Construction on new townhomes near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station is underway.
Union Towns at Reston Station is composed of 26 “luxury townhouses” behind the Lofts, a low-rise condominium building off of Sunset Hills Road.
Although construction is underway, it’s unclear when the project will be completed. The development includes an on-site dog park and green space, as well as members-only access to the nearby rooftop pool.
Prices for each townhouse unit start at $800,000, according to Union Towns’ website.
At a recent site visit, construction crews demolished an office building that is opposite the site as well.
Photo by Fatimah Waseem
A study group will scout the area this week to find the best option for constructing a future pedestrian crossing at Wiehle Avenue near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station.
The walkthrough is part of a proffer for Campus Commons, an approved project by TF Cornerstone that would redevelop an aging office park at 1900 and 1902 Campus Common Drive into a 1.3 million-square-foot development. The meeting is set for Feb. 27 at 5 p.m. at the site.
Community opposition to the project — including the successful surge of a grassroots organization Rescue Sunrise Valley — resulted in a number of changes to the application, which was approved last year.
One of the most contentious issues was a proposed crosswalk at ramps to enter and exit the Dulles Toll Road at Wiehle Avenue. The developer’s original pitch — a crosswalk at the current stoplight in the area to get to the other side of Wiehle Avenue across two traffic islands in the multi-lane roadway — was rejected by the county due to serious safety concerns.
TF Cornerstones agreed to find a better solution for walkability. A proffer part in the approved application requires the developer to convene a workgroup with community representation through the office of Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn.
The workgroup is tasked with finding the best type of pedestrian bridge for the area. Options on the table include but are not limited to an above-grade bridge or a below-grade underpass or tunnel.
A final recommendation for the pedestrian crossing will be presented to the board by October. The developer will either build the crossing or give the county $1.5 million to complete the work.
Concerns on the lack of pedestrian connectivity to and from the Reston Town Center Metro Station and Wiehle-Reston East were also flagged by the board last year.
The developer plans to build three buildings with 655 apartments, more than 520,000 square feet of office space, and a little over 28,000 square feet of ground-floor retail. A 24-story tower and two small towers are proposed.
For more information about the meeting, email Jose Delcid at [email protected].
Photo via Fairfax County Government, Google Maps
Changes to Reston Station Promenade — a project with nearly 1.3 million square feet of development north of the Wiehe-Reston East Metro Station — were officially approved by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday (Jan. 28).
Comstock plans to convert a planned 250-unit residential building into an office building, slashing the total number of to 340. The hotel along Reston Station Boulevard will also be shifted so that most of the building faces Wiehle Avenue.
The company also scrapped a woonerf — a Dutch-style living street without sidewalks and curbs that are shared by pedestrians, bicyclists, and cars. The street, which was one of the more unique design features of the site, was removed to improve walkability for pedestrians and discourage car traffic.
“By rotating the hotel’s orientation 90 degrees, the new design brings more daylight into the Promenade — and it makes the entire development more visible to Metro riders coming north from Reston Station, Comstock’s development next to the Wiehle station,” according to the county.
Comstock will also convert an urban plaza into a corner park. The company also plans to pitch in $2.3 million for the construction of an athletic field.
Comstock will also purchase board-owned property for $3 million in order to shift density within the development and create space for a more cohesive design. Selling off the 1.3-acre area owned by the county is expected to bring in roughly $9.6 million annually for the county.
Photos via Fairfax County Government
Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn kicked off his first Fairfax County Board of Supervisors’ meeting today (Tuesday) by calling for a review of Reston’s Comprehensive Plan.
The proposal, which was approved by the board, initiatives a 12 to 18 month period of public engagement to update the plan, which was last updated five years ago.
In a statement, Alcorn noted that more than 30 rezoning applications have been approved in Reston’s transit station areas since the last plan was last reviewed. He hopes to set up a community task force and start a series of public meetings.
