52°Mostly Cloudy

by RestonNow.com — April 21, 2017 at 2:45 pm 0

It looks like it might be a rainy weekend, but the good news is there are plenty of indoor activities scheduled in Reston. And forecasters say the rain isn’t going to hit until later Saturday, so there still should be a good opportunity to enjoy the outdoors too.

Here is just a sampling of what there is to do in Reston and the surrounding area this weekend:

  • The Reduced Shakespeare Company will perform “Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play” tonight and Saturday at 8 p.m. at Reston Community Center’s CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road). Tickets are $25 for Reston residents and $50 for non-residents.
  • Reston Association’s Habitat Heroes program will participate in an Earth Day activity Saturday, from 10 a.m. to noon. They will be removing invasive species and planting native species to help the long-term restoration project at the Wainwright Recreation Area.
  • Herndon High School (700 Bennett St.) will present “Guys and Dolls” for three performances this weekend: tonight and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee. Tickets are $15.
  • The opening reception for “Radcliffe Bailey: The Great Dismal Swamp” at Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market St.) is 5-7 p.m. Saturday. The exhibit will be on display through August.
  • Saturday is Record Store Day, and there will be plenty of offers to mark the day at Right On Records (731 Elden St., Herndon).
  • The Reston-Herndon Little League Opening Day parade and celebration is Saturday at 9:30 a.m. at Reston Town Center. The Washington Nationals’ Racing Presidents will participate as part of the league’s new partnership with the Nats.
  • Mayflowers Floral Studio (11959 Market St.) will host classes in tulip selection, arranging and care this Saturday and next, from 2-3:30 p.m. each day.
  • Other events at Reston Town Center this weekend will include live music at World of Beer (1888 Explorer St.) tonight and Saturday, Earth Day celebrations Saturday from 11 a.m to 3 p.m. at Greater Reston Arts Center and in Town Square Park, and exercise in the pavilion Sunday from 11 a.m. to noon.
  • First Blooms” by artist Dorothy Donahey remains on exhibit at Reston Art Gallery and Studios (11400 Washington Plaza W.), which is open from noon to 5 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.
  • The art exhibit “A Respite from Chaos” will remain on display at Reston Community Center’s Jo Ann Rose Gallery (1609 Washington Plaza N.) through the month of April.
  • The Reston Tour d’Art, a guided bicycle tour of the community’s outdoor art, is slated for Saturday from 9:30-11:30 a.m., beginning at the Lake Newport tennis courts (11452 Baron Cameron Ave.). The event is free, but registration is required.
  • NextStop Theatre Company (269 Sunset Park Drive, Herndon) is performing “Boeing, Boeing,” and the show has been extended through May 7. Performances this weekend are tonight and Saturday at 8 p.m., along with 2 p.m. matinees Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $35-$55.
  • The Blue Street Blues Band will perform tonight from 7-10 p.m. at Café Montemarte (1625 Washington Plaza N.).
  • Award-winning author Hena Khan will be reading from her new book, “Amina’s Voice,” from 2-3:30 p.m. Sunday at Scrawl Books (11862 Market St.)
  • Kalypso’s (1617 Washington Plaza N.) will have live music tonight, 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., from Sista Pat & One Vibe. DJ Kram will play Top 40 hits Saturday night.
  • Vinafera Wine Bar and Bistro (11750 Sunrise Valley Drive) has live music from 7-10 p.m. every Friday and Saturday night in April. In addition, legendary local DJ Cerphe Colwell will be signing copies of his new book from 3-5 p.m. Saturday.

by Dave Emke — April 20, 2017 at 1:15 pm 12 Comments

Bakery-restaurant chain Le Pain Quotidien is planning to move into Reston Town Center.

According to a permit filed recently with Fairfax County, the Belgium-based restaurant is looking to take over the site at 11909 Democracy Drive, between Potomac River Running and Banana Republic. That is the former home of Cosi, which closed in September when the company filed for bankruptcy.

