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Herndon Auto Care to Leave Elden Street Next Weekend

Another local business is leaving Elden Street.

Herndon Auto Care, which offers auto and light truck repair and maintenance services, will move from its current location at 1131 Elden Street to its sister shop in Sterling, the Dulles Shell Service Center. The address of the new location is 45410 Holiday Drive.

A business representative told Reston Now that the move was prompted by lease expiration.

“In the new lease, the landlord was asking for a substantial increase in monthly rent, which we could not accommodate,” the representative said. “The property has been listed for rent with a real estate company for other use[s].”

Photo via Herndon Auto Care

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Mile 20 Brings Beers On Tap to Downtown Herndon

The Breeze Sports Bar and Restaurant in downtown Herndon is going the extra mile by adding a new venture to their popular restaurant in downtown Herndon.

Mile 20 (781 Station Street) will offer 24 taps and bottle beers for customers to try. The business, which is part of The Breeze, is located in the lower level of the restaurant in the patio area — space formerly occupied by a hair salon.

A grand opening party is set for tomorrow (Oct. 6) from noon to 11 p.m. 

The owners had the following to say about their new venture, which offers many beers from local breweries like “Optimal Wit” from Port City Brewing in Alexandria and “Choosy Mother Peanut Butter Porter” from Isley Brewing Company in Richmond.

Mile 20 is taking a step back from all the beer that you can get at anywhere. American light lagers are not what we are about. We are about supporting local and small breweries. There are amazing beers in your backyard, and you shouldn’t have to go far to find all of them. Mile 20 has 24 taps and dozens of bottle beers for you to try. Rotation is key so there is always something new and interesting. Whether your thing is IPAs, Sours, Porters, or anything in between; we got you covered. If you are new to the craft beer world, come on in and try a flight; specially picked out by our knowledgeable bartenders or build your own.

Photos by George Nikolopoulos

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Cafe Rio Coming Soon to Former McDonalds Space

Cafe Rio, a Mexican grill, will take up space in the former location of McDonald’s in Herndon. The fast food restaurant closed earlier this year.

According to Town of Herndon Mayor Lisa Merkel, the restaurant will occupy space near the Virginia Kitchen at 330 Elden Street.

The opening date of the new restaurant is not yet known, Merkel said.

The restaurant offers burritos, salads, enchiladas, quesadillas, nachos and other Mexican staples. Cafe Rio has multiple locations in Virginia, including Falls Church, Burke and Fairfax.

Photo via Yelp/Cindy K.

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Herndon Animal Medical Center Seeks Expansion

After more than 30 years of business in the Herndon community, the Herndon Animal Medical Center is gearing up for an expansion.

In a proposed before the county up for a vote by the Town of Herndon’s Planning Commission tonight, the center is seeking a special exception to allow a veterinary clinic in land zoned for office and light industrial uses. If approved, the new clinic would move to 360 Herndon Parkway.

“Our current space limits our ability to see patients and practice easily with modern equipment and modern handling techniques,” wrote Kristan Gutowski, the center’s owner.

The building will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday; between 7:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; and between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday. The clinic, which employs 15 people, could expand its hours to accommodate more clients and patients.

Gutowski said the new facility will allow staff to continue practicing a handling technique called “Fear Free” that aims to reduce patient anxiety by separating patients from each other in separate exam rooms away from other animals and noises. The move will also allow the center to avoid odors from its current neighbor, a boarding facility that Gutowski said has “negatively affected” the center’s work environment.

We do everything we can to control an unpleasant odor that can occur with pets,” Gutowski said.

Town of Herndon staff recommended approval of the project.

Photo via Town of Herndon Government

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Despite Appeals, Residents Voice Strong Support for Downtown Herndon Redevelopment

At a public hearing Tuesday night, local residents voiced strong support for the redevelopment of downtown Herndon as town officials work to address appeals against the project by local property owners.

Three property owners filed appeals against the project, citing concerns related to the development’s impact on traffic and inconsistencies with heritage preservation guidelines, including density increases above standards laid out by the town.

On Tuesday, a majority of Herndon residents testifying about the appeals reaffirmed their support for the project. Speaking on behalf of Neighbors for Downtown Herndon Redevelopment, a group supporting the project that has rapidly grown in the last several weeks, Donielle Scherff said that while the appeals raise “reasonable” concerns, they have put residents’ “dream for this downtown in jeopardy.”

“We stand to lose the vibrant, thriving small town of the future, one that exudes this Herndon exceptionalism that we all love so much,” Scherff said.

In November 2017, Town of Herndon officials entered into an agreement with Comstock to breathe new life into 4.7 acres of in the Historic Downtown District. Plans proposed in June include a parking garage, 274 residential units, an 18,000-square-foot arts center and 17,00 square feet of retail space.

Earlier this year, the town’s Heritage Preservation Board approved the project, despite staff’s recommendations to defer action on the overall project. Filed appeals following the board’s decision rendered the project’s Certificate of Appropriateness void. The town’s council will consider the appeals in the coming weeks. The agreement for the project is unaffected by the voided certificate, which delays the implementation of the project.

