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With Amazon’s HQ2 Decision, A Windfall Expected for Reston, Northern Virginia

Amazon’s decision to bring its second headquarters to Crystal City is sure to send an immediate and impactful jolt across Arlington, but what’s less clear is how the coming of the technology giant will impact Northern Virginia as a whole.

Although Reston is couched far from Arlington, the community could see a windfall from the new headquarters, which will be split between Arlington and Long Island City, especially with the community’s onboarding to the Silver Line and a planned expansion in development and redevelopment over the next two decades. 

Business leaders in the area portend the coming of Amazon will help expedite the transformation of communities like Reston from a federal government town to a technology corridor. That transition is already taking place with the coming of new headquarters like Leidos, a scientific research company, to Reston’s new developments.

Mark Ingrao, CEO and president of the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, said secondary and tertiary businesses lured by Amazon’s foothold in Arlington may be enticed to set up shop in new and emerging developments in Reston around the Silver Line.

“It is going to be a prime opportunity to relocate here in an area that’s new and right on the Silver Line,” Ingrao told Reston Now.

Additionally, limitations in the amount and affordability of housing stock in Arlington could push some employees and residents to find housing in Reston’s transit station areas, which are in the process of major transformation and redevelopment. The move could also diversify Reston’s workforce, Ingrao said.

But the move is not without challenges, ushering in associated concerns about infrastructure and transportation impacts that have long plagued discussions about future development in Reston.

Ingrao is optimistic that the coming of tech giants like Amazon will help expedite county and state discussions about needed transportation infrastructure improvements and encourage officials to tackle them in a “more direct way.”

“At the end of the day, it should force local government and others to really concentrate on the infrastructure needs and get them addressed sooner rather than later,” Ingrao said.

Here’s more from what county officials and business leaders are saying about the decision.

“Having HQ2 in Northern Virginia will bring important jobs, business diversity and more innovative technology to the area,” said Gerald Gordon, president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority. “We look forward to continuing to work with Amazon Web Services to expand its presence here and are excited to collaborate with other innovative companies that will be putting down roots in Fairfax County soon.”

“We congratulate Arlington and Alexandria on being selected in the process for Amazon HQ2,’ said Buddy Rizer, director of Loudoun Economic Development. “We consider this a win for the entire region. Many of Loudoun’s highly educated professionals will join the Amazon workforce, and many of Loudoun’s wine country and other retail and recreation venues will become favorite destinations for Amazon employees throughout the Northern Virginia/DC Metro region. We will continue to market Loudoun County as a world-class location for global businesses like Amazon, and we look forward to making some exciting announcements about new Loudoun companies soon.”

Photo courtesy Crystal City BID

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Thursday Morning Notes

Thanksgiving food drive kicks off today — Reston Community Center, Cornerstones, and the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce are seeking non-perishable food and other items for the food drive. Requested donations and drop-off options are available online. Donations will be collected through Nov. 19. [Reston Community Center]

Decisions on decisions for Fairfax County Planning Commission tonight — The commission kicks off November with decisions on the Midline project on the north side of the Dulles Toll Road, east of Wiehle Avenue, as well as Woodfield’s plan to replace offices with multi-family units on the opposite side of the toll road. [Fairfax County Government]

Meet the artist event canceled tonight — A performance by Luke Frazier scheduled for this afternoon at CenterStage has been canceled due to an artist injury, according to organizers. Plans are underway to reschedule the performance in the spring. [Reston Community Center]

If you thought it was just the young folks — In Fairfax County, one in seven Medicare beneficiaries leave hospital care with an opioid prescription. Of that number, 42 percent remain on opioids three months later, according to county data. [Fairfax County Government]

Meet the author event at Scrawl Books — Young adult author Jessica Spotswood returns for a conversation about her Cahill Witch Chronicles series and short story collection. Special guest Nura Behgoman from Herndon High School’s book club will also join Spotswood. [Scrawl Books]

Nearby: Information sought on Farea sisters’ disappearance — Local police are looking for information about two sisters from Fairfax County who were found dead in New York several days ago. [Fairfax County Police Department]

(Photo of Lola, a local cat caught “wondering why our azaleas are blooming in late October,” snapped and submitted by Gretchen Bock)

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Holiday Helpers: Donations Sought for Thanksgiving Food Drive

Three local organizations are working together once again on the annual Thanksgiving Drive, which helps families in need of food. Individuals, businesses and organizations are encouraged to drop off non-perishable food and other essential items as several drop-off points throughout the area.

This year’s drive, which is organized by Reston Community Center, the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce and Cornerstones will run from Thursday (Nov. 1) through Nov. 19.

