Reston Man Among Suspects in Maryland Murder — Reston resident William Rivera-Martinez, 20, is among five people who have been arrested and face charges in the April murder of a 15-year-old Nelson Ramos. As of Thursday morning (June 24), Rivera-Martinez was in Fairfax County custody and awaiting extradition to Prince George’s County. [The Washington Post]
Threat of Mass Evictions Looms with Moratorium Set to End — Fairfax County officials say there’s “plenty of emergency rental assistance” to help residents at risk of eviction, but with Virginia expected to let its eviction moratorium expire when the COVID-19 state of emergency ends on June 30, they worry it will take too long to get the money to landlords to stave off evictions. [Inside NoVA]
Herndon Startup Chosen for Amazon Program — The data analytics company HawkEye 360 has been chosen by Amazon Web Services for a four-week business accelerator focused on the space industry. The 10 companies selected for the program will get business advice and support in their efforts to collect data from satellites for cloud computing. [Axios]
Reston Trucking Software Company Acquired — “Trucker Tools LLC, a Reston outfit that offers a digital freight management platform, has been acquired by ASG, a California company backed by private equity firm Alpine Investors that specializes in purchasing and building software-as-a-service companies.” [Washington Business Journal]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
Amazon Partners with Metro on Affordable Housing — Amazon will devote $125 million to fund the construction of 1,000 new affordable housing units on land owned by Metro or near Metro stations. The initiative is intended to help bring more low and middle-income residents closer to public transit and job centers, but it will be up to developers to apply for the funds. [The Washington Post]
County Brings COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic to Reston — The North County Governmental Center (1801 Cameron Glen Dr.) will host a COVID-19 vaccine clinic today from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be provided, which has been authorized for adults 18 and older, and walk-in appointments are available. [Hunter Mill District News]
Georgetown Pike Bridge Closes Tomorrow — Georgetown Pike over Difficult Run will be closed to traffic between Old Dominion Drive and Towlston Road in Great Falls from 8 p.m. Friday (June 18) to 4 a.m. on Monday (June 21). The closure will enable crews to make bridge repairs, which will involve some overnight noise from concrete demolition and other construction activities. [VDOT]
Reston Association Yard Sale Returns — The 80 Family community yard sale is coming back on Saturday (June 19) after missing last year due to COVID-19 health restrictions. Scheduled for 8:30 a.m. to noon in the RA parking lot (12001 Sunrise Valley Dr.), the event will include a Kona Ice truck selling shaved ice and a Purple Heart collection truck that will accept donations of unsold items. [Patch]
Reston Software Company Launches Second Year of Scholarship Program — The Ellucian Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the recently acquired company Ellucian, will accept applications for its PATH Scholarship Program until July 14. The program gives higher education institutions block grants of up to $25,000 “to support students facing economic hardship and educational disruptions.” [Ellucian]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
No South Lakes HS Vaccine Clinic Next Week — Contrary to notices from Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay’s office and Dogwood Elementary School, there will not be a COVID-19 vaccine clinic for students at South Lakes High School next Wednesday (May 26). FCPS spokesperson Lucy Caldwell told Reston Now that the site was changed and will be at Langley High School in McLean, as previously reported. “We are adding sites as needed and as school space availability/staffing allow,” she said.
Amazon Hiring for Hundreds of Jobs in Herndon — “Amazon.com has more than 3,000 job openings in Northern Virginia. More than 2,100 of those openings are in Arlington, many attached to HQ2…Almost 800 are in the Herndon area, where [Amazon Web Services] has its East Coast headquarters.” [Fairfax County Economic Development Authority]
Reston Man Raises Money to Send Oxygen to India — A GoFundMe started by Reston resident Afzal Memon and five other organizers has raised over $36,000 to buy and ship more than 100 oxygen concentrators to India on behalf of The Saiyed Foundation, a nonprofit that provides health care and emergency aid to remote villages. India is in dire need of oxygen and other medical supplies as the country struggles with a COVID-19 surge that claimed a reported 4,329 lives just on May 17. [Patch]
Elden Street Business Burglarized — The Herndon Police Department is investigating a burglary that reportedly occurred in the 1100 block of Elden Street overnight between May 15 and 16. Police say “an unknown number of subjects gained entry” to the business through a rear door and took “cash and various equipment.” [Herndon PD]
Litter Clean-up Coming to Glade Drive — “Reston Association, @FairfaxCountyPD, Southgate Community Center, & Dogwood Elementary School, FCPS will be hosting a community cleanup May 26-29th along Glade Drive from Reston Parkway to Sunrise Valley. For more information or to get involved contact Ha Brock at [email protected]” [RA/Twitter]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
More than 30 companies in the D.C. metro area are looking to hire women for open positions in STEM-based fields at a Women in Technology Virtual Career Fair tomorrow (Thursday). Some of the companies include Amazon, Capital One, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
The career fair is sponsored by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority and Capital One as part of an ongoing series of virtual career fairs that the FCEDA has supported in response to the COVID-19 crisis, according to a press release from the FCEDA.
