Reston, VA

Morning Notes

Power Shut Off around Reston Town Center — Dominion Energy turned off power in Reston on Saturday evening (May 8) so that first responders from Fairfax County’s police and the fire departments could address “an incident involving an individual who has climbed a power transmission line.” [Fairfax Alerts]

Hunter Woods Community Gardens Plagued by Thefts — Two community gardens at Hunter Woods Park have been repeatedly targeted by thieves, who have taken thousands of dollars in plants over the past two years, volunteers say. The thefts have persisted despite the installation of surveillance cameras, motion-sensor-triggered lights, and new fencing with a padlocked gate. [Patch]

Halley Rise Officially Signs Second Tenant — The bowling, bocce, and bar venue Pinstripes has had its sights set on the Halley Rise development for at least two years, but the move is now official. This is the second retail tenant to join the mixed-use development next to the Reston Town Center Metro station, which will be anchored by Wegmans. [H&R Retail]

South Lakes Safeway Burglarized on May 2 — “A man entered the store, damaged a secured high-end liquor cabinet and stole property. An employee confronted the man and was subsequently assaulted. The man implied he had a firearm then left with the property.” [FCPD]

Contract Awarded for Fox Mill Elementary Renovation — The Fairfax County School Board voted on Thursday (May 6) to award a nearly $20 million contract to Howard Shockey & Sons, Inc. for the Fox Mill Elementary School renovation project. On-site construction work will begin this month and is expected to be completed by spring 2023. [FCPS]

Reston Wellness Center Reopens Today — The nonprofit Reston Wellness Center (1850 Cameron Glen Drive, Suite 200) is restarting in-person services on May 10 after being closed due to the pandemic. The center provides meals, employment assistance, support groups, and other services for free to people in recovery for mental health and substance use issues. [Recovery Program Solutions of Virginia]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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A conceptual rendering of Akridge’s proposed buildings at Halley Rise from the southwest (Image via Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning)

Halley Rise, the mixed-use development currently taking shape next to the impending Reston Town Center Metro station, could become even larger in scope.

As first reported by the Washington Business Journal, the real estate developer Akridge has submitted plans to Fairfax County that would introduce an additional 480 residential units and 9,250 square feet of ground-floor retail space to the 36-acre complex.

Located along Reston Parkway, the new development would join 1,500 residential units, 1.5 million square feet of office space, and 250,000 square feet of retail planned for Halley Rise by Brookfield Properties, which has been managing the $1.4 billion project.

According to a final development plan that Fairfax County’s planning staff accepted for consideration on April 14, Akridge’s parcel of Halley Rise would total 526,000 square feet with the vast majority of space devoted to residential uses.

The application states that the proposed “Block C” development would consist of two distinct buildings with a shared base and a nearly half-acre, elevated courtyard “with a variety of amenities.”

The larger eastern tower would wrap around an interior parking garage that would serve both residents and workers in an existing, adjacent office building. The development’s retail would be located on the ground floor of the smaller western tower.

Akridge says it plans to build condominiums in the western building “to provide opportunities for home ownership and appeal to a broader community,” but it still “reserves the right to operate this building as a rental apartment community,” citing “uncertainty” in the housing market.

In its conceptual designs, Akridge has proposed maximum heights of eight floors and 85 feet for both towers.

“Implementation of Block C will create residential opportunities and contribute to the necessary “critical mass” so that the mixed-use vision established by Halley Rise will be successful,” Wire Gill land use lawyer David Gill said in the application. “Our proposed implementation of that vision will not only enhance the Reston community overall but also support the larger street grid, existing office and larger community goals established by the governing approval.”

The Washington Business Journal reported that a subsidiary of Brookfield Properties still owns the 4.3-acre Block C site.

“Unfortunately I don’t have any information I can share with you at this point,” an Akridge spokesperson told Reston Now when asked why the developer wanted to get involved with the Halley Rise project.

Reston Now also contacted Brookfield for comment but did not receive a response by press time.

Brookfield broke ground on the first phase of Halley Rise in October 2019, an occasion that also saw the deployment of self-driving vehicles on the property. Anchored by Wegmans, the first phase will introduce 450,000 square feet of new office space, 640 residential units, 200,000 square feet of retail, and two parks.

Brookfield told Reston Now in October that it was still on track to open the first phase of residential units in early 2022, with the Wegmans grocery store following later that year. The first offices are scheduled to be delivered in mid-2023.

The overall project is not expected to be completed until 2026.

