A major mixed-use development near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station is barrelling its way towards the county’s approval.
In a unanimous vote last night (Thursday), the Fairfax County Planning Commission approved TF Cornerstone’s Campus Commons project, which would redevelop 12 acres of land into two residential towers with 656 units, an office buildings, and several parks. The plan preserves two office buildings currently on the site.
The proposal — which is the last major block of developable land near the Metro station that is in the books — has attracted community concerns for its scale, impacts on traffic, compatibility with adjacent neighborhoods, and pedestrian connectivity.
In response to feedback from the commission at a previous meeting and community criticism, TF Cornerstone removed roughly 86,550 square feet from an office building fronting Sunrise Valley Drive, reducing the massing of the building from 12 to seven stories. The developer shuffled most of the removed square footage to the residential towers, which sit deeper within the site. The setback along the curb of Sunrise Valley Drive was also increased to a minimum of 50 feet.
Preliminarily, TF Cornerstones is proposing to add an at-grade crosswalk at Wiehle Avenue near the off-ramps to the Dulles Toll Road — a component of the plan that residents warned poses safety concerns for pedestrians.
The developer also agreed to embark on an up-to-three-year study to explore options with the county and the Virginia Department of Transportation for a tunnel or a pedestrian bridge.
“This is the first applicant to take this on,” said Hunter Mill District Planning Commission John Carter.
Carter said the developer did a good job of amending its plans in response to feedback from the county and residents.
The plan heads to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors for a vote on Tuesday (Oct. 15).
Image via Fairfax County Government/handout
New York-based TF Cornerstone will return to receive the Reston Planning and Zoning Committee’s blessing for its plan to redevelop nearly 12 acres of land near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station with two residential buildings and a new office building.
The proposal, Campus Commons, has attracted criticism from nearby residents and led to the formation of a citizen-led advocacy group called Rescue Sunrise Valley.
Although the developer addressed several concerns, a representative of Rescue Sunrise Valley, said residents are not satisfied with the developer’s attempts to scale back the development and improve the safety of a planned crosswalk on Wiehle Avenue. The committee did not recommend the project for approval Monday night.
“They have not adequately engaged the community not have they adequately addressed the community’s concerns,” the representative told Reston Now. “We sincerely hope TF Cornerstone will defer further requests for approval and commit to working with the community properly.”
If approved, the proposal would redevelop two 1980s office buildings with two multi-family buildings with 629 units. A new 14-story office building with more than 26,000 square feet of retail is also planned on the site, which is located east of Wiehle Avenue, between Sunrise Valley Drive and the Dulles Toll Road.
Ken Houle, vice president of TF Cornerstone, said the company has made several changes in response to community feedback:
A specific proffer to construct a grade separated crossing of Wiehle Ave
A commitment to engage all stakeholders in a study to determine the preferred grade separated solution, coupled with a financial commitment of $1.5MM to implement that solution if it differed from our proposed solution
Significant modifications to the building heights, lowering both the residential tower on the Toll Road by 44′ and the office building at the corner of Wiehle and Sunrise Valley by 48′
Modified the building façade on Sunrise Valley Drive to respond to architectural preferences raised by the Upper Lakes residents
Increased the size of the community playground by 22% with a commitment to include accessible play equipment
Modified the design to incorporate a community amphitheater space in the 1 acre corner park
Committed to work with an independent arborist and Fairfax County to study trees for potential preservation, coupled with an existing commitment to provide 150% of the required tree canopy in the new development featuring native species trees.
Committed to work with the Upper Lakes residents to accelerate signal timings of existing traffic lights, install a new traffic light at Upper Lake, support Upper Lakes residents in the application of resident only street parking district, and to fund and implement a future traffic calming program for Upper Lakes
Given the fact that many residents remain concerned about the scale of the project, Houle said TF Cornerstone will continue a dialogue with stakeholders to “ensure this project delivers the future that Reston envisioned with the adoption of the Reston Comprehensive Plan.”
