Reston, VA

Metrorail is now operating at the same frequency during peak and off-peak hours on weekdays after budget changes prompted by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic took effect yesterday (Monday).

Under the revised Fiscal Year 2021 budget, trains are running every 12 minutes on the Orange, Silver, Blue, Green, and Yellow lines, while Red line trains operate every six minutes. Service after 7 p.m. and on weekends has not been altered.

The reduction of rail service during weekday rush hours was recommended as part of a revised FY 2021 budget that the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Board of Directors approved when it met on Nov. 19.

“The changes bring rail service in line with ridership demand while managing costs amid pandemic-related budget constraints,” WMATA said in a news release. “Rail ridership remains down nearly 90 percent from pre-pandemic levels.”

In contrast, WMATA says Metrobus ridership is only down 55% on weekdays and less on weekends compared to pre-pandemic levels, so service will expand to accommodate additional capacity starting on Mar. 14.

“Customers will see more buses, more often on the 125 lines of service currently operating, and more routes will be added to expand bus service on weekends,” WMATA said.

More details about the March Metrobus service changes will be provided at a later date, the transit agency says.

Photo by Chuck Samuelson/Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project

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The first apartment tower at Faraday Park, a new apartment neighborhood, is set for completion in March.

Developed by Rooney Partners and Bozzuto, the project will house roughly 400 residential units near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station. The apartments are located at 11201 Reston Station Boulevard.

Chris Oursler, the director of construction and development for Rooney Properties, says the project was built to fulfill the needs of the community.

“We’re thrilled to be a part of the growing community here in Reston,” Oursler wrote in a statement.

Rents for units, which include studios and three-bedroom apartments, range from 1,605 to 4,032, according to the company’s website.

Once completely built out, Faraday Park will include a maker’s workshop area, photo booth, fitness center, commercial kitchen, pet spa, cowering areas, and several lounges. A rooftop pool with cabanas and grill stations are also planned for the site, which was designed by DC-based architecture firm MV+A.

Faraday West, which is closest to the Metro station, contains 242 apartments with around 10,000 square feet of retail at the corner of Reston Station Boulevard and Michael Faraday Drive. Faraday East, which replaced surface parking, has 166 modern apartments. Both buildings are flanked by four-story townhouses.

The second tower on the site is set to be completed in May. Pre-leasing has begun.

Image via Bozzuto

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Virginia’s iconic “LOVE” letters have descended at Reston Station near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station.

The letters, which were installed in late January, will remain at Reston Station as part of its permanent art collection, according to the Virginia Tourism Corp.

The 7,676-pound display was designed by artist Dylan Myers with glass fiber reinforced concrete and carbon fiber rebar. The colors of the letters were created with glass pieces.  The sign is located on Wiehle Avenue in front of Google’s offices.

Here’s more from the state’s tourism website on the display.

Each letter is supported 18″ from the top of the base with stainless steel all-thread rods in order to achieve the ” floating” effect. Bases were cast with a board form technique, creating depth and character. This is how concrete was cast before the days of plywood forms like you see now. In order to give the exact degregrated look, every single exposed rock was time intensively hand placed prior to casting. After the concrete had cured, the rocks were sheared off by hand with a hatchet. No machines were used for this process. This achieved the true look of a wall that underwent an enormous force.

It’s not the first time Virginia’s LOVE letters have made an appearance in the area. The letters are one of more than 250 installations in towns and cities across the state in order to model the state’s slogan, “Virginia is for Lovers.”

Comstock, the developer of Reston Station, says the inclusion of the installation affirms the company’s commitment to public art.

“Comstock believes the inclusion of art in development projects serves the common good in a manner that enhances architectural designs, landscaping and streetscapes,” says Christopher Clemente, CEO of Comstock.

Photo via Virginia Tourism Corp. 

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Lincoln at Reston Station, a 260-unit apartment community near the Wiehe-Reston East Metro Station, officially has a new name.

The community, which was recently acquired by Snell Properties, an Arlington-based company, has rebranded itself to Russell at Reston Station.

Peter Colarulli, Vice President of the company, said the name change was inspired by the design of the building, which he says has  “a bold, contemporary, energetic feel with red pops of color.

 “The name ‘Russell’ taps into the community’s vibe, and we felt the full name ‘Russell at Reston Station’ is clear to the sense of place and catchy with its alliteration.”

The residential community, which is located at 11500 Commerce Park Drive, includes a mix of studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom plans. Rents range from $2,110 to $2,380.

Snell purchased Russell at Reston Station in December. The building was constructed at the end of 2019 and includes a courtyard with a pool, a clubroom, a fitness center, a pet spa, bike room and a package concierge system.

