Comstock Unveils Reston Station’s Next Phase — The company plans to build a six-tower, two-million-square-foot project complementing its Reston Station buildings on the opposite side of the Dulles Toll Road. Plans include the demolition of the building at 11400 Commerce Park. [Washington Business Journal]
Diversity and Accessibility in Reston Comes Into Focus — Reston Community Center is hosting a discussion on Reston’s early dedication to diversity and accessibility today. The event takes place online. [RCC]
County Warn of Covid-related Scams — The county is encouraging residents to be wary of Covid-related scams, including fake testing kits and misinformation about treatment methods on social media. [Fairfax County Government]
Photo by Marjorie Copson
The opening of a new fire station on Wiehle Avenue has been delayed again.
Ashley Hildebrandt, a spokesperson for the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, said Station 25 is looking at a potential move-in date in mid-January.
Communications representatives for the county were unable to answer what’s causing the delay and what firefighters will need to do to prepare for the new facility.
Sharon North, a spokesperson for the county’s Department of Public Works and Environmental Services, said in an email that the work remaining to be completed is a “typical punch list of items” and “nothing major.”
The former station was 2 1/2 bays, designed in 1972, had “become undersized” and “inadequate critical infrastructure,” and lacked “support functions to meet the needs of the expanding department and the community it serves,” according to a description by the project’s architect.
Around a year ago, the department said the station could be ready by the summer of 2021.
A software company has signed a lease for 85,000-square-feet of space at Reston Station — a big move that will bring 400 new jobs to Fairfax County.
In a release today, Gov. Ralph Northam announced that Qualtrics will invest $15.9 million as it moves from former offices in Reston. Virginia courted the experience management software company from other competing states like Pennsylvania and Ohio.
“Organizations everywhere are undergoing an experience transformation and Qualtrics has an incredible opportunity in front of us. With its strong talent pool, Virginia is a perfect place for Qualtrics to grow,” said Qualtrics CEO Zig Serafin. “The investments we’re making today will put us in an even stronger position to help our customers build their next great customer, employee, product, and brand experiences.”
The office will be located at 1906 Reston Metro Plaza, part of Comstock’s Reston Station development.
Here’s more from Northam’s office on the news:
The FCEDA worked with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Northam approved a $1.4 million grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist Fairfax County with the project. The governor also approved $2 million in funds from the Virginia Economic Development Incentive Grant. Support for job creation will be provided through the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program.
“Virginia offers access to the highest concentration of tech talent in the United States,” Northam said. “The Commonwealth’s diverse tech ecosystem is driven by our stable business climate, competitive operating costs, and a world-class workforce. We look forward to Qualtrics’ continued success in Fairfax County.”
Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of FCEDA said the news marks a second vote of confidence that the company places in Fairfax County.
“First was the purchase of Clarabridge, a homegrown tech success story, and now the expansion being announced today. We thank and congratulate Qualtrics for this tremendous growth and we stand ready to assist the company further as it expands its footprint here.”
Reston Station is already home to big companies like Google and ICF International.
Photo via Comstock
An artist using a wall as a canvass has plenty of inspiration as well as the backing of the building’s owner.
Vehicles using the Tesla Supercharger at Reston Station have noticed the artwork forming this fall. Developer Comstock commissioned the piece through Frederick, Md.-based R Design Group and has been working with artist Jack Pabis, an independent contractor who has created murals throughout the region, including one for Buffalo Trail Elementary School near Dulles airport as well as others for D.C. schools.
The artwork has drawn interest from Tesla drivers who use the charging station. Pabis set up scaffolding there that he can transport in his van.
“It’s becoming more and more obvious what it is,” he said Tuesday of the mural. “I think now you can finally tell it’s a car.”
Comstock’s Reston Station, the office-residential-retail complex by the Dulles Toll Road and Wiehle-Reston Metro Station at 11389 Reston Station Boulevard, includes a Park and Ride, and the Tesla supercharging station arrived there in July 2020.
Pabis presented several options to Comstock and said the idea of a Tesla convertible hurling through space came forward as a clear favorite.
“They definitely liked it right off the bat,” he said of the Tesla-in-space option, and Comstock worked with him to refine it.
It’s a tribute to two companies and their iconic images after SpaceX founder and Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster was used as a dummy payload. It’s attached to part of a rocket, launched in 2018, that’s been orbiting the sun.
He said he got inspiration from images he’s seen of the feat, which was livestreamed, and he plans to contain a hodgepodge of concepts.
