Another tenant plans to shutter its doors by the end of the year at The Spectrum, a master-planned retail complex at Reston Town Center.
Office Depot, which is located at 11816 Spectrum Center, will close on Nov. 13, a company representative told Reston Now.
The company has been closing stores throughout the country after first quarter sales in 2019 fell by two percent. The losses came from the company’s IT and consulting services arm, known as CompuCom. The retail division is composed of Office Depot and OfficeMax stores.
Lerner Enterprises, a Maryland-based company, plans to redevelop the plaza into a mixed-use project. But a timeline for the proposal has not yet been determined.
Sweetgreen Temporarily Closed in Reston Town Center — Sweetgreen has temporarily closed its location at 1824 Library Street because of water damage. The company expects to reopen its doors soon, but no word yet on exactly when that might happen. [Sweetgreen]
Reston Multicultural Festival Returns Later This Month — After a pause last year due to the pandemic, the Reston Multicultural Festival is back this year on Sept. 25. Organized by Reston Community Center, the festival will include arts and crafts, entertainment, food, a global market and family activities. [RCC]
State Issues Notice About Measles Cases in Northern Virginia — Five people were diagnosed with measles in the area, prompting the Virginia Department of Health to issue an alert about possible exposure. The individuals recently traveled from Afghanistan. Most U.S. residents receive measles vaccinations during childhood. [Virginia Department of Health]
Reston Company Announces Merger — Reston-based education technology giant Blackboard is merging with a Florida-based software company called Anthology. The terms of the deal were not publicly disclosed. [Technical.ly]
The Glossary Nail Spa is opening a second location in Reston.
Owner Hollee Ho tells Reston Now that she plans to open a new salon in North Point Village Center in February 2022.
Ho, a Fairfax County resident, has operated more than 20 salons over the course of her career. She now owns five salons, excluding the future location in North Point Village Center.
She hopes to “capture the clients of Reston and Great Falls by providing them a very spacious salon and easy parking.” The new location is roughly 3,200 square feet.
The Reston Town Center location opened in 2019. Ho says that location will remain open for the foreseeable future.
Several salons and studio have come and gone in the last few years at North Point Village Center, including Ellada Studio.
The sushi joint Matsutake Sushi is expected to fill the vacancy left two years ago by Boston Market in November.
TransUnion to Buy Reston-based Company — TransUnion will acquire most of Neustar Inc., an information services and technology company based in Reston. The company has agreed to sell its marketing, fraud and communications businesses for $3.1 billion in cash. But the deal excludes the its cybersecurity business. [Washington Business Journal]
Local Apartment Community Has New Owner — J Harbor Park at North Point, a 190-unit apartment community in Reston, was acquired by Jefferson Apartment Group, a multifamily developer and operator.The development is expected to undergo renovations in the coming months. [Commercial Observer]
Local Vaccine Clinic Today at Wiehle-Reston East — The county’s health department is hosting a vaccine clinic at the Wiehle-Reston Metro Station for most of the day today. Can’t make it today? Another clinic is planned for Thursday. Walk-ins and appointments are available. [Reston Association]
Deer Management Program Underway — The county’s annual deer management archery program is underway through Feb. 19. It’s part of a longstanding effort to reduce the white-tailed deer population in the county. The county notes that only approved members of the its program can hunt in designated parks. [Fairfax County Government]
Like many of their counterparts across the technology industry, Microsoft and Facebook workers won’t be returning to cubicles any time soon, but both companies say they remain committed to previously announced plans to add office space at Reston Town Center.
Microsoft announced in a corporate blog post on Thursday (Sept. 9) that it has scrapped plans to fully reopen its California headquarters and other U.S. offices on Oct. 4, citing the continued uncertainty of COVID-19, particularly with the spread of the Delta variant.
“Protecting employee health and safety continues to be our top priority and we’ve decided to adjust our plans as we follow the latest information and guidance from health and data experts, and respond to COVID-19’s highly dynamic nature,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement.
A presence in Reston since 2002, Microsoft currently occupies a 153,000 square-foot office in Two Discovery Square at 12012 Sunset Hills Road.
The company told Reston Now that it doesn’t disclose worker headcounts by location, but nationwide, the decision to indefinitely postpone its office reopening plans affects more than 103,000 employees, according to NBC4.
“We will fully re-open each U.S. worksite once our Stage 6 health and criteria and local guidelines are met at each location,” the Microsoft spokesperson said by email. “At that point, we’ll communicate a 30-day transition period that provides time for employees to return to the work site.”
