One of Reston’s first office developments has officially been approved for major redevelopment.
A 32-acre piece of Isaac Newton Square — which is roughly a quarter-mile from the Wiehle-Reston East Development — will be transformed with 2.8 million square feet of new construction, including around 2,100 residential units.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors officially approved the project, which is a joint venture between MRP Realty and landowner Peter Lawrence. Cos., on Tuesday (Oct. 15).
Isaac Newton Square is currently developed with around 437,000 square feet of office and industrial space. The first industrial tenant in Reston came to Isaac Newton Square in November of 1964. Reston’s first residents came a month later.
The redevelopment plan includes 10 blocks of development, including 300 hotel rooms, 260,000 square feet of office space and around 69,000 square feet of retail.
An athletic field is proposed along the southern edge of the property. Parking garages throughout the site will provide 3,920 of the 4,063 total spaces on the site. The full-size athletic field, which would be located next to the Washington & Old Dominion Trail, is nearby a planned amphitheater and a public civic plaza.
The existing internal roads on the site — Isaac Newton Square North, East, South and West — form the basis of the grid-of-streets for the site. Isaac Newton South, a two-way roadway, is the only public road proposed on the property, providing a second access point from Wiehle Avenue. Southbound traffic turning right from Wiehle Avenue on westbound Isaac Newton Square will use a proposed 88-foot taper.
Subsequent development plans for specific blocks will go before local and county planning bodies as the project comes close to groundbreaking.
Photos via handout/Fairfax County Government
The Fairfax County Planning Commission unanimously approved a plan to redevelop Isaac Newton Square Thursday night, green-lighting another major mixed-use development near the Wiehe-Reston East Metro Station.
APA Properties is seeking to rezone nearly 32 acres of land from industrial use in order to accommodate up to 2,100 units, including around 300 hotel rooms. Ten blocks of development are proposed, with 260,000 square feet of office and around 69,000 square feet of retail space.
Unlike other developments, an athletic field proposed along the southern edge of the property. Parking garages are planned throughout the development, but single-family units will have surface parking.
The project is located north of Sunset Hills Road and the Washington & Old Dominion Trail between Wiehle Avenue to the east and Hidden Creek Country Club to the west. Planning commissioners approved the project after ensuring it complied with current stormwater management guidelines — not old regulations the developer sought to retroactively apply to the current project.
Hunter Mill District Planning Commissioner John Carter also noted the athletic field will be composed of synthetic turf. Crumb rubber was dropped in favor of other materials.
APA Properties plans to construct a southbound, right-turn lane from Wiehle Avenue onto Isaac Newtown Square North. An eastbound right-turn lane is proposed exiting the property onto Wiehle Avenue. Isaac Newton South, a two-way roadway that runs across the southern portion of the property, is the only public. Road proposed on the property.
In a recent report, the county’s planning and zoning staff recommended approval of the project. The proposal heads to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors for a vote on Oct. 15.
The proposal, which has been in the works since May 2016, would bring up to 300 residential units in a nine-story building and an office building to the site, which is located at 11480 Sunset Hills Road.
A three-story parking garage, which is connected to the building with a tunnel, with 554 parking spaces is also planned.
In an August 27 report, the county’s planning and zoning staff recommended approval of the project.
Photos via handout/Fairfax County Government
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
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.
A new, publicly accessible athletic field is a key component of the redevelopment of Isaac Newtown Square, which is located on the north side of Sunset Hills Road and west of Wiehle Avenue.
Peter Lawrence Cos. And MRP Realty are working together to convert nearly 33 acres of the suburban office park into a residential campus with up to 2,100 units. The proposal is making its way through the county’s approval process.
The athletic field will be located next to the Washington & Old Dominion Trail, according to an April 9 proposal to the county. The publicly-accessed field is required by Reston’s Comprehensive Plan, which aims to meet future demand for active recreation facilities in Reston’s Transit Station Areas.
“Similar to urban parks in the District of Columbia located adjacent to, or near, high density residential and commercial uses, the athletic field will be easily accessible to pedestrian and vehicular traffic and its attendance foot traffic will help drive local commerce around the civic plaza and village Main Street,” according to the application.
The synthetic turf field will have 50 parking spaces allocated specifically reserved for field visitors. A 0.3-acre warmup field will be located next to the athletic field and a 1.5-acre civic plaza next to the athletic field is “intended to foster social interaction and create a visual identity for the Isaac Newtown Square Civic Plaza,” the application says.
