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Pottery Barn Set to Close in Reston Town Center in January

(Updated at 10:58 p.m. on Dec. 9) The Pottery Barn in Reston Town Center will shut its doors in January, along with the Williams-Sonoma down the block.

Williams-Sonoma Inc. operates both brands.

A store employee told Reston Now that the store will stay open until its closing date — sometime around Jan. 21.

Pottery Barn (11937 Market Street) started a final sale with 30 percent off items throughout the entire store on Monday (Dec. 3), the employee said.

The Williams-Sonoma at 11897 Market Street is also planning to shut its doors in January.

“We plan on closing in early January, but do not have a specific date to share at this time,” a spokeswoman for the company wrote in an email.

This story has been updated 

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New Steel Sculpture in Reston Town Center Delayed Until Spring

The Greater Reston Arts Center has pushed back the completion of a new 50-foot steel sculpture in Reston Town Center from this fall to spring 2019. 

Reston Now previously reported the installation and an opening ceremony were expected in August.

Now, the sculpture’s anticipated unveiling is set for spring after the project faced construction delays, Lily Siegel, executive director and curator of the Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE), told Reston Now.

“As we embarked on [the project], things have shifted and got a little bit delayed,” she said.

Titled “Buoyant Force,” the sculpture by artist Sue Wrbican is inspired by the work of Kay Sage, an American surrealist who was known for her paintings of scaffolded structure and furled fabric in barren landscapes. GRACE previously featured Wrbican’s work last fall.

Currently, the sculpture is being fabricated by two fabricators. The main 50-foot piece is getting welded together at one fabricator’s shop in Rockville Md.

Siegel said that the GRACE team has dropped in several times on the fabrication, describing the tall piece as reminiscent of scaffolding or the inside of a skyscraper. Even though the 50-foot piece is lying on the ground, “it’s very impressive,” she said. “The impact is pretty powerful.”

A second fabricator is making other steel structures that will get attached to the sculpture. Both sourced preexisting, pre-fabricated materials at Wrbican’s request. 

While the main work on the pieces is “pretty much done,” technical details still need finishing before installation. Once the pieces are on site, the installation will require a crane and boom lift, she said.

“Buoyant Force” marks Seigel’s first public sculpture — an undertaking that has taught her quite a bit throughout the process. For starters, the project initially planned to have one fabricator, before she decided the work required two people, she said.

“It’s taking a whole team of professionals to get this done,” Seigel said That team includes architects, inspectors, a concrete team, engineers, movers and — of course — the artist.

Seigel also took a new approach to fund the sculpture. For the first time, GRACE started a crowdfunding campaign to cover the costs. Locals can donate online.

So far, the campaign raised about $50,000 — nearly half of the required funds — in roughly five months, she said. The Reston Town Center Association, Reston Community Center, ArtsFairfax and Public Art Reston are some of the places that have donated.

Seigel said the “slow” fundraising efforts are not causing the delay.

Additionally, the architect, engineer, concrete company and transportation company are providing pro bono work — a donation of its own kind, she said.

Siegel said a community celebration to mark the grand opening will happen.

After that, she plans to host programming, including dance, poetry and education, around the sculpture, which is expected to be on view for five years. “We’re looking for different ways to bring the community back around the sculpture” with different perspectives, she said. “We are incredibly excited about this project.”

Images via Greater Reston Arts Center 

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Reston Restaurant Collecting Warm Clothing for Homeless Veterans

(Updated 4:50 p.m.) As it starts to get colder, some veterans and families around the region don’t have a home to take shelter in.

The Not Your Average Joe’s restaurant in the Reston Town Center is collecting unused, or gently used, sweaters and sweat pants as part of a “Sweats 4 Vets” program.

“We do have a homeless problem in Reston,” said Joe Becker, general manager at Not Your Average Joe’s. “It’s not front page news, but if you look around it’s there.”

Becker said the collection is a partnership with Northwest Federal Credit Union.

“Every fall, going into winter, we collect [sweat-clothes] for veterans,” said Becker. “We have hypothermia shelters in the area that we get these clothes out to.”

