Reston, VA

The latest tenant to open near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station is celebrating its opening at an event next week.

M&T Bank, which is located at 1886 Metro Center Drive, plans to hold a grand opening on Wednesday, Jan. 22.

The company says the new location will “include more business bankers to meet the needs of local small-business customers and feature a new design intended to improve the customer experience by removing barriers between customers and bank employees.”

Customers of the M&T’s former branch at Wiehle Avenue are encouraged to visit the larger branch at Reston Station, the company says.

Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce President Charles Kapur will attend to share a few remarks. 

Image via Google Maps

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Metro users should plan ahead for a major shutdown at the Orange and Silver Line in Arlington.

The service will not run from Rosslyn to East Falls Church on Saturday (Jan. 11) and Sunday (Jan. 12). There will also be no Silver Line service between Largo Town Center and Rosslyn this weekend.

Trains are scheduled to run every 12 to 15 minutes between East Falls Church and Vienna and between East Falls Church and Wiehle-Reston East.

Free shuttle buses will replace trains between East Falls Church and Rosslyn on the Orange Line. The Ballston, Virginia Square, Clarendon and Court House stations will be closed.

Metro riders traveling through the work zone will be charged for a single, continuous trip.

More information on weekend service changes is available online.

Photo via Dario Piparo/Flickr

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Safety Tips for Candles — Fairfax County Fire and Rescue has advice on how to prevent fires this holiday season. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]

New Tenants at Reston Station — “During 2019, Comstock Holding Companies, Inc., has announced the signing of more than 500,000 Sq. Ft. of new office leases in the Reston Station development, which covers nearly 40 acres surrounding the Wiehle-Reston East Station on Metro’s Silver Line… Most recently, Solar Winds signed a lease covering 16,349 Sq. Ft. at 1900 Reston Metro Plaza.” [GlobeNewswire]

Where to Dine Out on Christmas — Here are some restaurants that will be open on Dec. 25 around the Reston area. [Reston Patch]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Local Fairfax County transportations officials are considering changes to Fairfax Connector routes in the Reston and Herndon area to meet demands created by the expansion of the Silver Line next year.

Of three options presented for changes, the county is recommending the “transformation” option — Other options included increment changes to the development plan or streamlining existing routes.

The recommended model would offer new service options, all day local service, and more frequent service to Metrorail Station through feeder routes at peak times. New planned connections include Sterling Plaza, Centreville and George Mason University in Fairfax.

County officials say the transformation model covers a greater area and includes the future Innovation Station. The model was also endorsed by the Multimodal Transportation Advisory Committee for recommendation to the Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT).

A recent marketing survey found the following areas had the lowest rankings:

  • Available when you need it
  • Fast way to travel
  • Goes places you need to go
  • Offers real-time information
  • Fits into your lifestyle

Users sought more frequent service, operation earlier or later in the day, and express bus service. Others said they were concerned about connections to Wiehle-Reston Metro East Station and Reston Town Center.

Reston Association’s Board of Directors will vote on a preferred service alternative on Thursday (Dec. 19).

Photo via FCDOT

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Commuters can expect more changes to service at the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station through the end of the year.

The station, which was closed this week, will be closed on the following weekends:

  • Nov. 30 to Dec. 1
  • Dec. 7 to Dec. 8
  • Dec. 14 to Dec. 15
  • Dec. 21 to Dec. 22
  • Dec. 28 to Dec. 29

The closers are required to continue Silver Line tie-in work. More information on closures planned through the end of the year is available online.

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The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has officially OK’d the sale of a one-acre parcel of land to Comstock, the developer of Reston Station.

Last week, the board approved the sale of the land for roughly $3 million., in addition to a density transfer of roughly 147,690 square feet to the plaza area near the county-owned Wiehle-Reston Station East garage.

The sale of the land, which is valued at roughly $10.8 million, also includes other conditions.

Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins noted that keeping the land has no value for the board. The parcel will be incorporated into Reston Station.

