Units in Herndon’s Metro Square are ‘Move-In Ready’

It’s official: Herndon’s Metro Square development at 23 Silver Drive next to the planned Herndon Metro Station is now complete.

All units in the project, which includes four buildings with 64 total condo units, are move-in ready, according to Soledad Portilla, Stanley Martin Homes’ land acquisition manager.

Portilla told Reston Now that the company expects to be completely sold out next month.

The developer still needs to complete infrastructure improvements like installing a final layer of pavement on the roads, some pavers, final touches on pocket parts, and some sidewalks, Portilla said.

Photos via Stanley Martin Homes

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Town of Herndon ‘Crescent’ Eyes Remaking by 2035

A 4.2-square mile town once blanketed by dairy farms is poised for remaking as the oncoming train approaches next year. And much of that remaking is in the hands of eight property owners whose nine parcels eclipse to create a crescent at the door of the future Metro station on 12530 Sunrise Valley Drive.

So far, the parcels, which have slowly slipped into suburban malaise, are relics of what town officials hope will soon be a bygone era. But if the pace of development thus far is any indication, it’s no surprise that Stanley Martin’s residential project, called Metro Square (625 Herndon Parkway), was the first to break ground. It is now nearing completion and prices for two-to-three bedroom condos start from $519,000.

It wasn’t until earlier this month that the kind of project that planning officials hoped will help remake the town got the necessary approvals to move forward by the county.

A major development came this week: Nearly four years after Penzance first submitted plans, the company is moving forward with redeveloping a stodgy office building into an urban block with retail, a garage, a mid-rise residential building, a high rise residential tower and a high rise office tower. A total of 475 residential units will be built.

Town officials and developers hope the Penzance project will set the stage for an unprecedented volume of high density development. A revised application by Quadrangle, the owners of the land to the east of Metro known as Fairbrook, is also expected in the coming weeks. The low-intensity project would bring a mixed-use center to the greenfield area. Not much of it is developable due to the presence of flood plain and resource protection areas.

Still, even as phase two of the Silver Line opens next year, the development contemplated by the Town of Herndon’s transit-oriented plan will live its full glory on paper for now. Dennis Holste, the town’s economic development manager, says the area slated for major transit-oriented development — the Herndon Transit-Oriented Core (HTOC) — will likely be built out by 2035.

Given the stagnant demand for office space — a woe whisking its way down phase two of the Silver Line — Holste says residential development is likely to go in first. He predicts the office sector will pick up as new tenants enter the market. Big names like Google — which recently announced plans to move into Reston Station — would be major game changers.

Bracing for impact

The slow place of development could mean more time to manage growing pains. Already, congested roads and overcrowded schools are a concern. A major $105 million renovation of Herndon High School is nearing completion.

Most public amenities are planned on the Fairfax County side of the station, which has an entrance between 575 and 593 Herndon Parkway. The other side is privately owned. The Virginia Department of Transportation is leading an effort to redesign Spring Street between Fairfax County Parkway and Herndon Parkway. Planning officials are now looking into buying the right-of-way needed to make the project possible.

Following that project, a redesign of Elden Street is planned. Though off the path of Metro, officials hope pedestrian connections and the reputation of a redeveloped downtown will bring riders to the area. Pull-off areas are also planned along Herndon Parkway near the Metro station to allows cars to pull off from traffic and pick up or drop off commuters.

The town is also working with the Fairfax Connector to add bus routes to “make certain that as many people as possible have access to bus service to Metro.” said Lisa Gilleran, the town’s director of community development.

‘Not another Tysons’

In county meetings, town officials often stress that the Town of Herndon will not be another Tysons or another Reston after the Silver Line weaves itself into the town’s fabric.

So what will the character of the area surrounding Herndon’s Metro station be? Most officials hope the area’s small town vibe will remain preserved.

“Unique in Northern Virginia, Herndon has an historic downtown with an authentic “sense of place” within one mile of the metro station; this complements the higher density alternatives available around our metro station. Factor in other parts of Herndon, such as our vision for the South Elden area, and Herndon is uniquely positioned to offer existing and prospective businesses several options for growth and development,” Holste said.

Much of that character could come from a wide promenade that will greet riders as they exit Metro and extend up to Herndon Parkway. The pedestrian-friendly gateway hasn’t been designed yet. Town officials hope to pay tribute to Herndon’s history by including signs about the area’s significance.

Gilleran also says that much of Herndon’s uniqueness could come from having a mix of developers create an urban block.

“Individual developers will build each of these blocks, whereas in some cases, one developer will own more than 38 acres,” Gilleran said. “We’re trying to weave independent development into a fabric that gives you a sense of wholeness. We’re creating the pallet.”

They also plan to put in a raised cycle track along Herndon Parkway in lieu of putting bike lines in the street.

