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by RestonNow.com March 19, 2018 at 3:30 pm 10 Comments

A public hearing for Boston Properties’ Reston Gateway project, which is designed to bridge the future Reston Town Center Metro Station with the community’s urban core is set for June 27 before the Fairfax County Planning Commission.

Boston Properties has proposed to include up to 3.5 million square feet of transit-oriented development on 33 acres immediately north of the future RTC Metro Station.

The Reston Planning & Zoning Committee will receive a presentation on the proposal at 7:30 p.m. today in the North County Government Center (1801 Cameron Glen Drive).

Fannie Mae will lease roughly 850,000 square feet of the property. At full buildout, Reston Gateway may include up to 1,700 residential units, 570 hotel rooms, 200,000 square feet of retail and nearly 2 million square feet of office space.

by RestonNow.com March 16, 2018 at 2:30 pm 1 Comment

Final tweaks to a shared parking agreement are underway as Boston Properties prepares to construct the last office property available in Reston Town Center’s urban core.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will consider a proposal Tuesday to remove roughly 78,823 square feet of future office space covered under RTC’s shared parking agreement.

Some office tenants in a future office building on Block 5, home to 17Fifty (1750 Presidents Drive), which is set to open in 2020, will park in reserved spots in a below-grade garage.

The shared parking agreement serves Phase I of RTC, a 44-acre swath of land in the center’s 84-acre urban core. If the proposal is approved, 226 parking spaces will be reserved for corresponding future office space equal to 86,923 square feet and 3,000 spaces will remain for shared uses.

The request is in response to a change in the mix of uses in the area, particularly in 17Fifty, the future of home of Leidos, Instead of a mix of office and retail, the 17-story tower will be solely composed of office space.

The overall impact of the change is minimal, said Rich Ellis, vice president of Boston Properties.

“All we’re doing is a re-tabulation of what’s required as several uses have changed,” he said.

Shared parking for the theater, eating establishments, hotels and hotel function space will remain unchanged.

Ellie Codding, the county’s director of the code development and the compliance division of land development services, said the change covers proposed buildings in response to a tenant-specific request.

Previously under this agreement, parking spaces were being shared by all office, retail, restaurant, hotel, and theatre uses. The modified agreement, if approved, would decrease the square footage of office space that shares parking under the agreement,” she said.

A parking analysis indicates 3,000 parking spaces are “sufficient to serve the mix of remaining non-residential uses” and will not reduce parking beyond 29.3 percent, a reduction approved by the county in 2014, according to county documents.

Photo via handout

by Fatimah Waseem March 14, 2018 at 10:15 am 7 Comments

Muse Paintbar is opening at 11943 Democracy Drive in the fall, according to a company representative. The wine-and-paint studio will have a 3,000-square-foot storefront.

Muse Paintbar has more than two dozen locations along the East Coast from Portland, Maine to Virginia Beach. In the D.C. Metro region, it has locations at the National Harbor, in Gaithersburg and at Merrifield’s Mosaic District.

Customers can receive painting instruction while accessing the restaurant and bar. Muse Paintbar hosts painting sessions daily at its locations. All ages are welcome and no prior experience is required.

(Editor’s note: This post was updated at 2:57 p.m. to remove a reference to The Eyewear Gallery and update Muse Paintbar’s address. A company representative for Muse Paintbar incorrectly stated the address was 11900 Market Street, not 11943 Democracy Drive)

Photo via Muse Paintbar

by Fatimah Waseem March 8, 2018 at 9:00 am 4 Comments

Big wins for Boston Properties — Ray Ritchey, senior vice president of Boston Properties, can’t remember a better year for the company, which has inked major deals since last July. [Bisnow]

Last chance to hit the ice — The season for skating at the Ice Skating Pavilion in Reston Town Center will be over this Sunday. Get on the ice while you can. Ice ice baby! [Reston Town Center]

If you’re concerned about issues in Reston — The Reston Citizens Association, a civic, non-profit organization, is looking for volunteers for various committees. [Reston Citizens Association]

Free caregiver support group — Are you a caregiver for an older adult? The county is offering a free online program to help you navigate the process. [Fairfax County Government]

Photo by Ruth Sievers

by Fatimah Waseem March 6, 2018 at 10:15 am 18 Comments

Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls, an Annapolis-based restaurant, will replace Red Velvet Cupcakery (11939 Democracy Drive).

Buildout for the 800-square-foot restaurant will begin in late summer, according Dan Beck, lobster maven and the company’s founder.

The news comes as Aaron Gordon, owner of Red Velvet Cupcakery, announces plans to shutter his business at Reston Town Center on May 27 — a move he hinted at last year.

Gordon has vehemently and visibly opposed Boston Properties’ paid parking structure — a program that drove his decision to close his store.

“I have no interest in staying with our current landlord, which in my opinion, completely disregards it’s retail partners,” Gordon said. He may reconsider finding another location in Reston in the future.