Alcorn hopes to tackle the following topic areas, which were presented to the board today (Tuesday):
- Projected population thresholds for Reston, and how to ensure that population, infrastructure and the environment are all in balance
- Land use in the village centers (Hunters Woods, South Lakes and North Point) – including clarification of what type of future redevelopment proposals might require an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan
- The adequacy of existing plan language to generate additional affordable housing, and improvements to plan language to encourage preservation and enhancement of existing communities that now provide affordable housing
- The adequacy of existing and planned pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure for accessing Silver Line stations
- The adequacy of existing Comprehensive Plan guidance to facilitate urban-scale mobility and development design in the TSAs while protecting the stability of nearby neighborhoods
- Existing Comprehensive Plan transportation improvements to ensure that they are aligned with planned development
- How the Comprehensive Plan could better facilitate enhancement of Reston’s natural environment, encourage energy efficiency and support sustainable green neighborhoods
- How the Comprehensive Plan could address concerns about monopolization of ownership in Reston, and ways to encourage diverse ownership and/or management over the long term
- Whether the historic practice of promoting privately-owned and managed open space sufficiently addresses public needs during the next 50 years of Reston
In a previous interview with Reston Now, Alcorn said he hopes updates to the plan will help better manage growth and infrastructure in the rapidly changing community.
Brookfield Properties broke ground on the project, called Halley Rise and formerly called. Reston Crescent, in October.
The first phase, which is set to be completed in 2022, includes 450,000 square feet of new office space, 640 residential units, 200,000 square feet of retail and two new parks, a company spokesperson told Reston Now.
Wegmans, which will anchor the retail space, is expected to be open in 2022. Pinstripes, a restaurant with a bowling alley and bocce court, is also planned.
Future phases will also include a movie theater — under a mile from Bow Tie Cinemas in Reston Town Center — and food and drink options.
When the 36-acre development is built out, it will include 1.5 million square feet of office space, 250,000 square feet of retail and 1,500 residential units, 15 percent of which are affordable.
Staff photos by Jay Westcott
More than two years after joining forces to buy Worldgate Metro Plaza in Herndon, two developers have once again partnered to buy a property in the area.
Newmark Knight Frank, a real estate advisory firm, sold the office building on 2100 Reston Parkway to Moore and Associates and Harbert Management Corporation, an Alabama-based investment management firm.
The seven-story, 178,667-square-foot building includes a fitness center, lounge, game room, and conference facilities with 562 parking spots in a two-level garage near the building.
Here’s more from Newmark Group, Inc. on the sale:
With 76 percent of the building already leased, the new owners have a great start on fostering a strong tenant base in a highly-desirable area of one of the country’s fastest growing markets.
“2100 Reston Parkway is located on the main north-south spine of the dynamic Reston submarket. It is easily accessible to the amenities located at Reston Town Center,” said NKF Executive Managing Director James Cassidy. “The property will benefit from all of the adjacent development south of the Toll Road including Brookfield’s transformational, Wegman’s-anchored 4.1 million-square-foot Halley Rise project and JBG Smith’s Reston Heights development.”
“The building is also proximate to the soon-to-open Silver Line Reston Town Center Metro station and will continue to perform well due to the buyer’s continued strategic improvements to the asset in the tightening Reston market,” added Cassidy.
The details of the deal were not disclosed publicly.
Photo via Google Maps
The Washingtonian’s Benjamin Wofford gave Reston a big nod in a feature published over the weekend.
Titled, “The Very Uncivil War Going Down in America’s Most Civil Suburb,” Wofford writes that the once inclusive suburb is now “whiter, older and richer than its founder ever intended,” locking itself in a battle for its soul and the preservation of open space.
