Reston Real Estate: Just Sold

This is a sponsored post from Eve Thompson of Reston Real Estate. For a more complete picture of home sales in your neighborhood, contact her on Reston Real Estate.

Our strong spring market is rolling into a strong summer market.

The past 10 days we had $11.5 million in home sales and had another $16.8M go under contract. The average home price in that same period was $446,000 and the average days on market was 24. So we’re on track for another solid year in real estate sales in Reston.

Here are few of the recent sales in Reston:

12070 Kinsley Place
2 BR/4 BA
List Price: $829,900
Sold Price: $810,000

 

 

1524 Northgate Square #11B
2 BR/1 BA
List Price: $241,500
Sold Price: $239,500

 

 

2307 Hunters Run Drive #2307
2 BR/1 BA
List Price: $275,000
Sold Price: $275,000

 

 

2113 Owls Cove Lane
4 BR/3 BA
List Price: $679,000
Sold Price: $680,000

 

 

1331 Vintage Place
2 BR/4 BA
List Price: $449,900
Sold Price: $450,000

 

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Town Center Parkway Underpass Targets Completion in 2032

State transportation officials are negotiating with a consultant to complete a feasibility study about the future Town Center Parkway underpass.

The underpass, which is listed as a top priority in Reston’s transportation funding plan, would extend Town Center Parkway from Sunrise Valley Drive west of Edmund Haley Drive under the Dulles Toll Road to Sunset Hill Road.

The structure would also include bike and pedestrian facilities that link mixed-use areas north and south of the toll road.

So far, the project is expected to cost roughly $170 million.

Currently, the Virginia Department of Transportation is negotiating with a consultant to conduct a feasibility study.

Once completed, the underpass is expected to relieve congestion and give commuters a different option for heading north and south in the area beyond Fairfax County Parkway and Reston Parkway.

The project isn’t expected to be completed until 2032. Before then, county officials estimate environmental assessment, engineering and design will take four years, while construction, right-of-way, and land acquisition could take around five years.

Map via Google Maps

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Reston Association Board to Appoint New At-Large Director

Reston Association’s newly-elected Board of Directors will fill a vacancy on its board after Sridhar Ganesan resigned earlier this year due to personal and business reasons.

Two applicants have applied for the open at-large director seat, which will have a special term through the next election in April 2020.

The board will vote on the appointment on Thursday (May 23) at its regularly scheduled board meeting.

Edward Abbott, a Reston resident of 39 years and chairman of RA’s elections committee, said he wants to work with the board to ensure Hank Lynch, RA’s new CEO, implements the goals and plans he has outlined.

Abbott, who cited his experience as a lay member of RA’s Design Review Board, said he wants to ensure the board’s actions are also “in the best interests of its members.” He also hopes to make progress on finalizing RA’s code of ethics.

Doug Britt, the second candidate and a Reston resident of 44 years, says he wants to ensure “growth does not outpace infrastructure” and maintain Reston’s connection to nature.

Britt, who notably led the first Reston Annual State of the Environment Report project and served on RA’s lakes, boats and docks working group and its environmental advisory committee, also stressed the need for “substantive communications between the board, staff, and public.”

Their candidate statements are in their entirety and in unedited form below:

Edward Abbott

I have lived in Reston for 39 years. While our sons were growing up, I volunteered on their swim, baseball and soccers teams. More recently I was a lay member on Reston’s Design Review Board and am currently Chairman of the Elections Committee. Since coming to Reston, I have worked at the highest level for a large federal regulatory agency, a congressional technology office, testified before Congress and founded a successful engineering and management consulting business. I have served on numerous corporate boards, evaluated personnel and organizations for large corporations and state agencies. I have performed detailed analysis of complex systems and conducted comprehensive multi-billon dollar cost estimates for large industrial projects. Finally, prior to coming to Reston, I served on a school board in a rural district in upstate New York.

The Board recently hired a new CEO. He has outlined his plans and goals for the association. They appear sound and should improve the Association’s operation and member experience. As a Director, I would work with the Board to oversee the progress in implementing those plans and goals and providing guidance as needed. Also, I would work with the Board to assure that the Board’s actions are in the best interests of its members, in conformance with the governing documents and conducted in accordance with good business practices. Finally, I will work with the Board to finalize the Code of Ethics.