County officials estimate the transfer will bring in additional rental stream from Comstock, which currently pays an annual base rent of $2.9 million. The rent is expected to increase as more phases of the mixed-use development project move forward.

The agreement also includes a requirement to allow campaign and voter registration activities on the plaza.

Photo via handout/Fairfax County Government

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The Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station will be closed this weekend due to ongoing track work.

Buses will be available to replace trains to and from the Spring Hill Metro Station.

On the rest of the Silver Line, trains will operate on regular weekend intervals between Spring Hill. And Largo Town Center.

More service changes are expected as the work is expected to continue for several weekends, according to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

Metro will also continue cable installation work on the Red Line. Single tracking is expected between Friendship Heights and Medical Center stations, with trains running every 16 minutes.

Changes are also expected on the Orange Line. The Blue, Yellow and Green lines will have regular service.

More information on weekend service changes is available online.

Photo by Fairfax Connector

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Global consulting firm ICF International Inc. has inked a full-building lease at Comstock’s Reston Station, according to a company release.

The firm will occupy 1902 Reston Metro Plaza, an eight-story, 250,000-square-foot office building at the mixed-use development atop the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station. The company plans to relocate its headquarters of three decades in Fairfax by the end of 2022.

The glass and steel building, which sits on top of parking and restaurant space, is expected to be complete by 2021.

“We are confident that Reston Station has everything we need to provide one of the best employee experiences in the Washington D.C. metro area,” said John Wasson, Chief Executive Officer of ICF. “Having our global headquarters in the heart of a rapidly expanding technology corridor directly supports our strategic growth plans and provides so many more conveniences to our employees.”

ICF is the latest tenant to join the development. Search engine giant Google has moved into Reston Station’s first office building and other companies like Neustar, Rolls-Royce North America, British Telecom and Spaces by Regus are also in the pipeline.

“We look forward to welcoming ICF and its entire team to the Reston Station neighborhood,” said Christopher Clemente, CEO of Comstock Companies. “Comstock is committed to creating a world-class development that provides world-class companies a remarkable neighborhood and an attractive platform for our tenants to recruit and retain talent needed to grow their business.”

ICF is a global consultancy and digital services provider that has more than 7,000 employees.

Photo via Comstock

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Commuters on the Silver, Orange and Blue Lines should expect significant delays throughout today (Monday) after two trains collided between the Foggy Bottom and Farragut West stations.

Since 5:30 a.m. today, the three lines have been running trains every 15 minutes.  Silver Line trains are only Running between Wiehe-Reston East and Ballston. The Orange and Blue Lines are single-tracking between Farragut West and McPherson Square.

The rear-end collision happened around 1 a.m. today. Two train operators were treated for non-life-threatening injuries after the out-of-service trains collided.

Commuters should consider using alternative routes. Metro’s rush hour promise will be suspended on the three lines this afternoon.

Metro says the trails did not derail and no damage to Metro’s infrastructure was reported.

File photo

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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

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A portion of the Silver Line will be closed between the Wiehle-Reston East and Spring Hill Station this weekend (Oct. 5-6).

The closure is one effect as crews work on connections between phase one and two of the Silver Line project.

Metrobus plans to provide free shuttles during regular Metrorail hours for commuters.

Trains will operate on regular weekend intervals between every 12 and 15 minutes between the Spring Hill and New Carrolton stations.

Customers traveling to and from Benning Road, Capitol Heights, Addison Road, Morgan Boulevard and largo Town Center must use Blue Line trains to commute.

Other service changes throughout the system are listed online.

Photo via Fairfax Connector

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New York-based TF Cornerstone will return to receive the Reston Planning and Zoning Committee’s blessing for its plan to redevelop nearly 12 acres of land near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station with two residential buildings and a new office building.

The proposal, Campus Commons, has attracted criticism from nearby residents and led to the formation of a citizen-led advocacy group called Rescue Sunrise Valley.

