Photos: Work Underway for Valley and Park Townhomes Along Sunrise Valley Drive

Construction crews are busy working on a new townhome community that will turn part of Sunrise Valley Drive into a bustling residential area.

Work started on the project in 2017 when trucks tore down a six-story office building that was on the site at 11720 Sunrise Valley Drive. Now, 54 open-concept townhomes are on the way in Toll Brothers’ Valley and Park development.

The square footage varies for the four different townhome plans, but they all feature three bedrooms, two full bathrooms and three half bathrooms. They are priced in the mid-$800,000s, according to Toll Brothers.

The site is about a 5-minute drive away from both the Wiehle-Reston East and the future Reston Town Center Metro stations. A sign says that the development is “opening early 2019.”

The residential project was added to the Reston Association around this time last year, which means that the owners will have to pay annual assessments.

The site neighbors the new Sekas Homes development that includes 34 townhouses and 10 condos. Up the road, VY at Reston Heights opened its 385-apartments community early last year and includes space for a handful of retailers, which have not opened yet.

Last seven images via Toll Brothers 

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Where to Get Your Girl Scout Cookie Fix in Reston

As the winter starts to thaw, stands hawking Girl Scout cookies are starting to crop up nationwide. But rather than randomly stumbling on them, a new app can help Restonians with a sweet tooth track their dealers.

Your best bet for cookies today (Monday) will be Troop 524 setting up outside the Giant at 2425 Centreville Road in Herndon from 4-6 p.m.

More options throughout the area start showing up later in the week. On Wednesday and Thursday, Girl Scouts will be selling cookies at:

  • Wiehle-Reston East (1862 Wiehle Ave) from 4-6 p.m.
  • Lucia’s Italian Ristorante (2531 John Milton Drive) from 4-6 p.m.
  • Safeway (11120 South Lakes Drive) from 5-6:30 p.m.

On Friday, there are more than 20 locations within a five-mile radius of the Reston Town Center scheduled to be vending Girl Scout cookies. Keep an eye on the app or the online tracker to find one near you.

Photo via Facebook

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BREAKING: Google Doubling Its N. Va. Workforce, With New Offices and Data Centers Planned

Google is significantly expanding its operations in Northern Virginia, as part of a $13 billion round of investment in new offices and data centers across the U.S.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced the plans in a blog post Wednesday afternoon.

“With new office and data center development, our workforce in Virginia will double,” Pichai wrote.

The post did not specify exact locations or other details, but Google currently has an office at Reston Town Center and was reported to be considering a major new lease near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station.

It was also previously reported that Google had purchased sites in Ashburn and Leesburg for two new data centers.

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Comstock Procures JBG Smith’s Commerce Metro Center Properties

Comstock Holding Companies, Inc. announced today (Feb. 6) that it acquired JBG Smith’s Commerce Metro Center Portfolio — a move that will increase the Reston Station area to 4.5 million square feet once fully built.

The portfolio spans nearly 40 acres from the Dulles Toll Road and the surrounding area by the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station. It lies directly across from Comstock’s first phase of the Reston Station neighborhood development.

The portfolio includes three office buildings totaling 408,000 square feet, along with entitlements in place for an additional 1.1 million square feet of mixed-use development for possibly adding more office, residential, retail and a hotel.

Tenants who have signed on for the three existing office buildings include:

  • Applied Information Sciences
  • Kimley Horn and Associates, Inc.
  • CACI NSS Inc.
  • Clarabridge, Inc.
  • BT Americas, Inc.
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Kroll Associates, Inc.

Back in November, JBG Smith said an unnamed buyer agreed to pay$115 million for its three-building Commerce Executive Park complex, which is located by Sunrise Valley Drive and Wiehle Avenue, Globe.St reported.

The acquisition also ups the total assets under management by Comstock Holding Companies, Inc., under its long-term management agreement covering Reston Station, according to the press release.

Comstock Chief Executive Officer Christopher Clemente described the portfolio as “high-quality, value-added properties.”

Photo via Comstock

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Photos: Lofts at Reston Station Almost Ready by Wiehle Metro Stop

Just a short walk from the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station, Lofts at Reston Station will debut new one- and two-level condominiums starting around $600,000.

The redevelopment by Pulte Homes consists of 12 two-level townhome-styled condos and 32 one-level condos in an elevator building.

Reston Now previously reported that a representative for Pulte said the 44 new homes could expect an early fall opening.