Doug Britt

I’ve lived in Reston for 44 years. I started a company here in 1984 and served as a contractor to Reston Home Owners Association providing lake monitoring services. My professional background is in the fields of life sciences, natural resources management, and sustainable development. I served as President and COO of four professional services firms where I was responsible for day-to-day operations, strategic planning, policy development, and profit and loss. Since retiring in 2015, I have been supporting numerous RA initiatives. I am a volunteer stream monitor, work WNC events, and drafted Reston’s successful Biophilic Cities Network application. I serve on the Lakes, Boats & Docks Working Group, and the Environmental Advisory Committee where I designed and led the RASER project, which was selected for RA’s 2017 Volunteer Group of the Year Award. I also was very honored to be selected as RA’s 2018 Volunteer of the Year.

I want to use my special skills and experience to give back to this community which means so much to me and my family. This is a critical transition for Reston as it undergoes redevelopment while the entire metropolitan area girds for more population growth. I understand we must accommodate growth, but not at the expense of our quality of life, nor to the detriment of our recently acquired “Biophilic Cities” designation (i.e., the unique way Reston connects its people to nature where they live, work and play). I believe Reston is special in how it was conceived and designed; its best features still reflect Bob Simon’s original vision and founding principles. Consequently I will strive to see that growth does not outpace needed infrastructure and that our connection to nature is preserved and remains an iconic part of the Reston experience. I will also stress substantive communications between the Board, staff, and public.

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Summerbration Series Kicks Off at Reston Station Next Week

Summerbration, a live entertainment series at Reston Station’s plaza, kicks off on Friday, May 31.

The series features live entertainment under the stars at the open-air plaza atop of the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station. Concerts are on Fridays from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Parking is free at ParkX with validation during the event. The first concert kicks off with entertainment by Battery Lane, a classic rock band. The last concert is on Aug. 23.

The complete schedule is below:

The series is presented by Reston Community Center in cooperation with MSE Productions, Inc.

Photo via Reston Station/Facebook

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Legal Insider: Preventing Pregnancy Discrimination

This is a sponsored column by attorneys John Berry and Kimberly Berry of Berry & Berry, PLLC, an employment and labor law firm located in Northern Virginia that specializes in federal employee, security clearance, retirement and private sector employee matters.

By John V. Berry, Esq.

We represent employees that have been affected by pregnancy discrimination. Here are some tips on the subject.

Prevention of Pregnancy Discrimination 

Pregnancy discrimination, unfortunately, is one of the fastest-growing areas of discrimination law because many employers do not understand the legal requirements that are in place to protect pregnant employees.

The following general guidance is meant to help employers prevent and appropriately deal with, as well as educate employees regarding, issues of pregnancy discrimination in the workplace.

Know Duties and Rights of Pregnant Employees 

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act makes it illegal for an employer with 15 or more employees to discriminate against an employee in all areas of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training and benefits (e.g., leave and health insurance). It is important for employers and employees to understand these rights.

Example: Rachel applies for a position as a pharmaceutical sales representative. She is also five months pregnant. During her interview, the hiring manager explains that the position will require a lot of walking and asks whether Rachel’s pregnancy will affect her ability to work or return to work.

Due to concerns about this issue, Rachel is not hired as a result of the hiring manager’s belief that her pregnancy will affect her ability to work. Jennifer could bring a case of pregnancy discrimination.

Providing Equal Treatment to Pregnant Employees

If an employee becomes pregnant or is unable to perform her job due to issues during and/or after her pregnancy, the employer must treat the employee the same way it treats temporarily disabled employees. Employers often misunderstand this.

Example: Employees at Smith Co. with two years of seniority can apply for promotions. Mary is excluded from an upcoming promotion process at work. She is told that her three months of maternity leave will not count towards her seniority.

At the same time, Smith Co. continues to give seniority credit to employees who take leave for temporary injuries and medical issues, such as back injuries. Mary could bring a case of unequal treatment and discrimination.

Employers Should Not Interfere with Pregnancy Leave

If an employee is entitled to request leave for pregnancy, an employer should not attempt to interfere with such a leave request. If an employee has worked for at least 12 months and the employer has 50 or more employees, then an employee may be entitled to 12 weeks of leave for pregnancy (paid or unpaid) under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Some states (not Virginia) have additional and differing pregnancy discrimination-related laws covering smaller employers.

