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by Dave Emke — August 21, 2017 at 11:30 am 0

(This article was updated at about 4:15 p.m. after Fairfax County Fire and Rescue provided a press release on the incident.)

Work is continuing as usual today at Bechtel (12011 Sunset Hills Road) after a Sunday fire on the building’s 11th floor.

Affected employees remain at work Monday but have been moved to other areas of the building, said Iva Zagar, Bechtel spokesperson.

“[Our facilities team] has been really helpful to the people who have been affected, to point them in the right direction,” she said. “I haven’t heard that anybody can’t do work, so everything is smooth this morning.”

The two-alarm fire before 8 a.m. Sunday at the One Reston Overlook building was electrical in nature, said Bill Delaney, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue public information officer. It involved a junction box around a set of work stations, he said, but how the box failed remains under investigation.

“They know it started there, but they’re still trying to figure out exactly what occurred,” Delaney said.

A restoration crew is at the site Monday working to clean up damage caused by the flames and accompanying smoke. According to Fairfax County Fire and Rescue, damages from the fire are estimated at about $40,000. About 20 employees were working in the building at the time of the blaze; however, no one was reported injured.

“The good news is, the fire sprinklers did their job — they were able to contain the fire,” Delaney said. “Then our folks got there and were able to put the remainder of the fire out, but it did generate a good deal of smoke, and there was some damage as well from the actual flames.”

Light smoke damage was also reported in the 12th floor, according to Fairfax County Fire and Rescue.

Bechtel is the largest construction and civil engineering company in the United States, and is one of the largest privately owned companies in the nation. Its Reston location is its nuclear, security and environmental business office.

by Dave Emke — August 20, 2017 at 10:15 am 1 Comment

A two-alarm fire Sunday morning on the 11th floor of a building in the 12000 block of Sunset Hills Road has been contained, officials say.

The fire started in a cubicle, Deputy Chief Dan Shaw said.

“Upon arrival, [firefighters] found a working fire on the 11th floor,” he said. “The fire was being contained by a sprinkler system that had successfully activated.”

Units from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue stations 4 and 36 responded. The second alarm was sounded for resources, Shaw said.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. We will provide more information when it becomes available.

by Dave Emke — August 18, 2017 at 2:45 pm 13 Comments

Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant will open its new Reston location in 10 days.

A permit to operate the eating establishment at 12130 Sunset Hills Road, in the RTC West commercial development, was issued by Fairfax County this week. Signage outside the front door of the restaurant advertises its Aug. 28 opening, as previously announced.

The 9,365-square-foot restaurant also features a 522-square-foot mezzanine area. It will feature “a lively tasting room and market, indoor dining for 196 guests, outdoor dining for seating for 146, and a private event space that can accommodate up to 44,” according to a press release issued this week by the restaurant. The Reston location — its third in the DC Metro area — will be led by general manager Ryan Delisi and chef Laurence Cohen.

Also from the release:

The concept is built upon [CEO Tim] McEnery’s passionate core belief that food and wine hold the power to forge lasting connections. His restaurants are home to 250,000+ Wine Club members, who enjoy limited production Wines of the Month, travel and dining experiences among other benefits.

[Chef Laurence] Cohen works closely with corporate-based Executive Chef Matt McMillin to ensure the utmost in quality and presentation of the expansive contemporary American menu. Utilizing peak of season ingredients, the restaurant’s scratch kitchen selections include a carefully crafted array of food and wine pairings, each listed with a bin number to guide guests’ selections of their perfect wine match.

The release names some of the restaurant’s menu favorites including candied bacon and artisan cheeses; gnocchi bolognese with braised short rib; Southern hot chicken; pan-roasted barramundi; shrimp and scallop risotto; and wild mushroom-crusted chicken.

