Microsoft Corp. is on the hunt for up to 300,000 square feet of office space in Northern Virginia, which could require the company to consolidate offices from two other locations.
The Washington Business Journal reports that the company is working with commercial real estate services firm JLL to find prospects across Northern Virginia. Properties in Reston — including Comstock’s Loudoun and Reston Station projects, Brookfield’s Halley Rise, and Boston Properties’ Reston Gateway.
Currently, Microsoft leases 275,000 square feet at Reston Town Center.
Here’s more from the report:
The search appears to separate from the 332-acre site Microsoft acquired last year in Leesburg for $73 million. The company hasn’t filed development plans for that site yet, but as the WBJ reported in May, the company may have acquired the land at least in part to advance its effort to secure a pair of multi-billion-dollar government contracts. That makes the Leesburg land a more likely play for data center development to service the government cloud computing contracts than for office space of the sort it has at Reston Town Center.
Moving to one of those other development sites might better position Microsoft to bring all of its local employees under one roof.
WBJ also reports that Facebook is also scouting for space in Reston after the social media giant scratched Tysons off its list.
Meanwhile, Google is expected to begin moving its current employee based into Reston Station’s signature office building this summer.
Fairfax County is looking into who should pay for and manage a community-based performing arts center set for Boston Properties’ Reston Gateway project.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a feasibility study with private and public entities at its meeting last week on Tuesday, March 19.
“The community has demonstrated strong interest and support for such a facility,” Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins wrote in her motion, which Chairman Sharon Bulova read due to Hudgins’ absence.
The 60,000-square-foot performing arts center is slated for the mixed-use project, which includes nearly 2 million square feet of office space, two hotels with 570 rooms and 162,300 square feet in retail and restaurants. Located on the north side of Sunset Hills Road between the Reston and Town Center parkways, the project will connect the future Reston Town Center Metro station to the border of Reston Town Center.
Block J has been identified as a possible location for the performing arts center, according to Hudgins’ motion. The feasibility study aims to assess if the county or another entity can finance, construct, maintain and program the performing arts center.
Before the board voted, Providence District Supervisor Linda Smyth cautioned the board about the upkeep the performing arts will require.
“Having worked through a lot of this sort of thing with the Cap One project in Tysons, we found that operating and maintaining some sort of arts center is costly,” Smyth told the board. “It requires the right people to do it.”
An affiliate of Connecticut-based Wheelock Street Capital has bought the office building on 11600 American Dream Way from Fannie Mae further expanding the companies footprint.
The news, first reported by The Washington Business Journal, expands Wheelock Communities’ footprint in Reston. The company purchased Hidden Creek Country Club, which is just next to the office building previously owned by Fannie Mae, in October last year.
The company hopes to convert the golf course into a public park with between 500 and 2,000 residential units. A formal development proposal has not been submitted to the county, but discussions are underway. A spokesperson for the company did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reston Now.
Wheelock Street Capital, an affiliate of Wheelock Communities, bought the Charter Oak Apartments, in February. The community is also next to the golf course.
Photo via Fannie Mae
The expansion of RTC West, JBG Smith’s mixed-use project less than quarter-mile walk from the future Reston Town Center Metro Station, is getting closer to final approval. The Fairfax County Planning Commission unanimously approved the project, which adds up to 576 multifamily units, 700,000 square feet of office space and 1.4 million square feet of new development to the existing office park, on Thursday night.
The developer plans to embark on a multiphase expansion for the area, which is bounded by the Washington & Old Dominion Trail to the North and Reston Town Center Parkway to the east, over the next several years. The site is currently home to three six-story office buildings, two parking garages, and retail tenants like Cooper’s Hawk Winery, Nando’s Peri-Peri and honeygrow.
A timeline for the project is pending approval.
If approved and built, the project will add another mixed-use component near the future RTC Metro Station. RTC West is next to the recently approved Reston Gateway project. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will vote on the project on September 25. The site design incorporates the future Town Center Parkway underpass that would connect Sunset Hills Road to Sunrise Valley Drive through a tunnel under the Dulles Toll and Access Road, according to the application.
Hunter Mill District Planning Commissioner Frank Carter said the county worked with the developer to address several issues, including the distribution of workforce dwelling units. The project will provide affordable units at 80, 100 and 120 percent of the Area Median Income. Parking will not be assigned to each residential unit. In order to simplify the process, Carter said affordable units will receive parking at 70 percent the price of parking for market-rate units. The entire project is expected to provide around 2,900 parking spaces for residents and employees.