Microsoft announced in May 2020 that it will lease 400,000 square feet of office space in Two Freedom Square (11955 Freedom Drive) at Reston Town Center to build a research and development hub, which is expected to create 1,500 jobs and feature a new retail space.
The Washington Business Journal reported in November that Microsoft had reached a deal with Reston Town Center owner Boston Properties to expand its Sunset Hills office by 45,000 square feet in addition to the development facility plans.
While Microsoft didn’t move into Two Freedom Square this summer as initially expected, the company says its plans for a Reston Town Center expansion have not changed.
“Our expansion in Reston fulfills long-term business needs that we don’t anticipate shifting due to the current COVID-19 environment,” Microsoft said.
Facebook likewise confirmed that it still plans to set up a Reston office, even after announcing on Aug. 12 that U.S. employees won’t be required to return to offices until January.
Boston Properties shared in an earnings call on Oct. 31, 2019 that the social media giant had signed a lease for about 75,000 square feet of space at Reston Town Center, which beat out a Tysons office tower that was reportedly also under consideration.
The address of the new office wasn’t disclosed, but a permit issued by Fairfax County on March 17, 2020 indicated that Facebook will occupy the 10th floor of 1818 Library Street, which counts Carr Workplaces and the scientific consulting firm Metron as tenants.
More recently, Fairfax County issued a non-residential use permit to Facebook for the Reston Town Center space on July 8.
“We’re eager to continue expanding to support Facebook’s growing teams, and be a part of Reston’s vibrant community and strong business economy,” Facebook spokesperson Jamila Reeves said in a statement. “We always have our eye on new opportunities to support employees in the region.”
Facebook did not return follow-up inquiries about a move-in timeline and the number of employees that will work at the Reston office by press time.
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]
Northam Advocates for Vaccine Requirements — Gov. Ralph Northam urged business leaders to follow the public sector in setting COVID-19 vaccination mandates at a Capital Region Business Forum in D.C. yesterday (Thursday). His comments came hours before President Joe Biden announced that all businesses with more than 100 workers must require the vaccine, among other new rules. [Inside NoVA]
Feds Use Reston Company’s Data Against Facebook — The Federal Trade Commission revealed user data on Wednesday (Sept. 8) that officials said supports their antitrust lawsuit against Facebook, which argues that the social media company has a monopoly. The FTC cited data from Reston-based market research firm Comscore that it says Facebook uses to prepare materials for CEO Mark Zuckerberg. [Bloomberg]
Tephra Sculpture Celebration Kicks off Art Festival — The Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival starts today (Friday) with a long-awaited celebration of artist Sue Wrbican’s surrealist-inspired Buoyant Force sculpture in Reston Town Square Park. Now in its 30th year, the festival will continue through the weekend with live performances and more than 200 artists present to share and sell their work. [Tephra ICA]
Smithsonian Creates Archive of 9/11 Memories — “The Smithsonian National Museum of American History is gathering written and recorded memories of 9/11 for the 20th anniversary of the attacks. You can submit your written memories, photos, or a video to the Smithsonian’s ‘9-11: An Evolving Legacy’ website. You can also read what has been submitted so far.” [DCist]
Community Raises Money for Family of Hit-and-Run Victim — A GoFundMe started on Friday (Sept. 3) by the sister of Reston resident Andrew Willingham, who was killed in a hit-and-run incident on Fairfax County Parkway last week, has received more than $257,000 as of 7:30 p.m. yesterday (Wednesday). The money will go toward helping Willingham’s wife and two sons with expenses, including a future college fund. [Patch]
County Launches Data Hub for Reston Parks — “You can now access the latest information on urban parks and athletic fields associated with redevelopment in the Reston Transit Station Areas through the new Urban Parks Activity Hub. The new online hub is one of three components of the Reston Data Visualization project created by the Department of Planning and Development in coordination with the Park Authority.” [Fairfax County Government]
Herndon Police Chief With Rare State Award — “Chief [Maggie] DeBoard and Executive Director Dana Schrad were recognized by the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police & Foundation with the 2021 Outstanding Contribution to Law Enforcement Award…This award recognizes an individual’s conspicuous act or achievement in the performance of their duty that results in an exceptional and responsible contribution to the law enforcement profession here in VA.” [Herndon Police/Twitter]
Reston Contractor CEO Recalls Company’s 9/11 Origins — Reston-based defense technology contractor EverWatch Corp. CEO John Hillen says his life “is very oddly wrapped up with 9/11.” His experience in downtown New York City on Sept. 11, 2001 propelled him from Wall Street to the State Department under the George W. Bush administration, and his company now provides tools for defense missions that directly stem from the attacks. [Washington Business Journal]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
Fresh off relocating to a new headquarters, technology business and defense contractor Leidos is adding to its footprint in Reston.