In addition, the restaurant’s wide selection from its winery is celebrated in the release:

The company, which imports grapes from the best vineyards across the globe to produce more than 40 varietals in its Countryside, Illinois winery, has been honored with more than 450 wine awards. Crafted to please a range of palates, Cooper’s Hawk wines include selections that are accessible for those new to the world of wine, as well as complex and full-bodied options for more seasoned drinkers. In addition to the wine menu, guests can choose from a selection of craft cocktails and sangrias made with Cooper’s Hawk wine. These include inventive takes on a classic Collins cocktail (Harvest Peach Collins made with Slaughter House Whiskey), a Caipirinha with Cooper’s Hawk Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as creative martinis such as a Blood Orange Paloma Martini (Casa Noble Tequila and Cooper’s Hawk Prosecco).

Beginning Aug. 28, the restaurant will be open at 11 a.m. each day. Closing times are 9:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 10:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; and 9 p.m. Sundays.

Earlier this summer, Cooper’s Hawk began the process of hiring more than 200 employees for the restaurant. Training of those workers is currently underway.

Work also continues on other buildings in the plaza that will soon house six more restaurants, a nail salon and a Starbucks. The other restaurants on site will include Punjabi by Nature, The Black Squirrel, Honeygrow, BGR The Burger Joint, Mezza Mediterranean Grille and Nando’s Peri-Peri.

The restaurant and retail space is the first phase of development for the site, which is bordered by Town Center Parkway to the east, the W&OD Trail to the north, and the plaza that contains Chick-fil-A, Potbelly Sandwich Works, Chipotle and more to the west. Property owner JBG announced last year that it has further plans for the site, including two multifamily residential buildings and three more office buildings.

by RestonNow.com — May 9, 2017 at 11:30 am 1 Comment

Post Trail LLC, the company that owns the low-rise office buildings located at 11150 Sunset Hills Road, has filed for a Special Exception permit in hopes of opening a new cycling business.

The property is currently home to a 51,825-square-foot, four-story office building, which includes the offices for the well-known local charity Cornerstones.

According to Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins’ office, Post Trail LLC wants to build a 6,841-square-foot retail business for bicycle sales and repairs.

According to the permit application, no exterior changes to the building would be made.

Another business, Virginia Retina Specialists, also applied for permits last year to set up residence in the office building.

Image of 11150 Sunset Hills Road from Google Street View

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by Dave Emke — April 21, 2017 at 9:00 am 1 Comment

Giving Back to Emergency Responders — Firefighters from Station 25 presented a certificate to a Reston woman who adopted a fire hydrant in her neighborhood. The woman was involved in a serious motorcycle crash in 1994 and credits emergency crews including fire units with saving her life, and she has loved and supported them ever since. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]

Guinea Pigs on Twitter Thanks to Local Students — At Ideaventions Academy, a specialized STEM school in Reston, students have built a computer and are using censors to get classroom pets to tweet out randomized messages. You can follow along @PepperNCaramel. [WUSA]

County Map Shows Youth Crash Locations — A map released Thursday by Fairfax County plots the locations of all 1,840 vehicle crashes involving youth drivers (ages 15-20) in 2016. In Reston, locations including Sunrise Valley Drive, the intersection of Wiehle Avenue and Sunset Hills Road, and the intersection of Reston Parkway and Route 7 had the most incidents. [Fairfax County]

Another Capital BikeShare Station Opens — An 11-dock Capital BikeShare location has opened on Town Center Parkway near Sunset Hills Road, at the RTC West complex. [Capital BikeShare/Twitter]

Map courtesy Fairfax County

by Dave Emke — March 22, 2017 at 11:30 am 49 Comments

Rendering for Golf Course Overlook/Credit: olf Course Overlook LLC

Proposed rezoning of Golf Course Plaza, a three-acre parcel on the west edge of Isaac Newton Square, is scheduled for a Fairfax County Planning Commission hearing June 21.

