A senior housing provider is holding a farewell tour for a building from the ’70s that’s being replaced.
The outreach will include monthly events as residents are eventually relocated to a new facility, Lake Anne House, this summer. The facility’s operator, Fellowship Square, is commemorating the senior living facility where residents currently are.
Lake Anne Fellowship House, built in 1970, provides affordable housing to over 300 seniors; the new facility next door that will provide 240 apartments.
Fellowship Square is asking the public to share memories with anything from Reston’s founding vision to the development of the building and the impact of diverse housing options.
“Fellowship Square is taking the next several months to communally and collectively remember, reflect, share stories, and say good-bye to this community touchpoint that has served as a home for thousands of seniors over the past 50+ years,” Christy Zeitz, CEO of Fellowship Square, said in a statement.
Other farewell programming will include monthly events such as a spring garden event as well as an open house for all in May to visit the building one last time.
Driver Charged in Crash that Killed Reston Woman — Police have charged a Manassas man with driving under the influence and involuntary manslaughter in connection with a car crash that killed a Reston woman. [Fairfax County Police Department]
Lake Anne Visioning Plan Broadens — The county is considering a plan to dedicate $250,000 for a long-term visioning plan for the Lake Anne area. [Reston Patch]
Schools to Maintain Mask Requirement — Despite Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s order to lift mask mandates in schools, the Fairfax County Public Schools will maintain mask requirements for students. Virtual town halls to discuss the issue are planned for this week. [FCPS]
Police Investigate Gas Station Robbery — Local police are investigating a robbery that happened at Sunoco Gas Station at 13470 Coppermine Road on Jan. 19. A man displayed a gun and demanded property, according to police. [FCPD]
Photo by Marjorie Copson
County officials could allocate $300,000 in funding in order to develop a long-term vision and revitalization plan for the aging Lake Anne Village Center.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors budget committee will discuss the matter at a meeting today (Tuesday). Funding would require adjusting the fiscal year 2022 budget, according to Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn.
In a Jan. 10 letter to Lake Anne residents, Alcorn said the funding would be used for economic envisioning and master planning in order to “support the long-term sustainable development planning for Lake Anne.”
In recent months, the village center has been the focus of renewed community focus due to the plaza’s deteriorating infrastructure and highly visible stagnation.
A little over a year ago, several condominium units in the plaza were without hot water for months.
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.
The supplemental report would expand on the previous report, which was issued in September.
The Board of Supervisors is expected to discuss the newly proposed funding at a meeting on Jan. 25.
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
Reston Businessman Convicted of Bankruptcy Fraud — A Reston businessman was convicted on a series of fraud charges related to a bankruptcy case. Alan Russel Cook Sr., CEO of Metropolitan Aviation, discharged over is six million in personal debt when he file for bankruptcy. He reportedly transferred more than $350,000 to his former girlfriend and directed her to open accounts in her name and in the name of a fake company in anticipation of the filing. [U.S. Department of Justice]
NextStop Theatre Announces 2022 Schedule — The Herndon-based theatre has announced its line-up for the first half of 2022. Artistic director Evan Hoffman said the theatre company is excited to take programming to the next level after a gradual return to smaller productions this year. [Broadway World]
TransUnion Acquires Reston-based Company — TransUnion has acquired Neustar for $3.1 billion. The company’s CEO says he looks forward to the smooth integration of the businesses. Neustar is a network security company. [Cyber Wire]
Jingle on the Lake Returns — Hundreds of people attended the 50th anniversary of Jingle on the Lake at Lake Anne Plaza earlier this month. Santa arrived by a pontoon boat at the annual event. [The Connnection]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
A new beauty bar is coming to Lake Anne Plaza by the end of the year.
Owner Dina Almashat plans to open Beauty Bar by Dina within the next 10 days. The opening date is tentative to the completion of the final steps of the project, Almashat told Reston Now.
The salon will be located at 1613 Washington Plaza. Deli Italiano, a pizza chain, also plans to open up at the plaza within the next two months.
