The redevelopment of the Lake Anne Fellowship House is finally underway after years in the making.

Enterprise Community Development (ECD) and Fellowship Square Foundation broke ground at the site on Thursday, Oct. 22. The mid-rise development — located at 11444 North Shore Drive — will replace the existing Lake Anne Fellowship House that sits adjacent to the new site.

The eight-story building is part of an $86 million project that will serve low-income senior residents. It will feature 240 affordable apartments for senior residents with incomes at or below 60 percent of the area median income for at least 30 years, according to a press release.

“Many of our residents live on Social Security or Supplemental Security Income alone, and the average annual income across our communities is approximately $12,000 (per) year,” Christy Zeitz, CEO of Fellowship Square, said in a press release.

“The new, modernized Fellowship Square residences will be more space-efficient, energy-efficient, and will provide enhanced amenities — while still assuring that rent is a historic milestone for Fellowship Square, critical investment in the greater Reston community, and an important contribution to housing solutions in our region.”

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved the project in Oct. 2018 to replace the buildings that were constructed in 1971 and 1974. The project completion is expected in the summer of 2022.

All units in the new building will meet universal design standards, while 54 units will be compliant with Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards. The original buildings predate the Americans with Disabilities Act, so accessibility has been a challenge for residents, according to the press release.

The new building will feature on-site management, resident services offices and a wellness clinic for visiting medical professionals. It will also include a fitness center, arts and crafts room, a large social hall, sunroom, game room, and an outdoor terrace.

Funding for the project largely comes from $46.5 million in tax-exempt bond financing from Virginia Housing and $21.5 million in Low-Income Housing Tax Credits through Enterprise Housing Credit Investments by Capital One.

Additional funding comes through the Virginia Housing Trust Fund, the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority, Virginia Community Capital and bridge financing from Enterprise Community Loan Fund as well as equity from ECD and Fellowship Square Foundation.

“The new Lake Anne House is a great example of how housing partners can work together, united by a shared purpose, to move an important project like this forward,” Susan Dewey, CEO of Virginia Housing, said in a press release.

Residents will remain in the current buildings during the two-year construction of the new building and will move to the new building upon its completion.

Following the construction of the building, the existing buildings will be demolished and sold for a future 36-unit multi-family townhome community.

“It is very exciting to see this important project become a reality for our community,” Walter Alcorn, Supervisor at Fairfax County’s Hunter Mill District, wrote in a press release.

“The Fellowship House has been home for many low-income seniors over the past five decades, allowing them to age in place near the cultural and historical center of our Reston community — and often near family. The new Lake Anne House will continue that tradition with essential upgrades in accessibility features and available programs and services that enable residents to take full advantage of the benefits and opportunities life in Fairfax County affords.”

Photo courtesy Fellowship Square Foundation


The county has formally accepted redevelopment plans for Lake Anne Fellowship House, an affordable housing senior community on North Shore Drive.

Fellowship Square Foundation and the Community Preservation and Development Corporation envision the proposal will enhance senior housing residential opportunities, diversity housing types and revitalize Lake Anne Village Center.

“All existing affordable housing units will be replaced in a new, more efficient modern building with better amenities to serve its senior population. This proposal remains true to Robert E. Simon’s vision to provide communities comprised of a diverse residential population in a sustainable environment,” according to a proposal filed with the county last month.

The new plans call for replacing all 240 apartment units in the existing 1970s-era facility. Amenities include a social hall, crafts room, fitness room, wellness center, a game room, two plazas and community gardens.

The remainder of the property will include up to 74 townhouses, diversifying the types of housing and serving as a transition to the established townhouse community to the west, the proposal said.  Townhouses will have garages and surface parking for visitors.

New residents will access the buildings through North Shore Drive. Surface parking and an underground parking garage will offer 92 parking spaces.

