A senior housing provider is holding a farewell tour for a building from the ’70s that’s being replaced.
The outreach will include monthly events as residents are eventually relocated to a new facility, Lake Anne House, this summer. The facility’s operator, Fellowship Square, is commemorating the senior living facility where residents currently are.
Lake Anne Fellowship House, built in 1970, provides affordable housing to over 300 seniors; the new facility next door that will provide 240 apartments.
Fellowship Square is asking the public to share memories with anything from Reston’s founding vision to the development of the building and the impact of diverse housing options.
“Fellowship Square is taking the next several months to communally and collectively remember, reflect, share stories, and say good-bye to this community touchpoint that has served as a home for thousands of seniors over the past 50+ years,” Christy Zeitz, CEO of Fellowship Square, said in a statement.
Other farewell programming will include monthly events such as a spring garden event as well as an open house for all in May to visit the building one last time.
WETA’s latest season of “If You Live Here” will feature the community’s story, art and people on Feb. 14 at 8 p.m.. on WETA Metro and 9 p.m. on WETA PBS. Producers describe Reston as one of America’s most successful planned communities.
The show is a house-hunting series hosted by best friends Christine Louise and John Begeny. The hosts tour homes and communities with local realtors and explore neighborhoods in the DC Metro area.
Here’s more from WETA on the show.
This episode shares the history and vision of Robert E. Simon, the “R-E-S” in Reston, and how the water, paths and public art connect residents. Hosts John and Christine visit 3 different homes -with ponds, trails and penthouse views – guided by the show’s first mother-daughter/resident-realtor team, Boofie and Margaret O’Gorman (left).
Other areas on the show include Bowie, Capitol Hill, Del Ray Alexandria, Falls Church and Brookland.
Photo courtesy WETA
Advocates are questioning the design of a new traffic island near Lake Anne Plaza that currently snakes around a crosswalk.
The island allows pedestrians and cyclists from Village Road to pass a right-turn lane and continue past Baron Cameron Avenue.
Previously, the island was essentially a straight shot, but now, the sidewalk circles around a crosswalk signal. The Virginia Department of Transportation said constraints, including updating the sidewalk to conform with the Americans with Disabilities Act, were part of the design.
But advocates suggested that the new crosswalk appears to be worse off for people in wheelchairs.
Bruce Wright, president of the Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling, called the sidewalk design an afterthought and said this often happens.
“Anyone with a wheeled vehicle will have a hard time making the sharp left turn and then swinging around to the right,” he said in an email. “And pedestrians want to walk a direct path.”
He described the design as bad and would have preferred taking out the right-turn slip lane, requiring drivers to make a 90-degree turn.
Wright said FABB has discussed another issue with these designs with county and state transportation departments, noting that steep sides of curbs can lead to cyclists slamming their pedals there, causing crashes.
VDOT says design constraints involved
Transit officials said the upgrades were tied to Lake Anne House, a project to build 240 affordable units for seniors.
A Fairfax County staff report regarding the development previously stated “A pedestrian crosswalk across Village Road, near its intersection with Baron Cameron Avenue, will be provided. An existing pedestrian countdown signal and crosswalk are located on the east side of the site entrance, and will remain, to provide access to the Village Center.”
Fairfax County Department of Transportation spokeswoman Robin Geiger said the developer made the upgrades by right without transit approval.
But a representative for the development, Christy Zeitz, CEO of senior affordable housing provider Fellowship Square, said in an email that the Virginia Department of Transportation “controlled the design of the sidewalk.”
VDOT suggested a permit was involved but couldn’t immediately clarify who signed off on the project. It did acknowledge constraints and implications of the design, though.
“The new ramp is part of the improvements associated with the Lake Anne House site plan (right-of-way improvements are included in VDOT permit #139453) and replaces the existing ramp/sidewalk in the island at that intersection that was non-compliant with ADA requirements and would no longer address pedestrian connectivity between the project site, Village Road and Baron Cameron Avenue,” VDOT spokesperson Ellen Kamilakis wrote in an email.