The collection is starting to fill up, and Becker’s goal is to have it overflowing. Normally the clothing is collected at the beginning of December, but Becker said the weather made him want to keep collecting for a few more weeks to get more sweat-clothes.

“It’s halfway full, so it’s getting up there,” said Robert DeSilva, a manager at Not Your Average Joe’s. “We prefer new items, but we will take slightly used [sweat-clothes] in all sizes and cuts.”

DeSilva said the collection will continue for two more weeks before the clothing is donated to local shelters.

“There’s plenty of veterans on hard times right now,” DeSilva said. “We need to take care of those who have taken care of us.”

Photo via Not Your Average Joe’s

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County Approves $4 Million Grant for Appian’s Move to Tysons

Cloud computing company Appian Corporation will receive $4 million from Fairfax County for the company’s expansion and new headquarters in Tysons Corner.

The Fairfax County’s Board of Supervisors approved the Development Opportunity Fund grant from the Commonwealth at its meeting on Tuesday (Dec. 4).

The funds will pay for the leasing, improvements, equipment and operation of Appian’s Tysons Corner facility (7950 Jones Branch Drive), which is expected to lead to 600 new jobs there.

News of the company’s move from Reston to Tysons first broke in April.

Currently, Appian is headquartered at 11955 Democracy Drive, Suite 1700 in Reston Town Center.

Fairfax County competed with another jurisdiction for the expansion of Appian’s headquarters, according to county documents.

As part of the grant, Fairfax County must provide a local match which will be in the form of the Lincoln Street project, a roadway improvement which is already planned and funded in the county budget. The road improvement was identified by coordinating with the Fairfax County Department of Transportation.

Additionally, the county will provide an estimated funding of $288,000 from the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority will monitor Appian’s performance metrics agreed upon for the grant funding, updating the Office of the County Executive annually on the number of jobs and capital investment achieved during that time.

Photo via Appian/Facebook

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Hanukkah Celebrations Planned in Reston and Herndon This Weekend

Two Hanukkah celebrations are planned for Reston and Herndon this weekend.

This year, the Jewish holiday began at sunset on Sunday (Dec. 2) and ends on Monday, Dec. 10.

NextStop Theatre will host “A Kosher Christmas Cabaret” on Saturday (Dec. 8) at 8 p.m.

The website calls the cabaret a “celebration of Jewish culture and the community’s extraordinary resilience, through humor and heart.”

The show features Jordan Friend, Alani Kravitz and Ben Lurye with Elisa Rosman at the piano. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Tree of Life Synagogue community. NextStop Theatre is located at 269 Sunset Park Drive.

A giant menorah lighting and ice skating will take place on Sunday (Dec. 9) at the Reston Town Center. The free event organized by Chabad of Reston-Herndon will include music, donuts, a raffle, dreidels and latkes, starting at 4:30 p.m. While admission is free, ice skating costs $12.

Photo via Chabad of Reston-Herndon

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Reston in the Running for USA Today’s ‘Best Holiday Parade’

Locals have one week left to vote Reston’s holiday parade to the top of USA Today’s nationwide ranking.

The contest has Reston competing against other parades in towns and cities across the country, including Sparks, Nev.; Gatlinburg, Tenn.; San Antonio; and Detroit.

USA Today’s 10Best Editors and Local Experts nominated 20 places that “bring holiday cheer in the form of festive floats, dancing elves, Santa and his sleigh and millions of twinkling lights,” according to the website.

The annual event in Reston Town Center is known for its Macy’s-style parade of balloons, musicians, dancers and more. This year’s parade took place on Nov. 23.

Last year, Reston landed in sixth place on USA Today’s list. Philadelphia claimed the top spot, followed by Detroit; Baltimore; Annapolis, Md.; and Charlotte, N.C.

In 2016, Reston held the fourth-place slot, putting it one spot ahead of the nationally-televised Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York.

Voters can cast one ballot per day until voting ends on Monday (Dec. 10) at noon.

USA Today will announce the top 10 winning events, determined by the votes, on Dec. 21.

Photo via Reston Town Center

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Williams-Sonoma in Reston Town Center to Close in January

The Williams-Sonoma in Reston Town Center is set to close in January, a spokeswoman for the company told Reston Now.