Residents would remain in their current living space until the new facility is complete, and after they are transferred the old buildings would be destroyed. The portion of the property left unused would be sold for residential development, and the proceeds from the sale would help support the cost of the project.

The collaboration between Fellowship Square and CPDC comes after several years of on-again, off-again plans for redevelopment of the property. Most recently, in 2013, the foundation had an agreement with Cafritz Interests and Novus Development for new housing on the site. That effort fell through by September 2014, which the foundation said was “due to our inability to advance our land use proposal in a manner that will produce the best possible outcome for our residents.”

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Renderings via Handout/Grimm and Parker


Rendering of new Crescent residences/Credit: LADPLake Anne Development Partners are planning to conduct Crescent Apartments and Lake Anne-area redevelopment in three phases, according to the project’s staff report.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors last week gave final approval to LADP’s extensive plan to develop the 24-acre site with more than 1,000 new residences, 78,000 square feet of office space and 58,000 square feet of retail space, including a grocery store, and a one-acre central park.

The entire project is expected to take 10 to 12 years to complete, LADP officials said.

Here is how they see it happening:

Phase 1 will begin with the demolition of the Association of School Business Officials building in order to re-align Village Road into a straight shot towards Lake Anne Plaza. Phase 1 will also include demolition of the Lake Anne Service Station and three Crescent Apartments buildings.

Phase 1 site development includes the development of 185 affordable dwelling units to replace 181 existing affordable units. Phase 1 also includes 44 hybrid/back-to-back townhomes, 19 surface parking spaces behind Building D16, and 12 traditional/standard townhomes.

Phase 1 also includes Building D1 (ground floor grocery store and office uses above) and a temporary 53 space surface parking lot in the location of the D2 parking garage. At the end of phase 1, 1,838 parking spots will be provided.

Phase 2 will include the demolition of two Crescent Apartment buildings and development of 17 traditional/standard townhomes, 28 hybrid/back-to-back townhomes, parking garage A3, and additional sidewalks along North Shore Drive.

During construction of Phase 2, 795 parking spaces will be provided and after construction, 1,005 parking spaces will be provided.

Phase 3 includes the demolition of the Millennium Bank building, which is currently home to Just Cats Clinic, as well as the Lake Anne Market, and existing parking and sidewalk areas.

Phase 3 will be divided into four phases (Phase 3, 3A, 3B, and 3C). Phase 3 site development
includes development of the mid-block crosswalk, Washington Plaza extension, and
mixed-use Buildings A1 and A2.

  • Phase 3A — development of more multi-family dwellings and 19 townhomes.
  • Phase 3B — development includes the development of multi-family dwellings.
  • Phase 3C — development includes the development of the residential tower  above the office and grocery store uses included in Phase 1 and a parking garage.

During construction of Phase 3, 831 parking spaces will be provided and after construction there will be a total of 2,222 parking spaces.


Lake Anne Rendering/Credit: LADP

Rep. Gerry Connolly says the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors’ recent approval of the revitalization project for Crescent Apartments and the Lake Anne Plaza area is an important step in preserving affordable housing in Fairfax County.

Connolly (D-Va. 11th) represents Reston, as well as other parts of Fairfax County. He formerly served as the Chair of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, where he was an advocate for affordable housing.

“Not only will this redevelopment replace the current 181 affordable units and add four new ones for families with incomes at or below 60 percent of the area median income, but it also will add 175 new workforce housing units,” Connolly said. “In addition, the county will be able to re-invest the proceeds from this sale in additional affordable housing projects.”

The Board of Supervisors last week approved Lake Anne Development Partners’ (LADP) extensive plan to add more than 1,000 apartments and townhouses, mostly where the county owned Crescent Apartments stands today.

LADP’s plan also calls for 78,000 square feet of office space and 58,000 square feet of retail space, a modest-sized grocery store and realignment of Village Road. The project will also have a 1.1-acre central park, an outdoor amphitheater, a bike share station and 12 public art works, according to the project’s county staff report.

