Global Consulting Firm to Move Headquarters to Reston Station

Global consulting firm ICF International Inc. has inked a full-building lease at Comstock’s Reston Station, according to a company release.

The firm will occupy 1902 Reston Metro Plaza, an eight-story, 250,000-square-foot office building at the mixed-use development atop the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station. The company plans to relocate its headquarters of three decades in Fairfax by the end of 2022.

The glass and steel building, which sits on top of parking and restaurant space, is expected to be complete by 2021.

“We are confident that Reston Station has everything we need to provide one of the best employee experiences in the Washington D.C. metro area,” said John Wasson, Chief Executive Officer of ICF. “Having our global headquarters in the heart of a rapidly expanding technology corridor directly supports our strategic growth plans and provides so many more conveniences to our employees.”

ICF is the latest tenant to join the development. Search engine giant Google has moved into Reston Station’s first office building and other companies like Neustar, Rolls-Royce North America, British Telecom and Spaces by Regus are also in the pipeline.

“We look forward to welcoming ICF and its entire team to the Reston Station neighborhood,” said Christopher Clemente, CEO of Comstock Companies. “Comstock is committed to creating a world-class development that provides world-class companies a remarkable neighborhood and an attractive platform for our tenants to recruit and retain talent needed to grow their business.”

ICF is a global consultancy and digital services provider that has more than 7,000 employees.

Photo via Comstock

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Rolls-Royce North America to Relocate Headquarters from Reston Town Center to Reston Station

Rolls-Royce North America has officially confirmed its plans to relocate its corporate headquarters from Reston Town Center to Comstock’s Reston Station development.

The move, which was first reported by Reston Now earlier this month, is expected to take place in early 2020.

The industrial technology company will move into the 16-story glass tower designed by architect Helmut Jahn, the first of three office towers at the Reston Station project near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station.

“Rolls-Royce has made its impact on the world throughout history and they continue to be a global force in business and manufacturing,” said Tim Steffan, Comstock’s executive vice president.  “Comstock understands the importance that the Rolls-Royce brand means to Reston Station and together our respective executive teams worked to make their new home here a reality.”

The company’s headquarters first opened in Reston Town Center in 2008. Other companies like Appian Corp. and Certipath have also recently announced plans to move their headquarters from the town center.

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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Exclusive: Rolls-Royce Considers Relocating Regional Headquarters in Reston Town Center

Rolls-Royce North America is considering a lease agreement to relocate its regional headquarters from Reston Town Center to Reston Station.

A company representative told Reston Now the company plans to move from RTC to Comstock’s new development in the first quarter of 2020. The company is not releasing any other information because the lease agreement is still being finalized, the representative said.

The company’s regional headquarters opened in Reston Town Center in 2008.

County permits indicate Rolls-Royce will be located at 1900 Reston Metro Plaza. An application for an interior alteration permit was processed in early October.

A spokesperson for Comstock declined to comment on the deal.

Photo by Jay Westcott

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CVS Pharmacy to Open in Reston Station in December

A new tenant is planning to open its doors soon in Reston Station, Comstock Development’s Reston Station development, which is located at the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station.

CVS Pharmacy plans to open in Reston Station by December 10, a company representative told Reston Now. 

The healthcare giant will lease 8,451 square feet of plaza-level retail space in Reston Station’s third tower, which is slated for completion in January 2020.

The storefront is located at the entrance of Metro’s north pedestrian bridge to the station.

Photo by Jay Westcott

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CertiPath Moves Headquarters from Reston Town Center to Reston Station

CertiPath, a company that offers assurance credentialling in the federal government and commercial industry, is moving its headquarters from Reston Town Center to Reston Station.

The company announced that it has signed a 7,000-square-foot lease at Comstock’s 1900 Reston Metro Plaza. Company officials said the move brings employees and customers immediate access to the Silver Line and creates an office environment “equipped for the company’s continued growth.”

