Prices are rising across several new developments along the Dulles Toll Road corridor.
It’s happening as the seasons change this year, affecting locations near existing and yet-to-open Metrorail stations.
At Wiehle Avenue for The Townhomes at Reston Station, which features four-story homes with a garage, prices have increased from $786,500 to $807,500 for its lowest model over the course of this year.
Bethesda-based homebuilder EYA didn’t respond to messages seeking comment.
The three- or four-bedroom townhomes have approximately 1,690 square feet of space with luxury amenities.
The base price of another model there, townhomes with elevators, also has increased from the upper $900,000s to $1.02 million and now to $1.075 million, based on figures presented on its website.
Floorplans for different units show two-car garages, a study, three bedrooms, a loft and a rooftop terrace. But designs can vary and include four bedrooms. A base model starts at 2,420 square feet.
The townhome prices come amid a flurry of competition as apartments, affordable housing developments like one near Dulles airport and other homes spring up throughout Fairfax County.
Factors contributing to price changes
Eric Maribojoc, the executive director of the Center for Real Estate Entrepreneurship at George Mason University, noted how low-interest mortgage rates have helped buyers’ high demand for housing.
Along with easier to access to money for buyers, new home development continues, too, reshaping existing areas.
“Developers remain bullish on residential projects near the Silver Line and other metro stations,” Maribojoc said in an email. “They will continue to deliver high-rise condominium projects adjacent to stations and lower-rise townhome projects a little further away. Redevelopment of obsolete office buildings, hotels, and retail centers, particularly those impacted by pandemic-related tenant issues, to new residential units may also expand.”
But he said townhome prices are likely to moderate over the next year, noting the mortgage rates are poised to increase in 2022 due to Federal Reserve policy.
Despite the competition, not every company is responding in the same way with pricing. At least one development is even decreasing prices: At Tall Oaks Flats, located farther north on Wiehle Avenue, Stanley Martin Homes has decreased its one-floor condominium price from the mid-$500,000s down to the upper $400,000s.
Meanwhile, near the Innovation Center Station, a new development also by Stanley Martin Homes has had prices in the $500,000s for condos and $700,000s for townhomes. Construction crews have been erecting wooden frameworks for the project and setting up other construction for the company’s Liberty Park neighborhood. The homes offer two to four bedrooms and up to 2,700 square feet.
Older areas see boom
In Tysons, one project, Union Park at McLean – The Lofts, is about half a mile away from the McLean Station and has 21 homes left along with two model units. So far, 73 have been sold, according to its website.
Its lowest base price is for a two-story, three-bedroom model with a garage. That low point has risen from just under $750,000 in April to just under $770,000. Units start at 1,587 square feet.
“Commercial development has been very active adjacent to Silver Line stations with major mixed-use developments such as The Boro, Reston Station and the Capital One campus,” Maribojoc wrote. “These provide amenities such as grocery stores, retail shops and entertainment in high-density and walkable neighborhoods.”
Residents fall for the urban-like environment in a suburban setting — especially homebuyers relocating from the District, he says.
Pedestrian accessibility and walkability issues with a proposal to redevelop Isaac Newton Square were officially cleared by the Fairfax County Planning Commission.
At a meeting on Oct. 20, planning commissioners unanimously approved road and infrastructure plans for the northernmost area of the site. APA Properties plans to tackle the first 15 acres of the 32-acre project, which is located north of Sunset Hills Road and west of Wiehle Avenue.
John Carter, the planning commissioner for the Hunter Mill District, said the county and the developer had to sort through multiple issues associated with the site — many of which are common issues with urban planning in Reston.
Carter said the county’s priority was improving accessibility within the private neighborhood and to the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station. Problems are especially apparent when different developers own private streets and have different plans for street maintenance and improvements.
“It is quite a problem dealing with these issues,” Carter said.
APA Properties committed to working with the county’s Urban Forestry Division to preserve willow oak trees on the property, which are currently in their prime and can last over 100 years.
The application was also smoothed out so that pedestrians do not have to walk into a stormwater retention facility after crossing a six-inch-high curb.
“That is not a workable scheme and we should try to avoid that,” Carter said, especially for individuals with a wheelchair or a cane.
The developer committed to raising the grade of the street up to the level of sidewalks and installing stormwater management troughs where there is no on-street parking.
Streetlights in the neighborhood will also be lower than in other areas. APA Properties will also install straight curbs instead of rolled curbs, which allow trucks and other vehicles to easily jump the curb.
Carter noted that straight curbs are necessary as parts of Reston continue their transition into more urban-style living.
