Morning Notes

Reston Fire Results in $255,000 in Damages — A house fire in the 1200 block of Shaker Drive caused roughly $255,000 in damages. The fire started in the floor wiring, according to fire investigators. No injuries were reported. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]

Talks End on Gupta Project — The Lake Anne of Reston Condominium Association says that it is disappointed the Gupta Family Foundation has discontinued discussions over a $250,000 beautification project at Lake Anne plaza. [Reston Patch]

Outreach on Parking Changes in Herndon Begins — The Herndon Police Department has launched a campaign to promote changes to the town’s parking code. No parking is allowed within five feet to either side of a public or private driveway, recreational vehicles cannot park in one place for more than 72 hours, and commercial vehicles cannot be parked in residential areas. [Herndon Police Department]

Future of Great Falls Grange Hall Contemplated — The Fairfax County Park Authority is coordinating a meeting with stakeholders to discuss the future of the hall and Forestville Schoolhouse. [Fairfax County Government]

Photo by Marjorie Copson

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The county has officially begun thinking about the long-term future of Lake Anne plaza.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved tweaking the current budget to fund a master planning and visioning study of the aging village center. The board approved $250,000 to help fund the study at a meeting last week.

The move comes after the county hired a structural engineering company to survey the village center and complete an assessment of its condominium buildings.

The county has noted that more funding is needed to master planning and to support the long-term sustainable development of Lake Anne.

The county’s Architectural Review Board is seeking a supplemental report to fill gaps of a cursory review of the plaza that flagged nearly $37 million in repairs for the aging area.

The review was conducted by the county’s Department of Public Works and Environmental Services and Samaha Associates, an architectural firm, but the ARB said it failed to account for Lake Anne’s status as a historic district, among other concerns.

Photo by vantaghill/Flickr

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Lake Anne Plaza during the Reston Multicultural Festival in 2021 (Staff photo by David Taube)

(Updated on Feb. 2) A communitywide effort seeking to revitalize Lake Anne Plaza appears to no longer be viable.

Community partners and property owners at Lake Anne Plaza were looking to provide donations as part of a $250,000 proposal envisioned to help revitalize the area.

Cofounders of the Herndon-based Gupta Family Foundation, which provides assistance to programs across the world to help address poverty, disabilities and discrimination, were looking to donate $25,000, and other Lake Anne of Reston Condominium Association property owners like them had agreed to donate $45,000, Margaret and Shashi Gupta said. The Reston Community Center also was looking to contribute $50,000, according to a presentation.

The foundation’s cofounders said they had been trying to work with the Lake Anne of Reston Condominium Association.

“We thought if we could get community backing it would lift up the community’s spirits,” Shashi Gupta said, recalling property owners’ enthusiastic support of the proposal.

The effort was dubbed the Lake Anne Rising Program, a proposal that hinged on several community partners donating money and the LARCA board determining if the association could accept the upgrades to its property.

Margaret Gupta said in an email that the LARCA board has continued to raise objections, though, and has now reneged on a proposed agreement that had been reached between attorneys.

But property owner May Faruqi said in an email that the association’s legal counsel has denied that there was any agreement between the parties’ lawyers.

LARCA President George Hadjikyriakou didn’t immediately respond to messages seeking comment. He later wrote that the LARCA board agreed that any response or statements about “this or any other subjects intended for the press” will need to come from our legal counsel.

Shashi Gupta told fellow LARCA owners in an email Monday that the LARCA board “has thwarted” the plan negotiated in early December by creating new requirements on the project and “essentially killing it.” He told RestonNow that LARCA sought to revise a proposed contract, significantly modifying it with markups.

A proposed agreement included the Reston Historic Trust (a nonprofit that operates the Reston Museum) as a party and stated the project would include upgrades to ultimately be owned by LARCA. An edited proposal suggested the association wanted the Reston Historic Trust to have multi-million dollar insurance coverages.

A statement released Tuesday night stated the following:

The Lake Anne of Reston Condominium Association Board is committed to acting consistent with the authority given to it by its condominium instruments and is further committed to protecting the interests of its owners while maintaining the LARCA Condominium property.  The LARCA Board shares the community’s disappointment that the Gupta Family Foundation has, in light of LARCA‘s commitments, felt it necessary to discontinue discussions over the proposed Plaza project.

Patch reported in December that the Guptas presented details on the project on Nov. 18 at the Reston Community Center, noting it would involve filling and cleaning planters in the plaza, restoring the Pyramid Park sculpture as well as the Fonseca Monolith, and more.