“The plan that is proposed is in conformance with the comprehensive plan and has been recommended for approval by the Fairfax County Planning staff.”
Houle added Campus Commons creates a “premium park” that breaks the “mold of development surrounding the metro station of high-rise towers on the prominent corners.”
In a Sept. 11 staff report, the Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning staff recommended approval of the proposal. The Fairfax County Planning Commission is set to take up the plan on Sept. 25, followed by a vote by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on Oct. 15.
Photo via handout/Fairfax County Government, photo via Rescue Sunrise Valley
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority says a construction excavator hit a gas line and caused major back-ups in the area. The incident happened yesterday afternoon.
Crews worked last night to install a temporary fix to reopen the eastbound lanes. The accident also caused delays on the Fairfax Connector.
All service has resumed to normal.
A portion of Sunrise Valley Drive is closed due to emergency road repairs required by a gas leak.
According to the Fairfax County Police Department, commuters are encouraged to use an alternate route between Colts Brook Drive and Thunder Chase Drive.
The service road accessing the Herndon Monroe Bus Loop is shut down. Commuters can access the Herndon Monroe Bus Loop via the Dulles Toll Road.
Delays are expected to all Fairfax Connector routes servicing the loop.
It is unclear when the road will reopen.
This story will be updated.
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) September 17, 2019
A new barbecue restaurant chain is coming to a shopping center along Sunrise Valley Drive in the Herndon area.
Mission BBQ has a license pending to serve beer at 2445 Centreville Road, Suite 34B at the Village Center at Dulles.
Currently, Mission BBQ has locations in 16 states — with 16 spots in Virginia. The closest spots right now are in Chantilly and Sterling.
Photo via Mission BBQ/Facebook
South Lakes High School to Begin Distributing Laptops — Distribution of laptops provided by the school system begins this Wednesday (August 7). Students must be present to receive the laptop, which is part of a recent initiative by the school system to give laptops to students across the county. [South Lakes High School]
Police Search for Missing Great Falls Man — Local police are looking for William “Billy Brener, an 83-year-old Great Falls Man who went missing over the weekend. Brener is roughly 150 pounds and has gray hair and brown eyes. [Fairfax County Police Department]
Silver Line Construction Prompts Closures — Access to several lanes and ramps will be limited this week due to ongoing construction, including Sunrise Valley Drive, Sunset Hills Road, and Herndon Parkway. [Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project]
Photo by Caroline Causey/Flickr
Unwieldy grass along medians and roads maintained by VDOT could become more of an eyesore until mid-June.
A spokeswoman for VDOT told Reston Now that the department delayed awarding a mowing contract after a potential bidder asked for clarification on a section of the call for bids.
“When this happens, state regulations require at least 10 days before closing so the bid was extended,” said VDOT spokeswoman Jenni McCord.
Bids are expected to close on June 11, after which VDOT will make a decision on the contract.
In the meantime, McCord said VDOT is working to schedule crews to mow areas in Reston.
Historically, VDOT has contracted with RA to mow medians. Without a contract with VDOT, RA cannot mow areas maintained by VDOT.
It’s unclear if the association will get the contract this year.
Hank Lynch, RA’s CEO, said he shares members’ concerns about the lack of maintenance on the roadways.
“Routine mowing of the medians not only provides better aesthetics, but it also makes traveling along roadways safer. We will continue to work with VDOT and are poised to perform the mowing quickly and to RA standards if and when the state legally permits us to do so,” Lynch wrote in a statement.
A resident of the Polo Fields neighborhood near the Herndon-Monroe Park and Ride said roads have not been paved and potholes have not been filled for years.
A community representative has been in touch with VDOT about the issue for at least two years.
The neighborhood hasn’t heard back about maintenance concerns.
Photos via K. Malaika Walton
Two federally funded projects are in the works to improve the walkability of Sunrise Valley Drive.
The county plans to widen an asphalt trail on the north side of the road to 10 feet and install a new asphalt trail that will later be incorporated into a planned cycle track for the Sunrise Valley Drive corridor. That track will separate bikes from the pedestrian walkway, according to county spokeswoman.