Photo via handout/MRP Realty
Construction on a new pedestrian bridge over Wiehle Avenue is set to begin sometime next summer.
The bridge, which would connect to the Washington & Old Dominion Trail, is intended to improve access for pedestrians and bicyclists near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station.
Once built, the bridge would begin on the trail and extend over Wiehle Avenue, replacing an existing at-grade crossing. The project — which is part of the Reston Metrorail Access Group‘s plan to improve pedestrian and bicyclist connectivity near the metro station – is expected to cost around $12 million.
So far, the county has secured land rights on four of seven properties affected by the project. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is expected to hold a public hearing on Nov. 9 at 4 p.m. on the acquisition process.
In a memo, county staff said that the board may have to use eminent domain powers to seize some property.
“Negotiations are in progress with the affected property owners; however, because resolution of these acquisitions is not imminent, it may be necessary for the board to utilize quick-take eminent domain powers to commence construction of this project on schedule,” the memo states.
Minor roadway, sidewalk, and median tweaks are planned to make the bridge possible. The bridge would accommodate the gravel path and the asphalt trail, providing full access to and from Wiehle Avenue. In the future, Wiehle Avenue from Sunset Hills Road to the Reston Fire Station entrance and the entrance to Pupatella would also be widened.
Dominion Energy Virginia recently completed plans to relocate overhead electrical transmission lines. Utility work includes removing existing monopoles and installing new ones, as well as relocating overhead transmission lines.
Construction is expected to begin next summer and last for roughly a year.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is expected to discuss the issue at an Oct. 19 meeting.
Photo via handout/Fairfax County Government
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W&OD Trail Near Wiehle Reopens After Utility Work — The Washington & Old Dominion Trail has reopened east of Wiehle Avenue in Reston after closing earlier this summer so Dominion Energy could relocate overhead electric transmission lines. The utility work was necessary to prepare the site for construction on a pedestrian bridge over Wiehle that’s expected to begin next summer. [The W&OD Trail/Twitter]
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Preliminary work necessary for the eventual construction of a new pedestrian bridge on the Washington & Old Dominion Trail over Wiehle Avenue has begun.
Dominion Energy began work on an electric transmission line located at the W&OD Trail at the site on June 1 as part of the initial steps required to accommodate the eventual bridge, according to the company.
Additional elements of this work will require Dominion to remove existing structures, install new structures, and relocate transmission facilities.
Also, as part of this project, detours have been established between Isaac Newton Square and Michael Faraday Court from June to September for safety precautions.
The detours will remain in place when crews are not working. While some weekend work may be necessary during the course of the project, the current working hours for it are Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., according to Dominion.
Detours will direct trail users to either paved or gravel sections of the trail, which will be contingent on the work being performed at the time.
The gravel trail will be temporarily closed for a couple of weeks in June as improvements are made to it for trail users during the company’s construction efforts. Work will begin on the paved portion following the improvements on the gravel trail.
Construction on Dominion’s project is expected to last through August, with restoration of the work areas concluding by late August. This project is anticipated to be complete by September, at which point the detours will be removed.
Construction of bridge project itself is tentatively scheduled to begin in Summer 2022 and be complete in summer 2023, according to Fairfax County’s project site.
The bridge will replace the existing at-grade crossing at the site. The project is planned as a measure to improve vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian access near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station, which was noted by Reston Metrorail Access Group’s plan.
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Preliminary Work Begins on W&OD Wiehle Bridge — “Preliminary work is being performed @ the Wiehle Ave intersection in Reston in preparation for the eventual bridge there. Over the next couple of weeks, Dominion Energy will be making improvements to the gravel trail so that it may be used as a detour as they relocate facilities.” [The W&OD Trail/Twitter]
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County to Hold Meeting on Proposed Bicycle Lanes — Fairfax County will hold a virtual meeting at 6:30 p.m. on June 8 to discuss striping changes that would create bicycle lanes on several roads. The Hunter Mill District proposals focus on Herndon, adding lanes on segments of McNair Farms Drive and Thomas Jefferson Drive and converting the “underutilized” outside travel lanes on Coppermine Road to buffered bike lanes. [FCDOT]
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Photo by Marjorie Copson
Exxon Mobil is seeking more time to expand its location on 1818 Wiehle Avenue.
In a letter to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, a company representative said that construction has been delayed due to “many items,” including “pandemic-related issues.”
The company is requesting an additional one year to complete the project, which was approved in 2017.
Once construction is completed, the gas station would include an expanded quick-service food store and the replacement of an existing car wash.