Calling the opponents of a recently deferred plan to increase Reston’s population cap “the Yellow Shirts,” the article lays out a narrative of the battle to preserve the community’s two golf courses, issues of affordability, and nimbyism. The article has drawn interesting responses from readers.
i grew up in Reston in the 80s, when it was still a town where working-class people could live, and watching it (from progressively farther away, lol) remake itself as Federal Tech Contractor Whole Foods Hell over the past 30 years has been the weirdest fucking thing https://t.co/w8syJNDdHR
— Yulebert Reindeerko (@AlbertBurneko) December 17, 2019
Hard to choose the best quote. Maybe "In Petrine’s eyes, the problem was that anyone had sought to bring Metro to Reston at all.The list of turncoats was vast: the county for putting its grubby hands on the town, Metro for spreading through the county, [LBJ] for conceiving Metro"
— David Schleicher (@ProfSchleich) December 17, 2019
Wofford points out some interesting U.S. Census Bureau statistics:
Lately, though, the town has followed the familiar arc of an aging suburb. Since 2000, according to Census data, the number of children has fallen by nearly 10 percent. Reston is now 17 percent whiter than Fairfax County.
He chats with one of the “Yellow Shirts”:
To that sect of the Yellow Shirts, who insisted they were not entirely opposed to growth, the fight was about preservation of idyllic values. But at the core of the movement, sentiments about Reston’s evolution were more inflamed. “It’s not even hardly recognizable!” complained Tammi Petrine, one of the earliest activists. “If I could think of another place to go, I would. Because this is a shitshow.”
A local Restonian offers his assessment of the demographics of Reston:
Bouie was willing to see the worst in this admission. “When they’re saying they’re against Metro, they weren’t thinking about people from Reston going to DC. They were thinking about people from DC coming here,” he said. “Cranky old white people,” Bouie sniffed. “There’s no diversity in that group.”
One of Bob Simon’s first salespeople — Chuck Veatch — offers his persepctive:
He chided the competing caricatures of Reston that had taken root in the haze of infighting, either a municipal kibbutz or a gated hamlet in Mar-a-Lago. “It’s not a socialist utopia,” he chuckled. At the same time, the Yellow Shirts misunderstood that “the success of the community is not about how much money your house is worth.” Amid the partisan bickering, everyone had misplaced something elemental: the town’s shared sense of community, a distinct virtue in the face of the booming metropolis surrounding it. “Bob started out by weaving the social fabric of Reston first,” Veatch said.
The article appeared in the December issue of the magazine.
Photo by Marjorie Copson
Walter Alcorn, the incoming Hunter Mill District Supervisor who won a five-way Democratic primary, plans to prioritize managing growth and infrastructure as he takes over for retiring Cathy Hudgins on Jan. 1.
As cranes scrape the skies and community consternation about development continues to rumble, one of Alcorn’s top priorities is to update and improve Reston’s major planning document — phase two of Reston’s comprehensive plan.
“Our biggest challenge is clearly managing the growth that we’re undergoing right now, both in terms of mobility and change and our quality of life,” Alcorn said in a recent interview with Reston Now.
He hopes to incorporate measures that manage growth and infrastructure — including population projections that can guide infrastructure needs, planning for public facilities like transportation and schools, and expectations for public open space. Alcorn also hopes to incorporate language to preserve existing affordable housing and clarify expectations surround the future redevelopment of Reston’s village centers, some of which are in need of revitalization.
Although Alcorn has not pitched specific recommendations — a public feedback process in early 2020 will guide the community conversation — the Democrat has one specific idea: breaking up the ownership of Reston Town Center.
Alcorn says the county can incorporate language in the comprehensive plan to “call for diverse ownership of Reston Town Center” in order to break up the “monopolistic” ownership of Reston’s core from Boston Properties. The move would address concerns related to vacancies and the departure of small businesses following the company’s seismic shift to paid parking in 2017.
For now, the controversial discussion on increasing Reston’s population density per acre in the Planned Residential Community district — the community’s primary zoning district has been indefinitely delayed.
Alcorn believes the county should reexamine Reston’s comprehensive plan before reconvening discussions on the tabled PRC proposal.
“We need to fix the comprehensive plan,” Alcorn told Reston Now. “My first priority is to fix the comprehensive plan.”
