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DC-based Fitness Gym Coming to RTC West

Big plans are in the works to expand Solidcore, a DC-based fitness chain. Funder and CEO Anne Mahlum hopes to open 125 studios by 2022 and Reston is one location on the list.

The fitness company offers pilates classes, a boot camp for full-body workouts and other classes. It has locations throughout the country, including Arlington, Ashburn, Tysons Corner and the Mosaic District in Virginia.

Robin Diamond, a spokesperson for the company, told Reston Now that a location is planned for 12100 Sunset Hills Boulevard, JBG Smith’s RTC West Development. Thus far, several new restaurants have opened in the mixed-use development.

Diamond said Solidcore is likely to open sometime early next year. The studio will have 13 “sweatlanas“, a machine used for workouts.

An exact opening date has not been determined.

Photo via Solidcore

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New ‘Upscale’ Indian Restaurant Coming to RTC West

The food scene at RTC West, a small office park slated to become a major mixed-use project, is coming to life with the addition of another restaurant.

Rajiv Chopra, a chef-turned-owner, plans to open Bombay Velvet (12120 Sunset Hills Road), a fine-dining, Indian restaurant by the last week of November or the beginning of December. Chopra says the restaurant, which will be located next to Honeygrow, will offer a unique “upscale” dining experience with a full bar menu.

A grand opening will likely be held sometime near Christmas, Chopra told Reston Now.  Chopra also owns three other Indian restaurants called Punjabi By Nature in Leesburg, Chantilly, and Vienna, but Bombay Velvet offers “a completely new concept” that differentiates itself from Chopra’s other businesses, he said.

The Indian restaurant adds a new mix to existing area restaurants, including Honeygrow and BGR The Burger Joint.

Photos by Fatimah Waseem

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Famous Toastery Coming to RTC West Early Next Year

A new sit-down restaurant is joining the food scene at JBG Smith’s RTC West development (12120 Sunset Hills Road).

Famous Toastery, a breakfast and brunch restaurant, will open next to BGR The Burger Joint in February or March next year.

Gary Ready, the Reston location’s owner who was born and raised in Fairfax County, said the restaurant is currently in the process of receiving permits from Fairfax County. Ready, who has been behind several businesses over the last 25 years in Fairfax and Loudoun counties, said he was intrigued by the restaurant’s high-quality ingredients and speed of service.

“The average ticket time is 10 minutes. A lot of other restaurants in Reston Town Center give you quick service. This is one of the few sit-down restaurants in Reston where you can get the sit-down experience and still be in and out in 30 minutes,” he told Reston Now.

Ready said the restaurant will be open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and can seat between 100 to 105 people.

County records indicate the building plan is under review.

Photo via Famous Toastery

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New Expansion for RTC West Approved by County Board

Fairfax County’s Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a nearly 1.4 million square feet addition to RTC West, a mixed-use project bounded by the Washington & Old Dominion Trail to the north and Reston Town Center Parkway to the east. The vote on Tuesday (Sept. 25) brings yet another major neighborhood near the future Reston Town Center Metro Station.

JBG Smith will add up to 576 multifamily units, 700,000 square feet of office space, and some retail. The site is currently home to three six-story office buildings, two parking garages and retail tenants like Cooper’s Hawk Winery, honeygrow, and the recently opened BGR The Burger Joint.

Bailey Edelson, JBG Smith’s senior vice president of development, said a common green at the center of the property will offer a “convening location” for the public. The company also paid careful attention to balance the distinctiveness of each building whilst still creating a neighborhood-like appeal, Edelson said.

The expanded version of the project, which is adjacent to the Reston Gateway project, adds another mixed-use neighborhood near the Metro station. The site design incorporates the future Town Center Parkway underpass that would connect Sunset Hills Road to Sunrise Valley Drive through an underground tunnel across the Dulles Toll Road.

Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins said the project offers a suitable mix of commercial, retail and residential that allows people to “observe and participant” among higher buildings planned and approved near the future Metro station. She also said the underpass will help alleviate traffic and congestion in the immediate area.

A new right-only entrance from southbound Town Center Parkway at the north of the property line will be added to the development. The site design also incorporates bicycle lanes that provide an improved connection to the Washington & Old Dominion Trail.