“CertiPath serves a broad range of clientele requiring the highest assurance digital identity solutions,” said Jeff Nigriny, CertiPath’s President.  “Our services and products are collaborations with our customers.  It is essential that our headquarters environment enable and enhance this collaboration while serving to instill confidence for first-time customers.”

CertiPath is the latest company to join a growing number of tenants at the first of three office towers at Reston Station. Google is setting up offices in the office tower, which was designed by internationally renowned architect Helmut Jahn.

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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Neustar to Move Sterling Headquarters to Comstock’s Reston Station

Neustar, a global information services company, is moving its headquarters from Sterling to Comstock’s Reston Station Development.

The company will anchor 100,000 square feet of space in Comstock’s second trophy office tower (1906 Reston Metro Plaza), which is one of three office towers at Reston Station. Google is currently moving into its office space in the mixed-use development.

Neustar will consolidate two offices from its Sterling campus, with currently house more than 400 employees. The company serves more than 8,000 clients around the world.

“The technology advances and company growth at Neustar require a world class headquarters that embraces the future,” wrote Neustar President and CEO Charlie Gottdiener, in a statement. “This is a big investment that addresses both our current and future requirements. By relocating into one building, we will provide our headquarters-based employees a more collaborative and connected work environment with the added benefit of an on-site metro station. The new office will also enhance Neustar’s ability to attract and retain emerging tech talent, address current workspace needs and foster future growth in a sustainably-minded environment.” 

The company plans to move into its new offices next year, according to Tim Steffan, executive vice president of leasing for Comstock.

Photo via Comstock

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Trio of Projects Heads to Reston Planning and Zoning Committee Next Week

Three major development proposals head to the Reston Planning and Zoning Committee for a vote on Monday (August 19.

The committee, which meets at the North County Government Center at 7:30 p.m., will vote on plans for Isaac Newton Square, Halley Rise and Reston Station Promenade.

Peter Lawrence Cos and MRP Realty are partnering to redevelop Isaac Newtown Square, an aging office park at Sunset Hills Road and Wiehle Avenue, into a mostly residential neighborhood with around 2,100 units. The plan also includes an athletic field.

One Reston Co. LLC and Two Reston Co. LLC’s Halley Rise project — which is the site of the future Wegmans — is also on the docket. The developer is seeking the committee’s approval for changes to two blocks of development, which is located north of Sunrise Valley Drive and south of the Dulles Toll Road.

Finally, the board will consider changes to Comstock’s Reston Station Promenade project, which is north of the BLVD and Comstock’s development atop the Wiehe-Reston East Metro Station. Changes are largely limited to one building.

The complete agenda is available online.

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Report: Microsoft Scouting for Office Space in Reston Area

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.

File photo

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Frying Pan Farm Park 4-H Fair and Carnival and More This Weekend Around Reston

The four-day Frying Pan Farm Park 4-H Fair and Carnival continues into the weekend. Admission to the fair is free, but parking is $10 per car tomorrow and Sunday.  

The opening ceremony kicks off at 10 a.m. tomorrow (Saturday).  The carnival is on from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. tomorrow and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday (August 4).

In addition to entertainment throughout the weekend, fair-goers can take part in a number of activities, including goat milking, a carousel, and blacksmithing.

More information is available online.

Tomorrow (Saturday)

  • Weekly Beer Run (9:45-11:15 a.m.) — Run, jog or walk beautiful paved paths around Lake Anne with “beer runers.”
  • Lake House Open House (10 a.m. to noon) —  The community building is open for community drop-in time and light refreshments.
  • Artist-led Bookmaking Workshop (1-3 p.m.) — Join Homie House Press for a bookmaking workshop at Greater Reston Arts Center.
  • ArtSplash for Adults (2-4 p.m.) — Create a masterpiece in this art workshop for adults led by artists from Abrakadoodle Northern Virginia at Reston Regional Library.
  • Summerbration Fun Brunch (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) — Enjoy a performance titled “juggler, balloon twister and glitter tattoos” at Reston Station Plaza. Parking is free on weekends in the Metro Parking garage.

