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by RestonNow.com June 18, 2018 at 3:45 pm 6 Comments

Commuters using the Wiehle-Reston East garage should expect delays this week.

Construction equipment is being delivered to the site from today through Friday (June 22), causing delays of up to 10 minutes.

Delays are only expected to impact the entrance and exit of the Wiehle-Reston East Park & Ride garage.

by RestonNow.com June 14, 2018 at 2:30 pm 8 Comments

Build some extra time into your plans if you’re planning to take the Orange, Silver or Blue line this weekend.

Trains on all three lines will travel 24 miles apart. Silver Line trains will run only between Wiehle-Reston East and Ballston, Blue Line trains will single track between Foggy Bottom and Arlington Cemetery and Orange line trains will single track between Foggy Bottom and Arlington Cemetery.

The service changes are necessary in order to allow crews to install cables and communications equipment on the Blue and Orange lines, according to the Washington Metropolitan Area Authority.

Customers should use Orange and Blue lines to complete their trip. At Ballston, customers should transfer between Silver and Orange line trains on the same platform.

Photo by Mike Heffner

by RestonNow.com June 13, 2018 at 3:45 pm 5 Comments

The “Summerbration” concert series at Reston Station Plaza will feature a new addition on Friday summer nights.

Professional dance instructors will offer lessons during select concert performances hosted by Reston Station. Lessons vary from swing dancing to African dance.

Reston Community Center’s executive director Leila Gordon said the center is “thrilled” to add professionals to the lineup. She said Reston Station Plaza is “becoming a destination experience for people.”

Dance instruction begins with Friday’s King Teddy Concert.  Each concert runs from 7-9 p.m. and parking is free from 6:30-9:30 p.m. during the concerts.

The complete lineup, which includes dancers and instructors, is below:

June 15
King Teddy
Swing dancers – dancing and instruction

June 22
Cedar Creek
Country line dance instruction

June 29
Elikeh
African dancers – dancing and instruction

July 6
Four Star Combo
Sock hop dancers – dancing and instruction

July 27
Alfredo Mojica & Friends
Latin dancers – dancing and instruction

August 10
Scott Kurt & Memphis 59
Country dancers – dancing and instruction

August 24
The Swingin’ Swamis
Swing dancers – dancing and instruction

Photo via Reston Community Center

by RestonNow.com June 12, 2018 at 1:30 pm 2 Comments

Five days after winning the Stanley Cup, the Washington Capitals and fans celebrated their first NHL championship win.

As tens of thousands lined up along the parade route, fans clad in red piled onto trains at Wiehle-Reston East. As of 9:30 a.m. today, the parking garage at Wiehle-Reston East was full and long lines caused delays to catch trains.

The Caps won the 2019 Stanley Cup championships after defeating Las Vegas Golden Knights four games to one last week.

A live stream and recap of the parade is available via The Washington Post.

Photo by 

by Fatimah Waseem April 27, 2018 at 1:30 pm 15 Comments

Nearly $132 million is being sought to fund the Soapstone Connector, a long awaited, half-mile-long extension between Sunrise Valley Drive and Sunset Hills Road.

The funding request for the $169.2 million project comes roughly five years after the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a hybrid design for the project, which will provide an additional overpass over the Dulles Toll Road and ease traffic on south Reston roads.

Major development in the Wiehle-Reston East area, including Comstock’s Reston Station mixed use project, is expected to generate additional traffic on area roadways.

Local and state officials have long identified the need for the project, which aims to alleviate bottlenecks along Wiehle Avenue at Sunset Hills Road and Sunrise Valley Drive and improve connectivity for pedestrians and bicyclists to the Wiehle-East Metrorail Station.

According to preliminary plans, the new road will include a three-lane cross section with one travel lane in each direction and a two-way, left-turn-only lane. Other features include five-foot wide bicycle lanes on each side, a five-foot wide sidewalk on the west side and a 10-foot wide path on the east side.

Construction is not anticipated until after 2023. Additional design, engineering and environmental work is expected to continue through 2022.  In 2014, the county’s board placed the project on its list of high priority projects for 2015 to 2020.