Comstock didn’t respond to messages seeking comment.
Plans were sidetracked amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but Pabis began painting this fall. Last month, he racked up over a week’s worth of work. He plans to finish by Christmas.
The last retail space at the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station’s plaza has been officially leased.
Scissors and Scotch, a men’s grooming spa and cocktail bar, plans to open a 2,066-square-foot location at 1901 Reston Metro Plaza next year. The addition is part of Comstock’s Reston Station project, a sprawling mixed-use development directly at the metro station.
“At Scissors & Scotch our team of seasoned barbers, stylists and bartenders strive to make our customers look and feel great. We believe those who live and work in the Reston area will love the unique combination of grooming services and cocktails our locations are known for,” said Kai Christian, the company’s operations director, in a statement.
The business offers hair and grooming services for men in an upscale lounge with custom cocktails. Clients can take part in a membership program or drop by for walk-in services, according to the company’s website.
Founding in 2015 by three friends, Scissors & Scotch has locations in nine markets, including two locations in the District, Kansas City, Des Moines, Dallas, Nashville, and Oklahoma City.
In a statement, Timothy Steffan, Comstock’s executive vice president, said the addition of Scissors & Scotch is the “perfect complement to our existing best-in-class lifestyle and wellness brands.”
“We are thrilled to welcome Scissors and Scotch to our line-up of lifestyle and wellness offerings at Reston Station,” Steffan said.
Other retail tenants at Reston Station include Orange Theory, Pure Joe Pilates, and Nordine Day Spa. Reston Station is also home to Founding Farmer’s, Matchbox, and Big Buns.
Volunteers Needed for New Fall 5K — Reston Association is looking for volunteers to help with the inaugural Friends of Reston Fall 5K fundraiser on Oct. 17 from 7-10 a.m. [RA]
Police to Host Community Information Session — The Fairfax County Police Department’s Reston district station will host a community information forum tonight at 7 p.m. The session is online. [FCPD]
Blackstone Lends $350 Million for Refinancing — Comstock, a Reston-based developer, has landed a refinancing deal for three Reston Station office towers, which are 84 percent leased. [Bisnow]
The Reston-based company arranged a $350 million financing package for the first three office towers built at Reston Station, a 60-acre, mixed use project near the Wiehe-Reston East Metro Station.
Comstock received roughly $2.6 million in debt and equity origination fees, which are charged by the lender for compensation for a loan application.
Here’s more from Comstock on the restructuring effort:
The Anchor Portfolio primarily includes mixed-use properties located adjacent to key Metro rail stations in the Dulles Corridor in the northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC. Additionally, CHCI, through its institutional venture platform, acquires and manages stabilized properties with a focus on transit-oriented, mixed-use assets throughout the Washington, DC region.
“Building long term relationships with best-in-class capital providers such as Blackstone and DivcoWest is among our key strategic initiatives and we believe the financial commitment of these market leaders to Comstock and Reston Station affirm the pre-eminence of our office portfolio in the Dulles Corridor”, commented Chris Clemente, CHCI’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Closing this long-planned recapitalization in an attractive interest rate environment allows us to accelerate the recently commenced development of the next phase of Reston Station while we also focus on aggressively scaling up acquisitions of multi-family assets in our institutional venture platform. We look forward to updating the market in the very near-term on our progress on that front as we continue to focus on creating value for all Comstock’s stakeholders”.
As Silver Line Phase 2 slowly pulls into the station of completion, local officials are expressing their frustration at constant delays and missed deadlines.
In a brief update at yesterday’s (Sept. 28) Fairfax County Transportation Committee meeting, it was reiterated that Silver Line Phase 2 is expected to be substantially completed by the end of the year.
“In our discussions with [Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority], they are holding, at the moment, to the fourth quarter of 2021,” said Martha Elena Coello, special projects division chief for the Fairfax County Department of Transportation.
There are currently only two unresolved issues, according to a slideshow presented at the meeting, both of which are at the railyard and do not need to be resolved for substantial completion.
Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn said he was hopeful that meant MWAA would be handing over the project to Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority [WMATA] in late October, after the planned outage at Wiehle-East Reston Metro Station to tie-in the two lines. That work was supposed to be completed in June.
Alcorn and others at the meeting showed their frustration at how Silver Line Phase 2 has been besieged by constant delays.
“This is four years overdue from the original date,” said Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay. “To not express some frustration here… would be a mistake. I think all of us are very frustrated.”