The beauty bar will offer hair services and custom spray tans.
“I have always been fascinated by beauty and fashion. Beautiful hair plays a big role in that aspect,” Almashat said.
She hopes that her services will help women feel better about themselves.
Photo 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
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
Some residents at Lake Anne are turning to the county for help sort out its homeowner association’s contentious and divisive elections.
In a Sept. 23 letter to Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn, more than 40 residents urged the county to not allow the property’s landlord to vote in condominium elections. Roughly seven percent of votes in the board election is assigned to the unit occupied by Reston Community Center Lake Anne.
The letter contends that removing the landlord from the process — who holds about seven percent of the entire property — would allow the owners a chance for a “free” election.
“The county allowing the vote to be used in a condo election creates an unequal balance of power and potential conflict of interest,” the letter states. “Using taxpayer money to do so is not in the best interest of our community and especially unfair to our minority commercial owners, burdened with significant assessments; and who will be disproportionately affected by further special assessments to address our infrastructure issues.”
Board politics and infighting — including deep disagreement over the outcome of elections for board president — have mired the board for more than a year. Alcorn has met several times with concerned property owners and the Lake Anne of Reston Condominium Association to allay concerns about property management, lack of hot water, and other issues.
Alcorn told Reston Now that he deferred the proxy matter to RCC’s board for consideration.
“I have full confidence in that board — including the three members that were just re-elected by the community last month — to do the right thing,” he said.
RCC has no immediate plans to change participation in board elections. The center’s executive director Leila Gordon told Reston Now that RCC has had an excellent relationship with its landlord since 1999 when RCC Lake Anne first opened in the historic area.
Here’s more from Gordon on the issue:
The lease stipulates the proxy provision in the context of Section 7, “Leasehold Improvements,” and specifically notes that the Landlord’s proxy isn’t available when the matter is related to “voting on LARCA fees and assessments payable by Landlord.” RCC views the election of LARCA Board officers to be wholly unrelated to any issue of Tenant Improvements and entirely germane to issues of fees and assessments, and would therefore be the sole concern of the Landlord. We remain satisfied with the present arrangement.
Maintenance and infrastructure issues caught statewide attention when residents of the Quayside condominiums went without hot water for several months last winter.
An assessment by architecture firm Samaha Associates found that the property needs more than $37 million in repairs. At a mid-September meeting, Alcorn said the county may explore options to help revitalize the property. No formal plans have been proposed and discussions are ongoing.
Board President Jason Romano did not immediately return a request for comment from Reston Now.
LARCA’s board election for this year takes place on Oct. 27.
Tuesday, September 28
- Health and Wellness Fair (5:30-7:30 p.m.) — The YMCA Fairfax County Reston is hosting this Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce Network Night that features healthy snacks, alcohol and wellness resources.
Wednesday, September 29
- BEER RUN pre-Ragnar Q&A (6:30-8:30 p.m.) — While registration has closed for Ragnar Sunset NoVA‘s Saturday race, you can still learn more about it, run some laps and have some beers while asking questions with the race director at Lake Anne Brew Plaza.
Thursday, September 30
- Herndon Farmers Market (8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) — Stop by for some fresh produce from local vendors. Recurs weekly.
Friday, October 1
- “A Familiar Melody” (8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday as well as 2 p.m. on Sunday) — A NextStop Theatre Company show brings together a selection of Broadway hits. Tickets are $30.
Saturday, October 2
- Reston Farm Garden Market Fall Fest (9 a.m. to 7 p.m.) — Enjoy bounce houses, games, a maze and petting zoo, train rides and more. This recurring weekend event takes place on Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 31. Cost is $28 per child, $6 for adults and free for children age 2 and under.
- Reston Farmers Market (8 a.m. to noon) — After taking a break last week due to the Reston Multicultural Festival, this staple returns with local vendors.
- The Seldom Scene (8 p.m.) — American bluegrass band The Seldom Scene performs at the CenterStage at Reston Community Center Hunters Woods. Cost is $25 for Reston residents.