The menu at Le Pain Quotidien (French for “The Daily Bread”) includes not just bread, but soups and salads, cheeses, sandwiches, desserts and more. The chain has more than 200 locations on five continents, including two in Fairfax County: at Tysons Corner Center and in Merrifield’s Mosaic District.

by RestonNow.com — April 14, 2017 at 2:45 pm 1 Comment

It’s Easter weekend, and it’s time to celebrate all things spring.

Whether outdoor activities are your thing or you want to sit and enjoy a good show, there are plenty of options in Reston and the surrounding area this weekend.

Here’s just a sampling of how you can have a good time this holiday weekend:

  • Lake Anne Brew House (11424 Washington Plaza W.) will celebrate its one-year anniversary all day Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., with music, food, drink specials and more.
  • The Herndon Municipal Center (777 Lynn St.) will host an Easter egg hunt from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday. The event will also include a coloring mural, petting zoo, photo op with the Easter Bunny and more. Registration is $9 in advance, $10 at the event.
  • Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares will perform at Reston Community Center’s CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road) at 8 p.m. Saturday. The group’s goal is “to enrich the heritage of the Bulgarian solo folk song with harmonies and arrangements that highlighted its beautiful timbres and irregular rhythms.” Tickets are $25 for Reston residents and $35 for non-residents.
  • The art exhibit “A Respite from Chaos” will remain on display at Reston Community Center’s Jo Ann Rose Gallery (1609 Washington Plaza N.) through the month of April.
  • Frying Pan Farm Park will pay a visit to Reston Regional Library (11925 Bowman Towne Drive) at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. The children’s event will be an opportunity to meet with baby chickens, hear a story and make a craft to take home. (Note: The library will be closed Sunday in observance of Easter.)
  • Reston Confections, a custom bakery, will have a pop-up shop at Pottery Barn (11937 Market St.) on Saturday from noon to 5 p.m.
  • Other events at Reston Town Center this weekend will include live entertainment at World of Beer (1888 Explorer St.) Friday and Saturday nights; a French cooking class at Mon Ami Gabi (11950 Democracy Drive); and exercise in the pavilion Sunday.
  • Tom Saputo and Friends will perform tonight from 7:30-10:30 p.m. at Café Montemarte (1625 Washington Plaza N.), and a ukelele and slack-key guitar performance by Michael Keale is slated for 6-9 p.m. Sunday.
  • Vinafera Wine Bar and Bistro (11750 Sunrise Valley Drive) has live music every Friday and Saturday night in April, from 7-10 p.m.
  • NextStop Theatre Company (269 Sunset Park Drive, Herndon) is performing “Boeing, Boeing,” and the show has been extended through May 7. Performances this weekend are tonight and Saturday at 8 p.m., along with a 2 p.m. matinee Sunday. Tickets are $35-$55.
  • First Blooms” by artist Dorothy Donahey remains on exhibit at Reston Art Gallery and Studios (11400 Washington Plaza W.), which is open from noon to 5 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.
  • Kalypso’s (1617 Washington Plaza N.) will have live music tonight, 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., from The Vandelays. DJ Kram will play Top 40 hits Saturday night.

by Dave Emke — April 13, 2017 at 4:00 pm 1 Comment

The Washington Capitals have big expectations this playoff season, which starts tonight at the Verizon Center with Game 1 of the team’s opening-round series.

Some local Capitals fans had the opportunity for even more excitement Thursday morning, however, as Reston was one of eight locations in the DC Metro area the Capitals chose for a giveaway contest.

At each location, five bobblehead figures of Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby were hidden. Hints were provided on the Capitals’ social media accounts, and the fans who found the hidden figures were rewarded with prizes including signed memorabilia and game tickets.

The five bobbleheads in Reston were hidden at Reston Town Center. The first to be found — which was the first of all 40 to be tracked down — was located in the Town Center pavilion by Jared Puleo just after 9 a.m.

“I walked in and showed everybody in my office,” said Puleo, a Purcellville resident who works at software company Daon. “I was stoked.”

Puleo, who said he will be attending tonight’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, won a signed puck from the team.

