Del. Ken Plum: Purpose of a Corporation

Del. Ken Plum/File photoThis 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.

While most of my columns are about issues that need resolution and challenges that state government must meet, a column focused on what others are doing to improve life in our communities is appropriate from time to time. If we allow ourselves to relax for a few moments to see and marvel in some good news, it does not mean that we are any less committed to improving the world or that we will lose our momentum in trying to do so. There are many more stories of progress that I hope to share in this short space in the future, but an event last month deserves our immediate attention.

The Business Roundtable made up of 181 CEO’s of America’s biggest companies issued a new “Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation” last month that makes a dramatic shift from past statements that emphasized shareholder primacy to a “fundamental commitment to all of our stakeholders.” The broadened purpose is explained to include delivering value to customers, investing in employees, dealing ethically and fairly with suppliers, and supporting communities in which they are located. (opportunity. businessroundtable.org)

Socially responsible actions taken voluntarily on the part of many companies may have spurred the new Business Roundtable statement, but the hope is that other corporations will follow with actions that are as positive for their workers and the communities they serve as they are for the bottom line. As the Roundtable statement explained, “investing in our employees…starts with compensating them fairly and providing important benefits.” Maybe there will be a future where my bill to increase the paltry $7.25 an hour minimum wage in Virginia will be supported by local Chambers of Commerce instead of outright opposition they have expressed in the past. Concern for workers at the minimum should be that they are paid a wage on which they can live.

The Roundtable statement acknowledged that “while each of our individual companies serves its own corporate purpose, we share a fundamental commitment to all of our stakeholders.” Among the stakeholders are the communities in which businesses are located to which the Roundtable members expressed that “we respect the people in our communities and protect the environment by embracing sustainable practices across our businesses.” The consumer continues to have the choice of buying products that are made in a sustainable way and to refuse to purchase those that are not.

The auto manufacturers who made an agreement with the state of California to follow strict emission standards for automobiles regardless of the irresponsible action by the federal government to lower standards are to be applauded and supported by other states in the court suit. How ironic would it be if the courts decided that companies could not gain a competitive advantage by being more environmentally responsible.

The Business Roundtable Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation concludes that “each of our stakeholders is essential. We commit to deliver value to all of them, for the future success of our companies, our communities and our country.” Those same “stakeholders” are referred to in government as “constituencies.” When the common goals of business and society as reflected through its government are recognized, success will be realized by stakeholders and constituencies!

File photo

 

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After Storm Damage, Onelife Fitness Reopens

Onelife Fitness has reopened after a large tree fell on the gym and health club last week.

Although most of the business is fully operational, the mind and body studio will require repairs over the next several weeks.

The fallen tree damaged Onelife’s HVAC unit. Punctures in the roof also led to major flooding.

Onelife is offering additional yoga classes in the main group exercise studio beginning today (Monday):

  • Monday 7:30 p.m., Sunset Yoga
  • Tuesday: Noon, Vinyasa Flow Yoga; 7:30 p.m., Slow Flow Yoga
  • Wednesday 7:30 p.m. Vinyasa Flow Yoga
  • Saturday 11:30 a.m.Power Yoga
  • Sunday: 8:00 a.m. Vinyasa Flow Yoga

“Even though most of the damage was in the Mind/Body studio, the team has worked non-stop since Tuesday night and we will be able to host classes on Monday morning,” Nancy Terry, senior vice president of marketing at US Fitness Holdings, told Reston Now.

The kids club opened last Wednesday and all amenities in the women’s locker room opened later in the week.

Onelife Fitness is located at 11445 Isaac Newton Square.

Photo via @codesurfer_/Twitter

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Massage Therapy Business Expands in Herndon

White HART Massage, a business that offers pain management and injury rehabilitation, is moving to a larger location in Herndon.

A ribbon cutting with Town of Herndon officials is set for Tuesday, June 11 from 5-6:30 p.m. at the new location (491 Carlisle Drive).

The business will host a grand opening on Saturday, June 15 from 5-8 p.m.

Casey White, the owner and a licensed massage therapist, said her business is entering its fifth year of work. She called the new location a “tranquil oasis in the middle of bustling Northern Virginia.”

The office community where we are located is a tranquil oasis in the middle of bustling Northern Virginia. It is a calming space. But more importantly, as we focus on massage for pain management and injury rehabilitation we choose a location with direct access to our first floor suite. The ability for our clients to reach us is of utmost importance. That also determined our location, which is close to the Fairfax County Parkway and the Toll Road, which allows easy access for our clients who travel from all over to see us. Our clients come from Bristow, Fredricksburg, Arlington, West Virginia, and of course Herndon/Reston. So proximity to major roads was important to us. 