The plaza will also house a 600-square-foot pavilion, picnic areas and shade structures, according to the application. Developers described the athletic field as a “destination” for the public.
The project heads to the Fairfax County Planning Commission on July 24.
Photo via Reston Association/MRP Realty
South Lakes JROTC Team Wins Award — “The South Lakes JROTC Marksmanship Team won the Spicer Cup, the Fairfax County rifle team championship, finishing the 2018-19 season undefeated. Team members are Kridsada Cheunchom, Julie Pasette, Noah Davidson, Alexandra Perez, co-captain Isbella Dunkle, captain James Liddle, Victor Pineda, Mishal Khattak, Aiza Shabaz and Logan Jones.” [Fairfax County Public Schools]
W&OD run or walk — At 6:30 p.m., the Reston Runners will start and end a 50-minute walk or run at One Life Fitness Gym in Isaac Newton Square. [Reston Runners]
PJ party at the library — The Herndon Fortnightly Library will host pajama party storytime from 6:30-7:15 p.m. [Fairfax County]
At its meeting tonight (Dec. 17), the Reston Planning and Zoning Committee will hear presentations on two projects.
1900-1902 Campus Commons LLC’s proposed development, known as Campus Commons, would add an office building and two residential buildings with ground-floor retail space at 1900 and 1902 Campus Commons Drive. The plan retains the two existing buildings at the site on the south side of the Dulles Toll Road and east side of Wiehle Avenue.
“Campus Commons will bolster a pedestrian-focused environment integrated with a system of public urban park spaces to achieve the transit-oriented design goals of the Comprehensive Plan,” the agenda for tonight’s meeting says.
APA Properties No. 6, L.P. and MRP Realty plan to present a redevelopment concept for Isaac Newton Square.
The proposal would convert the office buildings into a mixed-use project, changing the spot into a mostly residential area with a few commercial spaces. The project would include several development blocks and approximately eight acres of publicly-accessible open space, which would include a large neighborhood green that could be used for public events and athletic purposes.
The number of dwelling units and square footage are unknown at the moment, according to the document.
Public hearing dates have not yet been scheduled for the projects.
Tonight’s Reston P&Z Committee meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the North County Government Center.
Images via Google Maps
With a little less than a year before construction is scheduled to start on the new Reston Fire and Rescue Station 25, project is starting to shift from conception to physical.
Laurie Stone, a strategic planner for the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, said residents should start seeing work on the temporary fire station soon.
“The next thing you’ll see is when we start constructing the temporary facility behind the police station,” said Stone. “That will be starting soon… probably by the first of the year.”
After the fire crew moves into the temporary station at 1800 Cameron Glen Drive, Stone said demolition of the old fire station at 1820 Wiehle Avenue and reconstruction will begin in late summer-fall next year. The new fire station is expected to open in spring 2021.
The new station is scheduled to be 17,150 square-feet, over twice as large as the current 7,750 square-foot station. It will include four bays for the fire trucks on the first floor and administrative offices, a day room, kitchen, storage and bunk rooms on the second floor.
Stone said the station is built to facilitate any necessary new equipment or additional staffing required as the area near the Wiehle-Reston East area continues expanding.
The new fire station has also taken into consideration the developments planned nearby, like the redevelopment of Isaac Newton Square just behind the station.
“[This fire station] is in the Reston comprehensive plan for this area,” said Stone, “So we’ve met with the developer before to make sure they’re aware of it, so when their rezoning application goes through [to Fairfax County] it will go through our agency for review.”
As the area becomes increasingly crowded, Stone said it’s important to ensure the vehicles can quickly and safely enter and exit the station.
“This is going to be a drive-through station,” said Stone, meaning fire trucks will be able to leave from either a south or north entrance to the station. “When the development happens behind us at Isaac Newton they are going to work with us to make sure we can access the rear of the station.”
Stone also said the station development is keeping in mind the planned bridge over Wiehle Avenue which will be adjacent to the fire station. That bridge is planned to be built by October 2022.
“We’re ahead of their schedule,” said Stone, “so we’re coordinating construction so that they don’t disturb our operations.”
