The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted in favor of deferring a decision on a request to reduce parking at a major mixed-use project near the future Reston Town Center Metro Station.
Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn (D) motioned that the board postpone a decision on the proposal by Boston Properties to a later date.
“Considering the history of Boston Properties and parking in Reston, I deferred the decision on Reston Gateway in order to get more information on Boston Properties’ assumptions on parking needs at Reston Gateway,” Alcorn wrote in statement to Reston Now.
The developer is seeking to provide 1,663 fewer parking spaces than what was already approved for Reston Gateway, a mixed-use development currently under construction between Reston Town Center Metro Station and RTC.
Alcorn said that he wants to take a closer look at the assumptions Boston Properties used to guide its decision. For example, the company assumes that “residents and visitors to the development will require parking at rates no higher than similarly-located transit-oriented development in Arlington,” he said.
Overall, the proposal aims to reduce parking by 20 percent. Residential parking for the 2,010 units planned on the site would take the biggest hit, with an average reduction of 38 percent.
So far, county staff backed Boston Properties’ proposal, which it says is acceptable because of the site’s proximity to the Metro station and the need to reduce parking demand by encouraging other modes of transportation.
Reston Gateway includes nine buildings spread over 33 acres. The first phase of the project — which includes office space anchored by Fannie Mae — is currently under construction.
Handout via Fairfax County Government
After brief changes to parking over Thanksgiving break, free holiday garage parking will return to Reston Town Center this month.
Although garage parking is free on weekdays after 5 p.m. and on weekends, changes are planned for the holiday season. Typically, the first hour of parking is free on weekdays.
From Dec. 21 through New Year’s Day, garage parking will be free.
Parking was also free from Nov. 23 through Sunday (Dec. 1), in addition to the following holidays:
- Martin Luther King Jr. Day
- President’s Day
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
- Columbus Day
- Veteran’s Day
A new rowing-focused studio in D.C. is eyeing Reston Town Center for its next location.
DC Row’s General Manager Brittany Brunch told Reston Now that the low-impact, full-body workout DC Row offers will be an appealing option for people working high-stress jobs, in addition to people already focused on exercise. “Northern Virginia generally has a pretty high fitness index,” Brunch said.
Like Reston residents, Reston Town Center has been established for a while, Jordan Newsome, one of the studio’s executives, told Reston Now. “We want to bring something new to them so that they come back out a little bit more [to Reston Town Center].”
While Newsome and Brunch wouldn’t reveal the Reston location, they did say that locals can expect a pop-up near Reston Town Center before the grand opening.
The Reston location will offer similar classes to the ones currently at the D.C. location (790 Maine Avenue SW). Reston’s DC Row will cater to specialized groups, such as opportunities for corporate businesses to enjoy happy hours and gift bags after the classes and more time slots during the day for moms and pregnant women.
Like the D.C. spot, Brunch and Newsome said they want to get local kids involved. “Rowing is a collegiate sport,” Newsome said. “There are a lot of scholarships that go untouched every year.”
The controversial paid parking at Reston Town Center doesn’t have Newsome too worried.
“We are no stranger to paid parking,” Newsome said as he looked out of the window toward Main Avenue SW “The experience that we offer makes people want to come back, and they kind of seek out a way to get back. For as far as parking in Reston goes, I think it shouldn’t have too much of an effect on our business.”
Brunch added that DC Row is looking into subsidizing parking for customers at the Reston Town Center location.
No matter where DC Row goes, one principle stands out: “We really want to be apart of the community,” Newsome said.
Another Reston Town Center restaurant is joining the fight against paid parking just months after the settlement of the first lawsuit challenging Boston Properties’ controversial parking system.
Uncle Julio’s filed a suit against Boston Properties and several affiliated limited liability companies for at least $5 million over the paid parking, the Washington Business Journal reported today (Jan. 11).
The Tex-Mex restaurant at 1827 Library Street claims in the suit that it has lost approximately $1 million in sales annually since paid parking was implemented in January 2017, according to the article.
Uncle Julio’s is suing RTC’s owners on several counts, including breach of contract and conspiracy, according to the story. Boston Properties has not yet responded to the lawsuit, which was filed on Dec. 21 in Fairfax County Circuit Court.
Nearly two months ago, Boston Properties and Jackson’s Mighty Fine Food & Lucky Lounge settled a dispute over the developer’s paid parking system. Jackson’s filed its suit, which also alleged breach of contract, in March 2017, Reston Now previously reported.