Site constraints also included traffic signal boxes and at least one underground utility hole, meaning a more standard refuge island was not possible, according to VDOT, leading to the curved path.
“This unfortunately does elongate the length of walkway for pedestrians traveling across Baron Cameron Ave. to the east side of Village Road from the existing condition, pre-construction,” Kamilakis wrote.
With the design, ponding within the sidewalk shouldn’t occur.
‘Mini-golf putting course’
“You’re under certain rules when you’re redesigning something,” Reston resident Fionnuala Quinn said. “However, the redesign doesn’t serve the purpose that the island is for.”
Quinn, who works as a consultant and seeks to promote traffic improvements through her business, questioned the design through a video on Twitter, joking it was a “new mini-golf putting course.”
The corgi was highly impressed by the reconstructed pedestrian island & told us that she heard that it’s a part of a new mini-golf putting course pic.twitter.com/odHTOKBa7F
— Finn Q (@FinnQuinn) January 20, 2022
She noted she didn’t know the background of the design but contacted Fairfax County regarding her concerns. County officials suggested a contractor was involved due to a new development.
It was unclear if design constraints, such as a sewer system, played a role or if the setup was temporary.
Quinn, who previously worked as a civil engineer, said the design was convoluted and said it could be problematic for a cyclist, a person in a wheelchair or someone pushing a stroller when there’s another pedestrian.
She said she was hesitant to talk about the matter because it didn’t appear to be a finished project, but she was wondering what kinds of effects the design could have, even for able-bodied people.
Quinn said many people think infrastructure is a fixed resource that can’t be changed. But that’s not the case. She said it’s better to raise issues in the design phase and at public meetings and described the current setup as unfortunate.
“I live in Reston because it’s a walkable, bikeable place, and we have this amazing network that allows us to get around the community,” she said. “When I encountered that particular reconstruction, I was pretty surprised.”
A Reston information technology firm is moving from its original office to a newly renovated space that will also house a security center.
Neovera will relocate its global headquarters at 1840 Michael Faraday Drive near Reston Station to an office at RTC West. The new site will also encompass the company’s security operations center (SOC), which is currently in Ashburn.
Ryan Child, the company’s president, says the move could be complete by March.
“We’re moving into the office because it gives us better access to the Reston market and the Reston Town Center,” he said, noting the shift will allow the company to retain and add new employees.
Child says the area has been a good location and recruiting tool for the company’s approximately 50 employees, most of them based in the firm’s headquarters. Reston’s appeal was a factor in deciding to remain in the area.
The move westward puts the business next to the yet-to-open Reston Town Center Metro station. The company notes that while employees have always been able to telework, the new office space will help with its return-to-office plans.
“Our expectation is to definitely grow because our staffing requirements are increasing,” Child said.
Photo via Google Maps
Community Raises Money for Family of Hit-and-Run Victim — A GoFundMe started on Friday (Sept. 3) by the sister of Reston resident Andrew Willingham, who was killed in a hit-and-run incident on Fairfax County Parkway last week, has received more than $257,000 as of 7:30 p.m. yesterday (Wednesday). The money will go toward helping Willingham’s wife and two sons with expenses, including a future college fund. [Patch]
County Launches Data Hub for Reston Parks — “You can now access the latest information on urban parks and athletic fields associated with redevelopment in the Reston Transit Station Areas through the new Urban Parks Activity Hub. The new online hub is one of three components of the Reston Data Visualization project created by the Department of Planning and Development in coordination with the Park Authority.” [Fairfax County Government]
Herndon Police Chief With Rare State Award — “Chief [Maggie] DeBoard and Executive Director Dana Schrad were recognized by the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police & Foundation with the 2021 Outstanding Contribution to Law Enforcement Award…This award recognizes an individual’s conspicuous act or achievement in the performance of their duty that results in an exceptional and responsible contribution to the law enforcement profession here in VA.” [Herndon Police/Twitter]
Reston Contractor CEO Recalls Company’s 9/11 Origins — Reston-based defense technology contractor EverWatch Corp. CEO John Hillen says his life “is very oddly wrapped up with 9/11.” His experience in downtown New York City on Sept. 11, 2001 propelled him from Wall Street to the State Department under the George W. Bush administration, and his company now provides tools for defense missions that directly stem from the attacks. [Washington Business Journal]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
Regional transportation officials are considering more ways to improve transit along the I-66 corridor, led by a multi-million-dollar proposal to create a new express bus route from Reston to key Arlington County work sites.
