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by Fatimah Waseem December 7, 2017 at 4:00 pm 16 Comments

The Fairfax County Planning Commission deferred a decision on a proposal to bring a 20-story condominiums to 1801 Old Reston Ave. Wednesday night amid questions about the building, which includes up to 150 units and a parking garage.

Although the developer Renaissance Centro, and the county’s planning and zoning staff resolved major issues raised in a technical staff report, the parties continued to disagree over how the condominiums incorporate workforce housing.

Renaissance Centro has pledged to build 24 for-sale condominiums, a commitment that allows the developer 24 additional market-rate units in bonus density. However, the developer is seeking to not comply with a policy that says additional market-rate units should be no more than 10 percent larger than workforce units for the development.

Zoning staff said workforce units should be similar in size to market rate units, especially since the developer is already exceeding the floor area ratio outlined in the plan while pursuing an exception that could potentially allow the developer nearly 40,000 square feet in bonus density.

The commission also raised concerns about the amount of parking in the development. Residents of the condominium would pay for in-house parking, a structure that members said was problematic because residents of workforce housing may not be able to afford paid parking and may instead have to park on the curb on North Shore Drive.

The development would also remove overflow parking used by some residents of the neighboring Harrison Apartments.  Currently, some residents use the surface parking lot on the site, according to zoning staff.

The commission deferred its decision to January 25.

Andrew Painter of Walsh Colucci Lubeley & Walsh, the developer’s representative, however, said the county should recognize the unique financial challenges in building a high-rise development. He said the developer was committed to providing 24 workforce units that would have the same number of bedroom units as market rate units but smaller overall units.

Painter also said the developer, which also developed the Carlton House condominiums in Reston Town Center, is keen on pursuing the development as a “legacy project” that would be the “crown jewel” of the area. He noted the proposed project would, if approved, be the first for-sale condominiums to be constructed in Reston in more than 10 years with the hallmark feature of providing home ownership opportunities for workhouse housing.

“This is kind of the last piece of the puzzle,” Painter said.

by Fatimah Waseem November 22, 2017 at 10:15 am 25 Comments

In a slim 6-5 vote, the Reston Planning and Zoning Committee denied a proposal to bring a 20-story high rise with up to 150 residential units to 1801 Old Reston Avenue this week.

Renaissance Centro 1801 LCC will reappear before the committee with revisions to the proposal, which attempts to rezone roughly 1.5 acres of space currently home to a three-story office. The proposal includes 126 market rate units and 24 workforce units.

Committee members who voted against the plan said it did not conform with the county’s comprehensive plan, especially because it is roughly 85 feet taller than Stratford Condominiums to the south of the property.

Other members indicated the applicant is still determining how the project will meet the county’s workforce housing requirements and information about the removal of a proposed right-in entrance along Reston Parkway remained unclear.

Members who supported the plan indicated that the overall proposal was appealing and lauded improvements to the building’s architecture.

Rob Walker, the committee’s chairman, noted that the body was applying additional scrutiny to future application because projects in Reston are becoming “much more complex.”

“Therefore, future applications will most likely fall under additional scrutiny by our Committee in order to ensure the values of the Reston community are being met and whether or not the communities concerns are being addressed,” Walker said.

Promotional material describes the project as luxury condominium units. The proposal is an example of infill development.

The Fairfax County Planning Commission is holding a public hearing on the proposal for Dec. 6.

Photo via handout

by Fatimah Waseem November 20, 2017 at 2:45 pm 5 Comments

The Reston Planning and Zoning Committee is set to vote on a plan to bring a 20-story high rise with up to 150 residential units on 1801 Old Reston Ave. tonight.

Renaissance Centro 1801 LLC has proposed to rezone roughy 1.5 acres of space home to a three-story office to allow for residential use. Of the units, 126 would be market rate and 24 would be workforce units.

A hearing is also set before the Fairfax County Planning Commission for Dec. 6.

