State Funds Sought for Elden Street Sidewalk Improvements

Town of Herndon officials are seeking state funds to complete sidewalk improvements between Center Street and School Street.

The $1.8 million Elden Street project would improve a critical pedestrian area to improve accessibility and walkability, especially as Comstock kicks off the redevelopment of downtown Herndon later this year.

Planned improvements include wider sidewalks, landscaping, new curb ramps, new crosswalks and new accessible pedestrian signals at the intersection with Grace Street.

The town is seeking federal funds administered by the Virginia Department of Transportation. Projects are approved by the Commonwealth Transportation Board. The town’s Planning Commission is set to consider a resolution for the project today (Monday). A public hearing will begin at 7 p.m.

Currently, this particular area along Elden Street has limited pedestrian connections. Pedestrians must walk along a narrow sidewalk. here are little to no crosswalks.

“It is an uncomfortable and unsafe environment for any pedestrian, and is unusable for someone with a stroller or someone in a wheelchair,” according to a staff report.

Here’s more from the report:

The improvements will include reconstruction of the existing sidewalk to a continuous 5′ wide sidewalk with brick pavers, construction of a grass strip between the sidewalk and curb, and the addition of ADA-compliant curb ramps., High visibility crosswalks and accessible pedestrian signalization will be provided at all intersection approaches at Grace Street . The grass strip is expected to add a minimum 3′ wide separation between the sidewalk and the curb and travel lane. This buffer may be increased to 4′ or 5′ and include trees, dependent on final engineering and design.

The end result is expected to offer a safer, more comfortable facility for pedestrians that is separated from vehicle traffic and accessible for all users. This project is not expected to require right-of-way acquisition since the curb will be moved north into the existing eastbound travel lane. To accommodate this, the existing roadway, which consists of a travel lane in each direction, separated by a stamped concrete median and dedicated turn lane, would be reduced in overall width. The travel lanes would be 11.5′ wide and the median/turn lane would be 12′ wide. With those lane widths, there is no expectation of impacts to vehicle mobility.

The segment of Elden street is within walking distance of shops, restaurants and civic facilities. It also connects directly to downtown Herndon and is a short block from Herndon Middle School and St. Joseph’s Catholic School.

In order to receive funding from VDOT’s set-aside program, the town must request funding by passing a resolution.

Photos via Town of Herndon/handout

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New Grocery Store Comes to Downtown Herndon

The Town of Herndon has a new food store now open in Junction Square.

Marigold International Foods opened at 710 Elden Street, Suite A back in June, a company spokesperson told Reston Now.

Shoppers can find African and Caribbean groceries at Marigold.

The store is open from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. on weekdays, 9 a.m. to around 8 p.m. or 9 p.m. on Saturdays and noon-6 p.m. on Sundays.

Marigold joins Lotte Plaza Market, Bestway Supermarket, Safeway and other grocers in downtown Herndon.

Image via Google Maps

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East Elden Street Widening Likely to Begin in 2023

A major project to widen Elden Street from four to six lanes between Herndon Parkway and Fairfax County Parkway will likely break ground in early 2023.

The project is expected to cost roughly $51 million, including $6 million for preliminary engineering, $20 million for right of way acquisition and utility relocation, and nearly $25 million for construction.

A spokesperson for the Virginia Department of Transportation said that the state is currently in the process of right of way acquisition. Construction could begin sooner if additional funding becomes available.

The project area — which is around one mile — would bring bike lanes from Monroe Street to Herndon Parkway. It also includes cycle tracks from Herndon Parkway to Fairfax County Parkway — which combine the infrastructure of a separated path and on-street infrastructure with a conventional bike lane.

Culverts over Sugarland Run will be replaced, along with a new bridge to improve stream flow and reduce potential flooding. So far, the project is on track.

