Comstock Procures JBG Smith’s Commerce Metro Center Properties

Comstock Holding Companies, Inc. announced today (Feb. 6) that it acquired JBG Smith’s Commerce Metro Center Portfolio — a move that will increase the Reston Station area to 4.5 million square feet once fully built.

The portfolio spans nearly 40 acres from the Dulles Toll Road and the surrounding area by the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station. It lies directly across from Comstock’s first phase of the Reston Station neighborhood development.

The portfolio includes three office buildings totaling 408,000 square feet, along with entitlements in place for an additional 1.1 million square feet of mixed-use development for possibly adding more office, residential, retail and a hotel.

Tenants who have signed on for the three existing office buildings include:

  • Applied Information Sciences
  • Kimley Horn and Associates, Inc.
  • CACI NSS Inc.
  • Clarabridge, Inc.
  • BT Americas, Inc.
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Kroll Associates, Inc.

Back in November, JBG Smith said an unnamed buyer agreed to pay$115 million for its three-building Commerce Executive Park complex, which is located by Sunrise Valley Drive and Wiehle Avenue, Globe.St reported.

The acquisition also ups the total assets under management by Comstock Holding Companies, Inc., under its long-term management agreement covering Reston Station, according to the press release.

Comstock Chief Executive Officer Christopher Clemente described the portfolio as “high-quality, value-added properties.”

Photo via Comstock

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Nun-Themed Art Show Comes to Hunters Woods at Trails Edge

A Vienna resident’s art show titled “A Bunch of ‘Nun’sense” will bring depictions of nuns and stained glass windows to Hunters Woods at Trails Edge.

The art show “consists of mainly acrylic and ink on large stretched canvas, which includes a variety of styles,” according to information provided by Hunters Woods at Trails Edge.

Jan Dittmar, 68, started painting at the age of 50. A decade later, she earned an arts degree at Columbia College in South Car0lina at the age of 60. She is currently a member of the League of Reston Artists and the Vienna Arts Society.

Locals can view her nun-themed art while sipping sangria and enjoying sweets at the Pre-Opening Showroom (2254B Hunters Woods Village Shopping Center) from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Friday (Feb. 8).

Photo via Jan Dittmar/Facebook

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RTC Apple Store Eyes Neighboring Space Vacated by Pottery Barn

The Apple Store in Reston Town Center has some planned changes in the works.

Apple Inc. filed a building permit for the spot recently vacated by Pottery Barn, which is next door to the Apple Store at 11949 Market Street.

Pottery Barn shut its doors at 11937 Market Street on Jan. 24, along with the Williams-Sonoma store down the street at 11897 Market Street. (Both brands are operated by Williams-Sonoma Inc.)

Replacements for the now-empty spaces haven’t been announced yet. Reston Town Center recently unveiled six newcomers slated to open later this year, but did not indicate the expected opening dates or addresses.

The permit description says that it is for a new tenant layout. It remains unclear at this time whether Apple is considering expanding or moving into the new space.

Reston Now reached out to Boston Properties and Apple for comment and has not heard back yet.

Image via Google Maps 

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New Private Preschool Now Open on North Village Road

Primrose Schools, a private preschool franchise, expanded its reach with a newly opened location in Reston.

The school announced on Instagram last Monday (Jan. 28) that the Reston location officially opened. Neighboring the North Hills tennis courts and pools, Primrose School of Reston takes the former site of the North Village KinderCare at 1309 N. Village Road.

The new facility is part of a franchise that has more than 400 schools in 29 states and is accredited through AdvancED. The Reston one is the 16th Primrose School in Virginia, with nearby ones in Chantilly and Ashburn. The schools in the D.C. area provide year-round full and part-time education for infants and children as young as six weeks old, according to the website.

The school, which is owned by Rina Patel and Beau and Urvi Athia, was originally expected to open in the fall, Reston Now previously reported

Earlier last month, the Reston location faced criticism concerning the size and color of its red plastic fire truck.

Reston Association’s Design Review Board ultimately OK’d the playground equipment, along with signs for the school.

The school will host an open house on Saturday (Feb. 9). A grand opening is set for April 6.

