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by Karen Goff October 2, 2015 at 4:30 pm 8 Comments

Vacant store at Lake Anne Plaza

Lake Anne Plaza is about to have a remodeled coffee house and its first nanobrewery. What should go in this small Washington Plaza space?

Cindy Williams, owner of Lake Anne’s PetMAC, says she recently purchased the 700-square-foot space, formerly home to New Family Naturals.

She has been putting the word out the community to help find the right fit.

Says Williams:

The space is about 700 square feet and is located right next to the soon-to-open Lake Anne Brew House, a nano brewery. They are going to be brewing their beer on site and thus, will not have space to offer any food. I would love to find a tenant for my space who can provide “walkable” food that would go along with beer.

Lake Anne has three other restaurants and a coffee house, but no good take-out type food [such as] sausages/brats, panini, hand pies, etc. Something savory and heavy enough to be a dinner with beer. There is no hood or exhaust, so cooking is limited to methods that do not require that — panini press, convection oven, induction burners, etc.

Not only would this location have a built-in customer base from the Brew House, but there are 1,600 people living within a five-minute walk of the lake, and the Saturday Farmers Market is the largest in Fairfax County, bringing between 2,000-3,500 people each Sat. Delivery would also be a great option when the weather turns cold.

Williams also says “some sort of upscale, but locally owned retail shop would be a great asset to the merchant community at the Plaza.” Meanwhile, the space is hosting crafters in a pop-up market starting Saturday.

Check out the full listing and rental price on this Craigslist post.

Given the suggestions, what do you think should open here?

by Karen Goff July 10, 2015 at 1:00 pm 1,180 31 Comments

Reston Now occasionally highlights some of the area’s vacant spaces for your thoughts on what should open instead.

Often, the vacancy is filled practically by the time we get your thoughts. Sometimes, though, the vacancy lingers.

We’ve pulled together some of Reston’s longest spots sitting empty for an all-star edition. We left out Tall Oaks Village Center. While the 70,000 square foot retail center is only about 16 percent occupied, its new owners are planning to redevelop the center into mainly residential.

We also did not include anything where a new lease has been signed and work is being done to open soon, such as at the former Lakeside Inn, where Red’s Table is working towards an August opening.

Among the spaces:

Lady of America Fitness Center, Hunters Woods (Oct. 2103)

At Play Cafe, Hunters Woods (Feb. 2012)

Champps, Plaza America (Oct. 2013)

Burger King, North Point (Feb. 2014)

Have any thoughts on what should go in these empty spaces? Tell us in the comments below.

by Karen Goff April 6, 2015 at 11:00 am 14 Comments

11924 Market St., Reston Town Center

What’s missing from Market Street at Reston Town Center?

The Gap and Gap Kids closed at 11924 Market St. in late January, giving up prime real estate on town center’s main street.

There are renovations planned for the space, but current Fairfax County construction permits show it is for an “unknown tenant.”

What do you think would be a good fit for the space? Tell us in the comments.

by Karen Goff December 5, 2014 at 9:00 am 13 Comments

Dairy Queen Hunters WoodsIt has been nearly three months since Dairy Queen at Hunters Woods Village Center shut its doors.

The store abruptly closed in September after more than 15 years at the location. The Dairy Queen owners said that Edens, the company that owns the village center, did not renew its lease.

But the corner location is one of several vacancies for Hunters Woods, which underwent a huge facelift project two years ago.

The store’s departure leaves several vacancies in the same stretch at Hunters Woods. Two doors down, Solar Planet Tanning Studio closed in August after failing to reach a lease agreement.   The space formerly housing At Play Cafe has been vacant since 2011. The space formerly housing Lady of America Fitness is also vacant, as space in the stand-alone section that houses Unleashed by Petco and Dunkin Donuts.

A local restaurant, Chintos Burritos, had signed a lease for the space by Unleashed earlier this year, but had to back our when financing fell through.

A check of Fairfax County permits, which are necessary before any remodeling or changes can be done for an new retail space, shows nothing in the works right now for any of Hunters Woods’ vacancies.

What would you like to see go in Dairy Queen’s space? Tell us in the comments.

by Karen Goff November 18, 2014 at 11:00 am 12 Comments

Former Wells Fargo at Reston International Center

The Wells Fargo Branch at the International Center off of Sunrise Valley Drive closed its doors on Aug. 1, directing customers to the new branch at North Point Village Center. There is also a Wells Fargo Branch at Hunters Woods.

The building has been empty ever since. The space shares the parking lot with an eclectic mix — a 7-Eleven, Reston Kabob, Popeyes, the Reston International Center office building, and a little farther down, Chili’s.

The International Center area is expected to undergo major changes eventually. In 2013, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved the plans for a large mixed-use development there.

The plans will enhance the Reston Heights area built in the last several years. That area includes the Westin Reston Heights, the Mercer Condominium and office buildings.

The next phase will include 145,000 square feet of above-grade retail, 100,00 square feet of below-grade retail,  428,225 square feet of office and more than 400 residential units.