Alcorn also was noticeably exasperated at the pace of the project.
“Our next meeting of the transportation committee is December 14. We better have substantial completion by then,” he said.
In response, MWAA acknowledges the disappointment that many have about the delays.
“We understand the frustrations of everybody, elected officials and public alike,” MWAA spokesperson Marcia McAllister told Reston Now. “Our goal is to proceed with the [October] outage, evaluate the work that is done that weekend, and make decisions as soon as possible.”
McAllister also reiterated that MWAA is “holding on to fourth quarter 2021” as a timeline for substantial completion.
While MWAA said it would be completed by the end of the year, CRC said spring 2022.
But now, CRC seems to be backing off their timeline, noting that increased collaboration with the authorities have quickened the pace.
“We are working together with MWAA and WMATA on coordinating and finalizing testing to target substantial completion of the Silver Line Phase 2A in Q4,” CRC project executive Keith Couch wrote in a statement to Reston Now.
Even if Silver Line Phase 2 is substantially completed by late October, as noted in the presentation provided to the committee, WMATA will still need approximately six months to complete testing, pre-revenue preparations, and to open the system to riders.
That could mean an opening date of April or May 2022.
The $2.8 billion public transportation project will include six new stations, extending Metro from Reston to Loudoun County.
It remains a potential game changer for the region, though many with financial investment connected to the project have grown understandably impatient.
“A lot of folks have contributed substianal money to making this happen,” said McKay at the transportation committee meeting. “And they are sitting here, waiting for service.”
Herndon Police Believe Sexual Assault Suspect Had More Victims — Detectives with the Herndon Police Department believe other people may have been victimized by a man they charged with aggravated sexual battery on June 30, according to a tweet. At the time of his arrest, the victim in the case told police that Carlos Morales López, 55, gave her a massage in the 800 block of Sycamore Court when he sexually assaulted her. [Patch]
Police Investigate South Lakes Bank Robbery — Police officers were dispatched to BB&T in the South Lakes Village Shopping Center yesterday morning (Tuesday) after a man reportedly entered the bank, grabbed the manager, and demanded cash before leaving the area on foot. No injuries were reported, and detectives are continuing to investigate the incident, which is the second time the branch has been robbed this year. [FCPD]
Free COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic at Reston Station Tomorrow — Reston Station will host a second COVID-19 vaccination clinic next to Founding Farmers (1904 Reston Metro Plaza) from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow (Thursday). Anyone who visits the clinic to get their first dose will receive $15 gift cards to Starbucks and Big Buns Damn Good Burgers. Second Pfizer doses will be administered on Sept. 14 and 16. [Reston Station/Twitter]
Reston Community Center Starts ESports League — Embracing a trend that is also coming to Fairfax County Public Schools, Reston Community Center is teaming up with the platform GGLeagues to launch an esports program this fall. Players will compete from home using their own consoles and can choose from a variety of games. Each league will run for six weeks starting on Oct. 4, and registration will be open until Sept. 22. [RCC]
The online metrics firm Similarweb is expanding into Reston.
The company, which has its global headquarters in Tel Aviv, Israel, announced yesterday (Monday) that it is opening an office at the coworking site Spaces that launched in Reston Station (1900 Reston Metro Plaza) in December 2018.
Similarweb is adding around 10 employees and expects to keep hiring more here.
“Our office in Reston, VA is now open,” the company said on Twitter. “A big welcome to our amazing team members who will collaborate there.”
Despite the announcement, the office is scheduled to open Sept. 1, the company said in a statement to Reston Now.
Similarweb provides marketing and research data to businesses looking to measure the effectiveness of their websites and other digital platforms.
With economic development leaders seeking to make sure companies have the talent they need in the area, Similarweb’s hiring between local candidates and those outside the area will serve as yet another example for whether an employee pipeline is meeting needs.
The Reston office is the company’s fourth in the U.S. and its first opening since going public earlier this year. Donna Dror, Similarweb’s general manager for North America, says the technology industry’s growing presence in Reston made it an attractive location for expansion.
“We see the Dulles Tech Corridor as a great opportunity to bring in new talent, especially for our Marketing and Sales teams,” Dror said in the statement. “We’re excited to join the many great companies already based in Reston and surrounding areas.”
Dror told Technical.ly that the company has 200 open positions that are remote, and half of those will be based in the U.S. She said the company is still reviewing its return-to-work strategy and would like to see at least 25 roles filled locally, but the openings aren’t tied to the Reston area specifically.