- Movies in the Park (7 p.m.) — Enjoy a showing of “Tom and Jerry” at Lake Newport Soccer Field and bring a picnic dinner or buy popcorn, candy and drinks there. Free for kids 3 and under.
Sunday, October 3
- GWTCS 5K Run — (8:30 a.m. to noon) — The Greater Washington Telugu Cultural Sangam is bringing people to Lake Fairfax Park and recognizing participants with medals. Event includes breakfast. Tickets for kids are $10 and adults are $15. Registration deadline is Saturday, Oct. 2.
- Putting the Animals to Bed (6:30 p.m.) — Learn how Frying Pan Farm Park staff put the animals to bed. Bring a flashlight or lantern for this twilight tour. The cost is $10 per person.
- Mushrooms of Reston (2-3:30 p.m.) — Learn about the area’s natural resources in this adult nature program. Tickets start at $5.
More than 50 works from Ugandan and Nepali artists will be on display and on sale starting tomorrow (Wednesday) through Thursday (Sept. 2) with a reception tomorrow at 5 p.m.
The show is being presented by Scott DeLisi, the former U.S. ambassador to both Uganda and Nepal, and his organization Engage Nepal. Proceeds will go toward funding a pediatric intensive care unit in a Nepal hospital that will help care for young COVID patients.
“Nepal has been devastated, so we are doing all we can to help,” DeLisi wrote in the press release. “This includes the sale of these wonderful paintings and photos donated by a variety of artists, including many from Uganda who truly wanted to help the people in Nepal in a time of need. I met those artists when I served as Ambassador in Uganda and was so touched by their kindness and concern.”
Currently, the hospital has constructed the ward with beds, and the local government has provided two ventilators, DeLisi elaborated to Reston Now in an email.
“But much remains to do,” he noted.
The show and fundraiser are being held in Reston thanks to local artist and former Foreign Service officer Rosemarie Forsythe, whose month-long show “Illuminations” is set to debut at the Reston Art Gallery on Sept. 3.
“I learned about Engage Nepal through a former Foreign Service colleague who is on the board of directors,” Forsythe said in the release. “I spent over a decade as a Foreign Service officer in the late 1980s to late 1990s. I like to think that this event is my way of showing appreciation for the time I enjoyed traveling, hiking and mountain climbing in Nepal.”
RAGS Director Pat Macintyre said she is “honored” to host the event.
“All artists are world artists, and we are honored to host this event and help raise awareness of this global concern,” Macintyre wrote. “We hope that our community of Reston and beyond will enjoy Engage Nepal’s art show and support the work of this important organization.”
Artworks that will be featured in the show include a painting of the African Cape buffalo, Ugandan wooden sculptures, and works from artist Lima Mugalu.
“[She’s] one of the most active female artists in Uganda,” DiLisi told Reston Now. “She paints women celebrating weddings, at introduction ceremonies, and in other social interactions using mixed media, acrylics and fabrics.”
Prices range from $50 to $850. Monetary donations will also be accepted.
DiLisi says that he’s touched by the gallery’s willingness to host the show and sale.
“I have to say…that the community spirit of everyone associated with Reston Art Gallery has touched me,” DiLisi said. “Their willingness to act to help kids in need in Nepal has been heartwarming.”
Monday, August 30
- Take Me Out To The Ball Game (5 p.m.) — Join the Reston Association for a night at Nats Park. All are welcome to grab a ride on the bus (pick-up at 12001 Sunset Valley Drive) and head to the ballpark. Seats are under cover and snacks/drinks are welcomed on the bus.
Tuesday, August 31
- Owl Prowl (8:30-9:30 p.m.) — Head out to Potomac Regional Park in search of the barred owl, Northern Virginia’s most frequently-observed owl. Listen closely to hear their call which sounds a lot like the owl saying “”Whooooo cooks for youuuu?”