Carter said that if parking works like the parking in RTC, the arrangement should be sufficient. The site plan accommodates 57 on-street parking spaces, encouraging people to use other ways of getting around other than cars.
The plan, which includes 3.4 acres of open space, is as follows:
- Buildings 1, 2, and 3: Existing six-story office building with retail on the ground floor will remain.
- Building 4: A one-story freestanding restaurant, Cooper’s Hawk Winery, will remain.
- Building 5: A new eight-story office with 160,000 square feet, including 10,000 square feet of retail.
- Building 6: A new 22-story office building with 396,000 square feet, including 16,000 square feet of retail.
- Building 7: A 20-story residential building with 293 multi-family units.
- Building 8: A new 22-story residential building with 283 multi-family units. This building wraps the north facade of a second parking garage.
- Building 9: A new seven-story office building located on top of a current parking structure.
- Building 10: A one-story freestanding restaurant located on the common green.
A new right-only entrance from southbound Town Center Parkway at the north of the property line will be added to the development. The site itself will contain existing internal streets with on-street parking. Other planned improvements include a new westbound, shared right-turn lane and a five-woot on-road bicycle lane on Sunset Hills Road. A five-foot wide bicycle lane will also be provided on Town Center Parkway.
Photos via Fairfax County Government
Boston Properties’ Reston Gateway project, which sets between Reston Town Center and the future RTC Metro Station, will include plans for an athletic field.
Reston Gateway, the first major development on the north side of the station, will bring four office buildings, three residential buildings with 2,010 units, two hotels and 162,300 square feet of retail and restaurants, to the north side of Sunset Hills road between Town Center Parkway and Reston Parkway.
The development has triggered the need for a new athletic field, according to Fairfax County officials. The county’s Board of Supervisors approved the project in July. Several options are included in Boston Properties’ plans.
A full-size, synthetic turf field on an offsite property was pitched by Boston Properties’ officials as the preferred option. Information on the property under consideration has not been publicly disclosed. If the deal, which is currently under consideration, falls through, the developer may build a new field on top of the Purple Garage in RTC. Another alternative is pitching money that would go towards building a new field — a proposition that has some residents concerned due to limited developable land in the planned urban core of Reston.
If no alternatives are feasible, Boston Properties may dedicate 50,000 square feet at Reston Gateway for a performing arts center in lieu of the field.
As of late July, developers have committed $10.3 million to help fund athletic fields in the greater Reston area. All funds are unspent.
Photos via Fairfax County Government
Kids are first, aren’t they? — Kids R First is back for its 20th anniversary as the Reston-based organization helps public schools kid from Northern Virginia with its school supply distribution program. [The Connection]
The official version of events — “Reston Gateway will greet Silver Line riders with 4.8 million square feet of mixed-use development at the north entrance to the Reston Town Center Metro Station. The Board of Supervisors approved the aptly named new development on July 31 and it marks the first major new development on the north side of this station.” [Fairfax County Government]
Bookmobile is going places — As of yesterday, Herndon Elementary School’s summer bookmobile has distributed more than 3,500 books to children in Herndon. [Twitter]
Flickr pool photo by vantagehill
In a streak of votes on development proposals in Reston Tuesday evening, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved three projects totaling nearly 10 million square feet of development and up to 3,731 residential units at full development capacity.
The first approval by CoreSite brings nearly 943,000 square feet of space for data centers to Sunrise Technology Policy, a 21-acre office parking with four existing buildings.
David Gill, the applicant’s legal representative, said the project represents a significant investment in Fairfax County and would help serve current and future enterprises in Reston. Gill said CoreSite intentionally chose Reston instead of Loudoun County to serve as the premier data center provider for this reason.
Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins said the data center would also significantly reduce trip generation. “In some sense, that’s a good news piece,” she said.
Approvals for two other mixed-use projects, Reston Gateway and Reston Crescent, would open the door to a new phase of development in and around Reston Town Center. The board unanimously approved Brookfield Partners’ Reston Crescent proposal, which brings up to 1,721 residential units, 1.5 million square feet of office space, 380,00 square feet of retail and a 200-room hotel. The project is located on Sunrise Valley Drive between Edmund Halley Dive and Reston Parkway and will be the future home of a two-story Wegmans.