“We are actively hiring and planning to add a number of new employees before the end of the year and beyond,” she told Reston Now. “In the U.S. alone, we have nearly 100 open roles today, and we hope that many of those can be based in Reston.”
The new office will be home for the company’s chief marketing officer, Kevin Spurway, along with other employees in the sales and marketing departments.
Similarweb launched its initial public offering in May and began trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Its clients have included DHL, Lego, and Lending Tree.
Photo via Web Summit/Flickr
Michael Delaney Found Dead in Sugarland Run — The remains of Reston resident Michael Delaney were found in the Sugarland Run area on Wednesday (July 21), 14 months after he went missing from Reston Hospital in May 2020. His step-daughter says the family is “heartbroken but feel relieved” to have closure on his disappearance. [Courtney Park-Jamborsky/Facebook]
Matchbox Pizza Opens at Reston Station Today — After a few delays, Matchbox will officially open its new restaurant at 1900 Reston Metro Plaza Drive today (Friday), as promised last month. Some opening activities have been planned, and the venue will serve happy hour specials during the work week with bottomless brunch on the weekends. [Matchbox]
Pickleball Tournament Coming to Reston — “We are excited to announce that the first annual Reston Paddle Battle Pickleball Tournament, on September 18 & 19. See the attached flyer for more info. Register today at pickleballtournaments.com, space is limited!” [Reston Association/Twitter]
Matchbox at Reston Station is targeting a mid-summer date for opening.
The wood-fired pizza restaurant, now owned by Reston-based Thompson Hospitality, is looking to start serving in mid-July, a restaurant representative confirmed to Reston Now.
Matchbox has delayed the opening of its new venue at 1900 Reston Metro Plaza Drive near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station a number of times.
The lease was signed in June 2019, and the company announced then that it would open its doors in early 2020. But it was postponed as the COVID-19 pandemic hit the restaurant industry hard.
Then, representatives said this past February that it would open sometime in May, but that also didn’t happen.
A Matchbox spokesperson didn’t comment on why the opening was pushed back another two months.
When it does open, it will be located in 5,500-square-foot space within a building designed by famed German architect Helmut Jahn. Once called the “Flash Gordon of American architecture,” Jahn’s work includes the United Terminal at O’Hare Airport and the J. Edgar Hoover building (FBI headquarters) in D.C.
He was killed in a bike accident just last month.
Google will anchor the complex at 1900 Reston Metro Plaza Drive, taking up about five floors of the 16-story building. Matchbox will also be near Big Buns Damn Good Burger Co, which did open this spring.
Matchbox went through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy late last year before reorganizing and being bought by Thompson Hospitality. The Reston-based food service provider, which previously managed a number of Matchboxes, stated that they were planning on opening new locations.
Matchbox is currently hiring for a number of positions at the Reston Station restaurant, including a assistant general manager, servers, bartenders, hosts, bussers, and dishwashers.
Police Investigate Offensive KKK Flyers — Bigotry-filled flyers aimed at the Fairfax County School Board were found earlier this week in the Springfield and Sully Districts, apparently distributed by the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. School board members and local leaders, including Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay and the president of the county’s NAACP chapter, denounced the flyers, which are under investigation by county police and the FBI. [Patch]
Carjacking Reported in Reston Town Center — A man with a gun told a person in the passenger seat of a 2004 Toyota Corolla to get out and drove away in the car. The incident occurred at 5:25 a.m. on June 12 in the 1800 block of Presidents Street. The victim was not injured, police say. [FCPD]
A History of Slavery in Herndon — Ahead of Juneteenth, which commemorates the abolition of slavery in the U.S., Herndon Historical Society member Barbara Glakas delves into the lives of some past Herndon residents known to have held slaves. She notes that information about individual enslaved people is difficult to find due to the limited availability of written records. [Patch]
Reston Station Releases Showcase Video — Reston Station released a video yesterday (Thursday) showcasing the vision for the mixed-use development by the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station. The video breaks the area up into the Metro Plaza District, the Reston Row District that will be anchored by a JW Marriott hotel, the health-oriented West District, and the office-heavy Commerce District. [Reston Station/Facebook]
D.C. Area Sees More Hunger During Pandemic — “More families in Virginia and Maryland, and significantly more Latino families, were pushed into food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report on hunger in the D.C. area, which a nonprofit official called a ‘dramatic shift in the face of hunger.'” [WTOP]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
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.”