Crescent Apartments were purchased for $49.5 million by the county in 2006. Development conditions included replacement of the 181 affordable Crescent units with 185 units, as well as providing an additional 20 percent of units as workforce housing.

“This culminates a process we set in motion nine years ago when, during my tenure as Chairman, the Board purchased the Crescent apartments to prevent the loss of these affordable units, which were at risk of condominium conversion,” Connolly said in a release.

Connolly pointed out that Crescent was one of the early milestones of the Penny for Housing Fund, which he helped launch as part of Board of Supervisor’s Affordable Housing Initiative.

“Since 2006, the fund has provided more than $170 million to preserve 2,701 affordable units throughout the County as we work to reduce the sizable affordable housing gap that still exists,” said Connolly.

Many Crescent residents, as well as representatives of Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement (VOICE), an advocacy group for low-income Fairfax County residents, spoke at the supervisors’ public hearing in February. During the process they have repeatedly reminded the supervisors to remember the Crescent residents and not price them out of their own neighborhoods.

However, Supervisor Pat Herrity (R-Springfield), the lone supervisor voting against the Crescent project last week, said there is too much affordable housing, and that will place a burden on local schools.

Connolly said incorporating housing for all levels of income continues the vision of Reston that founder Bob Simon started more than 50 years ago.

“Providing housing for people of all incomes was one of Bob Simon’s founding principles for Reston, and it is because of that inclusiveness that Reston, and the rest of our community, has thrived,” he said. “This also represents the next evolution of Lake Anne Plaza, which was built more than 50 years ago and was an early model for walkable, mixed-use development.

This new plan will add more than 1,000 residential units, restaurants, a grocery store, more retail, offices, and open space in a fashion that integrates multimodal transportation choices and fosters an even greater a sense of community in harmony with Bob Simon’s original vision.”

Next up in the process is site approval, and LADP officials said they hope to break ground in 2016. The project is expected to take 10 to 12 years to complete.


The future look of the Crescent Apartments and Lake Anne area is coming into focus.

Lake Anne Development Partners has released dozens of new images in a revitalization plan document. The designs show an expanded plaza, a larger farmers market and a “pedestrian mew” strip of greenery between townhouses.

Fairfax County selected LADP to redevelop the 16-acre site after a yearlong request for proposals process. Overhauling the county-owned Crescent affordable housing complex, rebuilding the farmers market and creating additional office and retail space is slated to take 10 to 12 years, David Peter, president and CEO of LADP’s parent company, Republic Land Development, has said.

Historic designation prevents big changes to the retail and residential components of Lake Anne plaza.

The Reston Association approved a controversial land swap in late 2013, trading an acre of RA’s land at Lake Anne for a parcel along Baron Cameron Avenue, as well as financial incentives and improvements. A parking garage will be built on the site.

LADP will present the designs to the RA’s Design Review Board at 7 p.m. Oct. 21. For the full set of renderings, see LADP’s website.


Plans for new building at Lake Anne Plaza

Lake Anne Development Partners showed Reston residents at a meeting Monday  its timeline for the transformation of Crescent Apartments and the Lake Anne area.

LADP, a division of Republic Land Development, was chosen by Fairfax County last summer to revitalize the county-owned affordable housing neighborhood and the surrounding area, which ideally will lead to a renaissance at Reston’s original village center.

Residents check out plans for Lake Anne at open house on Feb. 3, 2014LADP plans include replacing the aging 181-unit Crescent Apartments with slightly more affordable housing, as well as mix of townhomes and multifamily dwellings. In all, about 1,000 new residential units are planned, as well as a new retail plaza, new access points to historic Lake Anne Plaza and nearly 200,000 square feet of new retail and office space.

Republic President and CEO David Peter says the zoning application has been submitted to the Fairfax County’s Planning and Zoning board and is now under formal review.