On the south side of Sunrise Valley Drive, the county plans to install a five-foot concrete sidewalk. Currently, no walkway exists for pedestrians.
“There’s currently very narrow trails in that area or nothing at all,” Tom Biesiadny, director of the Fairfax County Department of Transportation, said. “It’s not in great shape.”
Construction for both projects is expected to cost $1.5 million. The county anticipates receiving a contract award in July and construction is expected to begin later this year.
The projects are intended to improve access to the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station from surrounding communities.
Map (for reference only) via FCDOT
A 17-year-old from Maryland was arrested in connection with a carjacking on Sunrise Valley Drive last week.
On Monday, May 13, police say that a masked suspect pointed a shotgun at a man who was putting air into his car’s tires and demanded the keys.
The suspect drove away in the stolen car, but police caught up with him a short while later.
The teen was caught with the help of the police’s K9 team, according to the Fairfax County Police Department. He was charged with carjacking and the use of a firearm in commission of a felony.
In a separate incident, a man entered a home on the 2600 block of New Concorde Court on Wednesday, May 15 at around 3:50 a.m.
Residents discovered the man in their garage after they heard the garage door open. The man ran away when one resident confronted him.
Nothing was reported missing, police said.
FCPD also reported the following incidents in recent days:
11300 block of Chestnut Grove Square, documents from vehicle
2200 block of Quartermaster Lane, bicycle from residence
2600 block of William Short Circle, bicycle from residence
11600 block of Windbluff Court, license plates from vehicle
2500 block of Brenton Point Drive, 2015 Vespa motorcycle
Plans for a 75-unit assisted living facility are coming closer to reality on 11501 Sunrise Valley Drive next month.
The demolition of the building is scheduled for May 1, according to Dan Gorham, founding partner of Kensington Senior Living. Construction is expected to begin soon after and could take between 16 and 18 months, followed by several weeks for licensing and permitting, Gorham told Reston Now.
The project could be completed as early as the end of next year, Gorham estimated. It will consist of a 66,200 square foot building. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved the project in February last year.
The site is home to the Ivy Preparatory School. County permits processed on April 5 indicated the school could locate to 1441 Wiehle Avenue. The owners of the school did not immediately respond to a request for comment and an office person declined to release details on when or where the school will relocate.
Photo via Fairfax County Government/handout
Construction crews are currently framing the 54 open-concept townhomes Toll Brothers’ Valley and Park development, a Toll Brother spokeswoman told Reston Now.
The spokeswoman said that the project is “currently on schedule” with anticipated completion in 2021.
When asked about the sign on the site that says the development is “opening early 2019,” the spokeswoman responded that Toll Brothers expects a late spring or early summer opening.
Work started on the project in 2017 when trucks tore down a six-story office building that was on the site at 11720 Sunrise Valley Drive, which is close to both the Wiehle-Reston East and the future Reston Town Center Metro stations.
The four different townhome plans all feature three bedrooms, two full bathrooms and three half bathrooms and are priced in the upper-$700,000s, according to Toll Brothers.
Construction crews are busy working on a new townhome community that will turn part of Sunrise Valley Drive into a bustling residential area.
Work started on the project in 2017 when trucks tore down a six-story office building that was on the site at 11720 Sunrise Valley Drive. Now, 54 open-concept townhomes are on the way in Toll Brothers’ Valley and Park development.
The square footage varies for the four different townhome plans, but they all feature three bedrooms, two full bathrooms and three half bathrooms. They are priced in the mid-$800,000s, according to Toll Brothers.
The site is about a 5-minute drive away from both the Wiehle-Reston East and the future Reston Town Center Metro stations. A sign says that the development is “opening early 2019.”
The residential project was added to the Reston Association around this time last year, which means that the owners will have to pay annual assessments.
The site neighbors the new Sekas Homes development that includes 34 townhouses and 10 condos. Up the road, VY at Reston Heights opened its 385-apartments community early last year and includes space for a handful of retailers, which have not opened yet.