Boston Properties continues to face an uproar from many local businesses and residents. In 2018, nine businesses closed at RTC, with several owners and employees telling Reston Now that the paid parking drove customers away.
This year doesn’t look any better. Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn, which are both operated by Williams-Sonoma Inc, are set to close at RTC later this month.
Image via Google Maps
Obi Sushi Japanese Bistro will shutter its doors tomorrow (Dec. 22) after 14 years at Reston Town Center.
Although the restaurant at 1771 Library Street is closing, the Herndon location at 2415-B2 Centreville Road will remain open, an employee told Reston Now.
The employee said that ever since Boston Properties, RTC’s owner, implemented paid parking, the restaurant has seen the number of customers dwindle. The employee added that the paid parking has also impacted other businesses by driving away patrons.
No specific time tomorrow for the closing has been announced yet.
Photo via Google Maps
A lawsuit by a Reston Town Center retailer against Boston Properties in response to the developer’s paid parking system has been settled.
Under the agreement, customers of Jackson’s Mighty Fine Food & Lucky Lounge will be offered a special parking arrangement. Guests will be able to enter their license plate number into one of the pay stations in the Orange Garage or on a tablet inside Jackson’s to validate parking.
“Both parties look forward to continuing their 10-year relationship at Reston Town Center,” according to a statement published by the company.
The terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed. A representative for Boston Properties declined to comment further on the deal or release any details.
Jackson’s sued Boston Properties in Fairfax County Circuit Court alleging breach of contract in March 2017. The suit sought the immediate termination of paid parking, $500,000 in damages and attorney’s fees. Company officials stated that the restaurant suffered major disruptions since paid parking went into effect.
A number of other restaurants have cited the paid parking system as cause for leaving Reston Town Center in recent months.
This story has been updated.
Edibles Incredible Desserts will permanently close its location in Reston today (August 28), leaving its home of 15 years in Reston Town Center.
The dessert and candies shop will relocate to its commercial kitchen and production facility, located at 22735 Executive Drive, Suite 190, on September 3. The business won Wedding Wire’s Couples’ Choice Awards this year.
Co-owner and COO Robyn Hannah said she was sad to leave RTC, where she and her husband have enjoyed serving Reston and the surrounding community. The business decision was motivated by a familiar concern voiced by other merchants: paid parking.
“Our lease ended the end of this month. We did not want to negotiate higher rent because the last few years since paid parking went into effect, we’ve lost several hundred thousand dollars in sales,” Hannah told Reston Now. She also said other factors contributing to the decision.
The business will be offering free cupcakes, cakes, and other desserts at 3 p.m. today. A new tenant for the space at 11917 Freedom Drive has not been announced.
The owners are now looking forward to reaching a new milestone: consolidating their retail location with the production facility.
The business began when Hannah and her husband, then single, met at a single’s event. One brought homemade English toffee and the other brought a plate of fudge, attracting attention from others at the event. Utilizing their joint capabilities in baking and decorating, they opened up their first store in 2003. The addition of candies, they hoped, would make their business viable outside the popular window for wedding orders. They married in 2007.
Hannah said she looks forward to a new chapter in the shop’s story. “The Reston location was our baby. It was our home. Now, we’re moving on,” she said.
Busara Thai Restaurant (11964 Market Street) has permanently closed its Reston Town Center location.
The restaurant, which served up authentic Thai cuisine, closed on Saturday, May 19, ending 13 years of business in Reston’s urban core.
An employee with the restaurant told Reston Now the decision was driven by the shift from free to paid parking in Reston Town Center.
“Revenue just went down the drain,” the employee said. The owner was not immediately available for comment.
A representative for Boston Properties said a new tenant has not yet been identified. The restaurant has one other location at 8142 Watson Street in McLean.
Photos by Fatimah Waseem
Garage parking is free on weekends, federal holidays and after 5 p.m. Parking activation is not required. Street parking is free on Sundays only for up to 2 hours. On weekdays, only the first hour of garage parking is free.
On typical days, garage parking is free on Monday through Friday from 5 p.m. to 3:30 a.m. The first hour is free during the rest of the day, with parking activation required from 3:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Parking is free on weekends.
Paid parking went into effect Jan. 3 at RTC, requiring $2-per-hour payment in garages all day Monday through Friday, and $3-per-hour payment for street parking Monday through Saturday.
On June 5, parking became free in garages between 5 p.m. and 3:30 a.m., and one hour of free parking is also offered during the day.
For more information on parking, visit RTC’s website.