As Metro Goes Live in 2020, Development in Herndon Pushes Bedroom Community to the Edge

by Fatimah Waseem March 7, 2018 at 3:45 pm 31 Comments

Plans are underway to redevelop aging office buildings and mixed-used projects in Herndon as the opening of the nearby Metro station inches closer in 2020.

But as the oncoming train sweeps in more development and corridor activity, local officials and business leaders are grappling with one key question: How will the Herndon Metro stop distinguish itself from others on the Silver Line?

“We cannot have every stop look the same,” said John Boylan, president and CEO of the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Some are placing their hopes on the place-making character of the Town of Herndon’s downtown, a historic center that is one mile from the Metro station and the only incorporated town on the Silver Line. The town is working with Comstock Partners to redevelop 4.7 acres of land into a mixed use development with 281 apartments, a central community plaza, an arts center and retail. Comstock plans to break ground in late 2018. Construction will take at least two years. 

A 761-space garage will be delivered first and will be free. Maggie Parker, Comstock’s vice president of communication, said the company is excited to work on Herndon’s “jewel.”

“People are hungry for community and that’s what the Herndon project offers and that’s what the Herndon Metro Station offers,” Parker said.

Mixed-used projects in Herndon’s 38-acre transit-oriented area near the Metro station are taking off. By 2050, an additional 2.1 million square feet of office space is planned as part of Herndon’s Metro Station Area Plan.

Just last month, Kiddar Capital announced it acquired 575 Herndon Parkway, a 4.8-acre site at the door of Herndon Metro station platform. The company is holding off on releasing plans for redevelopment for at least three years.

Other mixed-use projects are in the pipeline. The first and furthest development from the Metro Station — Corporate Oaks One (625 Herndon Parkway) — includes 64 stacked condominiums selling for between $500,000 and $600,000.

Penzance Properties plans to build a mixed-use development at 555 parkway, which calls for three or four 225 to 275-foot towers and ground floor retail.

Other projects in Herndon include Tishman’s Woodland Park East Development, which will include 1.6 million square feet of office and residential on roughly 32 acres. A mix of 678 townhouses, stacked condos, and apartments is planned, along with two office towers, 81 affordable housing units and six acres of open space.

“Herndon is strategically positioned for growth,” said Rodney Lusk, director of national marketing for the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority.

Waterview at Woodland Park includes 295 multi-family units, 50 stacked townhouses and 32 townhouses. Prices start in the upper $600s for the community, which will open in May.

Arrowbrook Centre will see 2.3 million square feet of development on 54 acres. Houston Office Partners also plans to convert two office buildings into two multi-family residential projects with 866 units. Innovation Center South, which calls for 1.6 million square feet of development, including 1 million square feet of residential and 2,070 parking spaces, is currently under construction.

Lisa Merkel, mayor of the Town of Herndon, said the Herndon area will face a new challenge of transitioning people from cars to mass transit in a community that mostly has single-family homes.

“We don’t want to be a bedroom community,” said  Merkel. “We are a small town with a worldview.”

  • Robert Mowbray

    Several more examples of the need for editing.

    • Drip

      At least she is doing some real reporting. That’s a good thing.

      • Arlene Krieger

        i am a terrible speller but it is annoying to see mistakes in news publications. But I admire her reporting. They need a good editor at RestonNow.

        • Greg

          Most of the errors should be caught in web browser (for free). For free, or for a fee, there are very good software editors.

          Grammarly is good — it’s free or $140 a year for a premium service. It has plug-ins for Word and most browsers.

          Some dear Reston Now readers have offered to edit. For free.

  • Greg

    And the rumors are flying that Amazon may call Herndon home for HQ2?

    • God awful

      This will be the nail in the coffin.

      Amazon, shadow gov, neo soxialism, env destruction, corp welfare etc

      • OneReally

        I will be running for the hills with a fist full of cash.

        I am fielding calls daily about selling my house.

        • Donald

          I too, have received unsolicited inquiries to see if I would ever be interested in selling.


          • OneReally

            It’s tempting to sell! Still need to wait 5 years. Then I am getting out of Dodge.

          • Donald

            Maybe someday for me as well. But, right now, I love it here. Reston has been good to me and family.


        • Mike M

          This has been picking up by mail, phone, and email. It is a concerted effort to bust remaining residential neighborhoods. For the fools who thought Metro would boost their property values, most of them were wrong and all will be in the long run. By bombarding neighborhoods with these constant offers will draw out anyone in mortgage distress or otherwise on the fence. They aim to get a toehold in neighborhoods. execute short-term rentals and suppress values. The ultimate goal is to buy up entire neighborhoods and redevelop into high density. The County cronies (probably criminally in conflict of interest) will be there for them when they want to rezone.

  • dudewe

    Mayor Merkel, Please see the mess Comstock has made in Reston at the Wiehle Avenue station and their proposal to develop their property just north of their garage and the “free garage”. Developers are out to make money – don’t let Comstock and their silver tongue attorneys talk you into a similar mess.