Late last year, Mason’s opened its first franchise locations in Baltimore, Md. and National Harbor. Masons’ serves lobster rolls, lobster bisque, clam chowder, salads, and more.

Beck said his company selected Reston Town Center because the franchisee lives in Reston and because the community’s urban core has “strong foot traffic and strong demographics,” especially customers from nearby offices.

The store will be similar to other locations, but will also include a “very strong Monday through Friday lunch business.” Customers will be able to place online orders through an app.

Plans for build-out are still on the drawing board as the company works through the permitting process. The restaurant’s sign should be up in the coming weeks.

by Anna Merod February 14, 2018 at 2:30 pm 3 Comments

The Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival is returning to Reston Town Center for its 27th annual event, and this year the festival is a day longer.

The festival established by the Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE) will run from May 18-20 at 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. each day and will bring more than 200 artists from across the country to show original works in 16 different categories of fine art and fine craft.

“The Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival is an event unlike any other. The quality of the fine art is exceptional, and the variety ensures that there is something for everyone, from woodwork to jewelry, ceramics, and painting,” said GRACE Executive Director and Curator Lily Siegel in a press release.

Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market will also be joining the festival as a title sponsor in time for its move to the Reston Town Center this spring. The market will be providing attendees food at multiple locations throughout the festival.

On top of the showings there will be a festival party for artists, sponsors and their guests from 7:30-9 p.m. There will also be an announcement of the 10 winners of the Awards of Excellence who will receive $500 in cash prize, a blue ribbon for their artist booth and admission into next year’s festival.

Donation tickets cost $5 per adult to benefit GRACE. There will also be free parking in all Reston Town Center garages throughout the entire festival.

by Fatimah Waseem February 13, 2018 at 1:30 pm 14 Comments

Reston Town Center will welcome &pizza, a fast-casual pizza restaurant known for its oblong-shaped pizzas, this fall.

The new tenant will take up a 1,363-square-feet space on 1818 Library Street, the former location of Teavana.

No word yet on the exact opening date, a Boston Properties retail property manager told Reston Now.

In the spring, Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market is expected to open on the ground floor of The Signature, a new 508-unit apartment building at 11850 Freedom Drive.

&pizza has six other spots in Virginia, as well as other locations in Maryland, the District, New York and Pennsylvania.

Photo via &pizza

by Fatimah Waseem February 8, 2018 at 12:00 pm 86 Comments

The Signature, a new 508-unit apartment building in the heart of Reston Town Center, will welcome a new retail tenant this year.

Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market, a gourmet market that says it offers restaurant-quality foods, imported cheeses and meats roasted in the Old Tradition, is set to open in the spring.

For Balducci’s, the new location at 11850 Freedom Drive is a homecoming. The store’s previous site in The Spectrum, just down the street from the current location, closed in 2005.

Construction crews are currently working on the site. An exact date on the store’s opening hasn’t been set yet, according to a company representative. Balducci’s has six other stores in Maryland, Virginia, New York and Connecticut.

The store is hiring for all positions. To apply, email [email protected]

Photo by Fatimah Waseem

by Fatimah Waseem February 7, 2018 at 2:30 pm 43 Comments

It’s official: Appalachian Spring, one of the first tenants in Reston Town Center, has shuttered its doors.

The handcrafted gifts and handmade jewelry store opened its Reston location in 1990.

The company is shifting its focus to its Rockville location after the store on 1187 Market Street officially closed on Jan. 24, a company representative told Reston Now.

When the closure was first made public, the store’s president told Reston Now that customer traffic dipped considerably over the last few months.

Paid parking, which was instituted last year, was a common complaint by customers, he said.

Photo by Fatimah Waseem

by Fatimah Waseem February 7, 2018 at 10:15 am 0

Local artists will showcase their pieces at a ground floor gallery of the Signature, Reston Town Center’s newest “luxury” apartment building.

Through a partnership with the Greater Reston Arts Center, Signature (11850 Freedom Drive) will feature a year-round schedule of exhibitions. This month’s gallery showcases the work of Craig Moran, a D.C.-based painter known for boldly patterned canvases.

Moran uses collages and computer manipulations to create his work, which combines elements of the natural world and portraits in a flattened space.

His artistic process begins by cutting and arranging shapes from street art, photographs, old paintings and books. He then rearranges the pieces using image editing software and transfers the final work to a painting. An opening reception is set for March 1 from 6-8 p.m.

Exhibits will remain open to the public every Tuesday through Saturday at Signature. The gallery is the product of a partnership between Boston Properties, Bozzuto and GRACE. It is sponsored by Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market.

Organizers said the gallery merges the vision of the Signature, which aims to creating communal spaces for residents.

“This partnership provides a perfect opportunity for GRACE to regularly celebrate and support local artists through exhibitions of their work as the programming in our current Town Center space becomes more dedicated to introducing national and international artists to Reston and the DMV,” said GRACE’s Executive Director and Curator Lily Siegel.

