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Ravel Dance Studio to Leave North Point Village Center

Ravel Dance Studio is leaving its home of 20 years in North Point Village Center to a new location in The Spectrum in January.

The move will allow the studio, which offers classes and performs recitals, to expand its programs and classes in the 5,000 square foot facility on 1763 Fountain Drive, said Janet Hall, the owner and artistic director.

“We’re really excited to be in the heart of Reston and offer more adult classes,” Hall said. “Right now, we are bursting at the seams with students. It’s exciting to be the only small business in that area.”

The new site has three state-of-the-art studios that were designed by the same company that worked on floor installations at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. The studio’s current location is roughly 3,600 square feet.

A more central location in Reston will also allow the studio to better display its classes, four classical ballets and professional work. The studio has invested roughly $400,000 to build out the new facility and roughly a year and three months of negotiating.

The studio also hopes to continue leveraging its partnership with Reston Community Center’s CenterStage for performance space, which is a major reason why the studio hopes to remain in Reston as it expands, Hall said.

Classes will begin to transition beginning Dec. 20th and the move should be complete by Jan. 3, the beginning of the second semester of classes.

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Griffith

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Hundreds Take Advantage of Free Lunch Offer as Cava Opens in Reston

Several hundred people enjoyed lunch on the house Tuesday afternoon as Cava Mezze Grill celebrated the opening of its new Reston location at 1815 Fountain Drive.

“We’ve always known Reston is a place we’ve wanted to come,” said Meg Schiffman, Cava’s director of marketing, amid the crowd during the free community-lunch event, which lasted from noon to 2 p.m. “It has been the most-requested location in the history of Cava, and we’re just so thrilled to be part of the community now.”

As of about 1:15 p.m., Schiffman said about 250 people had already made their way through the line, which still extended all the way down The Spectrum shopping center’s sidewalk. Schiffman said it was one of the longest lines she had ever seen during such an opening event, which Cava hosts at each of its new locations.

“Sharing a meal is part of our culture — it’s really kind of where we came from,” Schiffman said. “It’s been something we really feel is important to introduce ourselves, but at the same time to open our doors and really have a shared experience with everybody in the community.”

The Greek and Mediterranean fast-casual restaurant is an offshoot of Rockville-based Cava Mezze restaurant, which has five locations in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. The Reston location is the 34th Cava Mezze Grill nationwide, with plans to add several more by the end of 2017.

The restaurant will open for regular business hours, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., beginning Wednesday.

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Cava Mezze Grill To Open Its Reston Location in First Days of August

Finishing touches are being completed inside Cava Mezze Grill’s new Reston location, where an early August opening is planned.

The Greek and Mediterranean fast-casual restaurant (1815 Fountain Drive) will introduce itself to Reston with a free “community lunch” from noon to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 1. Lunchgoers are invited to stop in to try out the restaurant’s grain bowls, salads, pitas and more.

Meg Schiffman, Cava’s director of marketing, says the restaurant will open for regular business hours — 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. — the next day.

Cava Mezze Grill is an offshoot of Rockville-based Cava Mezze restaurant, which has five locations in Maryland, Virginia and D.C. There are currently about two dozen Cava Mezze Grill locations nationwide, with the Reston location one of about a dozen more planning to open soon. There are several other locations elsewhere in Northern Virginia, including in Tysons, Vienna and Merrifield’s Mosaic District.

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Cava Mezze Grill to Open Soon at The Spectrum Shopping Plaza

Cava Mezze Grill has plans to soon begin offering its Greek and Mediterranean menu at The Spectrum shopping plaza.

Signage is up in the windows at the future location of the restaurant, 1815 Fountain Drive. The storefront near Best Buy had been the home of a Lane Bryant clothing store before it closed last year. A permit to allow renovation by the new tenant was issued by Fairfax County last month.

Cava Mezze Grill is an offshoot of Rockville-based Cava Mezze restaurant, which has five locations in Maryland, Virginia and D.C. There are currently about two dozen Cava Mezze Grill locations nationwide, with the Reston location one of about a dozen more planning to open soon. There are already several locations elsewhere in Northern Virginia, including in Tysons, Vienna and Merrifield’s Mosaic District.

