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Fairfax County Board Approves Expanded Reston Station Project

by RestonNow.com April 11, 2018 at 2:30 pm 64 Comments

Major redevelopment is underway as Comstock Partners continue to complete the massive Reston Station development on the northe side of the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station.

On Tuesday (April 11), the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved an expanded version of the project, which calls for a further 1.7 million square feet of development, including a mix of residential units, a hotel and office towers.

The project is part of a public-private partnership with the county, which owns seven acres of the roughly 12-acre development. Changes include the addition of 362,450 square feet of development for the buildings on the Reston Station Plaza, increases in the heights of building, and the addition of a hotel to respond to “industry feedback,” said Cooley LLP’s Mark Looney.

The Promenade, an extension of Reston Station, would redevelop a Bank of America, medical buildings and 30 office condominiums on the corner of Sunset Hills Road and Wiehle Avenue into high rise buildings with up to 540 units, a 14-story office and a 23-story, 280-room hotel with 80 private residences.

Under amended plans, the county’s 1.3-acre portion of the project, previously designated for Reston Station, will be included in The Promenade in order to better unify the block.

Around 17 percent of the units will be affordable at levels of affordability ranging from 70 to 100 percent of the area median income. Comstock also plans to provide $1.9 million to the county’s affordable housing trust fund.

Comstock’s plans also include a woonerf, a shared street system that is used by pedestrians, bicyclists and cars, but does not contain sidewalks, curbs and traffic lights.

The county’s land use plan for the area north of the station includes 2.4 million square feet of development and roughly 1,900 housing units.

“Lots of trees gave up their lives for this application,” said Sharon Bulova, chairwoman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

Comstock plans to begin construction on its next office building at 1906 Reston Metro Plaza this spring. Plans for another 180,000-square-foot office are under county review.

Photos via Comstock

  • 30yearsinreston

    What a shocker!
    Another giveaway of public property to developers
    Can we sue the County ?

    • Greg

      But we get a woonerf! Reston trees (the same Reston trees that just resulted in Reston receiving some sort of award?) be damned!

      And Bulova could come up with nothing better than this?

      “Lots of trees gave up their lives for this application,” said Sharon Bulova, chairwoman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.”

      Calgon, take me away! #doomed.

      • Why do you bother?

        I believe that she’s talking about the trees that make paper, not trees on the site…

        • 30yearsinreston

          There is a difference ?

          • Why do you bother?

            Yes – she’s not talking about stripping down trees on the site.

    • Chkitout1

      Let’s see here, County Supervisor, Democrat ran unopposed, State Senator, Democrat ran unopposed, Congressman, Democrat ran unopposed. Now everyone is angry because Reston was sold out to developers by the Democrats. Sorry, no sympathy from me.

      • Evey Hammond

        Not everyone in Reston is angry. This is something that was decades in the making. It was in the making when the Board of Supervisors was Republican.

        • Chkitout1

          And it will take you decades to get around the traffic when it is all completed.

          • Evey Hammond

            What I’m saying is that you can’t blame it all on the Democratic Party and act as though if Republicans were in control, this wouldn’t be happening. That is what you are really doing and that is the real thrust of your argument. The color isn’t Red or Blue, it’s green. High density development will stay within the Metro corridor because it doesn’t make sense economically to spread it out. The true cause of the traffic jams is the refusal of most people to get out of their cars for anything. Low density sprawl, which is what would otherwise take place, (Don’t think it won’t. Reston’s proximity to a major international airport would make it inevitable.) would make the traffic problems worse. That is what happened to Tyson’s Corner. They are now scrambling to fix it. Better to have high density development confined to a defined area and encourage people to walk.

          • Ann S

            I guess you haven’t lived here very long. You see, this used to be a famous planned community. That’s why most of us came here. Because developers wouldn’t be able to move in and change it’s character. And add density. And add congestion. Make it unliveable. I’m not saying that Cathy Hudgins is doing this because she’s a Democrat. I’m saying she’s doing it because she’s taking kickbacks from developers.

          • Evey Hammond

            I have lived here for 44 years. And I wish that all the people who insist that Cathy Hudgins is taking kickbacks from developers would present proof.

          • Ann S

            Then please explain why she constantly goes against the wishes of the majority of Reston. She was initially in wanted to get rid of the golf courses, for God’s sake. So much for “Live, Work, Play.” She claims she doesn’t “see” any congestion, even though you can barely move during the rush hour.

            I really think it’s time for an investigation of Cathy H’s finances. She doesn’t represent me or anyone that I know. And she does EVERYTHING developers ask. Everything.

          • Evey Hammond

            If she goes against the wishes of the majority of Reston, why doesn’t anyone field a candidate to defeat her? I haven’t seen anything that in which she voiced support of development of the Golf Course. She simply didn’t say anything because she just assumed that the zoning board would take care of it. She has publicly stated that she has had no contact with anyone connected with the ownership of the Golf Course. If there’s criminal activity, Terry Maynard at Reston 2020 would have been on the case. My next door neighbor is a founder of Rescue Reston. I’ve never heard anything from him about kickbacks. I’ll discuss it with him to see what he says.