Now, Lofts at Reston Station anticipates completion this spring. The two-over-two condos are finished and the one-level condos in an elevator building are scheduled to be done in May, Randall Anthony, a sales consultant for the Lofts at Reston Station, told Reston Now.

Construction started last spring on the redevelopment project located at 1825 Michael Faraday Drive, replacing an office building and a parking lot. Plans for this development started back in 2015.

The one-level condos will feature seven different home designs. Each condo will include two bedrooms and two baths, according to the Pulte website.

Meanwhile, the two-level condos will include two different home designs, with both offering up to three bedrooms and two baths each, along with a one-car garage.

The website lists the starting price at $529,990.

Residents of The Lofts will be Reston Association members.

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Reston Then and Now: Reston Station

This week on Reston Then and Now we move a little east of the Reston Town Center and use Fairfax County’s aerial photography to look at how the area around the the Wiehle-Reston East Station has changed over the years.

Like much of the Reston area, photography from 1960 shows the area as fields and farmland. While the Metro station wasn’t built until 2014, the area had some development as early as 1976. By 1990 the area was starting to show increasing levels of development along the Dulles Access Road.

Between the 1990 and 2009, new construction tailed off except for the BAE systems building along Sunset Hill Road. But following the Metro station’s construction, including the 180,000-square-foot Reston Station office building scheduled to open in 2020.

Now, the Reston Station area is on track to continue its expansion over the next few years. A new fire station is planned near the Isaac Newton Square redevelopment at the northern edge of Reston Station.

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New Fire Station Nears End of Design, Moves Towards Construction

With a little less than a year before construction is scheduled to start on the new Reston Fire and Rescue Station 25, project is starting to shift from conception to physical.

Laurie Stone, a strategic planner for the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, said residents should start seeing work on the temporary fire station soon.

“The next thing you’ll see is when we start constructing the temporary facility behind the police station,” said Stone. “That will be starting soon… probably by the first of the year.”

After the fire crew moves into the temporary station at 1800 Cameron Glen Drive, Stone said demolition of the old fire station at 1820 Wiehle Avenue and reconstruction will begin in late summer-fall next year. The new fire station is expected to open in spring 2021.

The new station is scheduled to be 17,150 square-feet, over twice as large as the current 7,750 square-foot station. It will include four bays for the fire trucks on the first floor and administrative offices, a day room, kitchen, storage and bunk rooms on the second floor.

Stone said the station is built to facilitate any necessary new equipment or additional staffing required as the area near the Wiehle-Reston East area continues expanding.

The new fire station has also taken into consideration the developments planned nearby, like the redevelopment of Isaac Newton Square just behind the station.

“[This fire station] is in the Reston comprehensive plan for this area,” said Stone, “So we’ve met with the developer before to make sure they’re aware of it, so when their rezoning application goes through [to Fairfax County] it will go through our agency for review.”

As the area becomes increasingly crowded, Stone said it’s important to ensure the vehicles can quickly and safely enter and exit the station.

“This is going to be a drive-through station,” said Stone, meaning fire trucks will be able to leave from either a south or north entrance to the station. “When the development happens behind us at Isaac Newton they are going to work with us to make sure we can access the rear of the station.”

Stone also said the station development is keeping in mind the planned bridge over Wiehle Avenue which will be adjacent to the fire station. That bridge is planned to be built by October 2022.

“We’re ahead of their schedule,” said Stone, “so we’re coordinating construction so that they don’t disturb our operations.”

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Friday Morning Notes

Don’t let above-freezing temperatures deceive you — Local police advise commuters to exercise caution as they head out today. Road conditions remain icy and local police have already responded to a number of crashes today. [Fairfax County Police Department]

When Wiehle-Reston East commuters were left in the dark — A few weeks ago, Metro commuters were left in the dark when several Silver Line trains weren’t running from Largo Town Center to Benning Road. Metro’s main spokesman won’t say why. [The Washington Post]

Last days to drop-off donations — Cornerstones’ Thanksgiving Food Drive is nearing to an end. The last day to drop off requested donations at a number of local donations is this Monday. [Reston Community Center]

In case you missed it — A car crash sent four people to the hospital yesterday morning. The driver of one car was trapped and was removed from the car. [Reston Now]

Photo by Twitter user @MrErrett

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Reston Expansion Planned for Capital Bikeshare Over the Next Two Years

A little over two years after Capital Bikeshare launched in Fairfax County, the program is planning to expand across Reston. But details on where the new stations, which were proposed last year, are pending.