The “road from nowhere” is a household term among Restonians who are abreast of the day-to-day happenings in local development and land use. The conceptual road, which runs from the Isaac Newton Square property to American Dream Way, cuts straight through an open space resource that local grassroots groups are trying to protect from development: Hidden Creek Country Club.
There are no plans on the books to build the road. But the presence of the line in Reston’s Comprehensive Plan has some scratching there heads: Where did this road come from? And what does it mean for the golf course?
County officials say the road is entirely conceptual in nature, but could possibly be needed to improve connectivity if planned redevelopment happens in the Isaac Newtown Square area. The road could also relieve congestion at the intersection of Sunset Hills Road and Wiehle Avenue by serving as an alternative route to Sunset Hills Road, according to Robin Geiger of the Fairfax County Department of Transportation.
Geiger stressed the road has not been designed and if it is — whether through private development or through a public project — the community will have multiple opportunities to provide their feedback. The county will also work through the potential impacts to the golf course or environmentally-sensitive land in the area.
No development applications have been submitted for the Isaac Newton property to date. In May 2016, however, an application to develop a nearby three-acre site at 11480 Sunset Hills Road into an apartment building was indefinitely deferred.
But grassroots groups like Rescue Reston, which actively led efforts to stop the redevelopment of Reston National Golf Course and pledge to do the same for Hidden Creek Country Club, want the planned road connection removed from the comprehensive plan’s map. Its presence suggests the disruption of the golf course, which is one of two in Reston that the plan intends to protect.
In February, then-Reston Association CEO Cate Fulkerson requested that the county remove the line from the Reston Master Plan. Similar requests from community members surfaced again in recent workgroup sessions with county officials this month.
But county staff have remained reluctant to remove the road, noting that the conceptual road shows the intention of connecting the grid of streets with American Dream Way.
“As with any new roadway design, the county will work to minimize negative impacts on existing uses and the environment. In staff’s view, the planned road being shown as part of the conceptual street network does not negatively affect the viability of the Hidden Creek Golf Course,” Geiger said.
Despite assurances, some concerns remain, especially as Wheelock Communities engages with community stakeholders to determine the future of the golf course. No redevelopment plans have been formally proposed yet.
Photo via Google Earth
That was the message of Larry Butler, Reston Association’s senior director of parks, as he addressed directors during their meeting Thursday. Butler shared information about some of the largest potential redevelopments that remain on the horizon. Butler’s information came from a map that was provided to him recently by the Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning.
“When I received it, I was fascinated,” Butler said. “Some of these, most people have not seen.”
Butler specifically shined the spotlight on five projects outlined on the DPZ map.
- Reston Gateway Commons, to be bordered by Town Center Parkway, Sunset Hills Road and the W&OD Trail. The 23-acre plot, proposed for development by Boston Properties, is between the future Reston Town Center Metro station and RTC itself. In the pre-application process, Boston Properties is proposing 3.94 million square feet of residential and retail, along with a 1/3-acre park. It could have as many as 1,688 dwelling units.
- Campus Commons, located on the south side of the Dulles Toll Road near the southeast intersection of Wiehle Avenue and Sunrise Valley Drive. The rezoning application, which is in process, would add four new residential buildings and four parks. This could add up to 1,100 dwelling units on the 11.6-acre property.
- A major property assemblage on Association Drive, near the intersection of Sunrise Valley Drive and Soapstone Drive. This 23-acre plot, which is in the pre-application phase, is rumored to be sought after by grocery chain Wegmans. The design shared by Butler with the board shows a grocery store on the south side of the property, bordering Sunrise Valley Drive, among its numerous retail and residential buildings. Butler said nothing has formally been submitted to the County on the project, but “there are clearly discussions going on that there’s a general concept plan that has been drawn up for this.”
- The redevelopment of Isaac Newton Square. Butler said the proposal remains in the pre-application phase and there is no preliminary information available yet.
- Reston Crescent, located in the northwest corner of the intersection of Reston Parkway and Sunrise Valley Drive. Currently going through the County approval process, the 36-acre property — which Butler called a “monster development” — would be redeveloped to add up to 2,260 dwelling units, 1.18 million square feet of office space, up to 125,000 square feet of retail, and potentially a 160-room hotel. Six parks are also included in the plan from developer Brookfield Properties.
A total of 44 redevelopment proposals appear on the map provided by DPZ.
“The main point to highlight is there is a lot of activity going on,” Butler said. “This gives you an idea of the volume of activity that is happening here in Reston.”