A funding gap of $25 million remains to complete the project. Requests to the Commonwealth Transportation Board have been made. Construction is expected to cost $45 million.

The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority will review the request, which is one of 60 candidate transportation projects in the area. NVATA is seeking public comment on the project on May 10 at 3040 Williams Drive, Suite 100 in Fairfax. Online comments can be submitted through Sunday, May 20.

File photo

by RestonNow.com April 13, 2018 at 2:30 pm 19 Comments

Aperture, a five-story, 421-unit building on 11410 Reston Station Boulevard is now officially open. Local officials and professionals behind the project held an official grand opening earlier this month.

The project is the product of a joint partnership by Reston-based developer Chuck Veatch and Bozzuto Group.  It includes studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units, as well three courtyards, outdoor cooking stations, a library, a gum and a lounge area.

Developers aimed to create an art-infused community that mixes city and suburban living in a lower-density setting.

Rents for a one-bedroom, one-bath apartment unit with 628 square feet start from $2,010. The rate for a two-bedroom apartment with 1,034 square feet starts from $2,475.

The building includes a Reston Wall, which offers a nod to Reston’s history and developers. Zachary Oxman’s steel sculpture, “Convergence” in the entrance.

Aperture is one of the first residential projects to open next to the new Metro Station.

Photos via Bozzuto Group and Marion Myers

by Fatimah Waseem April 13, 2018 at 11:45 am 16 Comments

Some Metro users say the Wiehle-Reston East garage is becoming increasingly difficult to navigate. Limited spaces are available during weekday morning hours as construction continues in the area.

Beginning at 9 a.m., few non-reserved parking spots are available in the 2,300-space garage, Metro users said. The garage (11389 Reston Station Boulevard) includes reserved spaces, which open up to the public at 10 a.m. if they are unused.

Garage users said some drivers park their cars in reserved spots not assigned to them due to the challenge of finding space. Jude J. said police often issue tickets to those individuals ten minutes before the parking space opens up to the public.

“You’re lucky if when you enter the ‘lot full’ light is on, otherwise you’re stuck in a dangerous situation with cars going every direction trying to find a spot,” said Jude. She has been commuting for past year and a half from Leesburg to Washington D.C..

County and transit officials pointed to several possible explanations for the scramble for space. County data indicate the average paid utilization rate in March was 88 percent. The rate for reserved parking is $65 a month and $4.95 on weekdays, except Thursday when the rate is $3.

Robin Geiger, head of communications for the Fairfax County Department of Communications said temporary construction in the garage may explain why spaces are limited. Construction is expected to end next month, Geiger said.

In response to space constraints, the county is promoting other alternatives like the Reston South Park and Ride, as well as Fairfax Connector Routes 553, 557, 559 or 585 to Wiehle.

Comstock, the developer behind Reston Station which sits above the garage, built the garage through a public-private partnership with Fairfax County. The county retains garage ownership while the Washington Metropolitan Area Authority operates the facility.

Maggie Parker, a spokesperson for Comstock, said space may also be limited due to “increased activity” with events like the cherry blossoms in the District. WMATA indicated they have seen an increase in parking demand as a result.

Signs in the garage are programmed to display “lot full” when 15 spaces or less are available.

Parker also said it is possible that people are not driving down far enough into the garage, especially three levels down in the ParkX parking area.

The situation has some hoping for other parking alternatives, especially as summer swings in and the recent opening of restaurants like Founding Farmers and Sweet Leaf attracts more customers.

by RestonNow.com April 11, 2018 at 2:30 pm 64 Comments

Major redevelopment is underway as Comstock Partners continue to complete the massive Reston Station development on the northe side of the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station.

On Tuesday (April 11), the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved an expanded version of the project, which calls for a further 1.7 million square feet of development, including a mix of residential units, a hotel and office towers.

The project is part of a public-private partnership with the county, which owns seven acres of the roughly 12-acre development. Changes include the addition of 362,450 square feet of development for the buildings on the Reston Station Plaza, increases in the heights of building, and the addition of a hotel to respond to “industry feedback,” said Cooley LLP’s Mark Looney.