A grand opening for Signature is set for Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Artwork by Craig Moran

by Fatimah Waseem January 31, 2018 at 10:00 am 16 Comments

Leidos Holdings has signed a new full-building lease for a 17-story office building Boston Properties plans to complete in Reston Town Center by early 2020.

The information technology contractor, which already has offices in Reston, will shift its headquarters to the building on 1750 President Street, according to a release by the company.

“Our new space will give us the opportunity to build on our culture and brand as a combined company, as well as be able to better tailor our working environment to meet employee needs,” wrote Leidos chairman and chief executive officer Roger Krone.

The company began an 18-month search across the region after acquiring a division of Lockheed Martin in 2016. Nearly five years ago, the company separated from SAIC and moved from McLean to RTC’s One and Two Freedom Square.

Construction on the 17Fifty building, which is the last office space to be built in the 86-acre urban core of RTC, is expected to begin in the spring.

Boston Properties’ trophy tower is designed by Shalom Baranes Associates, and will include 8,000 square feet of retail space and a four-floor below-grade parking garage.

Katie Yanushonis, vice president of Boston Properties said she is confident that new building will fit the company’s effort to retain and motivate it’s “world class employee base.”

The terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Rendering via Boston Properties

by Fatimah Waseem January 16, 2018 at 9:00 am 8 Comments

Grand Opening of Nordine Salon Set for Feb. 1 – Nordine Salon & Day Spa opened late last year at 11389 Reston Station Boulevard after moving from Reston Town Center in 2016. The full-service salon’s grand opening will take place from 5:30-7:30 p.m. For more information, contact the owner, Nordine Elbassi, at 703-707-6444. [Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce]

Box-A-Rama at Reston Association — Children will have the chance to construct anything they can imagine out of boxes of all sizes on Saturday at RA headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive) from 9 a.m. to noon. Tickets are $10 for Reston residents and $15 for all others. [Reston Association]

Technology Company in Reston Investigates RapeParabon Nanolabs is helping investigators develop a description of a suspect in the rape of a woman last August. The tool, Snapshot, uses phenotyping to determine the suspect’s features through crime scene DNA. [WNPV]

Photo courtesy of Heather Shaw Menis 

by RestonNow.com January 12, 2018 at 1:00 pm 0

Before we head off into the weekend, let’s take a look back at the biggest stories on Reston Now in recent days.

The following articles were the five most-clicked links on Reston Now this past week.

  1. Vehicles Crashes in to Trader Joe’s
  2. Mediterranean Restaurant in Reston Town Center Closes
  3. Thursday Morning Notes
  4. New Details Surface in the Murder of Reston Couple
  5. M & S Grill in Reston Town Center Closes

Feel free to discuss these topics, your weekend plans or anything else that’s happening locally. Our normal publication schedule will resume on Tuesday, barring any breaking news.

If you have ideas on stories we should cover, email us at [email protected] or submit an anonymous tip. Have a great weekend!

Photo via Twitter @stultzat

by Fatimah Waseem January 12, 2018 at 9:00 am 0

Northern Virginia Community College Reston Center Moves — The center, which is an extension of the Loudoun campus and offers academic programs, events and workforce development opportunities, moved from its location on Wiehle Avenue to 1821 Michael Faraday Drive this week. [NOVA Loudoun Campus via Twitter]

Local Exhibit Shines Beam on Artist Who Believed in UFOs  In a feature in the Washington Post, writer Mark Jenkins delves into the work and life of Paulina Peavy. Her work is on display at Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market Street) through Feb. 17. The center’s executive director, Lily Siegel, will discuss the exhibit on Saturday at 3 p.m. [The Washington Post]

Magical Frolic at Reston’s CenterStage — David Siegel writes about “Peter and the Starcatcher,” a production by Reston Community Players that explains how Peter Pan came to be. Performances are scheduled at CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road) from Jan. 19 through Feb. 3 on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., with a Sunday 2 p.m. matinee on Jan. 28. [The Connection]

File photo by Fatimah Waseem

by Fatimah Waseem January 10, 2018 at 3:00 pm 21 Comments

Scrawl Books, an independent store that opened in late 2015, is turning a page next month.

The store is moving from its pop-up location on 11862 Market Street to 11911 Freedom Drive in mid-February as the building undergoes renovations this year. 

The future site is currently being used as the leasing office for the Signature apartments, a 508-unit residential project with nine levels of underground parking.

“It is a perfect space for Scrawl Books, with room for browsing and our full schedule of author readings, book clubs, and story times,” said Rachel Wood, the bookstore’s owner.

Since November 2016, the bookstore had a pop-up shop on Market Street shared with Truffle Shots and Ella Rue. Over the last year, Scrawl Books sprawled over the entire store, according to Wood. 

A grand opening and ribbon cutting is scheduled for Feb. 18.  As the move takes place, the store is open at Urban Pop at Reston Station on weekdays from 4-8 p.m. and on Sundays at ArtInsights (11921 Freedom Drive). Books can also be purchased online.

Photo courtesy of Rachel Wood


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