The effort came as the plaza has an estimated $37 million in repairs needed to the aging area. Fairfax County could still assist $300,000.

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Advocates are questioning the design of a new traffic island near Lake Anne Plaza that currently snakes around a crosswalk.

The island allows pedestrians and cyclists from Village Road to pass a right-turn lane and continue past Baron Cameron Avenue.

Previously, the island was essentially a straight shot, but now, the sidewalk circles around a crosswalk signal. The Virginia Department of Transportation said constraints, including updating the sidewalk to conform with the Americans with Disabilities Act, were part of the design.

But advocates suggested that the new crosswalk appears to be worse off for people in wheelchairs.

Bruce Wright, president of the Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling, called the sidewalk design an afterthought and said this often happens.

“Anyone with a wheeled vehicle will have a hard time making the sharp left turn and then swinging around to the right,” he said in an email. “And pedestrians want to walk a direct path.”

He described the design as bad and would have preferred taking out the right-turn slip lane, requiring drivers to make a 90-degree turn.

Wright said FABB has discussed another issue with these designs with county and state transportation departments, noting that steep sides of curbs can lead to cyclists slamming their pedals there, causing crashes.

VDOT says design constraints involved

Transit officials said the upgrades were tied to Lake Anne House, a project to build 240 affordable units for seniors.

A Fairfax County staff report regarding the development previously stated “A pedestrian crosswalk across Village Road, near its intersection with Baron Cameron Avenue, will be provided. An existing pedestrian countdown signal and crosswalk are located on the east side of the site entrance, and will remain, to provide access to the Village Center.”

Fairfax County Department of Transportation spokeswoman Robin Geiger said the developer made the upgrades by right without transit approval.

But a representative for the development, Christy Zeitz, CEO of senior affordable housing provider Fellowship Square, said in an email that the Virginia Department of Transportation “controlled the design of the sidewalk.”

VDOT suggested a permit was involved but couldn’t immediately clarify who signed off on the project. It did acknowledge constraints and implications of the design, though.

“The new ramp is part of the improvements associated with the Lake Anne House site plan (right-of-way improvements are included in VDOT permit #139453) and replaces the existing ramp/sidewalk in the island at that intersection that was non-compliant with ADA requirements and would no longer address pedestrian connectivity between the project site, Village Road and Baron Cameron Avenue,” VDOT spokesperson Ellen Kamilakis wrote in an email.

Site constraints also included traffic signal boxes and at least one underground utility hole, meaning a more standard refuge island was not possible, according to VDOT, leading to the curved path.

“This unfortunately does elongate the length of walkway for pedestrians traveling across Baron Cameron Ave. to the east side of Village Road from the existing condition, pre-construction,” Kamilakis wrote.

With the design, ponding within the sidewalk shouldn’t occur.

‘Mini-golf putting course’

“You’re under certain rules when you’re redesigning something,” Reston resident Fionnuala Quinn said. “However, the redesign doesn’t serve the purpose that the island is for.”

Quinn, who works as a consultant and seeks to promote traffic improvements through her business, questioned the design through a video on Twitter, joking it was a “new mini-golf putting course.”

She noted she didn’t know the background of the design but contacted Fairfax County regarding her concerns. County officials suggested a contractor was involved due to a new development.

It was unclear if design constraints, such as a sewer system, played a role or if the setup was temporary.

Quinn, who previously worked as a civil engineer, said the design was convoluted and said it could be problematic for a cyclist, a person in a wheelchair or someone pushing a stroller when there’s another pedestrian.

She said she was hesitant to talk about the matter because it didn’t appear to be a finished project, but she was wondering what kinds of effects the design could have, even for able-bodied people.

Quinn said many people think infrastructure is a fixed resource that can’t be changed. But that’s not the case. She said it’s better to raise issues in the design phase and at public meetings and described the current setup as unfortunate.

“I live in Reston because it’s a walkable, bikeable place, and we have this amazing network that allows us to get around the community,” she said. “When I encountered that particular reconstruction, I was pretty surprised.”

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Morning Notes

Proposal to Beautify Plaza Awaits Approval — A group of Lake Anne owners has promised to pay $45,000 to cover a $250,000 beautification project. [Reston Patch]

Holiday Message from Reston Association — Acting CEO Larry Butler says that the new year will bring improvements to several recreational facilities and new capital projects. Butler also encourages members to vote in the upcoming board election in March. [RA]

Police Recruitment Fair This Week — The Fairfax County Police Department will have recruiters on sight at the Merrifield Sports Fitness Center from 5-8 p.m. tomorrow. [FCPD]

Photo by Marjorie Copson

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Washington Plaza shops reflected in Lake Anne (via vantagehill/Flickr)

A proposal to invest $250,000 to beautify and clean up Lake Anne plaza appears to be picking up steam.