Last seven images via Toll Brothers
Updated at 9:45 — Police say the road opened back up around 9:42 a.m. Crews are on their way to treat the icy conditions on the road.
Earlier: Frying Pan Road is closed near Sunrise Valley Drive shortly after 9 a.m., according to the Fairfax County Police Department.
“A traffic crash with icy conditions” caused the closure, an FCPD tweet says.
Police ask locals to avoid the area and find an alternate route.
UPDATE: Frying Pan Rd is open but please use caution due to icy road conditions. Crews are in route to treat the road.
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) March 6, 2019
Updated at 3:15 p.m. — All lanes of Fairfax County Parkway are open, according to a Fairfax County Police Department tweet at 2:42 p.m.
Northbound on Fairfax County Parkway near Sunrise Valley Drive was shut down around 1:20 p.m. as crews work to free a trapped driver from a crash.
Fairfax County sent out a traffic alert at 1:21 p.m. about the crash.
Six minutes later, Fairfax Fire and Rescue tweeted that crews were on the scene of the two-vehicle crash.
Crews freed the driver about 10 minutes later. Two people were transported to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to a second tweet at 1:36 p.m.
UPDATE: driver extricated. Two people being transported to area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Roadway opening soon. Expect delays. #FCFRD #fairfaxcounty #traffic #vatraffic https://t.co/AgAFOfUfLH
— Fairfax Fire/Rescue (@ffxfirerescue) February 8, 2019
UPDATE: All lanes of Fairfax County Parkway are now open. https://t.co/gBCysiS0Sn
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) February 8, 2019
Image via Google Maps
Construction work on the second phase of the Metrorail Silver Line project brings lane and ramp closures from Monday (Jan. 21) until Saturday (Jan. 26).
Most of the closures avoid prime rush hour times.
In a post about the closures, the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project reminds drivers to use caution; remain attentive to all signage, barricades and speed limits; and obey all police and flagger instructions. Work is subject to weather changes.
Eastbound on the Dulles Toll Road has a left lane closures from 500 feet west of the Reston Parkway Overpass to 300 feet before the Wiehle Avenue Overpass from Monday until Wednesday. The lane will be closed from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each day.
Then, from Wednesday through Friday, a left lane will be closed from 200 feet west of the Hunter Mill Road Bridge to 700 feet before the Beulah Road Overpass. This will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
A final left lane closure eastbound on the Dulles Toll Road will stretch from 400 feet west of the Wiehle Avenue Overpass to 600 feet before the Hunter Mill Road Bridge. This is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., starting Tuesday and ending on Friday.
Two triple left lane closures are also slated from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. They are the following:
- Monday to Tuesday: from just west of Centreville Road to Herndon Station
- Tuesday to Wednesday: from Van Buren Street to Reston Town Center Station
The toll road will also have alternating right and left lane closures from just west of the Route 28 Overpass to the Reston Parkway Overpass. The times for this are:
- Monday to Friday: 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
- Saturday: 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Westbound on the Dulles Toll Road also alternating right and left lane closures between the Route 28 and Reston Parkway overpasses. The times for this are:
- Monday to Friday: 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.
- Saturday: 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Westbound also has two triple left lane closures from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. They are:
- Wednesday to Thursday: from Reston Parkway to the west end of Herndon Station
- Thursday to Friday: from Van Buren Street to the west end of Innovation Station
Eastbound on Sunset Hills Road will have alternating right and left lane closures from 400 feet west of Town Center Parkway to the Bechtel Building Entrance. The civil work will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. from Monday until Thursday and from 9: 30 a.m. to noon on Friday.
Several different spots westbound on Sunrise Valley Drive will have closed right lanes from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. from Monday to Thursday and from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Friday, including:
- from Dulles Technology Drive to Dulles Station Blvd
- from Thunder Chase Drive to Millburn Lane
- from Reston Parkway to 200 feet west of Edmund Halley Drive
Edmund Halley Drive will have a right shoulder closed from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. from Monday to Thursday and from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Friday.
Image via Google Maps