The committee is also scheduled to hear informational presentations on the following projects:

  • Reston Town Center North: Inova Health Care Services and the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors have filed amendments and a rezoning application to create a grid of streets, a central green and other infrastructure linked to the the proposed redevelopment of Reston Town Center North. The property is on the south side of Baron Cameron Avenue, east and west of Town Center Parkway, west of Fountain Drive and south of Bowman Towne Drive.
  • Langston Hughes Middle School: The local school board is seeking approval to renovate the building on 11401 Ridge Heights Road. Voters approved additional funding in the 2015 school bond referendum to renovate the school, which currently manages crowded conditions with eight temporary classrooms. The board is seeking to add three additional buildings to expand the one-story building, which is roughly 132,000 square feet, to 200,000 square feet.
  • Roland Clarke Place: The developer, Woodfield Acquisitions LLC, is seeking to redevelop 6.5 acres of land at 1941 and 1950 Roland Clarke Place along Wiehle Station’s transit-oriented development district. The property, which is less than a mile from Wiehle-Reston East and Reston Town Center Metro Stations, would be redeveloped into 699 residential units. The developer is proposing to also include public and private open space such as a dog park and a trail that loops around the property.

The meeting will began at 7:30 p.m. in the North County Government Center. An agenda is available online. The body’s next meeting will be held on Dec. 18 at 7:30 p.m.

File image of 1801 Old Reston Ave.

by Dave Emke January 31, 2017 at 2:45 pm 23 Comments

A public hearing on a proposed condominium high rise across Reston Parkway from the Town Center has been tentatively scheduled for this fall.

1801 Old Reston Avenue, currently the 1.51-acre home of a three-story office building, has been proposed by property owner Renaissance Centro as the site of a 20-story high rise with up to 150 living units. Of those units, 126 would be market-rate and 24 would be workforce dwelling.

The condos would represent the first for-sale living units in or near Reston Town Center since 2007, Washington Business Journal reports.

The property’s website touts that the building “will feature well-appointed units and elegant amenity areas.” Among the amenities listed are a grand lobby, a resident lounge and party room, a fitness center, and a rooftop amenity package.

According to the proposal, the building would be a maximum height of 254 feet, inclusive of a mechanical rooftop penthouse.

The Old Reston Avenue property is flanked by The Harrison to the north and Stratford House to the south, both of which were also built by Renaissance Centro. The company also built the nearby Carlton House.

The property would need to be rezoned from commercial to planned residential mixed-use. The real-estate development company recently filed a rezoning application with the county.

According to the Fairfax County website, the public hearing before the county Planning Commission has been tentatively scheduled for Sept. 28.

by Karen Goff August 17, 2016 at 4:30 pm 6 Comments

Rendering of RTC West/Courtesy JBGIt’s been a little more than two years since Metro’s Silver Line opened. It hasn’t exactly been a smooth transition — track work, delays, expense for users and a frustrating layout at the Wiehle-Reston East parking garage among the issues.

But developers say those factors are not only out of their control (and users’ control), they are short-term problems in a longterm plan.

Speaking at Bisnow’s “Fairfax County the State of the Market” event Wednesday at the Marriott Fairview Park, Boston Properties Senior Vice President Pete Otteni says he does not see Silver Line problems dampening commercial development in Reston.

“It has the potential to be transformational in the longterm,” said Otteni, whose company owns Reston Town Center. “But transit isn’t a panacea and isn’t THE thing that drives retail growth. It’s a meaningful contributor to where people want to live, work and play, but not THE thing.”

Sonny Small, CEO of Renaissance Centro (The Harrison) said if not for Metro, then “we wouldn’t be having this conversation” about major development in Reston and Tysons.

“There are still issues,” he said. “But over time, [transit] will be an important ingredient.”

Small and Otteni, along with Greg Trimmer of The JBG Companies (Reston Heights, RTC West), pointed out that Reston already has an advantage when compared with Tysons.

While Tysons will likely be the “edge city” developers envision in about 20 more years, Reston is quickly heading that way because it already is a place where people live and has a specifically designed master plan, the panel said. (more…)

by Fatimah Waseem December 5, 2017 at 1:30 pm 70 Comments

A proposal to build 20-story luxury condominiums to 1801 Reston Ave. will go before the Fairfax County Planning Commission tomorrow with an unfavorable report from the county’s Department of Planning and Zoning.

In a Nov. 22 staff report, the department raised concerns that workforce housing does not appear to be “a vital element” of the proposed development, which will include up to 150 units and 294 parking spaces on 1.5-acres of land currently zoned for office uses.