The express bus is one of four projects now up for public comment as the Northern Virginia Transit Commission decides what to fund for the latest round of the agency’s I-66 Commuter Choice program, which has $7 million in available funds, according to NVTC senior manager Ben Owen.
These four projects are part of a supplemental fourth round for fiscal year 2022 after the NVTC approved an initial batch of projects last year that was limited by the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on I-66 toll revenue, which funds the Commuter Choice program.
The available money includes prior-year carryover that hasn’t been allocated, interest from the funds, and money released back to the commission from past projects that finished, NVTC communications and public affairs manager Matt Friedman said in a statement.
One of two projects proposed by Fairfax County, the new express bus service would connect Fairfax Connector’s Reston South Park and Ride lot with key employment destinations in Arlington County, including the Pentagon and Pentagon City and ending in Crystal City.
The county is seeking $5.1 million to cover two years of operating costs for the service as well as the purchase of six buses.
For its other project, the county has requested $154,000 to reduce Connector fares from $7.50 to $4.25 on the 599 express route from the Reston North Park and Ride to the Pentagon, Pentagon City, and Crystal City Metro stations in Arlington.
The other projects up for public comment come from OmniRide, which is seeking $85,000 to provide $200 per month incentives for new vanpools along I-66, and the Town of Vienna, which has applied for $5 million to design and construct a new Park and Ride lot at the soon-to-be-renovated Patrick Henry Library.
Staff presented a report on the proposed projects to the commission yesterday (Thursday). They recommended funding all of the projects except for the Patrick Henry Park and Ride.
For each round of Commuter Choice funding, NVTC staff give each of the submitted projects a technical score out of 100 that’s based primarily on their potential for reducing congestion, but also takes other factors into account.
The Town of Vienna’s proposal actually received a higher technical score of 56 than Fairfax County’s Reston North fare subsidy idea, which got a score of 44. However, staff said that the Patrick Henry Park and Ride would “exceed the available funding,” pushing the total cost of the projects to $10 million.
“The staff recommendation to fund Fairfax County’s fare buy-down proposal reflects the strong regional interest in fare reduction and equity initiatives,” NVTC staff wrote in their report. “It would also be a low-cost/costeffective means to help rebuild transit ridership in the I-66 Corridor.”
The OmniRide project received the highest score (62), followed by the Reston South express bus service (59).
Excluding the Vienna Park and Ride, the projects would move an additional 250 transit users through the I-66 corridor inside the Capital Beltway each morning when fully implemented, according to NVTC estimates.
The Commuter Choice program allows proposals to be resubmitted for future funding cycles if they’re not approved.
The public comment period runs through Sept. 17. People can participate by filling out a 12-step online form, providing feedback by email and phone, and joining in a virtual town hall this coming Wednesday (Sept. 8).
After the public comment period, NVTC will determine what it wants to fund, but the 17-member Commonwealth Transportation Board will have final approval over which projects are selected.
The commission is scheduled to approve its program on Oct. 7, followed by the CTB vote on Oct. 20.
The Fairfax County Police Department is still investigating the fatal hit-and-run crash that took place on Fairfax County Parkway in Reston earlier this week.