Location of planned high rise near W&OD and Hidden Creek/Credit: Golf Course Overlook LLCThe proposal, which first came to light in May 2016, would see the property (11480 Sunset Hills Road) become the home of a 392,600-square-foot multifamily residential structure with three levels of underground parking. Currently on the parcel is a three-story office building and a surface parking lot.

The residential building would feature 413 units. Developer Golf Course Overlook LLC seeks to rezone the property from I-5 (General Industrial) to Planned Residential Mixed-Use. According to the summary of Reston Association’s March land development tracker, it is “unclear whether any commercial uses would be retained” on the property.

The site is between the W&OD Trail and the fourth hole of the Hidden Creek Country Club golf course. It is about a third of a mile from the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station. According to the land development tracker summary:

“The site is located in the Wiehle Station Transit-Oriented Development District and designated Residential Mixed Use, which seeks to retain a 75/25 mix of residential and non-residential uses respectively, at intensities of up to a 1.5 FAR [Floor Area Ratio]. Isaac Newton Square is planned to be home to 3,200 (of the 4,600) residential units for this district.”

A county staff report on the project is to be released June 6. Signs advertising the hearing are to go up May 31.

Images via Golf Course Overlook LLC

by Dave Emke — March 15, 2017 at 4:00 pm 29 Comments

1808 Michael Faraday Court

A developer has submitted an application to rezone another property off Sunset Hills Road near Wiehle-Reston East Metro station to residential use.

Faraday Partners LLC has made the request for 2.9 acres at 1808 Michael Faraday Court to become a multifamily dwelling area. The Washington Business Journal reports the proposed project is a seven-story apartment building with up to 261 units.

Quoting the statement of justification, the project is described as drawing upon “traditional motifs that are reminiscent in design, height and historic loft-style industrial buildings found in revitalized urban areas.”

Michael Faraday Court is a short road off Sunset Hills with no outlet. In addition to the property in question, it is home to the SkateQuest facility and an office building.

A 2-acre portion of the site is currently zoned I-5 (general industrial), while the other nine-tenths of an acre is zoned I-4 (limited industrial). The site is the former home of the Academy of Christian Education, which moved to Parkridge Boulevard last year.

This is just another in an ever-growing list of residential projects proposed for the corridor east of Wiehle Avenue. Others include:

Numerous additional projects are in the works on the west side of Wiehle Avenue as well. In 2014, Fairfax County reworked Reston’s land-use plan to encourage such development in the area of the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station, as well as the future Reston Town Center and Herndon stations.

“In the future, the three station areas could become home to a total of 30 million square feet in offices and 28,000 housing units,” the county said in its announcement of the plan’s revision. “The plan aims to make [the Wiehle-Reston East] station area an education-focused neighborhood with housing that is well-connected to transit by new walkable streets.”

by Dave Emke — February 28, 2017 at 11:30 am 0

11111 Sunset Hills Road/The Meridian GroupArlington-based Rooney Properties has plans for a large residential project at 11111 Sunset Hills Road, the Washington Business Journal reports.

Unlike other development Rooney has planned in the area, however, this will not include destruction of the current property. According to the report, Rooney will buy only a portion of the 222,000-square foot office building, owned by The Meridian Group, which it plans to redevelop into living spaces.

The site is currently zoned industrial, and is the home of businesses including IBM and Akamai Technologies. Rooney has filed to rezone it to planned district commercial, for a mixed-use development to include the construction of up to 175 multi-family units and 13 townhouses.

The residences are planned for the western portion of the existing site, according to the statement of justification, “closest to the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station and proximate to the residences planned just to the west.”

The adjacent property to the west is 1831 Michael Faraday Drive, also owned by Rooney Properties. The firm is seeking rezoning of that property, which currently is home to a single-story office building it has plans to demolish to make room for new residences there as well.

The Fairfax Newsletter recently reported that the plans for the Sunset Hills Road property propose “an urban, walkable” development while “retaining and incorporating the existing office building and an extension of Reston Station Boulevard through the site to Sunset Hills.”