The Planning Commission approved the project on Sept. 13. Edelson offered the following statement in response to a request from Reston Now: 

“The Master Plan for RTC West will enable JBG Smith to transform the existing predominantly suburban site into a more urban neighborhood, and enhance the connection between the new metro station and Town Center. The new retail has brought significant amenities and activity to the existing office buildings and we intend to build on that momentum as we bring the Master Plan online over time.”

The plan, which includes 3.4 acres of open space, is as follows:

  • Buildings 1, 2, and 3: Existing six-story office building with retail on the ground floor will remain. 
  • Building 4: A one-story freestanding restaurant, Cooper’s Hawk Winery, will remain.
  • Building 5: A new eight-story office with 160,000 square feet, including 10,000 square feet of retail.
  • Building 6: A new 22-story office building with 396,000 square feet, including 16,000 square feet of retail.
  • Building 7: A 20-story residential building with 293 multi-family units.
  • Building 8: A new 22-story residential building with 283 multi-family units. This building wraps the north facade of a second parking garage.
  • Building 9: A new seven-story office building located on top of a current parking structure.
  • Building 10: A one-story freestanding restaurant located on the common green.

The developer did not provide the timeline of the project or the anticipated cost, as that information has not yet been finalized.

Photos via handout/Fairfax County Government

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Member listening sessions begin tomorrow — Reston Association’s Board of Directors invites RA members to take part in a few listening sessions that begin tomorrow. Other meetings are set for Oct. 3, Oct. 10, and Oct. 17. [Reston Today]

Missing Sterling teen found — Bryan Ortega-Henriquez, 15, went missing last week and was found yesterday, according to local law enforcement. He was believed to be in the Herndon area. [Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office]

Decision on RTC West expected today — The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will vote on a major project to expand RTC West from an office park with some retail into a mixed-use project with up to 576 multifamily units. [Fairfax County Government]

Give blood today — INOVA’s bloodmobile will be in Reston Town Center today from 1-6 p.m. [Reston Town Center]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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BGR The Burger Joint to Open in RTC West Next Week

As signs have foretold for several weeks, BGR The Burger Joint will open its newest location in Reston on Monday (Sept. 24), the company announced today. 

The restaurant, which sells burgers grilled over an open flame and hand-spun milkshakes, is the latest retail tenant to join JBG Smith’s RTC West development at 12120 Sunset Hills Road.

The restaurant company  did not respond to a request for comment from Reston Now, although an announcement by the company was posted online.

BGR has locations in Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, the District, Tennessee, and Utah. The restaurant is also located in Arlington, Springfield, and Tysons Corner. Two locations are also in Kuwait. It’s currently celebrating its 10th anniversary since it opened the first location in Bethesda, Md. in 2008.

Other businesses that are scheduled to open at the development include The Black Squirrel, Forever Nails, and Punjabi by Nature.

More retail tenants could be on the way if the county approves an application by JBG Smith for expansion of the existing development, which is mostly office buildings and ground floor retail so far. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will vote on the expansion project next week.

Photo via BGR The Burger Joint/Facebook

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Planning Commission Approves RTC West Expansion

The expansion of RTC West, JBG Smith’s mixed-use project less than quarter-mile walk from the future Reston Town Center Metro Station, is getting closer to final approval. The Fairfax County Planning Commission unanimously approved the project, which adds up to 576 multifamily units, 700,000 square feet of office space and 1.4 million square feet of new development to the existing office park, on Thursday night.

The developer plans to embark on a multiphase expansion for the area, which is bounded by the Washington & Old Dominion Trail to the North and Reston Town Center Parkway to the east, over the next several years. The site is currently home to three six-story office buildings, two parking garages, and retail tenants like Cooper’s Hawk Winery, Nando’s Peri-Peri and honeygrow.

A timeline for the project is pending approval.

If approved and built, the project will add another mixed-use component near the future RTC Metro Station. RTC West is next to the recently approved Reston Gateway project. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will vote on the project on September 25.  The site design incorporates the future Town Center Parkway underpass that would connect Sunset Hills Road to Sunrise Valley Drive through a tunnel under the Dulles Toll and Access Road, according to the application.

