Giant Food is Coming to Centreville Road in Herndon

Giant Food is opening a new location in Herndon, according to an announcement by the company today.

The new grocery store is located at 2425 Centreville Road and will open on Nov. 9. It takes up space formerly occupied by Shoppers.

The company issued the following statement announcing the opening:

“Our team is very happy to have the opportunity to invest in two new stores in Virginia, a market Giant has had a presence in for 77 years,” said Gordon Reid, president of Giant Food. “Both stores in Herndon and Alexandria will feature excellent selections and offerings for shoppers, such as a delicious hot food bar, larger produce department, expanded ethnic and international food selections and full-service deli, seafood, meat and floral departments. These stores are an exciting piece of our ongoing expansion and improvement initiatives.”

Customers who shop at 1228 Elden Street will not experience any interruption in service due to the opening, according to company officials.

However, the company does plan to shutter the Elden Street location at Elden Street Marketplace soon.

Photo by Garlon Cheng

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Holiday Helpers: Donations Sought for Thanksgiving Food Drive

Three local organizations are working together once again on the annual Thanksgiving Drive, which helps families in need of food. Individuals, businesses and organizations are encouraged to drop off non-perishable food and other essential items as several drop-off points throughout the area.

This year’s drive, which is organized by Reston Community Center, the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce and Cornerstones will run from Thursday (Nov. 1) through Nov. 19.

Cornerstones, a local nonprofit organization that helps neighbors in overcome tough economic times, is in need of the following items:

  • Toilet Paper
  • Baby Wipes
  • Hygiene Items
  • Condiments
  • Cooking Oil
  • Dry Beans
  • Canned Meats
  • Flour, Sugar, etc.
  • Peanut Butter & Jelly
  • Canned Fruit
  • Soups, Chili, etc.
  • Coffee, Tea, etc.
  • Macaroni & Cheese
  • Boxed Potatoes
  • Cereal
  • Oatmeal
  • Heavy Duty Clear Plastic Bins (approx. size of file boxes)
  • Shelf Stable Milk (evaporated, condensed, dry, soy, etc.)

Drop-off locations, as listed by RCC, are below:

  • RCC Hunters Woods
    2310 Colts Neck Road, Reston
  • RCC Lake Anne
    1609-A Washington Plaza, Reston
  • Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce
    1886 Metro Center Drive, Suite 230, Reston
  • Access National Bank
    1800 Robert Fulton Drive, Suite 105, Reston
  • Hunter Mill District Office
    1802 Cameron Glen Drive, Reston
  • JBG/Arboretum
    12700 Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston
  • JBG/RTC West
    12100, 12110,12120 Sunset Hills Road, Reston
  • LePort Montessori Herndon
    13251 Woodland Park Road, Herndon
  • Long & Foster Realtors
    2100 Reston Pkwy, Suite 102, Reston
  • Reston Association – HQ
    12001 Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston
  • Reston Association – CSF
    12250 Sunset Hills Road, Reston
  • Reston Association – WNC
    11450 Glade Drive, Reston
  • State Farm Insurance
    11868 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite 200, Reston
  • Tall Oaks Assisted Living
    12052 North Shore Drive, Reston
  • The Harrison at Reston Town Center
    1800 Jonathan Way, Reston
  • Washington Hilton Dulles
    13869 Park Center Road, Herndon
  • YMCA Fairfax County Reston
    12196 Sunset Hills Road, Reston

Photo via RCC

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Reston Association Board Mulls Assessment Increase, Employee Benefits

Reston Association members could see their assessments go up by around $28 next year as the Board of Directors continues budget deliberations next month.

The decision to increase assessments is not final and will be determined by a number of factors as the board mulls several policy decisions, including health care benefits for staff, ahead of the Nov. 15 adoption. The increase is driven primarily by a new $60,000 reserve study required by law, $43,000 in new professional administrative software, $20,000 to dechlorinate pools and $250,000 in unanticipated lease payments for RA’s headquarters. 

Healthcare costs are also expected to increase by $65,000 and an average 2.3 percent merit-based increase for full-time and yearly part-time employees for the year is also anticipated. RA’s Acting CEO Larry Butler said the staff is working hard to maintain cost-savings cross all departments and limit the need for assessment increases.

In an effort to reduce expenses shouldered by RA, the board is also considering passing on the cost of credit card convenience fees to members and nonmembers, a roughly $180,000 yearly expense that is currently paid for by RA.

The motion to include the decision in the next draft of the budget passed with a 6-3 vote, pending staff assurances that the system to implement it could go into effect by Jan. 1. Board members Sridhar Ganesan, Sherri Hebert, and Ven Iyer voted against the measure, which they characterized as an equity issue.

“It’s just not fair, without any notice, to put members on this… not everybody has $700 in their bank account to pay for this,” Iyer said, referring to payments of RA assessments.

Others said RA should look into allowing online bank deposits. Currently, physical checks are accepted in lieu of credit card payment.