            I get the Live part. How are we going to work in Reston if there isn’t a strong business base to provide jobs? Play isn’t just outdoor activity. Play also means shopping, dining and entertainment. Also, other members of the Board of Supervisors signed off on the development. Why isn’t anyone here saying they are taking kickbacks? The congestion far predates the Metro development. Metro was brought in in an effort to relieve congestion. It didn’t in large part because nobody wanted to get out of their cars. Reston got congestion because people live in Reston, but work and play elsewhere. Tyson’s got congestion because people work and play in Tyson’s but live elsewhere. Substantial development is now occurring in Tyson’s. Nobody’s accusing their supervisor of kickbacks.

            The population of Fairfax County has also grown tremendously since Reston began. The development we are experiencing is in part because of pressure from population growth. There are over a million people in Fairfax County. Almost one seventh of the population of the state lives here. Just about the entire county has congestion. How do we sit up and tell everyone moving into Fairfax County that they can live anywhere else in the County but Reston is off limits and they can’t live here? Reston was intended to also be an inclusive community.

            If you think there ought to be such an investigation, why don’t you get it started?

      • meyerweb

        Nothing to do with party, and everything to do with developer money buying politicians. Campaign “contributions” are nothing but legalized bribes.

    • Evey Hammond

      This isn’t a giveaway. Comstock bought eight blocks of property around The Metro station. It was always known that it would be a high density development. This just approved the design.

      • 30yearsinreston

        Public property should not be sold to private interests
        This so called ‘partnership’ is just crony capitalism
        Privatize the profits and socialize the losses
        Was there an auction ?
        Since when should the County be in the real estate business ?
        Since Bulova and Hudgins have been around
        Look at the ‘plans’ for development around the library

        • Evey Hammond

          The property in question was not public property. Before Comstock bought it, it was office parks and mini warehouses. Comstock bought the land from private owners.

          • 30yearsinreston

            What about the area owned by thev county ?

          • Evey Hammond

            Because of the existing development around it, that parcel of land was never truly useful to the county. The county never really made any use of the land, I never saw any Restonians make any use of the land, nor did I ever see any public push for it. For example, unlike with the golf course, I never heard of anyone walking their dogs there. Did you actually make any use of that land?

          • 30yearsinreston

            Just because the county didn’t make use of the land doesn’t mean that the only option is to dispose of it to surrounding developers
            For example, it could be purposed as a park or for some other community facility
            I have seen a public park the size of three benches in Manhattan.
            It is much appreciated by the locals

          • Evey Hammond

            Did you even know that this piece of land existed before this announcement? Before this announcement, did you ever use this piece of land? Can you please tell me what this pocket park in Manhattan is? The process for this development has been going on for over ten years. How involved were you all this time?

          • Mike M

            So, you initially said it wasn’t a County giveaway, then you shifted to it was a reasonable giveaway. I disagree with the County subsidizing development – especially when they can’t attain appropriate infrastructure. I also disagree with you denying something then saying it happened, but was a good idea.Do you work for Comstock?

          • Evey Hammond

            I thought originally that it was all private land, then found out I was wrong. People can redo their positions based on new evidence. That’s not fake news, that’s intellectual honesty.
            https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/the-fallacy-fallacy

          • Mike M

            What was missing was your acknowledgement that you were initially wrong. Also, despite the new information, your view remained the same.
            https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wrong

          • Evey Hammond

            I did say I was wrong about the land ownership. You have failed to read my reply. However, it doesn’t make my assessment of the land usage wrong. It doesn’t mean that the whole use of the land is wrong. And, the planning of this development has been going on for ten years. If you’re so hot and bothered, were you there at the initial meetings? How active have you been in letting your thoughts be known to the county? Have you written Supervisor Hudgens about this? Or, are you a keyboard warrior?

          • Mike M

            Initial meetings? No. Probably had no idea.
            Letting my thoughts be known. I wrote letters to the editor many years ago. I write in here. I also believe the County is in the bag.
            Written to Hudgins? Yes. She is clearly in the bag and will not be swayed but by election loss. I also voted against her.
            So, I guess I am a keyboard warrior because writing in here is less legit than writing a letter to an editor or to Hudgins?

          • Evey Hammond
          • Mike M

            It’s not ad hominem to ask someone if they work for an employer whose interests are served by the advancement of their ostensibly personal opinions. It’s also not the fallacy fallacy even by your definition.
            https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wrong

  • E

    This honestly could not have come soon enough. Very excited to see the future development.

    • 30yearsinreston

      How long have you been employed by Comstock

      • Evey Hammond

        This development is inevitable because of Reston’s proximity to a major international airport. Comstock isn’t the cause of it. It’s proximity to the airport and the Capital of the nation, which was made easier to access as soon as the Toll Road went in. If it weren’t Comstock, it would be someone else. Don’t think the Republicans would protect you, because they are even more pro business. Better high density development confined to the Corridor around the Metro line and the Dulles Toll Road rather than low density sprawl, which would be worse.

