Design Review Board Flags Green Paint and “Tacky” Elements in Proposed Hotel Renovation

Reston Association’s Design Review Board deferred a decision on the proposed renovation of Sheraton Reston Hotel last night (Tuesday).

Board members said that some proposed renovations to the 298-room hotel (11810 Sunrise Valley Drive) were tacky and departed significantly from conceptual plans that the DRB approved in mid-October.

As the direction of the project changed, hotel representatives said they dropped several natural wood tone elements and wood-printed screens on the facade of the building in favor of green paint on the fins. Darker gray tones to the building were also proposed.

The green paint is intended to bring in tones from the landscape into the building, according to project representatives. In October, the design had more wood-based elements and lacked a vertical strip of repeated chevron patterns where the sign of the hotel is currently situated.

W. Neal Roseberry, the DRB’s vice chair, said he had a “visceral reaction” to the proposed green color, which he said does a disservice to one of Reston’s most iconic buildings and departs significantly from the previously proposed wood elements that were “a wow.”

“I think its not what Reston needs to be doing to its older iconic buildings,” Roseberry said.

He also noted that the blue colors of the EXO apartment building — which is not within the DRB’s purview — often produces criticism from the community. If approved, the green paint would likely do the same.

Richard Newlon, the DRB’s chairman, also noted that the broader issue was very different from the original conceptual plan and could stand-alone as an entirely new project.

Wurzak Hotel Group, a Philadelphia-based company and DoveHill Capital Management acquired the property in March 2018. The DRB preliminary approved a conceptual renovation plan in October 2018

Photos via handout/Reston Association

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Halley Rise Project Aiming to Reshuffle Residential Space on ‘Over-Developed’ Block

The owners behind the major Halley Rise want the county to approve a reshuffling of the square footage on what they say is a crowded block in the project.

Right now, work is underway on the portion of the 4 million-square-foot mixed-use development that will bring Reston its first Wegmans in June 2020. Halley Rise will be adjacent to the Reston Town Center Metro Station, occupying the northwest corner of the intersection of Reston Parkway and Sunrise Valley Drive.

One Reston Co. LLC and Two Reston Co. LLC want to redistribute some of the square footage from three denser blocks to two different blocks, “which still have [the] capacity for additional development,” according to the application.

The proposed changes would shift the hotel from block G to block E. Block E also would have a significant chunk of its retail space shifted elsewhere, along with moving all of its residential units to a different block. Meanwhile, block H would shave off about 150,000 square feet of office space.

The largest change would make block D the densest in the development with 100,000 square feet of office space, in addition to 391 residential units and four times more retail square footage.

The proposed changes were spurred by the realization that retrofitting the existing parking structure on block E with more than 400,000 square feet of development “would be more challenging than [the applicant] initially anticipated,” the application says.

“As a result, the applicant’s plan began with redistributing some of the square footage that had been concentrated on block E in order to relieve pressure from its planned over-development.”

The application, which stresses that the proposed changes do not adjust the project’s mix of uses or density, calls the proposal “modest improvements” that will allow for a new pedestrian promenade.

In early March, Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins’ requested the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors speed up the review process for proposed plans that would adjust the grid of streets and accelerate construction of the streets to coincide with the opening of the grocer.

The Fairfax County Planning Commission is set to take up the proposal with a public hearing on May 22.

Photos via Fairfax County and Halley Rise/website

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Renovations Proposed for Sheraton Reston Hotel

The new owners of Sheraton Reston Hotel (11810 Sunrise Valley Drive) in Reston Town Center have proposed a series of renovations to the 298-room hotel.

Wurzak Hotel Group, a Philadelphia-based company and DoveHill Capital Management acquired the property in March. Reston Association’s Design Review Board will consider the owners’ proposal to renovate the building’s exterior at the board’s meeting on Tuesday (Oct. 16).

Proposed renovations include repairs and repainting of the building’s facade. New louvers will be installed and wood-printed aluminum screens would be added to bring a “natural element” to the property, according to the owners’ proposal. Nature-inspired wood-printed metal will be repeated throughout the building and a clearer entry to the new Gastropub location will be added.

The DRB meets at 7 p.m. in Reston Association headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive). The board will also hear a case that was previously rejected in April.

T-Mobile has filed another application to install antennas on the roof of the Waterford Square Condominiums — a proposal that was flatly rejected after opposition from residents. Opposition to the proposal remains.

Photos via handout/Reston Association

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New Hotel in Herndon Opened with Amazon HQ2 In Mind

MCR, the owner of a new Courtyard by Marriott near Dulles International Airport, is motivated by the potential of a possible newcomer in the area: Amazon’s HQ2.

The owner is marketing the 187-room hotel, which is located at 13717 Sayward Blvd., with Amazon packages in the foreground in promotional materials. The company converted the former Sheraton hotel into a Courtyard.

“We developed the Courtyard by Marriott Dulles Airport Herndon with Amazon.com in mind,” said Tyler Morse, CEO and Managing Partner of MCR and MORSE Development. “In our hotel, the area’s tech workforce will have flexible spaces and free lightning fast Wi-Fi to stream, shop and work online.”

