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Development Plan Seeks to Build 2,100 Residential Units in Isaac Newtown Square

by Fatimah Waseem September 6, 2018 at 10:00 am 12 Comments

A redevelopment plan before the county could transform Isaac Newton Square, the aging office park at Sunset Hills Road and Wiehle Avenue, into a residential neighborhood with around 2,100 residential units.

Peter Lawrence Cos. and MRP Realty submitted plans in late August to redevelop two-thirds of the office park with 2.8 million feet of development, nearly 90 percent of which would be residential. The development would be spread across roughly 32 acres that Peter Lawrence Cos. controls.

“We spent a lot of time developing the project vision, and we’re proud of it,” said Andrew Painter, the development team’s legal representative. The plan is in line with the county’s comprehensive plan, which has long envisioned the office park’s future as entirely residential. The project is north of the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station.

Painter told Reston Now that the development team intentionally designed the project to serve as a transition between the higher density areas close to the Metro Station and established residential communities towards the north and east of the property. The site is bounded by Hidden Creek Country Club, a gas station and a fire station, which will be rebuilt.

Building heights will generally taper down as one moves from south to north, and our planned “Nature’s Edge” area rings the proposed neighborhood, which provides a landscaped buffer and path along our northern and western edges adjacent to Hidden Creek,” Painter said.

Residential units will be a mix of apartments, condominiums, flats and townhouses, which 14 percent of the total number of units being set aside as affordable units.

The proposed neighborhood will contain up to 10 development blocks with a mix of residential, retail and office uses. The heights of buildings and the intensity of the development will taper off near the existing woodlands near the southern edge of the property.

The developer plans to preserve the property’s row of mature Willow Oak trees, by creating a new “Willow Oak Park.” The 1.45-acre park will serve as the “heart of the neighborhood’s public realm,” according to the proposal.

A full-size athletic field open for active recreation activities will also be included in the plan. Roughly 25 parking spaces will be reserved for field visitors during designated times. A neighborhood green, just under half an acre, will sit next to the athletic field.

A 0.75-acre east-west pedestrian walkway, called the “community mews,” will serve as a mid-block crossing connecting Wiehle Avenue and parcels to the west. Unlike the athletic field and community green, this “mews” will be reserved for residents only. The plan also calls for “The Commons,” the neighborhood’s commercial center.

The developer will create a connection to the Washington & Old Dominion Trail. Infrastructure on the property will also support cycling.

Although an overwhelming majority of the development is residential, 260,000 square feet of office uses will be present nearest to the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station. Roughly 68,884 square feet of retail uses are also proposed.

The plan hasn’t been accepted for review by the county yet, according to Brian Worthy, a spokesperson for the county.

Photos via Google Maps and Andrew Painter

  • Bethany

    I had to stop going down Wiehle there because the congestion was awful in the evenings… not they’re just going to make it worse.

    • 30yearsinreston

      Hudgins is turning Reston into an urban slum populated by lycra louts

    • Chkitout1

      We better hope they don’t decide to put those awful bike lanes on Wiehle.

  • Reston Resident

    NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Bert W

    And no doubt Cathy Hudgins thinks this is a fine idea!!

  • jak3402938

    If only there were a nice village center at Tall Oaks for all these potential new Restonians to use.

  • RestonResident

    Please please fix the roads around here. There are way too many lights and they’re not timed – add in the metro entrance, the trail crossing and a fire station for some additional complexity. The new residents will only make it worse – it already backs up half way to baron cameron. While you’re at it, fix the kiss and ride entrance and exit at the metro. At least you can cut through the square without speed bumps if you know the way 🙂

  • Why do you bother?

    ” which 14 percent of”

    either OF which 14 percent , or “WITH 14 percent.” “of the total number of units…” is redundant and unnecessary. Should read ” …of which 14 percent will be set aside….”

    • VieDeMon

      Appreciate the notice. Don’t let those super smart, super busy volunteer copy editors throw a wet blanket on your efforts.

    • Curt Welch

      Well, if you are going to be a jerk, it would help if you actually knew what your talking about.

      This article is describing a zoning and land redevelopment project. It’s describing how the land will be divided and what the land will be USED for, such as residential use, office use, and park use. When they wrote “260,000 square feet of office uses will be present” they are referring to how much land in the area will be allocated to office buildings (“office land use”, aka “office use” in zoning lingo). They are talking about the land footprint of all the office buildings.

      The term “office space”, it is a measure of floor space inside an office building. used in the commercial office space leasing busnes. A 10 story office building can sit on a 10,000 square ft “office USE” land zoning footprint, but have 800,000 sq ft of office SPACE for lease.

      Though the odd wording confused you it actually has significant technical meaning that would have been lost if you were allowed to edit this document for them.

      Where as the grammar corrections would have made minor improvements to the message, your technical error would have been a serious communication error. Your “corrections” would have made the article far worse if there was nobody to edit your mistakes.

  • Greg

    “The plan hasn’t been accepted for review by the county yet, according to Brian Worthy, a spokesperson for the county.”

    Remember when the RA told us, ten years ago, that redevelopment of Isaac Newton Square was imminent and that it had to vacate its old (but not high-end enough for Milton Mathews) HQ immediately?

  • VieDeMon

    25 parking spots for an athletic field isn’t going to cut it. Two skeleton teams would bring 20+ cars. And the next game starting right afterwards need 20+ more cars. Plus coaches and officials, etc

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