The Lake Anne of Reston Condominium Association (LARCA) has signaled its support for the project, which has been proposed by the Gupta Family Foundation, a family that was personal friends of Reston’s founder, Bob Simon.

The project, called Lake Anne Rising, aims to revitalize the plaza by cleaning, restoring potted landscaping, replanting the seal wall along the dock, and adding a planter system.

The proposal also includes a pyramid park near the entrance of the plaza in order to save specimen trees and the pyramid sculpture. The foundation conditioned its funding on LARCA’s commitment of $45,000. Other partners include Reston Museum and Public Art Reston.

The association has budgeted no funding for landscape over the last two years as it grapples with other issues.

George Hadjikyriakou, who was recently elected as LARCA’s board president, stressed that the project is only a conceptual plan.

“We are still in communications with the Guptas and hope that we will at some point soon come to an agreement so that we can move forward to the next steps,” he told Reston Now.

The organization faces numerous organizational issues as the plaza faces $37 million in critical infrastructure repairs.

Reston Patch previously reported the project was stalled after the board would not be able to meet a Dec. 1 deadline to reach an agreement with the Gupta Foundation.

If an agreement is approved, the Guptas proposed the following funding structure, which it noted is strongly aspirational:

  • Gupta Family Foundation – $25,000
  • LARCA – $45,000
  • Reston Community Center – $50,000
  • Reston Association – $25,000
  • Community fundraising — $105,000

An initial presentation stipulated completing the work by April.

Hadjikyriakou said he is hopeful that an agreement on the plan will be reached soon.

I am confident that we will soon reach a common level of understanding of the parameters of such an effort and will agree on how to proceed.”

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Lake Anne Plaza during the Reston Multicultural Festival in 2021 (Staff photo by David Taube)

Newly elected Lake Anne condominium association president George Hadjikyriakou is looking to help improve the historic community, built in the 1960s, that’s in need of tens of millions of dollars in repairs.

His wife, Vicky, and he own Kalypso’s Sports Tavern at Lake Anne Plaza, and he became president of the Lake Anne of Reston Condominium Association following an Oct. 27 election. George Hadjikyriakou discussed the community’s needs with Reston Now.

The condomonium association has been embroiled in politics and other issues for more than a year.

“My priorities are to first and foremost establish a more open and transparent organization, follow our bylaws and the Virginia Condo Act, and to focus on the infrastructure repairs noted in the County’s report,” he wrote in an email, noting that the board of directors will engage members on decisions regarding property owned by all of its members.

In a report prepared for the county, architectural firm Samaha Associates previously identified an extensive list of repairs at Lake Anne Plaza. The costs to fix the issues amounted to over $37.7 million.

Of that total, nearly $20 million involve high-priority issues that could involve potential safety issues if not promptly addressed, according to the 109-page report. Some of those items include:

  • Ponding water issues on several buildings’ roofs that need replacement, including the Market-Deli building, where mold has accumulated on top. It hasn’t been replaced in over 20 years, based on documentation the county collected.
  • Replacing elevators in coming years at the 15-story residential building Heron House as they reach the end of their lifespans, which would require nearly $2.9 million
  • Over $1.3 million in parking lot issues that involve extensive cracking and potholes.
  • Fixing damaged brick, concrete and retaining walls and addressing electrical code violations at a commercial side of Chimney House, which abuts the parking lot and main walkway. And surrounding a water fountain, the main residential-business plaza also has deteriorating balconies.

The election results come as the community has faced aging-infrastructure problems that left tenants without hot water for months earlier this year.

“Our priorities as a community should be to ensure that our neighbors can have consistent heat, air conditioning, hot water, and no more water intrusion to their units causing unhealthy living conditions,”  Hadjikyriakou also wrote.

Lake Anne Plaza was the first village center for Reston and became part of the National Register of Historic Places in 2017, thereby limiting what kind of work can be done there. It continues to be a center for dining, farmers markets and cultural events. Hadjikyriakou noted that the county’s Architectural Review Board and Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn have expressed interest in the community, which could help with additional sources of funding.