Amazon is expected to make a decision on the location of its second headquarters by the end of the year. Northern Virginia is among the 20 finalists, including the 26-acre Center for Innovative Technology campus.

The hotel includes a restaurant called The Bistro and a fitness center.

Photo via MCR

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Renovation Planned at Westin Reston Heights as New Owner Takes Over

Noble Investment Group, a Georgia-based investment company, has acquired Westin Reston Heights, a 191-room hotel located at 11750 Sunrise Valley Drive.

The company plans to renovate guests rooms and common areas in the hotel. Westin Reston Heights has a business room and is also the location of Vinifera Wine Bar & Bistro.  The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Noble principal Ben Brunt said the acquisition was motivated by substantial growth and corporate relocations planned in Reston.

“The Westin afforded Noble the opportunity to acquire a first-class physical asset that is well suited to the wide array of demand generators in the area while offering substantial upside through the reconfiguration and enhancement of the hotel public spaces and guest rooms,” Brunt wrote in a statement.

Nearby, another hotel changed hands this year. In March, Wurzak Hotel Group and DoveHil Capital Management acquired Sheraton Reston Hotel at 11810 Sunrise Valley Drive. A renovation project is planned for the 298-room hotel.

Photo by Starwood Hotels

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New Hotel Approved in Lake Fairfax Business Park

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved plans Tuesday to replace surface parking in Lake Fairfax Business Park with a four-story hotel.

The 138-room hotel, proposed by TH Holding Company, would be built next to the headquarters of Thompson Hospitality (1741 Business Center Drive), TH Holding’s retail food and facilities management company.

TH Holding Company plans to provide 299 parking spaces, including 149 spots for hotel guests and employees. An outdoor terrace will be adjacent to the hotel’s main entrance.

Under requested rezoning approvals, the hotel will be subject to its own zoning and permit regulations, separate from Lake Fairfax Business Park. The Planning Commission unanimously approved the project on May 3, with one member abstaining from a vote.

Photo via Fairfax County Government, Google Maps

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Renovation Planned at Sheraton Reston Hotel After New Acquisition

In a joint venture, Wurzak Hotel Group, a Philadelphia-based company, and DoveHill Capital Management have acquired Sheraton Reston Hotel (11810 Sunrise Valley Drive).

DoveHill plans to renovate the 298-room hotel, including all guest bathrooms, the lobby, a new pub, upgrades to the meeting space and a redesign of the building’s exterior.

In a statement, Jake Wurzak, DoveHill’s founder and managing member, said the company looks forward to “redeveloping the hotel into one of the top hotels in the region.”

We are thrilled to expand into the suburban Washington D.C market. The Sheraton enjoys tremendous benefits associated with its strategic placement between Washington, DC and Washington Dulles International Airport,” he said.

The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Photo via Sheraton Reston Hotel

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New Hotel Could Replace Parking Lot in Lake Fairfax Business Park

A four-story hotel could replace surface parking in Lake Fairfax Business Park.

TH Holding Company is seeking to build a 98,500 square foot hotel with 138 rooms next to the headquarters of Thompson Hospitality (1741 Business Center Drive), its retail food and facilities management company.

Reston’s Planning and Zoning Committee will vote on the proposal on Monday, Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m. The plan outlines 299 parking spaces, including 149 spots for hotel guests and employees. An outdoor terrace will sit next to the hotel’s main entrance and towards the neighboring office building.

The plan is designed to transition into a future street that would connect Business Center Drive to Michael Faraday Drive. Reston’s comprehensive plan proposes a local street running along the southwest border of the site.

Although redevelopment does not require this additional step, the company is designing the south side of the site in order to “easily integrate into the ultimate grid of streets,” according to the proposal.

The proposed development is expected to generate 775 weekday daily trips and 929 daily trips.

A map showing the location of Thompson Hospitality and the adjacent parking lot is below:

Photo via handout

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Hotel Being Proposed for Lake Fairfax Business Park

Thompson Hospitality is looking to put a hotel in the Lake Fairfax Business Park, adjacent to its company headquarters.

According to the latest edition of The Fairfax Newsletter, the food-service company has plans to put a 98,500-square foot hotel on Business Center Drive. The company moved its headquarters to the business park after purchasing a two-story office building there in 2011.

The proposed hotel would be on 4.82 acres. The site is currently zoned I-4, but an application has been filed to rezone it.

The Lake Fairfax Business Park is off Sunset Hills Road, east of Wiehle Avenue. Thompson’s property is on the western side of the park, which also houses the National Wildlife Federation, Freddie Mac, Sodexo, Lifetime Athletic and more businesses.

The Fairfax Newsletter reports that Thompson is proposing a four-story, 138-room hotel that “will provide rooms and small-scale meeting spaces for business travelers that will help serve the office uses surrounding the Property.” It would be constructed on what is currently a large surface parking lot.

The property is within the Wiehle-Reston East Transit Station Area, in a portion recommended for office use.

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