The extension request heads to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors tomorrow (Tuesday) for a vote.
Image via Google Maps
A Wiehle Ave. Pedestrian Crossing study group has identified three possible options to install safer pedestrian crossing spaces across Wiehle Ave.
For months, a study group has been assessing Wiehle Ave. for future pedestrian crossing installments. Recently, the group discussed three different bridge options to go across the road. They discussed two bridge options at the intersection at Dulles Toll Road, and one bridge option further midblock at Dulles Toll Road.
The urgency around creating a safe crossing zone comes after the recent rezoning at the Campus Commons development that could bring another 2,000 people to Reston, according to Larry Butler, the Chief Operating Officer at the Reston Association.
Butler discussed the project in a recent Reston Today video.
Additionally, the Wiehle-Reston Metrorail Station is on the other side of the road, and a lack of a safe crossing zone could create hazards for new Reston residents.
“They need a way to get over to the Metro Station safely,” said Butler.
The study group has hired a consultant to help assist the group in assessing the various options.
The next public group meeting is Sept. 17 from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m., and Butler encouraged community members to join. Butler also predicted that the Board of Supervisors would make a decision regarding the pedestrian crossing sometime in 2020.
Photo via the Reston Association/Youtube
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County Schools Looking for Teachers — Fairfax County Public Schools has begun hiring teachers and other staff for a number of positions. Two job fairs will be held on August 19. [Fairfax County Public Schools]
Wiehle Pedestrian Crossing Study Group to Meet Today — The Wiehle Pedestrian Crossing Study Group will meet virtually today via Zoom at 9 p.m. [Fairfax County Government]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
A pedestrian was struck by a car at the intersection of Wiehle Avenue and Sunset Hills Road yesterday (Wednesday).
The individual walked away with minor injuries, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.
The pedestrian had the right of way, FCPD Sergeant Tara Gerhard told Reston Now.
But the incident prompted FCPD to encourage motorists and pedestrians to use roadways safely. The busy intersection where the incident occurred is known for pedestrian-related accidents.
FCPD urged pedestrians to maintain eye contact while crossing the road, use the crosswalk, and follow all signs associated with the crosswalk. Motorists should also ensure they are avoiding distractions while on the road.
“Responsibility has to be shared with motorists,” said Lieutenant John Lieb.
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) July 8, 2020
Demolition has begun on the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department’s Station 25 in Reston.
After some delays, crews began the effort on Friday (March 20) to make way for a new fire station on 1820 Wiehle Avenue.
The project is expected to wrap up in the summer of 2021. Fire and rescue personnel are currently working from a temporary station at 1800 Cameron Glen Drive near the North County Government Center.
With a price tag of $14.8 million, the new fire station will have double the capacity, two levels, and space for administrative offices, a kitchen, storage, and bunk rooms.
The area around the fire station is slated for major redevelopment, some of which is already underway.
— Fairfax Fire/Rescue (@ffxfirerescue) March 21, 2020
As work gears up on the new fire station in Reston, construction crews will soon tear down the current one.
The demolition on the old facility (1820 Wiehle Avenue) is expected to begin early this December, William Delaney, a spokesperson for Fairfax County Fire and Rescue, said.
Construction is underway for a temporary station at 1800 Cameron Glen Drive to serve the community until the new facility is completed in 2021.
The existing location is too small and does not suit the needs of the community anymore, another spokesperson previously told Reston Now.
The new station will cost $14.8 million, double the size of the station and feature two stories with room for administrative offices, a dayroom, kitchen, storage and bunk rooms.
“I am sure there will be a grand re-opening ceremony when new station up and running,” Delaney said.
Image via Google Maps
After recent community criticism and pushback from some residents, the developer of a proposed mixed-use development near the Wiehe-Reston East Metro Station is going back to the drawing board to revisit some aspects of the plan.
TFC Cornerstone, which is seeking to redevelop 12 acres of land into two residential towers and a new office building (1900-1902 Campus Commons), submitted amendments to its plans to the Fairfax County Planning Commission on Thursday (Oct. 3). The plan preserves two office buildings currently on the site.
The updated plans — which follow revisions made in late September — reduce the square footage of an office building by 86,550 square feet. The building, which is located at the edge of the property and near a neighborhood with single-family homes, drew criticism from neighboring residents for its scale, especially in contrast with the adjacent neighborhood.
Scaling back the building would result in a net reduction of 487 weekday vehicle trips, according to the developer.
TFC Cornerstones will shift most of the removed density to the residential building, increasing the total number of units from 630 to 656 units. The developer also reduced the design of the office building along Sunrise Valley drive to seven stories, two fewer stories compared to the previously amended plan. The portion of the building furthest away from the road will have 10 stories.
