The food scene at RTC West, a small office park slated to become a major mixed-use project, is coming to life with the addition of another restaurant.
Rajiv Chopra, a chef-turned-owner, plans to open Bombay Velvet (12120 Sunset Hills Road), a fine-dining, Indian restaurant by the last week of November or the beginning of December. Chopra says the restaurant, which will be located next to Honeygrow, will offer a unique “upscale” dining experience with a full bar menu.
A grand opening will likely be held sometime near Christmas, Chopra told Reston Now. Chopra also owns three other Indian restaurants called Punjabi By Nature in Leesburg, Chantilly, and Vienna, but Bombay Velvet offers “a completely new concept” that differentiates itself from Chopra’s other businesses, he said.
The Indian restaurant adds a new mix to existing area restaurants, including Honeygrow and BGR The Burger Joint.
Photos by Fatimah Waseem
The Fairfax County Planning Commission delayed a decision on the Midline, a 1.8-million-square-foot mixed-use project, for the second time.
The project by JBG Smith, EYA and Chevy Chase Land Co. aims to create a 17.5-acre development east of Wiehle-Avenue and south of Sunset Hills Road with four blocks of development.
Hunter Mill District Planning Commissioner John Carter said the county is still working with the development team to ensure the development has a sufficient number of workforce and affordable dwelling units, as well as a suitable mix of assisted living and multi-family units.
“The applicant is making progress on this,” Carter said at an Oct. 11 Planning Commission meeting. The development team is meeting the county “halfway” on its requirements for a balanced mix of affordable housing and appropriate services for residents of assisted-living units and multi-family units.
Block A would include one building with 127 independent units and a 33-bed assisted living facility. The second building would include a 325-unit multi-family building and around 103,870 square feet of other uses. Block B would include a 225-unit multi-family building and around 260,000 square feet of office space. The 14-story office building is the tallest in the development. The plan for blocks C and D is more flexible, with a mix of multi-family units and townhouses proposed. Overall, the residential portion of the development would serve up to 1,500 residents.
A decision was deferred to Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m. The case, which was previously deferred in late September to Oct. 11, has not yet been docketed for the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.
Photo via handout/Fairfax County Government
Fairfax County’s Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a nearly 1.4 million square feet addition to RTC West, a mixed-use project bounded by the Washington & Old Dominion Trail to the north and Reston Town Center Parkway to the east. The vote on Tuesday (Sept. 25) brings yet another major neighborhood near the future Reston Town Center Metro Station.
JBG Smith will add up to 576 multifamily units, 700,000 square feet of office space, and some retail. The site is currently home to three six-story office buildings, two parking garages and retail tenants like Cooper’s Hawk Winery, honeygrow, and the recently opened BGR The Burger Joint.
Bailey Edelson, JBG Smith’s senior vice president of development, said a common green at the center of the property will offer a “convening location” for the public. The company also paid careful attention to balance the distinctiveness of each building whilst still creating a neighborhood-like appeal, Edelson said.
The expanded version of the project, which is adjacent to the Reston Gateway project, adds another mixed-use neighborhood near the Metro station. The site design incorporates the future Town Center Parkway underpass that would connect Sunset Hills Road to Sunrise Valley Drive through an underground tunnel across the Dulles Toll Road.
Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins said the project offers a suitable mix of commercial, retail and residential that allows people to “observe and participant” among higher buildings planned and approved near the future Metro station. She also said the underpass will help alleviate traffic and congestion in the immediate area.
A new right-only entrance from southbound Town Center Parkway at the north of the property line will be added to the development. The site design also incorporates bicycle lanes that provide an improved connection to the Washington & Old Dominion Trail.
The Planning Commission approved the project on Sept. 13. Edelson offered the following statement in response to a request from Reston Now:
“The Master Plan for RTC West will enable JBG Smith to transform the existing predominantly suburban site into a more urban neighborhood, and enhance the connection between the new metro station and Town Center. The new retail has brought significant amenities and activity to the existing office buildings and we intend to build on that momentum as we bring the Master Plan online over time.”