On the north side of the Reston Town Center Metro Station, Boston Properties’ Reston Gateway project, which brings 4.8 million square feet of development across 28 acres. The plan includes 2.2 million square feet of office, up to 2,010 residential units, a hotel, 93,900 square feet of retail and restaurant space.
The plan for Reston Gateway piqued concerns by Rob Whitfield, a Reston resident of 20 years, who said an immediate and detailed transportation plan was necessary for Reston Town Center, which he said is already congested during peak traffic hours.
Hudgins said that while projects on the drawing table are largely unfunded, each developer is offering transportation funding that will help fund future improvements that she said are necessary. Hudgins also noted that the arrival of the Silver Line over the next two years would reduce the number of drivers on the road.
“This is a large transition as we see it,” she said.
Whitfield was the only individual to testify during the public hearings on all three projects Tuesday evening.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will vote on three major mixed-use and office projects in Reston tomorrow (July 31).
The development proposals include data centers at Sunrise Technology Park, additions to RTC West, and Boston Properties’ Reston Gateway project.
CoreSite hopes to bring data centers to a 21-acre office park on the south side of Sunrise Valley Drive. The plan was unanimously approved by the Fairfax County Planning Commission in late June.
The second proposal is by Brookfield Property Partners for its major Reston Crescent Development. The project will also be the future home of Wegmans and an athletic field may be conveyed to the county as part of the proposal.
Last but not least is Boston Properties’ Reston Gateway project, which aims to bring 2.2 million square feet of office space, a 570-room hotel and nearly 2,010 residential units to the door of Metro and to the border of Reston Town Center. The project is also the future home of Fannie Mae.
All projects were approved by the planning commission. A public hearing will be held prior to votes on any proposals.
Handouts via Fairfax County Government
The development proposal, which includes 2.2 million square feet of office space, a 570-room hotel, 93,000 square feet of retail, and 2,010 residential units, heads to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on July 31.
Boston Properties plans to develop the property in two phases. During phase one, blocks A through D will be building and two existing high-rise buildings on Blocks E through L will remain. During phase two, office buildings will be removed to make way for Blocks E through J. Sixteen percent of the residential units — 322 units — will be workforce dwelling units.
Noting that the project overall seemed strong, Planning Commissioner Ellen Hurley cast the only vote against the proposal. Hurley said she was concerned the developer reduced income requirements for affordable units to 70, 80, and 90 percent of the area median income — a reduction that she said was unfair to the commission.
“If the policy is not working, then perhaps we should revise the policy,” Hurley said.
The project, which runs from the door of Metro to the border of Reston Town Center, is located on the north side of Sunset Hills Road from Reston Parkway to Town Center Parkway.
The commission approved a five percent parking reduction for off-street parking in phase one and a nearly 11 percent reduction in off-street parking for phase two. Overall, the plan contemplates a reduction of 660 parking spaces.
Part of the deal includes the conveyance of a 60,000-square-foot performing arts center planned in phase two of the development. The building would be conveyed to the county’s board or another entity. If the plan fails, Boston Properties will provide required contributions for an athletic field, according to Hunter Mill District Planning Commissioner John Carter.
Carter said he was comfortable with the parking arrangement, especially for residential units. Affordable units will receive one space reduced at a set price based on the income tier and all spaces will be unbundled from units.
Parking reductions for Reston Gateway are acceptable because the development sits on top a Metro Station, Carter said. Unlike the recently approved residential building on 1801 Old Reston Avenue, street parking options and planned sidewalks should encourage more pedestrians to walk in the area, Carter said. A full commitment to the road fund will also be provided.
The breakdown of each block is below:
- Block A: A 420-foot office building with retail and restaurant uses
- Block B: A 380-foot office building with retail and restaurant uses
- Block C: A 249-room hotel with retail and restaurant uses
- Block D: A 600-unit residential unit with retail and restaurant uses. The block will include a five-level parking garage
- Block E: A 930-unit residential building with retail and restaurant uses, as well as three levels of underground parking and six levels of above-grade parking
- Block F: A 480-unit residential building with two levels of underground parking and five levels of above-ground parking
- Block G: This block is pending a Planned Residential Community amendment. It could contain a hotel, retail, restaurants and a six-level parking garage, as well as office uses
- Block H: A two-level building with 6,000 square feet of commercial uses on the ground level and a possible landing area for the second level of a pedestrian bridge across Sunset Hills Road from the Metro Station
- Block J: An office building with three levels of underground parking. This block could be conveyed to the Board of Supervisors for a future performing arts center
Handouts via Fairfax County Government
Reston’s Planning and Zoning Committee will vote on three major projects at its 7 p.m. meeting tonight in the North County Government Center.
