New Fairfax County Police Chief Sworn In — Kevin Davis was formally sworn in as Fairfax County’s new police chief yesterday morning (Monday). The former Baltimore police commissioner begins his tenure amid intense scrutiny of his past conduct and the county’s hiring process. [FCPD]
Republican Attorney General Candidate Calls for Recount — Former Virginia Beach Republican Party Chairman Chuck Smith is requesting a recount after he lost the party’s nomination for attorney general to Del. Jason Miyares (R-Virginia Beach) by a 52-48 margin on Sunday (May 9). The state’s Republican Party held a convention on Saturday to determine its nominees in statewide races for governor and lieutenant governor as well. [WTOP]
Reston Station Architect Killed in Car Crash — Architect Helmut Jahn, 81, died on Saturday (May 8) after he was struck by two separate cars while bicycling in the Chicago suburb of Campton Hills. Jahn’s work includes the plaza at Reston Station and the development’s first office building, where Google is planning to expand. [Patch]
Frying Pan Farm Park Ranks Second in Region — Frying Pan Farm Park was named the second-best park in Northern Virginia by Virginia Living readers in the magazine’s “Best of Virginia 2021” competition, coming behind only Burke Lake Park. The Herndon park features a carousel, equestrian facilities, and Kidwell Farm, a living interpretation of a 1930s-era working farm. [Fairfax County Park Authority]
Herndon Summer Camps and Classes Announced — The Herndon Parks and Recreation Department has released a brochure of summer camps and June classes, which will be tweaked due to COVID-19. Camps will run from mid-June to mid-August, and offerings could expand depending on community health conditions. Registration begins at 10 a.m. on Wednesday (May 12) for town residents and and at 10 a.m. on May 18 for non-town residents. [Herndon Recreation]
Google is leasing up more space at Reston Station near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station.
The technology giant plans to lease an additional floor of space in the Helmut Jahn-designed building at 1900 Reston Metro Plaza, a company spokesperson tells Reston Now. Google already leases the top four floor of the 16-story building.
The new office, which brings Google’s total footprint to 115,000 square feet at Reston Station ,is expected to open sometime this year.
The news comes as the company announced plans to expand in Virginia, including new data centers in Loudoun County.
Here’s more from Google on the statewide expansion:
“I believe a lasting economic recovery will come from local communities, and the people and small businesses that give them life. Google wants to be a part of that recovery. That’s why we plan to invest over $7 billion in offices and data centers across the U.S. and create at least 10,000 new full-time Google jobs in the U.S. this year,” said Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google and Alphabet.
Google has proudly called Virginia home for more than 10 years and has more than 420 employees in the state. Google is continuing to invest in Virginia with the addition of a new floor at the Reston Station office, bringing the total footprint in the building to approximately 115,000 square feet. We’ll be opening the new Reston Station office building this year. The company is also expanding its data centers in Loudoun County. Since establishing a presence in Loudoun County in 2019, Google has worked with the public school district to help improve digital equity. In 2020, Google supported the purchase of hot spots and devices to ensure more students had access to virtual learning during the pandemic, and supported programs to provide teachers with best practices for remote classroom instruction.
“I’m thankful to Google for choosing to do business in Loudoun! Their investment is mutually beneficial as it helps keep taxes low for our residents while ensuring a high quality of life for their employees,” said Loudoun County Supervisor, Tony Buffington. ” We look forward to a long lasting partnership.”
Reston Station is officially welcoming the opening of a new business today.
Big Buns Damn Good Burgers, a fast-casual restaurant that sells burgers, burger bowls, shakes, craft beer and booze, is located at 1908 Reston Metro Plaza in Suite C.
In order to celebrate the restaurant’s soft opening, Big Buns is offering a ‘buy a bag, give a bag’ promotion. When customers purchase a bag for 25.99, Big Buns will donate one bag to local hospital or front-line workers.
Only 250 bags are available for purchase online.
The company has other locations in Ballston and Shirlington.
Photo via Big Buns
Presidential Bank is moving its Reston branch to across the street from the Reston-Wiehle Metro Station.
The new location will open on Monday, March 29 at 11211 Reston Station Blvd.
“You will see the same familiar faces at this new location while enjoying more convenience in an upgraded environment,” notes the bank’s news release about the move.
Until then, the old branch about two and a half miles away at 1675-N Reston Parkway will remain open. That branch’s final day of service will be Friday, March 26 and will close at 4 p.m.
Reston Station Blvd., particularly near the Reston-Wiehle Metro Station, has had many new additions in recent months despite the pandemic.
Photo via Google Maps
Plans to develop a new luxury brand hotel in Reston were revealed today.
