Reston Then and Now: Reston Station

This week on Reston Then and Now we move a little east of the Reston Town Center and use Fairfax County’s aerial photography to look at how the area around the the Wiehle-Reston East Station has changed over the years.

Like much of the Reston area, photography from 1960 shows the area as fields and farmland. While the Metro station wasn’t built until 2014, the area had some development as early as 1976. By 1990 the area was starting to show increasing levels of development along the Dulles Access Road.

Between the 1990 and 2009, new construction tailed off except for the BAE systems building along Sunset Hill Road. But following the Metro station’s construction, including the 180,000-square-foot Reston Station office building scheduled to open in 2020.

Now, the Reston Station area is on track to continue its expansion over the next few years. A new fire station is planned near the Isaac Newton Square redevelopment at the northern edge of Reston Station.

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BREAKING: ‘Small’ Fire Breaks Out in Stoneview Square

Firefighters put out a “small” fire in an exhaust fan at the 11600 block of Stoneview Square.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue responded to the fire around 2:59 p.m. and extinguished it by 3:04 p.m. today (Dec. 27). The units responded to “light smoke showing in the front of the building,” the fire department tweeted.

This post will be updated

Map via Google Maps

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Take One Last Splash Before Work Begins on Reston Community Center’s Aquatics Center

Take one last splash in the pool at Reston Community Center’s Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center before it closes for renovations.

Built in 1979, the Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center will undergo a more than $5 million renovation starting on Jan. 2.

The pool area is expected to reopen in October, featuring an expanded lap pool with a zero-depth entry and water play area and another pool for warm-water therapy, exercise and teaching.

During the construction period, Reston patrons can receive discounted rates, which are offered through RCCs’ partnership with the YMCA Fairfax County Reston, Reston Association and Herndon Community Center. Patrons can pick up a “Construction Pass” at RCC’s Customer Service desks to take to the partner locations and get special rates.

“The Last Splash Aquatics Renovation Party” is set for Friday (Dec. 28) from noon to 9:00 p.m. Admission is $1. The pool party will include open swimming with games and races, music, a farewell gift and a graffiti wall for locals to pen their pool goodbyes.

Rendering via Reston Community Center

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Most Read Reston Stories of 2018 (#6-10)

(Updated at 1:47 p.m.) We continue to count down the top 15 most-read articles of 2018 this week. Here’s the breakdown for list #6-10.

10. The news that paid parking pushed Obi Sushi Japanese Bistro out of Reston Town Center gained 7,839 pageviews. The restaurant, which had been open in RTC for 14 years, closed on Saturday (Dec. 22). This story jumped from the #15 spot to #10.

9. Plans for the Reston Crescent development — now known as Halley Rise — brought in 8,275 pageviews. The major mixed-use project at the northwestern corner of the intersection of Reston Parkway and Sunrise Valley Drive includes a Wegmans. 

8. The Dulles Toll Road’s increased rates starting in January was a popular post with 8,574 pageviews. The hike will raise the toll from $2.50 to $3.25 at the main toll plaza and from $1 to $1.50 on the ramps to fund the Silver Line extension project and improvements on the Dulles Toll Road.

7. An article about M & S Grill shutting down in Reston Town Center on New Year’s Day garnered 8,933 pageviews.

6. The deaths of a mother and her two children in Herndon a few months ago brought in 9,490 pageviews. The Fairfax County Police Department said the deaths are being investigated as a double murder and suicide.

Look out for the final #1-5 list on the countdown tomorrow.

File photo

This story has been updated

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Businesses Continue to Leave Reston Town Center

What a difference a year makes — for Reston Town Center’s retailers, that is.

While RTC has welcomed a number of new tenants this year, including HoneygrowBalducci’s, Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls, &pizza, and Lululemon, the closures outnumber the newcomers.

Businesses are closing twice as fast as they are opening in RTC. Several small businesses and restaurants that have been in the area for decades have pointed to dwindling numbers of customers due to paid parking as the main reason behind their closures.

The shift from free to the ParkRTC paid parking initiative at RTC began at the start of 2017. Then in June 2017, Boston Properties, RTC’s owner, changed its paid parking structure, which originally charged for weekday parking, following a major outcry from tenants and customers.

Still, some Restonians are boycotting RTC.

Red Velvet Cupcakery Owner Aaron Gordon previously told Reston Now that his decision to close the Reston location was driven by Boston Properties’ paid parking structure.