According to Nicole Wynands, Bicycle Program Manager for the Fairfax County Department of Transportation, the bike-share expansion is planned for late 2019 or early 2020.

“We are still working on the exact locations,” said Wynands, “but additional stations are planned to be added in both North and South Reston.”

A list of sites in Reston had been proposed last year, but Wynands said further study found some of the sites did not meet federal criteria for grant funding.

“The previously proposed stations [were] a concept proposal which [is] always subject to final engineering,” said Wynands. “We have since conducted surveys and developed preliminary design concepts. As the expansion is funded through a federal grant, each location has to meet a long list of criteria stipulated by federal requirements, state requirements and operator requirements. The surveys revealed that some of the originally proposed stations did not meet all siting criteria, so alternative sites are being considered.”

Additionally, Wynands said sites are being reconsidered based on proximity to new bike trails built through Reston over the last year.

“We will be able to announce the new station locations after we have received all needed permits,” said Wynands. “We are still planning on adding up to 11 new stations in Reston”

At its busiest, typically during June, Wynands said there were 1,861 trips starting or ending in Reston. Capital Bikeshare also recently implemented a pilot project to add new battery-operated bikes to Reston. The program will continue through the end of the month.

Wynands said the most popular stations in Reston are the ones at the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station, followed by the Reston Town Center Transit Station and the Sunset Hill Road/Isaac Newton Square Station.

“The system is designed primarily to cover the first and last mile between the origin/destination and transit,” said Wynands. “This is evident in the popularity of the bike share station at Wiehle Metro, which serves both as an origin and a destination for commuters in the morning and afternoon, as people working near Reston Town Center are arriving by Metro and continuing their trip to Reston Town Center via the W&OD, while at the same time Reston Town Center residents commute via the W&OD to the Metro station to continue their trip to Tysons, Arlington or DC.”

The station with the lowest use is at North Shore and Cameron Crescent, a station which primarily serves as an overflow to the busy Lake Anne station down the hill at North Shore and Village Road.

According to Wynands, the system is continuing to grow in ridership, with a seven percent year-over-over growth recorded thus far.

“It takes a few years for a new system to establish itself, and we expect additional growth through the expansions as we will serve additional riders and destinations.”

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Fairfax County Planning Commission Approves Midline Project

The Fairfax County Planning Commission unanimously approved the Midline, a mixed-use project near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station Thursday night.

The approval sets the project, which would bring 1.8 million square feet of development across 17..5 acres east of Wiehle Avenue and south of Sunset Hills Road, in motion for a Board of Supervisors’ vote on Dec. 4.

John Carter, the Planning Commissioner for the Hunter Mill District, lauded the development team, JBG Smith, EYA and Chevy Chase Land Co., for bringing a diverse mix of low-rise housing to the area, a feature that he said is lacking in other projects recently approved in Reston.

Four blocks with several buildings are proposed on land that is currently used for low-rise office buildings and surface parking. The plan includes 127 independent units, a 33-bed assisted living facility, a 225-unit multi-family building and a mix of townhouses. A 14-story office building and retail is also planned on the site nearer to the Metro Station.

Carter said the mix of affordable and workforce housing units, which is integrated throughout the site, is not intended to serve as a precedent for other projects. Due to the variety of housing options proposed, the developer has integrated several affordable units in the townhouse area and the multi-family building, creating a dispersed mix of affordable housing throughout the project, Carter said. Parking will be offered at a cost reduced by 70 percent of the price for market-rate units. The affordability tiers are also 70, 80, and 100 percent of the area median income — a distribution lower than the typical county requirement of 80, 100 and 120 percent of the AMI. Independent living and affordable units will have shared access for several amenities.

Following concern about limited public amenities, the development team also added additional dog parks, playing areas for children, and agreed to work with area developers to install street lights, updated curbs, and signage along Reston Station Boulevard. That road will extend into the Midline project and pedestrian and bicyclist access to the Washington and Old Dominion Trail will also be provided.

The commission deferred a decision on Woodfield Acquisition’s plan to replace office buildings on Roland Clarke Place with residential units to Nov. 15 in order to allow the developer to devise a better way to create a grid of streets in the area.