File photo

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Comstock, Town Officials Withdraw Application for Redevelopment of Downtown Herndon

Plans for the redevelopment of downtown Herndon were officially withdrawn in late July following the filing of three appeals from property owners next to the site of the redevelopment effort.

The appellants are challenging the June 18 decision of the Heritage Preservation Review Board to approve the redevelopment plan, which is presented through a public-private partnership between the developer, Comstock, and the town, which owns the property.

The appeals allege the HPRB approved the project prematurely and failed to apply the town’s requirements for historical preservation, including whether or not the proposed development, which would require demolition of some buildings, was compatible with buildings in the heritage preservation district. Of particular concern is the demolition of the old Stohlman Subaru building on Elden Street, the preservations status and significance of which was misrepresented to the public and the board, according to the appeals.

One appeal charges that the town exercised “undue influence” on the HPRB and attempted to limit its power by clarifying town officials’ expectations of how the board would handle the redevelopment proposal. The appeal also states the town officials’ presentation of the application to the HPRB was biased.

Discussions are underway between town officials and the developer to determine the next steps. “We continue to work with the town and trust that things will stay on track,” a spokesperson for Comstock told Reston Now.

In a statement, Lisa Merkel, the mayor of the Town of Herndon, said she was disappointed the project was being stalled despite years of planning, outreach and public comment, especially since the demolition of the old Stohlman Subaru building was evident in proposals since the original request for proposals.

I hope this delay doesn’t cost Herndonians the opportunity to have the vibrant, arts-focused, smalltown downtown so many have dreamed of and worked to make happen for decades. I am hopeful, but worried,” Merkel wrote.

Going forward, the town’s zoning administrator must schedule a hearing at the next town council meeting. During the meeting, appellants will discuss their appeals before the council. The town council will decide whether or not it will reverse the HPRB’s decision on the development.

Other concerns raised in the appeals include the impact of the development on traffic, overflow parking needs for residents of nearby apartments, and the high-density nature of the development.

The filed appeals are below:

Heritage Preservation Review Board Appeals by Fatimah Waseem on Scribd

File photo

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New Dessert Lounge Offers Mix of Indian and American Sweets

When Krishna Vooturi, an Ashburn resident originally from India, contemplated ideas for a new dessert business, he knew he wanted to bring a taste of Southeast Asia to Herndon. With the help of his brother-in-law and friend, Vooturi, he opened a new dessert spot on 348 Elden Street on Friday, July 27.

The shop, Dessert Lounge, offers a mix of Thai rolled ice cream, sundaes, crepes, and milkshakes. But the featured item is falooda, a cold dessert popular in India and Pakistan. The light pink dessert includes traditional ice cream, rose syrup, vermicelli, chia seeds and milk.

In contrast to its name, Dessert Lounge will offer hot beverages like coffee, sandwiches, and burgers to remain viable in the winter and for those craving a hot bite, according to Vooturi.

For the falooda and the traditional ice cream, also known as kulfi, he uses a popular brand in India and in the United States called Kwality. Ice cream flavors range from Indian-inspired items like rose petal and lychee to more typical flavors like tiramisu and vanilla.

“I personally am a big fan of falooda and I haven’t seen a lot of specialized places here. It’s a good opportunity to bring unique flavors to this place and have different people try different tastes,” he said.

Photos by Fatimah Waseem

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Friday Morning Notes

Search for missing endangered man — Local police are searching for a 78-year-old missing man who may be driving a black Mercedez Benz with tags WNX-6310. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Sully’s Pour House to reopen — After its roof collapsed at 754 Elden Street, Sully’s Pour House announced it plans to reopen on July 20. [Sully’s Pour House]

Stateside: A clear pipeline — “The Virginia Supreme Court has upheld, for the third time, a hotly debated state law allowing natural gas companies to enter private property without landowner permission to survey possible routes for new pipelines.” [Richmond Times-Dispatch]

Photo by Keith Hartke

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Revitalization of South Elden Street Area in Herndon Planned

Town of Herndon officials are seeking the public feedback as the town works to revitalize the South Elden Street area, a corridor that runs along Elden Street from Worldgate Drive to Sterling Road.

Officials plan to present what they described as a “moderate scale” redevelopment plan for the area at a meeting today (June 26) at 7 p.m. in the Town of Herndon Council Chambers (765 Lynn Street).

Ideas on how to revitalize the corridor are requested, including whether or not older properties in the area should be redeveloped and the desired mix of retail, residential, office and other uses.

Last year, the town jumpstarted an initiative to create a plan for the commercial corridor between Herndon Parkway and Sterling Road. In 2015, an amendment to the town’s comprehensive plan called for making improvements to South Elden Street. Possible changes include creating a shared use path for bicycles and pedestrians, dedicated turn lanes, a raised median, updated pedestrian signals and the placement of overhead wires underground.

If funding sources are received, the town could begin designing the project in 2024. A conceptual plan of improvements and the preliminary application for improvements has not been made public yet.