The plan, which includes 3.4 acres of open space, is as follows:
- Buildings 1, 2, and 3: Existing six-story office building with retail on the ground floor will remain.
- Building 4: A one-story freestanding restaurant, Cooper’s Hawk Winery, will remain.
- Building 5: A new eight-story office with 160,000 square feet, including 10,000 square feet of retail.
- Building 6: A new 22-story office building with 396,000 square feet, including 16,000 square feet of retail.
- Building 7: A 20-story residential building with 293 multi-family units.
- Building 8: A new 22-story residential building with 283 multi-family units. This building wraps the north facade of a second parking garage.
- Building 9: A new seven-story office building located on top of a current parking structure.
- Building 10: A one-story freestanding restaurant located on the common green.
The developer did not provide the timeline of the project or the anticipated cost, as that information has not yet been finalized.
Photos via handout/Fairfax County Government
Member listening sessions begin tomorrow — Reston Association’s Board of Directors invites RA members to take part in a few listening sessions that begin tomorrow. Other meetings are set for Oct. 3, Oct. 10, and Oct. 17. [Reston Today]
Missing Sterling teen found — Bryan Ortega-Henriquez, 15, went missing last week and was found yesterday, according to local law enforcement. He was believed to be in the Herndon area. [Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office]
Decision on RTC West expected today — The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will vote on a major project to expand RTC West from an office park with some retail into a mixed-use project with up to 576 multifamily units. [Fairfax County Government]
Give blood today — INOVA’s bloodmobile will be in Reston Town Center today from 1-6 p.m. [Reston Town Center]
Flickr pool photo by vantagehill
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will vote on three major mixed-use and office projects in Reston tomorrow (July 31).
The development proposals include data centers at Sunrise Technology Park, additions to RTC West, and Boston Properties’ Reston Gateway project.
CoreSite hopes to bring data centers to a 21-acre office park on the south side of Sunrise Valley Drive. The plan was unanimously approved by the Fairfax County Planning Commission in late June.
The second proposal is by Brookfield Property Partners for its major Reston Crescent Development. The project will also be the future home of Wegmans and an athletic field may be conveyed to the county as part of the proposal.
Last but not least is Boston Properties’ Reston Gateway project, which aims to bring 2.2 million square feet of office space, a 570-room hotel and nearly 2,010 residential units to the door of Metro and to the border of Reston Town Center. The project is also the future home of Fannie Mae.
All projects were approved by the planning commission. A public hearing will be held prior to votes on any proposals.
Handouts via Fairfax County Government
JBG Smith’s RTC West project is slowly welcoming new restaurants like Nando’s Peri-Peri, honegrow and Mezeh. But more is coming at the site, including nearly 1.4 million square feet of new development, up to 575 multifamily units in two buildings and three new office buildings.
The Fairfax County Planning Commission will consider the proposal, which transforms the the office park north of Sunset Hills Road and West of Town Center Parkway, on Thursday (July 26).
So far, the project is anchored by three existing six-story office buildings and two parking garages, as well as ground floor retail options.
If approved by the county, the project would have two new residential buildings, an additional 700,000 square feet of office space across three new buildings, two parking garages, a retail-only building and 3.4 acres of open space across nearly 13.4 acres.
County staff recommended approving the project.
