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County settles on land for future arts center in Reston

The arts center could be located on Block J in Reston Town Center (via Fairfax County)

The location of Reston’s future arts center is officially inching closer to realization.

At a Fairfax County Board of Supervisors’ meeting today (Tuesday), Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn introduced a board matter selecting Block J — near the intersection of Sunset Hills Road and Town Center Parkway — as the location for nearly 60,000-square-foot future arts center.

So far, the county has determined that the block is the most appropriate location for the arts center. It’s part of proffers in Boston Properties’ development plans. The land could have been used as a park or a ball field.

The cost of the project is expected to be hefty — hovering between $58 million in current dollars and $81 million accounting for inflation. 

“This process clearly established that the arts center option is not only feasible, but it is clearly superior to the alternatives offered in the proffer,” Alcorn said in the board matter.

The center would be located across the street from the Reston Town Center Metro Station, fulfilling land use and transportation goals, according to the board matter.

A survey in 2019 found that 68% of residents supported the idea of a larger performing center in Reston. While Reston Community Center has advocated for the venue, no determination has been made yet on who will operate it.

RCC hosted a series of meetings on the issue and conducted a feasibility study on the possibility of the center.

Alcorn noted that the board matter doesn’t address financing and other details of the plan, but RCC has indicated that Reston’s small tax district will not be used to pay for the project. A bond referendum would likely be used to pay for the project.

The board approved the measure to accept Block J as the location for a community arts center.

“Accepting this land is accepting it under the provision that it become an arts center, should financing be worked out,” Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay said. “If for some reason that changes, there are other avenues we could pursue in the future.”