Wednesday, September 1
- Yarn-aholics (7 p.m.) — Calling all knitting, crochet, and yarn enthusiasts, head over to George Mason Library in Annandale for a yarn meet-up. Discuss projects, learn from one another, and share yarn!
Thursday, September 2
- Evening Under the Stars (6 p.m) — Peer into the night sky at the George Mason University Observatory. Hear from experts and glance through the state-of-the-art telescopes to see the stars. Note, stargazing might be cancelled if atmospheric conditions do not allow for viewing.
Friday, September 3
- Broadway in the Park (8 p.m.) — Wolf Trap National Park celebrates the return of live theater and Broadway with their own special show, featuring performances from Hamilton’s Renée Elise Goldsberry and Tony Award-winning Brian Stokes Mitchell. Plus, a few favorites from Arlington’s Signature Theater as well.
Saturday, September 4
- Lake Anne Jazz and Blues Festival (1–8:30 p.m.) — Reston’s jazz and blues festival is back after taking a year off. This edition will be the 14th annual with performances from a number of well-known area groups, including the Doc Dikeman Big Band.
- Arlington Festival of the Arts (10 a.m.-5 p.m.) — This two-day arts festival in Clarendon is back on with artists across the country coming to show and sell their wares. Masks must be worn inside the festival at all times.
Sunday, September 5
- Ghost Hunting Tour (8:30 p.m.) — Start the spooky season off early with this ghostly tour in old town Manassas. The “Ghost Doctors” lead the tour through this centuries-old town, while looking and, perhaps even, interacting with spirits.
- Virginia Scottish Games (9 a.m.-6 p.m.) — Piping competitions, terrier races, highland dance, and fiddling performances are just a few of the competitions that are taking place at this year’s Virginia Scottish Games. Head 40 minutes west from Reston for a day’s worth of athletic competitions, bagpipes, and whiskey.
Reston history will take center stage at the 19th annual Reston Home Tour on Oct. 16.
This year’s tour will feature five houses, including the first home built on Lake Thoreau (before the lake was even there), a work by Restonian architect Ken Bonner, and the Craftsman-inspired The Kensington Reston that overlooks the 11th fairway of Reston National Golf Course.
The tour is hosted by the Reston Museum and is self-guided. Each ticket includes a guide book with descriptions and a map. A boxed lunch will be available for purchase at The Kensington, a local assisted living community.
Additionally, the museum will be open to the public with its newest exhibit “Early Reston Home Interiors” on display.
Reston Museum Executive Director Alex Campbell says it’s wonderful to have the home tour back after it was canceled last year.
“The Reston Home Tour is an important event as it showcases the creativity and ingenuity that Restonians implement within their home through modern renovations,” she wrote in an email to Reston Now. “…The tour is a reminder that not only did Reston begin as a community that embraced architectural variety and modern design, it is still today a community where Restonians pursue modern and forward-thinking design for their homes.”
It is the Reston Museum’s biggest fundraisier and one of its most popular events, Campbell notes.
The Reston Museum reopened to visitors about a year ago after being closed for a number of months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 24-year-old museum has embraced the digital world in order to stay afloat.
Campbell says the home tour is an “an important contributor in supporting our mission to preserve and share Reston’s history.”
From balcony drainage issues and parking lot potholes to cracking across various retaining walls, an engineering firm has identified multiple infrastructure issues with Lake Anne Village Center, contributing to months without hot water for residents earlier this year.
Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn visited the community for a meeting on Wednesday (July 14) that drew over 40 people.
Possible solutions that he discussed included the Lake Anne Reston Condominium Association (LARCA) giving up an asset, such as a parking lot, or development rights to Fairfax County in exchange for financial assistance from the county.
“This is the cultural heart of Reston,” Alcorn said of Lake Anne, noting that the village center is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The private community was created by Reston founder Robert Simon, with construction starting in 1963. But issues with the aging infrastructure have left residents looking to the county for help.