The first three virtual fairs in the series attracted more than 2,100 attendees, the release says.
“More girls and women need to be exposed to the high-paying jobs in the technology sectors that are a major part of the economy of Fairfax County,” Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross said.
Gross, who serves as vice chair of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, added that “efforts such as this career fair open up a wider talent pipeline for the companies that have so many job openings even during the pandemic.”
According to the release, only 26% of the jobs held by women in the workforce are computing-related jobs. The career fair on Nov. 5 will help connect technology professionals with top organizations in the D.C. metro area, seeking to help increase access to opportunity “in a field where women have been historically underrepresented.”
Participants will be able to browse companies through a virtual lobby, enter their booths, view open positions, engage in video conferencing, and talk with human resources representatives at the virtual fair.
“In Northern Virginia, we have more than 15,000 tech firms constantly hiring. In fact, tech job postings are growing more in Virginia than in California and New York,” FCEDA President and CEO Victor Hoskins said. “We are a region that not just embraces, but pioneers diversity: women are twice as likely to work in tech in Northern Virginia than in Silicon Valley.”
Participation in the career fair is free of charge. Employers interested in promoting their job openings can contact Mike Batt, the FCEDA Director of Talent Initiative Programs at [email protected] or visit the Employer Resources page.
Photo via the FCEDA/Instagram
LifeFuels CEO Focused on Fitness — “Not only is his company providing free online fitness classes, he’s also hiring fitness instructors and trainers who may have lost their jobs due to the pandemic to run those classes.” [Reston Patch]
Skipping the Silver Line — “It’s too early to tell if Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) will launch a Seattle-style shuttle service for its HQ2 employees, but the company has connected its Herndon and Arlington offices via shuttle, a spokesperson told the Washington Business Journal.” [Washington Business Journal]
How’s the Local Hospital Doing? — “Several hospitals in Virginia and Washington, D.C., received top grades for safety, while others didn’t quite measure up, according to new spring 2020 ratings released by the Leapfrog Group recently.” The Reston Hospital Center received an “A” grade. [Herndon Patch]
Photo via vantage hill/Flickr
Amazon.com Inc.’s cloud computing business, Amazon Web Services, is expanding its footprint across Northern Virginia.
The Washington Business Journal reports that the company has inked a deal with Griffin Essential REIT, INC. to lease 13820 Sunrise Valley Drive.
Here’s more from WBJ:
South Lake at Dulles Corner, as the building is also known, is about 2 miles from the East Coast hub AWS established at One Dulles Tower, a 400,000-square-foot building the company also leased in full. The company planned to create up to 1,500 new jobs in the commonwealth, according to that deal’s announcement in 2017.
Griffin is one of several commercial real estate owners in the Herndon area poised to benefit from an expanding AWS presence. And expand it is likely to do as it lands more contracts with the federal government, particularly as it awaits word on the Department of Defense’s $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud contract. AWS and Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) are now finalists.
Amazon has leased nearly 852,800 square feet in Northern Virginia, cementing its position as one of the fastest-growing tenants in the market, according to the report.
Last month, an Amazon.com subsidiary moved to acquire 13600 EDS Drive.
Map via Google Maps
VAData Inc., an Amazon.com subsidiary, is moving to acquire a Herndon property from an affiliate of Perspecta Inc., the Washington Business Journal reports.
Although the transaction has not closed yet, the 57-acre site located at 13600 EDS Drive went under contract several months ago, according to the report.
The property has an assessed value of $80.7 million.
Future plans for the site are unclear, but sources told WBJ that demolition and data centers are anticipated.
Here’s more from the story:
The site has changed hands a couple of times over the years, but the family tree leads back to H. Ross Perot and his Electronic Data Systems Corp. EDS was acquired by Hewlett-Packard Co. in 2008. HP then spun off and merged its enterprise services business, including EDS, with Computer Sciences Corp. to form DXC Technology. DXC’s public sector business was then merged in 2018 with Vencore Holding Corp. and KeyPoint Government Solutions to form Perspecta.
When it was launched, Perspecta listed 13600 EDS as its primary corporate office, but it has since relocated its headquarters to Conference Center Drive in Chantilly. Perspecta continues to maintain a presence in the building, according to public filings. The property’s owner is listed in Fairfax County records as Enterprise Services LLC.
VAData is Amazon’s datacenter unit, which has been rapidly expanding in Northern Virginia.
