Major League Baseball arrives for 2017 on Monday, with the hometown Washington Nationals hosting the Miami Marlins for a season-opening matinee.
Those who take the Metro down to Nationals Park for the game will be in for an added treat, as Reston Station at Wiehle-Reston East will be hosting a baseball celebration from 10 a.m. to noon. The fun will include live music, a cornhole competition, hot dogs and more. In addition, the first 50 riders who show their ticket stubs will get free parking passes for the station’s ParkX.
The Nationals will continue the series against the Marlins with a game Wednesday night. The festivities at Reston Station that evening will take place from 4:30-6:30 p.m.
For more information about upcoming events at Reston Station, visit its website.
Defense contractor Leidos is considering leaving its current headquarters in Reston Town Center (11951 Freedom Drive) for a new home, the Washington Business Journal reports.
Citing sources close to the company, the WBJ says the expansion in workforce brought about by the company’s merger with Lockheed Martin last year has it reevaluating its space needs. Leidos employees about 33,000 people worldwide, according to information it provides to investors.
According to the WBJ report, Comstock Properties’ 1900 Reston Metro Plaza is among the properties being considered as a potential new headquarters for Leidos. Still seeking an anchor tenant, the site was considered by Nestlé before that company chose Arlington for its U.S. headquarters. The Helmut Jahn-designed building, adjacent to the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station, is currently in its final stages of construction.
WBJ says Boston Properties, owner of Leidos’ current home, has proposed new headquarters space for the firm as well.
Speaking to community business leaders Thursday in Herndon, Fairfax County Supervisor Cathy Hudgins said the amount of development taking place within Reston’s Transit Station Areas has surpassed expectations and has positioned Reston as an economic driver for the county, region and state.
At the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce’s legislative panel event, Hudgins said she and others believed Tysons Corner would grow faster than Reston when their respective plans were first laid out.
“I think it’s the reverse of that now, and I think it’s the reverse of it because Reston is a very stable community,” Hudgins said. “[It is] a community well-established, different from this [transit-oriented] development but very much in concert with it.”
Hudgins showed her audience a map featuring the three Reston TSAs — encompassing the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station as well as the future Reston Town Center and Herndon stations — and pointed out more than 40 development projects that are in the works within those boundaries.
“This would not be happening if we had not approved the transit that is coming to the area,” she said. “It’s working.”
Hudgins said the Tax Service Districts that have been established in Reston and Tysons in order to help fund transportation improvements in the community were “a lot of work” to develop, but they represent a “success model” for the county. She said increasing public transit and making more walkable communities around the stations is “a creative, very smart way to approach how we develop and keep economic development going.”
“Many folks — not just millenials, but seniors — find it important to be able to live in a community where everything is at their fingertips,” Hudgins said. “[With transit-oriented development], they feel that there is housing that fits for them, there’s recreation that fits for them, and there are restaurants and the thriving other services that they need. They aren’t getting in their car. They want to be able to walk or take transit, and that’s what’s happening here.”
Hudgins said that when the Reston Plan was approved over 50 years ago, it said “Fairfax County would be wise if they would establish these areas, preserving more open space for single-family homes and others, but bringing these more dense areas to concentrate things.”
“Fifty years later, we’re getting there,” she said. “I think it’s going to be the story about how Fairfax County continues to thrive.”
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.
The 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
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:
- The JBG/1831 Wiehle project, which would bring 1,300 to 1,500 new residences on six parcels between Wiehle Avenue and Michael Faraday Drive
- 175 multifamily units and 13 townhouses at 11111 Sunset Hills Road, just east of Michael Faraday Drive and adjacent to the JBG/1831 Wiehle project
- The Lofts at Reston Station, 44 residences at 1825 Michael Faraday Drive (approved by Fairfax County in October)
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.”
The Metro board is set to vote Thursday to approve an FY2018 budget that includes 10-cent fare increases on rush-hour rides and 25-cent hikes at other times. Regular and express bus fares will also go up by 25 cents, while the rate for the bus to Dulles Airport will jump from $7 to $9.75.
Ridership on Metro plummeted from 2015 to 2016, with stations in Virginia seeing a decrease in users of more than 12 percent when comparing the fourth quarters of each year. Wiehle-Reston East’s decrease was 13.4 percent, the greatest drop among Virginia stations on the Silver Line, which had a 9 percent decrease overall.
Service frequency during rush hour outside of DC will also be decreased as part of the plan. For the Silver Line, trains will run every eight minutes instead of the current six-minute interval. The original proposal had called for off-peak frequency to be decreased as well, from 12 minutes to 15; however, that has been dropped from the final plan.