As director of parks, Butler noted that the revised Comprehensive Plan calls for three fully lighted athletic fields near the TSAs — something absent from the redevelopment proposals.
“In none of these have we seen a ballfield,” Butler said. “I think we need to drum up a little interest in this … to define locations on some of these major assemblages where these things can occur.”
John McBride, RA’s land-use attorney, said it is impressive to see so many developers willing to invest in the community; however, he added, Restonians need to make sure they remain informed on each application and remain engaged with Fairfax County throughout the approval process.
“It’s a lot of work to get up on these applications, [but] public input is so important,” McBride said. “You are listened to by senior County staff and all of the Fairfax Board of Supervisors members and planning commissioners only when you do your homework [and] you’re reasonable.”
None of the properties highlighted by Butler in the proposal lie within the purview of Reston Association, meaning any meeting with the Design Review Board by a developer would be as a courtesy only.
Map courtesy Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning via Reston Association
Proposed rezoning of Golf Course Plaza, a three-acre parcel on the west edge of Isaac Newton Square, is scheduled for a Fairfax County Planning Commission hearing June 21.
The proposal, which first came to light in May 2016, would see the property (11480 Sunset Hills Road) become the home of a 392,600-square-foot multifamily residential structure with three levels of underground parking. Currently on the parcel is a three-story office building and a surface parking lot.
The residential building would feature 413 units. Developer Golf Course Overlook LLC seeks to rezone the property from I-5 (General Industrial) to Planned Residential Mixed-Use. According to the summary of Reston Association’s March land development tracker, it is “unclear whether any commercial uses would be retained” on the property.
The site is between the W&OD Trail and the fourth hole of the Hidden Creek Country Club golf course. It is about a third of a mile from the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station. According to the land development tracker summary:
“The site is located in the Wiehle Station Transit-Oriented Development District and designated Residential Mixed Use, which seeks to retain a 75/25 mix of residential and non-residential uses respectively, at intensities of up to a 1.5 FAR [Floor Area Ratio]. Isaac Newton Square is planned to be home to 3,200 (of the 4,600) residential units for this district.”
A county staff report on the project is to be released June 6. Signs advertising the hearing are to go up May 31.
Images via Golf Course Overlook LLC
“This area represents an opportunity to create a new residential neighborhood organized around a local-serving park,” Fairfax County planners say about the office park in the Master Plan Phase 2 draft.
The complex of low-slung office buildings, which includes Reston Sport & Health, Reston Montessori and KinderCare among other offices and businesses, is in walking distance of the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station and backs up to Hidden Creek Country Club’s golf course, as well as the W & OD Trail.
According to the Master Plan Draft, which will be voted on by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on June 2, Isaac Newton Square is planned for up to 2.0 FAR (Floor Area Ratio), a mark of medium density.
Here is what the draft says about Isaac Newton Square, which was built in the 1960s and 1970s:
The opportunity exists to achieve the Residential Mixed Use goal of 75 percent residential uses for the larger area if Isaac Newton Square redevelops in accordance with Plan guidance.
It is planned for up to 2.0 FAR with a residential and hotel component on the order of 90 percent of new development (approximately 3,200 units of the 4,600 units in the Residential Mixed Use area).
In light of the older, very low-density buildings, surface parking lots and undeveloped areas in this business park, a shift to a residential focus for this area can be achieved.
Residential buildings should front on tree-lined streets and be designed with inviting street level facades. This area represents an opportunity to create a new residential neighborhood organized around a local-serving park. This area should also be considered as a potential location for an athletic field to meet the need for the TSA.
In addition, development along the W&OD trail should be oriented and designed in order to create connections to the park property. This regional asset should be assimilated as much as possible into the development pattern in order to create a more urban fabric for the park property. This would include plazas, greens and other public gathering spaces abutting the park property.
Careful attention to design is necessary to maintain safe passage for through trail users and should be coordinated with the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority
Isaac Newtown Square currently contains many vacancies, according to commerical real estate listings. It is managed by Lincoln Property Company. Thus far, there are no plans in the works to transform the commercial area.
Phase 2 of the Master Plan will be a guiding document for Reston’s village centers and neighborhoods as Reston grows in the future. Phase 1, which sets guidelines for high-density areas near Reston’s transit centers, was approved by the Board of Supervisors in early 2014.
Isaac Newton Square/file photo