Sunday (August 4)

  • Bird Walk at Buttermilk Creek Nature Trail (7:30-10:30 a.m.) — Beginning and expert birders can search for birds in Reston. Participants should park at Uplands Pool.
  • Summerbration Fun Brunch (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) — Enjoy Flow Circus at Reston Station Plaza. Parking is free on weekends in the Metro Parking garage.
  • Sunday Art in the Park (7-8 p.m.) — The MLO Fusion Project performs contemporary jazz standards with a modern twist at Reston Town Square Park. Performances are free and open to all.
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Thursday Morning Notes

The Best State for Business — CNBC ranked Virginia as the best state for business in the country. The Old Dominion’s success comes from the military as well the demographic of the best workforce in the country, according to CNBC’s Scott Cohn. [CNBC]

A Roundup of New State Laws — The county offers a round-up of several new laws that went into effect on July 1, including new rules on handheld cellphone use in work zones, the legal age for tobacco use, and rear-facing car seats. [Fairfax County Government]

Striking the Target — “Reston Hospital Center has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association‘s Get With The Guidelines® Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines.” [Reston Hospital Center]

Free Yoga for All — Enjoy free yoga with Beloved Yoga at Reston Station Plaza today from 6:30-7:30 p.m. [Reston Station]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Thursday Morning Notes

Parents Respond to Herndon High School Porn Case — Concerned parents gathered this week to discuss the case of a former Herndon High School drama teacher who is accused of possessing child pornography and unlawful filming. Police believe Raphael Schklowsky may have also set up two cameras at the school. [WUSA 9]

Fireworks Safety Demonstration Tomorrow — As the Fourth of July approaches, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department is hosting a demonstration on how to safety use fireworks. The demonstration is set for 10 a.m. at the Fire and Rescue Training Academy. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]

Free Yoga at Reston Station — Beloved Yoga will offer free yoga lessons today (Thursday) from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the plaza. [Reston Station]

Registration Deadline for Lake Anne Cardboard Boat Regatta — The deadline to register a boat to participate in the event is on Monday, July 1. The event is set to take place at Lake Anne on Saturday, August 10. [Reston Historic Trust & Museum]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Following Allegations of Civil Rights Violations, Comstock Grants Campaigning Rights for Two Days

In anticipation of the Democratic primary tomorrow, Comstock Companies is now allowing campaigning and electioneering for two days at Reston Station Plaza after the county threatened legal recourse due to potential free speech violations.

Chris Clemente, Comstock’s CEO, told Reston Now that the company is inviting all candidates on the June 11 ballots to campaign at the plaza today and tomorrow “on their own schedules and without the need to coordinate schedules with Comstock.”

The temporary change comes after Comstock came under fire for its longstanding restrictions on soliciting, including campaigning and electioneering, at the plaza. The county says the forum qualifies as public space — even though Comstock leases the property from the county through a 99-year ground lease. Comstock disputes this claim.

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Sharon Bulova lashed out against the company when she learned about the policy late last week. Bulova accused the company of favoritism and civil rights violation after she said it allowed Maggie Parker — Comstock’s vice president of communications — to post campaign signs but barred her opponents from approaching voters.

“Allowing one’s own employee to engage in such highly protected activity in a public area, while excluding other candidates from doing the same, is clearly wrong and cannot be tolerated,” Bulova said in the letter, which threatened legal action.

Parker said that she never campaigned at the plaza and purchased large advertisements from the company at the plaza and on Comstock’s building — a possibility that she said is open to all other candidates.

Ads cost between $2,000 and $3,500 per week.

Claire Gastanaga, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Virginia chapter, said the lease to the private company does not renege individual’s free speech rights.

Ray Morrogh, the county’s commonwealth’s attorney, directed the Fairfax County Police Department to decline any requests to prosecute individuals for campaigning at the train station and the plaza above it. 