Silver Line delays — Dreaded Red Line maintenance that will shut down two stations until September begins this weekend. The Silver Line will run every 26 minutes this weekend between Wiehle and Ballston only. [DCist]
Nearby: JBG Smith and Amazon — The company, which has several projects in Reston, has benefited from the company’s status as a “perceived frontrunner for Amazon.com Inc’s second headquarters.” So, naturally, unfounded rumors that Jeff Bezos wants to acquire the developer are abound. [The Washington Business Journal]
‘Take a Break’ concert tonight — A mix of a capella, Motown, doo-wop and soul will come to Lake Anne Plaza today from 7-9 p.m. The concert by Part Harmony is free for all ages. [Reston Community Center]
Photo by Fatimah Waseem
RTC West+ — JBG Smith plans major additions to RTC West, which, for now, is essentially an office park with a touch of retail. [Washington Business Journal]
Death ruled a drowning – An autopsy determined that Kevin Ruby’s cause of death was drowning, with the contributing cause of cardiovascular disease. Ruby drowned during a popular race on Lake Audubon in late May. [Fairfax County Police Department]
First PRC work session tomorrow — The first workgroup meeting regarding transportation as the county considers a plan to increase Reston’s population density is set for tomorrow at 12005 Sunrise Valley Drive. [Reston Today]
Twitter user @MrErrett
The restaurant, which offers burgers grilled over an open flame and hand-spun milkshakes, will be located at 12120 Sunset Hills Road.
An exact opening date was not available, although restaurants are opening their doors in development, which is already home to Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant, Nando’s, Honeygrow and Starbucks.
Mezeh Mediterranean Grill, which is located in the same development, is also expected to open this month. An exact opening date will be confirmed next week, a company representative told Reston Now on Friday.
Other businesses planned for the development include The Black Squirrel, an old-school gastropub, Forever Nails and Punjabi by Nature.
Photo by Fatimah Waseem
Honeygrow, a Philadelphia-based, fast-casual restaurant, is opening in JBG Smith’s new Reston Town Center West development at 12100 Sunset Hills Road in May.
The restaurant sells made-to-order stir-fry, salads, cold-pressed juices. The store has no freezers in order to ensure ingredients are sourced locally and made from scratch on a daily basis.
Justin Rosenberg, the restaurant’s CEO, founded honeygrow in 2012. Since then, the restaurant has opened in Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, the District, Pentagon City and other areas.
Photo via honeygrow
Mezeh Mediterranean Grill is expected to open this spring in JBG Smith’s RTC West development (12130 Sunset Hills Road).
A specific date has not been announced. Permits for the installation of the electric system were issued late last year.
The grill will join other establishments like Starbucks, Nando’s Peri-Peri and Cooper’s Hawk Winery as work continues on adjacent office buildings and ground-floor retail spaces. Other future businesses, as advertised on signage at the front of the new office building, include Punjabi by Nature, The Black Squirrel, The Burger Joint, and Honeygrow.
The first phase of development converts 15,000 square feet of office space into street-level retail and adds 25,000 square feet of new retail on the southwest corner of the nearly 14-acre campus. The buildings have structured surface parking for visitors and a four-level parking garage with a total of 1,619 parking spaces.
Photos by Fatimah Waseem
Brookfield Property Partners now owns two office buildings next to its future Reston Crescent project, a planned mixed used development with more than 2,000 residential units and the likely future home of Wegmans.
The acquisition expands Brookfield’s footprint in Reston. Although the offices have the potential of 290,000 rentable square feet, CBRE has marketed the property as a redevelopment project that could yield up to 1.2 million square feet of mixed-used development.
“The sale of Summit I and II is consistent with our strategy to take advantage of market conditions to recycle capital, deleverage our balance sheet and reinvest the proceeds in higher-yielding growth opportunities,” Matt Kelly JBG Smith’s Chief Executive Officer wrote in a statement.
JBG Smith bought the buildings for $51 million in 2012 and renovated them. The company maintains ownership of other major sites near Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station, VY at Reston Heights and RTC West.
Photos courtesy JBG Smith
Tenants include Super Chicken, Allure Nails, Signature Thai, and Reston Kabob. WillPower Functional Fitness, a 35,000 square foot gym, was the first retail tenant confirmed in 2016.
The building on 11830 Sunrise Valley Drive is part of JBG’s Reston Heights project, which includes Westin Reston Heights, the Sheraton Reston, the Mercer Condos and office buildings along Sunrise Valley Drive.
