Aperture, a five-story, 421-unit building on 11410 Reston Station Boulevard is now officially open. Local officials and professionals behind the project held an official grand opening earlier this month.
The project is the product of a joint partnership by Reston-based developer Chuck Veatch and Bozzuto Group. It includes studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units, as well three courtyards, outdoor cooking stations, a library, a gum and a lounge area.
Developers aimed to create an art-infused community that mixes city and suburban living in a lower-density setting.
Rents for a one-bedroom, one-bath apartment unit with 628 square feet start from $2,010. The rate for a two-bedroom apartment with 1,034 square feet starts from $2,475.
The building includes a Reston Wall, which offers a nod to Reston’s history and developers. Zachary Oxman’s steel sculpture, “Convergence” in the entrance.
Aperture is one of the first residential projects to open next to the new Metro Station.
Photos via Bozzuto Group and Marion Myers
Local artists will showcase their pieces at a ground floor gallery of the Signature, Reston Town Center’s newest “luxury” apartment building.
Through a partnership with the Greater Reston Arts Center, Signature (11850 Freedom Drive) will feature a year-round schedule of exhibitions. This month’s gallery showcases the work of Craig Moran, a D.C.-based painter known for boldly patterned canvases.
Moran uses collages and computer manipulations to create his work, which combines elements of the natural world and portraits in a flattened space.
His artistic process begins by cutting and arranging shapes from street art, photographs, old paintings and books. He then rearranges the pieces using image editing software and transfers the final work to a painting. An opening reception is set for March 1 from 6-8 p.m.
Exhibits will remain open to the public every Tuesday through Saturday at Signature. The gallery is the product of a partnership between Boston Properties, Bozzuto and GRACE. It is sponsored by Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market.
Organizers said the gallery merges the vision of the Signature, which aims to creating communal spaces for residents.
“This partnership provides a perfect opportunity for GRACE to regularly celebrate and support local artists through exhibitions of their work as the programming in our current Town Center space becomes more dedicated to introducing national and international artists to Reston and the DMV,” said GRACE’s Executive Director and Curator Lily Siegel.
A grand opening for Signature is set for Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Artwork by Craig Moran
The design behind Aperture Apartments, one of the first residential projects to open next to the new Metro station, was intended to fill a void in Reston’s architectural vernacular, according to the architecture firm behind the 421-unit luxury rental building.
“Our goal was to create a facade that would fill a decades-old gap in the city’s architectural vernacular,” said Rohit Anand, principal of KTGY Architecture + Planning, the architecture firm behind the design.
The project on 11410 Reston Station Blvd. is developed by Bozzuto Group and Veatch Commercial Real Estate in an effort to create an art-infused community that blurs the line between city and suburban living in a lower-density setting.
Anand said his team sought to create an entry plaza that would showcase a state-making art installation that would set the tone for the community. An underground parking garage with 589 parking spaces was also intended to enhance the experience on the street, he said.
The team also sought to create a community that would specifically attract artists and entrepreneurs. A double elliptical staircase in the lobby was intended to create a residential feel and lead up to gathering areas like an e-lounge and conference room, a library nook and a shared office area.
On the second floor, three interior courtyard will take up roughly 23,000 square feet of the space with a pool, grilling stations and seating. The courtyard connects to other rooms like a club lounge and an outdoor yoga center that is part of the building’s fitness center. A second courtyard contains a television, fire pit and seating. The third deck is intended to house a community dog run, according to the firm.
Aperture was previously the home of a retail strip center and a mini-storage facility. The project is part of the ongoing $5.3 billion Dulles Corridor Metrorail project and Silver Line expansion.
Commercial real-estate news source Bisnow hosted a “Fairfax County State of the Market” event last week, at which representatives of several top area developers spoke about the boom in development in Reston and Tysons. According to Bisnow’s report, the areas are currently in a state where supply is outpacing demand.
“In Reston we’re a little sick, but Tysons is in hospice in terms of the glut of apartments,” said Greg Trimmer, JBG Smith executive vice president of development, according to the Bisnow report. Trimmer is reported to have said that apartment rents in Reston are flat — and in some cases slightly negative — due to the amount of new multifamily construction.