The hotel is expected to be in Phase I of the Reston Row District at the Reston Station development. It will take up 8.4 acres of space at the intersection of Reston Station Boulevard and Wiehle Avenue near the Wiehle Reston-East Metrorail Station.
“We are excited to partner with Marriott to bring Virginia’s first JW Marriott to Reston,” Chris Clemente, CEO of CHCI, said in a press release.
“We look forward to adding this incredible brand to Reston Station and expect that the unrivaled amenities and meeting spaces will attract business and social functions from around the Washington, DC area, while meeting the needs of our corporate office clients, including Google, Rolls Royce of North America, Neustar, ICF Global, and others.”
In addition to an expected 250 guestrooms, the proposed 26-story tower will provide 90 luxury branded residences. The residences will include a separate residential lobby entrance and will be located on the upper floors of the JW Marriott tower. The residences will also have dedicated spaces and amenities such as an owner’s lounge, fitness center, outdoor area and dog park.
Two restaurants on the site are also included in the current plans for the hotel.
“We are thrilled Comstock Companies has chosen to bring the JW Marriott brand to Reston, in the heart of the Dulles Technology Corridor,” Noah Silverman, Chief Development Officer, North America Full-Service Hotels at Marriott International said in a press release. “This project will serve as a signature component of the exciting Reston Row development, offering both guests and owners a welcoming luxury experience.”
The expected timetable for the hotel’s opening is in 2024. The Comstock press release lists the project’s price tag at approximately $250 million.
In addition to the proposed hotel, the Reston Row District at Reston Station will eventually include various mixed-use buildings, two office towers and a 350-unit multi-family building. It will also include more than 65,000 square feet of retail, service and fitness spaces that will surround a 1.2-acre park.
Images courtesy Comstock
A new indoor baseball training facility has opened at Reston Station.
The 6,000-square-foot facility, known as Reston Bullpen, is a training facility for local little league and high school teams. It’s located at 1901 Reston Metro Plaza.
Comstock, the developer of Reston Station, worked with Bradley Baseball Academia, a baseball training school, to design the facility. Local teams can schedule practice times for individual and team practice, conditioning clinics and skill drills for free.
The facility includes several pitching and batting tunnels as well as a weight and aerobics gym.
“Playing youth baseball and softball teaches some of life’s greatest lessons to young people,” said Timothy J. Steffan, executive vice president of Development and Asset Management at Comstock, wrote in a statement. “Providing a facility of this quality to youth house league and public school players that typically do not have access to such facilities, not only allows them an opportunity to improve their game, but also advance their understanding of teamwork and how to set and achieve goals.”
For now, teams can make reservations in 60-to-90-minute intervals. Bradley Baseball Academia has moved its offices to the property and will host free coaching clinics for teams.
“My staff and I are excited to be a part of this community endeavor and look forward to running our headquarters and programming out of the facility,” said Andy Bradley, Founder and Executive Director of Bradley Baseball Academia.
Masks and social distancing are required. The facility is also requiring temperature checks and health screenings.
A 31-foot tall, digital three-dimensional gigantic aquarium filled with sharks now hangs at Reston Metro Plaza.
The digital LED screen was installed late last year by the developer Comstock Holdings and shows a illuminated shark tank on a twenty minute loop.
Additional digital art being featured on the screen on the loop are daily Google doodles and cityscape flyovers. Commuter information is also displayed.
Outdoor movies and concert performances on the screen are being planned for the spring and summer.
The screen is 31-feet in height and 55-feet wide and hangs at the center of the Reston Metro Plaza at Reston Station.
This isn’t the only art that’s been put on display at the Metro station in recent years.
Several former D.C. public art pieces have found forever homes at Reston Station, including three that were once part of the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities 2002 “Party Animal” street sculpture collection.
Additionally, two pandas that were previously among the more than 150 panda sculptures that dotted D.C. in 2004 are also now at Reston Station.
In 2018, Italian sculptor Lorenzo Quinn’s bronze work The Force of Nature was installed at the station. Another Quinn art piece can also be viewed in the lobby of 1900 Reston Metro Plaza, which is the office building above the Metro station.
Last year, a new mosaic art installation was added outside of the apartment building near the Metro station.
And, in January, Virginia’s iconic “LOVE” letters were installed at Reston Station. The nearly 8,000 pound sculpture will remain there as part of its permanent art collection.
“We believe public art strengthens a community’s identity and sense of place and bolsters the reputation as a stimulating place to live, work, and visit,” said Christopher Clemente, CEO of Comstock, wrote in a press release. “Comstock believes the inclusion of art in development projects serves the common good in a manner that enhances architectural designs, landscaping and streetscapes.”
