Reston Real Estate: Just Listed

This is a sponsored post by Eve Thompson of Reston Real Estate.

The spring market is upon us!

Inventory is low but new listings are generally keeping pace with property going under contract. The middle of the market from 475k-675k is super active and days on market is dropping.

I know I say this every, single week — but it bears repeating. If you are selling your property, the speed of this market is not driving crazy price escalations. If you want to see multiple contracts you should try to come on the market just a little bit on the lower side of your range. That is your very best chance of getting multiple offers with favorable terms.

Status: Pending Sales Past 10 Days

Here are some of the new houses to hit the market:

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Matchbox Planning to Move In Near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station

The regional wood-fired pizza franchise Matchbox just announced plans to move into Reston early next year.

The franchise just signed a lease for 1900 Reston Metro Plaza Drive in Suite 100, according to a statement from a public relations agency representing Matchbox.

“The space is 5,500 square feet and offers expansive patio dining,” the agency said in an email. “The veteran D.C. restaurant group is currently focused on regional expansion within the DMV, targeting smaller, neighborhood-focused properties.”

The email says the restaurant is planning on opening in Reston Station in early 2020.

Other upcoming Matchbox locations include one in Silver Spring opening tomorrow (Friday) and ones in Penn Quarter and Bethesda opening this summer.

If you can’t wait that long, your best bet is the Matchbox locations in Ashburn (44720 Thorndike Street) or the Mosaic District (2911 District Ave).

Photo via Facebook

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Author, Musician to Mark Book Releases With Reston Regional Library Performance

Newbery award-winning author Kwame Alexander and musician Randy Preston will team up on Saturday (April 6) for a performance at the Reston Regional Library.

The free show at from 2-4 p.m. 11925 Bowman Towne Drive will celebrate the paperback release of Alexander’s “Booked” and “The Crossover” in addition to the release of Alexander’s newest picture book called “The Undefeated.”

Books will be available for purchase, and a limited number of free copies will be given to Fairfax County Public School educators at the event, which is hosted in partnership with the Reston Regional Library and Scrawl Books.

Photo via Reston Regional Library

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Small Change Consignment to Close at Lake Anne Plaza

(Updated at 9:30 on April 8) After 38 years at Lake Anne Plaza, Small Change Consignment is set to close its doors on June 29 at 5 p.m.

Shop Owner Susann Gerstein told Reston Now that she opened the shop at the age of 32 with her two friends Kathy Paolini and Margaret Johnson. (Paolini retired in 1989, followed by Johnson in 2002.)

As young moms, the three women wanted to provide families with affordable toys and clothes at Lake Anne Plaza — what Gerstein calls “the heart and soul of Reston.”

“From the beginning, we were hoping to create a community space for families to shop and play and chat and that has been my biggest satisfaction, because it really has turned out that way,” Gerstein said. “It is a true community space.”

The shop originally opened in the space that Dogma Bakery now occupies before moving to its current and larger spot at 1629 N. Washington Plaza.

Even with twice the space, Small Change is nearly bursting with rows of kids’ and maternity clothing and toys, including a large selection of ones from Melissa and Doug. Right next to the front door is the Best of Reston award that the shop won in 1992.

Fast forward nearly 40 years, a “skyrocketed” rent is the reason for the closure in June, which Gerstein announced at the end of a panel on International Women’s Day (March 8).

When asked about the upcoming closure by a customer in the shop today (April 4), Gerstein described it as part of the life cycle of businesses at the plaza.

She is hopeful, though, that the store can survive at a different location under new owners.

“There are so many people who want us to stay open,” Gerstein said, adding that people should keep an eye on the Facebook page for the next few months after the shop closes for any announcements about a re-opening elsewhere.

People can drop off clothes to sell through the third week of April.

The shop also has a range of discounts, which will increase as the closing date nears, Gerstein said. Toys are nearly 40 percent off and winter clothes are 80 percent off. Spring and summer attire will have pop-up sales on different days that will get announced on Facebook

“It’s been such a great adventure,” Gerstein said.

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Del. Ken Plum: Back in Richmond

This is an opinion column by Del. Ken Plum (D), who represents Reston in Virginia’s House of Delegates. It does not reflect the opinion of Reston Now.

The House of Delegates and the State Senate were in session yesterday (April 3) for the annual reconvened session as required by the constitution. Often referred to as the veto session, part of its business is to consider bills vetoed or with amendments proposed by the governor.

