Reston, VA

The latest tenant to open near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station is celebrating its opening at an event next week.

M&T Bank, which is located at 1886 Metro Center Drive, plans to hold a grand opening on Wednesday, Jan. 22.

The company says the new location will “include more business bankers to meet the needs of local small-business customers and feature a new design intended to improve the customer experience by removing barriers between customers and bank employees.”

Customers of the M&T’s former branch at Wiehle Avenue are encouraged to visit the larger branch at Reston Station, the company says.

Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce President Charles Kapur will attend to share a few remarks. 

Image via Google Maps

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A new tenant at Reston Station, Comstock’s mixed-use development at the Wiehe-Reston East Metro Station, has delayed its opening plans.

CVS Pharmacy plans to open sometime in March at the project, according to a company representative.

The healthcare giant initially hoped to open by mid-December. A “coming soon” sign remains plastered on a fence near the construction site.

The roughly 8,451-square-foot store will be located at the entrance of Metro’s north pedestrian bridge at the station.

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Reston Hospital Trauma Center Receives Recognition — “Reston Hospital has received verification as a Level II Trauma Center by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) for a period of three years through the year 2022. This achievement recognizes the trauma center’s dedication to providing optimal care for injured patients.” [The Connection]

Comstock Acquires Hartford Building in Arlington — The Reston-based company and the developer of Reston Station has acquired The Hartford Building, a nine-story office building located at 3101 Wilson Boulevard. [Global Newswire]

Penzance Acquires 169-unit Development in Herndon –“Penzance, an owner, operator and developer in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region for more than two decades, has closed on the purchase of The Mark, a 169-unit, luxury mixed-use apartment community located steps from the future Innovation Center Metro Station in Herndon.” [Citybizlist]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Safety Tips for Candles — Fairfax County Fire and Rescue has advice on how to prevent fires this holiday season. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]

New Tenants at Reston Station — “During 2019, Comstock Holding Companies, Inc., has announced the signing of more than 500,000 Sq. Ft. of new office leases in the Reston Station development, which covers nearly 40 acres surrounding the Wiehle-Reston East Station on Metro’s Silver Line… Most recently, Solar Winds signed a lease covering 16,349 Sq. Ft. at 1900 Reston Metro Plaza.” [GlobeNewswire]

Where to Dine Out on Christmas — Here are some restaurants that will be open on Dec. 25 around the Reston area. [Reston Patch]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Comstock Partners will not break ground on the public-private redevelopment of downtown Herndon until early 2020 –sometime after the previously anticipated groundbreaking this year.

The project, which includes a $3.6 million contribution from the town, would create a cultural arts district in the town and a multi-family development with around 273 apartments, 17,000 square feet of retail, an arts center, an arts plaza, and a 787-space parking garage.

At a recent Herndon Town Council meeting, staff indicated that the developer and the town were working through legal agreements on the approved project.

A spokesperson for the town declined to comment on why the groundbreaking was pushed back. A spokesperson for Comstock Partners did not provide comments on the record.

The town’s website states the following as of Monday night:

The following actions are anticipated prior to closing on sale of the 4.675 acres of town-owned land to Comstock, at a date yet to be determined: 1) further agreement to protect town financial interests, as outlined in the Comprehensive Agreement and requiring Town Council approval; 2) application by Comstock to the town’s building official for building permits; and 3) completion by Comstock of its internal processes, in preparation for construction on the project

The 4.7-acre site on which the development would take place is north of Elden Street, east of Center Street, west of Station Street and south of the Washington & Old Dominion Trail.

Photo via handout/Town of Herndon

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Earlier this week, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors recognized more than a dozen employers for excelling in implementing green commuter programs.

The award, which is managed by the Fairfax County Department of Transportation and Best Workplaces for Commuters, recognizes companies for offering transportation benefits and incentives, including teleworking, ride-matching services, and bike parking.