Much remains up in the air. The town is planning to jumpstart discussions about an area slated for transit-related growth – also known as the TRG – beyond the auspices of Metro. That process, which would set development goals for around 100 acres north of the downtown core, could begin as early as the summer.

Photo via Town of Herndon/Handout

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Thursday Morning Notes

Reston Association Volunteer Service Awards Next Week — “Two individuals were named as Volunteers of the Year. Doug Britt, who has been instrumental in collecting environmental data, and Cindy Metcalf, who coordinates and leads class instruction on how to start a garden, both won the top honor.” [Reston Association]

Penzance’s Plans for 555 Herndon Parkway — The District-based developer is out with new renderings for its planned development just one tenth of a mile away from the entrance of Herndon Metro Station. [Town of Herndon Government]

Community Emergency Response Guide — The new guide offers tips on how community partners and neighbors should collaborate during an emergency.  [Fairfax County Government]

Photo by Joe Heflin

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Herndon Metro Parking Moving Next Week as Work Continues on Silver Line Expansion

Drivers will have their Herndon-Monroe parking relocated to the new garage starting next week as work continues in preparation for the new Herndon Metro station.

The existing parking garage will close next Monday (April 8) for a few months as it undergoes changes. Parking will get relocated to the first, second and third levels of the new garage, which is almost done with construction, according to Fairfax County.

Ridesharing pickup and drop-off will also get moved to the first level of the new garage.

Access to eastbound Dulles Toll Road from the parking facility is scheduled to resume in late April after toll booth renovation is done.

Until then, drivers will need to take a detour onto Sunrise Valley Drive via the Fairfax County Parkway.

Photos via Fairfax County

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Pulte Expects Year-End Goal for Starting Work on Townhomes at Reston Arboretum

A residential project at the Reston Arboretum could break ground by the end of this year.

Pulte Homes’ plans are currently going through the final process with Fairfax County to obtain platted lots and grading permits, Julie Pulliam, a spokeswoman for Pulte, told Reston Now.

Pulte expects that process to be completed by the end of this year, which will then mark the start of the land development process, Pulliam said.

The project now calls for 40 townhomes instead of the originally planned 44 single-family attached residential units and a parking garage, Pulliam said. Model units are expected to open in late 2020. Pricing for the townhomes has not been finalized yet, Pulliam added.

The four-story office building currently there will remain on the property at 12700 Sunrise Valley Drive, which is less than half of mile away from the future Herndon Metro station.

The project does not have an estimated completion date yet, Pulliam said.

Image via Google Maps

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Reston Then and Now: Woodland Park

Woodland Park Crossing in Herndon may be facing some current turnover, but change is certainly nothing new for the area.

Fairfax County’s Historic Imagery Viewer shows aerial photography of the county dating back to 1937, and photography over the Woodland Park area shows the very familiar story of the area’s residential, then commercial, expansion over the last thirty years.

Even through the 1980s, there was very little new development in the Woodland Park area. Most of the area, aside from one residential development to the west, remained open fields. But by the 1990s, new residential development near the Stratton Woods Park began to grow further west.

By the early 2000s, residential developments had begun to completely fill the area south of Sunrise Valley Drive, accelerated by the growth of the McNair Farms community to the southwest. Throughout the 2000s, the new residential development spurred the creation of new retail and industrial spaces north of Sunrise Valley Drive.

And more changes are still ahead for the Woodland Park area, with the Herndon Silver Line Metro station under construction just to the northeast of the site, spurring new planned mixed-use development for an area that thirty years ago was mostly open fields.

For more Reston Then and Now stories, check out our coverage of:

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Photos: Construction of Metro Square Development in Herndon

New townhomes are popping up in Herndon’s Metro Square development at 23 Silver Driveway next to the planned Herndon Metro Station.

Construction is currently underway on Stanley Martin’s two-over-two townhouse development. The project includes four buildings with 64 total condo units, according to the Town of Herndon.

Metro Square offers two different floor plans: a 2,550-square-foot, upper-level condo with three bedrooms or a 1,524-square-foot, lower-level condo with two bedrooms. Both types feature two levels of living space, private garages, kitchens, suites with large walk-in closets, bedroom-level stacked laundry and attached decks.

The Preston at 625 Herndon Pkwy is “move-in-ready,” according to Stanley Martin’s website. Its 2,550-square-foot condos cost $619,990.

Metro Square is across the street from Haley M. Smith Park.