Map via Google Maps
Farmers and Makers Market Kicks Off Today — Local farmers and artisans will sell a mix of items in Reston Town Center today. The market is open Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. through November. [Reston Town Center]
County Weighs More Housing for Amazon Workers — “Fairfax County officials are weighing new steps to beef up their investments in affordable housing programs, with the promise of even more ambitious spending next year. The Board of Supervisors’ budget committee signed off on the changes at an April 26 meeting, ensuring they’d be included when officials vote on a full spending plan for fiscal year 2020 next month.” [Washington Business Journal]
South Lakes High School Sophomores Learn About Careers — Around 50 career professionals came to the high school to talk to sophomore about education, training, and career experiences. The event was coordinated by the career center and local parents. [Fairfax County Public Schools]
County Guide: It’s Snake Season — “Fairfax County is home to an array of snake species, most of which are non-venomous and pose no threat to people. Among the most frequently observed resident snakes are the Eastern rat snake, Eastern garter snake, Dekay’s brown snake, Northern water snake and Northern ring-necked snake; common and important predators in our ecosystems. These snakes, and others, are beneficial and provide a valuable service in our communities in the way of pest control.” [Fairfax County Government]
Photo via Charlotte Geary
Amazon.com is famous for what cybersecurity expert Frederic Lemieux calls its “known resilience” to cyberattack.
But there have been breeches recently, and we can expect the tech giant to become an even more inviting target in the future. “As Amazon is growing, it will have more of these risks,” says Lemieux, Ph.D., faculty director of Georgetown University’s master’s programs in Applied Intelligence and Cybersecurity Risk Management.
Here, in conversation with Assistant Dean Joshua Meredith, Lemieux also predicts that when Amazon builds a new headquarters in Crystal City, Va., it will suck up much of the region’s cybersecurity talent. And that will make it harder for the federal government and smaller business to compete for skilled workers.
Once it was cutting edge; a few decades later, it was obsolete. Now, Crystal City has a golden opportunity to reinvent itself yet again — as National Landing — after Amazon chose the urban neighborhood in Arlington County, as one of its two new headquarters.
“It’s a decision that I think will be a benchmark and a case study for many years to come,” says Uwe Brandes, faculty director of the Georgetown University Master’s program in Urban & Regional Planning.
Here, Brandes talks with Glenn Williamson, faculty director of the Master’s in Real Estate program, about the decision’s impact on Northern Virginia and the entire Washington, D.C. region.
Crystal City developer JBG Smith “had a portfolio of buildings that were obsolete, and they were like ugly ducklings,” Williamson said. “And what they’ve managed to do now with this property is to turn it into a beautiful swan.”
Restaurant Week starts today — Four restaurants in Reston will be serving up dishes for Winter Restaurant Week, which runs from today until Sunday (Jan. 20). [Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington]
Walmart is increasing tech jobs — In a battle with Amazon’s market share, the retailer announced it will add 2,000 tech hires this year. The expansion is likely to affect the Sunnyvale, Calif. and Reston offices. [Fortune]
Snow, snow, snow — Fairfax County Public Schools are closed today. ICYMI: Reston Now had weekend coverage of the snowiest D.C. area storm since 2016. [Reston Now]
(Updated at 9 a.m. on Nov. 30) 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.
Amazon, which has made its way into just about every consumer’s home with its online goods and services, has announced that it is bringing its second headquarters — or at least half its east-coast headquarters — to Crystal City. The area — now being called “National Landing” — is actually in Arlington County. The other half of its headquarters, originally expected to be in one location, will be in Long Island City in Queens, New York.
There were few regrets in Virginia or the Washington, D.C. area at getting just half of the prize in the most competitive contest for an economic development project in recent times. Even half of the prize is expected to bring 25,000 top jobs to the region.
I attended the announcement of Amazon’s decision in an abandoned Crystal City warehouse that has in recent years fallen on hard economic times. The warehouse will be demolished to make room for the new HQ2. During Governor Ralph Northam’s remarks, I was thinking that we have truly reached a crossroads in economic development in the northern part of the Commonwealth. There will be little need for the structures like that warehouse.
Northern Virginia that includes Reston and Tysons Corner has fully moved into the arena of high technology and will be mentioned in the future as one of the centers of technological innovation in our country. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is just the latest of a long list of entrepreneurs who have seen the value of a NoVa location.
I am a skeptic of big pay-out deals that have been increasingly used by states and localities to lure companies to their locations. There seems to be almost unanimous agreement among economic development experts that Virginia may have pulled off one of the best deals they have seen in an economic development proposal in recent times.
There is cash to Amazon involved, but that cash is in the form of performance payments when Amazon reaches certain tiers of development and production of top-paying jobs. The math of the proposal shows that in the end, Virginia will be a substantial net winner from the economic activity coming from the new headquarters and supporting development and the new Virginia taxpayers it will include.