JBG Smith is involved in numerous residential projects around Reston, including the next phase of the RTC West project, which would include 700 dwelling units in two towers. It also has a stake in the 1831 Wiehle project, which would bring in about 1,500 new residents. In addition, Fairfax County has approved JBG Smith’s plans for about 500 more residential units and more at the Commerce Executive Park; however, the developer may be looking to unload that property.
Trimmer is reported to have said that Reston is positioned well to be a residential success, but that it is currently experiencing a “blip.”
“In the long term we’re set up well, but right now we do have a bit of a problem,” Trimmer is reported to have said.
Comstock CEO Chris Clemente is reported to have agreed, saying that the 450-apartment BLVD has not leased as quickly as expected. He says the hope is that will change once the full Reston Station development begins to take shape.
“I think a lot of that has to do with the lack of understanding of what this neighborhood here is going to be,” Clemente is reported to have said. “The new residential buildings will benefit from that lifestyle that only comes when you have a more complete environment.”
Comstock’s additional plans include 460 more residential units where the Sunset Hills Professional Center currently stands.
Mike Henehan, Bozzuto’s senior vice president, also spoke on the issue during the forum. He is reported to have given similar comments about the glut of new apartments and the supply surge in Reston.
Bozzuto is currently leasing apartments at its new 421-unit Aperture building.
“There is still some rent growth in this market,” Henehan is reported to have said. “It certainly doesn’t keep up with construction costs and some of the other costs, so I think there will be a little resistance there over time.”
File photo of Bozzuto’s Aperture apartments under construction, August 2016
New residents are beginning to move into Aperture (11410 Reston Station Blvd.), which is described as “not just an apartment building, but an artistic expression.”
Mike Henehan, senior vice president of Bozzuto Development Company, said the leasing process began last month and about 14 units in the 421-unit building are being moved into already. The finishing touches are being put on the building, with hopes for hundreds more residents moving in during the coming months.
“We didn’t want to do another high-rise — we wanted to do something that was a little cool,” said Reston developer Chuck Veatch, who has owned the property since 1978. It was previously the home of a mini-storage facility and retail strip center. “One of the things that we talked about was tying it in with a lot of art and a lot of photography.”
Veatch, who came to Reston in 1964 and was involved in its original development, is also chairman of the board and contributing editor for Nature’s Best Photography magazine. With that in mind, the building features the overarching theme of nature photography, with numerous stunning photos out of the Nature’s Best archives displayed throughout.
“We gave [the design team] all of the winners that have been in our exhibits down at the Smithsonian, and they went through and decided what they wanted to use in the building,” Veatch said. “The corridors all have Nature’s Best photography in them, and what they did was pick a theme for each floor.”
Sculptor Zachary Oxman also has works displayed inside and outside the building, including the 11-foot-tall “Convergence” that was unveiled last month. Architecture firm KTGY designed the building, and its interior design was envisioned by award-winning designer Rebecca Jones.
The building offers studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom dwelling units. There are three courtyards, with amenities including a saltwater pool, outdoor cooking stations, a pet-play area and more. Also included are a full gym, an extensive lounge area, a library and other features.
Orangetheory Fitness will soon open as Aperture’s first retail tenant. Veatch said a second retailer, which will be a restaurant, is in the works.
The goal is to cultivate a sense of camaraderie among residents, Veatch said.
“We want Aperture to be a place, a community,” he said. “There will be a lot of programming and all kinds of cool stuff here for people to do.”
Aperture residents will also be part of a larger community, as members of Reston Association.
Reston’s newest piece of public art was unveiled Thursday evening in front of one of its newest luxury-living facilities.
“Convergence,” a bronze and stainless steel work that shows a human figure emerging from the lens of a camera, was debuted in front of a cheering crowd at Aperture (11410 Reston Station Blvd.). The 11-foot-tall bronze sculpture, displayed at the intersection of Reston Station Boulevard and Metro Center Drive, was created by Reston-native artist Zachary Oxman. Oxman was also the sculptor of Lake Anne Plaza’s “Untold Stories” (aka “Bronze Bob”) and has had his work commissioned by DC officials and presented as diplomatic gifts.