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Potential receiver to handle Kiddar Capital assets — “The Securities and Exchange Commission has asked the judge in the civil case against real estate developer Todd Hitt to appoint Richmond attorney Bruce Matson as receiver for Hitt’s development and investment operations, according to a new motion filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.” [Washington Business Journal]

Are you listening — The third listening session with Reston Association’s Board of Directors is on for tonight. Caren Anton, the director of the Dogwood and Hunters Woods district, will listen to your questions and concerns. [Reston Association]

And Metro is too — bus passengers are encouraged to take part in a survey that will help determine funding allocations for different jurisdictions. [Washington Metropolitan Area Authority]

Photo by Caroline Rapking

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Fairfax Real Estate Developer Accused of Multimillion-Dollar Real Estate Fraud in Herndon

The CEO of Kiddar Capital, a Falls Church asset management firm, is accused of lying about the size and value of his company and defrauding investors about a $33 million office building in Herndon, according to charges filed in federal court. 

Todd Elliott Hitt, 53, was charged with securities fraud and surrendered to the FBI on Friday.

According to court documents, which were unsealed on Friday, Hitt raised nearly $11 million by falsely claiming to buy the building near a planned Herndon Metro stop. He spent around $9 million to purchase the 4.8-acre office building and relied on bank loans for the remaining balance on the purchase.

Prosecutors say Hitt was involved in an alleged $16 million scheme to defraud investors.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission also found Kiddar claimed to be a global firm with $1.4 billion under management in London, Houston, and Florida, but in reality, the local company only had one office in Falls Church and managed far less than $1 billion.

They also noted that Hitt failed to disclose to investors his “extravagant spending,” which included leasing private jets and buying sports tickets and jewelry.

The complete release can be found online.

Photo via Kiddar Capital

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20-Minute Stoppages on Dulles Toll Road Planned Overnight

Beginning tomorrow (July 12) and on Friday night (July 13), triple lane closures on planned on the Dulles Toll Road after 10 p.m.

Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project crews will continue to install equipment under the pedestrians bridges at the Reston Town Center and Herndon Metrorail Stations that cross over the eastbound and Westbound lanes of the Dulles Toll Road.

Three lanes will be closed, resulting in 20-minute traffic halts after midnight each night.

Beginning Thursday at 10 p.m., three left lanes of the eastbound Dulles Toll Road will be closed to traffic between the Monroe/Van Buren Street and Reston Parkway overpasses. One right lane will be open to traffic and 20-minute stoppages will occur in the right lane of the eastbound lanes after midnight. Lanes will reopen on Friday at 5 p.m.

On Friday at 10 p.m., the three left lanes of the westbound Dulles Toll Road will be closed to traffic between the Wiehle Avenue and the Monroe Street/Van Buren Street overpasses. One right lane will be open to traffic and 20-minute stoppages are planned after midnight on the right westbound lane and on the ramp from Fairfax County Parkway to the westbound Dulles Toll Road lanes.

Normal operations will resume on Saturday (July 14) at 6 a.m. Utility work is expected to continue through July.

Maps via Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project

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Monday Morning Notes

Greats Falls and Reston soccer merge — “The Reston Soccer Association and Great Falls Soccer Club merged in March of this year, combining to form one club of around 2,600 players. The merger has been a subject of discussion for years now, but only recently came to fruition after careful coordination between members of the Reston and Great Falls Boards of Directors.” [The Connection]

Be wary when going outside today — An air quality alert has been issued for today. The heat index could climb into the high 90s or even the low 100s. [National Weather Service]

Herndon’s high hopes for Metro — “The town is preparing for an unprecedented amount of high-density development around the Silver Line’s new Herndon Metro station slated to open in 2020.” [Washington Business Journal]

Nearby: Fireworks and family fun — “Lake Fairfax Park will host its annual fireworks show on Saturday, June 30, 2018. (Rain date July 1, 2018). Come to the park early and spend the day. The park opens at 7 a.m.” [Fairfax County Government]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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As Metro Goes Live in 2020, Development in Herndon Pushes Bedroom Community to the Edge

Plans are underway to redevelop aging office buildings and mixed-used projects in Herndon as the opening of the nearby Metro station inches closer in 2020.

But as the oncoming train sweeps in more development and corridor activity, local officials and business leaders are grappling with one key question: How will the Herndon Metro stop distinguish itself from others on the Silver Line?

“We cannot have every stop look the same,” said John Boylan, president and CEO of the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Some are placing their hopes on the place-making character of the Town of Herndon’s downtown, a historic center that is one mile from the Metro station and the only incorporated town on the Silver Line. The town is working with Comstock Partners to redevelop 4.7 acres of land into a mixed use development with 281 apartments, a central community plaza, an arts center and retail. Comstock plans to break ground in late 2018. Construction will take at least two years. 

A 761-space garage will be delivered first and will be free. Maggie Parker, Comstock’s vice president of communication, said the company is excited to work on Herndon’s “jewel.”

“People are hungry for community and that’s what the Herndon project offers and that’s what the Herndon Metro Station offers,” Parker said.

Mixed-used projects in Herndon’s 38-acre transit-oriented area near the Metro station are taking off. By 2050, an additional 2.1 million square feet of office space is planned as part of Herndon’s Metro Station Area Plan.