The addition at 11929 Market Street is for an “agile software development factory and cyber operations training center,” the company told Reston Now.
“This continues our investments and growth in Reston/Fairfax County/VA and will bring added high-tech jobs to the area,” Tom Doheny, strategic communications and media relations director, said in a written statement.
Leidos says the move is intended to serve customers’ needs, develop products and services, and act as an annex to its recently completed headquarters at 1750 Presidents Street.
Building, electrical, plumbing, and gas inspections have occurred throughout July and August at the space for office improvements, which also involved an interior demolition permit that Fairfax County issued on Aug. 12.
“RTC’s commercial leasings have always defied, and continue to defy, gravity,” Reston Town Center Association Executive Director Robert Goudie said in a statement. “It speaks, I think, to the compelling live, work, visit proposition that we work so hard to continually extend and enhance. This is a place where leading companies want to be, and for good reason.”
The Fortune 500 company moved to its new headquarters at 17Fifty, a 17-story office building, in March 2020 after previously occupying 11951 Freedom Drive, also in Reston Town Center.
Photo via Google Maps
A new day care is coming to Reston that will teach kids how to read music, play instruments, and sing.
“The focus is music,” he told Reston Now.
Wininger’s interest in running the day care, which is looking to open on Sept. 27, was inspired by his 20-year-old daughter Madison, who is on the autism spectrum.
When she was 3 or 4, he decided to learn guitar after a developmental pediatrician told him she wouldn’t be able to speak. He thought that couldn’t be true, and he saw his daughter prove the doctor wrong.
The day care will serve kids up to age 6 with music lessons twice a day, both group and individual sessions.
Kids will learn songs to sing and how to play instruments ranging from drums and musical bells to keyboards and guitars. Students can even take some of the smaller instruments home with them, along with accompanying music books.
Research on the childhood development benefits of learning music has been mixed. Some studies question the existence of a connection, while others show positive effects on the social skills of kids as young as 1 and suggest learning music may encourage faster neurodevelopment than other activities.
For Wininger, seeing his own daughters grow and be influenced by music illustrated how perceptive kids can be. His younger daughter, Hope, showed off her drumming skills at age 5, and when Madison was younger, she could only speak a few words, but now, she can’t stop talking and singing.
One of the goals of the Rock and Roll Daycare program is for children to be able to read music fluently. Unique to Wininger’s locations will be a multicultural program where kids learn to sing songs from different countries each month in the original languages.
“I want this to be the…’it takes a village’ feel,” he said of the Reston day care, which features a main room, six enclosed rooms, restrooms, and an office.
Rock and Roll Daycare was started in 2012 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, by two musicians and is now moving to expand across the country with upcoming sites in New York, Indiana, and Texas, along with Wininger’s Virginia locations.
Wininger plans to limit electronic devices in his day cares to what is needed for staff. He also doesn’t want his locations to be limited by the day care environment.
He envisions additional programming, from concerts to date nights for parents, and wants to make use of his drumming and guitar skills for the day care and additional outreach. The kid-focused band Rocknoceros from Fairfax will perform at the Reston site on Sept. 28.
The cost per child will be $2,400 per month, which is higher than usual to retain staff, Wininger says, noting that candidates with education and musical experience are gravitating toward the openings. The day care is planning to hire two employees for every eight kids.
“We’re Montessori-inspired by the way we teach education,” Wininger said.
