the company’s executive vice president, said VY will be a “new community landmark.”

“The property sets the bar for luxury living in Reston with a high level of amenities, retail, and access to the outdoors and activities for the consumer who values both a quiet evening in a comfortable home overlooking nature, and entertainment or activity right outside of their front door,” he said.

Photos via JBG Smith

by Fatimah Waseem February 1, 2018 at 9:00 am 0

Suspect Involved in 10-Hour Weekend Barricade Receives Psychiatric Treatment – Anthony Moaf, 21, was released from the hospital after a suspected opioid overdose earlier this week. Police said he barricaded himself inside his home after threatening to kill family members and shoot at police officers. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Greater Reston Arts Center Issues Call for Submissions – Submit a proposal for new artwork in response to the prompt, “If you could do anything, what would it be?” Judges will select five artists to participate in the invitational. Entries are due by February 16. [Greater Reston Arts Center]

Man Robbed After Leaving Bus on Monday – Two suspects took personal belongings from a man after he got off a bus on Glade Drive near Millrace Lane between 7:45 and 8 p.m. The suspects then ran from the area, police said. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Board Governance Committee Meets Tonight – The committee, which is charged with planning, committee structure and board knowledge, will meet today from 6-8 p.m. at Reston Association Headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive). [Reston Association]

Photo by Fatimah Waseem

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