38°Clear

by Dave Emke — March 22, 2017 at 11:30 am 41 Comments

Rendering for Golf Course Overlook/Credit: olf Course Overlook LLC

Proposed rezoning of Golf Course Plaza, a three-acre parcel on the west edge of Isaac Newton Square, is scheduled for a Fairfax County Planning Commission hearing June 21.

Location of planned high rise near W&OD and Hidden Creek/Credit: Golf Course Overlook LLCThe proposal, which first came to light in May 2016, would see the property (11480 Sunset Hills Road) become the home of a 392,600-square-foot multifamily residential structure with three levels of underground parking. Currently on the parcel is a three-story office building and a surface parking lot.

The residential building would feature 413 units. Developer Golf Course Overlook LLC seeks to rezone the property from I-5 (General Industrial) to Planned Residential Mixed-Use. According to the summary of Reston Association’s March land development tracker, it is “unclear whether any commercial uses would be retained” on the property.

The site is between the W&OD Trail and the fourth hole of the Hidden Creek Country Club golf course. It is about a third of a mile from the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station. According to the land development tracker summary:

“The site is located in the Wiehle Station Transit-Oriented Development District and designated Residential Mixed Use, which seeks to retain a 75/25 mix of residential and non-residential uses respectively, at intensities of up to a 1.5 FAR [Floor Area Ratio]. Isaac Newton Square is planned to be home to 3,200 (of the 4,600) residential units for this district.”

A county staff report on the project is to be released June 6. Signs advertising the hearing are to go up May 31.

Images via Golf Course Overlook LLC

by Dave Emke — March 20, 2017 at 10:15 am 6 Comments

Hunter Mill Assemblage/ARA Newmark

An investment advisory firm has scheduled a Thursday informational meeting for those interested in purchasing up to 68 acres of land off Hunter Mill Road near the Dulles Toll Road.

ARA Newmark is advertising two properties in what it is calling the Hunter Mill Assemblage — 46 acres west of Hunter Mill Road and 22 acres east — for possible residential or other development. The property west of the road borders Sunset Hills Road to the south, while the property east of the road abuts the Dulles Toll Road. The latter is the former home of the Golf Park at Hunter Mill.

According to an email from ARA Newmark advertising the meeting, the properties are the last unplanned parcels on the Toll Road and offer “unparalled development opportunity” to a buyer or buyers:

“After a multigenerational family ownership, these Properties will be offered to the open market for the first time. [The Hunter Mill Assemblage], consisting of two tracts of 46 and 22 acres, is located on the north side of The Dulles Toll Road on both the East and West sides of Hunter Mill Road. The tracts are being offered separately but may be purchased together.”

The land was owned for decades by the Thoburn family.

ARA Newmark says the land’s usage could include residential development, mixed-use development, an assisted-living facility, a religious institution, a private school or something else. According to the material from ARA Landmark, offers to buy the properties must be in by April 21.

Property behind the former golf park site is already seeing heavy construction work, as it will soon become the new campus of Oakcrest School, a private girls’ school. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints also has plans for a 16,500-square foot church at the intersection with Crowell Road. Defense contractor General Dynamics is also putting its new headquarters nearby on Sunset Hills Road.

Roundabouts are being considered for several intersections along Hunter Mill Road to handle increasing congestion in the area.

The meeting, which is limited to qualified buyers who have signed a confidentiality agreement, is scheduled for Thursday at 10 a.m. at 1420 Spring Hill Road in Tysons.

Map via ARA Newmark

by Dave Emke — March 16, 2017 at 4:00 pm 2 Comments

Good Beginnings SchoolThe site of a private school in Reston is facing a changing future.

Kensington Senior Development LLC is working with Fairfax County on an application to put an assisted-living facility at 11501 Sunrise Valley Drive, the current home of Good Beginnings School. Miaoling Lin, the school’s administrator, says the site is expected to operate as a school through at least the end of 2018.

The sale of the property to Kensington is contingent upon the plan’s approval by the county, Lin said. Meanwhile, a permit has been filed with Fairfax County for Oak Hill Montessori School to open at the site for a month in April.

“They are in between buildings, and we are shrinking, so we have room for them to use temporarily,” Lin said.