The board recognized 17 companies for receiving the award, including the following six employers based in Herndon and Reston:

“Employers offering commuting alternatives receive value through enhanced recruitment and retention of staff, decreased parking expenses as well the ability to limit employee absenteeism. It’s a win-win for the employers, the employees and Fairfax County,” said Marcus Moore, lead employer outreach specialist with the Fairfax County Department of Transportation.

The designation is offering through Best Workplaces for Commuters, a membership program managed by the University of South Florida’s Center for Urban Transportation Research.

Photo via Fairfax County Government

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The county is planning to sell a roughly one-acre parcel of land north of Reston Station Boulevard.

Under the proposal, which will be considered by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors tomorrow (Tuesday) will consider selling off the land so it can be integrated in the rezoning of Reston Station Promenade, a mixed-use project by Comstock that was approved in April last year.

The sale of the land would “enable a more efficient redevelopment” of that project, according to the county.

If approved, the developer would pay roughly $3 million for the parcel and offer a density transfer of roughly 147,690 square feet to the plaza area near the county-owned Wiehle-Reston East garage.

County officials estimate that transfer would bring in a rental stream of roughly $8.6 million from Comstock, which currently pays an annual base rent of $2.9 million for its leases with the board at Reston Station.

Rents will increase as Comstock builds more pieces of its mixed-use project under a 99-year lease between the developer and the county.

An appraisal states the sale area has a value of roughly $10.8 million.

County staff recommend approval the sale, which would result in more density near the Metro Station, simplify the ownership structure  of Reston Station Promenade.

Approval of the sale will require amending the lease with Comstock.

One major change in the lease includes a requirement for Comstock to permit electoral campaign and voter registration activities on the plaza near the entry to the north entrance of the Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail Station.

Earlier this year, free speech advocates and candidates seeking office raised concerns about Comstock’s restrictions on campaigning and electioneering at the plaza, which is considered a public space. County Concerned about civil rights violations, Board Chairwoman Sharon Bulova threatened legal action if Comstock did not take steps to allow campaign activities on the plaza.

The board is expected to make a decision on the sale tomorrow. More information about the proposal is available online.

Photo via handout/Fairfax County Government

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Global consulting firm ICF International Inc. has inked a full-building lease at Comstock’s Reston Station, according to a company release.

The firm will occupy 1902 Reston Metro Plaza, an eight-story, 250,000-square-foot office building at the mixed-use development atop the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station. The company plans to relocate its headquarters of three decades in Fairfax by the end of 2022.

The glass and steel building, which sits on top of parking and restaurant space, is expected to be complete by 2021.

“We are confident that Reston Station has everything we need to provide one of the best employee experiences in the Washington D.C. metro area,” said John Wasson, Chief Executive Officer of ICF. “Having our global headquarters in the heart of a rapidly expanding technology corridor directly supports our strategic growth plans and provides so many more conveniences to our employees.”

ICF is the latest tenant to join the development. Search engine giant Google has moved into Reston Station’s first office building and other companies like Neustar, Rolls-Royce North America, British Telecom and Spaces by Regus are also in the pipeline.

“We look forward to welcoming ICF and its entire team to the Reston Station neighborhood,” said Christopher Clemente, CEO of Comstock Companies. “Comstock is committed to creating a world-class development that provides world-class companies a remarkable neighborhood and an attractive platform for our tenants to recruit and retain talent needed to grow their business.”

ICF is a global consultancy and digital services provider that has more than 7,000 employees.

Photo via Comstock

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Rolls-Royce North America has officially confirmed its plans to relocate its corporate headquarters from Reston Town Center to Comstock’s Reston Station development.

The move, which was first reported by Reston Now earlier this month, is expected to take place in early 2020.

The industrial technology company will move into the 16-story glass tower designed by architect Helmut Jahn, the first of three office towers at the Reston Station project near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station.

“Rolls-Royce has made its impact on the world throughout history and they continue to be a global force in business and manufacturing,” said Tim Steffan, Comstock’s executive vice president.  “Comstock understands the importance that the Rolls-Royce brand means to Reston Station and together our respective executive teams worked to make their new home here a reality.”