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Monday Morning Notes

Self-Driving Cars Make Local Debut — Self-driving cars from Optimus Ride are now navigating DC’s waterfront, available for pick-ups in the Yards with access to Barracks Row and Capitol Hill. Rides are currently limited to a select group of tenants in waterfront apartment buildings, similar to when the service made its DC-area debut at the Halley Rise mixed-use development in Reston. [Washingtonian]

Stolen Dodge Charger Recovered by PoliceOfficers in the Reston District Station of the Fairfax County Police Department recently recovered an automobile that had been reported stolen in the Herndon area of the county, according to the weekly crime report. [Reston Patch]

Members Sought for County Board of Appeals — The county’s Board of Zoning Appeals has openings for two members. Interested candidates should apply by Monday, March 1. [Fairfax County Government]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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A year after breaking ground for Halley Rise, Brookfield Properties is still on schedule to finish the $1.4 billion project.

The 36-acre redevelopment project is set to open the first phase of its residential units in early 2022, and a Wegmans grocery store is expected to open before the end of 2022. Delivery of the first phase of offices for the project is expected in mid-2023, to align with market demand.

The mixed-use district in Reston is expected to be complete by 2026. Halley Rise will feature 1,500 residential units, 1.5 million square feet of office space, 250,000 square feet of retail, five acres of public open space and new public streets and infrastructure.

“At Halley Rise, we are creating a dynamic new destination for people to live and work in Reston,” Richard Fernicola, Brookfield Properties Senior Vice President, Development, wrote in an email.

“The new housing, jobs, retail and open space, activated with year-round arts and events and adjacent to the new Silver Line station, will provide significant benefits to the area for many years to come. It is an important project for Brookfield Properties, and we are excited to move it forward and play a role in Reston’s long-term development.”

According to Brookfield Properties, the company has been able to avoid any construction delays during the pandemic by tracking potential material disruptions on a daily basis. In the case of a procurement, fabrication or delivery risk, the company has secured alternate sources to avoid delays to the schedule.

The project at 12010 Sunrise Valley Drive will be located at the Reston Town Center stop on the Silver Line following the completion of the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority’s Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project.

Halley Rise will feature a movie theater and a variety of restaurants. It will also have year-round art installations and Art Brookfield will curate concerts in the park.

Photos via Fairfax County and Halley Rise/website

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Halley Rise, a major mixed-use development next to the Reston Town Center Metro Station, will be powered by renewable energy.

Brookfield Properties, the developer, announced today (Tuesday) that the company is shifting all six of its Northern Virginia office properties to renewable sources in order to “develop responsible and sustainable placemaking destinations’ in the area.

“Brookfield Properties is committed to developing great places for people to live and work while also bringing innovation and responsible practices to our projects and communities,” Greg Meyer, Executive Vice President, Brookfield Properties’ Washington, DC region. “We are proud to be powering our Northern Virginia office portfolio sustainably, reducing our impact on the environment and setting a new standard for green practices in the region.”

Halley Rise, which is located at the corner of Sunrise Valley Drive and Reston Parkway is seeking LEED Neighborhood Development status, which is awarded to neighborhoods that are built to be sustainable. Once complete, the development will bring 1,500 residential units, 1.5 million square feet of office space, and 250,000 square feet of retail space to the area. It’s also the site where self-driving vehicle company Optimus Ride is currently exploring energy-efficient options to transport commuters within the development.

Brookfield broke ground on the project in October. Wegmans plans to open in 2022 at the project.

Photo via handout/Fairfax County Government

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The first phase of a massive, mixed-use project with a Wegmans, Pinstripes, and self-driving cars is underway.

Brookfield Properties broke ground on the project, called Halley Rise and formerly called. Reston Crescent, in October.

The first phase, which is set to be completed in 2022, includes 450,000 square feet of new office space, 640 residential units, 200,000 square feet of retail and two new parks, a company spokesperson told Reston Now.

Wegmans, which will anchor the retail space, is expected to be open in 2022. Pinstripes, a restaurant with a bowling alley and bocce court, is also planned.

Future phases will also include a movie theater — under a mile from Bow Tie Cinemas in Reston Town Center — and food and drink options.

When the 36-acre development is built out, it will include 1.5 million square feet of office space, 250,000 square feet of retail and 1,500 residential units, 15 percent of which are affordable.