Lin said Good Beginnings will continue to operate at the site through June, after which a school called Mosaic will take over the facility.

Lin said some of the staff of Good Beginnings in Reston will be staying on site with Mosaic and some will be moving to the school’s Loudoun County campus in Stone Ridge. The school has a meeting scheduled for Thursday night to introduce Mosaic to parents interested in staying at the current site after June.

by Dave Emke — March 15, 2017 at 5:00 pm 4 Comments

Assisted and Independent Living at Hunters Woods/Credit: Fairfax County

Several years in the making, work will soon begin on construction of a 230,000-square foot senior living facility at a former site of the United Christian Parish church.

Ground is scheduled to be broken on the IntegraCare facility at 2222 Colts Neck Road on March 30. The project, expected to be completed by 2020, will include 91 independent-living units along with 79 assisted-living units, 24 memory-care units and 16 units for high-acuity patients.

2222 Colts Neck Road/Google MapsThe 4.3-acre site was first approved by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors for 210 independent-living units in 2007, but the plan was later amended to the current design. The new plan was approved by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in May.

The building is to be constructed in two wings, one along Colts Neck Road and the other along Reston Parkway. The former church building still stands on the wooded site, the entrance to which is roughly across from the entrance to Hunters Woods Village Center. A permit application to demolish the building was filed March 9 with Fairfax County.

This will be Wexford, Pennsylvania-based IntegraCare‘s first facility in Virginia.

Illustration via Fairfax County; Map via Google

by Dave Emke — March 15, 2017 at 4:00 pm 28 Comments

1808 Michael Faraday Court

A developer has submitted an application to rezone another property off Sunset Hills Road near Wiehle-Reston East Metro station to residential use.

Faraday Partners LLC has made the request for 2.9 acres at 1808 Michael Faraday Court to become a multifamily dwelling area. The Washington Business Journal reports the proposed project is a seven-story apartment building with up to 261 units.

Quoting the statement of justification, the project is described as drawing upon “traditional motifs that are reminiscent in design, height and historic loft-style industrial buildings found in revitalized urban areas.”

Michael Faraday Court is a short road off Sunset Hills with no outlet. In addition to the property in question, it is home to the SkateQuest facility and an office building.

A 2-acre portion of the site is currently zoned I-5 (general industrial), while the other nine-tenths of an acre is zoned I-4 (limited industrial). The site is the former home of the Academy of Christian Education, which moved to Parkridge Boulevard last year.

This is just another in an ever-growing list of residential projects proposed for the corridor east of Wiehle Avenue. Others include:

Numerous additional projects are in the works on the west side of Wiehle Avenue as well. In 2014, Fairfax County reworked Reston’s land-use plan to encourage such development in the area of the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station, as well as the future Reston Town Center and Herndon stations.

“In the future, the three station areas could become home to a total of 30 million square feet in offices and 28,000 housing units,” the county said in its announcement of the plan’s revision. “The plan aims to make [the Wiehle-Reston East] station area an education-focused neighborhood with housing that is well-connected to transit by new walkable streets.”

by Dave Emke — March 14, 2017 at 4:00 pm 7 Comments

Reston Transit Area/Fairfax County

After the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors passed the Reston Transportation Funding Plan last month, the next step will be the official creation of the Reston Transportation Service District.

Community meetings on the subject are slated for Tuesday, March 21 from 7-9 p.m. at Coates Elementary School (2480 River Birch Road, Herndon) and Wednesday, March 29 from 7-9 p.m. at Langston Hughes Middle School (11401 Ridge Heights Road, Reston).

The $2.27 billion, 40-year funding plan, which includes a 2.1-cent/$100 of assessed value tax assessed to properties in the Reston Transit Station Area, was approved Feb. 28 by the Board. Under the agreed-upon plan, current homeowners in the TSA will be responsible for up to $44.6 million of the estimated cost. The remainder of the tax funds (totaling $350 million) will be collected from commercial/industrial properties and from residential properties built in the future, according to information provided at the Feb. 28 meeting. The list of parcels included in the TSA is available on the Fairfax County website.