The company’s headquarters first opened in Reston Town Center in 2008. Other companies like Appian Corp. and Certipath have also recently announced plans to move their headquarters from the town center.

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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Rolls-Royce North America is considering a lease agreement to relocate its regional headquarters from Reston Town Center to Reston Station.

A company representative told Reston Now the company plans to move from RTC to Comstock’s new development in the first quarter of 2020. The company is not releasing any other information because the lease agreement is still being finalized, the representative said.

The company’s regional headquarters opened in Reston Town Center in 2008.

County permits indicate Rolls-Royce will be located at 1900 Reston Metro Plaza. An application for an interior alteration permit was processed in early October.

A spokesperson for Comstock declined to comment on the deal.

Photo by Jay Westcott

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A new tenant is planning to open its doors soon in Reston Station, Comstock Development’s Reston Station development, which is located at the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station.

CVS Pharmacy plans to open in Reston Station by December 10, a company representative told Reston Now. 

The healthcare giant will lease 8,451 square feet of plaza-level retail space in Reston Station’s third tower, which is slated for completion in January 2020.

The storefront is located at the entrance of Metro’s north pedestrian bridge to the station.

Photo by Jay Westcott

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Neustar, a global information services company, is moving its headquarters from Sterling to Comstock’s Reston Station Development.

The company will anchor 100,000 square feet of space in Comstock’s second trophy office tower (1906 Reston Metro Plaza), which is one of three office towers at Reston Station. Google is currently moving into its office space in the mixed-use development.

Neustar will consolidate two offices from its Sterling campus, with currently house more than 400 employees. The company serves more than 8,000 clients around the world.

“The technology advances and company growth at Neustar require a world class headquarters that embraces the future,” wrote Neustar President and CEO Charlie Gottdiener, in a statement. “This is a big investment that addresses both our current and future requirements. By relocating into one building, we will provide our headquarters-based employees a more collaborative and connected work environment with the added benefit of an on-site metro station. The new office will also enhance Neustar’s ability to attract and retain emerging tech talent, address current workspace needs and foster future growth in a sustainably-minded environment.” 

The company plans to move into its new offices next year, according to Tim Steffan, executive vice president of leasing for Comstock.

Photo via Comstock

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Three major development proposals head to the Reston Planning and Zoning Committee for a vote on Monday (August 19.

The committee, which meets at the North County Government Center at 7:30 p.m., will vote on plans for Isaac Newton Square, Halley Rise and Reston Station Promenade.

Peter Lawrence Cos and MRP Realty are partnering to redevelop Isaac Newtown Square, an aging office park at Sunset Hills Road and Wiehle Avenue, into a mostly residential neighborhood with around 2,100 units. The plan also includes an athletic field.

One Reston Co. LLC and Two Reston Co. LLC’s Halley Rise project — which is the site of the future Wegmans — is also on the docket. The developer is seeking the committee’s approval for changes to two blocks of development, which is located north of Sunrise Valley Drive and south of the Dulles Toll Road.

Finally, the board will consider changes to Comstock’s Reston Station Promenade project, which is north of the BLVD and Comstock’s development atop the Wiehe-Reston East Metro Station. Changes are largely limited to one building.

The complete agenda is available online.

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Within the last five years, more than 500 residential units have been proposed at the door of the future Herndon Metro Station, which is on track to open by the end of 2020 In all three place-making projects that were recently approved by town officials, there are no affordable or workforce housing units.

Comstock’s downtown Herndon redevelopment project — which has 273 apartments — and Penzance’s mixed-use development less than one-tenth of a mile from the future station — which has 455 residential units — will not have any ADU or WDU units. Stanley Martin’s Metro Square project — which has 64 two-over-two condos — also has none. Prices for those units start at $679,990.

Newly elected town council members Cesar del Aguila and Pradip Dhakal are currently mulling ways to create more new affordable and workforce housing. They plan to discuss policy instruments with the county’s Board of Supervisors, the town’s legal staff, and other town and county officials to decide next steps. 