Virginia representatives on the Metro board discussed the proposed changes, as well as increased local contributions to the budget, during a January public forum in Reston.
The new rates are expected to go into effect around July 1.
Strong Storms Possible Later Today — Temperatures in the 70s are again predicted for this afternoon. However, showers and thunderstorms are possible into the evening, with damaging winds and large hail also possible. [Capital Weather Gang]
More Craft Beer on the Way? — New zoning regulations approved Tuesday by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors may open the door for more small breweries in Reston. There are currently seven licensed craft breweries in the county. [Fairfax County]
Rider: Metro Worst System He’s Used — David Ballard, of Reston, compares his experience on the Metro to public transportation systems in Denver, Salt Lake City, Portland, Dallas and Mexico City. He says the DC system not only is “by far” worse than the others, it’s more expensive. [Washington Post]
Metro Ridership Down Dramatically — At the Wiehle-Reston East station, ridership was down 13.4 percent in the last quarter of 2016. Ridership on the Silver Line as a whole was down 9 percent. [WTOP]
There are some new apartments in town, and they’re called BLVD Residential at Reston Station. One guess where they’re located. I have to say, they look very nice based on those pictures in the development’s web gallery.
Here are some more details on them:
The developer is Comstock. This mixed-use development has 450 apartments and is located directly adjacent to the Wiehle-Reston East station. Units are luxury studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom plus den apartments. All feature top-of-the-line amenities like gorgeous wood cabinetry, stainless steel appliances and quartz countertops. Click here to see the floor plans.
In addition to the gorgeous apartments, the building includes:
- Rooftop pool and terrace, demonstration kitchen, bar and game room
- Rooftop fitness center, weight room and yoga studio
- Pet-friendly and smoke-free environment
- A Starbucks (which is very handy on that short walk to the Metro station)
While the building does not fall within Reston Association’s covenanted land, BLVD Residential is one of the first buildings in the TSA (Transit Station Area) to be brought into Reston Association through a supplemental declaration. What this means to residents is that they will have access to RA programs and services at alternative rates compared to other members. And design review for the property will be conducted with support from Reston Association staff using urban design guidelines developed for Reston Station.
Metro Station Saw Long Lines for Women’s March — Many attendees of the Women’s March on Washington this past weekend took the Silver Line to get to D.C., and that resulted in some massive crowds at the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station. Photos shared on social media showed the huge turnout Saturday morning. [Patch]
Volunteer Group Prepping for Future Disasters — Every part of Fairfax County will soon have its own Community Resiliency Group, which would be activated to help recover from disasters such as floods, earthquakes or chemical spills. Nearly 200 people have registered to be part of the volunteer group in the Hunter Mill District, and many participated in a Volunteer Fairfax/Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management seminar earlier this month to learn more. [Reston Connection]
Motorcycle Crash in Sterling Leads to Reston Man’s Arrest — James E. Basham, 30, of Reston, was charged with driving under the influence and carrying a firearm while intoxicated. [Loudoun Times-Mirror]
Reston-Based Startup Gets National Recognition — ScienceLogic, headquartered on Parkridge Boulevard, has been named one of Business Insider’s “18 hottest under-the-radar startups to watch in 2017.” The business helps companies locate and monitor IT assets in their own data center or in the cloud. [Business Insider]
Reminder: Submitting Events — As a reminder to those who are planning events in Reston, the best way to submit events to us is via our event calendar. Sending a press release is usually not necessary. [Reston Now]
You may have heard the nation’s 45th President, Donald Trump, will be inaugurated Friday on the National Mall.
In celebration of the historic event, Reston Station Plaza is hosting a series of festivities including entertainment and games.
Beginning at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at the plaza (1904 Reston Metro Plaza, at the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station), patriotic displays will include live music and presidential trivia. The fun is scheduled to wrap up at 7:30 p.m.
On Friday, events are scheduled to begin at 7 a.m. and Inauguration Day coverage will be displayed on a big-screen television throughout the morning. A Donald Trump impersonator is also expected to be part of the show.
For updates, watch the event’s Facebook page.
Those who are planning to use the Metro to travel to D.C. for the inaugural events are being encouraged to plan ahead and use caution on what is expected to be an extremely crowded day. Metro is once again selling commemorative SmarTrip cards for the event, and Wiehle-Reston is one of a number of stations at which special card sleeves will be distributed.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors this week approved plans for a new 260-unit apartment complex near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station.
The seven-story apartment complex, dubbed “the Lincoln,” will be located next to the site of the future Metro Commerce Center, a multi-acre development by Vornado Realty planned to consist of four towers featuring offices, residences, retail and a hotel.