LARCA President Jason Romano told Reston Now that residents have had hot water after crews troubleshooted areas and the condo association used some $300,000 in its reserves to replace its system.
“This is not a quick fix,” Romano said after the meeting. “It’s not like your hot water at home breaks. You go call a plumber; you might be out of water for a day or two.”
The consulting firm Samaha Associates shared its findings after a pair of engineers reviewed the village center’s mechanical, electrical, and plumbing infrastructure, spokesperson Lisa Connors said in a statement.
The firm identified one safety issue, finding that some planters on the decks of the Heron House have exposed rebar, so county staff notified the management company and communicated the issue with residents, Alcorn’s office said.
At the meeting, Michael Schaefer, whose wife is on LARCA’s board, shared concerns over management issues, pointing to the partial collapse of the 12-story Surfside high rise in Miami on June 24, killing at least 97 people with others still missing.
“We do have gallons and gallons and gallons of water flowing from the cracks that are in the pipes…here,” he said.
Romano said the newly replaced water system is using a fraction of the water that it previously utilized.
“We shouldn’t be having any more leaks,” he said.
The engineering analysis of visible infrastructure could have cost estimates by the first week of September. Further details would require proposals from contractors.
Suggesting that sensing technology might be used to detect potential problems underground, Alcorn said he’s looking to address the infrastructure issues, help revitalize Lake Anne, and improve the sustainability of LARCA, which he said needs restructuring.
He added that he’s trying to make sure fixes are made now so there isn’t another conversation like this in the near future.
Hot Water Issues Return to Lake Anne Condos — “Ongoing lack of hot water is an issue again for nearly all condominium owners at the 27-unit, mixed-use Quayside building located at Lake Anne Village Center in Reston. Frustrated condo owners fear another four-month struggle, similar to Quayside’s first no-hot-water experience.” [Connection Newspapers]
Application for Development Near Herndon Border Rejected — The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors voted on June 15 to deny a rezoning application for a proposed housing development on a parcel along the W&OD Trail near the Fairfax County border and the historic Oak Grove Baptist Church. The rejection came after the applicant cut back on its proffers, including plans for an archaelogical survey and a commemorative sign. [Loudoun Now]
New Bicycle Racks Installed at Reston Town Center — The company Bikeep has installed new bicycle racks around Reston Town Center. With space available for five to nine bicycles at each station, the racks have no time limit or cost and are intended for short-term visitor parking, though the company plans to install lockers this summer “to provide long term parking for employees or more secure parking for visitors.” [Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling]
Longtime Herndon Teacher Retires — “Ann Godden moved to Herndon from Arlington more than 33 years ago and has been a staple part of the Herndon Elementary School community ever since…Godden is thankful for the school where she taught, and all four of her children ended up going to that school as well.” [Fairfax County Times]
Multicultural Festival Deadline Extended — “Calling all Vendors and Entertainers! Celebrate your roots with us at the 2021 Reston Multicultural Festival at Lake Anne Plaza on Sept. 25. The application deadline has been extended to June 25.” [Reston Community Center/Twitter]
Updated at 12:05 a.m. on 4/24/2021 — A Dominion Energy spokesperson says that tonight’s power outage was the result of a failed switch.
As of 11 p.m., 27 customers were still without power as crews worked to make repairs. Restoration time was estimated to be between 2 and 5 a.m.
“Hopefully we will get it on sooner,” Dominion Energy spokesperson Peggy Fox told Reston Now.
Earlier: More than 1,000 people in Reston are currently without power, and it may be a few hours before electricity is restored.
According to Dominion Energy’s outage map, the outage has affected 1,392 customers between Baron Cameron Avenue to the north and Sunset Hills Road to the south.
The map says that a crew has been dispatched to the area, but the cause of the outage remains under investigation. As of 8:40 p.m., the utility company estimated that power would not be restored until 11 p.m. tonight (Friday) at the earliest, with the timeline potentially stretching until 2 a.m. tomorrow (Saturday).
Image via Dominion Energy