Cornerstones, a local nonprofit organization that helps neighbors in overcome tough economic times, is in need of the following items:

  • Toilet Paper
  • Baby Wipes
  • Hygiene Items
  • Condiments
  • Cooking Oil
  • Dry Beans
  • Canned Meats
  • Flour, Sugar, etc.
  • Peanut Butter & Jelly
  • Canned Fruit
  • Soups, Chili, etc.
  • Coffee, Tea, etc.
  • Macaroni & Cheese
  • Boxed Potatoes
  • Cereal
  • Oatmeal
  • Heavy Duty Clear Plastic Bins (approx. size of file boxes)
  • Shelf Stable Milk (evaporated, condensed, dry, soy, etc.)

Drop-off locations, as listed by RCC, are below:

  • RCC Hunters Woods
    2310 Colts Neck Road, Reston
  • RCC Lake Anne
    1609-A Washington Plaza, Reston
  • Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce
    1886 Metro Center Drive, Suite 230, Reston
  • Access National Bank
    1800 Robert Fulton Drive, Suite 105, Reston
  • Hunter Mill District Office
    1802 Cameron Glen Drive, Reston
  • JBG/Arboretum
    12700 Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston
  • JBG/RTC West
    12100, 12110,12120 Sunset Hills Road, Reston
  • LePort Montessori Herndon
    13251 Woodland Park Road, Herndon
  • Long & Foster Realtors
    2100 Reston Pkwy, Suite 102, Reston
  • Reston Association – HQ
    12001 Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston
  • Reston Association – CSF
    12250 Sunset Hills Road, Reston
  • Reston Association – WNC
    11450 Glade Drive, Reston
  • State Farm Insurance
    11868 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite 200, Reston
  • Tall Oaks Assisted Living
    12052 North Shore Drive, Reston
  • The Harrison at Reston Town Center
    1800 Jonathan Way, Reston
  • Washington Hilton Dulles
    13869 Park Center Road, Herndon
  • YMCA Fairfax County Reston
    12196 Sunset Hills Road, Reston

Photo via RCC

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Wanted: Volunteers For Chamber’s Annual Ethics Day

The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce is seeking adult volunteers for its annual Ethics Day on Nov. 19.

Each November, typically before Thanksgiving, GRCC and other community organizations sponsor a day-long event for South Lakes High School seniors. Students are taken to the Sheraton Reston Hotel to learn about how to reach ethical decisions and how those decisions will impact their adult lives.

Students are guided through four different, real-life scenarios in order to reach ethical decisions. Adult guides will lead a group of between eight to ten students through the different scenarios.

Roughly 20 volunteer spots are still open. Those interested can register to be a table leader online.

File photo via GRCC

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Thursday Morning Notes

If you want a promotion — If you’re interested in learning how to land a promotion, you can attend this event tonight as part of a young professionals series open to members and guests. [Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce]

Did someone say indoor inflatables — Reston Community Center is offering a drop-in program with indoor inflatables and oversized toys on Wednesdays and Fridays from 10-11:30 a.m. Parents must supervise their kids (and unfortunately, the equipment is only game for the little ones). [Reston Community Center]

County schools host digital citizenship week  — “This week is Digital Citizenship Week in our county schools and it’s important for parents/guardians to help children become safe, ethical, responsible and respectful digital citizens.” [Fairfax County Government]

Photo by Kit Allgaier

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Photos: Flavors of Fall Brings Food and Fun to Reston Town Center

Flavors of Fall, Northern Virginia’s largest outdoor food festival, returned to Reston Town Center this weekend.

Dozens of restaurants offered up their favorite fall items for samples during the event, which is hosted by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce.

The festival also included live entertainment and events for the family.

Photos by Don Renner

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What’s Going On Around Reston This Weekend?

As fall weather descends on Reston today, Flavors of Fall is set for tomorrow (Oct. 6) in Reston Town Center from noon to 11 p.m. The festival features area restaurants and their favorite fall menus, entertainment, live music, fall beers, and family activities.

Tickets are required to purchase food, beer, and wine. The event is produced by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce. The following day, GRCC will host the Reston Pumpkin 5K & Kids’ Pumpkin Dash, which begins at 8:15 a.m.

The following is a list of selected weekend events in the area:

(Editor’s Note: This is just a limited list of all the events taking place in the Reston area this weekend. If you have an event you would like to ensure is listed on the website, be sure to submit it to our Events Calendar.)