After some spirited debate, five members of the board voted to begin charging for financial updates requested by lenders, allowing RA to dip into roughly $60,000 in anticipated fees paid to RA for the service. Finance staff would have to provide documents within three days of the request date, per state law.

The board also struggled to grapple with how to handle healthcare premiums contributions, cost sharing for health services, and merit-based bonuses for staff across the board. Overall, the board concurred that RA’s healthcare package was too generous compared to the marketplace and competitors.

Hebert challenged the need for merit-based increases and generous benefits packages, noting that top-level vacancies and other openings in RA are not triggered by a lackluster benefits package.

“We are responsible to the membership first,” Hebert said, adding that attrition of RA’s staff may allow “new blood” and new ideas to enter the organization.

Others pointed to a larger issue about RA’s budget: staff expenses and compensation. Based on Ganesan’s research, salaries for RA’s staff increase by 36 percent between 2010 and 2018, more than half of the increases given to Fairfax County government staff. In that time period, assessments went up by 34 percent.

Ganesan and John Bowman noted that RA’s staff costs stand at a staggered 67 percent of the total budget, channeling the board’s overall consensus that RA’s new CEO will need to spearhead a complete review of staffing, compensation, and benefits.

The first year of the 2018 budget was approved on Nov. 16 last year. RA operates on a biennial budget, which is divided into the operating and capital budget. Assessment rates are calculated based on the bottom line of the two budgets.

Photo via YouTube/Reston Association

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Photos: Demolition of Tall Oaks Village Center Underway

Scattered pieces of the skeleton of Tall Oaks Village Center (12022 North Shore Drive) remain as the redevelopment of the property officially begins.

Demolition of the property, which will be redeveloped into a mixed-use project with 156 residential units, 8,500 square feet of retail and 6,000 square feet of office space, is nearly complete.

Construction of the new homes is expected to begin in October and be completed by the end of 2021, according to estimates provided to Reston Now by the development team in September. The development team, which includes Stanley Martin, the contract purchaser of the property, did not return requests for comment from Reston Now.

Stanley Martin’s plan transforms the village center from a predominantly retail-heavy site to a small residential neighborhood with a strip of retail. The center has long struggled with a lack of visibility from the main street and the vacancies left by Giant Foods’ departure in 2007.  The plan calls for 44 townhouses, 42 two-over-two townhouses and 70 multi-family units in two buildings. 

Recently, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is considering plans to reduce garage size requirements necessary to make the development team’s current plan work.

Tall Oaks’ longtime challenges have been a location on a dead end and lack of visibility from the main street. Its longtime anchor tenant, Giant Foods, moved out in 2007 and vacancies have been mounting since.

Photos by Fatimah Waseem

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Crime Roundup: Parking Lot Fight Ends in Arrest of Herndon Man

A fight between two men in a parking lot on the 45000 block of Waterview Plaza in Sterling resulted in an arrest on Oct. 27, according to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.

Michael, Nguyen, 43, of Herndon, was arrested and charged with obstruction of justice, disorderly conduct, and public intoxication. Law enforcement officials said Nguyen was fighting with another man in the area at around 9:30 p.m. When a sheriff’s deputy tried to stop the fight, Nguyen struggled with the deputy and continue to try to hit the victim again.

Nguyen was released from the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center on an unsecured bond.

In a separate incident, a drunk man was found lying on a dirt path near the 2000 block of Parkside Circle in Sterling on Oct. 27 at around 3:41 p.m., according to the LCSO.

Nicholas Meekins, 35, of Reston, was arrested and charged with public intoxication. He was released from the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center on an unsecured bond.

Meanwhile, the Fairfax County Police Department reported the following minor incidents in recent days:

LARCENIES:

11300 block of Baron Cameron Avenue, purse from vehicle

1800 block of Cameron Glen Drive, clothing, shoes and speaker from residence

2400 block of Centreville Road, license plates from vehicles

1800 block of Fountain Drive, wallet from business

Old Centerville Road/Acorn Hunt Place, tires from vehicle

11800 block of Spectrum Center, cell phone from location

2700 block of West Ox Road, purse and bag from vehicle

1800 block of Wiehle Avenue, merchandise from business

STOLEN VEHICLES:

None reported

File photo

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Tolls on Fairfax County Parkway — The Fairfax County Department of Transportation wants to know how you think the county should manage traffic and congestion on the parkway. One option is adding HOV lanes and express or toll lanes. [Fairfax County Government]

Roland Clarke decision delayed — At a meeting today, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will defer a decision on a proposal by Woodfield Investments to demolish a two-story office building and replace it with a multifamily building at 1941 Roland Clarke Place. [Fairfax County Government]

Gift cards, anyone? — Reston Association is offering RA gift cards ahead of the holiday season. [Reston Today]

All 19,000 — That’s the number of mail-in absentee ballots that haven’t been returned yet, so get yours in the mail as soon as possible. If ballots arrive after 7 p.m. on Nov. 6, they won’t be counted. [Fairfax County Government]

Photo by Jami Ojala

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