According to an update published by the department this morning (Friday), officers responded to the intersection at Walnut Branch Road just after 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday (Sept. 1) after receiving a report that an SUV had run a red light and hit a car.
The SUV driver fled the scene after the crash and has still not been located, despite an extensive search that included the FCPD’s K9 unit and a helicopter.
The driver of the car — a 2013 Volkswagen Passat — has been identified as Andrew Willingham, 37, of Reston. He died Wednesday in the hospital where he was transported after the crash by responders from the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department.
According to the FCPD, its Crash Reconstruction Unit detectives have determined that Willingham was trying to make a left turn from northbound Fairfax County Parkway onto Walnut Branch when the crash occurred.
Though Willingham had a green arrow, the driver of a 2006 Chevrolet SUV “disregarded the red signal” when he arrived at the intersection while traveling south on Fairfax County Parkway. The SUV drove through the intersection and hit the car.
“Detectives believe speed may have been a factor in the crash and continue to investigate to determine if alcohol was also a factor for the driver of the SUV,” Fairfax County police said. “Speed and alcohol do not appear to be factors for the driver of the car.”
As reported on Wednesday, police say the SUV driver was described as a heavy-set Hispanic man who was between 5 foot, 6 inches and 6 feet tall. He reportedly wore a black, short-sleeved shirt over a white undershirt.
“He was also described as having a beard and shaggy hair,” the FCPD added in its update today.
The FCPD advises anyone who witnessed the crash or might have information about it to contact its detectives at 703-280-0543. Information can also be submitted anonymously through the department’s Crime Solvers tip line online or by phone (1-866-411-TIPS).
(Updated 3:35 p.m.) Mark Sugden, a familiar face to customers and employees of the Target on Sunset Hills Road in Reston, has died, family and friends have told Reston Now.
Known for his ever-present smile and balloons, Sugden had been a constant sight at the back of the Target parking lot for the last six years. He usually sat on the curb and waved at passersbys, who sometimes stopped to hand Sugden money or groceries.
Sugden had been experiencing homelessness, and a GoFundMe had been set up to help with the costs of staying in a nearby hotel. He also suffered from bipolar disorder, depression, and several other physical limitations, as he told Reston Now back in May.
Despite these challenges, Sugden continued to have a positive attitude.
“He was just a really, down-to-earth, good person. He always treated everybody well,” his brother George Sugden told Reston Now. “[He was] one of those things that’s pretty rare these days — a good soul.”
A memorial and tribute was set up this morning (Thursday) in his honor in front of the Sunoco station on Sunset Hills Road. It’s expected to be there for at least the next few days for those who would like to pay their respects, friend David Ritter tells Reston Now.
There may also be a remembrance service at a later date, but the logistics are still being figured out, Ritter notes.
According to the original GoFundMe page, Sugden died on Aug. 27. The Fairfax County Police Department confirmed the death, though a cause is not immediately known. FCPD does not suspect foul play.
A new fundraiser has been launched to help with funeral costs. The goal is to raise $2,000.
Ritter met Sugden a few years ago and was immediately struck by Sugden’s positivity. He believed that attitude rubbed off on everyone Sugden met.
“It never ceases to amaze me how Mark affected people,” Ritter said.
Once, when it was snowing during the winter, Ritter went to check on Sugden and make sure he had everything he needed. When Ritter arrived, he found a line of cars already waiting to give supplies and food to Sugden.
In May, Reston Now joined Sugden for about an hour at his usual spot between the Target and Sunoco on Sunset Hills Road. Six people in cars stopped to say hello and help him out.
Each time, Sugden greeted them with a wave, a smile, and a thank you.
“Your smile makes me happy,” one woman told Sugden. After she drove away, Sugden said, “I love to see them smile back.”
Over the last several days, both Ritter and George have been hearing from the community about how much Sugden meant to them.
“[From] the stories and the people I’ve met in the last 24 hours, it’s obvious that he touched a lot of people without really going out of his way,” George said. “It was just the way he was.”