Previously, a board of directors for the condo association some 15 or 20 years ago began undertaking the day-to-day property management activities of the community, which Hadjikyriakou believes was a mistake, he wrote. He said by email that he’s looking for directors to remove that responsibility from the board, which  he said should focus on governance instead of daily operations, and shift those duties back to a real property management company.

Hadjikyriakou also wrote one of the initiatives the condo association will seek to do is explore ways to use common areas to help generate revenue.

“We ask that people be patient and give us an opportunity to organize and prioritize the many necessary projects required to make our buildings safe and structurally sound for generations to come,” he wrote.

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Morning Notes

Herndon workers put a wreath on the front of the town’s government center. (Photo by David Taube)

Seed Money Dedicated to Clean Up Lake Anne Plaza — A local foundation has donated $25,000 in seed money to help clean up Lake Anne Plaza. The beautification project is called “Lake Anne Rising.” [Reston Patch]

Reduced Metro Service to Remain — Metro plans to continue reducing service through Dec. 31 because it has not established a timeline to return the 7000-series fleet in the interest of safety. Nearly 75 percent of Metrorail stations have trains arriving at least every 10-12 minutes. Testing to determine if new inspection intervals are sufficient to safely return trains to service is underway this month. [Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority]

Updates to County COVID-19 Dashboard Expected — The Fairfax County Health Department has updated its COVID-19 dashboard after it discovered that roughly 200 reported cases — mostly from last year — were incorrectly marked as hospitalized. While the individuals were seen at emergency department, they were not hospitalized. [Fairfax County Government]

Photo by David Taube

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Morning Notes

The Herndon Metro station (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Consulting Company to Expand in Reston — IT consulting firm Intact Technology will expand its headquarters in Reston by adding 40 new jobs and investing at least $700,000. The state competed with Maryland — the previous HQ — for the project. [Gov. Ralph Northam]

Shake It Up for International ShakeOut Day — Today at exactly 10:21 a.m., the largest earthquake drill ever is expected to take place. Registered participants will receive information on how to prepare for earthquakes and what steps to take during and after shaking. [Fairfax County Government]

Lake Anne Condo Board Election Need Intervention — That’s what a group of Lake Anne residents is telling Fairfax County officials. The property owners are asking the county to claim its proxy from Cheryl Terio-Simon, the landlord of property occupied by Reston Community Center. Elections are happening at the end of the month. [Reston Patch]

Photo by Jay Westcott

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Morning Notes

Lake Anne Plaza (Photo via vantagehill/Flickr)

Multiple Vehicles Broken Into in Town of Herndon — On Saturday, someone broke into at least eleven vehicles and took items. All vehicles were unlocked. [Herndon Police Department]

County Executive and Health Director Honored by Park Board — The Fairfax County Park Authority Board honored Fairfax County Executive Bryan Hill and the health department’s director Dr. Gloria Addo-Ayensu with the Chairman’s Choice Awards. [Fairfax County Government]

Statewide Showcase of Bands Comes to Herndon HS — Herndon High School will host the kick-off of the annual marching band competition season at a special event n Saturday. Over 25 bands from the region will perform throughout the day. [The Pride of Herndon]

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A new pizza restaurant is opening in Lake Anne plaza by early December.

And it’s owned by Yasser Baslios, an Egyptian immigrant who first began as a dish washer at the restaurant shortly after he came to the United States with little to nothing in 1998.

Baslios, who comes from a family of businessmen, plans to open Deli Italiano at 1631 Washington Plaza. The restaurant has other locations in Leesburg, Sterling, Great Falls, Arlington and Burke.

He believes that business is about giving back — not just making money. He also benefited from this ethos when he started working as a dishwasher at the Deli Italiano location in Great Falls as a dishwasher.

With no language, savings, or support, Baslios said he was keen to learn everything. Staff would help him learn English by assigning him ten words daily to help learn the language. He says the previous owner, who retired in 2002, offered him leadership opportunities after seeing his desire to learn and grow.

Arriving in hopes of better financial means, Baslios did not immigrate to the United States to become a dishwasher. He left his work as a teacher and businessman in Egypt in search of better opportunities.

The Reston location will be much smaller than other locations, but Baslios hopes that won’t have any bearing on community partnerships and business.

“We’re really excited to be part of the community. We don’t just say that. We mean that,” Baslios said.

The business donates meals on Christmas and Thanksgiving and also organized a pie drive, Baslios said.

He hopes to continue to use his business to touch lives, just as it bolstered his.