He outlined the expected review process at an open house at Reston Community Center Lake Anne on Monday. If all goes as planned, the developers expect to meet with county planning and zoning and Reston Design Review Board several times this spring. Peter says the plans should go to the county planning board between July and September of this year, which would put it before the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors early next fall.

There will be public meetings to gather input along the way, said Peter.

If the process goes smoothly, construction could begin in 2015. LADP has said it will be a multi-year process.

The current part of Lake Anne Plaza has historic designation and will not be redeveloped. However, with modern retail additions planned for where Lake Anne Plaza’s current parking lot is located, developers envision a stronger retail atmosphere overall.

Reston founder Bob Simon calls the plans “a fabulous project.” He was the original planner of Lake Anne — and will celebrate his 100th birthday and Reston’s 50th anniversary on the Plaza in April.

“I hope it goes through the bureaucracy very fast,” he said.


Artists Rendering of Lake Anne Redevelopment/Credit: LARP

Lake Anne Redevelopment Partners (LARP) will update the Reston community on Monday about the plan to revitalize Crescent Apartments and the Lake Anne area.

LARP (a division of Republic Land Development) was chosen by Fairfax County summer after a Request for Proposals process that took more than a year. Since then, LARP has offered up renderings of the vision, and a few key events have happened as the project moves forward.

Principals will give an update on the progress at an open house at 7 p.m. Feb. 3 at Reston Community Center Lake Anne.

The county issued the RFP to make over the 16-acre site housing the county-owned Crescent Apartments, an aging affordable housing complex close to Lake Anne Plaza. Republic had many meetings with residents, Lake Anne business owners and Reston founder Bob Simon, among others, to determine what the community wanted to see for the area.

The retail and residential of Lake Anne Plaza itself will not see big changes, as historic designation prevents that.

However, an interim agreement is in place for LARP to proceed with the process of county planning, Reston Association Design Review Board and other land use approvals necessary to rework the surrounding areas.  The approval of the project design and land use permits is expected to take more than a year, said Republic president and CEO David Peter.

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Lake Anne PlazaLake Anne Development Partners (Republic Development) says work is already underway on a preservation plan to “safeguard and strengthen the trees that will remain undisturbed on an estimated 30 percent of the property” where a new parking garage is planned for a redeveloped Lake Anne Plaza area.

The developers also said an arborist reports that pruning and other tree care now will ensure that “80 to 90 percent of the trees we want to preserve will be just fine.”

The parking garage is being planned as part of a land swap that was approved 6-2 by the Reston Association Board of Directors on Thursday. RA will give the developers 0.7 acres of wooded land adjacent to the current Lake Anne Plaza parking lot. LADP will give RA 1.1 acres of land off of Baron Cameron Avenue and hundreds of thousands of dollars in improvements to improve sustainability and pathways in Reston.

LADP was chosen by Fairfax County in August to redevelop the aging Crescent Apartments’ site, as well as areas surrounding Lake Anne Plaza. They need RA’s wooded parcel to build a 120-space parking garage, which is crucial to revitalizing the retail area at Lake Anne.

Republic CEO David Peter said on Thursday the company investigated 11 other Lake Anne-area sites for potential parking and found none of them as suitable as the RA land.

RA’s decision was met with outrage by many citizens who spoke at Thursdays meeting. They said preserving mature trees should take precedence over development. After the decision, Diane Blust, chair of RA’s Sustainability Committee, resigned her position.

In a statement, LADP thanked RA for its “thorough, thoughtful review and approval of the proposed land exchange. There was a lot to be considered, and we appreciate the balanced process the Board afforded all stakeholders.”

The statement continues:

We are at least three years away from construction on the exchange parcel, but work is already under way on a preservation plan to safeguard and stregthen the trees that will remain undisturbed on an estimated 30 percent of the property, perhaps most importantly many of those that ring Washington Plaza.