VY, which stands for “very,” contains a mix of one, two and three-bedroom apartments with two-story lofts.Monthly rents range between $1,800 and $3,320. Amenities include an two open-air lounges, a pool, fitness center, courtyard with fire pits, a lawn, on-site dog park, a pet spa and a bike maintenance center.
Greg Trimmer, the company’s executive vice president, said VY will be a “new community landmark.”
“The property sets the bar for luxury living in Reston with a high level of amenities, retail, and access to the outdoors and activities for the consumer who values both a quiet evening in a comfortable home overlooking nature, and entertainment or activity right outside of their front door,” he said.
Photos via JBG Smith
Commercial real-estate news source Bisnow hosted a “Fairfax County State of the Market” event last week, at which representatives of several top area developers spoke about the boom in development in Reston and Tysons. According to Bisnow’s report, the areas are currently in a state where supply is outpacing demand.
“In Reston we’re a little sick, but Tysons is in hospice in terms of the glut of apartments,” said Greg Trimmer, JBG Smith executive vice president of development, according to the Bisnow report. Trimmer is reported to have said that apartment rents in Reston are flat — and in some cases slightly negative — due to the amount of new multifamily construction.
JBG Smith is involved in numerous residential projects around Reston, including the next phase of the RTC West project, which would include 700 dwelling units in two towers. It also has a stake in the 1831 Wiehle project, which would bring in about 1,500 new residents. In addition, Fairfax County has approved JBG Smith’s plans for about 500 more residential units and more at the Commerce Executive Park; however, the developer may be looking to unload that property.
Trimmer is reported to have said that Reston is positioned well to be a residential success, but that it is currently experiencing a “blip.”
“In the long term we’re set up well, but right now we do have a bit of a problem,” Trimmer is reported to have said.
Comstock CEO Chris Clemente is reported to have agreed, saying that the 450-apartment BLVD has not leased as quickly as expected. He says the hope is that will change once the full Reston Station development begins to take shape.
“I think a lot of that has to do with the lack of understanding of what this neighborhood here is going to be,” Clemente is reported to have said. “The new residential buildings will benefit from that lifestyle that only comes when you have a more complete environment.”
Comstock’s additional plans include 460 more residential units where the Sunset Hills Professional Center currently stands.
Mike Henehan, Bozzuto’s senior vice president, also spoke on the issue during the forum. He is reported to have given similar comments about the glut of new apartments and the supply surge in Reston.
Bozzuto is currently leasing apartments at its new 421-unit Aperture building.
“There is still some rent growth in this market,” Henehan is reported to have said. “It certainly doesn’t keep up with construction costs and some of the other costs, so I think there will be a little resistance there over time.”
File photo of Bozzuto’s Aperture apartments under construction, August 2016
An approved plan for massive development of the Commerce Executive Park near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station may be at a fork in the road, the Washington Business Journal reports.
According to the WBJ, JBG Smith is marketing the 12-acre property Commerce Executive Park to prospective buyers. JBG Smith took ownership of the property — south of the Dulles Toll Road and at the northwest corner of the Sunrise Valley Drive/Wiehle Avenue intersection — from Vornado Realty Trust earlier this year as part of the recent merger of JBG Cos. and Vornado’s D.C. business unit, Charles E. Smith.
The three existing six-story office buildings would remain in the redevelopment plan, but the rest would be transformed into a live-work-dine-shop destination for those who want to be close to Metro and Reston’s busy business corridor. The new buildup would include towering buildings that would be among the tallest in Reston:
- a 22-story, 275-foot-tall office building
- a 24-story, 255-foot-tall residential building with up to 300 dwelling units
- a 14-story, 165-foot-tall hotel with 175 rooms
- a 7-story, 100-foot-tall residential building with up to 200 dwelling units
The plans also include a total of 1.5 acres of open space, with small parks, bicycle tracks and a promenade along the businesses, and would feature public art including a water feature.
According to the WBJ report, the fact that CBRE is marketing the properties for JBG Smith doesn’t necessarily mean a sale is imminent or will even happen at all.