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Boston Properties Taps New Leasing Agent as Stores Shutter

by Catherine Douglas Moran January 31, 2019 at 1:45 pm 33 Comments

Boston Properties, the owners of Reston Town Center, recently tapped Transwestern, a commercial real estate company, to provide leasing services for RTC.

The move comes amidst a flurry of recent business closures, from Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn earlier this month to nine retailers and restaurants last year.

“The new leasing engagement by Boston Properties comes at the same time as a major rebranding initiative at Reston Town Center,” Transwestern announced in a press release today (Jan. 31).

While the controversial paid parking has driven some of the businesses out of RTC, six newcomers are slated to open there later this year, including Peet’s Coffee and DC Row.

“This year will hold exciting changes for Reston Town Center,” Katie Yanushonis, the vice president of leasing at Boston Properties, said in the press release. “Our investment in the branding and placemaking of Reston Town Center will help maintain its place as the leading mixed-use development in the United States.”

Transwestern will be responsible for leasing RTC’s “urban core,” which consists of more than 2.5 million square feet of office space and 450,000 square feet of retail space in the mixed-use development.

“Significant” availabilities are expected in the next few years, partly from Leidos’ consolidation at 1750 Presidents Street, the press release says.

The upcoming Silver Line Metro station in Reston and the neighborhood’s changing shopping and dining scene are also expected to boost RTC’s attraction to employers, Transwestern said.

“Transwestern is honored to have the opportunity to lease the most important urban mixed-use project in all of the Washington region,” Senior Vice President Alex Hancock, who is leading the office leasing team with Executive Vice President Joe Ritchey, said in the press release. “Reston Town Center has always been a location with unparalleled ability to help organizations recruit, retain and maximize the productivity of their world-class workforces.”

Ritchey has worked on Reston Town Center for more than 29 years.

Image via Transwestern Commercial Services 

  • Tom Mccauley

    Let’s hope paid parking doesn’t migrate to Mosaic.

    • John

      Is Mosaic owned by an absentee landlord?

      RTC’s problem is the glorified Mary Kay Salespeople who own Boston Properties don’t live anywhere near Reston and have no clue about the area, the people or anything else.

  • Tom H

    ”…major rebranding initiative…” hmmm, how will Boston Properties change the image of RTC?

    • cRAzy

      How about “RTC–Greed on speed!”

    • lipstick

      BXP divorced itself from RTC by letting niche player Transwestern promote a new image. So BXP will not do anything but pay Transwestern for undoing the damage they did to RTC. My guess here: people won’t care much because of the paid parking fiasco and because they know BXP still owns this mess as evident in your post.

      Another guess: it would have been cheaper to abandon paid parking & app over hiring Transwestern. We will find out soon.

    • 30yearsinreston

      It will be renamed “Reston Clown Center”

      Big floppy shoes and fake noses will be given away to the first 100 suckers

  • Transwestern not hopeful

    Early in 2018, the Trump Administration introduced a plan that calls for putting up $200 billion in federal funds that would require a 4-1 match from state and local governments with an aim to stimulate about $1.5 trillion in public-private spending to upgrade and improve key infrastructure. That was followed by House Democrats releasing their own plan that would provide $1 trillion in federal funding. Yet there has been little traction on either of those plans over the past several months, and views are mixed on the challenges that lie ahead in moving legislation forward in the coming year.

    “I think the idea of taking on that much investment that would require significant political compromise from both sides in the next year is unlikely,” says Brian Landes, director of GIS/location intelligence at real estate services firm Transwestern. “I don’t see a lot of infrastructure investment happening over the next year or two based on the political realities”

  • Chuck Morningwood

    Hey, BP. The issue with RTC isn’t the leasing agent, in case you haven’t figured it out.

    • Scott Cudney

      Inconceivable! It has to be the leasing agent! What else could it be? Maybe the weather? Can we still blame Obama? It’s not like they’re hurting for business. What else could possibly cause all these businesses to leave?

    • Mike M

      I had to shake my head. The leasing agent! Yeah! That’s it! I’ll be they hired a consultant for that conclusion! Clearly the local BP management is overdue for recycling!

      • John

        Always blame the outside vendor. Otherwise, what are you gonna do, fire someone you work with? Take the blame yourself?

  • 30yearsinreston

    ““This year will hold exciting changes for Reston Town Center,”

    Dump the App and parking fees and then we can see what happens

    BPX “executives” must be taking lessons from Hudgins

    • GonzoG

      Heck, they can KEEP fees. We pay them when we go into DC. But they’re EASY TO PAY. There’s an ATTENDANT. The RTC parking app doesn’t work half the time in a parking garage. It barely works with Verizon and Sprint—I don’t EVEN want to know how bad it is if you have an off-brand carrier.