White HART offers massage therapy, corporate massages and a pre-natal massage.

Photos via Casey White

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Raytheon-owned Company Leases Monument II Building in Worldgate Centre

Forcepoint Federal, a company owned by defense contractor Raytheon and private equity firm Vista Equity Partners, has signed a lease for the Monument II building on Worldgate Drive in Herndon.

The global security company will lease more than 46,000 square feet.

EDGE Commercial Real Estate, a commercial real estate firm, represented the landlord, Washington REIT, in the transaction. In a release, the company issued the following statement about the lease:

“The extremely large concentration of high-quality businesses contained within the Herndon, Dulles, Reston, Chantilly and Sterling sub-markets, each of which is accessed via a modern transportation network, makes this building the perfect choice for Forcepoint,” explained Scott Rabin of EDGE Commercial Real Estate. “This location is also convenient for the company’s many clients associated with the Federal Government, with offices throughout the greater metropolitan Washington, D.C. region. Monument II is an extremely high-profile building that matches the integrity and professionalism of Forcepoint.”

Monument II is located in Worldgate Centre, which is located at 13025 Worldgate Drive.

Map via Google Maps

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Lake Anne Hair Design Being Sold Following Death of Owner

Lake Anne Hair Design at Lake Anne Plaza (11404 Washington Plaza W) is being sold following the death of longtime owner Randy Burr in January.

The hair studio has been in business in Reston for 30 years as a no-appointment-needed barber shop.

According to an obituary, Burr went to barber school at 17 and started the design studio in the late 1970s.

“[Burr] became a neighborhood fixture waiting to strike up a conversation or watch any tennis-match on TV,” according to the obituary. “He, a true optimist, was always genuinely willing to help others in any way he could.”

In a Facebook post after Burr’s death, Lake Anne Plaza wrote a short tribute:

Randy has been on Lake Anne Plaza almost from the beginning- cutting hair, making jokes, telling stories and waving at the passersby from his comfortable chair outside his shop. He will be missed by many.

Photo via Robyn Burdett Real Estate Group

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House Leader to Tackle How Politics May Affect Virginia Business

Updated at 3:25 p.m. — Deputy Minority Leader Mark Sickles was recently added to the event.

An upcoming Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce event plans to examine how the current political climate will likely impact businesses across the state.

The event next Wednesday (March 13) features House of Delegates Speaker Kirk Cox (R-66th District), Deputy Minority Leader Mark Sickles (D-43rd District) and Stephen Farnsworth, a political science professor at the University of Mary Washington.

Attendees can expect to learn about how Gov. Ralph Northam’s policies and a narrowly divided General Assembly may affect businesses for the next two years. Cox will provide insight into which passed bills will impact the business community.

The event will be held from 7:30-10 a.m. at the Hyatt Regency Reston (1800 Presidents Street). Online registration will close on Tuesday (March 12).

Image via @SpeakerCox/Twitter

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DC-based Fitness Gym Arriving Early March in RTC West

D.C.-based fitness chain Solidcore plans to open its doors in about three weeks at RTC West.

Solidcore plans to open its Reston studio at 12100 Sunset Hills Blvd on March 9, according to an email yesterday (Feb. 14) to potential customers.

The opening is part of a larger expansion of Solidcore, with more than a dozen new locations slated to open in the next year, along with ones in Arlington and D.C.

Started in D.C. in 2013, Solidcore offers pilates classes, along with a boot camp for full-body workouts. The fitness chain has more than 40 locations across the country, including nearby ones in Tysons Corner and the Mosaic District.

The schedule for the grand opening is set to get posted on Feb. 25.

Photo via Solidcore

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Baskin-Robbins No Longer Scooping Ice Cream on Elden Street

Baskin-Robbins is no longer dishing out ice cream at its store on Elden Street in Herndon.

A spokesman for Dunkin’ Brands, which owns the ice cream chain and franchises Dunkin’ Donuts, confirmed that the shop at 1258 Elden Street in Herndon has closed. He did not answer questions about when the store shuttered its doors or why.

“We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause to our loyal guests,” according to a statement from BaskinRobbins. “We recommend guests visit our location at 13344 Franklin Farm Road in Herndon.”

Baskin-Robbins also has a location in Reston at 1446 Reston Pkwy.

Image via Google Maps

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BREAKING: Google Doubling Its N. Va. Workforce, With New Offices and Data Centers Planned

Google is significantly expanding its operations in Northern Virginia, as part of a $13 billion round of investment in new offices and data centers across the U.S.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced the plans in a blog post Wednesday afternoon.