Map via VDOT/website

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Thursday Morning Notes

Painting Stolen from Reston Community Center — RCC became a target when a painting was stolen from an exhibition. Detectives embarked on “Operation Picasso” and were able to successfully recover the artwork. [Reston Patch]

Elden Street Robbery Under Investigation — A suspect attempted to rob a business on the 400 block of Elden Street on May 8. The suspect fled when confronted by a police officer. No money was taken and no weapon was shown. [Herndon Police Department]

Exercise on the Water with Reston Association’s Fitness Class — Try a new and fun way to exercise on water in this series of classes that begins on June 2 and runs through August 30. Participants must be proficient swimmers and be comfortable in deep water. [Reston Association]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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Monday Morning Notes

Introduction to Facebook — Learn the basics for how to use Facebook during a one-hour session from 10:30-11:30 a.m. at the Reston Community Center. [AARP]

Nose to toes yoga — Young kids can try out yoga poses while enjoying books and songs with a children’s yoga instructor from 10:30-11:15 a.m. at the Reston Regional Library. The event is co-sponsored by the Friends of the Reston Regional Library. [Reston Regional Library]

Crash closed Elden Street — A crash on the 1000 block of Elden Street closed the road for about two hours on St. Patrick’s Day while police conducted an investigation. The road is now open. [Herndon Police/Twitter]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Fast Food Hibachi Restaurant ‘Opening Soon’ in Dulles Park

Quickway Japanese Hibachi is coming to Dulles Park in Herndon.

Quickway Japanese Hibachi combines the teppanyaki cooking technique — a type of grilling style — with a quick service restaurant setting, according to its website. The menu features different varieties of hibachi, bento boxes and sushi rolls.

The regional fast food chain leased a 1,200 square-foot space in the shopping center, according to a commercial real estate agency. An exact address has not been announced yet.

In addition to the Herndon spot, the hibachi chain also is “opening soon” in Silver Spring, Md. and Spotsylvania, Va.

Image via Google Maps 

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Elden Corner Center Nears Completion as Spaces Continue to Fill

A new neighborhood shopping center near Elden Street is almost done with construction.

Located at 900 Alabama Drive, the Elden Corner Center backs up against the Herndon Middle School and is across the street from another shopping center, which includes a hair salon, deli and several other stores.

Sanjay Bajaj, the project’s applicant, told Reston Now that construction is slated to finish next week on the 10,000-square-foot retail center, which includes more than 50 parking spaces.

Plans from Capital Realty Advisors, LLC indicate that about tenants have leased about three-quarters of the shopping center, including:

  • a boutique
  • a bakery
  • a hair salon
  • Boost Mobile
  • Peruvian Chicken

Two spaces are still available — an end spot with 1,453 square feet and one in the middle with 1,130 square feet, according to a listing on LoopNet, an online marketplace for commercial property. Tenants are responsible for their build-out, the site says.

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Police: Expect Delays on Elden Street From Utility Work

Updated at 3:25 p.m. — Herndon police tweeted at 3:18 p.m. that all of the lanes are now open.

Earlier: Plan on giving yourself more time if you’re going to drive on Elden Street by the Town Hall today.

The Herndon Police Department tweeted at 9:41 a.m. that utility work in the downtown area has traffic alternating one lane on Elden Street between Spring and Center streets.

The utility work will continue until around 3 p.m., police say.

Drivers should expect delays.

Image via Google Maps

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Poll: Where Should Reston Now’s ‘Then and Now’ Series Look Next?

Back in December, Reston Now kicked off a “Then and Now” series to highlight how areas in Reston and Herndon have changed over the decades.

With help from Fairfax County’s Historic Imagery Viewer, which offers aerial views of the county dating back to 1937, Reston Now puts together a review of how each area has evolved.

Our look into the Lake Anne area started the series, which has since explored Reston Town Center, Reston Station and Herndon’s Elden Street — to name a few.

A tip from a Reston Now reader led us to the intersection of Hunter Mill and Hunter Station roads where a small farmhouse was recently demolished to make way for a residential development.

Last week, we highlighted the struggling Tall Oaks Village Center, which is slated for redevelopment into a mostly residential neighborhood.

Now, we want your input for our March 8 story.

Have an idea for a spot that’s not listed? Tell us in the comments section below.

Photos via Fairfax County Historic Imagery Viewer

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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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Valentine’s Day Events This Week Around Reston, Herndon

Whether you’re celebrating with friends or significant others, Reston Now has rounded up some Valentine’s Day events this week that don’t involve dinner plans.

With all of the chocolate and candy temptations, why not focus on self-care with physical activity set to love songs and break-up hits?

New Trail Cycling, which opened in December at Lake Anne Plaza, will have themed rides all about love.

The first one titled “Love vs. Break-Up Hits” is scheduled for the classes at 5:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. on Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14). On Saturday (Feb. 16), get ready for the “Battle of the Exes” at 11 a.m.