“We plan on closing in early January, but do not have a specific date to share at this time,” the spokeswoman wrote in an email.

The store is located at 11897 Market Street. Other locations nearby include Tysons Galleria in McLean and the Mosaic District in Fairfax.

Questions have been raised about the status of the Pottery Barn, which is also operated by Williams-Sonoma Inc., at 11937 Market Street. Reston Now has not heard back yet from a representative for that store.

Image via Google Maps

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Reston Holiday Events Throughout December

Several holiday events are planned around Reston throughout December.

Every Saturday evening in December, from 4-9 p.m., horse-drawn carriage rides will take visitors on a tour around the Reston Town Center. The carriage rides start in front of Talbots (11900 Market Street).

On Sundays, from noon to 4 p.m., train rides will be available for smaller children. Donations benefiting local charities are requested. The train departs in front of Clyde’s.

On Dec. 2 and 9, the Frying Pan Farm Park will also be hosting Christmas at the Farm. A variety of Christmas-themed activities, including cookie decorating and writing letters to Santa, will be held in sessions throughout the day at the park. Tickets are $10 per person, and children must be accompanied by an adult registered in the program.

  • Dec. 1: Gifts from the HeART Exhibit — Artists from Jo Ann Rose Gallery will display and sell original works of art.
  • Dec. 1: The Wonder of the Season — The Reston Chorale presents sounds of the season with guest artists Tim King and the Washington Symphonic Brass Quintet. Tickets are available through Reston Chorale.
  • Dec. 1: Alternative Gift Market — The Unitarian Universalist Church in Reston will create a market with more than 30 local, national and international nonprofit organizations.  All of the proceeds will go to the participating groups.
  • Dec. 1: Jingle on Lake Anne — An ornament and cookie decorating event on Lake Anne, with Santa and his elves arriving by boat and paddle board at noon.
  • Dec. 2: Run with Santa 5k — A race around the Reston Town Center starting and ending on Market Street. The race starts at 8:30 a.m. and participants are encouraged to wear ugly Christmas sweaters or Christmas elf costumes.
  • Dec. 4: Reston Sings: Handel’s Messiah! — The Reston Chorale will be performing George Frideric Handel’s “Messiah.” General admission tickets are $15, or $10 with the donation of a new or gently used coat or other winter apparel.
  • Dec. 9: Chanukah on Ice & Outdoor Menorah Lighting — An ice skating party is planned to celebrate Chanukah at the Reston Town Center Pavilion. A lighting ceremony is open to all, with a $12 fee to skate. Latkes and donuts will be served.
  • Dec. 15: Reston Town Center Winterfest — Treats and activities are planned for the festival running from 12-5 p.m., including a carousel at the ice skating rink.

Photo via Facebook

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Birthday bash for Mark Twain — Reston Regional Library will celebrate from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. the famous American humorist, who died in 1910 and would have been 183 years old on Nov. 30. [Fairfax County]

Senior movie day — The Reston Association’s “Meet Me at the Movies” will screen “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” — the 2018 documentary about Fred Rogers — at 10 a.m. with free refreshments. Tickets are free for people age 55 and older. The monthly movie event is done in cooperation with the Bow-Tie Cinemas at Reston Town Center and is sponsored by Tall Oaks Assisted Living. [Reston Association]

Paid parking lawsuit ends in a settlement — Boston Properties agreed to a settlement with Jackson’s Mighty Fine Food & Lucky Lounge, bringing a close to the restaurant’s lawsuit over the mixed-use development’s paid parking system. [Faifax County Times]

Reston Rotary Club networking — The club will host a networking event tonight from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Reston Hyatt’s bar in the lobby. [Reston Rotary Club]

Flickr pool photo via Chris Gordon 

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Planned Reston Tower Still Seeking Tenants

Update 10:30 a.m. — David Toney, Vice President of Development for Akridge, has clarified that the One Reston Town Center project does not have a five-year deadline to begin construction.

(Editor’s note: This story was updated Wednesday, Nov. 28, at 12:15 p.m. and again at 2:30 p.m. to correct references to One Reston’s height.)

