After 31 years of business, Clyde’s of Reston is closing its doors.

In an announcement yesterday, Clyde’s Restaurant Group said the Reston Town Center will close on May 21, bringing an end to a business that has been a part of Reston’s urban core for decades.

CRG’s president John McDonnell said the company has enjoyed being a part of the community.

“From its earliest days, Clyde’s of Reston has been a part of the extraordinary Reston neighborhood as a comfortable and timeless gathering place,” says John McDonnell, CRG President. “Clyde’s has had a tremendous 31-year run in the Town Center and we are so grateful for the steadfast support of the community.”

Clyde’s lovers may not need to grieve for long, however. The company is considering opening another location in the Greater Reston area.

“We are very excited about the growth and development activity in the area and are eager to share some big news soon,” Jeff Owens, CRG’s chief financial and corporate development officer, said.

The company plans to retain its 73-member staff roster in other locations.

Boston Properties did not indicate what will replace the business once it shutters.

Reston Town Center continues to offer a variety of restaurants to suit different tastes and budgets and we look forward to announcing some exciting new additions in the coming months,” the company’s marketing director wrote in a statement to Reston Now.

Photo courtesy of Molly Quigley

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Boston Properties has executed 11 office leases in the fourth quarter of the year, filling more than 140,00 square feet in previously vacant space.

The company has signed a lease with Peraton, a technology company, for 90,000-square-feet of space in Reston Town Center, a company representative told Reston Now.

So far, the first phase of the company’s Reston Next project has been delivered. The project is 85 percent leased, with Fannie Mae as the anchor tenant.

Gainwell, a Pennsylvania-based technology company, has also leased 11,000 square feet of space at the next phase of Reston Town Center, according to Boston Properties..

Other leases include:

“It is transformative to the Reston skyline and it’s a five-minute walk to the heart of the town center retail,” Doug Linde, Boston Properties director and president, said.

The company appears to have generated extra income earlier than expected from leasing, particularly in Reston and San Fransisco.

Boston Properties has also collected payments from several tenants that it had written off in 2020.

Jake Stroman, a senior vice president of Boston Properties, said Reston is the “poster child” for attracting tenants who are currently housed in suburban campuses.

“We saw our portfolio there materially outperforms both in terms of occupancy deal flow and especially rental rates,” Stroman said. “And we’re attracting tenants who may be in an unamenitized suburban campus coming back to the urban core in Reston Town Center.”

Staff photo by David Taube

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Morning Notes

Boston Properties Makes Progress in Reston — The Boston-based real estate firm has signed 11 office leases at Reston Town Center, which signals that the company is picking up business this year. [Washington Business Journal]

Permit Process Begins Early — The county is encouraging residents to beat the rush for outdoor permits from the county. Permitting for summer projects like decks and screened porches tend to be busy, county officials warn. [Fairfax County Government]

Widow of Bob Simon Acquitted from Misdemeanor Charge — Cheryl Terio-Simon, the widow of Reston’s founder Bob Simon, was acquitted of a misdemeanor charge of assault and battery. The incident happened in October outside of Reston Community Center. [Reston Patch]

Possible Winter Weather On the Way — Some snow may be possible this week. Snow could develop on Friday and into Saturday this week. [Ready Fairfax]

Photo by Marjorie Copson

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Planning for new arts center at Reston Next begins

The county is officially courting feedback on the feasibility of a proposed arts center at Boston Properties’ Reston Next development.

Proffers negotiated by the county and the developer call for a 60,000-square-foot arts center and performing arts venue at the development.

Public meetings are planned from February through April to review the feasibility of the project. Architecture firm Grimm + Parker plans to review feedback and determine an estimate cost for the center.

“Community members, arts organizations and educators should plan to attend a session aligned with their perspective and give input regarding community needs and expectations for the facility space elements and functions,” Reston Community Center wrote in a Jan. 24 announcement about the public engagement period.