“With new office and data center development, our workforce in Virginia will double,” Pichai wrote.

The post did not specify exact locations or other details, but Google currently has an office at Reston Town Center and was reported to be considering a major new lease near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station.

It was also previously reported that Google had purchased sites in Ashburn and Leesburg for two new data centers.

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RTC Apple Store Eyes Neighboring Space Vacated by Pottery Barn

The Apple Store in Reston Town Center has some planned changes in the works.

Apple Inc. filed a building permit for the spot recently vacated by Pottery Barn, which is next door to the Apple Store at 11949 Market Street.

Pottery Barn shut its doors at 11937 Market Street on Jan. 24, along with the Williams-Sonoma store down the street at 11897 Market Street. (Both brands are operated by Williams-Sonoma Inc.)

Replacements for the now-empty spaces haven’t been announced yet. Reston Town Center recently unveiled six newcomers slated to open later this year, but did not indicate the expected opening dates or addresses.

The permit description says that it is for a new tenant layout. It remains unclear at this time whether Apple is considering expanding or moving into the new space.

Reston Now reached out to Boston Properties and Apple for comment and has not heard back yet.

Image via Google Maps 

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Infinity Spa and Nails ‘Coming Soon’ to RTC West

Infinity Spa and Nails is heading to RTC West.

Signs in the storefront at 12120 Sunset Hills Road, Suite 105 say that the nail spa is “coming soon.”

It will neighbor Mezeh Mediterranean Grill, which opened in July at 12130 Sunset Hills Road. 

The salon plans to offer manicures, pedicures, massage, facials and skin treatments, according to its website. A one-hour massage or facial starts at $297. The four-hour package — complete with massage, wrap, facial and pedicure — costs $500.

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Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn Close Suddenly Last Night in RTC

Reston Town Center now has two large vacant spaces flanking the pavilion after two large, home goods retailers closed three days ahead of schedule.

Spokeswomen for Pottery Barn and Williams-Sonoma, which are both operated by Williams-Sonoma Inc., told Reston Now earlier this week that the stores were set to close on Sunday (Jan. 27). Yet surprised customers last night (Jan. 24) discovered that both stores planned to close for good by the end of the day.

Employees at both of the stores confirmed to Reston Now that Thursday was indeed the final day. Employees at the Williams-Sonoma said that the corporate office suddenly alerted them to the Thursday closing date after telling them that it would be Sunday.

A handful of customers were browsing the last few items left in Pottery Barn (11937 Market Street) when a store employee locked up the doors at 6 p.m.

The store had mostly barren shelves, a few barstools for sale and boxes of packaged merchandise. A sign in the storefront window that read, “Today is our last day!” advertised 70 percent off bedding, barstools, dining tables and dining chairs, along with 50 percent off everything else.

Down the street, the Williams-Sonoma (11897 Market Street) still had a selection of items ranging from kitchenware to candles. An hour before its closure at 7 p.m., about half of a dozen customers were still roaming the store, which offered 40 percent off everything. An additional 50 percent off was available for open cutlery, and furniture was 60 percent off.

The two closures are the first large retailers to leave Reston Town Center after several restaurants and small businesses left in 2018.

While replacements for the now-empty spaces haven’t been announced, Reston Town Center unveiled yesterday six newcomers slated to open later this year, including Peet’s, DC Row and True Food Kitchen.

The announcement did not indicate the expected opening dates or addresses.

Locals looking for another Williams-Sonoma store can find ones at Tysons Galleria, the Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax and in the Mosaic District. Pottery Barn has locations in Tysons Corner and the Fair Oaks Mall.

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Four Businesses Left Woodland Park Crossing in Herndon Last Year

Updated at 9:45 a.m. — Includes information from Starbucks and Virginia ABC.

Four businesses closed up shop in Woodland Park Crossing in Herndon last year, adding to its list of retail vacancies.

The mixed-use development, which includes a Harris Teeter and UFC Gym, currently has nine vacant retail spaces, according to a list from Rosenthal Properties.

Marion Myers, a spokeswoman for Rosenthal Properties, told Reston Now that some of the closures were not surprising. “It’s normal in the retail cycle when leases come up for renewal for there to be churn,” she said.

While the development saw several closures in 2018, it has upgrades in store for this year.

“We are working to improve the customer experience at Woodland Park Crossing,” according to Rosenthal Properties, adding that upgrades include LED lighting along with more parking and a new green space that will get added in the first quarter of 2019.

The Starbucks closed last year at 2309 Woodland Crossing Drive, which Myers said was a part of Starbucks’ larger plan to shutter 150 stores in fiscal year 2019.