Leading arboricultural consulting firm Zimar and Associates, which has done preservation work at the World War II Memorial and Monticello, has already visited the site and made recommendations on a years-long root pruning plan, immediate pest protection and irrigation and moisture monitoring that will improve the health of the trees and ensure a high level of success. “I’m very confident that 80-90 percent of the trees we want to preserve will be just fine,” says company founder and noted arborist Don Zimar.

Additional environmental safeguards will include capturing 100 percent of stormwater runoff from Lake Anne Village Center and the nearby Crescent Apartments—runoff that currently is discharged into Lake Anne without treatment, to reduce pollutants. Lake Anne Development Partners will also provide additional funds in escrow to the RA board for adding and preserving tree canopy.

Lake Anne Development Partners is committed to an exciting and sustainable revitalization that will respect and renew the Lake Anne Village Center not only for the existing merchants, but for all of Reston.



Letter: 1.1 Acres

Lake AnneWritten by Nigel PhillipsSubmit your letters to the editor to [email protected].

I think all of us are for supporting moves for making sure that the ‘1.1 acres’, as I call the Reston Association land that is up for a swap consideration as part of the Lake Anne redevelopment, is properly managed in its widest sense for the benefit of the community. This is important, because it’s not in the middle of Hunters Wood, it’s going to be in the middle of one gigantic building site before too long. And not just for a few months, but for several years.

Trees have a nasty habit of disappearing when construction starts on any building site, especially when they’re right in the middle of things. When the building is complete this ‘1.1 acres’ is definitely going to be in the middle of an urban center. I know many Restonians (can I use that term?) like to think they live in a forest. I’ve a slightly different take on this.

The reality is that the trees essentially provide barriers between the many diverse centers of activity (housing clusters, commercial centers, recreational sites, schools, places of worship, parks, etc.) and in many cases follow terrain that is of low value or not commercially viable (ravines, the sides of roads, the backs of developments). As an example, the walk up to the Town Center from Lake Anne is typical; it’s at the bottom of a ravine or the backs of housing clusters. And how many forests have asphalt paved paths! Now that definitely is a hallmark of urbanization.
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Reston AssociationReston Association will be deciding Thursday on two issues that will affect the community in the long and near term.

The first — what should assessments be for 2014? The board has been discussing the needs of the association for months, and has considered taking out a loan of up to $2.5 million.

The board voted last week that the assessments will rise no higher than $634 in 2014.  The amount could be less, says RA president Ken Knueven. If they go to $634, it will be a rise of $44 from 2013, and a rise of more than $200 per household in the last decade.

The second — Should RA agree to a land swap with Republic Land Development? RA owns a 1.1-acre plot of wooded land close to the current Lake Anne Plaza parking area. Republic, the chosen firm for the redevelopment of Crescent Apartments and the nearby area, says it needs the land for a public parking garage and would give RA a similar sized plot of land and hundreds of thousands of dollars in improvements in return. Many in the community have protested the removal of trees for parking.

Catch up on the issue with these Reston Now stories:

The meeting begins at 6 p.m. at RA Headquarters, 12001 Sunrise Valley Dr. There will be a public comment period.


Area for proposed land swap near Lake AnneReston Association has asked Republic Land Development for several conditions in order to make a proposed land swap deal happen.

Republic, which has been selected by the county to redevelop Crescent Apartments and areas around Lake Anne, needs 1.1 acre of RA land located near the existing parking lot at Lake Anne Village Center in order to build a parking garage for the revitalized retail area it is planning. Republic will give Reston Association a similar-sized but less useful plot of land near Baron Cameron, as well as about $500,000 to fund improvements to RA facilities.

Meanwhile, there has been pushback from the community over the existing trees located on the RA-owned land. Many citizens, as well as groups such as Sustainable Reston and the Reston Citizens Association, are against the swap because it would remove many large trees.

That’s why RA’s additional requests involve care of the trees as part of the agreement. Republic president and CEO David Peter has preliminarily agreed to the conditions in a revised letter of intent.