The statement of justification also reports that public open space planned for the property would integrate with public open space on the Michael Faraday Drive property “to create a large combined public park.”

Meridian purchased the property in 2015. According to its investment strategy, it “intends to benefit from the nearby redevelopments to the neighborhood, which will connect the property to the Metro via retail-oriented, pedestrian-friendly streetscapes as the area transitions to a mixed-use, 18-hour environment.”

Rooney Properties is also the owner of the property where Sekas Homes is developing Sunrise Square, as well as the Sunrise Valley Drive property where a six-story office building is scheduled for demolition to make way for residential development.

Photo via The Meridian Group

by Jennifer van der Kleut — November 16, 2016 at 1:35 pm 0

11493 Sunset Hills Road office building (Photo courtesy of Rubenstein Partners)A Philadelphia-based developer has bought up 180,000 square feet of office space in Reston with plans to renovate it and add high-end amenities, in hopes of attracting tech companies.

Rubenstein Partners announced last week it purchased the five-story building at 11493 Sunset Hills Road for $18.6 million. Unisys Corp. recently vacated the building after more than 10 years.

Built around 1988, the property is close to the Reston Station neighborhood, which is just a short walk from the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station. It also is near the Dulles Toll Road, Reston Town Center and Plaza America.

“11493 Sunset Hills Road is exactly the kind of value-add opportunity Rubenstein Partners seeks out,” Mike Daugard, a Rubenstein Partners vice president, said in a statement. “The outstanding location speaks for itself.”

Rubenstein Partners soon will begin work on updating the building with new high-end amenities to create a more modern feel, Dugard said.

“The vision for the property is to convert it from a traditional office building to a high-tech magnet by refashioning the interiors to offer higher ceilings and a more open ‘industrial loft’ feel,” he said.

In addition to all-new HVAC systems and a modern building management system, the building will get a fitness center, conference center and food service areas, according to plans from Rubenstein Partners.

All renovations and additions are expected to be complete by the end of 2017. At that time, Rubenstein Partners will hand over operations to real estate firm Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, which will lease the space.

Photo courtesy of Rubenstein Partners

by Karen Goff — October 10, 2016 at 2:45 pm 26 Comments

Sunset Hills Professional Park

Comstock is in the final stages of purchasing the Sunset Hills Professional Park to add to its mixed-use square footage near Wiehle-Reston East.

Sunset Hills Professional Park is a one-story office condo complex at Sunset Hills Road and Wiehle Avenue. The complex was built in 1981 and is mostly home to doctors, dentists and other medical services.

Construction is not expected to begin for three to four years as the project moves through the Fairfax County approval process. The tenants will be able to rent back during that time, a Comstock spokeswoman said.

The professional park is adjacent to both Comstock’s Reston Station mixed-use development as well as the under-construction Aperture Apartments from Bozzuto.

“This will enable us to further develop our grid of streets and pedestrian pathways to Reston Station,” said Comstock’s Maggie Parker.

The plans, now in the design phase, will include ground floor retail, a wide boulevard with trees, residential and office, she said.

“This is the beginning of the real consolidation of the Reston Station neighborhood, which will go from Plaza America to Michael Faraday Drive,” said Parker.

by Karen Goff — November 27, 2015 at 11:40 am 16 Comments

Accident on Sunset Hills

Updated, 4:30 p.m. Friday with more information from police

A 47-year-old man was flown to Inova Fairfax Hospital Friday morning after he was struck by the driver of a Chevrolet Impala while he was crossing Sunset Hills Road.

Fairfax County Police said the accident occurred about 10:50 a.m. in the 14900 block of Sunset Hills between Isaac Newton Square and Plaza America Drive. There is neither a light nor a crosswalk at that location.

The pedestrian suffered life-threatening injuries, police spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell said. The driver of the car, who lives in Reston and was heading eastbound on Sunset Hills, was not injured. He was also not charged, police said.

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