  • Young adults with special needs and their buddies get to take a tour of Frying Pan Farm Park, ride on a wagon, and learn to do social dancing at the farm today at 6 p.m. Registration is $12.
  • Kids between the ages of 6 and 11 can make thermoformed foam masks at Reston Regional Library on Saturday from 2-3 p.m. Registration is open online.
  • If you’re planning to stop by Reston Town Center for Flavors of Fall (or anything else), you can swing by Reston Hospital Center from 9-11 a.m. for a free bleeding control training class.
  • Old Town Tradition will offer a free lunchtime concert outdoors at Lake Anne Plaza on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event is sponsored by Reston Used Book Shop and Friends of Lake Anne.
  • On Sunday, the 2018 Arts Herndon Children’s Literary Festival kicks off from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at ArtSpace Herndon. Organizers anticipate “record crowds” at the festival, which features guest authors, publishers, and illustrators from the area, along with live entertainment and art projects. The first 300 kids get a free book.
  • But if history is your cup of tea, you can listen to a lecture by Dr. Harry Butowsky of George Mason University for a talk on the history of World War II on Sunday from 2-4 p.m. at Reston Regional Library.
  • Join Rebecca as she leads a free community yoga session on Sunday at Lake Anne Plaza from 9-10 a.m. The event will be followed by a yoga happy hour at Lake Anne Brew House.
  • The work of DC-based artist Caitlin Teal Price will be on display at Greater Reston Arts Center through Nov. 24. The exhibit is called “Green is the Secret Color to Make Gold.”

Photo via Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Flavors of Fall set for Oct. 6 — The fall festival at Reston Town Center will take place from noon to 11 p.m. on Saturday. Although the event is free, tickets are available online for samplings from restaurants. [Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce]

New farmers market continues — Enjoy a temporary farmers market in Reston Town Center today from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The last farmers market in RTC is set for Oct. 23. [Reston Town Center]

A declining golf course or a new park — In this opinion piece, the writer argues that a new park with new housing is a viable and product use of Hidden Creek Country Club. [Greater Greater Washington]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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Volunteers Needed for Flavors of Fall on Oct. 6

Volunteers are needed to help put on Flavors of Fall, the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce’s annual festival, which is set for Oct. 6.

Although most of the 200 volunteer positions are filled, organizers say there are some opportunities open.

Individual volunteers will receive a volunteer T-shirt and twelve Flavors of Fall tickets. The festival includes a full day of food, entertainment and fun in Reston Town Center. Corporate teams will also receive a featured slot on the festival’s website, selected event signage, and the event guide.

Interested individuals can sign up online. Volunteers serving alcohol or checking identification must attend a mandatory alcohol service training.

Anyone with questions should email Alicia Liddle at [email protected].

Photo via Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce

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Save the Date: ‘Flavors of Fall’ Returns to Reston Town Center in October

It’s not too early to begin planning for the fall. Flavors of Fall, a free annual festival that includes live entertainment, dancing and family activities, returns to Reston Town Center on October 6.

Admission and parking are free for the event. Restaurants will serve up samplings of their favorite falls menus. Tickets are $1 each or $20 for 24 tickets. Most food tastings require between one and five tickets.

Beer prices are five tickets for a 16-ounce, mainstream beer, six tickets for a 12-ounce craft beer and three tickets for a five-ounce craft beer.  Wine is six tickets for a five-ounce poor and one ticket per wine tasting.

More information on the event will be released soon. The event is produced by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce.

Photo via Facebook

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Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce Recognizes ACE Winners

The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce hosted their annual Awards for Chamber Excellence (ACE) luncheon late last week. The awards recognize companies and people who demonstrated excellence as chamber and community members.

This year’s honorees are as follows:

  • Committee of the Year: NoVA B2G Matchmaking Conference Steering Committee
  • Small Business of the Year: Tagence
  • Medium Business of the Year: AOC Key Solutions
  • Large Business of the Year: SOS International (SOSi)
  • Member of the Year: Dave and Joanne Adams, Dave and Joanne Adams Group
  • New Member of the Year: Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant
  • Volunteer of the Year: Omicron Kappa Kappa (OKK) Foundation
  • Young Professional of the Year: Colin May, KME.digital
  • President’s Award: Tom Madden, Visual Impact Productions
  • Pinnacle Award: Charles Kapur, Access National Bank

Photo by Chip McCrea Photography

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Taste of Reston Festival Brings Food and Fun to Reston Town Center

Taste of Reston, Northern Virginia’s largest outdoor festival, took place on Friday and Saturday, bringing food and visitors to Market Street.