Images via Google Maps, Primrose Schools and Reston Association/YouTube

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Pet of the Week: Penguin

Becky's Pet Care

Meet Penguin, a black and white/tuxedo male kitten available for adoption locally.

Here is what his friends at Fancy Cats Rescue Team have to say about him:

Penguin is an energetic cat who likes to climb, run around, play with toys, and give kisses. Unlike most cats, he is curious about water.

He will stick his paws on the humidifier and relish the steam, and he will keep you company as you brush your teeth.

Penguin loves to have his tummy rubbed and his chest scratched, and he purrs happily when he is petted. Penguin gets along well with other cats, but he would also be happy to have lots of attention from a human companion.

Are you and Penguin a match? If so, let us know and our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, will send you some treats and prizes.

Want your pet to be considered for the Reston Pet of the Week?

Email [email protected] with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least 3-4 horizontally-oriented photos of your pet. Each week’s winner receives a sample of dog or cat treats from our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, along with $100 in Becky’s Bucks.

Becky’s Pet Care, the winner of three Angie’s List Super Service Awards and the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters’ 2013 Business of the Year, provides professional dog walking and pet sitting services in Reston and Northern Virginia.

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‘Bake for Good’ Program Heading to McNair Elementary School

An upcoming program at a Herndon public school is going against the grain of conventional education by teaching students the value of community service and baking.

Students at McNair Elementary School (2499 Thomas Jefferson Drive) can expect the Bake for Good Program to arrive at their school next month.

Meant for fourth- to sixth-graders, the free program teaches students “the value of giving back to their community while learning to bake bread,” according to Fairfax County Public Schools. Representatives from King Arthur Flour, the sponsoring organization, will present the cross-curricular program, which has three main goals: learn, bake and share.

“Students will use practical applications of math, science, and comprehension skills while learning how they can make a positive impact in their local community,” according to the FCPS announcement.

Each student will then bake two loaves of bread — one to take home and one to donate to LINK, which provides emergency food and financial help to people in the western part of the county.

The program begins at McNair Elementary School on March 12.

Image via Google Maps

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After Fire in Herndon Home, Fire Department Gives Tips for Discarding Ashes

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue wants to educate locals on how to prevent issues when discarding fireplace ashes after a recent Herndon house fire.

Fire investigators say that improperly disposed fireplace ashes in a trash bag caused the fire last week.

The investigators determined that the fire, which started in the garage, was an accident, according to Fairfax County Fire and Rescue.

Firefighters had the fire under control in about two hours after arriving at the two-story, single family home in the 12100 block of Westwood Hills Drive on the morning of Jan. 31.

The Red Cross has put the displaced family of two adults and three kids up in a hotel. A GoFundMe page is currently raising funds to help the family cover the costs of “small things that add up” — clothes, toiletries, shoes, coats and more — with the hope that insurance will cover the larger losses.

Damages from the fire were approximately $347,162, including exposure damage worth $43,000 to two vehicles and a boat near the house, according to the fire department.

In an effort to help stop similar fires from happening, the fire department has several safety tips for disposal of fireplace ashes. They are the following:

  • do not discard ashes in a combustible container (paper or plastic bag), cardboard box or plastic trash can
  • do not place ash containers on decks, porches or in garages
  • put ashes into a non-combustible metal container with a lid
  • pour water into the container to make sure the ashes are cool
  • keep your can outside and away from anything combustible

Additionally, the fire department recommends that all household members learn safety tips for ashes from a fireplace or wood stove.

The fire department is also reminding people that ashes can stay hot for several days.

Images via Google Maps and Fairfax County Fire and Rescue

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Wine Wednesday — Discuss our favorite books while sipping wine starting at 6 p.m. at the Tasting Room in Reston Town Center. [Scrawl Books]

Hunter Mill seat contenders — “In the Hunter Mill District, home to both Reston and Vienna, current member Cathy Hudgins is retiring. The three declared candidates, thus far, all have platforms which argue the county has been too favorable to development in Reston.” [Greater Greater Washington]

Silver Line train tests — “There were no passengers, of course, but Metrorail trains made their first pass of the Silver Line extension between Reston and Ashburn early Wednesday morning.” [Washington Business Journal]

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