Other hides within the Town Center, according to hints posted by the Capitals, included ones at Fountain Square and within the “A Bird in the Hand” public art installation at Greater Reston Arts Center. That’s where Sheena Dunn of Alexandria, who works at an engineering company off Sunrise Valley Drive, was searching late Thursday morning — but the prize had already been claimed.

“I went to my boss and said it was in Reston Town Center, and he said ‘OK, go!'” said Dunn, a Caps season-ticket holder who said she would also be in attendance for tonight’s game. “It looks like they’re all gone, but it was fun.”

Both Puleo and Dunn said they have tempered optimism for the team during the playoffs. The Capitals, who have never won a Stanley Cup, won the Presidents’ Trophy as the National Hockey League’s best regular-season team this year.

“I’m nervous, as Caps fans always are this time of year,” Puleo said. “But I’m excited and I’m hoping for the best.”

Photo via Jared [email protected] on Twitter

by Dave Emke — April 11, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Today To Be Warmest of Week — Temperatures should get up into the mid-80s today, with humidity rising a little bit as well. The rest of the week should be “pretty springlike.” [Capital Weather Gang]

Tech Networking Event Set for Il Fornaio — Engineers, tech professionals and executives are expected to gather Wednesday evening at Il Fornaio (11990 Market St.) for a “Wine Wednesday” networking event. Registration is free. [Eventbrite]

Dispatchers Honored This Week — This is National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, and the county’s dispatchers are being recognized for their work at the “first of the first responders.” [Fairfax County]

Herndon TED Talks to Feature Powerful Speakers — The third annual TEDxHerndon event is slated for May 6. The lineup of presenters is filled with innovators, leaders and social changemakers including writers, nonprofit founders, CEOs and more. “Early bird” tickets, available through Monday, are $40. [TEDxHerndon]

by RestonNow.com — April 10, 2017 at 4:00 pm 9 Comments

The 26th annual Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival is just a little over a month away.

Thousands of people are expected to enjoy the festival, which will take place May 19-21 at Reston Town Center. The event is the largest fundraiser of the year for the Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market St.).

Around 200 exhibiting artists will be filling the streets to show off their wares during the event. The festival is an honoree in the America’s Best Art Fair Awards competition, which recognized it as one of the top juried art fairs in the country.

The event will begin with a kickoff party Friday, May 19 from 6-9 p.m., featuring complimentary food and wine along with the opportunity to mingle with artists and other dignitaries. Tickets are $50.

The festival itself will follow the next two days, with admission a $5 suggested donation for adults. It will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 20; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, May 21.

All interior streets of the Town Center will be reserved for pedestrians only, leaving an 11-block art walk. Boston Properties’ parking fees will be waived during the event, including during the kickoff party Friday.

File photo

by RestonNow.com — April 7, 2017 at 2:45 pm 0

Between Founder’s Day on Saturday and the Runners Marathon of Reston on Sunday, this is a big weekend for major events in Reston.

But even if you want to stay away from the big Founder’s Day crowd and long-distance running doesn’t sound like a fun time for you, there are plenty of other ways you can enjoy yourself this weekend.

Here is just a sampling of what’s going on in the Reston area in the next couple days.