The Promenade, an extension of Reston Station, would redevelop a Bank of America, medical buildings and 30 office condominiums on the corner of Sunset Hills Road and Wiehle Avenue into high rise buildings with up to 540 units, a 14-story office and a 23-story, 280-room hotel with 80 private residences.

Under amended plans, the county’s 1.3-acre portion of the project, previously designated for Reston Station, will be included in The Promenade in order to better unify the block.

Around 17 percent of the units will be affordable at levels of affordability ranging from 70 to 100 percent of the area median income. Comstock also plans to provide $1.9 million to the county’s affordable housing trust fund.

Comstock’s plans also include a woonerf, a shared street system that is used by pedestrians, bicyclists and cars, but does not contain sidewalks, curbs and traffic lights.

The county’s land use plan for the area north of the station includes 2.4 million square feet of development and roughly 1,900 housing units.

“Lots of trees gave up their lives for this application,” said Sharon Bulova, chairwoman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

Comstock plans to begin construction on its next office building at 1906 Reston Metro Plaza this spring. Plans for another 180,000-square-foot office are under county review.

Photos via Comstock

by Fatimah Waseem March 27, 2018 at 9:00 am 4 Comments

Under SEC investigation — ComScore, a Reston-based audience company, issued new financial statements showing it overstated revenue by $127 million. [Washington Business Journal]

29 acres are up for grabs — Fannie Mae is expected to vacate three major buildings in the area as it moves to Reston Gateway in 2022. Who will fill the void? [Washington Business Journal]

If you’re heading out to Wiehle-Reston East parking garage — Parking may be limited at times as construction continues in the area. Commuters can park at Reston South Park & Ride for free. [Fairfax Connector]

Flickr pool photo via vantagehill

by Fatimah Waseem March 13, 2018 at 9:00 am 2 Comments

Winning big – Reston Community Players won 13 awards over the weekend at the Washington Area Theatre Community Honors celebration. [Broadway World]

And losing big — This Reston-based government IT contractor is laying off around 100 employees due to a recent health care contract loss. [Washington Business Journal]

Bus connections to Wiehle-Reston East — Loudoun County Transit is requesting $1.7 million to expand bus service to the Metro station. But there are a lot of projects vying for funding. [NOVA Transit]

Attention, book lovers — Reston Regional Library is holding a book sale for children, teens and educators this Friday through Sunday[Friends of the Reston Regional Library]

Unemployment rates flatline — Virginia’s unemployment rate rests at 3.6 percent, the same as December’s figure. [WTOP]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

by RestonNow.com March 12, 2018 at 11:30 am 9 Comments

A new waiting area is available at the Wiehle-Reston East station.

Uber and Lyft drivers, as well as shuttle buses and vans, can use the lot, which was opened today, to drop off and pick up passengers, according to a release from Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins.

Vehicles can enter the waiting area from Reston Station Boulevard off of Wiehle Avenue. Parking is allowed for 15 minutes only. Pedestrians can use the crosswalk at Reston Station Boulevard and Wiehle Avenue to access the waiting area.

Any unattended vehicles will be towed. Vehicles stopping and standing along Reston Station Boulevard will be ticketed.

For more information, contact Connect and Ride at 703-502-9797.

by Fatimah Waseem March 6, 2018 at 11:15 am 7 Comments

Parking spaces for Metro users at the Wiehle-Reston East garage were not available earlier this morning as construction crews work in the area.

At around 9:30 a.m. today, users attempting to park at the garage indicated no non-reserved parking spots were available, forcing some to park in reserved spots in the 2,300-space garage.

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority responded to complaints by telling users to notify an attendant at the parking gate about the lack of parking.

Users would be let out “with no charge,” WMATA wrote in a tweet.