        • 30yearsinreston

          I never mentioned political parties
          And increased high density development is NOT inevitable as you claim
          There are examples all over the country where this is not the case
          Rolling over and bowing to the ‘inevitable’ is not the American way
          My biggest concern is that the County officials can dispose of public land to further their political agenda

          • Evey Hammond

            I wasn’t talking to you. I was talking to someone else in the thread. Do you think the world revolves around you.

          • 30yearsinreston

            Then dont directly reply to my post
            Reply to theirs
            Getting a bit snippy this morning ?

          • Evey Hammond

            I did a reply to a reply posted by Chkitout1. Just because something is in the thread you started, doesn’t mean it’s addressed to you. I was addressing something Chkitout1 said.

      • E

        If I can be paid for my opinions on Reston please let me know where to apply. I’ve been excited for development and not been getting paid for it, which is quite frankly unfair.

        • 30yearsinreston

          Ask them for a stipend

  • At the corner of Sunset Hills and Wiehle…is that where the Long and Foster offices used to be?

    • Why do you bother?

      It’s where the 1-story buildings that house a bank and, I believe, a printer.

    • Mike M

      Demon seed?

      • Oh it is right there at the corner where the old one story office condos stand. Looks llike a great place to build.. . Interestingly Fairfax has over 18 million sf of vacant Office space but Reston is booming.

        • Mike M

          Even Reston has empty office space.

  • Nyla J.

    We need more retail. Seriously.

    People want to be able to walk to restaurants, bars, retail. It’s the only way to become Ballston instead of Tysons.

    • Jerin Philip

      I agree!

    • Chuck Morningwood

      Yeah, but I bet they would never allow a Hooters.

    • Peanut

      Definitely. This development has that potential, but it definitely needs to strike that balance.

    • meyerweb

      Haven’t been in Ballston lately ,have you? Massive traffic jams, overpriced condos and apartments ,ordinary people priced you the market. Traffic in Reston is already a disaster, and this is going to be much worse. The only plus is that I’m retired, and will be able to sell for even more when I leave.

      • Nyla J.

        I’m frequently in Ballston and prefer the walkability, and even the traffic there, to Reston. Reston is congested, the drivers (and pedestrians for that matter) don’t understand rules and etiquette of sharing a road, and you have to take a car everywhere!

        • 30yearsinreston

          Make them all ride bikes

    • Why do you bother?

      If I had wanted to live in Ballston, I’d have bought in Ballston.

      • Nyla J.

        Well, unfortunately, the Reston you selected is no longer an option.

  • Dale

    Virginia Code § 24.2-233 states that “Upon petition, a circuit court may remove from office any elected officer or officer who has been appointed to fill an elective office, residing within the jurisdiction of the court.”[2]

    Recall reasons
    Code § 24.2-233 states acceptable reasons for recall when it has “material adverse effect upon the conduct of the office” include:[2]

    Neglect of duty
    Misuse of office
    Incompetence in the performance

    Petition requirements
    The petition for recall must be signed by at least 10% of the number of people who voted in the last election for the office being recalled.[2] The petition must also detail the reasons for removal.[4]

    • Evey Hammond

      Do you really think a recall would repeal economic conditions? Do you really think you can recall the developers who can just get someone more pro business. Do you really think you can bar them from the recall election?

      • meyerweb

        Do you really think that development can’t take traffic and quality of life into account ?

        • Evey Hammond

          They are trying as best they can. This is why they opted for high density development around the metro stations and the Toll Road. Because of Reston’s proximity to Dulles Airport and the Toll Road, the alternative was low density sprawl, which was already beginning to happen. Sprawl would have been even worse when it comes to traffic. That’s what happened to Tyson’s Corner. Reston was never actually intended to be a place where people drive everywhere. That’s why it was built with footpaths. The traffic problems were brought on by people living in Reston, but working and playing elsewhere. It was not a plot by evil developers. We, in large part, brought it on ourselves. Who’s to say that being able to shop, enjoy entertainment and eat out here in Reston doesn’t improve quality of life? Why does quality of life revolve around cars and traffic?

          • 30yearsinreston

            Its not a binary choice

          • Evey Hammond

            The we continue the pattern of live one place, work and play somewhere else and get in cars for all of that? That’s the real source of traffic problems in Reston. It predates all the current development. And, you can’t have economic growth without development.

          • Mike M

            You are the Comstock equivalent of fake news.

  • Peanut

    Excellent. Looking forward to seeing all the new choices in the area, hopefully by the time the town center metro is up and running.

    • meyerweb

      All the choices like massive traffic jams, overpriced condos, overcrowded schools …

      • Peanut

        Honestly besides the terrible renderings, it will be great. Don’t need to worry about traffic if you have everything you need nearby. Schools will be fine.

  • Drive By Critic

    Woonerf! We get a Woonerf! Be still my heart!
    Now if we can only get drivers used to sharing the road with pedestrians and bikes…do I have a reason to be optimistic about such a prospect? Good luck to all, I hope it works. Seriously.

    • 30yearsinreston

      Can we establish topless beaches like they have in Holland
      Reston Lakes would be ideal
      The Lake House would make a fortune selling snacks to day trippers

  • Road Kill Joe

    Hello, New Reston City, so long Reston. Hope you enjoyed it while it lasted.

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