The developer also committed to creating a minimum 50-foot setback between the buildings along Sunrise Valley Drive, making space for a new 14,410 square foot linear park.
If approved, the amended plan would also extend the time period for a study group to examine the best way to get pedestrians across Wiehle Avenue and its intersection with the Dulles Toll Road.
The developer’s proposal — an on-grade crosswalk — has raised concerns for its lack of safety in an already busy intersection, according to residents who testified at a late September meeting.
TFC Cornerstone will work with a study group for up to two years to consider the best way to approach the pedestrian crossing.
Other amendments included:
- Addition of bicycle striping across Wiehle Avenue at the intersection wit Sunrise Valley Drive and across Campus Commons Drive
- A new proffer to provide bicycle. Stairway ramps on straits through the Sunrise Valley Drive pocket park and the corner park
- Limited hours for activities in the amphitheater
- A commitment to include 15 percent tree canopy, despite utility conflicts or other engineering considerations
The project heads to the Fairfax County Planning Commission for a vote on Oct. 10 and is docketed for Fairfax County Board of Supervisor later this month.
Photos via TFC Cornerstone
The Fairfax County Planning Commission will take on Campus Commons, a proposal to redevelop property near the Wiehe-Reston East Metro Station, later this month after nearly 50 residents voiced concerns about the controversial project at a meeting last month.
TF Cornerstone plans to bring 630 residential units spread across a mid-rise and high-rise building, an office building, and urban parks to the southeastern corner of Wiehle Avenue and the Dulles Toll Road.
The project is the last major mixed-use development in the pipeline immediately around he Wiehe-Reston East Metro Station.
In a Sept. 25 proposal for amendments, TFC Cornerstones reduced the height of a 14-story office building to 12 stories and the height of a 29-story residential tower to 25 stories. The developer also added an amphitheater to the development and added language to explore the possibility of a grade-separated pedestrian bridge.
But concerns about the project remain. The project heads to the commission for a vote on Oct. 10.
At a commission meeting in late September, planning commissioners stressed the need for the developer to ensure the project provided strong pedestrian and bicyclist connections to allow people to get to the Metro Station.
Others were unconvinced the project — and prior approvals — have done a good job maintaining synergy with other adjacent projects.
Planning Commissioner Mary Cortina said she was surprised the county’s overall process did not have a strong vision to get people to the station.
An on-grade crosswalk proposed at the intersection of Wiehle Avenue and the Dulles Toll Road has piqued major concerns in the community.
Cortina said she was unconvinced the proposed sidewalk was designed in a safe manner.
“This transition is not at a point where anyone will feel safe going across that many lanes of traffic with all the moving cars coming off [the] ramp,” Cortina said. “They’re going to take the shortest route.”
Residents say the proposed crosswalk, which takes pedestrians to a concrete island in the middle of the toll road’s western exit ramp, poses a major safety risk in an already busy intersection with frequent back-ups.
The project has prompted residents to launch a community grassroots campaign called “Rescue Sunrise Valley.”
Residents also raised concerns about a 25-story office tower on the corner of the site, among other issues. The building would be located immediately next to residential neighborhoods with single-family homes and low-rise townhouses — a mix of uses that residents say is incompatible with the area.
Planning commissioners also urged TF Cornerstones to preserve trees and ensure its renderings — which include significant tree canopy and greenery — will reflect reality. Hunter Mill District Planning Commissioner John Carter noted that greenery and trees depicted in renderings of recently approved projects disappeared when the projects were built. Instead of trees, developers left utility polls and a row of mud.
A temporary fire station in Reston is almost ready for fire and rescue personnel to use while they await their new, permanent station.
Built in the early 1970s, Reston Fire and Rescue Station 25 is set to get demolished this fall and replaced with a new fire station at 1820 Wiehle Avenue.
Construction is set to begin later this year on the new fire station, which will more than double the size of the current department. The project is expected to cost $14.8 million.
“We are not planning a groundbreaking as this new permanent station is a replacement station not a new one to Fairfax County,” Ashley Hildebrandt, a fire department spokesperson, told Reston Now. “We will have a grand opening once the station is built.”
Until the new fire station is finished, fire and rescue personnel will use a temporary fire station at 1800 Cameron Glen Drive near the North County Government Center.
The temporary station consists of trailers and a large tent.
“The temporary fire station is in the final stages of construction,” Hildebrandt said. “Personnel are preparing to move into the temporary station in October.”