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Herndon hopes for ‘unique’ entrance with planned promenade from Metro station

A rendering of the proposed Parkview development and promenade at the gateway of the Herndon-Monroe Metro Station (via Town of Herndon)

When Metro riders get off the future Herndon-Monroe Metro Station, town planners want the first impression of the town to be a unique experience.

That’s part of the reason why town officials are working on the Herndon Metrorail Promenade, a 500-foot-long and nearly 70-foot-wide gateway plaza that will connect the Metro station to Herndon Parkway.

It’s designed to be the first introduction to the town, offering a “gateway experience…unlike all other major entrances to the town,” staff said in planning documents.

Up to $200,000 is up for consideration for the project as part of the town’s Capital Improvement Plan, a long-range planning tool that will be discussed by the Herndon Town Council tonight (Tuesday).

While it’s too early to know what the promenade will look like, town planners hope the “quality, form, scale and aesthetic design of the whole and its components will create a lasting impression” of the town on pedestrians.

A walkway along the center of the future promenade will serve Metro riders once the station opens. Another public walkway that’s currently under construction will run from Metro’s pavilion to the sidewalk of Herndon Parkway and two land bays.

Strategically, the gateway is intended to boost the success of the Herndon Transit-Oriented Core. It will feature a mix of plaza spaces and planted areas with sculptural elements and seating to welcome visitors into town.

It’s not yet clear how the promenade will match up with the proposed Parkview development, which will open up directly to the plaza at 593 Herndon Parkway from the Metro station door. Lerner Enterprises’ mixed-use project went to the town’s planning commission for a discussion last night (Monday).

It will be a while before the town’s vision for the promenade comes to fruition. Currently, the project has no timeline, as only design and engineering funding the project has been allocated.

Town spokesperson Anne Curtis tells FFXnow that the land for the future promenade is currently owned by three different entities.

“The town owns the center portion, where the existing walkway is located; private property owners own the land adjacent to the walkway.  These owners will be providing improvements when redevelopment occurs,” Curtis wrote in a statement.

Design and engineering will also be necessary to make sure that the current walkway is redesigned to become a “seamless” part of the promenade, Curtis said.

Developer contributions for the project are expected, along with other funding sources.

While much remains unknown about the promenade design itself, the opening date of the Metro station also remains a mystery. There currently isn’t even an estimated timeline for opening the Silver Line’s long-anticipated second phase, even as crews complete final testing and pre-revenue service activities.

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