“This opportunity is very unique and very special to me, because I do have such a strong connection to Reston,” Oxman said. “Public art has a unique way of not only adding visually to a community, but it also offers the opportunity to share stories about life and to inspire personal thought and reflection for those who experience the art.”
Oxman said “Convergence” tells a story about the “imperceptible and fragile point that exists between having an idea and actually pushing it forward and becoming a reality,” to which he drew parallels to Bob Simon’s vision for the community of Reston.
“Convergence” also keeps with the theme of photography that spawned Aperture’s name, said Chuck Veatch, president of the Charles A. Veatch Company.
“The pure scale and power of the work and its obvious — at least to me — depiction of the creative process and the art of photography … I was fascinated,” Veatch said of first seeing the piece at Oxman’s studio. “It needed a place of prominence.”
In addition to his commercial real-estate work, Veatch is chairman of the board and contributing editor for Nature’s Best Photography magazine.
Bozzuto’s new seven-story building a stone’s throw from the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station is slated for an official grand-opening in the spring, representatives said during Thursday’s art dedication. The apartments are now leasing.
For more photos from the event, visit Chip McCrea Photography.
Representatives of Bozzuto Group again brought a presentation about redevelopment of St. Johns Wood to Reston’s Design Review Board during a work session Tuesday.
Again, DRB members expressed the same concerns — too big.
Tuesday’s one-hour session was the latest in a long series of meetings about the proposed redevelopment of the North Reston residential community. After the project was deferred in April, the redevelopers brought new sketches to the DRB as they continue to work toward adding dwelling units to the property.
The previous proposal that had been brought for consideration featured featured 481 multifamily units within two buildings on the 14.3-acre North Point property. Two options presented by architectural firm KTGY at Tuesday’s session reconfigured the buildings and brought the number of units down to 441 or 454.
One option features a street between the two buildings, while the other has a central tree grove.
After the 20-minute presentation, members of the DRB panel shared their thoughts. The massing of the project remained a major hangup for the group, as it was in April and before. Members of the DRB asked if there is any way the developers can lower their threshold for the number of units they need on the property.
“You might have chopped off a unit here or a unit there, but these are still 450-whatever-plus units,” said Richard Newlon, DRB vice chair. “If we’re going to get anywhere with this, we have to talk turkey here and say ‘Where’s your cutoff point?’ If 450 is absolutely the smallest you can make it and still make a profit out of this project, then we’ve got a real problem.”
Some members of the panel said they would be more comfortable with the proposal if the developers would consider breaking the massing into several smaller buildings, such as what is currently on the property. Rohit Anand, of KTGY, said that may not be feasible, considering the use of parking structures in the property plan.
“People want parking in proximity to their home, and these schemes provide that,” Anand said, adding that creating smaller parking garages for each unit is also not desirable.
Brian Winterhalter, of Cooley LLP, representing Bozzuto, asked the panel if they could make a determination on what is more important to address — the height of the buildings or the overall footprint.
“It seemed like your concern was that you would prefer it to have less footprint,” Winterhalter said. “There’s only so much we can do in terms of narrowing the footprint and reducing the height at the same time.”
In response, DRB members said the concern was more about scale and overall size, not specifically about height or footprint. Winterhalter later said if some specific parameters of acceptability could be provided by DRB, the developer could begin moving in that direction.
Ken Kneuven, DRB lay member, said someone will have to break before an agreement can ever happen.
“One side or the other is going to have to give,” he said, imploring the developer to figure out how much it can do to move toward more common ground. “Otherwise we’re going to have another workshop and another workshop and continue to waste your time [and ours].”
The work session was recorded and will be made available on Reston Association’s YouTube channel this week.
After being deferred “indefinitely” in April, the proposal to redevelop St. Johns Wood is again showing signs of life.
Reston’s Design Review Board will meet with representatives of the Bozzuto Group for a work session Tuesday evening. The discussion is scheduled for 6 p.m., prior to the start of the DRB’s regular meeting, at RA headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive).