See the social media roundup below:

File photo.

by Fatimah Waseem February 5, 2018 at 9:00 am 0

Hours for Parking Fees Extended at Wiehle-Reston East Beginning Today – Beginning Feb. 5, charges for parking on weekdays will begin at 7:30 a.m. instead of 9:30 a.m. On Fridays, fees will continue through 2 a.m. instead of 1 a.m. Other stations will also have fees on Saturdays, but county officials barred an attempt to charge for parking at the Reston station last month. [Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority]

Reston’s Latest Additions Harken Back to Its Modern-Day Design – In a “design perspective” piece, Deborah Dietsch writes that Reston’s last development blocks are being completed with a “welcome return to modern design.” [Washington Business Journal]

Rollicking Roundup Playtime Tomorrow at Frying Pan Farm Park – Children under the age of five can enjoy two hours of free play at the park’s visitor center auditorium from 10 a.m. through noon. Attendees should bring toys to show and share. [Fairfax County Government]

Photo by Fatimah Waseem

by Fatimah Waseem January 29, 2018 at 2:30 pm 7 Comments

Reston Association is considering a request to add two new developments to its membership.

Proposed additions include Valley & Park, a 54-unit townhouse project on 11720 Sunrise Valley Drive and The Lofts at Reston Station, which will include 32-unit, four-level condominiums and 12 stacked townhouse condominiums at 1825 Michael Faraday Drive.

Both developments will have its own on-site maintenance through a cluster or condominium association.

The developers have committed to pitch in a per unit capital contribution to offset the impact of new members to existing RA infrastructure, according to Larry Butler, RA’s senior director of land use planning. Staff did not disclose the contribution amount in a meeting late last week as negotiations continue.

Valley & Park by Toll Brothers is in the early phases of preparation for construction after a six-story building built in 1985 was razed in June. Located just east of JBG’s Reston Heights development, the 69,000-square-foot building was bought by Rooney Properties in 2013.

The Lofts at Reston Station by Pulte are designed to create “a new urban neighborhood” on 1.5 acres – just a third of a mile from Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station. Redevelopment projects are planned around the site. The project, which is currently under construction, replaces a one-story industrial building and surface parking.

RA’s Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing on the proposed additions on Feb. 22.

With its membership in RA, the developments will be subject to various terms, including:

  • The entire property will be subject to the Reston Deed
  • The establishment of a cluster association — Sunrise Square
  • Full payment, per unit of the RA annual assessment
  • A lump sum payment or other initiation fee

Photos via Fairfax County Government

by Fatimah Waseem January 18, 2018 at 11:30 am 32 Comments

Fairfax County officials are pushing back against a move by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority to charge for weekend parking at the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station.

Beginning Feb. 5, WMATA plans to charge a $2 fee parking for Metro users who park in the Metro garage or lot on Saturdays. Parking is currently free at the 2,300-space garage, which is owned by Fairfax County.

“Over the past several years, WMATA’s image has been significantly tarnished. Charging for parking on Saturdays, especially when there are so many reasons not to charge, will not improve WMATA’s image,” county staff wrote in a statement.

The county’s Board of Supervisors, which must approve approve parking changes before they are instituted, will consider the matter at a Jan. 23 meeting. The county currently contracts with WMATA to remotely monitor parking garage gates and fare collections while WMATA maintains equipment and processes SmarTrip and credit card payments.

County staff charging fees could decrease weekend ridership — especially when demand for parking is already low on weekends.

“WMATA may actually lose more many from lost rail fares than it gains from the new parking fee,” according to a statement.

Staff listed other reasons to oppose the parking fee:

  • Requires additional costs to maintain equipment and oversee personnel.
  • Discourages new riders, who often try Metro on weekend, from using the service.
  • Is inconsistent with the region’s goal of providing alternatives to single-occupant vehicles.
  • Discourages Metrorail trips, ultimately increasing weekend congestion and air pollution.
  • Makes an already challenging commute for weekend riders — who often deal with delays due to maintenance work on weekends — even harder.

In a statement, WMATA said charging for weekend parking will “allow Metro to maximize utilization of parking facilities without increasing the daily parking rate for Metro customers on weekdays.”

WMATA is also planning to extend the hours of parking fee collections on weekdays — a move the county officials support. Charges for parking will begin at 7:30 a.m. instead of 9:30 a.m. On Fridays, fees will continue through 2 a.m. instead of 1 a.m.

Additional fees collected through the change will generate additional revenue that will help pay off debt service payments on bolds sold to fund additional Metrorail parking. The garage was built by Comstock Partners’ through a public-private partnership with the county.

Comstock’s Reston Station development, a major mixed-use project, sits above the garage.

File photo.

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