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