A breakdown of the meeting schedule is below:

Monday, February 14, 2022, 6:30 p.m. Kickoff Meeting. RCC Hunters Woods.

Monday, February 28, 2022, 6:30 p.m. Focus Group: Performing Arts. RCC Hunters Woods.

Monday, March 14, 2022, 6:30 p.m. Focus Group: Visual Arts. RCC Hunters Woods.

Monday, March 28, 2022, 6:30 p.m. Focus Group: Arts Education, Schools, Equity/Opportunity Neighborhoods. Zoom platform.

Monday, April 4, 2022, 6:30 p.m. General Wrap-up. Zoom platform.

Participants should RSVP by emailing [email protected]

Reston Next, formerly known as Reston Gateway, is located next to the Reston Town Center Metro Station. The development will be anchored by Volkswagen Group of America and Fannie Mae.

The arts center was part of a proffer agreement approved by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in 2018. Block J, which is near the intersection of Sunset Hills Road and Town Center Parkway, is expected to house the facility.

A feasibility study must be completed by the summer of 2022.

Image via handout/Fairfax County Government

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Banana Republic is planning to close its location at Reston Town Center by the end of the month.

A store representative tells Reston Now that the retailer, which sells women’s and men’s business casual clothing, is expected to close by Jan. 24.

No word yet on what will replace the store at 11905 Democracy Drive.

Banana Republic has other locations in Dulles Town Center, Tysons Corner Center, and Montgomery, Md.

County permits do not indicate what will take up the space, once it is vacated.

The parent company, Gap Inc., plans to close 350 Gap and Banana Republic stores by the end of next year. The closures are part of the company’s plans to move out of malls and other areas where foot traffic is low.

The company did not return several requests for comment.

Boston Properties has indicated that seven new businesses are expected to open this year.

Compass Real Estate, for example, is in the permitting process to open at 11943 Democracy Drive.

Crunch Fitness closed on Dec. 20.

Image via Google Maps

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Reston Next’s office buildings have begun welcoming office workers. Volkswagen Group of America and Fannie Mae are anchoring the offices. (Staff photo by David Taube)

Boston Properties’ CEO Doug Linde says that Reston’s urban market is dramatically outperforming other areas.

In a quarterly earnings call, Line said that the community’s urban market core is under 10 percent vacant, bringing in starting rents in the high 50s and 60s gross.

The company’s Reston Next Project — which is welcoming anchor tenant Fannie Mae this month — has secured rents starting in the low 60s. The company takes up roughly 700,00 square feet of space. Volkswagen will also move into that project.

Reston Town Center also secured several leases this year. While the company did not disclose the name’s of the latest tenants, Boston Properties signed a 20,000-square-foot lease with a new theater operator.

Last week, the company also completed a 20,000-square-foot fitness operator.

He also said three other leases for restaurants are “close to execution.”

Last month, the company confirmed that Open Road Distillery, Hammer & Nails, and Compass Real Estate signed leases and are slated to open next year.

So far, the company has declined to comment further on the leases.

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(Updated. at 9:50 a.m.) The St. James has signed a lease at One Freedom Plaza for a 25,000-square-foot facility at 11951 Freedom Drive.

The company, the region’s largest athletic facility, plans to open a performance club in the spring that would offer athletic training, group fitness programming, and a special menu by Chef Spike Mendelsohn’s Vim & Victor concept. The news was first reported by Washington Business Journal.

“We are thrilled to bring The St. James experience to Reston Town Center,” said Craig Dixon, co-founder and CEO of The St. James. “Given the success of our Springfield flagship, we know our new Reston Performance Club will enhance our ability to serve the Washington metropolitan region in a new and exciting way.”

Here’s more from WBJ:

“In just over two years, The St. James has developed a community of high-performing athletes and active families that is unlike anything else in the country,” Kendrick Ashton, co-founder of The St. James, said in a statement. “Our new Performance Clubs are an extension of our vision to redefine the modern lifestyle by bringing physical performance, wellness and interactive family fun to the entire Washington region. We are excited to provide more people an opportunity to see what sets us apart.”