Image via handout/Fairfax County Government

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An Arlington-based company has closed on the purchase of a 260-unit apartment community near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station.

Snell Properties pursued the acquisition of Lincoln at Wiehle Station, a new development that is located at 11500 Commerce Park Drive. The LEED Silver building was completed at the end of the year.

“We are proud to close out the year by adding such an incredible property to our portfolio,” says Christopher Hanessian, President of Snell Properties. “Lincoln at Wiehle Station is steps away from the Metro and provides incredible access to one of the most dynamic and growing parts of Northern Virginia.”  

Peter Colarulli, the company’s Vice President, touted the prime locationof the new community.

“Reston’s incredible employment growth will continue to attract renters to the area, and additional development in and around Reston Station will only make this property even more desirable.”

The community includes a mix of studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom plans. Rents range from $2,110 to $2,380.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Lincoln Property Company will manage the property.

Photo via Snell Properties

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A new Self Storage Plus has officially opened a new facility in Reston.

The company, which provides management services for storage, opened its 44th location at 1808 Michael Faraday Court earlier this month.

In a statement, Mike Anthony, the company’s executive Vice President, said the new facility includes “modern storage solutions with features including video surveillance, gate security, auto-payments and online rentals.”

“We are now open and ready to serve your storage needs,” he said.

The four-building facility in Reston has 1,100 units and is roughly half a mile from the Wiehe-Reston East Metro Station.

The property is owned by company partner Rich Whealen and Arcland Property Company, a local real estate and development company.

“We are excited to open the doors of our state-of-the-art facilities in the communities of Reston and Kensington,” said Tom Cross, VP of Construction for Arcland.

Photo via Self Storage Plus

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Thursday Morning Notes

Service Outages Planned for Silver Line — This weekend and in early December, service outages are planned between Spring Hill and Wiehle-Reston East Metro Stations. Free buses will offer transportation between the stations during outages. [Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority]

Herndon Cruiser Rear-ended — A Town of Herndon police cruiser was rear-ended by an alleged drunk driver. The police department is reminding residents to move over when emergency vehicles are on the side of the road. No injuries were reported. [Herndon Police Department]

Reston Company to Provide IT Services to USDA — “The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded Reston-based Fortune 500 defense contractor Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) a position on the department’s potential five-year, $620 million Farm Production and Conservation (FPAC) multiple-award blanket purchase agreement (BPA), SAIC announced Wednesday.” [Virginia Business Monthly]

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Police are asking the public’s help in identifying a man they believe attempted to rape a woman on a train at the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station.

Metro Transit Police say the incident happened in between the McLean and East Fall Church Metro stations around 11:30 a.m. yesterday (Tuesday).

After boarding at Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station, the suspect allegedly assaulted the woman, attempted to remove her clothing and exposed himself.

The victim, who was with her young child, escaped the train at East Falls Church Station where Metro Transit Police responded. The suspect appears to have exited the system at Foggy Bottom Metro Station.

He was last seen wearing a dark shirt with the words “Piranha Joe” on the left sleeve and a logo of a circle and a fish on the back and left breast areas of his shirt.

Anyone with information about this incident or the person of interest shown is urged to contact Metro Transit Police detectives by calling (301) 955-5000. Tips may also be sent via text message to “MyMTPD” (696873).

Photo via Metro Transit Police

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Thursday Morning Notes

Wiehle-Reston East Station Closing for Three Weekends  Metro’s Silver Line will shut down for three weekends for work to prepare for a likely opening of the Silver Line’s second phase next year. Metro and the Washington Metropolitan Airports Authority (MWAA) say the likely dates are November 7-8, November 21-22, and December 5-6.” [WJLA]

Treatment on Two Reston Lakes to Begin Today — “On Sep. 15 Lake Anne and Lake Thoreau were monitored for algae by Aquatic Environment Consultants (AEC). AEC confirmed this morning that they will be proceeding with the regularly scheduled algae treatments for both lakes.” [Reston Association]

Local Firm Boasts ‘Stellar Year’ — “Venture capital firm Proof.VC has been on a roll in 2020. The Reston company’s portfolio has seen 3D-printing startup Desktop Metal and Inc. online gaming platform Skill Inc. both announce their intentions to go public, as well as the earlier IPO of mattress company Casper Sleep Inc.” [Washington Business Journal]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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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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The Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project teams have completed the train control system connections for Phase 2 of the Silver Line Tie-In

This connects the line to the rest of the region’s transit system and is a major step towards the completion of the rail line extension from the Wiehle-Reston East Station through Dulles Airport to Ashburn in eastern Loudoun County, according to a statement from the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project.