The new phase will potentially have a new grocery and neighborhood retail space and will be a pedestrian friendly, urban-type streetscape with mid-rise residential above, says JBG Companies, the project developers.

Some of the highlights of the design proposal from Cunningham Quill Architects and Olin, a landscape architecture firm:

  • A design that “engages with the landscape,” particularly in its site across from open space at Reston National Golf Course.
  • Connection with the Wiehle Reston-East Metro Station via a bike/foot path. Reston Heights is about one mile from the Silver Line station.
  • Several six-story buildings and a retail plaza.
  • Public art screening elements on parking garage facades.
  • A retail plaza with restaurants, outdoor seating and a water feature and a mix of public spaces and private plazas for residents.
  • Entrances off of Sunrise Valley Drive, as well as Reston Parkway.

by Karen Goff September 12, 2014 at 1:00 pm 10 Comments

Solar Planet storefront

Solar Plant Tanning Salon shut its doors at Hunters Woods Village Center in August.

The departure of the longtime tenant leaves an empty storefront at Hunters Woods Village Center.

There are already a few empty spots at Hunters Woods. The former Lady of America gym space has been vacant for a year. The space that houses Cafe at Play children’s play space has been empty for several years, as a small space next to edible arrangements has been vacant for some time.

So, what do you think should go in this spot? What is Hunters Woods missing? Tell us in the comments.

by Karen Goff August 26, 2014 at 3:00 pm 10 Comments

Former Cameron Glen Care Center

Cameron Glen Care Center officially shut its doors in Reston on July 1.

The future of the facility, a 150-bed nursing and rehabilitation unit, had been known for some time. Commonwealth Care of Roanoke, the parent company of Cameron Glen, built a $22 million new facility, Potomac Falls Rehab in Sterling. Potomac Falls says 120 patients made the move from Reston to Sterling.

The facility even took its orange sign with them when they moved, leaving a tattered Cameron Glen sign in its place.

The move leaves a hole in Reston’s amenities as there is now no nursing home in Reston. Could the building be used for another residential facility such as a school or treatment center?

There is discussion that the land may be part of the plans for Reston’s Town Center North area. The 47-acre area, of which Cameron Glen is just a part, is bounded by Baron Cameron Avenue, Fountain Drive, and Town Center Parkway and Reston Parkway. The land is owned by two parties: Fairfax County and Inova.

Some possible uses that have been discussed for Town Center North include the location of a proposed new Reston Community Center indoor pool and recreation center; a hotel; residential development and parks.

Whether Town Center North includes the Cameron Glen parcel or not, it would still have to go through a master plan process, as well as county and Reston planning requirements.

What do you think should be developed in Cameron Glen’s place? Tell us in the comments.

by Karen Goff August 12, 2014 at 3:30 pm 4 Comments

Former Melting Pot location on Commerce Park/File photoIt’s been three years since The Melting Pot closed down its location at 11400 Commerce Park Dr. and moved to Plaza America.

The space on the ground floor of an office building still sits empty.

The good news: That location is could not be closer to commuters who use the Wiehle-Reston East Metro stop. Located just steps from the South entrance of the Metro, is another restaurant chose to open there it could be the closest place to get a beer when you stepped off the train.

The bad news: The parking lot of access Commerce Park Drive is now mostly via key card, which might make it difficult for those who wanted to drive there.

What do you think you should open there? Tell us in the comments.

by Karen Goff July 14, 2014 at 4:32 pm 17 Comments

Bowman House/Photo by Reston 2020 via Flickr

Reston may be a 50-year-old “new town,” but there is one building that dates back to the days of yore.

The Bowman Distillery on Old Reston Avenue has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1999. It has been empty much longer.

The structure was built in 1890, and in addition to the place they made Virginia Gentleman whiskey, the building also served as the long-ago Wiehle Town Hall and a church.

The distillery has gone through several rezoning applications over the years. In 1989, after Bowman Distillery moved  operations to Fredericksburg, the building was rezoned as part of a larger mixed-use development. Some of that development happened on parts of the original 32-acre property, but the historic building remains untouched.

In 1998, it was sold to an owner who planned to build a Bed and Breakfast or condo. It sold again in 2010 for $540,000.

With its historic bones and close proximity to the W & OD Trail and Reston Town Center, surely someone has a vision for the property. What is yours? Tell us in the comments.

Photo: Bowman Distillery/File photo by Reston 2020

by Karen Goff May 29, 2014 at 4:28 pm 3 Comments

Empty space at 2245 Hunters Woods Plaza

The small storefront that used to house Lady of America Fitness Center at Hunters Woods Village Center has been vacant since October.

The space, at 2254 Hunters Woods Plaza, is next to the Reston Conservatory Ballet and across from the Reston Community Center. It is somewhat hidden from the rest of the center’s retail since it does not face the parking lot.

The gym had been located at Hunters Woods for 13 years. It closed when it could not reach lease terms with Edens, which owns the village center.

What do you think should go into this spot? Tell us in the comments.

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