According to Mike Leone, Reston Association communications director:
“The work sessions are an opportunity for the Design Review Board members and the applicants to discuss and suggest revisions to a set of proposed plan. Unlike the full DRB board meetings, it is an informational meeting that allows everyone to ‘roll their up their sleeves’ and work together on ideas. The Design Review Board does not render any decisions at these sessions; therefore, no minutes are taken. The applicant does provide notice to the adjacent property owners and affected parties, so the work sessions are held as an open meeting so members can observe the sharing of new ideas and plans.”
Leone said RA has requested new drawings for the plan from the applicant but hasn’t yet received them.
The most recent redevelopment proposal from Bozzuto featured 481 multifamily units within two buildings on the 14.3-acre North Point property, where there are currently 250 multifamily units in nine buildings. At a work session with DRB in April, just days before the plan was deferred, both DRB members and residents spoke out about what they see as an imposing development being planned for a residential neighborhood.
“How do you insert this relatively high-density anomaly into an existing setting, an existing neighborhood that doesn’t have anything like this at all, and [the development] obviously scares people?” DRB member Neal Rosenberry said at that meeting. “It’s literally scary to think of this thing landing in that neighborhood up there.”
Leone said the work session will be recorded and the video will be available on Reston Association’s YouTube channel later this week.
Developer Bozzuto is deferring “indefinitely” its application to redevelop St. Johns Wood, according to information sent out by Fairfax County Supervisor Cathy Hudgins’ office Thursday afternoon.
Hudgins’ office says the community meeting on the project that had been scheduled for Tuesday is being canceled, and a representative for the supervisor said it is her understanding that “all meetings” regarding the proposal are off the table.
The plan was scheduled to go before the Fairfax County Planning Commission on May 25, following additional meetings with Reston’s Planning & Zoning Committee and Design Review Board on May 15 and 16. Meetings with the P&Z Committee and DRB this week featured many comments against the project from North Point residents, and the DRB in particular was critical of many elements of the project.
Brian Winterhalter of Cooley LLP, the commercial real-estate attorney representing Bozzuto, said at Tuesday’s DRB meeting that his team would follow up about scheduling a work session with the Design Review Board. However, he expressed disappointment with how the process was progressing.
The proposal has been in the works since 2014 and has seen numerous changes in that time. The current plan calls for 481 multifamily units within two buildings on the 14.3-acre property.
Winterhalter has not responded to requests for comment.
Speaking to representatives for developer Bozzuto during an informational session Tuesday night, the vice chair of Reston’s Design Review Board expressed deep concern about the future of the community.
“It’s imperative as we get new developments that they respect the Reston quality, and not allow us to become simply another suburban development,” Richard Newlon said. “Internal overdevelopment will destroy Reston.”
Newlon, who has served on the DRB for 18 years, said roughly 10 percent of the 134 clusters in Reston are owned by developers such as Bozzuto, JBG and Lerner. He said the St. Johns Wood project is a “precedent-producing application.”
“One of my concerns is if all of those 13 or so clusters do the same thing, Reston as Reston exists today is gone,” he said. “Reston as we know it would cease to exist.”
Bozzuto’s redevelopment proposal features 481 multifamily units within two buildings on the 14.3-acre North Point property, where there are currently 250 multifamily units in nine buildings.
Members of Reclaim Reston also spoke during the session, presenting similar information to what they did at a Monday night session with the Planning & Zoning Committee. Members of the DRB agreed with much of what the affected parties shared, including about the apparent lack of context-sensitive design within the proposal.
“Contextualism is a term that suggests an architecture that responds to its surroundings by respecting what’s already there, and I think we have a problem here because I don’t think that’s happening,” Newlon said. “I think you guys [Bozzuto] are going to really have to look at the design and do what you can, both from a massing standpoint and, as we get to it, an architectural standpoint.”
DRB member Neal Roseberry said the potential of having such an imposing development go up in a residential neighborhood is frightening.
“How do you insert this relatively high-density anomaly into an existing setting, an existing neighborhood that doesn’t have anything like this at all, and [the development] obviously scares people?” he said. “It’s literally scary to think of this thing landing in that neighborhood up there.”