He also wants to explore ways to streamline how Reston-related development proposals are reviewed, particularly between the Hunter Mill District Land Use Committee, which advises the supervisor’s office on land use issues, and the Reston Planning & Zoning Committee. Possible proposals include improving the public input process, adding county staff support to attend meetings and improving the sequencing of the multi-step approval process.
“Many times, these groups are asked to make recommendations on zoning before they can even see proffers associate with rezoning,” he said.
Other county-wide initiatives Alcorn hopes to take a lead on include:
- A land use reform initiative to create affordable housing opportunities, in conjunction with other supervisors
- Efforts to improve pedestrian mobility through regional initiates and more comprehensive planning beyond the county’s bicycle master plan.
As he begins his term on Jan. 1, Alcorn hopes to leverage his experience as a former planner with the county to ensure the vitality and promise of Reston remains.
“I come to this job with good knowledge of the land use process and also a commitment to engage the public and the community in that land use process,” he says. “We’re at an interesting time in Reston with transit-oriented development underway and older communities that are in need of retention. That is something that is new.”
Photo via Facebook
The completed pieces of the project include a new 18-bed inpatient rehabilitation center, an expanded 24-bed Intensive Care Unit, a second lab for the cardiac services unit, a new parking garage for patients and visitors at the West Wing entrance, and four rooms for high-risk obstetric patients.
A new cafeteria and seating area has also been opened.
Progress on renovations to visitor areas, including a new cafeteria, glass concourse, main entrance, and lobby, is underway, according to Todd McGovern, said director of marketing and communications for the hospital.
McGovern said the upgraded main entrance and lobby will improve navigation between the main entrance, west wing entrance, pavilion entrances, and the emergency department.
“We will be making an additional investment into the modernization of several patient care areas to elevate our entire facility to a consistent level for a best-in-class patient experience,” McGovern said.
The new patient-visitor parking garage, which has more than 400 parking spaces, opened in the summer of this year.
The 231-bed hospital announced its plan to expand on its 30th anniversary. The phased project will add more than 63,000 square feet to the building, which is part of Tennessee-based health giant HCA Healthcare.
Photos via Reston Hospital Center
17Fifty — the newest office tower in Reston Town Center is nearing completion. Leidos, the full-building tenant of the 17-story building located at 1750 Presidents Street, is gearing up to move into its new headquarters by March 2020.
A spokesperson for Boston Properties told Reston Now that the top of the building has been topped off and the the work to enclose the building has been completed.
The company is now working to construct the interior space for Leidos, a Reston-based information technology contractor.
The new building has roughly 276,000 square feet. The tower is designed by Shalom Baranes Associates.
County permits for the building’s sprinkler system were recently processed.
Photos by Jay Westcott
The county is planning to sell a roughly one-acre parcel of land north of Reston Station Boulevard.
Under the proposal, which will be considered by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors tomorrow (Tuesday) will consider selling off the land so it can be integrated in the rezoning of Reston Station Promenade, a mixed-use project by Comstock that was approved in April last year.
The sale of the land would “enable a more efficient redevelopment” of that project, according to the county.
If approved, the developer would pay roughly $3 million for the parcel and offer a density transfer of roughly 147,690 square feet to the plaza area near the county-owned Wiehle-Reston East garage.
County officials estimate that transfer would bring in a rental stream of roughly $8.6 million from Comstock, which currently pays an annual base rent of $2.9 million for its leases with the board at Reston Station.
Rents will increase as Comstock builds more pieces of its mixed-use project under a 99-year lease between the developer and the county.
An appraisal states the sale area has a value of roughly $10.8 million.
County staff recommend approval the sale, which would result in more density near the Metro Station, simplify the ownership structure of Reston Station Promenade.
Approval of the sale will require amending the lease with Comstock.
One major change in the lease includes a requirement for Comstock to permit electoral campaign and voter registration activities on the plaza near the entry to the north entrance of the Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail Station.