Fairfax County police are on the lookout for a man who was involved in a fatal hit-and-run crash on Fairfax County Parkway in Reston.
Officers are currently on the scene at the Walnut Branch Road intersection, the Fairfax County Police Department reported at 8:41 p.m. today (Wednesday).
The crash apparently involved two vehicles. One driver was taken to the hospital, where he ultimately died. The driver of the other car that police say instigated the encounter left the scene on foot.
Police describe the driver as a “heavy” Hispanic man with long hair who was wearing a black shirt.
Officers on scene of a fatal hit & run crash on FFX County Pkwy at Walnut Branch Rd, Reston. One person, driver, taken to the hospital where he succumbed to injuries. Driver of striking car ran from scene on foot. Officers searching for Hispanic man, heavy, blk shirt, long hair. pic.twitter.com/qyFHv7E9ER
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) September 2, 2021
“While we have reinvented many of our programs since March of 2020, offering virtual and socially distanced options, it was impossible to convert some of our most popular programs to that format,” RCC Director of Leisure and Learning Karen Brutsché said. “We know our patrons are eager to socialize with their friends at their favorite RCC activities.”
Registration is now open for both Reston and non-Reston residents:
- Bridge — Players with intermediate or advanced knowledge of Bridge are invited to play on Mondays at Hunters Woods (10 a.m.-2 p.m.) and Tuesdays at Lake Anne (10 a.m.-1 p.m.). These games are free to attend.
- Trips — Day trips organized by RCC this fall include the Museum of the Bible (Sept. 16), the International Spy Museum (Oct. 14), Toby’s Dinner Theatre (Nov. 17), and more. Prices vary depending on the trip.
- American Mah Jongg — Open to American mahjongg players on Wednesdays (1:15-3:45 p.m.) and Thursdays (9:30 a.m.-noon) at Hunters Woods. These games are free to attend.
The shift to advance registration for drop-in programs was an initially temporary change prompted by the need to limit crowds during the pandemic, but RCC decided to make it permanent after seeing how the appointment system eliminated conflicts over space for its most popular activities.
RCC also still has some safety precautions in place, including the continued availability of touchless hand sanitizers and virtual programming. Masks are required for everyone when indoors in accordance with Fairfax County’s recently reinstated policy for public facilities.
Reston Mother Among Those Affected by Return of Evictions — “Gladys Suarez has lived in her Reston apartment for 20 years with her daughter and 4-year-old grandson. When she fell behind on rent after COVID-19 affected her housecleaning job, a federal eviction moratorium gave her some peace of mind. Now that the moratorium has ended, Virginia eviction courts are busy processing the pandemic backlog of cases, and Suarez has found herself packing all her family’s belongings into boxes, with her scheduled eviction just days away.” [WUSA9]
Nonprofit Seeks Recall of Fairfax County Top Prosecutor — A nonprofit called Virginians for Safe Communities is planning recall campaigns against three liberal prosecutors, including Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano, who defended his reform efforts. The group’s leaders include a former FBI assistant director, a policy director for the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund, and the Department of Justice’s deputy director of public affairs under the Trump administration. [The Washington Post]
Boston Properties Reports Rent Drops in Reston — Boston Properties “reported the 508-unit Signature at Reston saw average monthly rent drop to $2,143, a 7.6% decline compared to the second quarter of 2020, while the 359-unit Avant at Reston Town Center saw an 8.1% decline to $2,180 a month. On Boston Properties’ earnings call last week, President Douglas Linde said the company’s rents are below pre-pandemic levels but it too is cutting concessions, believing people are moving back to cities.” [Washington Business Journal]
Reston Community Center has announced the lineup its 2021-22 Professional Touring Artist Series.
After a truncated season with limited audiences last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the series will bring a variety of musicians, theatrical performances, and speakers to a full-capacity CenterStage starting in September.