Just last month, Kiddar Capital announced it acquired 575 Herndon Parkway, a 4.8-acre site at the door of Herndon Metro station platform. The company is holding off on releasing plans for redevelopment for at least three years.

Other mixed-use projects are in the pipeline. The first and furthest development from the Metro Station — Corporate Oaks One (625 Herndon Parkway) — includes 64 stacked condominiums selling for between $500,000 and $600,000.

Penzance Properties plans to build a mixed-use development at 555 parkway, which calls for three or four 225 to 275-foot towers and ground floor retail.

Other projects in Herndon include Tishman’s Woodland Park East Development, which will include 1.6 million square feet of office and residential on roughly 32 acres. A mix of 678 townhouses, stacked condos, and apartments is planned, along with two office towers, 81 affordable housing units and six acres of open space.

“Herndon is strategically positioned for growth,” said Rodney Lusk, director of national marketing for the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority.

Waterview at Woodland Park includes 295 multi-family units, 50 stacked townhouses and 32 townhouses. Prices start in the upper $600s for the community, which will open in May.

Arrowbrook Centre will see 2.3 million square feet of development on 54 acres. Houston Office Partners also plans to convert two office buildings into two multi-family residential projects with 866 units. Innovation Center South, which calls for 1.6 million square feet of development, including 1 million square feet of residential and 2,070 parking spaces, is currently under construction.

Lisa Merkel, mayor of the Town of Herndon, said the Herndon area will face a new challenge of transitioning people from cars to mass transit in a community that mostly has single-family homes.

“We don’t want to be a bedroom community,” said  Merkel. “We are a small town with a worldview.”

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Access to Herndon-Monroe Commuter Garage Closed Through Late November

The access road to the Herndon-Monroe commuter garage, which runs from Sunrise Valley Drive to the Herndon-Monroe park and ride facility, will shut down from Friday through Sunday, Nov. 26.

Access is limited due to the construction of a new parking garage for the future Metro Silver Line Herndon station. To use the current garage, commuters can enter through the Dulles Toll Road, a detour that requires a payment of $1, according to a county press release.

The roughly $45 million project is expected to cause major delays on routes that serve the park-and-ride facility. The following stops served by routes924, 926, 927, 937, 950, 951 and 551 will be missed:

  • Stop #3495 at Colt Brook Drive

  • Stop #3541 at Milburn Lane

  • Stop #3566 at Thunder Chase Drive

Commuters using these stops take buses at the Herndon-Monroe Park and Ride facility. Bus bays are still accessible through the garage entrance.

The new 2,007-space garage includes a pedestrian bridge to the Metrorail Silver Line station, connections the existing 1,745-space Herndon-Monroe parking garage and bicycle storage facilities. The project is expected to be complete in the spring of 2019.

A groundbreaking ceremony last year celebrated the launch of the project, which is managed by Fairfax County. HGA Architects is the firm designing the project.

For more information on the impact of the project, call 703-339-7200 or 703-339-1608. Questions can also be addressed to [email protected]

Rendering courtesy of Fairfax County

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Photos: Installation of Pedestrian Bridge at Future Herndon Metro Station

As work on Phase 2 of Metro’s Silver Line project continues, a pedestrian walkway was recently set over the bus loop at the Herndon-Monroe Park and Ride facility.

The walkway, which will provide access to the Silver Line’s future Herndon Station from the south side of the Dulles Toll Road, will be integrated with existing and future infrastructure at the park and ride, according to information provided by the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project.

The pedestrian bridge from the north side of the Dulles Toll Road (westbound lanes) is scheduled to be installed this weekend.

Construction work on Phase 2 of the Silver Line, which will extend the Metrorail from Reston to Ashburn, was reported in July to be more than 60 percent done. The line is expected to be opened to the public in 2020.

Photos courtesy Dusty Smith/Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project

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Friday Morning Notes

Toll Road Traffic To Be Affected by Weekend Work — Westbound traffic will be rerouted this weekend as to allow crews to set pedestrian bridges that will provide access over the westbound highways to the Silver Line’s future Herndon station. [Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project]

Volunteers Needed for Watershed Cleanup — Help is needed Saturday at parks around Fairfax County, including locally at Lake Fairfax Park and Frying Pan Farm Park. [Fairfax County Park Authority]

FCPD Officer Pleads No Contest — Officer Pshko Siteki was heading to a call for a disorderly conduct incident in February when his speeding cruiser struck a minivan in the Seven Corners area. [Washington Post]

An Unexpected Stint in the NFL — Thirty years ago this month, South Lakes High School’s wrestling coach became a temporary member of the Washington Redskins during the National Football League players’ strike. John Cowne, who later would become an assistant coach for the SLHS Seahawks football team, remembered that once-in-a-lifetime experience in a recent interview. [Inside NoVa]

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