  • Saturday at Lake Anne Plaza, Founder’s Day will mark Reston’s 53rd anniversary. The festivities will take place between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. and will include fun for the whole family. Make sure to check out the full schedule.
  • The Runners Marathon of Reston will have runners all over South Reston from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday. There are still a few slots open for registration, and volunteers are also still needed.
  • Benefitting the Friends of Reston, the Nature House 5K run/walk will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Walker Nature Center (11450 Glade Drive). The course mostly consists of paved walkways in neighborhoods as well as pathways at the Nature Center and through Glade Stream Valley Park.
  • Two concerts are scheduled for Sunday at CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road) at Reston Community Center. Trout Fishing in America will be performing at 3 p.m., with Dana and the Glorious Birds going on stage at 7. Tickets for the first show are $5 for Reston residents and $10 for non-residents; tickets for the evening show are $15 for Reston residents and $20 for non-residents.
  • NextStop Theatre Company (269 Sunset Park Drive, Herndon) is performing “Boeing, Boeing” through April 30. Performances this weekend are tonight at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 7 p.m., along with a 2 p.m. matinee Sunday. Tickets are $35-$55.
  • Events at Reston Town Center this weekend include wine tasting at Il Fornaio (11990 Market St.) on Saturday and Zumba in the pavilion on Sunday.
  • The opening reception for “First Blooms” by artist Dorothy Donahey at Reston Art Gallery and Studios (11400 Washington Plaza W.) will be Sunday from 2-4 p.m.
  • The drama department at Herndon Middle School (901 Locust St.) will present “Romeo & Juliet” tonight at 7 p.m., and at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $10.
  • At Reston Regional Library (11925 Bowman Towne Drive), there will be a showing of kids’ movie “Open Season” and a young-adult writing workshop on Saturday.
  • A bird walk is scheduled for the Twin Branches Nature Trail from 7:30-10:30 a.m. Sunday. No pre-registration is required for the free activity.
  • There’s No Place Like Home” will end its exhibit at ArtSpace Herndon (750 Center St.) on Saturday.
  • Kalypso’s (1617 Washington Plaza N.) will have live music tonight, 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., from Revelator Hill featuring Bobby Thompson. DJ Kram will play Top 40 hits Saturday night.
  • There will be a dance from 2:30-4:30 p.m. Sunday at Reston Community Center (2310 Colts Neck Road). Dancers of all skill levels are welcome to foxtrot, swing, cha-cha and waltz. Cost is $5 for Reston residents and $10 for non-residents.

by Dave Emke — April 7, 2017 at 9:00 am 1 Comment

Runners Marathon of Reston is Sunday — Some volunteers are still needed for the Runners Marathon of Reston, which will be held Sunday from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in South Reston. There are still a few slots available for runners as well. Drivers are reminded to be on the lookout for runners on roads including South Lakes Drive, Soapstone Drive, Lawyers Road and Sunrise Valley Drive. [Reston Now]

Brew House, Kiln & Co. Collaborating for Event — Kiln & Co. will officially open its pottery and custard shop at Lake Anne Plaza on Saturday during Founder’s Day. Tonight, however, it will be part of a special event at Lake Anne Brew House. Special beer and custard combinations will be served. [Lake Anne Brew House/Facebook]

Nats’ Opening Week Celebration at Reston Town Center — Fans are invited to get a picture with one of the Washington Nationals’ Racing Presidents today from 3-6 p.m., and special Happy Hour deals will be available at American Tap Room when the game starts at 3. [Reston Town Center/Facebook]

Open House Set for Preschool — Bright Horizons at Commerce Metro Center (11400 Commerce Park Drive) will host an open house event April 17-20 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. each day. Parents are invited to learn about what the school has to offer their children. [Bright Horizons]

Proposed Changes to South Lakes Fairfax Connector Schedule — The public is invited to give its feedback on a series of proposed changes to the Fairfax Connector schedule and routes in the county. One of the proposals is listed as “minor schedule adjustments to address crowding issues associated with ridership to and from South Lakes High School” on Route 551. [Fairfax County]

by Dave Emke — April 6, 2017 at 9:00 am 4 Comments

Magazine Article Makes Case for Paid Parking at RTC — A breakdown of the paid-parking controversy at Reston Town Center that appears in the April issue of Washingtonian argues that “parking is never actually free” and that RTC “was designed so people could get there without a car.” [Washingtonian]

Fifth-Graders Debate School Issues — Students from Terraset and Forest Edge elementary schools recently worked on their speech-writing and public-speaking skills as they squared off in a debate. Topics argued during the event included school uniforms, homework and recycling. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

County Asks Residents to Report Potholes Properly — Sharing a news blast originally written last February, Fairfax County is reminding residents that they can call or use an online reporting tool to let VDOT know where potholes are in the county. [Fairfax County/Twitter]