Employees at Busara Thai Restaurant, which served up authentic Thai cuisine in RTC for 13 years, and Obi Sushi Japanese Bistro, which recently closed after 14 years, said the paid parking drove customers away. 

When Appalachian Spring closed at the start of 2018, the store’s president told Reston Now that customer traffic dipped over the last few months and that customers often complained about the paid parking.

The handcrafted gifts and handmade jewelry store, one of the first tenants in RTC, opened its Reston location in 1990.

Reston Now reported on the following closures at RTC this year:

  • Dec. 30: Hen Penny set to close at 1820 Discovery Street
  • Dec. 26: Dawn Baby Price closed at 11985 Market Street
  • Dec. 22: Obi Sushi Japanese Bistro closed at 1771 Library Street
  • Aug. 28: Edibles Incredible Desserts closed at 11917 Freedom Drive
  • May 28: The Bike Lane closed at 11943 Democracy Drive
  • May 27: Red Velvet Cupcakery closed at 11939 Democracy Drive
  • May 19: Busara Thai Restaurant closed at 11964 Market Street
  • Jan. 24: Appalachian Spring closed at 1187 Market Street
  • January: Neyla Mediterranean Bistro closed at 11898 Market Street

While 2018 saw several small businesses and restaurants shutter their doors, large department stores are slated to close in RTC next year.

Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn, which are both operated by Williams-Sonoma Inc, are set to close at RTC in January.

Pottery Barn (11937 Market Street) will close sometime around Jan. 21, a store employee told Reston Now. A specific closing date has not been announced yet for Williams-Sonoma (11897 Market Street).

File photo

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Dawn Price Baby Closes in Reston Town Center

Dawn Price Baby closed yesterday (Dec. 26) in Reston Town Center — the first of four locations set to shut down.

The baby store has been around for 15 years with two stores in D.C., one in the Mosaic District and the Reston store at 11985 Market Street in Reston Town Center, according to its website.

The stores offered a variety of items for babies and toddlers, including clothing, gear, toys, books and gifts.

“Our store leases have come up for renewal and we have decided to start a new chapter,” Owner Dawn Price posted on the website. “Dawn Price Baby has been one of the most rewarding, challenging and exciting times of my life.”

The Reston store was the first one to close its doors.

The stores in Georgetown and the Mosaic District are set to close before Jan. 31. The Capitol Hill location will close “sometime in the months following the beginning of the year.”

Price wrote that good news may arrive in the future. “We are currently working with a couple interested parties and another baby resource may soon be coming your way,” Price wrote. “Once we have more news, we will share it with you.”

Customers are encouraged to check back on the website in January for updates.

Photos via Google Maps and Dawn Price Baby/Facebook

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Police Searching for Suspects in Reston-Area Robberies on Saturday

Police are looking for three women and one man in connection with two separate robberies that occurred on Saturday night (Dec. 22).

Around 7:30 p.m., a store manager at the Victoria’s Secret store in Reston Town Center (11929 Market Street) confronted three women who were seen shoplifting, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.

One suspect pepper-sprayed the manager and a security guard as they attempted to intervene, before all three suspects drove off in a dark-colored Nissan Altima, according to the report.

The report gave the following description for the women:

They were described as black women in their 20s. The first suspect had a thin build, long black hair, a pink jacket with strips, and white sneakers. The second suspect had red hair, a blue jacket, a black shirt, and white and black sneakers. The third suspect had a black jacket, black pants, a white hat, and white and black sneakers.

A second robbery took place at 8:05 p.m. at the intersection of Monroe Street and Sunrise Valley Drive in Hunter Mill.

Police say a man with a gun approached a victim walking down the street and demanded money. The man then fled in a black sedan after taking money from the victim. The amount of money taken was not included in the police report.

“The man was described as black, with a deep voice, around 6 feet 2 inches tall, wearing a white coat,” according to the report.

Police say the victim was not injured.

Maps via Google Maps

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Thursday Morning Notes

Bobby Cadabra magic show — Head to the Frying Pan Farm Park in Herndon for the magic show, which starts at 11 a.m. Tickets cost $5. [Fairfax County]

Dollars and Sense — The free monthly group at Reston Regional Library focuses on business leaders and markets. Tonight’s 7 p.m. discussion will be about Ric Edelman’s book “The Truth About Your Future.” [Fairfax County]

Money pouring into liquor stores — The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority said in a new report that its total sales were $983.3 million this fiscal year. The agency attributes the sales increase in part to opening five new stores across the state. [U.S. News & World Report]

Photo via David Toms

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