Renaissance Centro, the developer, is seeking one market-rate unit for each workforce dwelling unit —  an incentive allowed by the county to encourage inclusive, affordable housing — while also creating a condition would allow the developer to convert unsold workforce housing to market rate units under certain conditions. Plans include 24 workforce dwelling units, allowing 24 market rate units in bonus density.

The developer also opted out of a proffer that requires bonus market rate units to remain similar in size to workforce housing, possibly allowing the developer to sell significantly larger market rate units while only building small efficiency units for workforce housing.

“The county would only receive a monetary contribution at a loss of affordable housing provided onsite. The monetary contribution is not likely to be sufficient to purchase comparable affordable units,” according to the report.

Additionally, staff said the developer is not providing enough money to fund athletic field construction in the Reston area, a developer contribution given to the county’s park authority based on the impact of the new residential development.

The county is seeking $406,668, a figure calculated from the gross floor area of the building. The developer, however, is seeking to provide a reduced amount based on the square footage of the residential parts of the building, a calculation method that staff said was ambiguous and would not meet the need for athletic fields.

If approved by the county’s Board of Supervisors, the project will join neighboring residential developments like the Harrison Apartment and the Stratford Condominiums. In late November, the Reston Planning and Zoning Committee rejected the proposal by a slim 6-5 vote.

A public hearing on the project is set for tomorrow at 8:15 p.m in the Fairfax County Government Center board auditorium. An online stream is available on the county’s website.

To sign up to speak, register online. For more information, call the planning commissions’ office at 703-324-2865.

Renderings via handout

by Fatimah Waseem November 24, 2017 at 1:20 pm 1 Comment

Happy Black Friday and Thanksgiving weekend! These were our most read stories this week.

  1. New Parking Procedures In Effect for Reston Town Center
  2. Zoning Change Could Transform Empty Office Space in Reston
  3. Suspect Arrested in Garage Door Opener Burglary Spree
  4. Reston Planning and Zoning Committee Set to Vote on Renaissance Centro Project Tonight
  5. Reston Association Passes $18M Budget for 2018

Feel free to discuss anything of local interest below or send story ideas to [email protected].

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Have a great weekend!

by Dave Emke October 16, 2017 at 1:30 pm 6 Comments

At its meeting tonight (agenda), Reston’s Planning & Zoning Committee will hear presentations on three major upcoming projects.

Two projects are scheduled to be voted upon at the meeting:

  • Renaissance Centro 1801 LLC — Currently the 1.51-acre home of a three-story office building, 1801 Old Reston Ave. has been proposed by property owner Renaissance Centro as the site of a 20-story high rise with up to 150 living units. Of those units, 126 would be market-rate and 24 would be workforce dwelling. This project has a Dec. 6 hearing scheduled with the Fairfax County Planning Commission.
  • Kensington Senior Development LLC — Currently the home of Good Beginnings School, 11501 Sunrise Valley Drive is proposed as the new home of a senior-living facility. The 65,000-square-foot building would include 96 beds within 70 units. This project has a Nov. 30 hearing scheduled with the Fairfax County Planning Commission.

The committee is also scheduled to hear an informational presentation on the CRS Sunset Hills LC project. Comstock Partners plans to convert the Sunset Hills Professional Center, a one-story office condo complex at Sunset Hills Road and Wiehle Avenue, into a mixed-use development featuring approximately 460 residential units and 40,000 square feet of ground-floor retail. The project would also include two parcels to the east, known as the “Kfoury Parcels,” which would be developed to add approximately 300,000 square feet of office uses. Comstock also plans for an approximately 400,000-square-foot full-service hotel and 80 high-end residential units on another adjacent property. In total, the planned project includes about 1.24 million square feet of proposed redevelopment, exclusive of affordable-housing provision bonuses.

That project does not yet have a county hearing scheduled.

Tonight’s Reston P&Z Committee meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. at Reston Association headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive).

File image of 1801 Old Reston Ave.

by Dave Emke July 14, 2017 at 10:15 am 3 Comments

A number of major redevelopment proposals will be discussed at the next Reston Planning & Zoning Committee meeting.

Most notably, JBG and EYA Development will give an informational presentation on their plans for a mixed-use, transit-oriented development at 1831/1860 Wiehle Avenue and 1840/1860 Michael Faraday Drive. The project includes nearly 1.7 million square feet of development, consisting of 840 multi-family units, 60 single-family attached residential units, 130 independent living units, 205,917 square feet of office space and 260,945 square feet of ground-floor retail.