Technology Services Company Moves to Reston — CDW has moved its D.C.-area headquarters, one of 24 offices nationwide, to Edmund Halley Drive. Among the features of the new space is a technology demonstration lab featuring the latest technologies from the company’s top partners. [CDW]

Fairfax County Republican Delegate Stepping Down — Del. Dave Albo (R-Fairfax), who has served the area in the Virginia House of Delegates since 1994, announced his retirement Wednesday on the House floor. Among his legislative contributions, Albo listed securing transportation funding for Northern Virginia, closing DUI loopholes, allowing marijuana-derived oils to be used to treat epilepsy, boosting punishments for child molesters and writing the language that banned smoking in restaurants. [Richmond.com]

by Dave Emke — April 4, 2017 at 2:45 pm 23 Comments

A new promotional program this month is designed to help hungry Reston Town Center visitors learn a little more about restaurant offerings.

Savor The Town began Monday at the Town Center and has participants visiting 10 different eateries to gain stamps in a passport. To gain a stamp, customers ask their server or bartender about the “Savor the Town” special when making a purchase.

Those who receive all 10 stamps by May 1 will be eligible to attend a free Happy Hour celebration.

Restaurants participating in the promotion are:

  • American Tap Room (1811 Library St.)
  • Big Bowl (11915 Democracy Drive)
  • Busara Thai Cuisine (11964 Market St.)
  • M&S Grill (11901 Democracy Drive)
  • Mon Ami Gabi (11950 Democracy Drive)
  • Neyla Mediterranean Bistro (11898 Market St.)
  • Tavern64 (1800 Presidents St.)
  • The Tasting Room Wine Bar & Shop (1816 Library St.)
  • Uncle Julio’s (1827 Library St.)
  • World of Beer (1888 Explorer St.)

Information provided within the passport recommends stopping at World of Beer for “your last call” and receiving free parking validation there. A number of the other restaurants on the tour also offer parking validation.

The celebration for those who complete the tour will be from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, May 10 at American Tap Room. Those who do not finish the tour are also welcome to attend and “take advantage of special pricing on food and beverage offerings,” according to information provided within the passport.

“Savor the Town is a fun way to increase visitor frequency and attract new patrons to the many great restaurants at Reston Town Center,” said spokesperson Kathy Walsh on behalf of RTC owner Boston Properties. “Look for additional creative events like this coming to RTC throughout the rest of the year.”

As part of the program, RTC is also offering $5 one-trip vouchers for Uber. A new promotional code is scheduled to be released each week on the RTC website as well as its Facebook page.

Passports can be picked up at RTC’s Information Center (1818 Discovery St.) or concierge desk (11951 Freedom Drive), or from a participating business.

by Dave Emke — April 4, 2017 at 9:00 am 2 Comments

County’s Eastern Portion Closing Business Gap — The western part of Fairfax County, including Reston and Tysons, continues to far and away lead the county’s commercial economy. But the quickest growing nonresidential properties of the county, according to newly released data, are in the Springfield and Alexandria areas. [Washington Business Journal]

Parents of Special-Needs Students Form Own PTA — The Fairfax County Special Education PTA is planning a meeting April 25 to vote on its bylaws and form an executive board. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Parking Controversy the Source of April Fool’s Fodder — At least a couple creative local residents decided to have some fun over the weekend with stories about what “happened” at the Town Center on April 1. [Restonian/Medium.com]

Grab a Free Ice Cream Cone — Today is “Free Cone Day” at Ben & Jerry’s, including the local shop at 11916 Market St. at Reston Town Center. The company has celebrated the annual event since 1979. Cones will be available from noon to 8 p.m. [Ben & Jerry’s]

by Dave Emke — April 3, 2017 at 2:45 pm 35 Comments

A new restaurant that opened Monday at Reston Town Center is offering fast meals in a familiar space.

Hen Penny is now open at 1820 Discovery St., offering chicken sandwiches, salads and more to its customers. Wesley Albright, the restaurant’s assistant manager, said the Southern country-fried chicken restaurant uses a special recipe to give its meat a unique taste.