Staff photos by Jay Westcott

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Monday Morning Notes

Test Drive of Self Driving Cars in Reston — “It wasn’t exactly thrilling. “Like, literally, it is a boring ride,” says Ryan Chin, who cofounded Optimus with five buddies from MIT. But that is precisely what’s radical: For self-driving cars to truly affect the way we live, Chin thinks, using them will have to become as routine as driving your Civic to the supermarket. The Optimus cars can travel only around the Halley Rise complex; the route could expand to include the future Reston Town Square Metro station.” [Washingtonian]

Facilities Planning Council Seeks Hunter Mill District Applicants — The School Board is seeking applications from Hunter Mill District residents for a seat on the Facilities Planning Advisory Council (FPAC). FPAC advises and informs FCPS staff and the School Board in the development of comprehensive, long-term plans for facilities.” Applications are due by Jan. 6. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Town of Herndon Planning Commission to Meet Today — The commission meets today to discuss standards regarding communications towers and the town’s comprehensive plan tonight. [Town of Herndon]

Staff Photo by Jay Westcott

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Brookfield Properties is seeking approval for the third phase of Halley Rise, a 4.1 million square foot project on the north side of Sunrise Valley Drive between Edmund Halley Drive and Reston Parkway.

The proposal, which was previously known as the Reston Crescent, received approval from the county in July 2018.

Brookfield plans to remake the 36-acre site into eight urban blocks, including 1.5 million square feet of new office space, 1,721 residential units, a 200-room hotel and 380,000 square feet of retail.

The Fairfax County Planning Commission will consider Brookfield’s plan for the third phase of development at a meeting on Nov. 20.

The developer is seeking to build a 19-story building with 550,00 square feet of office space and 20,000 square feet of ground-floor retail uses.

An eight-level parking garage is located behind the building and a neighborhood park with a fire pit and seating areas is planned in front of the building.

The first building, which will include an urban-format Wegmans, is currently under construction. It will occupy the ground floor of a seven-story building with 380 units and 1,000 parking spaces.

Photos via handout/Fairfax County Government

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Brookfield Properties will launch its self-driving vehicles at its groundbreaking ceremony for Halley Rise, a new $1.4 billion mixed-use district in Reston that is set to break ground next week.

The developer plans to break ground on the first phase of the development, which is located off the Dulles Access Road and Reston Parkway, on Monday (Oct. 7).

The 36-acre redevelopment project includes 1,500 residential units, 1.5 million square feet of office space, and 250,000 square feet of retail. Wegmans grocery store is set to anchor the development and a “modern movie theater” is planned at the development.

The groundbreaking ceremony will also demonstrations of self-driving vehicles by autonomous vehicle technology company Optimus Ride. The vehicles are expected to be a central part of the development. The company has already begun deploying self-driving cars in the office park, which is known as the Reston Crescent, to move employees between office buildings to parking lots.

The first phase of the development is expected to be complete by 2022. The project is located at 12010 Sunrise Valley Drive.

Photos via handout/Fairfax County Government

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The Reston Planning & Zoning Committee voted to approve the the redevelopment of Isaac Newtown Square.

In a 12-1 vote, the committee motioned that the Fairfax County Planning Commission and the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approve the plan for the urban neighborhood.

Peter Lawrence Companies is seeking to bring 3,200 residential units to the site, as well as up to 260,000 square feet of office, 66,000 square feet of retail, and a full-size athletic field.

The committee directed the applicant and the county to take environmental concerns voiced by the community into account as they develop the proposed athletic field.

The committee asked that they make the field the best field possible, one that is environmentally sensitive, and a field that is open, useable, reliable and dependable in all seasons,” said chairman Rob Walker.

The committee, which meets on a monthly basis, also recommended that the commission and the board approve plans for block D of the Halley Rise Development.

Decisions on Block 6 of that development and Reston Station Promenade

Photo via Andrew Painter

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Three major development proposals head to the Reston Planning and Zoning Committee for a vote on Monday (August 19.

The committee, which meets at the North County Government Center at 7:30 p.m., will vote on plans for Isaac Newton Square, Halley Rise and Reston Station Promenade.

Peter Lawrence Cos and MRP Realty are partnering to redevelop Isaac Newtown Square, an aging office park at Sunset Hills Road and Wiehle Avenue, into a mostly residential neighborhood with around 2,100 units. The plan also includes an athletic field.

One Reston Co. LLC and Two Reston Co. LLC’s Halley Rise project — which is the site of the future Wegmans — is also on the docket. The developer is seeking the committee’s approval for changes to two blocks of development, which is located north of Sunrise Valley Drive and south of the Dulles Toll Road.

Finally, the board will consider changes to Comstock’s Reston Station Promenade project, which is north of the BLVD and Comstock’s development atop the Wiehe-Reston East Metro Station. Changes are largely limited to one building.

The complete agenda is available online.

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Microsoft Corp. is on the hunt for up to 300,000 square feet of office space in Northern Virginia, which could require the company to consolidate offices from two other locations.

