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Monday Morning Notes

Back to the drawing board with RTC North — “Fairfax County is re-evaluating plans for a 47-acre parcel north of Reston Town Center after rejecting a concept from MRP Realty and Norton Scott that was deemed too expensive. Joan Beachum, the county’s project coordinator for the public-private partnerships branch, said the county only received one submission after it issued a RFP last year for the project, known as Reston Town Center North. But the joint concept plan from MRP and Norton Scott was not financially feasible, she said, declining to elaborate or provide a price tag.” [The Washington Business Journal]

Medicaid expansion — Beginning next year, roughly 28,000 uninsured people in Fairfax County could be eligible for medical coverage. [Fairfax County Government]

For all the foodies — Summer Restaurant Week begins today and several local restaurants are offering fixed-price meals to celebrate. [Metropolitan Washington Restaurant Week]

A core site — CoreSite Realty received final approval to expand the size of its data center development in Reston. [Datacenter Dynamics]

Photo by Mike Boera

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County Board Approves Nearly 10 Million Square Feet of Development in Reston

In a streak of votes on development proposals in Reston Tuesday evening, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved three projects totaling nearly 10 million square feet of development and up to 3,731 residential units at full development capacity.

The first approval by CoreSite brings nearly 943,000 square feet of space for data centers to Sunrise Technology Policy, a 21-acre office parking with four existing buildings.

David Gill, the applicant’s legal representative, said the project represents a significant investment in Fairfax County and would help serve current and future enterprises in Reston. Gill said CoreSite intentionally chose Reston instead of Loudoun County to serve as the premier data center provider for this reason.

Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins said the data center would also significantly reduce trip generation. “In some sense, that’s a good news piece,” she said.

Approvals for two other mixed-use projects, Reston Gateway and Reston Crescent, would open the door to a new phase of development in and around Reston Town Center. The board unanimously approved Brookfield Partners’ Reston Crescent proposal, which brings up to 1,721 residential units, 1.5 million square feet of office space, 380,00 square feet of retail and a 200-room hotel. The project is located on Sunrise Valley Drive between Edmund Halley Dive and Reston Parkway and will be the future home of a two-story Wegmans.

On the north side of the Reston Town Center Metro Station, Boston Properties’ Reston Gateway project, which brings 4.8 million square feet of development across 28 acres. The plan includes 2.2 million square feet of office, up to 2,010 residential units, a hotel, 93,900 square feet of retail and restaurant space.

The plan for Reston Gateway piqued concerns by Rob Whitfield, a Reston resident of 20 years, who said an immediate and detailed transportation plan was necessary for Reston Town Center, which he said is already congested during peak traffic hours.

Hudgins said that while projects on the drawing table are largely unfunded, each developer is offering transportation funding that will help fund future improvements that she said are necessary. Hudgins also noted that the arrival of the Silver Line over the next two years would reduce the number of drivers on the road.

“This is a large transition as we see it,” she said. 

Whitfield was the only individual to testify during the public hearings on all three projects Tuesday evening.

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Fairfax County Board to Consider Three Major Development Proposals

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will vote on three major mixed-use and office projects in Reston tomorrow (July 31).

The development proposals include data centers at Sunrise Technology Park, additions to RTC West, and Boston Properties’ Reston Gateway project.

CoreSite hopes to bring data centers to a 21-acre office park on the south side of Sunrise Valley Drive. The plan was unanimously approved by the Fairfax County Planning Commission in late June.

The second proposal is by Brookfield Property Partners for its major Reston Crescent Development. The project will also be the future home of Wegmans and an athletic field may be conveyed to the county as part of the proposal. 

Last but not least is Boston Properties’ Reston Gateway project, which aims to bring 2.2 million square feet of office space, a 570-room hotel and nearly 2,010 residential units to the door of Metro and to the border of Reston Town Center. The project is also the future home of Fannie Mae.

All projects were approved by the planning commission. A public hearing will be held prior to votes on any proposals.

Handouts via Fairfax County Government

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Data Centers to Replace Office Buildings on Sunrise Valley Drive

Data centers with a fenced perimeter are inching closer to approval at Sunrise Technology Park, a 21-acre office park with four existing buildings slated for redevelopment. The Fairfax County Planning Commission approved the project by CoreSite Realty Corp. on June 28.

The proposal is part of a move by CoreSite to expand its footprint in Reston. The company selected the location on the south side of Sunrise Valley Drive in order to ensure the operation was near enterprises in Reston. The property was purchased for $60 million from Brookfield Office Properties in 2016.

“They had a choice of where they wanted to be,” said David Gill of McGuireWoods and the developer’s representative, adding that CoreSite was willing to “roll up their sleeves and a pay a premium to adaptively reuse [the] office park.”

The development is divided into four phases, one of which is currently in progress. When the first phase is complete, two existing buildings on the southern half of the property will be reconstructed and expanded with about 291,000 square feet of development. Two buildings will be demolished on the southeastern edge of the property to make way for a three-story building with 240,000 square feet in the second phase.

During phase three, one building and associated parking in the center of the property will give way to a three-story data center and another building. The fourth and final phase on the northern edge of the project will involve the demolition of existing buildings to make way for a three-story data center with 172,000 square feet. The number of stories on the buildings may vary, but will not exceed three stories.

Gill noted that the development will reduce traffic by 60 percent both during peak traffic hours and an overall reduction in trips. The data centers are expected to house a maximum of 45 employees. The development will also remove 700 parking spaces on the largely vacant site, Gill said.

However, planning officials said they were concerned buildings in phase two do not sufficiently meet environmental efficiency standards, namely LEED certification.

Gill noted CoreSite is using technologies like a cistern that uses rainwater to cool servers. CoreSite plans to address the county’s concerns about LEED certification and energy efficiency before the Fairfax County Board of Supervisor’s vote on the project, Gill said.

During the commission’s public hearing, Brian Carpenter, a resident from a nearby residential zone, said he wanted to ensure security cameras on the property would not compromise the privacy of nearby homes. The issue will be discussed with the developer.

Handout via Fairfax County Government

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CoreSite Will Spend $60 Million for Reston Data Center Space

12369 Sunrise Technology ParkData center provider CoreSite has entered into a deal to purchase four office buildings on Sunrise Valley Drive near the Fairfax County Parkway.

CoreSite announced last week it will spend $60 million to acquire the 22-acre Sunrise Technology Park in the 12300 block of Sunrise Valley Drive, the Washington Business Journal reported.

Sunrise Technology Park, currently owned by Brookfield Office Properties, is a complex of four low-rise office buildings, totaling 315,000 square feet.

CoreSite says it could build more than 660,000 square feet of new data center capacity across the parcel. It currently has about 400,000 square feet of space in Reston.

CoreSite said in a release it expects to spend $90 million more on the first phase of the new development. Initial work will include the conversion of one 48,000-square-foot building into a data center, and the construction of two, 92,000-square-foot buildings — one data center shell, and one structure to house “centralized infrastructure.”

After the deal closes in December, CoreSite expects to start construction during summer 2017. It estimates it may spend as much as $500 million building out the site over many years and multiple phases.

“This planned expansion to our Reston campus is designed to meaningfully scale our colocation offering in the important Northern Virginia market, leveraging off of the installed network-and-cloud capabilities already deployed at the campus,” CoreSite president and CEO Tom Ray said in a statement.

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