Rail project crews were able to complete the tie-in work at the Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail while working with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. The WMATA closed some Orange and Silver lines for maintenance work, according to the statement, allowing for crews to complete the Wiehle-Reston East work faster. 

“Finishing the critical tie-in this summer means 13 previously planned WMATA shutdowns that had been planned over the coming months will not be needed,” said Charles Stark, the Airports Authority senior vice president and head of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project. 

There will be three additional one-day shutdowns in November and December for systems and dynamic testing. 

The project is aiming to turn over Phase 2 of the Silver Line to the WMATA around the first of the year, said the statement. Once construction and testing are complete, the Airports Authority will give authority to the WMATA. 

The first phase of the Silver Line project from East Falls Church to Wiehle-Reston East with four stations in Tysons opened in 2014, according to the statement. Completion of Phase 2 from Wiehle Ave. to Ashburn will include stops at the Reston Town Center, Herndon, Innovation Center, Dulles Airport and Loudoun Gateway stations.  

Photo courtesy of Dusty Smith

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Bus service between the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station and Dulles International Airport has officially resumed.

The Silver Line Express Bus provides transportation between the Dulles Terminal and the metro station. The 15-minute trip costs $5 each way and is free for children under two years of age.

Service is offered every 15 minutes during peak times and every 20 minutes during off-peak times. Free WiFi is also offering on the buses.

The schedule for the service and information on how to purchase tickets is available online.

Other transportation services have resumed or are planning to resume services, including Fairfax Connector, which will resume service next Saturday.

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Comstock Companies, the developer behind Reston Station, says that Northern Virginia is becoming the “Silicon Valley of the East.”

Reston Station, a sprawling mixed-use development near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station, is positioned to help make that change happen, according to an investor presentation released earlier this week.

The development, which includes several districts that are planned or already in construction, is expected to achieve comparable rents to Reston Town Center. New buildings, parking, amenities, and the Metro station have attracted corporate relocations from RTC, according to Comstock.

Currently, RTC commands a higher rent premium over other micro-markets within Reston. Overall, vacancy rates for Class A office space in Reston and Tysons are slightly lower than the region-wide average of around 18 percent, according to the company.

Once completed, Reston Station will include four districts: Metro Plaza, Commerce, West, and Reston Row. Major companies have signed leases at the project, including Google, Neustar, and ICF International.

Photo via Comstock

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Fairfax County officials are seeking $69 million from Northern Virginia’s Transportation Authority to cover the cost of building the Soapstone Connector, a critical one-half-mile-long connection between Sunrise Valley Drive and Sunset Hills Road.

The total project, which is located west of the Wiehe-Reston East Metro Station and includes a new bridge over the Dulles Corridor, is expected to cost $214 million overall. Construction is not expected to begin until 2028, according to the March 5 proposal.

Once built, the road would extend from the existing north-south Soapstone Drive where it intersects with Sunrise Valley Drive. After crossing the Dulles Corridor, the new road would stop at a new intersection with Sunset Hills Road. Most of the road will include a three-lane cross-section with bicycle lanes on each side.

A five-foot-wide concrete sidewalk is planned on the west side and a 10-foot-wide shared-use path on the east side.

Here’s more from the proposal:

The proposed roadway would provide an addiƟonal crossing to supplement two exisƟng crossings of the Dulles Corridor in Reston: Reston Parkway and Wiehle Avenue. The project would provide addiƟonal capacity across the Dulles Corridor, reduce congesƟon and delay at intersecƟons along Wiehle Avenue, and improve accessibility and mobility to and within the area surrounding the WiehleReston East Metrorail StaƟon. By including bike lanes, sidewalks and an addiƟonal facility for local and regional transit operators to uƟlize, the project improves mulƟmodal connecƟvity to the Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail StaƟon.

The NVTA will select projects from a number of proposals across the region. Funding is offered through its six-year FY2020-2025 program.

Photo via handout/Fairfax County Government

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When the Silver Line suspends rail service west of Ballston this summer, drivers can use free parking at the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station.

Fairfax County announced yesterday that the station will have free parking while work is underway to connect the Silver Line Phase II stations, which will run from Reston to Ashburn.

Metro wasn’t originally planning to add the upcoming Silver Line stations, but due to lower ridership, Metro decided to add the Silver Line work to its summer closure of the Orange Line in parts of Northern Virginia.

“The closures begin Memorial Day weekend 2020 and are expected to continue through the fall,” according to the county.

Photo by Chuck Samuelson/Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project

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