During the regular odd-numbered short session that adjourned on Feb. 24 after 46 days, there were 3,128 bills and resolutions considered. Setting aside resolutions that do not have the force of law of bills, there were 883 bills that passed the legislature all of which must have the signature of the governor in order to become law. The governor’s veto can be overturned by a vote of two-thirds of the members of both houses.

The governor in Virginia has the unique ability among executive officials to propose amendments to bills that previously passed but then must be approved by the General Assembly in the reconvened session with the amendments proposed. This ability for the governor to make corrections or to change the provisions of a bill gives the governor important legislative powers and enhances the importance of the reconvened session that typically lasts for a single day but can go up to three days.

Among the bills on the docket for this reconvened session is a bill that had passed both houses of the legislature but died at the last moment of the regular session. The dispute was over legal language to prohibit the use of cell phones that are not hands-free. The bill will be back before the legislature thanks to an amendment by the governor, and it is likely to finally pass.

I expect to support the governor in his vetoes of bills. One bill that he vetoed would limit his authority to involve Virginia in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cap-and-trade program among Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states that mandates emission reduction in the power sector. Virginia’s involvement in this program is among the most important steps the state can take in reducing greenhouse gases and tackling climate change.

Governor Ralph Northam has also vetoed a bill that I had opposed during the regular session that would force law enforcement agencies to use precious resources to perform functions of federal immigration law that are part of the current immigration hysteria. He also vetoed a bill that would have limited the ability of local governments in making decisions about their local employment and pay consideration.

Included among the bills that passed are bills that passed in identical form but were only introduced in one house. Some advocates and legislators believe that there is more certainty that a bill will finally pass if it moves through the legislature on two separate tracks. The governor signs both identical bills to keep from choosing among competing bill sponsors. No one that I know has taken the time to count these bills, but I believe that more than half fall into this category. I question that approach — it seems like unnecessary duplication in an already complex system.

File photo

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Valley and Park Townhomes Aiming to Get Finished by 2021

Work on a new townhome community is on schedule to add to the growing residential options along Sunrise Valley Drive.

Construction crews are currently framing the 54 open-concept townhomes Toll Brothers’ Valley and Park development, a Toll Brother spokeswoman told Reston Now.

The spokeswoman said that the project is “currently on schedule” with anticipated completion in 2021.

When asked about the sign on the site that says the development is “opening early 2019,” the spokeswoman responded that Toll Brothers expects a late spring or early summer opening.

Work started on the project in 2017 when trucks tore down a six-story office building that was on the site at 11720 Sunrise Valley Drive, which is close to both the Wiehle-Reston East and the future Reston Town Center Metro stations.

The four different townhome plans all feature three bedrooms, two full bathrooms and three half bathrooms and are priced in the upper-$700,000s, according to Toll Brothers.

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Reston Association Reveals ‘Volunteer Reston’ Winners

The Reston Association recently unveiled the winners of the Volunteer Reston Service Awards, which recognize people, groups and community businesses who helped serve the community through various volunteer projects each year.

Doug Britt, who has helped collect environmental data, and Cindy Metcalf, who coordinates and leads classes on how to start a garden, both nabbed the top honor as “Volunteers of the Year.”

Here are the rest of the winners for the different categories:

  • 55+ Volunteer: Don Coram
  • Group Volunteer Service: Southgate Community Center Advisory Council
  • Community Partner of the Year: Public Affairs Support Services, Inc.
  • Committee and/or Work Group Volunteer of the Year: Pony Barn Working Group

A reception on April 18 at The Lake House (11450 Baron Cameron Avenue) will celebrate the volunteers.

Photo via Facebook

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Thursday Morning Notes

Herndon student makes honors choir — A student from Herndon Middle School, along with 79 other students from Fairfax County public schools, has been selected by the Virginia Choral Directors Association to perform at the All-Virginia Middle School Honors Choir event scheduled for April 4-6. [FCPS]

Millennials book club — Today, adults in their early 20s and 30s can discuss “Carry On, Jeeves” by PG Wodehouse at the Reston Regional Library from 7-8:30 p.m. [Fairfax County]

What’s up with the Silver Line? — A series of stories by Bisnow is looking at how little of the Silver Line expansion is built as it nears its debut and the developments slated to pop up around the Metro area. [Bisnow]

Restonian bringing laughs to Herndon — Dark Horse Theatre Company will present the regional premiere of the dark comedy, “The Value of Moscow,” by  Amy Dellagiarino, who grew up in Reston and is a South Lakes High School alumna, on April 12-27 at ArtSpace Herndon. [Connection Newspapers]

Photo courtesy Layna Cook

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