“It is our great pleasure to welcome our audiences back to the CenterStage,” RCC Arts and Events Director Paul Douglas Michnewicz said in a press release. “Whether you are seeking an escape from your troubles with sublime dance or want to be inspired by thought leaders or you just need to laugh, the Professional Touring Artist Series has something for everyone to enjoy.”
With seating limited by Virginia’s restrictions on indoor entertainment venues, RCC Executive Director Leila Gordon says the community center was still able to host some artists and speakers last season, including the folk/rock band Trout Fishing in America, jazz violinist Regina Carter, and actor BD Wong, whose talk coincided with the 2021 Reston Pride Festival in June.
Many artists who were unable to come to Reston still sent video messages that RCC posted to its YouTube channel, and some were rescheduled for this upcoming season.
Gordon says RCC has seen attendance at its shows pick up since late spring, but even in June, a good day would be one with an audience of 100 people for a show that normally might’ve filled up the 260-seat CenterStage auditorium.
“We are keeping our hopes high that widespread vaccination will continue to offer protection that will help artists and audiences return safely to the CenterStage this season,” Gordon said.
Unless otherwise noted, all shows are held at CenterStage, which is located at RCC Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road). Tickets go on sale for Reston residents and employees on August 1 at 1 p.m. Sales open to the general public on August 8 at 1 p.m.
The full schedule for this season is below:
Mutts Gone Nuts, A Comedy Dog Act
- Sept. 19, 3-7 p.m.
- $10 Reston/$15 Non-Reston
- Expect the unexpected, as canines and comedy collide in a smash hit performance that’s leaving audiences everywhere howling for more.
National Heritage Award Fellows at the Reston Multicultural Festival
- Sept. 25, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
- Lake Anne Plaza; free, all ages
- National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) National Heritage Fellowships are the nation’s highest honor in folk and traditional arts. This year’s fellows, who will be recognized at the annual Reston Multicultural Festival, are Rev. Paschall & Company and The Chuck Brown Band.
The Seldom Scene
- Oct. 2, 8 p.m.
- $25 Reston/$35 Non-Reston
- What does it take for a bluegrass band to remain popular for more than four decades? For The Seldom Scene, it has taken talented musicians, a signature sound and a solid repertoire, as well as a delightful sense of fun.
Plans for Reston Town Center North continue to slowly develop.
Put forward by Fairfax County’s building design and construction division and Inova Health Care Services, the amendment pertains to the grid of streets, a central green space and tree preservation areas, and establishing future developable blocks in conformance with the comprehensive plan.
A conceptual plan for the 47-acre site was previously approved in 2019. It included 400,000 square feet of public space for office, residential and retail, nine-plus acres for open spaces and eight developable blocks, all of which remains the same after Tuesday’s amendment.
Among the changes in this amendment was an increase of the allotted central green space from 2.3 acres to 3.5 acres, while keeping the tree preservation area intact. It also maintains the curvilinear streets, public space, athletic field, and county rec center.
Additionally, Cameron Glen Drive will connect to a different new street in the conceptual plan to allow for the larger central green.
“I don’t see it as a huge deviation from what was previously proposed, I see it as an improvement,” Design Review Board member Michael Wood said. “I see that we still need a lot of detail, but I think they know that after all of us kind of basically said it in all different ways.”
Maintaining the other features falls in line with objections the design review board expressed to the initial plan in 2018.
“The DRB at that time expressed objections to the plan, and indicated that they’d like it to be more Reston-like in character with curvilinear streets and a greater emphasis on preservation,” Joan Beacham, a project coordinator for the building, design and construction branch of Fairfax County, told the board.
The design of the amended central green will be advanced as a portion of a zoning development plan that will be brought to the board in a future meeting.