One Reston Town Center, a 23-story building in Reston’s urban core, made waves when it was first approved six years ago. But since then, the project has been largely silent.

The project is planned to offer 420,000 square-feet of office space, as well as 15,000 square feet of ground-level retail. Akridge property management said at the time that it would not begin construction until a lead tenant was found to occupy at least 150,000 square feet of that total office space.

A leasing agent at Avison Young, a real estate partnership business, said the building is still in the pre-leasing phase. While the agent said Avison Young is actively pursuing several deals currently, no lead tenant has been found to occupy the building.

“We have some proposals in to some groups,” said David Toney, Vice President of Development for Akridge. “These things take time. We have some good activity on the project. We’re focusing on that and focusing on financing to go forward.”

Prior to the 2016 reapproval, Akridge had noted that waiting for a lease before beginning construction was less risky than beginning construction while searching for a tenant.

Photo via Akridge

This story has been updated

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Toys for Tots Collection Starts on Thursday in Reston Town Center

A Toys for Tots drive is coming to town to bring presents to low-income kids.

Locals can drop off new, unwrapped toys in building lobbies around Reston Town Center this Thursday.

The charity toy drive benefits Toys for Tots and is held in partnership with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s annual campaign. The drive runs from Nov. 29 to Dec. 7.

On the final day, a special collection event will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in front of the pavilion.

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department began its toy drive last Monday (Nov. 19). The collection is part of the Annual National Capital Region Fire and EMS Departments’ 2018 Toys for Tots campaign.

Fire stations will accept checks made payable to “TOYS FOR TOTS” and new, unwrapped toy donations until Dec. 12.

The nearby stations are located at:

  • 1820 Wiehle Avenue, Reston
  • 2610 Reston Parkway, Herndon
  • 1117 Reston Avenue, Herndon

Last year, the department collected more than 14,000 toys, according to the website.

Photo via Marine Toys for Tots Foundation/Facebook

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Refraction Eyes Larger Offices in Area to Accommodate Expansion

Reston-based Refraction is eyeing larger office space in the area in preparation for an expansion that will add 800 jobs in the next five years.

Currently located in Reston Town Center, Refraction plans to use a portion of the recent $1 million investment from Fairfax County toward securing new office space.

The county’s Board of Supervisors approved the use of the economic development funds yesterday (Nov. 20) for the company’s expansion.

Founded in 2014, Refraction (11911 Freedom Drive, Suite 850) is a coworking community for startups and high-growth companies. The “innovation hub” provides educational programs, along with networking and mentoring events. Currently, more than 55 companies are a part of the Refraction community.

Esther Lee, CEO of Refraction, said conversations about the move started a few months ago. Refraction wants to keep its Reston roots in order to strengthen the area’s “innovation ecosystem” by encouraging companies in its coworking space to stay and add new jobs.

A report by the Brookings Institution last year found that the D.C.-area has had the biggest loss of digital tech jobs in a five-year span compared to 50 other cities with large digital employment.

Lee called the report “alarming” and said she wants to see Refraction take an active role in boosting job growth in the region. “We want to grow the future Googles and Amazons of the world,” Lee said.

Refraction is looking to move to an office space in Reston that it roughly 25,000 square-feet in the next three to six months, she said, adding that finding a new location, receiving tenant approval and signing the lease all take time.

Refraction is working with Boston Properties to find another space in Reston Town Center.

The move to the larger space affects the launch of the Refraction’s apprenticeship program it is currently developing with the Northern Virginia Community College.

The apprenticeship, which is supported by the funding from the county, train workers for startups and high-growth companies. The goal is to launch the program early next year, Lee said.

“Lots of companies have a hard time hiring people with the right skill sets,” she said. “Many kids coming right out of college haven’t had startup experience.”

Photo via Refraction/Facebook

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Reston Holiday Parade Returns This Friday

This Friday (Nov. 23), the Reston Town Center will host its annual Reston Holiday Parade.

The parade starts at 11 a.m. at the Reston Town Center (11900 Market St) and will feature a Macy’s-style parade of balloons, musicians, dancers and more.