The Coptic Christian, who often refers to his faith and ideals, saved up enough to support his family after he moved up the ranks at Deli Italiano. His humble start as a dishwasher in 1999 — one year after he immigrated to the United States — continues to inform his business practices.

“To me, this is not a job. It’s about touching people’s lives. It’s a mission.”

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Hot water issue at Lake Anne (Photo by Robin Jordan)

The historic Lake Anne area needs more than $37 million in repairs, according to a report released by the Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services earlier this month.

An assessment by architecture firm Samaha Associates found that the property, which is managed by the Lake Anne of Reston Condominium Association, has major issues with aging infrastructure, including damage to concrete surfaces, brick buildings, and plumbing systems. Much of that damage and distress is visible to any passer-by.

“Items not addressed in a timely fashion will cause further deterioration of the buildings and potentially create worse conditions and more costly repairs,” the report concluded.

Maintenance and infrastructure issues caught statewide attention when residents of the Quayside condominiums went without hot water for several months last winter.

Lake Anne was the first village center created and designed by Bob Simon in Reston. The village center was constructed between 1963 through 1967. The National Register of Historic Places has called the plaza the “the historic heart and soul” of Reston.

Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn held a meeting with residents and the condominium association Monday night to review the report and discuss next steps. He also met with residents in July.

The county will consider assisting stakeholders with a plan for revitalization and infrastructure improvements. But county officials stressed that community input is needed before a proposal is considered.

One option could include leveraging county assistance in exchange for the development rights of Lake Anne’s common area.

“This is a tremendous burden on the community,” Alcorn said, noting that a condominium association that manages 131 units cannot bear the financial burden of a full-blown revitalization effort alone.

Several options are on the table.

Individual residents and businesses were excluded from the assessment, which primarily examined five buildings, including the Market-deli, Chimney House, the plaza, Quayside and Heron House.

The firm broke down cost estimates for each deficiency, which was ranked by priority. A priority rating of one represents a life safety issue that should be addressed immediately while a rating of five can be addressed when feasible.

A complete breakdown of estimated costs is below. The most critical repairs are close to $20 million.

Items that received that rating included multiple National Electrical Code violations in several buildings, extensive cracking along concrete throughout the plaza, clogged drains, and deteriorating wood balconies at the Chimney House.

A retaining wall at the Quayside condominiums has also shifted and needs to be repaired or replaced. Additionally, the building’s water boiler needs to be replaced. Similar issues were flagged in the Heron House.

The firm visited the plaza several times in June and July this year to conduct the assessment. The assessment notes that costs are conservative, especially since water and sewer upgrades, ADA compliance and other issues were not considered in the precursory analysis.

The complete assessment is available online

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Morning Notes

Possible Measles Exposures Under Investigation — Three individuals who recently arrived in Northern Virginia through Dulles International Airport as part of the Afghanistan evacuation have been diagnosed with measles, state health officials say. The risk to the general community is considered low, but anyone not vaccinated against the measles who was at the airport or certain other locations during specific time frames listed in the news release should contact their health provider. [VDH]

Police Arrest Man at Lake Anne Plaza — Fairfax County police arrested an Alexandria man found lying on the ground in the 1600 block of Washington Plaza on Thursday (Sept. 9) after discovering that he had narcotics, multiple rounds of ammunition, and a firearm. He was charged with two counts of being a felon in possession of ammunition, carrying a concealed weapon, and possession of schedule IV narcotics. [FCPD]

Reston Contractor Protests Army Award — CACI International, which moved its headquarters to Reston over the summer, filed a contract protest against the federal government last week over awards issued by the U.S. Army. Few details about the case are known, because CACI’s federal subsidary requested that the records be sealed because they contain “confidential and proprietary information.” [Washington Business Journal]

See Herndon Fire Station Raise Flag for 9/11 — “Station 36, Frying Pan, A-Shift presenting the colors at a 9-11 ceremony in Herndon earlier today. Beautiful! #NeverForget #FCFRD” [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department/Twitter]

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Two Lake Anne Plaza restaurants recently paid tribute to the 13 U.S. military service members who died in a suicide attack at the Kabul airport last month.

Café Montmartre and Kalypso’s Sports Tavern joined other restaurants around the world in setting aside tables over Labor Day weekend (Sept. 4-5) for the men and women, ages 20-31, who were killed during the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

“Both of us decided to do this at the same time in order to allow the many visitors to our plaza to take a moment to reflect on the loss and remember the sacrifices made to help others,” Kalypso’s owner Vicky Hadjikyriakou said, noting that she collaborated with Café Montmartre owner Anh Lee.