A spokeswoman for Starbucks told Reston Now that the Woodland Park Crossing location, which closed on Nov. 30, was “special to our customers and our partners.” Now, those customers can go to the nearby store at 2465 Centreville Road, and the partners have been relocated to other nearby stores, she wrote in an email.

“As part of Starbucks standard course of business, we continually evaluate our business to ensure a healthy store portfolio,” the spokeswoman said. “After careful consideration, we determined it was best to close the store at [Woodland Crossing Drive].” She added that Starbucks expects to grow its store numbers by 3 to 4 percent in the U.S. at a rate of 550 new stores per year.

Cleaners located at 2310 Woodland Crossing Drive, Suite 1 closed at some point last summer, according to employees at businesses near the former cleaners.

Next Day Blinds at (2976 Highland Crossing Drive, Suite A) closed its doors on Nov. 21 and now services Herndon customers out of the Sterling, Va. location, according to its website.

“We are still here for you, for life. We look forward to seeing you in Sterling,” the website says.

The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority relocated its store at 12950 Highland Crossing Drive, Suite B to the Village Center at Dulles (2435 Centreville Road) on Aug. 22, Dawn Eischen, a spokeswoman for the Virginia ABC Authority, told Reston Now. “We chose the new location because of potential profitability and better parking,” she wrote in an email.

Next to the parking lot, an existing building that used to house a Capital One bank branch that closed in 2016 is currently getting torn down, Myers said. The demolition started last fall and is slated to wrap up this quarter, she said.

Between 1,135-square-foot to 6,512-sqaure-foot retail spaces are cuurently available for lease, along with 2,589-square-foot and 4,641-square-foot office/retail spaces.

“We are currently looking for the right mix of retail and restaurants and feel it’s worth being strategic, even if it takes some time,” according to the commercial real estate company. “There are new leases in the pipeline, but they cannot be discussed until finalized.”

Image and map via Rosenthal Properties

This story has been updated

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Indoor Cycling Studio Coming to Lake Anne Plaza

As winter sets in and the temperatures start to drop, if you’re looking for a place to keep up your cycling, New Trail Cycling Studio is opening next Monday (Nov. 26).

The indoor bicycling studio will be opening at 1641b Washington Plaza in Lake Anne Plaza. An official grand opening and ribbon cutting celebration is planned for Dec. 11.

In the meantime, owner Liz Camp said New Trail Cycling Studio will be running a week of free “preview” classes.

There’s two classes tonight (Monday) at 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. More classes are planned on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. A full schedule is available online.

Prices vary by the number of classes, the cheapest being $22 for two classes for new riders. Unlimited monthly memberships are $165 per month for three months or $150 per month for six months.

All riders receive free shoe rental, towel and herbal washcloth post-workout.

Photo via Facebook

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Updated: Global Tech Company Tobii Pro Opens U.S. Headquarters in Reston

(Editor’s note: This story was updated Monday at 11:15 a.m. with comments from the company.)

International tech company Tobii Pro opened its new U.S. headquarters in Reston last week.

The company celebrated with a grand opening last Tuesday (Nov. 13) at the new offices (12007 Sunrise Valley Drive Suite 400), according to a press release. The new spot has 23 people who work for the North American team, servicing customers in the U.S. and Canada.

The company provides eye tracking research products and services to more than 3,000 companies and 2,000 research institutions.

Founded in 2001, Tobii Pro is one of three business units that operate under Tobii Group. The company is headquartered in Sweden, with offices in China, Japan, South Korea, Germany and the United Kingdom.

Reston’s proximity to Dulles International Airport and its transformation into a “dense technology hub” drew the company to the site, Stephanie Ostrow, marketing director for the North American team at Tobii Pro, told Reston Now.

“Tobii Pro was looking to relocate to an area that represented the innovative nature of our company in a professional area close to an international airport,” Ostrow said.

The company had been eyeing Reston for about one year, and after reviewing more than 200 commercial properties, decided on the location because of the build-to-suit agreement, office park amenities and conference facilities, Ostrow said.

Tobii Pro has 190 people out of the nearly 1,000 employees worldwide at Tobii Group, Ostrow said.

Tobii Pro’s products include screen-based eye trackers, glasses for eye tracking, virtual reality and “gaze analysis.” Last month the company introduced the Tobii Pro Nano, which plugs into the USB port of a Windows laptop or tablet to collect gaze data. That data then gets used for psychology, cognition, marketing and behavioral economics research.

Photos courtesy of AxiCom and Tobii AB

This story has been updated

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