A public hearing on the creation of the Reston Transportation Service District is scheduled for 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 4, at the Fairfax County Government Center. (12000 Government Circle Parkway, Fairfax). Individuals interested in speaking at the public hearing before the Board of Supervisors are asked to register in advance with the Office of the Clerk to the Board.

More information on the Reston Network Analysis is available on the Fairfax County Department of Transportation website.

by Dave Emke — March 10, 2017 at 2:45 pm 70 Comments

atlargegroup

A half-dozen residents have thrown their hats in the ring for an At-Large seat on the Reston Association Board of Directors, and they faced the community Thursday in a candidate forum at RA headquarters.

Roberto Anguizola, Eric Carr, Mike Collins, Charles Dorfeuille, Ven Iyer and HeidiAnne Werner are all vying for the three-year term on the board. The forum provided them an opportunity to tout their abilities, as well as their goals if they should be elected.

mikecollinsWhen contemplating the 2018-19 Reston Association budget, which will be approved later this year, candidates said there is a wide number of factors that must be considered. Collins, who was an RA board member from 2010-2013, said it is important for the board to get back to fundamentals.

“We’re not doing the very basic thing we have to do, and that’s maintaining our facilities to the best of our ability,” he said. “That’s going to require laser-like focus by the board, they are going to have to be intimately familiar with our operations, and they have to just say no.”

Dorfeuille, an eight-year resident and a member of the Community Engagement Advisory Committee, advocated for a line-by-line analysis of the budget that separates essential items from non-essential.

“We are spending too much for what I believe we as a community are being given,” he said. “What is non-essential, we look at in the line-by-line review of what we can reduce or what we can de-prioritize.”

veniyerIyer, also an eight-year Reston resident and the president of a technology business, said the budget must be brought in line without continuing the trend of increasing assessments.

“Our assessments have nearly doubled in the last 15 years — this is not sustainable and it is not warranted,” he said. “In another 30 years, the Reston as we know it now will only be affordable for the wealthy top.”

Carr, a former cluster president with over 20 years of nonprofit and government management experience, said a long-term capital plan is needed so the RA board can “get [its] arms around” the existing capital assets that need to be addressed.

“We think about these 40-, 50-year assets we own in two-year budget cycles,” he said. “That doesn’t make sense and it’s very hard to project into the future, and we continue to get surprised when pools fall into disrepair or when pathways need maintenance.”

wernerWerner, a lifelong Restonian who works as an association manager, said natural environments need to be protected from development. She added that services, programs and facilities available to Reston Association members need to be optimized.

“This really is to put a focus on our facilities, to make sure they are in the proper maintenance and attractive for members to use,” she said.

anguizolaAnguizola, a trial attorney who has lived in Reston since 2008, said his top priority would be to address aging infrastructure in the community. He touted partnerships with nonprofit groups and businesses as a way to achieve that goal without increasing assessments.

“Most of the recreational facilities and amenities in Reston were built in the late ’70s, early ’80s,” he said. “They need attention, and that’s going to cost money to keep them at the level everyone expects them to be at.”

Collins said the board must do a better job of managing its staff and analyzing its needs in the effort to keep costs down.

“The board needs to have firm controls on the budget from the get-go, they need to be willing to get into the details, get behind the top-level numbers and again, say no,” he said. “Sometimes we don’t need a new truck, we don’t need a new computer system. I hate getting into the weeds like that, but apparently we need to do it.”

(more…)

by Dave Emke — March 7, 2017 at 11:30 am 31 Comments

The Fairfax County Planning Department will hear presentations Thursday on the advertised FY 2018-2022 Capital Improvement Program, with a number of Reston projects on the list.

The largest local project in the plan is the reconfiguration and redevelopment of Reston Town Center North, which includes replacing and redeveloping the North County Human Services Center, as well as the Reston Regional Library and Embry Rucker Shelter. An indoor recreation center is also expected to be part of the project.

From the plan:

Reston Town Center North (Infrastructure and Blocks 7 & 8) (Hunter Mill District): Approximately $76,000,000 is proposed to rezone and develop the overall master plan that reconfigures and provides integrated redevelopment of approximately 50 acres currently owned by Fairfax County and Inova at Reston Town Center North (south of Baron Cameron Avenue between Town Center Parkway and Fountain Drive), including the replacement of Reston Regional Library, Embry Rucker Shelter, currently on this site, and development of additional facilities to accommodate Human Services needs. The plan maximizes the development potential consistent with the needs of the community and in conformance with the Comprehensive Plan Amendment approved in February 2013.