A public hearing is set before the Planning Commission on July 2 and August 6.

Photo via Town of Herndon

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Thursday Morning Notes

Local start-up secures funding –– Real Time Cases, an educational technology startup, has raised $3.5 million and plans to move into a new 3,000-square-foot headquarters in 13461 Sunrise Valley Drive. The company offers courses in management, marketing, finance and hospitality. [Washington Business Journal]

Beware of coyotes — A small dog was attacked and killed by a coyote in the Parklawn community. Police advise that coyote and dog confrontations are more likely during coyote mating season, which occurs between January and March, and when coyotes care for their young, which happens between March and August. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Fairfax County Police help with Ellicott City disaster response — After the second major flood in three years hit downtown Ellicott City in Maryland, local police have mobilized to help with recovery. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Dollars and sense tonight — A guest speaker, Mr. Jack Zarinsky of the Society for Financial Awareness (SOFA). Mr. Zarinsky will be discussing investing to support financial goals and strategies for successful retirement at Reston Regional Library. [Reston Regional Library]

Stateside: Budget bills pass — “After months of inaction, Virginia’s General Assembly passed a budget Wednesday that expands Medicaid to around 300,000 low-income Virginians. The House voted 67-31 Wednesday night to send the two-year budget bill to the governor, and 68-30 to send the “caboose” bill to the governor that the Senate approved earlier in the day.” [WTOP]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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Friday Morning Notes

The jobs forecast — Unemployment remains below three percent in Fairfax County. [Fairfax County Government]

Thoroughly Modern Millie — Dive into the height of the jazz age in New York City with “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” Reston Community Players’ next play. The performance, based on the 1967 award-winning film, will run from April 20 through May 12 at Reston Community Center’s CenterStage. [Reston Community Center]

Pet sitting galore — Pooch Pros officially celebrating its grand opening yesterday. The business offers pet sitting services in the local area, including in Reston. [Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce]

No kidding — Registration for the 8th annual Reston Kids Triathlon is now open. The event is set for August 5 at 8 a.m.. [Reston Kids Triathlon]

Photo by Gail Crockett

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Tomorrow: Grand Opening for Herndon Pet Sitting Company

A local pet sitting company that offers services for Herndon, Reston, Sterling and Ashburn, will celebrate its grand opening tomorrow (April 17) at 2:30 p.m. in front of Herndon’s Old Town Hall.

Pooch Pros Pet Care Services is owned by Herndon resident Cyndie Anderson.

Anderson, who has lived in Northern Virginia for 21 years, left her corporate job in 2000 to stay at home with her two stepdaughters. She opened her business after becoming an empty nester.

She owns two fur babies: a 14-year-old mixed breed and a nine-year-old Maltese.

The business is licensed, bonded and insured through Business Insurers of the Carolinas and Travelers Insurance, according to its website. A reception will follow the ribbon-cutting ceremony at ArtSpace Herndon (750 Center Street).

Photo via Pooch Pros

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Wednesday Morning Notes

A bedroom community awakens — A look at how younger people are leaving cities and settling in communities like Reston. [U.S. News & World Report]

For job seekers — Reston Association has officially posted a job listing as it continues to search for a new CEO after Cate Fulkerson’s sudden departure from the position this year. [Association Career]

So[lar] awesome — Virginia’s capacity to generate solar electricity is expected to triple over the next year. Can the Commonwealth handle that power? [WTOP]

Going mobile — Joining the rest of the digital world, Metro plans to enable customers to pay for trips by using a mobile device next year. Of course, there isn’t an app for that (yet). [WMATA]

$20 million for Expel — The cybersecurity startup based in Herndon has raised the funds led by a Silicon Valley venture capital firm. Funds will fuel the company’s product development and go-to market efforts.  [Washington Business Journal]

Photo by Lauren Pinkston

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Friday Morning Notes

Metro from the future — Future SmarTrip options may include key fobs and stickers. For now, hang on to those cards. [WTOP]

Cycling on down memory lane — Green Lizard Cycling in downtown Herndon celebrated its fifth anniversary this month. Congrats from your neighbors! [The Connection]

Only going up from here — The population is booming in Northern Virginia but shrinking in many rural localities. You’ll never guess where Reston falls in the mix. [Capital News Service]

Young at art — High school artists explore the theme of “becoming” at the Greater Reston Arts Center’s new exhibition. [Fairfax County Times]

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Town of Herndon Seeks Feedback from Citizens and Businesses

Town of Herndon officials are seeking feedback from residents and business on satisfaction with town services and programs through next month.

The town is working with Priority Metrics Group, a market research and consulting firm based in South Carolina, to seek opinions on the conditions of streets and parks, satisfaction with special events, amenities, and town facilities.

Surveys of businesses will be conducted in the same time frame and will include questions on the town’s commercial sector.

Citizens will be randomly selected for the telephone survey and results will be presented to the HerndonTown Council and on the town’s websiteThe last citizen survey was conducted nearly four years ago.

File rendering

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