Votes are scheduled for Reston Crescent, a 26-acre property where nearly 4.2 million square feet of development is planned Reston Gateway, a mixed-use project north of the future Reston Town Center Metro Station, and the replacement of the fire station at 1820 Wiehle Avenue.
The agenda of tonight’s meeting is linked here. The committee’s next meeting will take place on June 18 at 7:30 p.m. in the North County Government Center.
Photo via Boston Properties
During the company’s quarterly earnings conference call Wednesday, BXP Chief Executive Officer Owen Thomas lauded a recent lease signed with Fannie Mae for the mixed use project. Fannie Mae will anchor two office building in the project, which also includes 3.5 million square feet of development.
The new mixed use project is designed to complement “the amenity base and community environment of the highly successful Reston Town Center,” Thomas said.
Fannie Mae plans to occupy the building in the first quarter of 2022. A mid-sized hotel, more than 600,000 square feet of residential development and 90,000 square feet of ground floor retail is planned on the site.
BXP President Doug Linde said he was pleased by the strength of Reston Town Center, which he called “a magnet for private sector contractors and technology tenants.”
“We have recently signed two expansion and extension deals with technology tenants for 112,000 square feet. One tenant grew 30% and the other grew 40 percent. And we are negotiating a third expansion and extension this time growing 115,000 square feet tenant to a 160,000 square feet. We are also in early renewal discussions with tenants for more than 300,000 square feet of space,” Linde said.
The company opened the Signature, a residential high-rise in Reston Town Center, in January.
So far, 11 percent of residential units or 86 of the 508 units are leased, Linde said.
Overall, the real estate investment trust reported an income of $176 million, up from $97 million this time last year.
A public hearing for Boston Properties’ Reston Gateway project, which is designed to bridge the future Reston Town Center Metro Station with the community’s urban core is set for June 27 before the Fairfax County Planning Commission.
Boston Properties has proposed to include up to 3.5 million square feet of transit-oriented development on 33 acres immediately north of the future RTC Metro Station.
The Reston Planning & Zoning Committee will receive a presentation on the proposal at 7:30 p.m. today in the North County Government Center (1801 Cameron Glen Drive).
Fannie Mae will lease roughly 850,000 square feet of the property. At full buildout, Reston Gateway may include up to 1,700 residential units, 570 hotel rooms, 200,000 square feet of retail and nearly 2 million square feet of office space.
Season Subscription Now Available for Players — The 51st season of Reston Community Players will include performances of “Aida,” “Peter and the Starcatcher,” “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” and “Thoroughly Modern Millie.” Season tickets are $82 for adults and $72 for students and senior citizens. [Reston Community Players]
Telehealth Provider Expanding in Reston — An expansion of Avizia, who partners with providers to deploy and power system-wide telehealth, will bring 27 more jobs to the community. [Fairfax County Economic Development Authority]
Reception for ‘Althea’ is Tonight — The latest public artwork installed on the Lake Thoreau spillway by the South Lakes High School STEAM Team will have its official reception tonight from 6:30-8 p.m. at Reston Association headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive). RSVP to [email protected]. [Reston Now]
Sobriety Checkpoint Planned for Saturday Night — A sobriety checkpoints will be conducted by the Fairfax County Police Department on Saturday from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. [FCPD]
BXP Senior VP Talks About Reston Gateway — In an interview with Bisnow, Boston Properties Senior Vice President Peter Otteni says the property between Reston Town Center and the future Silver Line Metro station will be “a great complement to Reston Town Center” that won’t have “as soft-goods-driven of a user base.” Rather, he says, it “will be much more food, entertainment and convenience.” [Bisnow]
Best Reston Business Awards Ballots Go Out Today — Don’t forget to sign up for Reston Now’s email list so you can vote in the 2017 Best Reston Business Awards. [Reston Now]
Boston Properties’ plans for a 28-acre site between the W&OD Trail and Sunset Hills Road would provide a connection between the Reston Town Center Metro station and RTC itself.