  • Feb. 12 and 13 Valentine’s Day gift with purchase — Spend $100 at a Reston Town Center retailer or restaurant on Feb. 12 or 13 and receive a bouquet of flowers by bringing your receipt(s) to the flower cart located in front of the ice rink on Market Street.
  • Feb. 14 Craf-Tea Thursday — Head to the Elden Streat Tea Shop to learn from Tess Rollins how to make two Valentine’s/Palentine’s Day paper cards while enjoying themed snacks and a pot of tea from 10-11 a.m.
  • Feb. 14 Valentine’s Day Bingo — From 10:30 a.m. to noon, come to the Tall Oaks Assisted Living to play bingo.
  • Feb. 14 Annual Valentine’s Day Horse Carriage Rides — The annual event at Reston Town Center takes place from 4-9 p.m. The proceeds will benefit Relay for Life. Rides cost $5 per person and kids under age 5 ride for free.
  • Feb. 14 Valentine’s Day Painting — For $50 per person, you can enjoy painting and wine for two at Pinot’s Palette in Herndon from 7-9:30 p.m.
  • Feb. 15 Valentine’s Gala — Food, dancing and more can be expected at Let’s Stay Together first annual Valentine’s Gala. The semi-formal gala will take place from 7-10 p.m. at the Embassy Suites on Woodland Park Road. Tickets start at $125.
  • Feb. 17 Valentine’s Makesperience — Enjoy a couple’s dinner at 5:30 p.m. and sign up for a makers class at Nova Labs. Classes include jewelry-making, woodworking, t-shirt making, laser cutting and creating tea lights.
  • Feb. 17 Galentine’s Day Party — Scrawl Books plans to host a post-Valentine’s “Galentine’s Party” to benefit Cornerstones and the Laurel Learning Program. Authors Orly Konig and Erika Marks will discuss books, writing and life while drinks and hors-d’oeuvres are served.
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Town of Herndon Seeks Funding for South Elden Street Project

The Herndon Planning Commission is still seeking funds for South Elden Street improvements that are meant to increase visibility and pedestrian safety.

The improvements would add an 8-foot, shared-use path on the western side of Elden Street running from Sterling Road to Herndon Parkway and improve the existing five-lane section to be a four-lane section with 11-foot-wide travel lanes, a raised median and protected turning lanes.

It would also add enhanced crosswalks at the intersections of Elden Street and Alabama Drive, the intersection at Dulles Park Shopping Center and the intersection of Elden Street and Sterling Road.

The Town of Herndon has until Oct. 1 to adopt a policy for the work under a previously approved $65,000 grant or repay the grant to the state after that date.

In August, the Town of Herndon also submitted a SMART Scale application to the Virginia of Department of Transportation for a statewide funding program. VDOT will let them know if they get are awarded the funding this spring. If it is, the project could get completed in 2029 with a 10-year timeframe.

While the street project is already in the town’s comprehensive plan, an amendment is needed to reflect the work as part of the proposed Major Street Network, which includes a timeframe to 2030.

The commission unanimously approved the comprehensive plan amendment at last night’s meeting.

Images via Google Maps and Planning Commission

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Accident Closes Part of Spring Street in Herndon

Spring Street is shut down between Elden and Locust streets due to an accident.

Herndon Police tweeted that the street closed shortly before 10 a.m. today (Jan. 22).

Drivers and pedestrians should follow police direction, according to the tweet.

Map via Google Maps

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Herndon Planning Commission Tackles Mixed-Use Project, Elden Street Improvements

A mixed-use development project along Herndon Parkway hit some design snags and a zoning issue as the developer tried to move the project forward at the Herndon Planning Commission meeting on Monday (Jan. 14).

Penzance Properties plans to build a mixed-use development at 555 Herndon Parkway. Located on the south side of Herndon Parkway, the site is between Van Buren Street and Spring Street and north of the future Herndon Silver Line Station.

The 90,000 square feet of office space currently occupying the site is slated to be razed.

The Planning Commission staff report notes that the development plan needs one modification to abide by a zoning ordinance. The report also provided dozens of suggestions and areas to focus on to improve the project.

The Architectural Review Board reviewed the plans at its Dec. 12 meeting and said in a memo to the Planning Commission that the architecture and urban design of the project need more definition and revision.

