Despite Appeal, Future of $50 Million Condo in Reston Town Center North Remains in Jeopardy

by Fatimah Waseem October 22, 2019 at 1:15 pm 0

The future of a wooded patch of land nesting between a childcare facility, Reston Regional Library, and Paramount Condominiums is uncertain.

Norton Scott is appealing the county’s rejection of its plan to develop the 0.8-acre site with a 13-story condominium building with 58 for-sale luxury units — adding a new mix of housing units to the Reston Town Center market.

County planners say the developer’s plan exceeds the allowed density in the area and does not provide a public street connection between north Reston, Reston Town Center, and the future Reston Metrorail Station.

Reston’s master plan, which was approved in 2013, calls for extending Library Street to the Reston Town Center North site — a connection that county planners say is necessary to improve the street network in the area.

But Norton Scott is seeking to exercise a by-right plan, which comes after the county rejected a plan from MRP and Norton Scott in May 2018 for a public-private partnership on blocks seven and eight of the area known as Reston Town Center North.

The county deemed the proposal for Reston Town Center North– which would have included a civic plaza, a new library, a pedestrian underpass, and a new shelter, and a new performing arts center — too expensive.

County officials said they only received one submission for the project after a request for proposals was issued in 2017 for the project.

After the rejection and seven years after purchasing the site from Trammel Crow Company, Norton Scott says it wants to move forward with a new project on the site, which it is calling Library Square.

“The county kind of closed the door on other possibilities,” Chelsea Rao, senior vice president of Norton Scott, said. “We are a company and we want to monetize our assets.”

Rao also says the project would add a for-sale product in RTC’s housing market that hasn’t been seen for almost a decade.

She says the company is willing to work with the county to ensure the site extends well with the other areas in Reston Town Center north. But asking for a road to extend throughout the site interferes with the developer’s by-right plan.

In a Feb. 7 memo, county planners concluded the development plan could not reasonably accommodate a future extension of Library Street as a public street.

Access between the surrounding parcels does not align with the extension of the street, making the inter-parcel connection “futile,” according to the county’s planning department.

The county wants the developer to align its project with the existing Library Street and connect with the proposed connection associated with Library Street near Reston Town Center.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors deferred a decision on the appeal to Oct. 29.

Photos via handout/Fairfax County Government

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