The Reston Holiday Parade lasts for one hour and will travel a half-mile along Market Street. Before the parade starts, thousands of jingle bells will be handed out to the crowd to help welcome Santa and Mrs. Claus.

After the parade, visitors are invited to take photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus and enjoy a mini-train ride until 4:30.

At 6 p.m., a tree lighting ceremony will be held at Fountain Square, followed by horse-drawn carriage rides around the Reston Town Center.

The parade has been a Reston tradition since 1991.

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Fairfax County Invests $1 Million in Reston-based Refraction’s Expansion

Fairfax County’s Board of Supervisors approved today a $1 million investment in Reston-based Refraction’s expansion, which plans to add 800 jobs in the next five years.

In addition to the new tech jobs, the investment is anticipated to go toward training 2,500 workers and eventually lead to $200 million in new capital investment over the next five years.

The funding will also support Refraction’s apprenticeship program under development with the Northern Virginia Community College to train workers for startups and high-growth companies, along with assisting Refraction’s move to a larger space in Reston.

The board approved the use of the economic development funds at its Nov. 20 meeting. Under its agreement with the county, Refraction must report its financial results and success metrics annually.

Founded in 2014, Refraction (11911 Freedom Drive, Suite 850) is a coworking community for startups and high-growth companies. Located at Reston Town Center, the “innovation hub” provides educational programs, along with networking and mentoring events.

The Refraction community has had more than 100 companies who have collectively raised $126 million in capital, according to a Refraction press release.

Fairfax County Chairman Sharon Bulova said the expansion will stimulate the local economy.

“As a county, we’re making strategic investments that help to support and grow our region’s innovation ecosystem, such as offering tech startups access to entrepreneurial expertise so they can scale their businesses,” she said.

Refraction will also partner with the county’s chief equity officer and public schools to train girls and students from underrepresented and economically disadvantaged communities on entrepreneurship skills — a partnership that supports the social and racial equity policy, One Fairfax.

County officials have said that a focus on women and minorities is especially important as the tech industry increases diversity in its workforce.

Last week, another Reston-based company announced an expansion that will create more jobs, just days after Amazon’s decision to bring its second headquarters to Crystal City.

IT services firm 1901 Group announced last Thursday (Nov. 15) that it will bring 225 more jobs to Reston in the next three years as part of a $4 million expansion.

Photo via Refraction/Facebook 

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What’s Going On This Weekend Around Reston?

If you’re looking for somewhere fun and outdoorsy to take the kids this weekend, Saturday afternoon is Kids Day at Reston Town Center.

From 3-5 p.m., a children’s band, Rocknocerous, will be performing, with face painting, balloon animals, treats and costumed character appearances.

For something more indoors, author Laura Renauld will host a morning story time to read from her first children’s book “Porcupine’s Pie”. The event will be held at Scrawl Books at 11911 Freedom Dr. on Saturday at 11 a.m.

(Editor’s Note: This is just a limited list of all the events taking place in the Reston area this weekend. If you have an event you would like to ensure is listed on the website, be sure to submit it to our Events Calendar.)

  • This weekend is the last chance to catch The Diary of Anne Frank performed by Herndon High School’s theatre class in the school’s Black Box Theater. Performances are tonight and Saturday, from 7-9 p.m. and a matinee performance on Sunday from 2-4 p.m. Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for adults and can be ordered at the door or online.
  • Saturday afternoon, Dorothy Moss, a curator of the National Portrait Gallery, will be hosting a discussion at the Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market Street). The event starts at 3 p.m. and is free and open to the public.
  • Saturday evening, the YMCA Fairfax County Reston (12196 Sunset Hills Rd) will be hosting its 19th annual community gala. The event starts at 6 p.m with a silent auction and cocktails, with dinner at 9 p.m. and dancing until 11 p.m.
  • On Sunday, the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia and The Bird Feeder store are cosponsoring a free bird walk through Reston. The group will meet at Glade Drive and Twin Branches Road for a tour along the Glade Stream Valley Trail. The walk runs from 7:30-10:30 a.m.
  • If you’re feeling less outdoorsy, Professor Harry Butowsky will host a lecture on the History of World War II from 2-4 p.m. in the Reston Regional Library.

Photo via Reston Town Center

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