North County Human Services Center (Hunter Mill District): $125,000,000 to fund a replacement facility for the existing North County Human Services Center located in Reston. The existing facility is within the redevelopment master plan area known as Reston Town Center North which will be reconfigured for an integrated redevelopment consistent with the needs of the community and in conformance with the Comprehensive Plan Amendment approved in February 2013. The proposed North County Human Services Center will also support a consolidation of existing leased facility spaces in the service area into one Human Services site to provide enhanced and integrated multidisciplinary services to residents in the western part of the County.

The 47-acre area is bounded by Baron Cameron Avenue, Fountain Drive, Town Center Parkway and Bowman Towne Drive.

The projects are expected to be paid for by Economic Development Authority bond financing, according to the report. Approximately $10 million will be required in FY2018 to fund the county’s share of the agreement with Inova that will provide for the real estate exchange, as well as design and construction of the campus site infrastructure.

Funding of $12,000,000 was approved as part of the fall 2016 Human Services/Community Development Bond Referendum for the shelter, and $10,000,000 was approved as part of the 2012 Library Bond Referendum for the library.

Also among the five-year plan are the continuation of current plans including the Silver Line expansion, the redevelopment of the Crescent Apartments site at Lake Anne, upgrades to Reston and Fox Mill fire stations, the addition to South Lakes High School, and improvements to Reston Community Center and the natatorium.

The workshop and public hearing on the Capital Improvement Plan will be held Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Fairfax County Government Center.

Reston Town Center North map (2015) via Fairfax County

by Dave Emke — March 3, 2017 at 10:30 am 2 Comments

Golf Park at Hunter MillThe firm that is advertising Reston National Golf Course to developers also has plans for a pair of Hunter Mill Road properties.

The Washington Business Journal reports that 68 acres at the Reston/Vienna line, 46 west of the road and 22 east, are being pitched by investment advisory firm ARA Newmark for possible residential or other development.

The property west of the road borders Sunset Hills Road to the south, while the property east of the road abuts the Dulles Toll Road. The latter is the former home of the Golf Park at Hunter Mill, over which owner John Thoburn was infamously jailed by Fairfax County in 2001 due to a landscaping dispute.

The driving range closed in early 2015. Thoburn’s family had owned the land for more than four decades, the WBJ reports, until it was acquired by private lenders through foreclosure last year.

Property behind the former golf park site is already seeing heavy construction work, as it will soon become the new campus of Oakcrest School, a private girls’ school. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints also has plans for a 16,500-square foot church at the intersection with Crowell Road. Roundabouts are being considered for that and several other intersections along Hunter Mill Road to handle increasing congestion in the area.

by RestonNow.com — March 2, 2017 at 4:00 pm 0

St. Johns Wood apartmentsThis is an open letter submitted by residents of the North Point area, addressed to the Reston Planning & Zoning Committee, Reston Design Review Board, Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning, Fairfax County Supervisors, and all affected community members. It does not reflect the opinions of Reston Now.

The undersigned residents of the North Point area of Reston seek your attention and assistance regarding anticipated changes to plans for redevelopment of the St. Johns Wood apartment complex.

The property is located at the intersection of Reston Parkway and Center Harbor Road. Please assure that Bozzuto Development Company Inc. (Bozzuto) provides all affected reviewing authorities and the public-at-large sufficient time and information to review the revised plans that the developer has indicated will be made.

The numerous submissions by Bozzuto for redevelopment of the property, seeking to convert 250 multi-family garden apartments in nine three-story buildings to 467 new apartments and 44 townhomes, have undergone many changes over several years. County Supervisor Cathy Hudgins currently advises on her website, “Bozzuto is in the process of revising their plan; therefore, the public hearing was deferred until May 25, 2017.” This postponement by County Planning follows deferral of review by the Reston Design Review Board in October 2016 and a statement of non-support for the Bozzuto application by the Reston Association in September 2016.