The eatery is described as “a fast-casual spin-off” that “serves fresh, healthful and savor-worthy meals.”

A request for information about an opening date for the restaurant has not been answered at this time.

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Reston Spectrum’s Future: Urban, Walkable, Mixed-Use

Artist's rendering of future development at Reston's Spectrum/Credit: Fairfax County

The recent closure of Romano’s Macaroni Grill at Reston’s Spectrum Center took many residents by surprise

While the shutdown was sudden — the employees have said they received no notice — the plans for the future of the area stretching from the Macaroni Grill to Harris Teeter have been in the works for more than a decade.

When Reston Town Center was planned in the late 1980s, the plan was for a town center-like area to expand all the way down Reston Parkway to Baron Cameron Avenue. However, the development climate was not ripe for such a project in the early 1990s, so The Spectrum was developed in a strip-mall fashion and leased to big box stores such as Barnes & Noble and Best Buy.

“It was underdevelopment in respect to the property zoning,” Mark Looney, the land use lawyer representing Lerner, said at a public hearing on the project in 2013. “Reston Town Center was intended to be a grand downtown. This was developed in transition [due to the economy of the early 1990s]. In the interim, it became a big box-development.”

By 2008 — with the Metro’s Silver Line looking like a reality for Reston Parkway — Lerner Enterprises was focusing on securing a higher density future for the 24-acre site. In May of that year, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a plan for nearly 800,000 square feet of non residential (retail, hotel and office) space and a maximum of 1,442 residential units.

The plan sought to connect The Spectrum to the Reston Town Center in a walkable urban core.

In 2010, Lerner sued the county to obtain additional density for the project.

In early 2013, the Board of Supervisors approved changes to the plans for the Spectrum. Some of the details:

  • 774,879 square feet of non-residential use; 1,422 multifamily residential units (with 12 percent set aside for affordable housing) in seven new residential buildings
  • 38 percent open space. At least 12 percent set aside for affordable and workforce housing.
  • Underground and structure parking; LEED certifications
  • Two new east-west streets and expanded bike trails and pedestrian access.

The development will be divided this way:

Land Bay A (where Best Buy and Barnes & Noble are located) is planned for 546 dwelling units, 255 hotel rooms, 172,000 square feet of office, and 62,500 square feet of retail uses.

Land Bay B (where PetSmart and On the Border are located) is planned for 643 dwelling units, 270 hotel rooms, and 48,650 square feet of retail uses.

Land Bay C (where Harris Teeter is located) is planned for 237 residential units and 134,896 square feet of retail and bank uses. Only Harris Teeter is expected to remain — and expand into the current Office Depot space — in the redevelopment.

Additionally, Land Bay B will wrap around the planned 23-story office tower at Bowman Towne Drive and Reston Parkway. That building, which will contain retail and 18 stories of offices, was approved by the supervisors in September of 2012.

Lerner representatives said in 2013 it had no immediate plans for redevelopment, and officials did not respond to a recent interview request from Reston Now.

But real estate sources said at the time to watch for individual business closings — especially in stand-alone buildings like Macaroni Grill’s — over the next several years in preparation for the redevelopment.

Retail leases are generally 10 years, and many retailers do not want to sign for the longterm if their future at a location is uncertain. That was believed to be the situation in 2012, when Barnes & Noble failed to reach lease terms with Lerner and left the Spectrum.

It also likely played into the reason for The Macaroni Grill’s closure, though parent company Ignite has shut down dozens of Macaroni Grill’s nationwide in a cost-cutting measure. Ignite officials would not comment on the Reston store’s closure.

The Spectrum is about one-quarter of a mile from the future Reston Parkway Metro Station, which is slated to open in 2018.

Read the entire staff report on the project on Fairfax County’s website.

Photo: Artist’s rendering of mixed-use building at The Spectrum/Credit: Fairfax County

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