ARB noted that the project is especially hard to review “since it is the first development of this size and scale in Herndon and the first time the ARB is evaluating architecture as part of a development plan review process.” Its “broad and general level” review a list of critiques, including a lack of facade detailing, insufficient material variety on the residential floors and roofline, an undefined pedestrian scale and an “overall stark and sterile design.”

A transportation impact study on the project expects minimal impact on intersections, with 25 percent of the anticipated travel connected to the four office buildings and 35 percent related residential.

Out of the three development alternatives, the transportation study analyzed the alternative with the highest trip generation. That option includes up to 406,000 square feet of office space, 380 residential units and 27,767 square feet of retail and a 250 room hotel. The buildout is slated for 2022.

“Herndon has long planned for intersection improvements on Spring Street between Herndon Parkway and Fairfax County Parkway and at the intersection of Herndon Parkway and Van Buren Street,” according to the study’s examinations of the 2017 conditions. “These intersections operate at or near capacity under existing conditions.”

The Town of Herndon is studying three alternate bus bay location plans that include bus layby lanes, passenger car layby lanes and a signalized pedestrian connection crossing Herndon Parkway east of the site.

Penzance Properties has scheduled a neighborhood meeting for Jan. 23 and mailed invitations to neighboring properties, according to the staff report.

The Planning Commission also took up a proposal to create a design concept for street improvements on South Elden Street between Sterling Road and Herndon Parkway.

A revised resolution would add an 8-foot, shared-use path on the western side of Elden Street running from Sterling Road to Herndon Parkway and improve the existing five-lane section to be a four-lane section with 11-foot-wide travel lanes, a raised median and protected turning lanes. It would also add enhanced crosswalks at the intersections of Elden Street and Alabama Drive, the intersection at Dulles Park Shopping Center and the intersection of Elden Street at Sterling Road.

These changes are meant to increase visibility and pedestrian safety.

The Town of Herndon has until Oct. 1 to adopt a policy for the work under a previously approved $65,000 grant or repay the grant to the state after that date.

The Planning Commission is scheduled to hold a public hearing on Monday, Jan. 28.

Images via Herndon Planning Commission

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Long After Being Told to Move, Aslin Beer Co. Still Fighting to Open New Home

It’s been nearly two years, and Aslin Beer Company is still waiting for approval to move into its planned tasting room and bar in Herndon.

The company is waiting on the Department of Public Works to approve grading plans as a deadline looms for the Heritage Preservation Review Board to consider approval of the project at its upcoming meeting next month.

In the summer of 2017, the brewery was told it would have to leave the Town of Herndon due to the limitations of its current space (257 Sunset Park Drive). So Aslin found a new home at 771 Elden Street, which was the location of the former Napa Auto Parts, and planned to open the Aslin Tasting House later that year, Reston Now previously reported.

Originally, the new location planned to have 2,500 square feet of interior tasting room space and another 2,500 square feet of outdoor space — including a rooftop deck and bar, bocce ball court and covered deck.

Then last year on Dec. 10, Aslin resubmitted plans with a revised design that include terrace seating and a rooftop bar.

Herndon’s Heritage Preservation Review Board held a work session last Wednesday (Jan. 2) that included discussion on the redesign and amendments, which the board had previously approved.

Ira Saul, an attorney representing Aslin, “stated no additional structural changes would be made, other than the removal of the cantilevered deck area on the second floor and removing the exterior stairway for an internalized stairwell to the second floor,” according to draft minutes from the meeting.

Saul said that a second-floor fireplace with a stone veneer, second-floor rain screens and a second-floor overhead trellis near the rear of the building that appeared to have been removed from the submitted design would be included in future drawings. Additionally, the two different color schemes in the submission will get clarified in the future to have just one color scheme.

Board Member Ossolinski requested that the formal application submission include perspective color renderings of the structure — as had been provided during the original case review and subsequent approval — to help clarify the differences between the new and the revised design.

Once the Department of Public Works approves the grading plans — a prerequisite to Heritage Preservation Review Board approval — the beer company will be able to submit the final application by the Jan. 14 deadline for the board’s February meeting.

Aslin Beer Company declined to comment for the article.

“The town remains committed to working with Aslin’s owners through this process,” Anne Curtis, the chief communications officer for the Town of Herndon, told Reston Now.

Images via Google Maps and the Town of Herndon 

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