The company didn’t say whether additional satellite locations were in the works. Real estate developer Jair Lynch said earlier this year it had been in talks with the company for a similar location as a part of its plans for the redevelopment of Hill East’s Reservation 13. 

A tiered membership program is also planned. At the Reston facility, memberships will be start at $125, with a discounted rate of $75 through December.

The St. James has a central facility in Springfield, which features an Olympic-sized swimming pool, sports leagues and camps. That location is at 6805 Industrial Road. The facility offers programs for swimming, football, lacrosse, climbing, basketball, volleyball, hockey, ice skating, dance, gymnastic, and other sports.

The news comes as Boston Properties delivers the next phase of Reston Town Center, which is known as Reston Next. That project is 85 percent leased.

Photos via St. James

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Morning Notes

People stroll along path at Walker Nature Center (Photo by Marjorie Copson)

Reston Lease Gets Best Transaction Award — Boston Properties received the best transaction lease award for executing a lease with Volkswagen Group of America, which is headquartered in Reston. The award was given by the Commercial Real Estate Development Association. [NAIOP Northern Virginia]

Santa Comes to Town — Reston Association has set up a Santa-for-hire event. Residents can book Santa for a 30 or 60 minutes this holiday season. Bookings can be made through Dec. 31. [RA]

Fairfax County Police Department Collects Toys — The department is collecting toys for Santa’s Ride, which delivers toys to children in area hospitals and local charities. New and unwrapped toys, books, or games can be dropped off at any district station now through 9 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 13. [FCPD]

Photo by Marjorie Copson

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Morning Notes

Ben & Jerry’s in Reston Town Center is looking for workers after temporarily reducing hours. (Photo by David Taube)

Reston-based Company Makes Acquisition — CACI International, a Reston-based company, has acquired a California-based company for $275 million. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year for SA Photonics Inc. [Virginia Business]

Reston Next Moves Forward — Boston Properties has officially delivered the first 285,000 square feet of its Reston Next development, which is anchored by Fannie Mae. The project is 85 percent leased overall. [Washington Business Journal]

Town of Herndon Budget Earns Honors — Government Finance Officers Association recognized the Town of Herndon with its budget presentation award. The honor recognizes budgets that work well as a policy document, financial plan, operations guide and communications device. [Town of Herndon]

This Sunday: Change Your Clock — When you move your clock back one hour early on Sunday morning, don’t forget to also check your smoke alarms to make sure they’re working. The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department issues a reminder to residents. [FCRD]

Photo by David Taube

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Morning Notes

An eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly on purple flowers (via vantagehill/Flickr)

Reston Mother Among Those Affected by Return of Evictions — “Gladys Suarez has lived in her Reston apartment for 20 years with her daughter and 4-year-old grandson. When she fell behind on rent after COVID-19 affected her housecleaning job, a federal eviction moratorium gave her some peace of mind. Now that the moratorium has ended, Virginia eviction courts are busy processing the pandemic backlog of cases, and Suarez has found herself packing all her family’s belongings into boxes, with her scheduled eviction just days away.” [WUSA9]

Nonprofit Seeks Recall of Fairfax County Top Prosecutor — A nonprofit called Virginians for Safe Communities is planning recall campaigns against three liberal prosecutors, including Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano, who defended his reform efforts. The group’s leaders include a former FBI assistant director, a policy director for the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund, and the Department of Justice’s deputy director of public affairs under the Trump administration. [The Washington Post]

Boston Properties Reports Rent Drops in Reston — Boston Properties “reported the 508-unit Signature at Reston saw average monthly rent drop to $2,143, a 7.6% decline compared to the second quarter of 2020, while the 359-unit Avant at Reston Town Center saw an 8.1% decline to $2,180 a month. On Boston Properties’ earnings call last week, President Douglas Linde said the company’s rents are below pre-pandemic levels but it too is cutting concessions, believing people are moving back to cities.” [Washington Business Journal]

via vantagehill/Flickr

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Rendering of office building proposed for Reston Gateway Block D (via Fairfax County)

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved the alteration of Boston Properties’ plans for Reston Gateway to swap previously designated retail and parking space for offices after holding a public hearing on Tuesday (July 13).