Although the developer addressed several concerns, a representative of Rescue Sunrise Valley, said residents are not satisfied with the developer’s attempts to scale back the development and improve the safety of a planned crosswalk on Wiehle Avenue. The committee did not recommend the project for approval Monday night.

“They have not adequately engaged the community not have they adequately addressed the community’s concerns,” the representative told Reston Now. “We sincerely hope TF Cornerstone will defer further requests for approval and commit to working with the community properly.”

If approved, the proposal would redevelop two 1980s office buildings with two multi-family buildings with 629 units. A new 14-story office building with more than 26,000 square feet of retail is also planned on the site,  which is located east of Wiehle Avenue, between Sunrise Valley Drive and the Dulles Toll Road.

Ken Houle, vice president of TF Cornerstone, said the company has made several changes in response to community feedback:

A specific proffer to construct a grade separated crossing of Wiehle Ave

A commitment to engage all stakeholders in a study to determine the preferred grade separated solution, coupled with a financial commitment of $1.5MM to implement that solution if it differed from our proposed solution

Significant modifications to the building heights, lowering both the residential tower on the Toll Road by 44′ and the office building at the corner of Wiehle and Sunrise Valley by 48′

Modified the building façade on Sunrise Valley Drive to respond to architectural preferences raised by the Upper Lakes residents 

Increased the size of the community playground by 22% with a commitment to include accessible play equipment

Modified the design to incorporate a community amphitheater space in the 1 acre corner park

Committed to work with an independent arborist and Fairfax County to study trees for potential preservation, coupled with an existing commitment to provide 150% of the required tree canopy in the new development featuring native species trees.

Committed to work with the Upper Lakes residents to accelerate signal timings of existing traffic lights, install a new traffic light at Upper Lake, support Upper Lakes residents in the application of resident only street parking district, and to fund and implement a future traffic calming program for Upper Lakes

Given the fact that many residents remain concerned about the scale of the project, Houle said TF Cornerstone will continue a dialogue with stakeholders to “ensure this project delivers the future that Reston envisioned with the adoption of the Reston Comprehensive Plan.”

The plan that is proposed is in conformance with the comprehensive plan and has been recommended for approval by the Fairfax County Planning staff.”

Houle added Campus Commons creates a “premium park” that breaks the “mold of development surrounding the metro station of high-rise towers on the prominent corners.”

In a Sept. 11 staff report, the Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning staff recommended approval of the proposal. The Fairfax County Planning Commission is set to take up the plan on Sept. 25, followed by a vote by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on Oct. 15.

Photo via handout/Fairfax County Government, photo via Rescue Sunrise Valley

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Fairfax County officials’ concerns about safety dominated the county board’s latest discussions about phase two of the Silver Line project.

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority reportedly wants to open the six-station second phase from Wiehle-Reston East to Loudoun Gateway and Ashburn next July. 

Mark Canale from the Fairfax County Department of Transportation provided the Board of Supervisors with an update on the project today (Tuesday) at the Transportation Committee meeting.

Currently, dynamic testing and safe breaking testing are taking place for the project, he said.

Canale said that there are “four issues that are ongoing right now.” The issues include problems with concrete and leveling.

This isn’t the first time the project has run into problems. Earlier this year, defective concrete rail ties put the tracks out of alignment.

“This is a big project and an important project,” Chairman Sharon Bulova said. “I think it’s absolutely critical that when something is not getting done correctly, that we don’t brush over it and that we hold the contractors’ feet to the fire.”

Braddock District Supervisor John Cook said that the safety concerns should be taken seriously. “It will kill us,” he said.

Cook stressed that he wants transparency and honestly around the issues so that they can get fixed.

“It’s pretty bad when your concrete doesn’t work,” Cook said. “That’s a bad thing.”

In addition to the issues facing the project, Canale said that riders can expect several weekend closures at the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station in the coming months as work on the Silver Line project continues.

The first closure — which has been approved already — would last from Oct. 5-7. The following month, riders can expect closures from Nov. 9-12 and Nov. 30-Dec. 2.