Avoid Making Small Talk About Pregnant Employees

One of the most common ways in which an employer gets into trouble for pregnancy-related issues at work is when a supervisor makes comments about a pregnant employee to other employees. There are a number of reasons why this shouldn’t occur, mainly due to an employee’s private medical issues, but it is also a form of discrimination.

We often see this in the context of supervisors speaking with other employees about a pregnant employee, such as commenting about whether the pregnant employee is healthy enough to work or how taking maternity leave may negatively impact the employee’s career. These types of comments can be used against employers in pregnancy discrimination claims.

Difficult Pregnancies Can Trigger Other Employee Rights

If a pregnant employee is having serious medical issues related to her pregnancy, then she may be able to ask for a reasonable accommodation (e.g., teleworking, restrictions on lifting) under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Again, this requirement, among others cited above, can be dependent on whether or not an employer has 15 or more employees.

General Tips from the EEOC

For those interested, more general tips on pregnancy discrimination can be found here in guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Our law firm represents and advises federal employees in pregnancy discrimination and other employment matters. If you need legal assistance regarding a pregnancy discrimination complaint or other employment matter, please contact our office at (703) 668-0070 or at www.berrylegal.com to schedule a consultation. Please also visit and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BerryBerryPllc.

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Hunter Mill District Supervisor Election: Meet Parker Messick

Five Democrats are running for the seat of Hunter Mill District Supervisor after Cathy Hudgins, the current supervisor, announced plans to retire earlier this year. This week, Reston Now will publish candidate statements for each of the candidates.

Statements, which are in question-and-answer format, are published in the order in which they are received. With the exception of minor formatting edits, profiles are published in unedited form. Each candidate had the opportunity to answer the same questions in their own words. Stay tuned for a stand-alone article on the candidates’ positions on the recent sale of Reston National Golf Course.

What inspired you to run for this seat? 

I decided to run for the Hunter Mill Supervisor’s position because I feel that the wishes of the community have too often been ignored, and that the developers have been allowed to gain too much power. I believe it is imperative that our local supervisor reflect the wishes of the people of Hunter Mill, and stand up to those who go against the people’s wishes. The developers have been the largest aggressors against what the people of Hunter Mill have wanted in my opinion.

In Reston we have seen a massive proliferation of high rises that much of the community has been against. This is on top of the fact that many more have already been approved, and have not broken ground. There will be little the new supervisor can do to stop those that have already been approved meaning the situation is already worse than it may currently appear. I want to make sure that going forwarded that any new development passes two litmus tests.

Does it have the approval of the community, and will it be truly beneficial? If not the developers should not have their way, and I would stand up to them to protect our great community. The issue of the paid parking in the Reston Town Center is another example of the developers excessive power with Boston Properties having created a significant problem at the center of community. I am running because I want this to end and the will of the people be implemented.

What are the three biggest concerns you have for Reston? What do you plan to do address them? 

My three biggest concerns for Reston are the issue of development that does not reflect the communities wishes, the situation of paid parking at the Reston Town Center, and making sure that all of our schools receive the proper resources to succeed. In Reston Town Center, the fact that Boston Properties was able to obtain complete ownership has caused significant problems for our community. The introduction of the paid parking program has been devastating.

Since its introduction, the amount of people who go to Town Center has declined drastically with many still refusing to outright go anymore. As a result of this many businesses have been forced to leave with those who remain having significant cuts to their profits. I want to bargain with Boston Properties to get contractual obligation with the county that ends the Paid Parking situation. Boston Properties wants numerous things from the county ranging from zoning changes, regulations, taxes and more. This leaves a wide range of room to get a deal that will see this awful policy end.

When it comes to education I want to see that our schools are fully funded, our class sizes are reduced, and that our teachers are paid better. Fairfax County already has a very good education system, but it can be much better. If we make sure our schools are not overcrowded and receive the necessary resources we will see major improvement in our education system going forward.

How can the county improve how it manages growth and development in this growing community, especially as it relates to infrastructure needs, transportation, and affordable housing? 