For many, the strength of the Virginia Amazon proposal goes beyond the location of a new headquarters. Governor Northam called Virginia’s efforts “a new model of economic development for the 21st century.” As he explained, most of Virginia’s partnership proposal consists of investments in education and transportation infrastructure “that will bolster the features that make Virginia so attractive: a strong and talented workforce, a stable and competitive business climate, and a world-class higher education system.”
The feature of the proposal that is getting the strongest kudos is the location of a billion-dollar extension of Virginia Tech that will offer graduate degrees in engineering, technology and innovation in the city of Alexandria. And yes, there will be transportation improvements to Metro and the highways to better accommodate the new residents who will be working at the new headquarters.
I believe Virginia was a really big winner in this announcement; even half the deal is certain to work to our region’s advantage!
This story has been updated
Amazon’s decision to bring its second headquarters to Crystal City is sure to send an immediate and impactful jolt across Arlington, but what’s less clear is how the coming of the technology giant will impact Northern Virginia as a whole.
Although Reston is couched far from Arlington, the community could see a windfall from the new headquarters, which will be split between Arlington and Long Island City, especially with the community’s onboarding to the Silver Line and a planned expansion in development and redevelopment over the next two decades.
Business leaders in the area portend the coming of Amazon will help expedite the transformation of communities like Reston from a federal government town to a technology corridor. That transition is already taking place with the coming of new headquarters like Leidos, a scientific research company, to Reston’s new developments.
Mark Ingrao, CEO and president of the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, said secondary and tertiary businesses lured by Amazon’s foothold in Arlington may be enticed to set up shop in new and emerging developments in Reston around the Silver Line.
“It is going to be a prime opportunity to relocate here in an area that’s new and right on the Silver Line,” Ingrao told Reston Now.
Additionally, limitations in the amount and affordability of housing stock in Arlington could push some employees and residents to find housing in Reston’s transit station areas, which are in the process of major transformation and redevelopment. The move could also diversify Reston’s workforce, Ingrao said.
But the move is not without challenges, ushering in associated concerns about infrastructure and transportation impacts that have long plagued discussions about future development in Reston.
Ingrao is optimistic that the coming of tech giants like Amazon will help expedite county and state discussions about needed transportation infrastructure improvements and encourage officials to tackle them in a “more direct way.”
“At the end of the day, it should force local government and others to really concentrate on the infrastructure needs and get them addressed sooner rather than later,” Ingrao said.
Here’s more from what county officials and business leaders are saying about the decision.
“Having HQ2 in Northern Virginia will bring important jobs, business diversity and more innovative technology to the area,” said Gerald Gordon, president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority. “We look forward to continuing to work with Amazon Web Services to expand its presence here and are excited to collaborate with other innovative companies that will be putting down roots in Fairfax County soon.”
“We congratulate Arlington and Alexandria on being selected in the process for Amazon HQ2,’ said Buddy Rizer, director of Loudoun Economic Development. “We consider this a win for the entire region. Many of Loudoun’s highly educated professionals will join the Amazon workforce, and many of Loudoun’s wine country and other retail and recreation venues will become favorite destinations for Amazon employees throughout the Northern Virginia/DC Metro region. We will continue to market Loudoun County as a world-class location for global businesses like Amazon, and we look forward to making some exciting announcements about new Loudoun companies soon.”
Photo courtesy Crystal City BID
Fire displaces 30 Reston residents on Saturday — A fire on the 1600 block of Becontree Lane on Saturday displaced 30 people. Local firefighters rescued two people who were in the building and residents rescued two others who were in the vicinity. All injuries were not life-threatening. We’ll have an update for you on the incident later today. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]
No room to park at Wiehle-Reston East — Parking at the Wiehle-Reston East garage, which was once plentiful, has now become scarce. Citations by the county for illegal parking are also on the rise. [The Washington Post]
Crystal City and Amazon HQ2 — Amazon.com Inc. is moving forward with discussions about bringing HQ2 to Crystal City. Talking points include how to move employees into Arlington County neighborhoods and the bid also includes sites in the adjacent Potomac Yard neighborhood in Alexandria. [The Washington Post, Washington Business Journal]
Fall festival extended to tomorrow — The Reston Farm Market has extended its fall festival to Tuesday. The festival includes a train ride, moon bounces and other activities. [Reston Farm Market]
Photo by Marjorie Copson
Scam and fraud awareness event today — At an event at Reston Association headquarters, today from 4-7 p.m., a local detective and community partners will discuss warning signs of fraud and provide information about common scams that frequently target the older adult community. [AARP Virginia]
Not betting the farm — “Key players in the joint bid for Amazon’s second headquarters say their community’s time has come, even if the Seattle-based company picks another location.” [Washington Business Journal]
A free (but not necessarily full) ride — Loudoun County Transit is offering free bus service from the park-and-ride in Purcellville to the Wiehle-Reston Metro Station beginning Oct. 1. [The Loudoun Tribune]
Photo by Charlotte Geary