The Aug. 26 suicide attack at Hamid Karzai International Airport came amid an urgent evacuation effort after the Taliban seized power and U.S. troops started to leave, ending the country’s 20-year military presence in Afghanistan on Aug. 30.

A regional offshoot for the Islamic State claimed responsibility for two bombings, which occurred at an exterior gate of the airport and a hotel.

More than 100 people died.

Café Montmartre and Kalypso’s decorated the tables that they set aside with small American flags. Kalypso’s placed them in cups of beer along with a sign that said “Reserved for the 13 fallen HEROES.”

“Both of our families emigrated to the United States within the last 50-60 years, with Anh’s family leaving Vietnam in much the same circumstances as those in Afghanistan, so doing this was especially meaningful,” Hadjikyriakou said.

The tables were kept indoors or outdoors all day and evening throughout the holiday weekend. People could also sign their names, give condolences, and share messages that the two restaurants plan to send to the victims’ families through the nonprofit United Service Organizations.

Other businesses across the country and globe have made similar memorials.

“Anh and I wanted to honor those who gave their lives for others, but weren’t quite sure of the best way to do it,” Hadjikyriakou said. “We saw that other establishments had ‘Tables of Honor’ and we decided we would join the hundreds of restaurants across the country ensuring that these men and women were not forgotten over the holiday weekend.”

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Jazz bassist Mykle Lyons (right) regularly performed around Reston, including at Lake Anne Plaza (courtesy Roxplosion)

To the world, Mykle Lyons was an accomplished jazz musician, a student of the late Ellis Marsalis who played in venues like Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center and counted former Vice President Al Gore among his fans.

To residents of Reston, his long-time home, Lyons was also a neighbor, a regular sight at the now-closed Market Street Bar and Grill in Reston Town Center and at local schools where he sometimes volunteered to perform.

Now, in the wake of Lyons’s death in May, Lake Anne Plaza hopes to keep alive his legacy as a musician and valued community member by launching the first annual Mykle Lyons Food and Music Festival on Sept. 18.

“The cultural impact of Reston ripples far beyond its boundaries, and nowhere is this better exemplified than by the contributions of our own Mykle Lyons, an accomplished musician, an educator, a philosopher, and a generous and compassionate soul,” the Lake Anne & Washington Plaza Merchant Association said yesterday (Tuesday) in a news release announcing the festival’s musical lineup.

Organized by the association in conjunction with Roxplosion and Kalypso’s Sports Tavern, the free festival will take place at the plaza waterfront (1609 Washington Plaza) from 5 to 8 p.m. The Chris Timbers Band and Sam Gunderson & The Cactus Groove will perform.

Born in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, Lyons became immersed in jazz through trips with his father to nearby New Orleans. He and his family moved to Reston when he entered middle school, where he joined his first band, Amethyst, according to Kalypso’s owner Vicky Hadjikyriakou.

He later studied with Marsalis while attending Virginia Commonwealth University and formed the Mykle Lyons Quartet, which appeared as the featured act at the 1992 and 1996 Presidential Inaugural Galas at the National Gallery of Art.

Lyons released four professional recordings, including an album called “Heritage” that featured all original music and arrangements, but his primary passion was for live music.

An archived Washington Post feature on pianist Loston Harris II describes Lyons’s bass solo during a sold-out concert that they played at The Lyceum in Old Town Alexandria in the late 1990s, saying that “the instrument seems to be alive, bucking and rolling.”

Other collaborators included the Marsalis family, Don Braden, Lew Tabacken, Ralph Bowen, Vincent Herring, Wes Anderson, Eric Alexander, and Victor Goines.

“Through his travels and gigs, Lake Anne remained his home and the Plaza his neighborhood,” Hadjikyriakou said by email.

In addition to putting on weekly shows at the Market Street Bar and Grill until it closed, Lyons performed at a range of venues throughout Reston, from weddings to the United Christian Parish preschool. He even once coordinated a volunteer performance by Lady Gaga’s cellist at Buzz Aldrin Elementary School.

Lyons also left his mark in Reston by creating the Lake Anne Jazz and Blues Festival, which celebrated its 14th year of existence on Saturday (Sept. 4). His band, which expanded into a sextet, had performed at the annual festival in the past.

“Kalypso’s, Roxplosion, and Lake Anne & Washington Plaza Merchant Association all look forward to honoring Mykle’s contributions by providing an event to celebrate and share the gift of music with our community, just as he would have wanted- in his neighborhood,” Hadjikyriakou said.

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