Brian Winterhalter of Cooley LLP, the commercial real-estate attorney representing Bozzuto, said his team would follow up about scheduling a work session with the Design Review Board. However, he expressed disappointment with how the process is progressing.
“You have approved a plan [in July], we came back with a revised plan. You had very specific comments about the revised plan, which we feel we have addressed very well based on what you gave us, and now we’re back two steps backward,” Winterhalter said. “And so I don’t know what we make of that going forward in terms of the comments we just received.”
Newlon said the plan that was approved in July was a different plan that the board felt was “going in the right direction.”
“This is a whole new project, as far as I’m concerned,” he said. “It’s doing, in my mind, all the things we were hoping wouldn’t happen.”
Fairfax County Supervisor Cathy Hudgins has a community meeting on the proposal slated for next Tuesday at Langston Hughes Middle School. The proposal is set to go before the Planning & Zoning Committee and the Design Review Board again next month, on May 15 and 16. A Fairfax County Planning Commission hearing on the project remains scheduled for May 25.
Screencap via Reston Association YouTube channel; rendering via Bozzuto/KTGY
The last time North Point residents addressed Bozzuto about the developer’s proposed St. Johns Wood redevelopment, the catchphrase was “size matters.”
At Monday night’s meeting of the Reston Planning & Zoning Committee meeting, the message was tweaked — with a nod to Johnnie Cochran.
“In order for the developer to pack in the desired density, to squeeze in nearly double the current number of units and who knows how many residents, the developer again proposes a design that simply does not fit,” said Linda Platt, one of several members of Reclaim Reston who spoke in succession in a coordinated effort to fight the latest proposal. “And if it does not fit, they must quit.”
That rhyming phrase was repeated throughout Platt’s statement and was invoked by other speakers as well as community members had the chance to speak in response to Bozzuto during the latest informational meeting on the proposal. Bozzuto was presenting to the Planning & Zoning Committee for the sixth time since the project was first proposed in 2014; tonight, the proposal goes before Reston’s Design Review Board for the sixth time as well.
Brian Winterhalter of Cooley LLP, the commercial real-estate attorney presenting the plan on behalf of Bozzuto, told the committee Monday that the proposal to put 481 mid-rise multifamily units within two buildings is suitable for a property that was originally marked in the Reston Master Plan for high-density development.
There are currently 250 multifamily units on the 14.3-acre property.
The redevelopment proposal features 33.6 units per acre, which classifies it as medium-density. Winterhalter said the proposal is for about 60 percent one-bedroom units, with a third of the units having two-bedrooms and only about 5 percent with three bedrooms.
The issue that continued to raise the most questions from members of the Planning & Zoning Committee is the possibility of increased traffic congestion in the area, particularly at the intersection of Reston Parkway and Center Harbor Road. Jake Hovermale, the committee’s first associate member, said no matter what traffic figures are provided that claim there will be little impact, he has a hard time believing there won’t be backups.
“Anywhere between the a.m. peak hours and the p.m. peak hours, there’s an increase in trips [into and out of St. Johns Wood] between 240 percent and 280 percent,” Hovermale said, citing information in the proposal’s traffic study. “I just don’t see how you can increase it by that many trips, and have the infrastructure that exists today, [and] not really piss people off.”
Winterhalter countered by saying there is already a large amount of traffic flowing through the intersection of Reston Parkway and Center Harbor Road today without any congestion. Adding a relatively small percentage of traffic from the complex, he said, would not affect that flow adversely.
But John Mooney, speaking on behalf of the Hampton Pointe Condo Association, claimed the traffic study used for the proposal was “inadequate” and “flawed.”
“[The traffic study used by Bozzuto] uses 2020 as their time horizon and seriously narrows their inquiry’s geographical scope,” he said. “It fails to consider the traffic impact on the SJW area of all future development in the three Metro station areas.”
Residents also continued to express their concerns about the overall height and mass of the project. Winterhalter showed images of medium- and high-density residential structures at Lake Anne, Tall Oaks, Hunters Woods, South Lakes and even elsewhere in North Point, and once again said St. Johns Wood is classified for such development under the Reston Comprehensive Plan, which was modified in 2014 and 2015. In addition, he said, the proposed height of the redevelopment is comparable to that of current buildings at the apartment complex.