More recently, the Reston Planning & Zoning Committee calendared the review of a yet-to-be publically released revision of the developer’s redevelopment plans for St. Johns Wood. That meeting is scheduled for March 27.

Despite the rapidly approaching dates for Reston Planning & Zoning Committee review and the County Planning public hearing, to date Bozzuto has not provided the public with any information about changes to its application.

If the changes are not significant, it is unconscionable to withhold public scrutiny of this potentially neighborhood-altering project. If, as is suspected, the changes to the application are significant, it is even more imperative that the public be provided meaningful opportunity to examine and comment. This is particularly important given the troubling deficiencies cited by the Reston Design Review Board and the Reston Association.

The St. Johns Wood project will so greatly affect the quality of life, environment, safety and property values of the North Point area of Reston that the project must be reviewed in the most transparent manner possible. Please help!

Susan Barse

Stephen Canner

Mark Clyman

Patricia Lentz

John Mooney

Dabney Narvaez

Linda Platt

Jeanne Vasterling

by Dave Emke — March 1, 2017 at 10:15 am 33 Comments

Reston National Golf Course

An investment advisory firm has listed Reston National Golf Course as a property “coming soon” for developers, which has angered a local advocacy group.

Rescue Reston was formed in 2012 to oppose efforts to redevelop the golf course’s open space into a residential area, and it was successful. However, it now appears the group has a new fight on its hands.

ARA Newmark has recently distributed information announcing that “168 acres of by-right residential development” would soon be available at the golf course. In an emailed statement to media, Rescue Reston says the advertisement’s use of the term “by-right” is “highly misleading.”

“The Development Plans filed with Fairfax County for the Golf Course and the Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan clearly designate the land as open space to be used as a golf course. Any residential development plan would require a review by County Planning Commission staff, a public hearing before the County Planning Commission, a public hearing before the County Board of Supervisors, and ultimately an amendment to the County Comprehensive Plan.”

Rescue Reston president Connie Hartke says her group believes the ownership of the golf course, RN Golf Management, is putting out feelers to potential developers.

“After consulting with our attorney, we suspect this is the first round to determine what the market will bear. A call for bids, if you will,” she said. “RN Golf let it be known in this letter of March 4, 2016 that they intend to pursue ‘available redevelopment options’ to develop Reston’s permanent open space. This is why we have remained vigilant and are able to react so quickly to this news.”

The Reston National site is listed on ARA Newmark’s website, with a price designated as “TBD by Market.”

Hartke said Rescue Reston plans to “mobilize [its] allies and supporters as necessary to oppose any attempt to amend the Comprehensive Plan that would threaten our open space.”

by Dave Emke — February 28, 2017 at 11:30 am 0

11111 Sunset Hills Road/The Meridian GroupArlington-based Rooney Properties has plans for a large residential project at 11111 Sunset Hills Road, the Washington Business Journal reports.

Unlike other development Rooney has planned in the area, however, this will not include destruction of the current property. According to the report, Rooney will buy only a portion of the 222,000-square foot office building, owned by The Meridian Group, which it plans to redevelop into living spaces.

The site is currently zoned industrial, and is the home of businesses including IBM and Akamai Technologies. Rooney has filed to rezone it to planned district commercial, for a mixed-use development to include the construction of up to 175 multi-family units and 13 townhouses.

The residences are planned for the western portion of the existing site, according to the statement of justification, “closest to the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station and proximate to the residences planned just to the west.”

The adjacent property to the west is 1831 Michael Faraday Drive, also owned by Rooney Properties. The firm is seeking rezoning of that property, which currently is home to a single-story office building it has plans to demolish to make room for new residences there as well.

The Fairfax Newsletter recently reported that the plans for the Sunset Hills Road property propose “an urban, walkable” development while “retaining and incorporating the existing office building and an extension of Reston Station Boulevard through the site to Sunset Hills.”

The statement of justification also reports that public open space planned for the property would integrate with public open space on the Michael Faraday Drive property “to create a large combined public park.”

Meridian purchased the property in 2015. According to its investment strategy, it “intends to benefit from the nearby redevelopments to the neighborhood, which will connect the property to the Metro via retail-oriented, pedestrian-friendly streetscapes as the area transitions to a mixed-use, 18-hour environment.”

