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Fairfax County Board to Consider Three Major Development Proposals

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

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Major Expansion Proposed for RTC West

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.

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Thursday Morning Notes

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

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Monday Morning Notes

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

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BGR The Burger Joint to Open in the Fall

BGR the Burger Joint will open a new location in the fall in RTC West, JBG Smith’s new mixed-use development.

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

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Honeygrow to Open in Reston Town Center West in May

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

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Mezeh Mediterranean Grill to Open in the Spring in RTC West

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

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Brookfield Property Partners Buy Office Buildings Near Future Reston Crescent for $95 Million

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 company purchased Summit I, the home of Noblis, Inc., and Summit II on 2000 and 2002 Edmund Halley Drive from JBG Smith Properties for $95 million.

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

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New Retail Tenants Announced as VY Reston Heights Opens

VY, a 385-unit apartment community by JBG Smith, is officially open. Six tenants are expected to take up ground floor retail slots by the summer.

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

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Report: Developers ‘Concerned’ About Number of New Reston Rental Units

At a panel event last week, developers said that filling the thousands of new rental units coming to Reston’s Metro corridor is proving to be a “bumpy road.”

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

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Report: JBG Smith Considering Parting Ways with Commerce Executive Park Development Plan

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.

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Reston’s Ninth Starbucks Nearly Ready To Open at RTC West

UPDATE: The Starbucks location opened Monday, Oct. 9.

Another new Starbucks will soon open in Reston.

Signs inside the future coffee shop at 12130A Sunset Hills Road, within the RTC West development, indicate that the new Starbucks will be ready soon. The storefront is attached to Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant, which opened in August.

A spokesperson for RTC West developer JBG Smith said she could not provide an exact opening date for the Starbucks. An “opening soon” sign hangs inside, visible through the front windows. Several “Now Open” sandwich boards are also stacked inside, ready for deployment.

This will be the ninth Starbucks in Reston, joining locations at North Point Village Center, South Lakes Village Center, Hunters Woods Village Center, Reston Town Center, the Spectrum shopping plaza, Plaza America, Reston Station and inside Target.

Six additional restaurants are also planned for the development. Significant work has been done at the sites of the future Nando’s and Mezeh restaurants, which have been in the plans since April 2016. Other coming restaurants, which were announced earlier this year, include BGR The Burger Joint, Punjabi by Nature, The Black Squirrel and Honeygrow.

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Now Open: Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant on Sunset Hills Road

Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant is now open at 12130 Sunset Hills Road, marking the official opening of the RTC West restaurant and retail complex.

In March 2015, JBG Companies (now JBG Smith) announced that Cooper’s Hawk would be the anchor tenant of the 40,000-square-foot RTC West development. With its opening this morning, the Reston location becomes the 30th Cooper’s Hawk restaurant in the nation. It is the third in Virginia.

The 9,365-square-foot restaurant also features a 522-square-foot mezzanine area. It has “a lively tasting room and market, indoor dining for 196 guests, outdoor dining for seating for 146, and a private event space that can accommodate up to 44,” according to a recent press release from the restaurant. More than 200 employees were hired this summer.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new restaurant was Saturday night, Around Reston reports.

Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurant in Reston opens today, Aug 28! Ribbon cutting was held Saturday night. In attendance,…

Posted by Around Reston on Monday, August 28, 2017

The restaurant’s menu includes items such as candied bacon and artisan cheeses; gnocchi bolognese with braised short rib; Southern hot chicken; pan-roasted barramundi; shrimp and scallop risotto; and wild mushroom-crusted chicken. In addition, more than 40 wines — produced at the Cooper’s Hawk winery in Illinois — are available to customers. Each menu item has a wine-pairing suggestion.

One of the restaurant’s most popular features, its representatives say, is its Wine Club. Members are privy to special wine offerings each month, as well as monthly Wine Club dinners and tastings.

Cooper’s Hawk will be open at 11 a.m. each day. Closing times are 9:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 10:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; and 9 p.m. Sundays.

Work also continues on other buildings in the RTC West development that will soon house six more restaurants, a nail salon and a Starbucks. The other restaurants on site will include Punjabi by Nature, The Black Squirrel, Honeygrow, BGR The Burger Joint, Mezza Mediterranean Grille and Nando’s Peri-Peri.

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