Photos courtesy Dusty Smith/Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project

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More than 100 families neighboring Campus Commons, a mixed-use project on the southeastern corner of Wiehle Avenue and the Dulles Toll Road, are voicing their concerns about the proposed development.

Rescue Sunrise Valley, a group that includes representation from residents who live on Sunrise Valley Drive, as well as the clusters of Great Meadow, Winterport, Harbor Court, Whetherfield, Lakeport, and Boston Ridge, say that they are not opposed to development and instead are concerned about safety and the project’s impact on neighborhoods.

TF Cornerstones’ plan includes two residential buildings with a total of 630 units, an office building, and 26,000 square feet of new retail. Two mid-1980s office buildings will remain on the proprty.

Residents say that the proposal misses the mark on pedestrian safety, especially a proposed sidewalk that connects to the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station that they say will “logjam traffic and up and down Sunrise Valley and put pedestrians at risk by sending them across nine lanes of traffic and dumping them on a concrete island in the middle of the off-ramp.”

“Anyone who drives, walks, or rides their bikes on Sunrise Valley near the Wiehle intersection knows this is a recipe for disaster,” the group wrote in a statement to Reston Now.

Residents want the developer to delay the proposal under neighborhood concerns are addressed. They created the group in response to the proposal and to inform unaware residents about the plan. Residents say accurate information about the proposal has been hard to come by. Others said the developer has not engaged with all neighboring residents to hear their feedback on the plan.

“We recognize that the developer wants to fast-track their plans because in their industry time is money, but for us, much more is at stake: our families and our neighborhood,” the group stated.

A TF Cornerstones’ representative told Reston Now the company has launched an extensive community engagement process over the last two years, including two meetings with Hampton Meadow residents, one meeting with Boston Ridge residents, and Reston Association. The development team has been before the Reston Planning & Zoning Committee four times since 2017.

We have also broadened our outreach to include additional homes along Upper Lake Drive.  We are hosting a community meeting and have sent notification to the Harborside association, the Winterport association, and residents along Upper Lake Drive without an association,” said Ebony Young, vice president of corporate social responsibility. “We have made significant commitments for the project based on community input, and we look forward to the upcoming community meeting.”

The proposal heads to the Fairfax County Planning Commission on September 25. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is expected to take up on the plan on October 15.

Photos via handout/Fairfax Count Government

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(Updated at 3:55 p.m.) Commuters who park at the Wiehle-Reston East garage may need to make alternative plans for parking beginning August 19.

The garage — which is often at capacity during peak commuter hours — is undergoing maintenance repairs. Up to forty spaces on parking levels G4, G5, and G6 will be taken away in order to make room for ongoing maintenance work.

In a release, the Fairfax County Department of Transportation said the garage is at capacity. Commuters should use other transportation options, including the Fairfax Connector, biking, walking and ride-sharing, the county stated.

The department offered the following transportation alternatives, including free parking at park and rides with bus service to the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station:

From Herndon Monroe Park and Ride

From Reston South Park and Ride: 

From Reston Town Center Transit Station: 

  • Route 505 – Reston Town Center
  • Route 950 – Herndon-Reston
  • Route 981 – Dulles Airport-Udvar-Hazy Center-Wiehle-Reston East
  • Route 983 – Dulles Airport-Udvar-Hazy Center-Wiehle-Reston East
  • RIBS 1 – Lake Anne-Hunter Woods
  • RIBS 2 – South Lakes-North Point
  • RIBS 3 – Lake Anne-Hunter Woods

Other Routes to Wiehle:

  • Route 552 – Reston North: North Shore – Lake Fairfax 
  • Route 553 – Reston South: Viking – Pinecrest
  • Route 554 – Reston North: Wiehle Avenue – Center Harbor
  • Route 556 – Bennington Woods – Wiehle-Reston East

An FCDOT spokesperson said that standard maintenance of the garage is scheduled. Access to parking spaces will be restored by early September.

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