      We’ve gone with plans to eat and shop and ended up leaving because we can’t get a connection to pay the app.

    • Chazz

      And the parking police with the super on a golf cart…

  • M Jaubert

    There is nothing wrong with the present leasing company. The reason for the disaffection of people from the Town Center is that it is not a Town Center, it is a business center and the clientele it depends on are looking for a town center. Maybe in 20 years there will be no one around who remembers a town center and the people will come but I have my doubts. There are too many alternatives around to make it appeal to gathering and mingling which has been the strength of a town center since humans created towns. Max Jaubert

    • aschoen

      Great point. Can someone at BPX show me the town it’s at the center of?

      • John

        The people at BPX probably believe it’s at the center of the town of Reston.

        • aschoen

          Little do they know, “Reston” is an arbitrarily delineated portion of the vast expanse of Fairfax County suburbs with some extra rules. There is no town, and there is no center.

          • John

            It baffles people from the mid west that places like Burke, Reston, Great Falls are not towns with a government and a police force. Out in “the heartland” their populations are so small that you either live inside town or you live outside of town, and that’s it.

    • Chazz

      Yes, and more is on the way…Newly Approved Reston Crescent Development Includes Wegmans…

    • Ray Wedell

      You speak The direct and simple truth, Max. Which is why they will ignore you and continue this ludicrous execution of what used to be a goose laying golden eggs.

  • GonzoG

    BP? Are you ever going to realize that making parking both EXPENSIVE and TROUBLESOME with that wonky app is driving away business.

    The only business I’d bring to the RTC is a food truck–that way I could up and move when business got TOO bad.

  • Chkitout1

    Hey BP, ever hear the expression: “We have met the enemy and he is us”. You don’t need a new leasing company, you need new management at BP.

  • Rena Corey

    Just yesterday my girls and I planned to have lunch at RTC, remembered that we’d have to pay for parking (and it was too cold to walk), and went elsewhere. I’m sure many people each day are making that same decision. Rebranding won’t fix that, unless they are planning to rebrand themselves as “the place you don’t have to pay to park, just like everywhere else in the area.”

    • Chazz

      Agreed…and all of the parking police on patrol…and the super driving around in a golf cart…it’s just not fun anymore to go to RTC…

      • Ray Wedell

        Bingo

  • Chazz

    Pete’s and the others will be leaving by this time next year. BP no free parking no success…how many more will leave? Google? Apple? Others..

    • John

      I’ve seen numerous Peet’s Coffee shops open up around Northern Virginia only to close down within 6 months, anyway. They must have a really poor business plan. Which is sad, I really like their coffee beans from the Grocery Store.

      The other shop is a nail salon, I believe. As long as their rent is low enough they can live out of their nail salon and just scratch to get by so it will likely hang in there longer.

      • vdiv

        I am a fan of Caribou Coffee which is owned by the same parent as Pete’s. Caribou have a much nicer atmosphere and friendlier “like a family” staff. They pulled all Caribou stores from our area and converted them to Pete’s. That was a mistake.

        • Big Drop

          Peet’s has an obscure, deadend location adjacent to the entrance to the Signature apartments. I am guessing they plan to draw from the new Leidos buildings and the 500+ unit Signature. Much of the rest of Town Center will not even know they are there.

          By the way, Leidos: when they move to their new building who is going to move into the significant amount of space they vacate? Also, is Google considering moving?

  • Flabio Royale

    Boston Properties plan to transform RTC into a living, work, and
    commuter village is right on track, destroying what was once arguably
    the best shopping and eating in the county. They should rename it
    Crystal City 2, as it will have the same charm, none. BTW, the parking
    process is still a haunting nightmare. I ate breakfast on Monday, had to ask
    waitress for a parking code, which didn’t work, as it turns out that
    you must enter it in a very counter intuitive way, a very annoying
    process for customer and proprietor. Then while I dined the RTC parking time meter on the app was
    counting down in front of me, which is not a good experience, to feel
    rushed in order to meet the parking requirements. Thankfully, Herndon
    is building several new eating places that have convenient parking.

  • Jasper IN

    The problem with the parking is beyond paying for it, you have to learn a new technology, download a new app, create a new account, enter in all your personal information to a unknown source, and all just to park your car so you can have lunch at Clyde’s. It’s just not worth it.

  • A fundamental change in the RTC is under way and no one knows for sure where it will end. Hard to believe that the parking fees came into play for BP to make a few dollars especially with all the folks they hired to run it. And, RTC has far more potential that Crystal City now that the region is being transformed by a new economy. NYc is not welcoming Amazon so we may see some real change there with all the turmoil Amazon is moving into. Bottom line is BP wanted to dramatically transform the RTC but no one knows where it is going.

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