Hunter Mill District Planning Commissioner Frank Carter said the county worked with the developer to address several issues, including the distribution of workforce dwelling units. The project will provide affordable units at 80, 100 and 120 percent of the Area Median Income. Parking will not be assigned to each residential unit. In order to simplify the process, Carter said affordable units will receive parking at 70 percent the price of parking for market-rate units. The entire project is expected to provide around 2,900 parking spaces for residents and employees. 

Carter said that if parking works like the parking in RTC, the arrangement should be sufficient. The site plan accommodates 57 on-street parking spaces, encouraging people to use other ways of getting around other than cars.

The plan, which includes 3.4 acres of open space, is as follows:

  • Buildings 1, 2, and 3: Existing six-story office building with retail on the ground floor will remain. 
  • Building 4: A one-story freestanding restaurant, Cooper’s Hawk Winery, will remain.
  • Building 5: A new eight-story office with 160,000 square feet, including 10,000 square feet of retail.
  • Building 6: A new 22-story office building with 396,000 square feet, including 16,000 square feet of retail.
  • Building 7: A 20-story residential building with 293 multi-family units.
  • Building 8: A new 22-story residential building with 283 multi-family units. This building wraps the north facade of a second parking garage.
  • Building 9: A new seven-story office building located on top of a current parking structure.
  • Building 10: A one-story freestanding restaurant located on the common green.

A new right-only entrance from southbound Town Center Parkway at the north of the property line will be added to the development. The site itself will contain existing internal streets with on-street parking. Other planned improvements include a new westbound, shared right-turn lane and a five-woot on-road bicycle lane on Sunset Hills Road. A five-foot wide bicycle lane will also be provided on Town Center Parkway.

Photos via Fairfax County Government

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Fairfax County Board to Consider Three Major Development Proposals

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will vote on three major mixed-use and office projects in Reston tomorrow (July 31).

The development proposals include data centers at Sunrise Technology Park, additions to RTC West, and Boston Properties’ Reston Gateway project.

CoreSite hopes to bring data centers to a 21-acre office park on the south side of Sunrise Valley Drive. The plan was unanimously approved by the Fairfax County Planning Commission in late June.

The second proposal is by Brookfield Property Partners for its major Reston Crescent Development. The project will also be the future home of Wegmans and an athletic field may be conveyed to the county as part of the proposal. 

Last but not least is Boston Properties’ Reston Gateway project, which aims to bring 2.2 million square feet of office space, a 570-room hotel and nearly 2,010 residential units to the door of Metro and to the border of Reston Town Center. The project is also the future home of Fannie Mae.

All projects were approved by the planning commission. A public hearing will be held prior to votes on any proposals.

Handouts via Fairfax County Government

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Major Expansion Proposed for RTC West

JBG Smith’s RTC West project is slowly welcoming new restaurants like Nando’s Peri-Peri, honegrow and Mezeh. But more is coming at the site, including nearly 1.4 million square feet of new development, up to 575 multifamily units in two buildings and three new office buildings.

The Fairfax County Planning Commission will consider the proposal, which transforms the the office park north of Sunset Hills Road and West of Town Center Parkway, on Thursday (July 26).

So far, the project is anchored by three existing six-story office buildings and two parking garages, as well as ground floor retail options.

If approved by the county, the project would have two new residential buildings, an additional 700,000 square feet of office space across three new buildings, two parking garages, a retail-only building and 3.4 acres of open space across nearly 13.4 acres.

County staff recommended approving the project.

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Photos: Mezeh Mediterranean Grill Now Open in RTC West

JBG Smith’s mixed-use development, RTC West, welcomed a new restaurant this week. Mezeh Mediterranean Grill is now open at 12130 Sunset Hills Road. 

The 44-seat restaurant offers a mix of build-it-yourself bowls, pita pockets and wraps. Other establishments are also on the way in the development, including Punjabi by Nature, The Black Squirrel, and The Burger Joint. In recent months, Honeygrow, Starbucks and Nando’s were added to the mix of retail on the largely office-dominated site.

Although a soft launch was held on Tuesday, the restaurant’s grand opening day has not yet been finalized, according to Patrick Mika, Mezeh’s director of marketing and catering. On Wednesday (July 25), Mezeh will offer free chicken shawarma bowls – it’s inaugural opening promotion.

Beginning next week, Mezeh will also free promotions for different client bases in order to reduce overcrowding in the area, especially since immediate surface lot parking is limited.