“It’s a special flour that we use, and we put all our chicken in a pressure cooker so it keeps it really nice and juicy and moist,” he said. “Our menu is pretty small, but we have excellent food here.”

Hen Penny is a spinoff of Pheast Food Group’s Hen Quarter restaurants in Alexandria and Silver Spring. Ashraf Mokhtar, the restaurant’s general manager, said the company hopes to open 20 to 25 more locations of Hen Penny in the future.

The location is the former home of burger restaurant BRB, which Pheast Food Group closed in January with a plan to bring a “new concept” to the space. That new concept is the only place like it in the Town Center, Albright said.

“When it was BRB, there’s tons of places you can go and get burgers,” said Albright, who served in the same position at that restaurant. “But around here, this is the only place that has this type of chicken.”

The restaurant is not validating parking, Albright said, but he encouraged use of online and pickup orders for people who want to get in and out quickly. Albright said regular customers had been asking for updates about the location since BRB closed and there was already a healthy crowd in the eatery during the early lunch hour Monday.

“We have a lot of regular guests here — a lot of people who work in the Town Center, live in the Town Center, people who come across the street from the offices,” he said.

The restaurant is providing free samples at its front door as it celebrates its opening. In addition, Mokhtar said special discounts can be provided for catering orders.

by RestonNow.com — March 31, 2017 at 2:45 pm 4 Comments

April is here and the springtime festivities are right around the corner.

There is always a lot to do in Reston and the surrounding area, and this weekend is no exception. Kids and adults alike have plenty of options for fun as we welcome the calendar’s fourth month.

Here are just some ideas for what to do in the Reston area this weekend:

  • Reston Community Center’s annual “Eggnormous” Easter egg hunt is Saturday from 10-11:30 a.m. at Lake Fairfax Park (1400 Lake Fairfax Way). The free event is sure to be a big hit for all the kids. For more information, visit the Reston Community Center website.
  • Also at Lake Fairfax Park on Saturday, volunteers are sought to help clean up the watershed. The event, one of nine at parks around the county, is set for 9-11:30 a.m.
  • Dogs will be the guests of honor Saturday during the “Wag Fest” celebration in Reston. The event, set for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., will be at the North County Governmental Center (1801 Cameron Glen Drive).
  • The last two performances of Reston Community Players’ “Rock of Ages” will be tonight and Saturday at 8 p.m. at CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road). Tickets for each performance of the show are $25.
  • Reston Town Center will be host to an MS Walk on Sunday beginning at 9 a.m., with registration starting at 8.
  • The annual April Fool’s Day prank at Reston Town Center will be taking place all-day Saturday at Fountain Square.
  • Other events at Reston Town Center this weekend include the Rings for Spring bridal event, Easter egg decorating at Williams-Sonoma, kids’ cooking class at Il Fornaio and more.
  • The A Bridal Show will also be taking place in Reston this weekend, Sunday at the Bechtel Conference Center (1801 Alexander Bell Drive).
  • The Tidewater Guitar Quartet will play Sunday at 4 p.m. at ArtSpace Herndon (750 Center St.). Tickets are $20.
  • The children’s book sale at Reston Regional Library (11925 Bowman Towne Drive) will be from 1-4 p.m. Sunday.
  • The Friends of Reston’s Environmental Film Series will show “Hometown Habitat” tonight from 7-9 p.m. at Walker Nature Center (11450 Glade Drive).
  • Kalypso’s (1617 Washington Plaza N.) will have live music tonight, 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., from Innertwined. DJ Kram will play Top 40 hits Saturday night.

by RestonNow.com — March 31, 2017 at 11:30 am 30 Comments

Defense contractor Leidos is considering leaving its current headquarters in Reston Town Center (11951 Freedom Drive) for a new home, the Washington Business Journal reports.

Citing sources close to the company, the WBJ says the expansion in workforce brought about by the company’s merger with Lockheed Martin last year has it reevaluating its space needs. Leidos employees about 33,000 people worldwide, according to information it provides to investors.