The Lincoln is slated to be built on three acres near the corner of Sunrise Valley Drive and Commerce Park Drive, where a surface-level parking garage for the Executive II office building is located now.
“The developer will also help to build the planned shared-use path along Sunrise Valley,” the board said in its announcement Thursday.
The site for the Lincoln complex is close to Reston National Golf Course and Soapstone Drive, where a future toll road crossing is planned.
Metro’s latest SafeTrack “surge” began today and is expected to last through at least Dec. 21. Reston residents who depend on Metro for their daily commute are likely to feel the pain.
Technical problems — like the decaying rail ties that led to the Silver Line derailment over the summer — have caused a number of issues along the Metrorail system in the past year.
Metro officials are advising commuters to find other ways to get to around the D.C. Metro area as the system’s huge push to boost the system’s safety continues.
“Due to a severe reduction in service, Metro riders who have the ability to do so should consider alternate travel options and avoid traveling during rush hour if possible,” Metro’s latest announcement stated.
Here are other important facts Metro officials want riders to know during this time period:
- Silver Line Trains will be traveling approximately every 20 minutes between Reston’s Wiehle-Reston East and Maryland’s Largo Town Center East.
- Orange Line trains will run every 20 minutes between Vienna and New Carrollton in Maryland.
- Crowding is expected on all Orange and Silver Line trains.
- Crowding is also expected on Blue Line trains between the Rosslyn and Stadium-Armory stations due to reduced capacity on the Orange and Silver Lines.
- Weekend service may also be impacted due to track work on various lines. Weekend service announcements are posted online.
See Metro’s full announcement online, with more details and a list of alternative travel options for commuters.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors earlier this month endorsed a developer’s application for 44 new residential homes known as the Lofts At Reston Station, near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station.
Supervisors are touting the Lofts as “a new urban neighborhood,” and the first development of its kind in the area northeast of the Metro stop, according to an announcement from the county.
Pulte Homes will bring the Lofts to 1.58 acres at 1825 Michael Faraday Dr., south of Sunset Hill Drive, which is just a third of a mile from the Metro station’s north entrance. The space is currently occupied by a one-story office building and a parking lot.
The development, according to the county, will “begin to establish the local street grid for this area of Reston,” which is a highly-sought-after area for developers as construction continues on the Silver Line.
Pulte will extend Michael Faraday Drive and Reston Station Boulevard along their property.
“Reston Station Boulevard is planned as the new ‘main street’ for the area surrounding Wiehle,” according to the county. “This road is intended to connect properties on the east to the station, and the plan envisions this road stretching west of the station to Plaza America.”
Supervisors also said Pulte will contribute $44,000 toward construction of a future traffic light at Reston Station Boulevard and Michael Faraday Drive.
Sunset Hills Road between Metro Center Drive and Wiehle Avenue is currently closed to traffic, according to Fairfax County Fire and Rescue officials.
Though nobody has been injured or sickened by the leak, authorities are advising people nearby to stay indoors as a precaution.
“They are checking some buildings,” said Fairfax Fire and Rescue spokesman Bill Delaney. “But nobody complaining of any illnesses.”
Update 11300 block of Sunset Hills Rd: crews checking buildings close by & all clear. Advising occupants to shelter in place as precaution. pic.twitter.com/zYSPEgH0Fi
— Fairfax Fire/Rescue (@ffxfirerescue) November 10, 2016
Workers struck and ruptured a gas line about two miles away from that area yesterday.
We’ll update this story as we know more.
Two major projects near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station are up for discussion at the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors meeting tomorrow.
Wiehle Station Ventures LLC is seeking to redevelop a surface level parking lot across the street from the Sunrise Valley convenience center and, beyond that, Reston National Golf Course, into a 260-unit Lincoln apartment building at Commerce Park, Association and Sunrise Valley drives. The property is also close to Soapstone Drive, where a future toll road crossing is planned.
The Board of Supervisors also is set to consider the design concept for the Lofts, in which Pulte Homes would redevelop a one-story industrial building at 1825 Michael Faraday Court into 44 residences.
The parcel is about one-third of a mile from the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station. The development and the Metro stop eventually will connect through interior streets, including an extension of Reston Station Boulevard, plans show.
Though the Planning Commission has recommended approval to the Board of Supervisors, the concept has not been without issues.
Hunter Mill planning commissioner Frank de le Fe said he feels the project attempts to jam too many residences into too little land, as the plan calls for fitting 12, two-by-two townhouses into less than two acres.
Other issues brought up had to do with the configuration of open space, the amount of surface parking, the design of a pocket park and the lack of landscaping connecting to public space.
Images via Lincoln At Commerce Park, Lofts at Reston Station, Fairfax County.