Earlier this year, free speech advocates and candidates seeking office raised concerns about Comstock’s restrictions on campaigning and electioneering at the plaza, which is considered a public space. County Concerned about civil rights violations, Board Chairwoman Sharon Bulova threatened legal action if Comstock did not take steps to allow campaign activities on the plaza.
The board is expected to make a decision on the sale tomorrow. More information about the proposal is available online.
Photo via handout/Fairfax County Government
Reston Town Center North, a 47-acre site that serves as a transition from Reston Town Center to surrounding residential areas, now has a new name: Cameron Green.
With a rebranded mixed-use redevelopment proposal, a conceptual approval for a grid-of-streets plan was approved by Reston Association’s Design Review Board earlier this week.
The plan includes nine acres of open space, with a central green — which is intended to act as a “Reston park in a new forest” that rests in the center of the site. The project will also include an athletic field and a county recreation center.
The central green is intended to be more neighborhood-focused and have “a Reston community feel,” according to application materials submitted to the DRB.
At a Tuesday meeting, the DRB unanimously gave conceptual approval for the plan. Members noted that the panel would have an opportunity to follow up on the inclusion of trees and the placemaking nature of planned open space once the development team submits a zoning application.
Richard Newlon, the DRB’s chairman, said plans approved for conceptual approval often differ significantly from the final and completed product — a change that he said raises some concerns.
In some cases, the final product is merely “in the spirit” of the conceptual approval, Newlon added, noting that dots denoting trees may look “cute” on paper.
Future concerns about trees and buffering could be addressed in future discussions, Newlon said.
Photos via handout/Reston Association
Global consulting firm ICF International Inc. has inked a full-building lease at Comstock’s Reston Station, according to a company release.
The firm will occupy 1902 Reston Metro Plaza, an eight-story, 250,000-square-foot office building at the mixed-use development atop the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station. The company plans to relocate its headquarters of three decades in Fairfax by the end of 2022.
The glass and steel building, which sits on top of parking and restaurant space, is expected to be complete by 2021.
“We are confident that Reston Station has everything we need to provide one of the best employee experiences in the Washington D.C. metro area,” said John Wasson, Chief Executive Officer of ICF. “Having our global headquarters in the heart of a rapidly expanding technology corridor directly supports our strategic growth plans and provides so many more conveniences to our employees.”
ICF is the latest tenant to join the development. Search engine giant Google has moved into Reston Station’s first office building and other companies like Neustar, Rolls-Royce North America, British Telecom and Spaces by Regus are also in the pipeline.
“We look forward to welcoming ICF and its entire team to the Reston Station neighborhood,” said Christopher Clemente, CEO of Comstock Companies. “Comstock is committed to creating a world-class development that provides world-class companies a remarkable neighborhood and an attractive platform for our tenants to recruit and retain talent needed to grow their business.”
ICF is a global consultancy and digital services provider that has more than 7,000 employees.
Photo via Comstock
As phase two of the Silver Line opens early next year, Fairfax County Public Schools are looking to secure funds to begin planning for a new elementary school near the Silver Line.
On Tuesday, Nov 5., voters will consider a bond referendum for $2 million in planning funds for the project.
A site for the new school has not been finalized. A spokesperson for FCPS also declined to release the pyramid the school would be located in until a location has been selected.
“Fairfax County Public Schools is collaborating closely with Fairfax County land use and government staff to identify sites,” said Lucy Caldwell, the school system’s director of news and information.
Developer Pomeroy/Clark LLC plans to dedicate six acres of land for the school — a condition of approval for the developer’s mixed-use project at the intersection of Sunrise Valley Drive and Frying Pan Road.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved the project in June, which includes 2 million square feet of residential uses and an elementary school in five separate land bays spread over 44 acres.
The plan depicts a five-story, 135,000-square-foot elementary school — details that are contingent on the future approvals of the final development plan for the school and pending discussions between the school system and land use staff.
“The applicant worked closely with Fairfax County Public Schools on the site design to ensure that adequate parking, bus circulation, and recreation space can be provided for the school,” according to the county.
School renovations and construction projects are financed through the approval of bonds.
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