Dabney Narvaez, though, was among the residents who spoke to say this development does not fit within the quaint surrounding neighborhood, and that all of Reston should be paying attention to what happens.
“You are setting a precedent which will affect not just the immediate neighborhood, but all of Reston,” she said. “Any residential area in Reston will be fair game for development of the kind Bozzuto is proposing here.”
The proposal is set to go before the Planning & Zoning Committee and the Design Review Board again next month, on May 15 and 16. A Fairfax County Planning Commission hearing on the project remains scheduled for May 25.
Meetings are on the agenda with Reston’s Planning & Zoning Committee on Monday night, and with the Design Review Board on Tuesday. The most recent informational meeting on the project, last month at the Planning & Zoning Committee, once again drew large community response opposing the plan.
That response from the community has been consistent since the project was first proposed in 2014. Bozzuto has made numerous alterations to the plan since, with the proposal made at March’s P&Z Committee meeting being the seventh iteration.
In addition, Fairfax County Supervisor Cathy Hudgins will host a community meeting on the proposal later this month, featuring representatives from Bozzuto. That meeting will be held Tuesday, April 25, from 7-9 p.m. in the lecture hall at Langston Hughes Middle School (11401 Ridge Heights Road).
A Fairfax County Planning Commission hearing on the project is slated for May 25.
Bozzuto Management brought the seventh version of its plan to redevelop St. Johns Wood to the Reston Planning & Zoning Committee for a public information session Monday.
Dozens of community members, many sporting yellow “Reclaim Reston” T-shirts, were in attendance to hear what Bozzuto and the P&Z had to say, and to give their thoughts on the matter — which, for the most part, haven’t changed.
The latest incarnation of the developer’s plan for the community features 481 mid-rise, multifamily units in two buildings. All townhouses that had been part of previous designs have been removed from the plan. Heights of the buildings have been reduced “significantly,” according to Brian Winterhalter, Cooley LLP commercial real-estate attorney, who presented the plan to the committee.
In addition, Winterhalter said a tree buffer along Center Harbor Road has been restored in its entirety; setbacks on all sides of the site have been increased; open space in the site plan has been increased to 55 percent; proffers have been added to account for pedestrian and vehicle safety on Center Harbor Road; and a community-gathering area and recreational facilities have been relocated and expanded.
With the changes, several members of the Planning & Zoning Committee said the developers are getting closer to where they need to be. But residents, who have been opposed to the project since it was first proposed in 2014, remained unwavering.
The development would top out at five stories at its center — and the property sits at the highest elevation in North Reston, concerned residents pointed out.
“Size matters when you propose to place a nearly 60-foot-tall building on the highest point of the highest ridge in the area, so it towers above the surrounding neighborhoods,” he said while listing potential problems with the development. “There are more reasons to send the developer again back to the drawing boards — or preferably, back to Maryland.”
Residents and committee members alike questioned a lack of 3D renderings within the plan to better show what the impact on the surrounding community would be. Susan Mooney, a resident representing Reclaim Reston, showed a homemade 3D model to the audience while her husband John gave a presentation spelling out concerns.
In addition, residents expressed displeasure with the architecture of the proposal, which they said doesn’t blend with other dwellings in the area and therefore does not meet Reston’s Comprehensive Plan. Also, residents and some committee members questioned the veracity of a traffic study cited by Bozzuto representatives that claimed there would be minimal effect on congestion in the area.
“You’re almost doubling the people, which doubles the vehicular traffic,” said committee member Jake Hovermale. “I find to hard to believe that you can add that many people but not affect the surrounding area.”
Bozzuto did not present the traffic study within its revised plan. P&Z Committee Chairman Jared Willcox asked that they do so when they return for the April 17 committee meeting.
The plan would see the current tree canopy of 216,000 square feet reduced to 144,000 square feet. Trees that would be lost would be within the property’s interior, developers said, and replantings would see the canopy restored in a decade.
Winterhalter said 49 of the units in the proposed development would be for workforce housing and nine would be designated for affordable housing, per county regulations. He also said Bozzuto would be providing relocation assistance for current St. Johns Wood residents who would lose their homes.