The Washington Business Journal reports that the company is working with commercial real estate services firm JLL to find prospects across Northern Virginia. Properties in Reston — including Comstock’s Loudoun and Reston Station projects, Brookfield’s Halley Rise, and Boston Properties’ Reston Gateway.

Currently, Microsoft leases 275,000 square feet at Reston Town Center.

Here’s more from the report:

The search appears to separate from the 332-acre site Microsoft acquired last year in Leesburg for $73 million. The company hasn’t filed development plans for that site yet, but as the WBJ reported in May, the company may have acquired the land at least in part to advance its effort to secure a pair of multi-billion-dollar government contracts. That makes the Leesburg land a more likely play for data center development to service the government cloud computing contracts than for office space of the sort it has at Reston Town Center.

Moving to one of those other development sites might better position Microsoft to bring all of its local employees under one roof.

WBJ also reports that Facebook is also scouting for space in Reston after the social media giant scratched Tysons off its list.

Meanwhile, Google is expected to begin moving its current employee based into Reston Station’s signature office building this summer.

File photo

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With little fanfare and discussion yesterday (Tuesday), the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved Tishman Speyer’s proposal to redevelop a Reston office park into seven mixed-use buildings next to the future Reston Town Center Metro Station.

The project, known as Reston Crossing, would replace two office buildings with 2 million square feet of development at the intersection the Dulles Toll Road and Reston Crossing. Plans were first pitched in January last year.

Details of Reston Crossing are below:

  • Building 1: Up to 390,000 square feet of office and up to 15,000 square feet of retail
  • Building 2: Up to 130,000 square feet with between 89 or 144 residential units
  • Building 3: Up to 290,000 square feet in a residential-only building with between 144 to 322 units
  • Building 4: Up to 510,000 square feet with office and retail use. The building could have up to 22 stories — the tallest of all the buildings
  • Building 5: Up to 245,000 square feet with up to 261 residential units and some retail
  • Building 6: Up to 230,000 square feet with up to 244 residential units and some retail
  • Building 7: Up to 205,000 square feet with up to 222 units and 5,000 square feet of retail

The plan includes 890,000 square feet of office space, more than 1 million square feet of residential and up to 50,000 square feet of retail. More than 1,000 residential units are planned on the 14-acre site. Open light wells called “oculi” will allow pedestrians in open spaces to look down onto the parking level of the site.

The board also approved tweaks to Halley Rise, which will be anchored by Wegmans. One Reston Co. LLC and Two Reston Co. LLC sought to redistribute previously approved square footage to break up what the team called a “crowded block” on the project.

A plan to scale back the amount of office space at Reston Heights (11830 Sunrise Valley Drive) was also approved. The change reduced the amount of previously approved office space by 215,000 square feet.

Rendering via handout/Fairfax County Government

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The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will consider three major mixed-use developments in Reston next week.

If approved, the vote, which is scheduled for Tuesday, June 25, would bring hundreds of additional residential units, as well as office space and retail to Reston’s Transit Station Areas.

The Fairfax County Planning Commission gave all three proposals a green light in previous weeks.

On the southwest corner of the intersection of Dulles Airport Access and Toll Road and Reston Parkway, Reston Crossing developers seek to build up to 1,194 residential units, 890,000 square feet of office space and 50,000 square feet of retail in a seven-building development project. Overall, the project would have up to 2 million square of development.

Developers for two other projects are requesting modifications to previously approved plans. Halley Rise, a 31-acre site previously approved by the county, could see some changes in the eight development blocks proposed on the 4.2 million-square-foot development. The project is located on the northwest corner of the intersection of Sunrise Valley Drive and Reston Parkway. Currently, grading is underway for the first phase of the development.

The developer seeks to shuffle the makeup of hotel, residential and retail uses throughout the eight blocks of proposed development. Overall, the intensity of development will not change.

Similarly, the team behind Reston Heights (11830 Sunrise Valley Drive) is seeking to reduce the amount of office space that was previously approved by the county.

Renderings via handout/Fairfax County Government

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Pinstripes, a bowling, bocce and bar venue, is coming to the Halley Rise development, following the first retail, tenant, Wegmans, confirmed its plans to anchor the new mixed use development.

According to the Washington Business Journal, which first reported the news, Pinstripes will open a 20,000-square-foot venue at the development. WBJ also that Brookfield Properties, the developer, is also in talks with high-end movie theater Cinépolis to sign a lease for the new project.

Once completed, Halley Rise — formerly known as Reston Crescent — will have a minimum of 640 residential units, 450,000 square feet of office space and two new parks.

Rendering via Brookfield Properties

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