The 28th annual event is a fundraiser for Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce‘s INCspire Education Foundation, which aims to help businesses grow by providing educational opportunities.

“This is the best-attended ‘Taste’ we’ve had in five years, thanks to our participating organizations, community turnout, and great weather,” said Mark Ingrao, CEO of the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce.

This year’s Best of Taste restaurant winners are as follows:

  • First Place: Choolah Indian BBQ
  • Second Place: Agora
  • Third Place: Guapo’s Restaurant

Organizers plan to conduct a debrief on the event to determine how to enhance the festival.

Photos by Don Renner

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Save the Date: ‘Taste of Reston’ Set for June 15 and 16

Attention, food lovers: Taste of Reston, the area’s largest outdoor food festival, is coming to Reston Town Center on June 15 and 16.

The event features samplings from the region’s eateries, live music, beer and wine gardens and a family fun zone. Admission is free, but tickets for tastings can be purchased online or on the day of the event.

Garage parking will remain free throughout the event, which runs from Friday, June 15 from 3-11 p.m. and on Saturday, June 16 from noon to 11 p.m.

The event is produced by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce and was voted as the best food festival of Northern Virginia by Virginia Living last year.

Participating restaurants include Agora Restaurant, Choolah Indian BBQ, Founding Farmers Reston, McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant and Trader Joe’s.

Live entertainment will take place in several areas: the main pavilion, which will include regional bands; Library Street stage, which offers interactive entertainment for kids; and the Explorer Street Local & Live Lounge, which will feature acoustic artists.

Volunteers can sign-up online.

Photo by Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Try Reston’s Newest Restaurant For Free — Honeygrow has been named one of the healthiest fast-casual restaurants in America by Food Network – and now, Reston is home to one. For a limited time, Honeygrow’s owners are inviting locals to try a meal for free to get them acquainted with their ultra-fresh salads and stir-frys. Register online to enjoy a free lunch or dinner next week on May 10, as space is limited. The restaurant opens to the public on May 11. (Honeygrow)

Three Chances Left to See ‘Phantom’ — South Lakes High’s musical production of “Phantom” has three shows left this week – Thursday, Friday and Saturday. All shows start at 7 p.m, and the doors open at 6:45 p.m. Tickets are $10 for students and senior citizens and $12 for adults. Purchase tickets online, or at the door as space permits. (South Lakes Theatre)

Calling All Artists, Entertainers and Food Vendors! — The 2018 Reston Multicultural Festival is scheduled to take place on Sept. 22. Reston Community Center is currently accepting applications for performers and vendors. This family-friendly festival welcomes live entertainers, artists, food vendors, community organizations who want to have informational booths, and more. Details are available online, along with a schedule of application deadlines. The festival will take place at Lake Anne Plaza in Reston. (Reston Community Center)

Networking Before Nine — The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce is reviving its bimonthly “Networking Before Nine” breakfast series, starting this week. Sponsored by Microsoft, this week’s event will take place on Thursday from 8-10 a.m. at the Microsoft Retail Store at Tysons Corner Center, 1961 Chain Bridge Road. Current and prospective members should bring plenty of business cards and be prepared to give a 30-second description of yourself and your business during introductions. A presentation on how M365 Business works will also be included. Register online. (Greater Reston Chamber)

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Local EMS Technician Recognized for ‘Amazing Tact’

A local Herndon EMS technician was named the First Responder of the Quarter by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce at a luncheon today.

Acting EMS technician David Bulman, who is currently stationed at station 404 in Herndon, was selected for the honor. Bulman was promoted from an entry fire medic to his current position despite only working for the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department for three years.

His experience was tested on June 24 when his unit was dispatched to respond to a a report of a drowning. During the incident, two children were in cardiac arrest at a pool. Bulman and his unit reacted quickly as the lead provider in the double cardiac arrest case.

Bulman showed “amazing tact” in managing the team and creating a stable scene until additional resources arrived, said Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief Kit Hessel.

“Dave pushed himself to the highest professional medic level which helped maintain a very stable emergency scene… Dave’s love of the job shows every shift helping maintain readiness, preparing drills, and pride in making a difference on emergency incidents.” Hessel said.

The honor is given during an appreciation luncheon by the GRCC for local EMT, fire and rescue and police departments. The annual tradition, which began a decade ago, includes donations from more than 40 restaurants and businesses.

“As a growing district in our county, we are never really cognizant of what these first responders do every day, so the business community wanted to thank them for what they do and recognize these men and women who put their lives on the line every day to ensure we are safe.” said Mark Ingrao, president and CEO of the GRCC.

Photo courtesy of GRCC. 

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