D.C. Area Under Code Orange Alert — A Code Orange Air Quality Alert has been issued for the D.C. area, including Fairfax County, as smoke from wildfires in the West carries over to the East Coast. The alert means that “air pollution concentration is unhealthy for sensitive groups, especially those w/medical conditions like asthma. Limit strenuous outdoor activity.” [Ready Fairfax/Twitter]
Former Fairfax County Police Indicted — Police Chief Kevin Davis and Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano announced yesterday (Tuesday) that former Fairfax County police officer John Grimes was indicted by a grand jury indicted on Monday (July 19) for unwanted sexual contact with a 16-year-old. The incidents took place between Nov. 12 and Dec. 16, 2019 when Grimes was conducting ride-alongs with the victim. [Patch]
County Announces Millions in Affordable Housing Funds — “The Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA) has announced the availability of local, state, and federal funds to support the development and preservation of affordable housing in Fairfax County. More than $18.7 million is currently appropriated and is now available for multifamily affordable housing development projects; an additional $15 million in federal funding has been preliminarily identified for this purpose; and additional state funding will be announced in the very near future.” [Fairfax County Housing and Community Development]
Reston Software Company Acquired — “Avantus Federal, a McLean-based IT defense contractor and NewSpring Holdings company, has acquired Reston-based software company Occam’s Razor Technologies LLC, it announced Thursday…ORT, founded in 2011, is a software engineering and consulting firm that works with defense and intelligence clients.” [Virginia Business]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
The Reston-headquartered Fortune 500 company Science Applications International Corp. known as SAIC (12010 Sunset Hills Road), has hired its first chief climate scientist.
Stephen Ambrose joined the information technology and engineering government contractor in early May. His decades of previous experience in climate science includes a 25-year tenure at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
“Climate change is one of the grand challenges of our time,” Bob Genter, president of the defense and civilian sector at SAIC, said in a news release. “Stephen brings a wealth of experience and expertise to SAIC as we continue to help our customers rise to this challenge with solutions scaled to meet all levels of climate and disaster risk and adaptation.”
Ambrose is particularly interested in assisting government customers with strategic planning for disaster responses and preparation not just at the federal level, but also states and localities.
“How are we prepared for these disasters? More hurricanes. Stronger hurricanes. Flooding,” he said. “The most opportunity we should go forward with is…in that effort.”
Ambrose’s primary responsibilities include helping the company understand climate change and its impacts, examining the available science and technology and applying those to climate questions, and working with customers to address issues related to climate change, resilience, and adaptation.
“His experience will guide SAIC’s efforts to support government customers as they advance solutions to deal with the impacts of climate on land, air, sea, wildlife, and civilizations around the world,” the company said in the news release. “He’ll also promote solutions for measuring and addressing climate challenges, leveraging SAIC solutions and capabilities in data science, modeling, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and analytics.”
In addition to working for NOAA, Ambrose’s career includes stints with the Department of the Interior, Environmental Protection Agency, and NASA, where he spent 10 years as a program manager executive for disasters, homeland security, and water resources.
Before joining SAIC, he was a senior advisor and program manager at General Dynamics Information Technology (3150 Fairview Park Drive, Falls Church).
With about 26,000 employees, SAIC primarily contracts with the Army, Navy, and agencies in the Department of Defense, but it’s also served NASA, the Department of Homeland Security, and other federal partners.
In March, the company’s annual filing showed $7 billion in revenue for the past fiscal year — 98% of it involving the federal government.
SAIC’s decision to hire a chief climate scientist comes amid a renewed focus in the U.S. on addressing climate change and other environmental issues.
As one of his first executive actions, President Joe Biden set a goal to eliminate carbon pollution from the power sector by 2035. He also wants the country to cut its greenhouse gas emissions in half from 2005 levels and make all electricity renewable by 2035.
“You can tell by the administration and the focus on climate change, it’s just everyday…coming out from that so quickly, that we have to respond to that,” Ambrose said.
On a local level, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors pledged yesterday (Tuesday) to achieve carbon neutrality for all government operations by 2040, following up on a recommendation issued by the county’s Joint Environmental Task Force last year.
However, with county government facilities accounting for a relatively small amount of emissions, the private sector also needs to do its part to combat climate change, and Ambrose says SAIC is well-equipped to contribute.
He says his work will bring the company “to the forefront” of this issue, building off of ongoing efforts with different government agencies, from the Federal Aviation Administration to military bases.
“The team I have is growing rapidly,” Ambrose said. “I consider all of SAIC my team because I’m horizontal across all aspects of it.”
Ambrose says his first year on the job is more focused on planning, including developing a five-year plan with milestones for the company. He’s also working on some events to engage employees and the general community, starting with a public forum that will include a panel of speakers from NASA, NOAA, and universities.