According to the WBJ report, Comstock Properties’ 1900 Reston Metro Plaza is among the properties being considered as a potential new headquarters for Leidos. Still seeking an anchor tenant, the site was considered by Nestlé before that company chose Arlington for its U.S. headquarters. The Helmut Jahn-designed building, adjacent to the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station, is currently in its final stages of construction.

WBJ says Boston Properties, owner of Leidos’ current home, has proposed new headquarters space for the firm as well.

by Dave Emke — March 29, 2017 at 4:35 pm 72 Comments

In a statement sent to media Wednesday afternoon, Boston Properties responded to recent developments in the ongoing saga regarding paid parking at Reston Town Center.

The statement comes after a lawsuit filed by Jackson’s restaurant, an announcement by Reston Merchants Association of continued declining sales, and a statement from the Reston Citizens Association denouncing BXP’s apparent unwillingness to compromise. Released through public relations firm Fallston Group, Boston Properties’ statement claims:

  • There is “variability” in month-to-month performance of RTC merchants. Some have reported increases in sales in the past 90 days, some have reported flat or decreasing sales.
  • Boston Properties continues to work with retailers to provide customer support, parking validations and other assistance regarding the paid parking implementation.
  • Planned enhancements of the system include the addition of change machines to better accommodate cash customers, as well as improvements to payment kiosks.
  • Car counts represent “high adoption rates” of the paid-parking policies. More than 112,000 downloads of the ParkRTC app have been made, including 22,000 in the past week.
  • The $8 million of annual paid-parking revenue estimated by groups including the Reston Citizens Association is “outdated and inaccurate,” and true expectations are “significantly less.”
  • Boston Properties is committed to reinvesting a comparable value to its profit from paid parking back into the Town Center and the Reston community through ongoing maintenance, capital improvements, community events and charitable donations.
  • BXP is “very confident” it will prevail against all legal challenges related to paid parking.

The full text of the statement is below:

Boston Properties is prohibited by the terms of most of its leases from commenting on the specific sales results of its individual tenants. In any given year, Reston Town Center’s retail tenants see fluctuations in sales for a variety of reasons, from weather to seasonality to marketplace conditions. Additionally, monthly sales trends can vary widely among those tenants, depending on their business model, marketplace adaptation and sales tactics.  Based on the information provided to date under the terms of our leases, we have seen variability in the month to month performance of the merchants at Reston Town Center prior to the introduction of paid parking. That trend has continued over the past 90 days, with some tenants reporting sales are up and others reporting flat or decreased sales.

Boston Properties has always been committed to working with its tenants for mutual success. Since paid parking was implemented, we have worked with our retailers to provide customer support, parking validations and other assistance as the Reston Town Center complex adjusts to paid parking. (As a reminder, parking in the garages is free on weekends and select holidays, and parking remains free at all times for retail employees.) Boston Properties continues to monitor paid parking adoption and will consider all appropriate policy and technology amendments as needed to ensure the long-term success of the Town Center. For instance, upcoming planned enhancements include the addition of change machines to better accommodate cash customers and improvements to the payment kiosks.

Additionally, Boston Properties’ car count continues to reflect high adoption rates of the new parking policies by the community. The ParkRTC app has been downloaded more than 112,000 times — with 22,000+ people signing up in the last week alone — and to date, nearly 85,000 individuals have utilized the app to pay for parking. Since paid parking was rolled out in January, garage usage by non-office tenants have steadily increased, week over week.

Regarding the $8 million annual revenue number that has been repeatedly referenced, the estimated figure was from 2011 and was based on very different operating assumptions. It is both outdated and inaccurate. While Boston Properties does not report property-specific performance, revenue expectations are significantly less, as the vast majority of visitors and tenants are either validated or do not pay for parking. Further, Boston Properties is committed to reinvesting a comparable value to its profit from paid parking back into the Town Center and the Reston community through ongoing maintenance, capital improvements, community events and charitable donations.

Finally, regarding recent legal action, Boston Properties is very confident it will prevail against any and all legal challenges related to paid parking.

Much of the information provided in the statement echoes previous statements from Boston Properties regarding the paid-parking initiative.

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