According to the latest edition of The Fairfax Newsletter, the 3.94 million-square feet of mixed-use development that is proposed for the site would include up to 1.69 million square feet of residential space, up to 1.67 million square feet of office space, up to 509,000 square feet of hotel space, and up to 185,400 square feet of retail/restaurant space. Construction would take place on nine blocks, in two phases. A 1.56-acre central area — designed to “invoke the successes” of places like the Mosaic District — is also proposed for the property.
A pedestrian bridge is proposed over Sunset Hills Road to connect the property to the future Metro station, with a “Gateway Plaza” that may include retail and a “noteworthy restaurant.” In addition, extension of Library Street from Reston Town Center to Reston Gateway is proposed; however, that would require approval from both the county and the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, as it would cross the W&OD Trail.
The property currently is the home of two office buildings, Reston Corporate Center I and II, which would be demolished to make room for the new development.
The site, a portion of which is currently being used as a parking area for Metro construction, is part of the Reston Planned Residential Community (PRC) District. Under a proposed amendment to the PRC zoning ordinance, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors could approve the development to include population density in excess of 50 dwelling units per acre, which is the current cap.
The plans for the property call for between 1,502 and 1,688 units.
Images via Boston Properties
That was the message of Larry Butler, Reston Association’s senior director of parks, as he addressed directors during their meeting Thursday. Butler shared information about some of the largest potential redevelopments that remain on the horizon. Butler’s information came from a map that was provided to him recently by the Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning.
“When I received it, I was fascinated,” Butler said. “Some of these, most people have not seen.”
Butler specifically shined the spotlight on five projects outlined on the DPZ map.
- Reston Gateway Commons, to be bordered by Town Center Parkway, Sunset Hills Road and the W&OD Trail. The 23-acre plot, proposed for development by Boston Properties, is between the future Reston Town Center Metro station and RTC itself. In the pre-application process, Boston Properties is proposing 3.94 million square feet of residential and retail, along with a 1/3-acre park. It could have as many as 1,688 dwelling units.
- Campus Commons, located on the south side of the Dulles Toll Road near the southeast intersection of Wiehle Avenue and Sunrise Valley Drive. The rezoning application, which is in process, would add four new residential buildings and four parks. This could add up to 1,100 dwelling units on the 11.6-acre property.
- A major property assemblage on Association Drive, near the intersection of Sunrise Valley Drive and Soapstone Drive. This 23-acre plot, which is in the pre-application phase, is rumored to be sought after by grocery chain Wegmans. The design shared by Butler with the board shows a grocery store on the south side of the property, bordering Sunrise Valley Drive, among its numerous retail and residential buildings. Butler said nothing has formally been submitted to the County on the project, but “there are clearly discussions going on that there’s a general concept plan that has been drawn up for this.”
- The redevelopment of Isaac Newton Square. Butler said the proposal remains in the pre-application phase and there is no preliminary information available yet.
- Reston Crescent, located in the northwest corner of the intersection of Reston Parkway and Sunrise Valley Drive. Currently going through the County approval process, the 36-acre property — which Butler called a “monster development” — would be redeveloped to add up to 2,260 dwelling units, 1.18 million square feet of office space, up to 125,000 square feet of retail, and potentially a 160-room hotel. Six parks are also included in the plan from developer Brookfield Properties.
A total of 44 redevelopment proposals appear on the map provided by DPZ.
“The main point to highlight is there is a lot of activity going on,” Butler said. “This gives you an idea of the volume of activity that is happening here in Reston.”
As director of parks, Butler noted that the revised Comprehensive Plan calls for three fully lighted athletic fields near the TSAs — something absent from the redevelopment proposals.
“In none of these have we seen a ballfield,” Butler said. “I think we need to drum up a little interest in this … to define locations on some of these major assemblages where these things can occur.”
John McBride, RA’s land-use attorney, said it is impressive to see so many developers willing to invest in the community; however, he added, Restonians need to make sure they remain informed on each application and remain engaged with Fairfax County throughout the approval process.
“It’s a lot of work to get up on these applications, [but] public input is so important,” McBride said. “You are listened to by senior County staff and all of the Fairfax Board of Supervisors members and planning commissioners only when you do your homework [and] you’re reasonable.”
None of the properties highlighted by Butler in the proposal lie within the purview of Reston Association, meaning any meeting with the Design Review Board by a developer would be as a courtesy only.
Map courtesy Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning via Reston Association