I am a big believer in self determinacy when it comes to growth. I believe every community should be allowed to develop along the lines it chooses, rather than the wishes of politicians agenda’s. For much of the county this means allowing them to effectively grow and develop quite a bit. Here in Hunter Mill both Reston and Vienna have significantly pushed back against calls to significantly increase the levels of development. Those wishes should be heard everywhere, instead of the county moving forward with a philosophy of every part should grow significantly.

When it comes to grow anywhere in the county, it needs to be done in a smart responsible way that does not significantly burden our schools or our transportation infrastructure. We cannot allow our schools to become even more overcrowded or our commute times significantly increased. Any development in the county needs to be done at a rate in which we can make sure that our infrastructure can stay on pace with it.

What do you hope to accomplish in this position?

On top of the major issues of development and the paid parking situation, there are some other major issues I want to see addressed county wide. I want to see that the number of affordable housing units is significantly increased throughout the county. While I believe in multifaceted approach to achieve this, I think a significant portion of the burden of creating new units needs to be put on the developers. If they want to develop in Fairfax County they need to really make it worth our while in the process. Traffic is an everyday reality for most people in the county. While there are no magical solutions to fix the problem, the county needs to work aggressively towards trying to reduce commute times. Making sure people’s the length of people’s commutes does not worsen is the first step, but we must also make sure to chip away a the current length of commute time. Even saving people five or ten minutes really adds up over time.

Our environment is so important, especially as climate change continues to get worse. I want to make sure that throughout the county that our forests and other green spaces are protected. We so often as county fail to protect them whether it be from environmental degradation or from developers who see additional land for them to profit off of. In addition to protecting our green spaces the county needs towards a higher use of clean renewable energy in Fairfax County.

Photo via Parker Messick for Supervisor website

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After Ownership Change, Future of Reston National Golf Course in Question

Local community groups are gearing up to protect Reston National Golf Course from redevelopment once again after the 168-acre property was sold off to a pair of Baltimore developers earlier this month.

Weller Development Cos. and War Horse Cities purchased the property from RN Golf LLC, a partnership of Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance and Billy Casper Golf, according to the Washington Business Journal.

So far, the developers have “no set plans for the property at this time,” according to the report. But both companies appear to focus primarily on development.

Weller Development creates “large and small-scale development projects with the potential to transform cities,” according to its website. War Horse Cities is focused on “programming spaces, developing real estate and creating philanthropic initiatives,” according to its website.

Rescue Reston, a group formed in 2012 to protect Reston’s two golf courses and open spaces, has already declared that it is ready for battle.

“You bought a golf course and you own a golf course. Period. The war is on,” the group wrote on Facebook.

The fight to preserve Reston’s golf courses now has two fronts.

The advocacy group has vowed to protect Hidden Creek Country Club, which has been the subject of discussion for redevelopment in recent months after it was sold in 2017. Wheelock Communities, the owner, is considering plans to build 600 to 1,000 residential units and create a public park on the property. No formal plans have been proposed, but the company has discussed ideas with community stakeholders.

Rescue Reston says Reston National’s new owners have yet to contact them about their plans for the site.

Weller Development Co. and War Horse Cities state in this Washington Business Journal article that they are ‘focused on building relationships’ and  ‘being part of the Reston community.’ Yet they have not reached out to Rescue Reston or any other Reston entity which is in favor of golf and open space in Reston, thus showing their true intentions,” the group wrote in a statement.

Redeveloping the golf course would require a comprehensive plan amendment — a protracted process that Reston National’s previous owners backed off on in 2012.

Although the county’s Board of Zoning Appeals ruled that RN Golf could redevelop the site, the decision was overturned by the Fairfax County Circuit Court. In 2016, RN Golf decided not to take the fight to the Virginia Supreme Court. The golf course was later listed for sale in 2017.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

File photo

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Monday Morning Notes

Fox Mill Road Closed This Week — The road will be closed between Loveless Lane and Throughbred from today at 8 a.m. until Thursday (May 23) at 4 p.m. The closure was rescheduled from last week. [Virginia Department of Transportation]

What Lurks in Reston’s Lakes — Check out what experts found out about the creatures that live in each of Reston’s lakes. A recent survey revealed information about the different types of fish in the area and their general health. [Reston Today]

Conquering Home Improvement Season — In honor of Building Safety Month, county officials offer some tips on how to tackle home improvement projects, including swimming pools, new decks, gas appliances, play houses, and hiring a contractor. [Fairfax County Government]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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