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Rotating car station coming to Boston Properties’ Reston Town Center expansion

(Updated at 9:15 a.m. to replace references to Reston Next with Reston Town Center expansion)

A rotating car station is a key element of Boston Properties’ massive Reston Town Center development.

Anchored by Fannie Mae and also home to Volkswagen Group of America, the $715 million expansion of Reston Town Center will include a jewel box — a 1,500-square-foot box that will let the vehicle manufacturer display vehicles on platforms attached to the eighth story of a planned parking garage.

Mark Looney, Boston Properties’ legal representative, said the jewel box is a “marketing tool” for Volkswagen. RTC Next is a planned four-million-square-foot extension of RTC. Volkswagen signed a lease at the development in 2020.

“The jewel box is a pretty significant element of Volkswagen’s willingness to come to this location and to come to this project,” Looney told the Fairfax County Planning Commission at a meeting on April 20.

While Volkswagen does not plan to sell cars directly from its Reston offices, the company hopes to use the jewel box to display cars on a rotating basis. A 225-square-foot digital display is also part of the design.

The Virginia Department of Transportation approved the design of the jewel box, including the level of lighting proposed.

Development conditions also restrict flashing light and video streaming from the digital display. Only static images are permitted — specifically one per day — and no sound is allowed, according to Mary Ann Tsai of the county’s Zoning Evaluation Division.

“The jewel box functions a sign itself,” Tsai noted.

Looney said the developer also plans to reduce the visibility of the sign at night, noting that the height of the jewel box targets Metro-goers directly.

The commission voted unanimously to approved the overall sign and way-finding plan for RTC expansion at the meeting.

The internal planning name of the project is Reston Next, but the project is formally characterized as Reston Town Center’s expansion, a company representative clarified.

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