Photo via handout/Fairfax County Government

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CVS Pharmacy to Open in Reston Station

CVS Pharmacy is the latest tenant to sign a lease with Comstock’s massive Reston Station project near the Wiehle-Reston Metro station. 

The healthcare giant will lease 8,451 square feet of plaza-level retail space in Reston Station’s third tower, which is currently under construction. The $95 million tower features 180,000 square feet of office space and completion is slated for January 2020.

The storefront is at the entrance of Metro’s north pedestrian bridge to the station. Christopher Clemente, CEO of Comstock Holding Companies, Inc., said the tenant, which signed a twenty-year lease with three five-year options, will bring “virtually every item one needs for daily living” to residents, tenants, and commuters in the area.

“Bringing CVS to the Reston Station neighborhood is another great step forward for the Reston Station neighborhood,” Clemente wrote in a statement.

The company joins other retailers like Starbucks, Founding Farmers and Sweet Leaf Café on Reston Station’s Metro Plaza.

The new urban neighborhood includes the BLVD, a 447-unit high-rise, a 350,000 square-foot office tower, and Bozzuto’s residential building, Aperture. Additional development is planned and approved in Reston Station.  

Photo via Comstock

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55+ Bike Ride to the District Set for Oct. 10

Reston Association is offering bike riders to ride along with the 55+ bike riders for a “multi-modal” ride to Capitol Hill and surrounding areas.

The ride is set for Oct. 10 (Wednesday) from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Bikers will meet at the Wiehle-Reston Metro Station and take the Metro into the city.

Attendees should bring a  bike in good repair, a Metro pass, money for lunch and a lock. Helmets are mandatory and must be worn during the ride.

The ride is roughly 15 miles. Anyone with questions should email [email protected] or call 703-435-6577.

Registration is $8 for RA members and $10 for all others.

File photo

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Scam and fraud awareness event today — At an event at Reston Association headquarters, today from 4-7 p.m., a local detective and community partners will discuss warning signs of fraud and provide information about common scams that frequently target the older adult community. [AARP Virginia]

Not betting the farm — “Key players in the joint bid for Amazon’s second headquarters say their community’s time has come, even if the Seattle-based company picks another location.” [Washington Business Journal]

A free (but not necessarily full) ride — Loudoun County Transit is offering free bus service from the park-and-ride in Purcellville to the Wiehle-Reston Metro Station beginning Oct. 1. [The Loudoun Tribune]

Photo by Charlotte Geary

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Trio of Office Buildings on Sunrise Valley Drive Under New Ownership

Bridge Investment Group, a private real estate and property management firm, has purchased The Campus at Sunrise, a 255,000-square-foot office campus with three low rise buildings.

The company plans to renovate buildings on the 12-acre property, including updated lobby areas, a renovated tenant amenity center, office suites, and space for communal outdoor areas, special events and entertainment.

The office campus was 85 percent leased at the time of the sale. The company did not disclose the purchase price of the property. The buildings, located at 11130, 11190 and 11180 Sunrise Valley Drive, were previously owned by Grosvenor Americas, which purchased the property in 2011 for $63 million.

The asking price of the property was $61 million. BPG Properties, a private equity real estate company, owned the campus before Grosvenor.

Promotional material cites the buildings’ close proximity to Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station and Reston Station.

Photo via Cushman & Wakefield

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Private Contractors Likely to Operate Silver Line’s Second Phase

Private contractors are likely to operate and maintain the six new stations that are part of the Silver Line extension project that runs from Wiehle-Reston East into Loudoun County

In an announcement on Tuesday, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority said it has issued a request for proposals in order to seek private contractors who can operate and maintain the new stations, trains, and facilities.

WMATA said the move was necessary in order to control operating and maintenance costs, including future pension costs, which it says have “grown to unsustainable levels.”

“We are leaving no stone unturned as we look for opportunities to maintain transit service for the region and protect jobs, all while living within our means in light of what our funding jurisdictions can afford,” said Metro General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Paul J. Wiedefeld. 

Bids are due on Jan. 15 and a contract will be awarded in the spring.

Officials said the move will not result in job losses for Metro’s current workforce. They also noted that transit agencies in Hong Kong, London, Melbourne, and Beijing have had success in contracting some or all rail services through public-private partnerships, resulting in “improved on-time performance, reliability, operating efficiencies and cost savings.’

The Silver Line extension project is tentatively scheduled to open in 2020.

Photo by Fatimah Waseem

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