The decision came two months after the county planning commission approved the proposal to amend the mixed-use development’s site plans and proffer conditions in May.

Mary Ann Tsai with the county’s department of planning and development noted on Tuesday that “no change is proposed to the approved overall gross floor area, or FAR, of the development.”

Submitted to the county in October, the application suggests replacing retail space and garage parking with offices and a screened level of above-grade parking. It will transfer up to 78,000 square feet of office space to Block D from parcels earmarked for Fannie Mae and and Volkswagen’s North American headquarters.

“The big move with this application is to take four stories of above grade structured parking and essentially turn them into office space,” Cooley partner Mark Looney, a legal representative for Boston Properties, told the board.

The Reston Gateway development design blocks (via Fairfax County)

“That office space is coming from other blocks within the existing development where there was office space allocated to them, but they were being developed with less than what the maximum potential was,” Looney said.

Boston Properties, the developer of the multi-phase development, also proposed providing additional design elements on the street level as a part of this application. These elements could include façade articulation, decorative materials, and additional lighting.

Looney added that, while the developer thinks it has made “great strides,” further discussion and work will still need to be had to address these potential changes with Public Art Reston, Town Center Design Review Board, and Fairfax County planners.

Looney said this application is designed to shift square footage “into what used to be an above-grade structured parking facility to improve to overall design of the building itself.”

Located adjacent to the impending Reston Town Center Metro Station, Reston Gateway will expand the town center by 4.4 million square feet of development when finished, adding 2.2 million square feet of offices, 93,000 square feet of retail, 2,010 residential units, and a 570-room hotel.

The first phase, which encompasses the Fannie Mae and Volkswagen buildings, is currently under construction and expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2021.

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A Reston Now employee was kicked out of Reston Town Center on Tuesday afternoon for taking photos.

Jay Westcott, a staff photographer for Reston Now and its sister sites Tysons Reporter, ALXnow and ARLnow, was asked by a security guard to leave RTC after he attempted to take several photos outdoors. Westcott has earlier been asked by an editor to update Reston Now’s file photos, which we use to illustrate stories about everything from new office tenants to events and other happenings.

Westcott had just paid for parking and begun taking photos of a landscaping crew when he was approached by a security guard.

Boston Properties, the Massachusetts-based company that owns RTC, says that any media, photographer or videographer must seek a permit — processed through RTC’s marketing — each time they want to take photos in the center.

The permit application notes that all photos must be approved by RTC prior to publication and “are available for licensing by Reston Town Center management for use in Reston Town Center publications.”

‘This is not a new policy. Some brands have policies in place regarding professional photography so we normally escort media on site,” said Ashley Arias, director of TAA Public Relations, Boston Properties’ PR agency.

The application also stipulates that storefronts, loading docks, and building entrances cannot be photographed without written permission.

Reston Now owner and publisher Scott Brodbeck said that although RTC is privately owned, it is a de facto public space.

“Jay is a consummate professional who was simply updating our stock photos of the area. Credentialed members of the media should not be required to obtain permits in order to do their jobs in such a setting,” Brodbeck said. “That’s doubly true given that any member of the general public is able to take such photos with their smartphones without being hassled by security.”

Some local photographers say that although the permit process is cumbersome, RTC’s marketing team is forthcoming and welcoming.

“I just keep a copy of the PDF on my phone, and any time a security guard requests a permit, I show them my phone, they take a quick glance at it, and let me carry on,” Reston-based photographer Charlotte Geary told Reston Now.

Boston Properties’ photography policy highlights some elected officials’ concerns about the privatization of publicly used spaces.

Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn said that the photography restriction in open areas of RTC underscores the fact that open areas in RTC are not public open spaces and rather “private property accessible and usable by the public with conditions established by the private property owner.”