“It would not be appropriate to prosecute anyone exercising their First Amendment rights in public areas,” Morrogh wrote in a May letter to the police department.

Clemente did not indicate what led to the two-day allowance for campaigning.

“Although we had hoped to provide the residents of the Hunter Mill District an opportunity to meet all the candidates in a casual setting during these last days of the campaign, we were unable to secure commitments from all candidates to participate in a coordinated event,” he said.

The debate over whether or not the plaza qualifies as a public forum was catapulted into the county spotlight after candidates running for Hunter Mill District Supervisor attempted to campaign at the plaza.

Over the past several weeks, candidates, volunteers for their campaigns, and a representative for a local advocacy group said they were kicked off the property and told to apply for permits.

Photo via Fairfax Connector

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JUST IN: Bulova Suggests Possible Legal Recourse Against Comstock’s Campaigning Restrictions at Reston Station Plaza

(Updated at 4 p.m.) Fairfax County Chairwoman Sharon Bulova is pushing back against Comstock’s restrictions on campaigning at Reston Station Plaza.

In a strongly-worded letter sent to Chris Clemente, Comstock’s CEO, today, Bulova said she was very shocked and disturbed to learn that Comstock was unfairly restricting public access to the property.

The company has allowed Maggie Parker, its vice president of communications and also a candidate for the Hunter Mill District Seat, to campaign on the plaza, Bulova said.

“Allowing one’s own employee to engage in such highly protected activity in a public area, while excluding other candidates from doing the same, is clearly wrong and cannot be tolerated,” she wrote.

But Parker says that she has not campaigned at the plaza because of Comstock’s policies.

“I think the letter is unfounded because I don’t think the chairman has all of the facts,” Parker said. “I am doing nothing that the other candidates are not able to do. I am tired of being bullied and I’d like to step forward with the elections and the people’s business.”

The free speech issue has sparked recent debate on the legality of the developer’s longstanding policy to bar soliciting, including electioneering and campaigning, at the plaza.

Bulova has directed the county’s attorney to evaluate legal remedies against Comstock, noting that the plaza may constitute a public forum. As a result, free speech rights may be violated.

“As the county attorney completes her research and the board evaluates its legal remedies, I ask Comstock to do the right thing without necessity of legal action,” Bulova wrote.

Several candidates running for the seat of Hunter MIll District Supervisor and residents have told Reston Now they’ve been told to leave the plaza after attempting to distribute campaign materials or campaign.

Laurie Dodd, a candidate who was concerned about the policy after friends campaigning for other candidates were  told to leave the property and apply for a permit, pushed state and local officials to take a stance on the issue. Although the state and county’s election bodies said the issue was not within their jurisdiction, Dodd said Bulova was open to discussing the matter. At her request, the American Civil Liberties Union took the matter to Bulova’s office.

Walter Alcorn, also a candidate running for the seat, also expressed concerns about restrictions on campaigning at the plaza.

In previous days, county officials told Reston Now that state election law allows campaign activities on the property, but declined to discuss the issue further. The plaza was constructed through a public-private partnership and Comstock leases the plaza from the county through a 99-year ground lease, according to the county.

Clemente told Reston Now that its policy is out of respect for Metro commuters and others who come to Reston Station. He previously noted that he was open to scheduling a candidate meet-and-greet on the plaza as an exception to the policy.

This story will be updated.

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As Primary Election Nears, Confusion over Campaigning at Reston Station Remains

Some residents are concerned that restrictions on political campaigning at Reston Station Plaza raise free speech issues. But local and state officials versed in state election law say the question of whether or not campaigning is allowed on the plaza is a gray area.

That’s because Comstock Companies, the developer of Reston Station, leases the plaza from Fairfax County through a 99-year ground lease. The county says that state election law still allows campaign activities, including voter registration, on the private property.

Several residents who have unsuccessfully tried to campaign and distribute leaflets on the plaza say they’ve been told to request permits from Comstock before distributing materials.