Photo courtesy of Comstock/Carolina Skelly
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the restaurant industry hard, including many establishments in Reston and Herndon.
Two restaurants — which have delayed their openings by more than a year — are now firming up plans to open at Reston Station near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station by May.
Big Buns Damn Good Burger Co., a DC-based burger and craft beer restaurant, is expected to open sometime in March, according to a company spokesperson for Comstock, the developer of Reston Station.
The business will take up roughly 3,000-square-feet at the BLVD, Reston Station’s first apartment tower. It was originally expected to open in late 2019 or early 2020.
Matchbox, DC-based wood fire pizza restaurant, plans to open sometime in May, but so far, there’s no set date, according to company spokeswoman Victoria Thornton. The 5,500-square-foot space was originally set to open in early 2020 at 1900 Reston Metro Plaza Drive, the building designed by Helmut Jahn that Google currently anchors.
‘Our Reston location is having some minor delays,’ she tells Reston Now.
Virginia’s iconic “LOVE” letters have descended at Reston Station near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station.
The letters, which were installed in late January, will remain at Reston Station as part of its permanent art collection, according to the Virginia Tourism Corp.
The 7,676-pound display was designed by artist Dylan Myers with glass fiber reinforced concrete and carbon fiber rebar. The colors of the letters were created with glass pieces. The sign is located on Wiehle Avenue in front of Google’s offices.
Here’s more from the state’s tourism website on the display.
Each letter is supported 18″ from the top of the base with stainless steel all-thread rods in order to achieve the ” floating” effect. Bases were cast with a board form technique, creating depth and character. This is how concrete was cast before the days of plywood forms like you see now. In order to give the exact degregrated look, every single exposed rock was time intensively hand placed prior to casting. After the concrete had cured, the rocks were sheared off by hand with a hatchet. No machines were used for this process. This achieved the true look of a wall that underwent an enormous force.
It’s not the first time Virginia’s LOVE letters have made an appearance in the area. The letters are one of more than 250 installations in towns and cities across the state in order to model the state’s slogan, “Virginia is for Lovers.”
Comstock, the developer of Reston Station, says the inclusion of the installation affirms the company’s commitment to public art.
“Comstock believes the inclusion of art in development projects serves the common good in a manner that enhances architectural designs, landscaping and streetscapes,” says Christopher Clemente, CEO of Comstock.
Photo via Virginia Tourism Corp.
Lincoln at Reston Station, a 260-unit apartment community near the Wiehe-Reston East Metro Station, officially has a new name.
Peter Colarulli, Vice President of the company, said the name change was inspired by the design of the building, which he says has “a bold, contemporary, energetic feel with red pops of color.“
“The name ‘Russell’ taps into the community’s vibe, and we felt the full name ‘Russell at Reston Station’ is clear to the sense of place and catchy with its alliteration.”
The residential community, which is located at 11500 Commerce Park Drive, includes a mix of studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom plans. Rents range from $2,110 to $2,380.
Snell purchased Russell at Reston Station in December. The building was constructed at the end of 2019 and includes a courtyard with a pool, a clubroom, a fitness center, a pet spa, bike room and a package concierge system.
Image via handout/Fairfax County Government
Spotify, the audio-streaming and media services provider, recently agreed to acquire Reston-based Megaphone, a podcast hosting company, for $235 Million earlier this week.
The company announced the acquisition on its website Tuesday (Nov. 10).
“The acquisition of Megaphone represents the next step in Spotify’s expanding the possibilities of this intimate and screen-less medium,” the company said.
Megaphone is currently headquartered in Reston Station.
CEO of Megaphone Brendan Monaghan and Spotify’s VP of Global Ad Business and Platform, Jay Richman, spoke about the acquisition and the future of the two companies.
“Megaphone provides publishers with a suite of tools and technology to distribute, monetize and measure their shows wherever podcasts are listened,” Monaghan explained. “At the same time, we created a marketplace to aggregate unsold ad inventory from our publishing partners and sell that inventory to premium advertisers based on desired audience segments (demographics, psychographics and even geography).”
The acquisition will allow the company to continue to do this, in a new way.
“The acquisition will allow us to provide products and services to publishers and advertisers in more depth and at a faster pace than we have in the past,” Monoghan said. “We’ll be able to bring new products to our partners, like Spotify’s SAI technology to support even greater revenue generation for publishers and another way for advertisers to reach their desired audience.”