Bozzuto was instructed by the P&Z Committee to address the questions raised during the information session and return with more details at the April meeting. The developer is also scheduled for an April 18 meeting with the DRB. A Fairfax County Planning Commission hearing on the project is slated for May 25.
While the topic was not on the agenda of last week’s Reston Association Board of Directors meeting, Director Ray Wedell spoke for about 10 minutes in regard to a rumor that an email question-and-answer opportunity with Bozzuto was being set up by RA for members.
“To open the door in any manner for any member to directly confront Bozzuto or discuss with Bozzuto anything about this when we have on the table that we’re firmly opposed to this… would be a huge, huge, huge mistake,” Wedell said. “If I’m wrong, at least make the board vote on it to say that.”
CEO Cate Fulkerson said, contrary to the rumor, no email service for members to submit questions for Bozzuto has been created. She did say that in response to a member’s suggestion, there had been discussion about setting up a page on RA’s website for staff to answer member questions about Bozzuto’s proposal.
The most recent proposal for the redevelopment of St. Johns Wood called for two multifamily residential buildings totaling 467 units, along with 44 townhomes. Last year, the Board of Directors unanimously passed a resolution stating it is firmly against the plan. A letter communicating such was sent to the county in September. Considering that, Wedell said, RA should not entertain any further discussion of the proposal.
“If we can’t kill this abomination, we’ll never kill anything,” Wedell said. “And there’s a hell of a lot of abominations coming, as we all know.”
Fulkerson reiterated to Wedell that no work has been done by her or staff to extend the conversation through a Q&A with Bozzuto.
“We have done nothing,” Fulkerson told him. “I want to make it very clear, no email Q&A has been set up [and] nothing has changed on the Association’s website.”
While the RA Board and concerned members have both expressed their displeasure with the proposal to Bozzuto, the developer remains within its rights to propose the redevelopment. That could be approved by the county through waivers and exemptions to the Master Plan. The plan is scheduled to be reviewed again by the Fairfax County Planning Commission on May 25.
Tonight’s meeting of the Reston Planning & Zoning Committee to hear Bozzuto’s latest proposal is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at RA Headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive).
This is an open letter submitted by residents of the North Point area, addressed to the Reston Planning & Zoning Committee, Reston Design Review Board, Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning, Fairfax County Supervisors, and all affected community members. It does not reflect the opinions of Reston Now.
The undersigned residents of the North Point area of Reston seek your attention and assistance regarding anticipated changes to plans for redevelopment of the St. Johns Wood apartment complex.
The property is located at the intersection of Reston Parkway and Center Harbor Road. Please assure that Bozzuto Development Company Inc. (Bozzuto) provides all affected reviewing authorities and the public-at-large sufficient time and information to review the revised plans that the developer has indicated will be made.
The numerous submissions by Bozzuto for redevelopment of the property, seeking to convert 250 multi-family garden apartments in nine three-story buildings to 467 new apartments and 44 townhomes, have undergone many changes over several years. County Supervisor Cathy Hudgins currently advises on her website, “Bozzuto is in the process of revising their plan; therefore, the public hearing was deferred until May 25, 2017.” This postponement by County Planning follows deferral of review by the Reston Design Review Board in October 2016 and a statement of non-support for the Bozzuto application by the Reston Association in September 2016.
More recently, the Reston Planning & Zoning Committee calendared the review of a yet-to-be publically released revision of the developer’s redevelopment plans for St. Johns Wood. That meeting is scheduled for March 27.
Despite the rapidly approaching dates for Reston Planning & Zoning Committee review and the County Planning public hearing, to date Bozzuto has not provided the public with any information about changes to its application.
If the changes are not significant, it is unconscionable to withhold public scrutiny of this potentially neighborhood-altering project. If, as is suspected, the changes to the application are significant, it is even more imperative that the public be provided meaningful opportunity to examine and comment. This is particularly important given the troubling deficiencies cited by the Reston Design Review Board and the Reston Association.
The St. Johns Wood project will so greatly affect the quality of life, environment, safety and property values of the North Point area of Reston that the project must be reviewed in the most transparent manner possible. Please help!