The Reston location includes traditional elements of Mezeh’s nine other locations like a community bar and wrap-around seating. No paint is used anywhere on its mixed-media walls — except on the restaurant’s bathroom doors.

“More and more fast-casual restaurants I see are becoming more like a box,” Mika said. “Ours is more like a home.”

The restaurant will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Its first fundraiser for a local charity will be on August 7. Forty percent of proceeds from purchases made between 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. that day will go toward the fundraiser if customers mention “Solutions Street.”

Photos by Fatimah Waseem

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Monday Morning Notes

RTC West+ — JBG Smith plans major additions to RTC West, which, for now, is essentially an office park with a touch of retail. [Washington Business Journal]

Death ruled a drowning – An autopsy determined that Kevin Ruby’s cause of death was drowning, with the contributing cause of cardiovascular disease. Ruby drowned during a popular race on Lake Audubon in late May. [Fairfax County Police Department]

First PRC work session tomorrow — The first workgroup meeting regarding transportation as the county considers a plan to increase Reston’s population density is set for tomorrow at 12005 Sunrise Valley Drive. [Reston Today]

Twitter user @MrErrett

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BGR The Burger Joint to Open in the Fall

BGR the Burger Joint will open a new location in the fall in RTC West, JBG Smith’s new mixed-use development.

The restaurant, which offers burgers grilled over an open flame and hand-spun milkshakes, will be located at 12120 Sunset Hills Road.

An exact opening date was not available, although restaurants are opening their doors in development, which is already home to Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant, Nando’s, Honeygrow and Starbucks.

Mezeh Mediterranean Grill, which is located in the same development, is also expected to open this month. An exact opening date will be confirmed next week, a company representative told Reston Now on Friday.

Other businesses planned for the development include The Black Squirrel, an old-school gastropub, Forever Nails and Punjabi by Nature.

Photo by Fatimah Waseem

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Honeygrow to Open in Reston Town Center West in May

Honeygrow, a Philadelphia-based, fast-casual restaurant, is opening in JBG Smith’s new Reston Town Center West development at 12100 Sunset Hills Road in May.

The restaurant sells made-to-order stir-fry, salads, cold-pressed juices. The store has no freezers in order to ensure ingredients are sourced locally and made from scratch on a daily basis.

Justin Rosenberg, the restaurant’s CEO, founded honeygrow in 2012. Since then, the restaurant has opened in Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, the District, Pentagon City and other areas.

Photo via honeygrow

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Thursday Morning Notes

Cheers for volunteers — Reston Association will recognize volunteer individuals, groups and corporate partners at the 2018 service awards reception tonight. [RA]

Hairspray JR begins tonight — Students from Langston Hughes Middle School will kick off their production of Hairspray JR beginning today. The show, which captures the spirit of Baltimore in 1962 with laughter, dance, romance and songs, will run through Saturday, April 21. Tickets are available online. [Langston Hughes Middle School]

A walking art tour — Art historian Phoebe Avery will lead a tour of public art around Lake Anne tomorrow from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.. [RA]

Honey, I shrunk the... — Honeygrow, a fast-casual Philadelphia import restaurant, is getting ready for opening day at RTC West. Hiring has begun. [Honeygrow]

Look who’s in town — The Herndon Youth Advisory Council, which was created by the town council late last year, is off to strong start this year. [The Connection]

Photo by Jessica Wallach

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Mezeh Mediterranean Grill to Open in the Spring in RTC West

Mezeh Mediterranean Grill is expected to open this spring in JBG Smith’s RTC West development (12130 Sunset Hills Road). 

A specific date has not been announced. Permits for the installation of the electric system were issued late last year.

The grill will join other establishments like Starbucks, Nando’s Peri-Peri and Cooper’s Hawk Winery as work continues on adjacent office buildings and ground-floor retail spaces. Other future businesses, as advertised on signage at the front of the new office building, include Punjabi by Nature, The Black Squirrel, The Burger Joint, and Honeygrow.

The first phase of development converts 15,000 square feet of office space into street-level retail and adds 25,000 square feet of new retail on the southwest corner of the nearly 14-acre campus. The buildings have structured surface parking for visitors and a four-level parking garage with a total of 1,619 parking spaces.

Photos by Fatimah Waseem

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