“If we do not interfere now and talk to builders, it will be very difficult to manage later. This is the time for the change,” Dhakal said. “We need to work with the county and work independently as a town to see what we can do.”

It’s unclear if the town has enough workforce housing to meet the demands of people who work within or near the town’s borders. The number of residential units in Herndon is expected to increase by 30 percent over the next 25 years, according to county data. Major growth is anticipated in Herndon’s transit station areas.

Unlike Fairfax County, the Town of Herndon does not the statutory authority to mandate the inclusion of workforce or affordable housing units. But now, as the Silver Line trains approach, some local elected officials are pushing for the town to explore ways to include workforce units in new developments at a critical juncture in the town’s history.

Policy options could include seeking state-enabling legislation to create an ADU and WDU program for the town — likely modeled after the county’s program.

Others are looking to dip more into the county’s penny fund — which includes tax dollars from town of Herndon residents and has historically been used to preserve and promote affordable.

But some caution that a WDU and ADU program managed by the town could be too cost-inhibitive.

Melissa Jonas, chairwoman of the Town of Herndon’s Planning Commission, said seeking such a change would likely require a town charter amendment, state-enabling legislation, the creation of a housing office, and other administrative requirements that could result in a “net zero” win for the town.

“It’s not easy and it’s not cheap,” Jonas said.

Jonas, who has worked with the county on numerous affordable housing initiatives, notes that affordable housing is a region-wide challenge that cannot be addressed in isolation of other issues and initiatives.

In the past, the town has leveraged its relationship with the county — which has the administrative and financial resources to maintain and preserve older affordable housings units — to ensure inclusion and housing affordability are a priority in the town. Town officials have also made an effort to educate the town’s planning commissioners about housing affordability issues as new applications cross their desk.

The town’s comparative advantage lies in finding other ways to ensure projects are affordable — including working with places of worship to pursue creative new projects on unused land, increased transparency about development approval timelines, and decreased the cost of doing business in the town.

The county currently provides most of the funding for the town’s housing rehabilitation specialist, who finds ways to preserve and rehabilitate current affordable and workforce housing units. The county also provides administrative support for housing vouchers and other federal programs.

Projects like the units set aside for lower-income households at Herndon Harbor House II are a good start to ensure housing affordable is a central part of community planning. That retirement community was partly financed by the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program.

Dhakal says that’s not enough and Del Aguila says that a town-led ADU or WDU program is “the right thing to do.”

“This initiative will provide several benefits: positively impact the future of many people [and] families by providing an option for home ownership in Northern Virginia,  improve the quality of life for people in our town… and create opportunities for financial security for more residents,”  he said.

Not everyone on the council is convinced of the need to enable the town to regulate affordable housing, including town councilmember Signe Friedrichs.

Friedrichs says there is a lack of consensus on whether or not there is enough affordable housing in the town and that the county is better positioned to manage housing affordability programs. Instead of managing its own program, the town should work with the county to maintain and improve affordable housing options.

“I moved to Herndon partly because it was affordable, and I hope it can stay that way while also improving its housing stock. But I also hope we can maintain, improve and possibly expand our workforce and affordable housing without also increasing our budget, the cost of which would cause people to move out of town,” Friedrichs said.

Photo via Town of Herndon Planning Commission
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The Town of Herndon plans to close on selling nearly 4.7 acres of its land to Comstock in order to begin the redevelopment of downtown Herndon later this year.

Comstock, the developer of Reston Station, was selected by the town three years ago to redevelop the property into a mixed-use project.

The $85 million redevelopment project includes 273 apartments, 17,000 square feet of retail, a new arts center, public space and a new parking garage for public and private use.

Construction on the project is expected to begin in late 2019.

The town and Comstock have several hurdles to clear before groundbreaking. An application for building permits is pending and an additional agreement to “protect town financial interests” must be determined, according to the town’s website.

The project was approved by the Heritage Preservation Review Board in mid-May.

The town will provide $3.6 million for the project, which is described as a public-private partnership.

Photo via handout/Town of Herndon

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