Photo by Marjorie Copson
Comstock Companies has long-term plans to redevelop Commerce Metro Center (1900 Centennial Park Drive) into a transit-oriented neighborhood called the Commerce District at Reston Station.
Now, through a lease-back transaction, the company has acquired United Bank’s branch building and a one-acre parcel located at the site. The lease-back allows Comstock to ensure United Bank remains on the site as the company finalizes plans to redevelop the office park.
United Bank’s property is located at the intersection of Centennial Park Drive and Sunrise Valley Drive near the entrance of Comstock’s Commerce District. The acquisition would allow Comstock to ensure that the front entrance of the transit-oriented development is pedestrian-friendly and accommodates transit, according to a news release.
“This strategic acquisition affords us the opportunity to focus on the project’s entry experience as we finalize our placemaking plans to remake this 1990’s vintage office park into an exciting place to live, work, and promote health and wellness,” said Timothy Steffan, EVP of Asset Management, Leasing & Development of Comstock.
Comstock plans to redevelop 22 acres to the south entrance of the Wiehe-Reston East Metro Station into the Commerce District. Preliminary plans include upgrades to existing office buildings, new. Office, hotel and residential buildings, and new retail.
In Feb. 2019, Comstock acquired JBG Smith’s Commerce Metro Center Portfolio in Feb. 2019 — a move that will increase the Reston Station area to 4.5 million square feet once fully built.
The company is currently finalizing plans for additional development “while exploring options for enhancing open spaces and connectivity to Metro for the surrounding community,” according to the release.
Comstock’s Metro District station, which is near the north entrance of the station, is well underway. Most of the office space in that district — which includes three office towers — has already been leased to big companies like Google, ICF Global, and Rolls Royce North America.
Image via Google Maps
Although cancellations of many major Reston events were announced this week, Reston Community Center’s summer concerts have returned to Lake Anne Plaza and Reston Station.
The 2020 Summer Concert series is free to the public and features two different recurring concert series. The Take a Break series is held at Lake Anne Plaza on Thursdays from 7-8:30 p.m. The Summerbration Fab Fridays series is held at Reston Station on Fridays from 7-8:30 p.m, according to the Reston Community Center website.
The dates and performances for Take a Break include:
- July 30: Cheick Hamala Diabate
- Aug. 6: Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet
- Aug. 13: Mambo Combo
- Aug. 27: Alfredo Mojica & Friends
- Sep. 3: David Bach Consort
The dates and performances for Summerbration Fab Fridays include:
- July 31: Far Away
- Aug. 7: King Teddy
- Aug. 14: Cristian Perez Band
- Aug. 21: Seth Kibel Band
- Aug. 28: Swingin’ Swamis
- Sep. 4: Tobago Bay
RCC will be mandating social distancing protocol and masks to ensure COVID-19 safety at the venue, according to the website. Additionally, patrons are requested to bring their own chairs or blankets for seating, and capacity will be limited due to social distancing.
Photo via the Reston Community Center website
Reston officially has a new Tesla supercharging station.
Comstock, the developer of Reston Station, announced the opening of the station today (Wednesday).
The new station will be located next to the kiss and ride facility inside Reston Station (11389 Reston Station Boulevard).
“We recognize that the quality of Reston Station’s architecture and tenant mix require us to bring the best local, national and global brands to our project,” said Tim Steffan, EVP/Asset Management, Development and Leasing for Comstock. “Tesla’s pioneering sustainability initiatives and brand platform are a great complement to our long-term vision to deliver best in class amenities to our market.”
Here’s more from Comstock on the announcement:
Designed and built by Tesla and capable of charging a Tesla battery in minutes rather than hours, Tesla V3 Supercharger Station will accommodate the simultaneous charging of 8 Tesla vehicles, including Model S, Model X and Model 3. Tesla’s third generation Supercharger is substantially more powerful than any other charging technology currently available, ultimately reducing the amount of time customers spend charging by an average of 50%.
Photos via Comstock
Reston Station, a sprawling mixed-use development near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station, is positioned to help make that change happen, according to an investor presentation released earlier this week.
The development, which includes several districts that are planned or already in construction, is expected to achieve comparable rents to Reston Town Center. New buildings, parking, amenities, and the Metro station have attracted corporate relocations from RTC, according to Comstock.
Currently, RTC commands a higher rent premium over other micro-markets within Reston. Overall, vacancy rates for Class A office space in Reston and Tysons are slightly lower than the region-wide average of around 18 percent, according to the company.
Once completed, Reston Station will include four districts: Metro Plaza, Commerce, West, and Reston Row. Major companies have signed leases at the project, including Google, Neustar, and ICF International.
Photo via Comstock