Rooney Properties is also the owner of the property where Sekas Homes is developing Sunrise Square, as well as the Sunrise Valley Drive property where a six-story office building is scheduled for demolition to make way for residential development.

Photo via The Meridian Group

by Dave Emke — February 27, 2017 at 11:30 am 7 Comments

Sunrise Square plan/Reston Association

At its meeting last week, the RA Board of Directors unanimously approved the addition of a planned Sunrise Valley Drive community into Reston Association.

Sunrise Square developmentSunrise Square, at the site of the former American Press Institute headquarters (11690 Sunrise Valley Drive), is being developed by Sekas Homes. Its plans consist of 34 townhouses and 10 condos.

A public hearing on the addition of property request was held Jan. 26, at which time the board determined comments from the community warranted further discussion.

With its membership in RA, Sunrise Square will be subject to various terms and conditions, including:

  • The entire property will be subject to the Reston Deed
  • The establishment of a cluster association — Sunrise Square
  • Full payment, per unit of the RA annual assessment
  • The grant of a fee simple dedication for RA common area or easement for RA common area (use and maintenance)

“I think this is a no-brainer,” said Jeff Thomas, At-Large director, prior to the vote. “I think it’s a good investment in Reston, because it provides us a foothold in all the development that’s going to happen around there, and it’s going to help create more contiguous properties that we can tie amenities into.”

The property is located in the corridor that was originally part of the Reston Center for Industry and Government (RCIG).

“We’re injecting residential where it was never planned,” said John McBride, RA’s land-use attorney. “In order to keep Reston Reston, it needs to be subjected to the Reston covenants through a supplemental declaration, and the new residents should be RA members.”

Sunrise Square plan illustration via Reston Association

by Dave Emke — February 22, 2017 at 11:30 am 54 Comments

11720 Sunrise Valley Drive

The demolition of a six-story office building at 11720 Sunrise Valley Drive will likely soon begin.

11720 Sunrise Valley DriveA permit to tear down the structure was filed with Fairfax County last week. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved in October an application that would see the building brought down and replaced with 54 townhomes on the 3.5-acre property.

Located on the eastern end of the Reston Heights development, the 69,000-square-foot building was bought by Rooney Properties in 2013. Signage outside the building shows its most recent tenants having been QVine Corp.PVBS and GreenTec-USA.

The property is located across Roland Clarke Place from the former location of the API building, which was razed last year to make room for the future Sunrise Square cluster. Also owned by Rooney Properties, that will consist of 34 townhouses and 10 condos.

Rendering of RP 11720 Sunrise Valley/Fairfax CountyThe new development at 11720 Sunrise Valley Drive is planned to have a quarter-acre pocket park located north of a private street that will run through the center of the property. The park will include benches, a butterfly garden, public art and more.

Developers also plan to build six-foot sidewalks along Sunrise Valley Drive and Roland Clarke Place to help make pedestrian connections to Silver Line Metro stations. The plan also incorporates a separate, 10-foot wide path for bicycles along Sunrise Valley Drive.

The entrance to the community will be on Roland Clarke Place. The developers have a dedicated right of way for a future traffic signal at the corner of Sunrise Valley and Roland Clarke.

by Dave Emke — February 15, 2017 at 4:15 pm 7 Comments

The agenda for the Feb. 21 meeting of Reston Association’s Design Review Board includes discussion of the redevelopment of a Sunrise Valley Drive property into an assisted-living facility.

Applications by Kensington Senior Development LLC to establish the facility next to the Sunrise Valley Convenience Center were accepted for Fairfax County staff review in November. The site (11501 Sunrise Valley Drive) is currently the home of the Good Beginnings Preschool, a private preschool, day care and kindergarten.

Kensington Senior Development filed a Planned Residential Community (PRC) plan concurrent with a Special Exception for an assisted-living facility on the 1.8-acre property, which is about 675 feet east of the intersection with Soapstone Drive.

A Fairfax County Planning Commission public hearing on the project is scheduled for July 19.

Kensington Senior Development operates a facility in Falls Church, and also has locations in Maryland, New Jersey, New York and California.

Map via Fairfax County

×

Subscribe to our mailing list