The amendment was approved with some additional conditions requested by DRB member Bruce Ramo, including a retention of requests previously made in 2019 when the board approved the initial plan:
- Further define the buffers surrounding the developmental blocks with illustrative cross-sections and dimensions
- Confirm and provide approximate minimum percentages of additional open/green space per developmental blocks in addition to the total open space requirements in the Memorandum of Understanding
- Provide a more cohesive merge in design and active involvement with Edgewater Park
The final condition added that final approval should be in line with Fairfax County’s comprehensive plan for Reston, which is currently being revised.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved the alteration of Boston Properties’ plans for Reston Gateway to swap previously designated retail and parking space for offices after holding a public hearing on Tuesday (July 13).
The decision came two months after the county planning commission approved the proposal to amend the mixed-use development’s site plans and proffer conditions in May.
Mary Ann Tsai with the county’s department of planning and development noted on Tuesday that “no change is proposed to the approved overall gross floor area, or FAR, of the development.”
Submitted to the county in October, the application suggests replacing retail space and garage parking with offices and a screened level of above-grade parking. It will transfer up to 78,000 square feet of office space to Block D from parcels earmarked for Fannie Mae and and Volkswagen’s North American headquarters.
“The big move with this application is to take four stories of above grade structured parking and essentially turn them into office space,” Cooley partner Mark Looney, a legal representative for Boston Properties, told the board.
“That office space is coming from other blocks within the existing development where there was office space allocated to them, but they were being developed with less than what the maximum potential was,” Looney said.
Boston Properties, the developer of the multi-phase development, also proposed providing additional design elements on the street level as a part of this application. These elements could include façade articulation, decorative materials, and additional lighting.
Looney added that, while the developer thinks it has made “great strides,” further discussion and work will still need to be had to address these potential changes with Public Art Reston, Town Center Design Review Board, and Fairfax County planners.
Looney said this application is designed to shift square footage “into what used to be an above-grade structured parking facility to improve to overall design of the building itself.”
Located adjacent to the impending Reston Town Center Metro Station, Reston Gateway will expand the town center by 4.4 million square feet of development when finished, adding 2.2 million square feet of offices, 93,000 square feet of retail, 2,010 residential units, and a 570-room hotel.
The first phase, which encompasses the Fannie Mae and Volkswagen buildings, is currently under construction and expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2021.
The Encore Chorale of Reston will be back in person this fall after shifting to a virtual environment last year.
A branch of Encore Creativity for Older Adults, the largest choral organization for adults over 55 in the U.S., the community singing group announced last week that it has now opened registration for the fall semester, which will begin on Sept. 7 and conclude with a free public concert in December.
“We are thrilled to return to in-person singing and live performances in Reston, ” said Jeanne Kelly, Encore Creativity’s founder and artistic director. “Our singers not only learn about the craft of singing and improve their technique, but they can now enjoy socializing and bonding with a new community of friends, which is so important.”
The Encore Chorale of Reston meets on Tuesdays from 2:30 to 4 p.m. at Heritage Fellowship Church (2501 Fox Mill Road). It is directed by David Lang, who has led the group since it formed in 2015 and also serves as director of the Reston Chorale.
No audition is necessary, as Encore’s mission is to “provide an excellent and accessible artistic environment for older adults, regardless of experience or ability,” according to the Encore website.
There will also still be online rehearsals and classes through Encore University, which was founded in the summer of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“During the pandemic, we reinvented Encore so we could continue to engage and enrich older adults during an unprecedented time for choral singing,” Kelly said. “Our virtual Encore University drew singers from 28 states who enjoyed a creative assortment of classes, virtual concerts and choral singing in a totally new way.”
Encore University will offer seven classes this fall, starting on Sept. 7:
- Chorale Sings/Rehearsals
- ROCKS Sings/Rehearsals
- Vocal Technique
- A History of Jazz
- Great Operatic Tenors
- Music & Your Brain
- #1 Hits of the 60s & 70s
Singers can choose to attend exclusively in-person rehearsals, only online rehearsals and classes, or a hybrid of in-person rehearsals and online classes.
Interested participants ages 55 and older can register through the Encore Creativity website or by calling 301-261-5747.