  • 40yearsinreston

    They may have a chance since Hudgins is not a player

  • Marc M

    The Town of Herndon’s development plan is a missed opportunity to embrace change, growth, public transportation, and Metro. The town’s development plan will likely be a failed urban planning case study. The plan implemented by the council and current mayor failed to recognize the population growth, increased density, and rezoning of the surrounding areas. This has resulted in the town approving new developments without any improvements to the road infrastructure and traffic management that can handle the increased density within the town and surrounding areas. The morning and afternoon traffic jams in the town are awful and they will continue to deteriorate as development increases in Reston and Herndon.

  • Bethany

    Oh no. I moved away from Reston for a reason. Too much traffic.

  • Arielle in NoVA

    I really hope they don’t overbuild Herndon the way they’ve been doing in Reston 🙁 Traffic is bad enough already, and it’s just not the same kind of place when the building is all high-rises instead of the townhouses and single-family houses that were the majority of the area beforehand. The high-rises mostly pull new people in from elsewhere – nothing wrong with new people, but these are new people who want high-rises. And more high-rises. And denser areas around high-rises.

    • Greg

      I don’t think you will see Reston-like development in Herndon town proper. With the possible exception of immediately adjacent to the Herndon metro stop.

      The surrounding areas, though, are all ripe for development and are governed only by Fairfax County. My guess is that Herndon will become (or remain) an island of slow growth and limited redevelopment.

      I suspect one of the first to be redeveloped will be the Sprint (old GTE Telenet) complex immediately adjacent to the Herndon metro station. It will not be pleasant for those residing in the Polo Fields development.

    • Conservative Senior

      Those living in high rise apartments are renters who have no real tie or commitment to the area.

  • Scott

    Put in a single train line and people will magically give up their cars and “transition to mass transit.” What fantasy land are these politicians living in?

    • Tom Wyland

      It’s absolutely not about the people who are here already. It’s about building a place that attracts the next generation. The younger workforce does not want to drive everywhere. They want to walk, bike, take transit. For example, I was hiring for a job out in Loudoun (2 years ago) and was told by a tech recruiter that the location as too “car dependent.”

      Also, we can’t add more residents to the area unless more people choose a mode of transportation does not involve driving alone. The roads just don’t support it, even if you make them wider everywhere.

      • Hipster Paradise

        Taking advice from a tech recruiter? lol.

        If you want to be in an area with people living on top of each other, I suggest you try one of the many places where that’s already possible. I hear San Fran has got some dorms that you can rent a room in for a paltry $2500 a month. Sounds like that’s right up your alley. There’s plenty of density there for you.

      • Mike M

        LOL! The myth of the righteous new millennial. Dude, there is no changing such a vast suburb into your walk/bike fantasy. Even if millennials share your fantasy it ain’t gonna happen. For one thing young people change. Are we living in a hippy paradise as visualized by youngsters or 1967? Noooo! They grew up and moved to the burbs! Because the burbs are nice! For another thing, the idea that a generation will spend their whole career within walking or safe biking distance of their house is foolish. People change jobs all the time, whether willfully or otherwise. Gonna Metro through life in two dimensions? To town or away? Get your head out of la-la land.

        • Mike M

          By the way, . . .
          In the minds of many business and development consultants, “millennial” means anyone who will do with less. And not more or the same with less – just do with less. It’s a broad category the majority of which is non-native. Capisce?

  • alethe kidd

    This development on the tollway and centreville road is not in Herndon. Its in Fairfax County with a Herndon post address. So why ask Mayor Merkel of the Town of Herndon? You could have asked the Mayor of Falls Church City for all that matters.

    • 40yearsinreston

      The Toll Road is Plum/Hudgins territory

  • Ken Bum

    Great, let’s abolish all the open areas in Northern Virginia and start calling it the concrete county.

    Traffic is already TERRIBLE @ Van Buuren/Herndon Pkwy. My commute is 3.1 miles- I struggle to understand why it sometimes takes 25-30 minutes to get home? This area will be a wasteland.

    • 40yearsinreston

      Hudgens canyonland
      A monument to her ineptness

  • Phil

    Move to Centreville! Absolutely no chance of Metro in our lifetimes, it is the bedroom community you yearn!

  • TheRealMikeSapupello

    “We cannot have every stop look the same,” Then why do the development plans look exactly like every other new development in Northern VA? If you want this metro stop to look different, think outside the box. A 50ft tall statue of Ken Plum’s hero Joseph Stalin would certainly stand out.

  • Jt

    The traffic is getting worse day by day. In the name of development they are not leaving any breathing area. We end with houses and parking lots instead of having any green for healthy leaving. It seems like it’s becoming like 3rd world countries where no one cares about any, building everywhere without any proper planning. So sad

  • JT

    This is crazy. I would rather sell my property and go somewhere than taking metro. May be they are thinkig over crowd the streets so people take metro. Already traffic is a mess. Then adding more homes and more people. Is anyone thinking of the how much pollution it causes? It’s sad they stuff buildings and people in one area and call it development


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