Also on the agenda for the public meeting, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Monday at the North County Governmental Center (1801 Cameron Glen Drive):

  • Renaissance Centro 1801. The rezoning is to replace the existing office building at 1801 Old Reston Ave. with a 20-story high-rise featuring for-sale condominiums. The P&Z Committee may vote on this project Monday. A county Planning Commission hearing is scheduled for Sept. 28.
  • TF Cornerstone — Campus Commons Drive. This will be an informational presentation on two development options that are being proposed at 1900-1902 Campus Commons Drive, including up to 1,097 residential units.
  • Thompson Hospitality. This will be an informational presentation on a proposed hotel at 1741 Business Center Drive, in the Lake Fairfax Business Center.

The Reston Planning & Zoning Committee is an advisory body without statutory authority. However, it is looked to and listened to by local government authorities for its opinions and advice on land use matters.

Layout of 1831 Wiehle project via JBG

by Karen Goff August 6, 2015 at 9:30 am 1,060 3 Comments

1801 Old Reston Avenue (left) and The Harrison

The developer of The Harrison, the recently built 360-unit apartment buildings at Reston Parkway and Temporary Road, is planning another luxury building just next door.

Renaissance Centro says it has plans to build 110 to 120 luxury condos at 1801 Old Reston Ave. That address, at Reston Parkway, Old Reston Avenue and Temporary Road, is currently an office building.

Renaissance Centro owns the 29,300-square-foot, four-story office building. Residential development on the site would require a rezoning from commercial to residential. No rezoning application has been filed.

Reps from Renaissance Centro did not return calls, but a glimpse at the company website shows a little of what it eventually plans.

1801 OLD RESTON AVENUE
LUXURY CONDOMINUM UNITS
197,000 SQ. FT. | 110-120 UNITS

1801 Old Reston Avenue will be an infill multi-family project adjacent to Reston Town Center. The future building will be within walking distance of the new Silver Line Metro station at Reston Town Center, feature direct access to the W&OD Trail network and all the rich amenities that Reston has to offer. The project will feature well-appointed units and elegant amenity areas.

INTERIOR FEATURES

Grand Lobby
Resident Lounge/Party Room
Fitness Center
Rooftop Amenity Package (subject to final design and programming)

Renaissance Centro, based in Bethesda, Md., already has quite a presence on that stretch of Reston Parkway from Sunset Hills to Temporary Road. In addition to The Harrison, the company built Carlton House and Stratford House across from Reston Town Center.

Photo: 1801 Old Reston Avenue(left) and The Harrison

by Karen Goff June 10, 2015 at 9:00 am 1,953 15 Comments

 While the Silver Line is having an impact on how younger workers get to Reston, it is not necessarily expected to attract them to live in Reston.

That is what several real estate developers said at a forum “The Future of Reston and Herndon” organized by e-news company Bisnow in Reston on Tuesday.

The Silver Line opened its first phase last July, and Wiehle-Reston East, the end of the line until Phase 2 opens in 2019, immediately became one of Metro’s highest-traveled stations. Metro officials say people are taking public transportation both to Reston and from Reston to other workplaces in Arlington, Tysons Corner and D.C.

But they still can’t take Metro around Reston, which is what Millennials (people ages 18 to 35) want.

“A lot of people are saying ‘this is it’ when talking about the Silver Line,” said Greg Trimmer, Principal with The JBG Companies. “But JBG’s position is the Silver Line is not really the panacea. It is a great thing to have, but it is really a commuter line. It presents some challenges as well. People are not going to take the Metro three stops to get some lunch. We will see people taking it 5 or 6 stops to get to a job.”

JBG has four mixed use projects under development: Reston Heights, RTC West,  1831 Wiehle Ave. (in application process) and at Fairway Apartments. There are also multifamily developments either planned or under construction at Wiehle-Reston East (Comstock’s BLVD and the new Bozzuto/Charles Veatch building) and Lake Anne/Crescent (Lake Anne Development Partners), among others.

Several panelists said the residents of other recently-built residential buildings such as The Harrison and The Avant are trending older.

“We are seeing a huge boom in multifamily construction,” said Trimmer. “But the population of millennials in Reston has actually dropped. We are seeing growth in Reston in people in their 40s and 50s and retirees.”

