Virginia to Lift All Capacity Restrictions on June 15 — If COVID-19 cases continue to decline, Gov. Ralph Northam will lift all remaining capacity limits on businesses on June 15, as suggested last week. He has not decided whether to extend the state of emergency set to expire on June 30, a move that would be necessary to keep mask requirements in place. [WTOP]
Anti-War Activist Disrupts General Dynamics Meeting — The co-founder of the anti-war group CodePink disrupted General Dynamics’ annual shareholder meeting in Reston earlier this week, accusing the company of contributing to war, particularly in Yemen, by selling weapons to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and other countries. General Dynamics’ CEO called the comments “potentially libelous and incorrect.” [Common Dreams]
Town Center Parkway Study Comments Due Today — Friday (May 7) is the deadline for the public to provide feedback on the Virginia Department of Transportation’s study of the feasibility of extending Town Center Parkway under the Dulles Toll Road. Comments can be shared via mail, email, or online survey. [VDOT NOVA/Twitter]
Herndon Company to Launch Satellites — Black Sky announced yesterday (Thursday) that it will deploy two more satellites on May 15 as part of an ongoing mission to launch nine “high-resolution multi-spectral” satellites by the end of 2021. The move will allow the company to expand its satellite network as it prepares to go public. [Business Wire]
Cicadas Spotted in Reston — “Based on some pretty sophisticated data analytics (on the four reported sightings), we can conclude that like Realtors, Brood X apparently prefers fashionable North Reston by a (checks supercomputer) three-to-one margin.” [Restonian]
Worldgate Fitness Facility Affiliate Owner Declares Bankruptcy — Sport and Health Virginia Properties filed for bankruptcy in Alexandria on April 22, about two months after the company had its lease for the Worldgate Sport & Health fitness facility in Herndon terminated. The Worldgate facility is now under new management and has been renamed the Worldgate Athletic Club & Spa. [Washington Business Journal]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
Defense Department Awards Reston-based Company $22.2 Billion — General Dynamics was awarded the contract to construct nine Virginia-class submarines. The contract is the largest shipbuilding award given to a company by the Pentagon. [Washington Business Journal]
Gifts for the HeART Exhibit Begins Saturday — The annual exhibit returns to Reston Community Center Lake Anne from Saturday (Dec. 2) through Jan. 6. Artists will display and sell original works of art in a variety of mediums at the Jo Ann Rose Gallery. [Reston Community Center]
Israeli Aerospace Company Celebrates Grand Opening — Israel Aerospace Industries held a grand opening this week to celebrate its new headquarters in Herndon. The new company will create more than 50 new jobs in the area. [Fairfax County Economic Development Authority]
Photo by Marjorie Copson
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved General Dynamics’ plan to build a new headquarters in Reston.
The defense contractor, which currently leases space in Fairview Park, looked at many spots around the country but found that the Reston site — 22 wooded acres on Sunset Hills Road — “fit that [description] to a T,” said land use attorney Mark Looney, representing General Dynamics.
“They were looking for a facility they could own and occupy,” Looney said at the supervisors public hearing. “They wanted room for 175-200 employees that was private and natural. They don’t want to be seen and don’t want to see other people. The CEO said they were looking for a ‘jewel box in the woods.’ “
General Dynamics plans to keep 84 percent of the space as natural and wooded, adding extra privacy for the site at 11011 Sunset Hills, between Wiehle Avenue and Hunter Mill Road.
The site has long been designated commercial, and General Dynamics’ plan is actually much smaller than the previous zoning approvals for three buildings and nearly 400,000 square feet, Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins said.
“This has been a good-news development,” said Hudgins. “The Sunset Hills Road planned development of the site was planned for much higher intensity. This really is an improvement over what zoning would have allowed.”
General Dynamics plans include three levels of below-ground parking and some surface parking for 347 cars, as well as a pocket park.
