Developer Norton Scott is still evaluating its options after the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors rejected its plan to build a $50 million condominium at Library Square.
“At this time, we’re continuing to explore our options,” said Michael Scott, managing member of the company. The company did not share any further details about the future of the property with Reston Now.
Norton Scott was seeking to build a 13-story building with 58 for-sale units on the 0.8-acre site. The proposal came after the county rejected a plan by the company and MRP Realty to redevelop the site and surrounding properties due its high cost.
The plan was rejected primarily due to the lack of a connection with the future extension of Library Street. Norton Scott’s appeal, which brought forward a by-right plan for the property, was denied by the board in late October.
So far, there has been no movement on the plan or further appeals.
Handout via Fairfax County Government
Developer Norton Scott is considering its options after the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors unanimously rejected an appeal to build a $50 million condominium building at its Library Square property.
The board rejected the appeal in late October after the developer protested the Planning Commission’s denial of the project due the project’s lack of connectivity with the future extension to Library Street and what county planners said is a lack of available density in the area.
Norton Scott proposed to build a 13-story condominium building with 58 for-sale units at the 0.8-acre site. The developer came forward with the by-right plan after a previous proposal by Norton Scott and MRP Realty to redevelop the site and surrounding properties was rejected by the county due to its high cost.
Mike Scott, a developer with Norton Scott, told Reston Now the company “disappointed” the county rejected the appeal.
“We firmly believe the by-right use to bring 58 luxury condominiums to the Reston Town Center would fulfill an unmet need to provide for-sale housing aimed at professionals as well as baby boomers wishing to downsize and remain in Reston. The building height and density met all the zoning requirements and were in keeping with the adjacent Paramount condominium and the approved project on the Winwood Child Care Center site. Given the Board’s decision, we are exploring our options on moving forward,” Scott said.
At the Oct. 29 meeting, county planners said the project lacks a needed connection with the future extension of Library Street.
Residents, including representatives for the Paramount, an apartment building next to the site, said the project’s scale was overwhelming for the area.
Jean Werner, a member of the Paramount Task Force, said the developer was attempting to “shoe horn” a building in the site, raising concerns about how people would get in and out of the proposed building.
Springfied District Board of Supervisor Pat Herrity abstained from a vote on the project, which he said posed a difficult property rights decision.
“I’m not buried into the details of Reston,” Herrity said.
Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins, who has been involved in decision-making for previous proposals in the area, concurred with the concerns of residents and county planners.
Photos via handout/Fairfax County Government
The future of a wooded patch of land nesting between a childcare facility, Reston Regional Library, and Paramount Condominiums is uncertain.
Norton Scott is appealing the county’s rejection of its plan to develop the 0.8-acre site with a 13-story condominium building with 58 for-sale luxury units — adding a new mix of housing units to the Reston Town Center market.
County planners say the developer’s plan exceeds the allowed density in the area and does not provide a public street connection between north Reston, Reston Town Center, and the future Reston Metrorail Station.
Reston’s master plan, which was approved in 2013, calls for extending Library Street to the Reston Town Center North site — a connection that county planners say is necessary to improve the street network in the area.
But Norton Scott is seeking to exercise a by-right plan, which comes after the county rejected a plan from MRP and Norton Scott in May 2018 for a public-private partnership on blocks seven and eight of the area known as Reston Town Center North.
The county deemed the proposal for Reston Town Center North– which would have included a civic plaza, a new library, a pedestrian underpass, and a new shelter, and a new performing arts center — too expensive.
County officials said they only received one submission for the project after a request for proposals was issued in 2017 for the project.
After the rejection and seven years after purchasing the site from Trammel Crow Company, Norton Scott says it wants to move forward with a new project on the site, which it is calling Library Square.
“The county kind of closed the door on other possibilities,” Chelsea Rao, senior vice president of Norton Scott, said. “We are a company and we want to monetize our assets.”
She says the company is willing to work with the county to ensure the site extends well with the other areas in Reston Town Center north. But asking for a road to extend throughout the site interferes with the developer’s by-right plan.
In a Feb. 7 memo, county planners concluded the development plan could not reasonably accommodate a future extension of Library Street as a public street.
Access between the surrounding parcels does not align with the extension of the street, making the inter-parcel connection “futile,” according to the county’s planning department.
The county wants the developer to align its project with the existing Library Street and connect with the proposed connection associated with Library Street near Reston Town Center.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors deferred a decision on the appeal to Oct. 29.
Photos via handout/Fairfax County Government