Among the additional conditions, according to RA documents:

  • At the time of the land swap, Republic will escrow the sum of $100,000 with RA, to be used either for tree canopy enhancement and reforestation in Reston or to fund the acquisition by Republic of title to or easements over privately owned property of interest that will be conveyed to RA as additional exchange consideration.
  • Republic will coordinate with RA arborists to undertake a comprehensive, multiyear pruning exercise to ensure the health of the trees that remain on the property.
  • Republic will install light fixtures on the new pathways within the Crescent property, and 10 that otherwise adjoin the development parcels (particularly in the Brown’s Chapel and Lake Anne Elementary locations) as determined mutually by Republic and RA.
  • Republic will agree to subsidize 25 percent of the cost of the Lake Anne dredge sometime before the occupancy permit for the new high rise tower is issued but not later than Dec. 31, 2025.

The RA board will vote on the land swap at its meeting on Thursday at 6 p.m. at RA Headquarters. Public comment is welcome.

(Map of proposed land swap area courtesy of Reston Association)


Lake Anne Fellowship House

Three months after Republic Land Development’s interim plan for the revitalization of Crescent Apartments was given the go-ahead by Fairfax County, Lake Anne Fellowship House is seeking to undergo a similar redevelopment with its own developer.

Principals involved in the vision for Fellowship House are working with Caftriz Interests. They said on Monday they will file plans and an application with the county by the end of the year.

“We are moving part and parcel with what is going on at Crescent,” says David McGill of land use firm McGuire Woods.  This really is implementation of the vision. As part of discussion with county, they would like us to move forward along with Crescent, but we are not in lockstep.”

Lake Anne Fellowship House, operated by the Fellowship Square Foundation,  has 240 units for elderly residents just across North Shore Road from Lake Anne Plaza. Fellowship Square board member John Thillman says 114 of the units are subsidized. The rest are market rate, but the buildings have a 20 percent vacancy rate and lose about $10,000 month, he said.

“We’re bleeding red ink,” he told the Reston Planning and Zoning Committee on Monday. “The main reason the rent is low is the buildings were built in 1971 and ’74.  The standards used are not the same as today.”

The narrow hallways, outdated air conditioning and heating systems and difficulty getting up to today’s Americans With Disabilities Act standards are among ongoing challenges, said Thillman.

Another challenge – there are two different mortgage holders for the six-acre property. The Department of Housing and Urban Development for the west side and the Virginia Housing Development Authority for the eastern half, Thillman said.

Thillman said the group’s other options are keep the buildings the way they are (and sell to a developer who is not required to keep seniors in mind in a few years when the mortgages are paid off) or renovate (which would cost more than a new building).

“The bottom line is the two buildings need to come down,” he said. Fellowship Square had teamed with Caftriz on the county’s request for proposals about the Crescent site, but was not selected.

“We have to move forward,” he said. “We have maybe two years, maybe less,  before we go bankrupt.”

The county’s comprehensive plan for Lake Anne and the RFP both state that it is preferable that the land units around Lake Anne be redeveloped in a comprehensive manner. By doing this, Fellowship Square and Cafrtiz would qualify for bonus density of up to 425 units.

Thillman said 140 of those units would be affordable senior housing. Because Fellowship House’s location on a hill complicates Lake Anne access for residents, the new senior housing would be built on a flat section of the land closer to the Village Road.

The new senior housing would be built first, the seniors relocated, and then the current buildings would be torn down. After that, 285 market-rate units would be built on the old building site on the hill, said Robert Selden of Cafritz’s Novus Residential division.

Meanwhile, Republic’s redevelopment plan for Crescent and the rest of Lake Anne includes plans for about 1,000 new housing units (181 of them affordable to replace county-owned Crescent), parking and a revitalized retail district.

All redevelopment plans will have to go through Fairfax County Planning, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and Reston Association’s Design Review Board in what is expected to be a multi-year process.


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