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After Changes, Plan to Redevelop Offices into Condominiums Moves Forward

by Fatimah Waseem February 23, 2018 at 10:15 am 30 Comments

After weeks of deferrals, a plan to redevelop a three-story office building into 20-story condominiums is getting closer to approval.

The Fairfax County Planning Commission unanimously passed Renaissance Centro, a 150-unit project on 1801 Old Reston Avenue, Thursday night.

The project was stalled after the county’s planning and zoning staff and the developer clashed over how the condominiums incorporate workforce housing and parking for workforce housing units. In response to concerns about the intensity of development on the 1.5-acre site, the developer agreed to reduce the scale of the project by 7,500 square feet, reduce the building height from 260 feet to 240 feet and improve tree protection and fencing.

The building will have 150 units, with 24 units set aside for workforce housing, allowing the developer to add 24 units in bonus density. The size of the additional units will be within 10 percent of the size of workforce housing units.

Still, At-Large Commissioner James Hart said the case was “difficult.” Although he voted for the project because it met Reston’s comprehensive plan and county requirements, Hart, who is also the commission’s vice chairman, said the project had “too much intensity on too small of a site.”

He cited concerns that the developer filed the application as Planned Residential Mixed (PRM) use application. As Reston approaches the density cap for the Planned Residential Community district, more developers may file applications as PRM, resulting in what he called a “patchwork” of development.

Overall, commission members said the project highlights the need for the county to clarify workforce housing requirements, especially for parking. Hart said current requirements are at best “confusing.”

“It’s very difficult even for us to understand how the numbers work,” he said.

At Renaissance, which will include a parking garage, residents will have the option of buying one parking space per unit. Two loading spaces will be available along the entrance, in addition to three short-term parking spaces in order to meet growing demand for drop-off stations.

The proposal will head to the county’s Board of Supervisors for final approval. More projects that require repurposing old office buildings into residential and mixed use projects are in the pipeline. If approved, the residential building will be taller than the adjacent Harrison apartments and similar in size to The Signature apartments across the street from Renaissance Centro.

Photos via handout and by Fatimah Waseem

  • cRAzy

    This is not a “repurpose,” it’s a redevelopment. To be repurposed, an office building would have the same basic floor space and dimensions, that is, a 3-story condo vice office building.

    • Reston Now

      Thanks, I’ve updated the post.

      • Mike M

        How about this Waseem: Someone has copied my identity which against the Disqus rules. You delete my responses yet ignore the complaints against them. Not becoming of you.

        Also I wrote a lengthy response to someone today. Broke no rules. You censored it. It violated no rules.

        Do I need to talk to you in person?

        • Reston Now

          I have blocked the user and will continue to do so.

  • OneReally

    Goodbye Reston!

    We have been drifting apart for years, but I can finally see your not coming back.

    I will miss you. 🙁

    • Greg

      Where are you going? We may want to follow.

  • Goodbye Reston

    Wow. Sad.

    I’m living temporarily in Reston, but can totally see the “ballstonization” of Reston happening.

    Oh well, at the rate of development here No difference living in DC. I heard their paid parking situation is better too

  • 40yearsinreston

    Goodbye Old Reston Avenue Virginia Byway
    Hello Temporary Road gridlock and 1/2 mile backups
    “Two loading spaces will be available along the entrance, ”
    How are they going to get in/out ?
    When is Kinder Care and the Temporary Road Picnic Pavilion going to be ‘redeveloped”

    • Greg

      Take a ride along Soapstone next to Shadowood — you will see what Temporary and North Shore will soon look like. Tobacco Road.

  • workforce housing

    Only among those who were engaged in a particular activity did their
    language remain unchanged; so, for in­stance, there was one for all the
    architects, one for all the carriers of stones, one for all the
    stone-breakers, and so on for all the different opera­tions. As many as
    were the types of work involved in the enterprise, so many were the languages by which the human race was fragmented; and the more skill required for the type of work, the more rudimentary and barbaric
    the language they now spoke. But the holy tongue remained to those who
    had neither joined in the project nor praised it, but instead,
    thoroughly disdaining it, had made fun of the builders’ stupidity.

  • RestonAssurance

    Sky high skyrise. Goodbye, Reston.

  • Mike M

    This is good as hell

    • Mike M

      This is the pathetic fake Mike M.

      • Mike M

        We’re a team. Just a couple of Mike M’s shouting aimlessly into the void.

        • Mike M

          We are not a team. I am a genuine voice. You are a pathetic weasel who has to lie.

          • Mike M

            No we’ve actually been drafted together. I don’t like it either but some things we just deal with.

          • Mike M

            Loser.

          • Mike M

            Pathetic.

        • 40yearsinreston

          who’s on first ?

        • Mike M

          Click on the name. I have been in here a long time as my number of comments shows. This is some clown like Reston Willie.

  • cRAzy

    I hope that the Board of Supervisors has better sense than the Planning Commission and refers this proposal back to staff for correction of the many problems in it. Still, the Board has never shown that good sense, so why should I expect to see it now?

    • 40yearsinreston

      The FCBOS will do nothing as long as Hudgins is there

  • Greg

    Will the condo owners be RA members?

  • Referee75

    Fairfax County is under impression that future Reston dwellers will resemble mythical Hipsters and Millennials – car-less skate boarders who commute exclusively by Metro. Ergo, no need for parking. Current building on that site is Harrison’s overflow parking lot. I wonder where all the construction workers who commute in for the Sunset Hills/Old Reston Ave projects are going to park? And how anyone is going to get onto Temporary Road from Old Reston? This is all about tax revenues, folks, not livability.

    • 40yearsinreston

      they will all use the bike share
      Ever try to balance a grocery bag on the handlebars ?

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