Reston Man Among Suspects in Maryland Murder — Reston resident William Rivera-Martinez, 20, is among five people who have been arrested and face charges in the April murder of a 15-year-old Nelson Ramos. As of Thursday morning (June 24), Rivera-Martinez was in Fairfax County custody and awaiting extradition to Prince George’s County. [The Washington Post]
Threat of Mass Evictions Looms with Moratorium Set to End — Fairfax County officials say there’s “plenty of emergency rental assistance” to help residents at risk of eviction, but with Virginia expected to let its eviction moratorium expire when the COVID-19 state of emergency ends on June 30, they worry it will take too long to get the money to landlords to stave off evictions. [Inside NoVA]
Herndon Startup Chosen for Amazon Program — The data analytics company HawkEye 360 has been chosen by Amazon Web Services for a four-week business accelerator focused on the space industry. The 10 companies selected for the program will get business advice and support in their efforts to collect data from satellites for cloud computing. [Axios]
Reston Trucking Software Company Acquired — “Trucker Tools LLC, a Reston outfit that offers a digital freight management platform, has been acquired by ASG, a California company backed by private equity firm Alpine Investors that specializes in purchasing and building software-as-a-service companies.” [Washington Business Journal]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
General Assembly to Hold Special Session in August — “Governor Ralph Northam today [Wednesday] issued a proclamation calling the members of the General Assembly into special session on Monday, August 2. A special session is necessary to fill judicial vacancies and allocate more than $4.3 billion in federal relief funding.” [Office of the Governor]
TJ Admissions Changes Result in Increased Diversity — The Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology Class of 2025 will include more Black and Hispanic students, more girls, and more economically disadvantaged students than past years, according to Fairfax County Public Schools data. This is the first cohort to be admitted under a new admissions system that ditched the magnet school’s usual admissions test and $100 application fee. [The Washington Post]
Herndon Office Building Sold — The investment company Boyd Watterson Asset Management has purchased a 160,000 square-foot office building at 13651 McLearen Road for $48 million. The McLearen Center is in the same complex as the Transportation Security Administration’s Freedom Center and Nysmith School, and it counts Boeing as a long-term tenant, though the lease is set to expire in May 2022. [Washington Business Journal]
Reston Contractor Reports Medicaid Data Breach — Maximus Corp., a government health data services provider based in Reston, says a data breach that occurred between May 17 and 19 exposed the personal information of more than 334,000 Medicaid healthcare providers nationwide. The incident did not affect information about patients or Medicaid beneficiaries, according to the company. [Information Security Media Group]
Irish Rock Band Joins Arrowbrook Concert Lineup — The D.C.-based Irish rock band Scythian will perform at Arrowbrooke Centre Park in Herndon on July 17 as part of Fairfax County’s Music at Arrowbrook Centre concert series, one of several free summer concert series organized by the county park authority. [Fairfax County Park Authority]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
Reston newcomer CACI International is one of several companies in Reston and Herndon that were named among the best places to work in the D.C. area by The Washington Post’s eighth annual Top Workplaces survey.
Recognized in a virtual awards ceremony on June 17 and publicly announced on Friday (June 18), the list features the 200 highest-ranked companies in the region based on employee surveys conducted by the third-party engagement firm Energage LLC.
According to the Post, more than 3,500 area companies were invited to participate in the contest, and more than 65,500 employees filled out the questionnaire, which considered factors ranging from pay and benefits to retention and confidence in the organization’s leadership.
While the Post still identifies CACI as an Arlington-based company, the information technology contractor cut the ribbon on its new headquarters building near the future Reston Town Center Metro station at the end of May.
Ranked ninth in the “largest companies” category, which includes organizations with at least 1,000 workers in the D.C. area, CACI employs 7,743 people locally and recorded $5.7 billion in revenue for fiscal year 2020, putting it on the Fortune 500 list of the largest companies in the U.S. for the first time since its founding in 1962.
Here are the other Reston and Herndon companies that found a spot on the Top Workplaces list:
Large (500-1,000 employees)
- Deltek (#12)
- Noblis (#14): This is the Reston contractor’s eighth consecutive year on the Post’s list, according to a news release
- GAP Solutions (#19)
- Northwest Federal Credit Union (#27)
Mid-Size (150-500 employees)
- Acclaim Technical Services (#5)
- Procentrix (#6)
- B3 Group (#12)
- Ventera Corp. (#19)
- Dev Technology Group (#24)
- Amyx (#56)
- ATCS (#61)
- Brightspot (#73)
Small (50-150 employees)
- ThunderCat Technology (#9)
- Navitas Business Consulting (#19)
- Expedition Technology (#21)
- Northstrat (#23)
- Northramp (#28)
- Intact Technology (#40)
- Actualize Consulting (#49)
- Assured Consulting Solutions (#53)
- Electrosoft Services (#58)
- SeKON Enterprises (#68)
- HawkEye 360 (#69)