Reston Real Estate: Just Listed

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

There are just 184 properties on the market in Reston today.

The market is generally very active with 142 properties in a pending status that are making their way through the settlement process. Days on market for pending property is short, averaging just 12 days. For property in an active status the picture is much different. 25% of the housing inventory has more than 100 days on the market.

If you have a property that’s been hanging around it’s time to ask your agent for a new set of comparables, chances are you’ve come on to the market too high to drive buyer interest.

Here are a few of the new houses to hit the market this week.

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Lake Anne Cardboard Boat Regatta Set for August 10

A record-breaking number of teams are set to participate in the third annual Lake Anne Cardboard Boat Regatta on Sunday, August 10.

Registration for the event has been closed and is at full capacity. Seventy teams are registered.

Boats will arrive at 10:30 a.m. and will be on display until the race begins at 1 p.m. at Lake Anne Plaza (1609 Washington Plaza).

The owners of Kalypso’s have been working on the their boat for weeks in an effort to defend their title in the merchant award and first place in the navigator class.

The event is free and will take place rain or shine.

Photo via Rachel Piering

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Plan for New American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association Headquarters Moves Forward

A plan to redevelop the headquarters of the American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association — which includes the historic A. Smith Bowman Manor House — is underway.

The Fairfax County Planning Commission unanimously approved the redevelopment plan on Thursday night. Members praised the developer, AP Reston Campus LLC maintaining manor house — which is currently on the county’s inventory of historic places — while incorporating new architectural and forward-looking elements.

AAFMA is looking to replace two existing buildings on the site with two Class A office buildings and continue to reuse the manor house as office space, primarily to receive visitors. The plan will preserve the existing gazebo and stormwater management pond.

The manor house, which was built in 1899, was the home of A. Smith Bowman, who owned more than 7,200 acres of land in what now includes Reston.

Bowman also owned the adjacent distillery, which originally served as the Wiehle Town Hall and was used as a church, general store and distillery.

Hunter Mill District Planning Commissioner John Carter said the redevelopment plan was “an adaptive reuse of the 19th century house.”

“It will allow a valued existing employer to expand in Reston,” Carter said.

The plan includes an underground garage, a 6,2000-square-foot terrace that connects the two office building.

Andrew Painter, the attorney representing AAFMA, said the development designed the project so that the manor house — which is located in front of the two office buildings — would “pop” in front of the new office buildings.

The developer plans to construct a sidewalk along Old Reston Avenue and provide a connection to the Washington & Old Dominion Trail. Mary Ann Tsai from the county’s Department of Planning and Zoning , said the developer also agreed to connect the two planned sidewalks at the request of the county.

Dranesville District Planning Commissioner John Ulfelder encouraged the applicant to consider adding the manor house to the state and national registry of historic places.

AAFMA plans to preserve four parking spaces on the northern property line of the development plan. The county asked the developer to remove the buildings in order to reduce the amount of impervious service.

Painter said the developer plans to use the redeveloped site as their future home “for the next half century of longer.”

The project heads to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors for approval on September 24.

AAFMA is a financial solutions provider that offers military life insurance, wealth management and survivor assistance and mortgage services.

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Registration for ChalkFest at Reston Town Center is Now Open

Artists of all ages and skill levels can now save the date for ChalkFest at Reston Town Center.

The annual event, which challenges artists to create chalk drawings on Market Street, is set for Saturday, September 14 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Registration is open in the following categories:

  • Professional artist: $25
  • Amateur artist: $25
  • Families and kids: $15

Prizes will be given to winning artists in each category. Participants will also get the chance to vote in the “audience choice awards.”

ChalkFest is presented by Public Art Reston and Reston Town Center. All proceeds from the event will benefit Public Art Reston’s projects and programs.

Last year’s event was cancelled due to the forecasted rain, but in 2017, the event drew more than 4,000 people.

Photo by Public Art Reston

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Del. Ken Plum: Beginning of Representative Government in America

Del. Ken Plum/File photoThis 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.

Four hundred years ago yesterday, July 30, 1619, a group of 22 colonists met in the wooden and mud church on Jamestowne Island as instructed by the investors of the colony “to establish one equal and uniform government over all Virginia” and to provide “just laws for the happy guiding and governing of the people there inhabiting.” They adjourned on August 4. That event is variously described as the beginning of representative government in America and as the beginning of the oldest continuous law-making body in the western hemisphere. It merits the commemoration it is receiving.

In order to fully understand the importance of a signature event as this one, I believe it is important to put it into perspective as our knowledge of what happened afterwards allows us to do. While termed the beginning of representative government, the first legislative meeting was anything but representative. Only white males could vote or serve in the Assembly. The indigenous people — called Indians because one of the purposes of sailing to this new world was to find a shorter route to India — were not able to participate even though they had inhabited the land for at least 15,000 years. Not only were they kept out of the Assembly, they were forced off their lands where they had their homes, governance, religion, and farms. In less than a half century the immigrants had taken over the land and displaced the indigenous people.

Nor could women take part in that first Assembly because they did not arrive in Virginia until 1619 and did not secure the vote until three centuries later! Enslaved people from Africa did not arrive in the colony until 1619 and not only were they not in the First Assembly but they were the subject of laws in subsequent sessions of oppressive slave codes that denied them basic human rights. It was necessary in the beginnings of the Assembly to belong to and pay taxes to the established church.

The history of Virginia and of America has been to move from this humble beginning and through decades and centuries of events to evolve into what is more closely a representative government. The planners of the events surrounding 1619 have correctly I believe termed it “evolution.” Contrary to what some may have us believe, our state and our country did not start out meeting the ideals and vision that we have. We have built on a humble beginning to evolve into the country we are today.

I trust that this important celebration will not be allowed to be taken over by an ignorance of what happened at Jamestowne and turned into a biased partisan view to justify the terrible actions of government today against people of color, people from other lands, and people in the LGBTQ communities. We do not need to try to return to a past that was much more imperfect than we sometimes care to admit. I am attending the Commemorative Session of the General Assembly to learn more about the past and how we can learn from our experiences and evolve further into a more perfect union. I will not be attending the session with POTUS.

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Herndon House Fire Causes $50,000 in Damages

A house fire on the 600 block of Pemberton Court in the Town of Herndon on Tuesday (July 30) caused nearly $50,000 in damages.

The homeowner and the homeowner’s son — who were at home during the incident — evacuated the area before the fire department arrived. No injuries were reported.

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department’s investigators believe a malfunctioning ceiling fan in a covered screen porch caused the fire.

“The cause of the fire involved an electrical event in the junction box of a ceiling fan,” the department wrote.

Three residents were displaced because of the fire. Red Cross Services were accepted by the family.

Photos via FCFRD

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Thursday Morning Notes

Frying Pan Farm Park 4-H Fair and Carnival Kicks Off — The 71st annual carnival and fair begins today (Thursday) through Sunday. More information on scheduled events is available on the event’s website. [Fairfax County Government]

Hunter Mill Road between Mt. Sunapee Road and Hunting Crest Lane Closed — The road is closed for an extended period as crews repair downed wires. It’s unclear when the road is expected to reopen. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Take a Break Concert Series at Lake Anne Plaza Tonight — IONI, a band that plays Celtic music, performs at the plaza from 7-9 p.m. today (Thursday). The concert is free and open for all ages. [Reston Community Center]

Photo by Dario Piparo

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