He says his task force, which is reviewing Reston’s Comprehensive Plan, is taking a look at the pros and cons of privately owned and maintained open spaces versus publicly owned and maintained spaces. The topic was discussed at a December meeting.

It’s not the first time the privatization of open space has been an issue in Reston.

In the spring of 2019, Comstock Companies, the developer of Reston Station, clashed with the county over the permissibility of campaigning on its property.

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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Boston Properties wants to replace garage parking with office space in the final block of Reston Gateway, a massive mixed-use development that’s currently under construction steps from the Reston Town Center Metro Station.

Although the first phase of the project was approved by the county in 2018, the company wants to tweak some aspects of Block D by adding roughly 80,000 square feet of office use on the first four floors of the building. Ground floor retail on the first floor and three levels of above-ground parking are currently approved for the block, which flanks Town Center Parkway.

The project extends Reston Town Center towards the south and includes 2.2 million square feet of office space, a 570-room hotel, 93,000 square feet of retail, and 2,010 residential units. The first phase of the project, which includes four development blocks, is well underway.

In an application to the county, Boston Properties noted that the requested change simply shifts previously approved density for office space to the block, ultimately resulting in ‘higher tax-paying square footage.’

‘This request only strengthens the development program by increasing the habitable space at the corner of Town Center Parkway and Founders Boulevard and enhancing the building architecture there by replacing an above-grade parking with Class A office,’ wrote Molly Novotny, a senior land use planner with Cooley, a Reston-based land use firm.

So far, Fannie Mae is set to occupy Blocks A and B next year and the hotel and retail elements in Block C will be completed by 2023.

The proposed change to the project was reviewed by the Reston Planning and Zoning Committee on Monday.

The Fairfax County Planning Commission is set to hold a public hearing on the project on May 12.

Images via handout/Fairfax County Government

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Wheelock Street Capital plans to build up to 90 townhouses next to Fannie Mae’s current offices at 11600 American Dream Way.

The move comes after Wheelock’s plans to redevelop the nearby Hidden Creek Club were opposed by neighboring community groups and Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn.

The company, which bought the sprawling 29-acre property in 2018, plans to build the townhouses in four blocks on open space.

Although the county’s zoning allows the Connecticut-based company to build two more office buildings on the site, Wheelock chose the residential route to complement existing office space on the site.

“The introduction of an option for residential use will help to complement and balance the existing office use on the property, and will create positive traffic impacts relative to the full office build-out option,” according to the application.

Its plans for the golf course, which it purchased in 2017, are more uncertain. Wheelock has proposed general plans for a community park and between 500 and 2,000 residential units. No formal proposal has been filed with the county yet.

But Alcorn publicly stated he would block any efforts to redevelop the golf course, which requires rezoning and is a flashpoint in several community groups’ efforts to maintain Reston as a community with two golf courses.

The Fannie Mae proposal is in its early phases. The project heads to the Fairfax County Planning Commission on Sept. 22 and a staff report isn’t expected until Sept. 7.

Meanwhile, Fannie Mae is expected to move into Boston Properties’ next phase of development in Reston Town Center next year.

Image via handout/Fairfax County Government

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Microsoft Corp. plans to expand with about 45,000 square feet in Reston Town Center, according to a recent earnings call by landlord Boston Properties.

The expansion is an addition to the 400,000-square-foot tech hub that is planned for the development.

Here’s more from the Washington Business Journal on the expansion:

The new space adds to what Redwood, Washington-based Microsoft is already leasing at Two Discovery Square, which stands at 12012 Sunset Hills Road. It’s also separately establishing a tech hub at Two Freedom Square, at 11955 Freedom Drive, bringing its total footprint across those two buildings to above 600,000 square feet, according to earnings data and company officials familiar with the situation.

In late May, Microsoft announced that it would invest $64 million to establish a new tub hub that would bring 2,500 new jobs to the area.

Photo by Franck V./Unsplash

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