Trimmer said if Reston properties try to compete with buildings in the District “it is not a fight Reston is going to win.”

Said Randall Scott, Principal, Coretrust Capital Partners commercial real estate: “We view Reston as a new town, edge city type place. In our experience, millennials will gravitate to an urban core such as D.C. initially. It remains to be seen whether they will stay there or be where there are open spaces and great schools eventually. Our view is we will get  terrific inflow and outflow on the Silver Line.”

The Silver Line, has, however, been a great work perk, even after just 10 months.

Reston was planned all along to be a transit-oriented community, with offices and residential, an urban-style town center and walkability. That puts it ahead of the game when it comes to Tysons Corner, said Sonny Small, CEO of Renaissance Centro, which built the recently-opened The Harrison apartments. The Harrison is also seeing older residents, many of whom are moving from other properties such as single-family homes within Reston.

“The Silver Line is a fabulous amenity,” he said. “Reston has the original bones already. The interesting part will be how neighborhoods other than Reston Town Center evolve.”

Tony Womack of Tishman Speyer commercial real estate said he has clients looking at Reston office space that were not looking here prior to the Silver Line.

“The younger workforce can get out here,” he said. “Older executives are already out here.”

Photo: The Avant apartments at Reston Town Center

by Karen Goff June 8, 2015 at 2:00 pm 3 Comments

Reston Town CenterTickets are still available for Tuesday morning’s forum “The Future of Reston and Herndon,” sponsored by Bisow e-publications.

The seminar will feature several economic and commercial real estate leaders to discuss what Transit Oriented development means for Reston and Herndon now that the first phase of Metro’s Silver Line has opened.

Among the speakers are representatives from JBG, Renaissance Centro, Bechtel, Comstock, and Cushman & Wakefield.

The seminar, held at 12120 Sunrise Valley Dr., starts with breakfast and networking at 7:30 a.m. The speakers begin at 8:30 a.m. and the forum will wrap up at 10 a.m.  Tickets are $89 and can be purchased on Bisnow’s website.

by Karen Goff May 26, 2015 at 8:00 am 7 Comments

Reston Town Center/Courtesy Reston Town Center

Sweet Prom Story — A Herndon resident helped his sister have a prom to remember. Kyle Hammersley, 22, escorted his younger sister, Emma Hammersley, who has Down syndrome, to the Herndon High School recently. [FOX 5]

Call For GRACE Entries — Greater Reston Arts Center is calling all teachers in the area for a new Art Educator’s Exhibition. The juried exhibition will highlight the talent and diversity among area art teachers. [GRACE]

What Does The Future Hold? — Bisnow business publications is hosting a seminar June 9 “The Future of Reston and Herndon” to look at the region’s business growth. Among the speakers: Reston founder Bob Simon, as well as representatives from Comstock, Renaissance Centro (The Harrison), JBG Companies and the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority. [Bisnow]

ICYMI: Death at Lake Swim — A 63-year-old North Carolina man went into cardiac arrest arrest at the Jim McDonnell Lake Swim at Lake Audubon Sunday. He died shortly after at Reston Hospital. [Reston Now]

Photo: Reston Town Center Pavilion dressed for Memorial Day/Courtesy Reston Town Center

by Karen Goff December 20, 2013 at 9:00 am 0

The Harrison is expected to be finished in Summer 2014/File photo

The new residential building under construction on Reston Parkway now has a name and a pre-leasing website.

Meet The Harrison Apartments, two 14-story towers under construction at the site where 82 Parc Reston units in three low-rise buildings used to stand at Reston Parkway and Temporary Road.

The building has been under construction since the summer of 2012.  The building is expected to be completed in summer 2014.

When it is complete, The Harrison will have 360 luxury one-, two- and three-bedroom rental units. It is located just across Reston Parkway from Reston Town Center and The Spectrum, which is expected to undergo massive redevelopment in the next few years. The Reston Parkway Metro stop, expected to open in 2018, is also nearby.

Amenities will include an outdoor rooftop pool, an indoor lap pool, fitness center, an indoor spa, a yoga/Pilates room, a rooftop clubroom, onsite concierge service and an executive business and conference center, said developer Renaissance Centro.

Renaissance Centro also built Stratford House and Carlton House on Reston Parkway.

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