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Decision on Reston Crescent Project Deferred to July 12

by Fatimah Waseem July 5, 2018 at 2:30 pm 15 Comments

A decision on Brookfield Properties’ four million-square-foot redevelopment of the Reston Crescent site was deferred last week amid a disagreement regarding the developer’s contribution for the affordable housing fund. 

Brookfield has proposed roughly 4.2 million square feet of development across 36 acres, including up to 1,721 residential units, 1.9 million square feet of office space, a hotel and 380,000 square feet of retail. The property is divided into eight development blocks. Two existing office buildings on the site will remain untouched.

The first new building, which fronts Reston Parkway, includes a Wegmans with 380 apartment built on top of it. The project is located west of Reston Parkway, north of Sunrise Valley Drive, east of Edmund Halley Drive and south of the Dulles Toll Road.

At June 28 Fairfax County Planning Commission meeting, county staff indicated the developer needs to pitch in more toward the affordable housing fund. Brookfield plans to ensure 15 percent of all units are affordable at income tiers of up to 70, 90 and 100 percent of the Area Median Income — a lower income distribution than county requirements.

Even though the developer is offering units for individuals with lower incomes, county officials and the developer disagree on how much Brookfield should offer for the non-residential aspects of the property. The comprehensive plan indicates the developer should contribute $3 per non-residential square feet.

Because Brookfield is proposing a completely new redevelopment project, county officials contend the developer should contribute based on the total square footage of new development, roughly 1.6 million square feet. Brookfield, however, asserts they only have to contribute funds for 1.1 million square feet of development because other non-residential development was already approved under a previous plan.

In a report, staff said the latest proposal was entirely new and supersedes any previous approvals. “As a result, the proposed non-residential uses on affordable housing and such impact should be fully mitigated through the $3 per non-residential square feet contribution towards affordable housing,” according to the report.

An earlier clash over the developer’s commitment to providing an athletic field was resolved in recent discussions. According to the developer’s representative, Mark Looney of Cooley, Brookfield has an underdeveloped property under contract for a future full-size athletic field. Once the property is purchased, Cooley said the developer should dedicate it to the county’s park authority.

In remarks before the Planning Commission, John Carter, the commissioner for the Hunter Mill District, said the commission needed more time to discuss what could be a “precedent-making” decision. The commission will vote on the project on July 12.

Handout via Fairfax County Government

  • Greg

    Here we go again. 15 percent section 8 housing and the county wants yet more.

    • Reston Realist

      Well… what they are pitching is not really section 8 housing, but your point is still very valid.

    • Terry Maynard

      The income maximums for WDU affordable housing as described above is roughly $80K, $100K, and $110K for incomes at 70%, 90%, and 100% of the region’s AMI for a family of four. Deduct roughly 10% in income maximums for each reduction in number of people in the DU.

      In short, this is not “Section 8” housing for the poor. It is housing for working people whose income may not be up to our local average (~$125K/household). It is entirely appropriate for its location and for Reston’s Planning Principles calling for accommodating people of all ages, races, faiths, and incomes.

      In fact, consistent with CPR’s proposal, I would push for 20% of all housing here as well as the full $3/SF for non-residential space to be focused on building affordable housing in Reston.

      • 30yearsinreston

        How about pushing for traffic relief

        • Terry Maynard

          Been doing that for years–to essentially no avail. See also my comment above on all the other infrastructure needs generated by new residents. The County just doesn’t acknowledge the requirement in any meaningful way.

          • 30yearsinreston

            another Hudgins failure that she would deem a sucess

        • Greg

          And tax relief.

      • Greg

        Give us a break with all your doublespeak.

        They are haggling over, at most, $1.5 million for the Hudgins’ housing slush fund.

        How much sales, property, real-estate, transfer, car and all other taxes are they losing by delaying this project?

        Do you want this development to fail over the housing greed just like it did at Lake Anne?

        • Terry Maynard

          About the same–but nationwide experience shows actually less–than they will need to spend on improved roads, schools, libraries, safety, parks, and other infrastructure necessities. But I’ll admit, not even the Board seems to be aware that you have to provide services to new residents, not just suck up tax revenues.

          • Greg

            If only. The incompetent Fairfax County Housing Authority has a long record of waste, fraud, and abuse. In fact, it was outed at least once for allowing at least one family making in excess of $216,000 to live in government-owned housing.

            Housing that produces not a penny of tax revenue; sucks up tax dollars for maintenance, management, and upgrades; and burdens Reston Association assessment payers with hundreds of thousands of assessments it doesn’t pay.

            This country has wasted $23 trillion on the failed war on poverty.

      • Walter Hadlock

        Mr. Maynard: It’s good to read your comment. You have spent a long time with development related issues in Reston. A question: Just how would the county spend the $3 per sq. ft. for non-residential space?

        • Terry Maynard

          This, too, would go to affordable housing through a County fund.

      • The Constitutionalist

        You would, and that’s because must’ve skipped every economics class to ‘experiment’ in college.

        You see, Reston’s Planning Principles just aren’t coherent with reality. How about instead of building affordable housing and placing a price ceiling on the market, in which the laws of physics and economics agree and the deficit must be paid, we do more to encourage better businesses to move in who can pay an affordable salary? Or better yet, come to terms with the fact that the market sets the actual price (of both domiciles and salaries) and if one can’t afford to live in a certain house, or afford to live in a certain neighborhood, or drive a certain car, or eat a certain brand of food, they just don’t do that because it’s not everyone else’s responsibility to elevate their lifestyle?

        What happens when one’s salary outgrows the affordable housing limit? Do they have to then move into a house priced by the market? So is their salary growth then wiped completely out or even decreased in real value because the market has set its prices even higher than difference in affordable housing subsidy?

        This is the issue with all social programs. One always reaches a point where their lifestyle and livelihood go down once they reach a certain level and can no longer take advantage of said social program, which, (newsflash!) discourages vertical advancement.

        Maybe instead of basic Micro and Macro economics courses being required for a business degree we should mandate common sense 101 as a requirement for any type of leadership position.

  • 30yearsinreston

    How about a contribution to the traffic fixes
    Woonfers don’t cut it

  • Mike M

    Gee, I wish the County would get out of the housing business.

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