But Comstock’s CEO Chris Clemente says that Comstock has no such policy for requesting permits.

“I cannot respond to the reports you have received about a days-long permit process since that is simply not true,” Clemente told Reston Now in a statement.

He clarified that Comstock has not revised its policy prohibiting soliciting on its private properties “out of respect for the privacy of residents, visitors, and commuters.” Instead, Clemente said Comstock’s policy revision was restricted to scheduling a candidate meet-and-greet for a few hours at the plaza. Candidates would get the chance to meet with voters and distribute campaign materials with no cost.

To date, we have not seen any indication of interest from any of the campaigns (except Maggie Parker’s) to participate in such an event. What we have seen from some of the candidates is public criticism of Comstock for not allowing random soliciting of Metro commuters. It makes me think that the candidates, with the exception of Maggie Parker, have no interest in discussing their vision for the Hunter Mill District with members of the public,” Clemente said.

Parker, who is Comstock’s vice president of communications, is a candidate for the Hunter Mill District seat and has campaign signs on the property. 

Other candidates can purchase advertising space for either $2,000 or $3,500 per week on two plaza locations. Parker said she paid for her ads on Comstock’s property. Comstock and Comstock-linked entities have filled up more than half of her campaign coffers — which exceeds all of her challengers’ fundraising for the latest reporting period combined.

Joanne Collins, a representative for Herndon-Reston Indivisible, said Comstock’s security told her to leave the plaza after she tried to hand out leaflets about Tuesday’s primary. Collins said she requested a permit from Comstock, but was told the process would take several days — possibly after the June 11 Democratic primary.

Residents say that the Fairfax County Board of Elections and the Virginia Department of Elections are mum on the issue. Laurie Dodd, a candidate for the Fairfax County Board of Supervisor’s Hunter Mill District seat, lodged a complaint with the state’s elections department, but was told the issue wasn’t within its jurisdiction.

Dodd said she was told the department only addresses issues within 40 feet of voting machines. The Attorney General of Virginia’s office offered the same statement, she said.

Others said they would file complaints with the county’s election board after the election in order to spend more time campaigning in other parts of the Hunter Mill District.

Dodd also noted that the cost of purchasing signage at the plaza was too high, especially since the election is just days away and the process would require Comstock’s approval.

The Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney is looking into whether or not free speech rights are at risk of being violated.

File photo

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Report: Architect Helmut Jahn to Design Companion for Existing Reston Station Building

World-renowned architect Helmut Jahn will design another office building at Reston Station to complement his existing work at Reston Station.

According to the Washington Business Journal, Comstock Companies retained Jahn to build the second building across the Dulles Toll Road opposite from the first building at 1900 Reston Metro Plaza. The building is part of Comstock’s development plan for Commerce Metro Center.

Although the buildings are similar, the new structure is expected to be more of a parallelogram than a trapezoid.

Here’s more from the May 31 story:

“He wants to sort of match the angles. He likes the direction of that design,” said Tim Steffan, executive vice president of development and asset management at Reston-based Comstock (NASDAQ: CHCI). “There’s an angular similarity to it.”

The building, still in the concept stage, could be 17 to 23 stories and between 375,000 and 500,000 square feet. 1900 Reston Metro Plaza is 16 stories and 365,000 square feet.

Jahn and his firm, Chicago-based Jahn Architecture Inc., originally submitted a proposal for a residential concept at Reston Station as part of an international design competition but were not selected. Comstock later commissioned him to design the 1900 Reston Metro Plaza office building.

The architect convinced Comstock’s CEO Chris Clemente that the office building needed a companion across the toll road, Maggie Parker, Comstock’s vice president of communications, said.

Comstock does not expect to break ground on the building for at least another year, according to the report. Two buildings at 1902 and 1906 Reston Metro are currently in progress with a delivery date of mid-2020. No major leases have been announced for the office buildings.

Photos via Comstock/Washington Business Journal

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