The company plans a 10-foot security fence and an access road through the property so traffic will not back up on Sunset Hills as employees and visitors go through a security check gate.
General Dynamics plans to move into the new facility in late 2018, said Looney.
Graphic: Rendering of plans for General Dynamics’ Reston headquarters/Credit: Fairfax County
General Dynamics’ plans to build a five-story office building on a wooded lot on Sunset Hills Road will go before the Fairfax County Planning Commission on Tuesday.
The plan has generally been well received by community members, as well as the Fairfax County Planning staff, which recommends the plan with a few conditions.
The 21.69-acre site between Wiehle Avenue and Hunter Mill Road is a heavily treed, previously undeveloped lot. But it has been approved for years for a developer to build three, five-story buildings or about 358,000 square feet. Also approved: three levels of below grade structured parking designed for 297 spaces and the option for surface parking spaces on the south side of the building.
What General Dynamics has proposed is one, five story building at about 190,000 square feet, with an option for a 30,000-square-foot addition in the future.
GD also plans a reduction in parking from 572 spaces to 347 spaces.
GD, which currently leases office space in Fairview Park, previously said it was drawn to the site because it could build to its specifications, including a security fence and an “arrival pavilion” that would provide security checks on the property’s access road.
The company also plans to preserve most of the trees. GD has asked to build a 10-foot security fence along the perimeter, which has previously been approved for a 4-foot fence.
What concerned community members at a previous meeting was potential traffic backups on Sunset Hills Road as the proposed building is not in walking distance of the Wiehle-Reston East Metro.
The county staff report recommends widening Sunset Hills Road to four lanes. Nearly two acres has been dedicated for such road widening as part of the previous approvals. The report says Sunset Hills’ eastbound improvements include the addition of a 150-foot left turn lane with a 100-foot taper into Dressage Drive and a 250-foot right turn lane with a 100-foot taper into the site. Read More
Defense contractor General Dynamics, which plans to construct a new headquarters in Reston, has a Fairfax County Planning Commission public hearing scheduled for Sept. 14.
The company announced in January it hopes to build a 190,000-square-foot building on a parcel off Sunset Hills Road between Wiehle Avenue and Hunter Mill Road and bordered on one edge by the W&OD Trail.
The plan itself was generally well received at a community meeting in January. What GD plans to build is actually well below what was long-ago approved for the parcel. GD plans one five-story building for about 200 employees.
The site was approved by Fairfax County in 1999 for nearly 358,000 square feet of space spread over three buildings, as well as nearly 1,200 parking spaces.
The current footprint is much smaller, but does allow for a 30,000-square-foot-addition to the building in the future. GD plans 300 mostly underground parking spaces to go with the first phase of the plan.
Because of the secure nature of GD’s operations, the company plans an interior road, no public access, a guard gate and security fencing. It also plans to keep most of the forested area for a natural privacy shield and sound barrier. Read More
Defense contractor General Dynamics envisions one five-story building nestled into a wooded area off Sunset Hills Road in Reston for its new headquarters. It’s a complex with a small footprint, an unobtrusive security fence and on-site amenities for about 200 employees.
However, it is not the plans themselves that worry nearby residents and workers — it’s the added stress to Sunset Hills Road, which is two lanes in most spots and is already often a traffic jam during rush hour.
“I think it is a spectacular site plan,” said one citizen at a community meeting with General Dynamics representatives at South Lakes High School on Wednesday. “But Sunset Hills Road 45 years ago is exactly the same way it is today. Every other road has been brought into the 21st Century. This is the perfect time to bring [Sunset Hills] into the 21st Century.”
General Dynamics announced last week it intends to build a 190,000-square-foot headquarters on a 22-acre lot currently owned by Boston Properties. The project would have 300 parking spaces, most of them in a below-ground garage.
The site is at 11011 Sunset Hills, between Wiehle Avenue and Hunter Mill Road and bordered on one edge by the W&OD Trail. Read More