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Lake Anne study finds support for arts facility or grocery store as community ‘anchor’

The workshop attracted roughly 50 residents (courtesy Hunter Mill District Office)

A survey that will guide an economic visioning study for Reston’s Lake Anne area reveals community support for active public spaces and arts and culture focuses.

Consulting firm Streetsense hosted a public workshop on Monday (April 10) at Reston Community Center where roughly 50 attendees gathered to dive deeper into their hopes for the future of the area.

A public survey conducted by the firm found that most respondents prefer cultural and arts facilities, activated public spaces and a grocery store as options to anchor the community. Medical or institutional and office and technology uses were not desired.

“Respondents tend to agree that responsibility for public areas of Lake Anne should be borne by a wider set of parties than current management,” meeting materials said.

The survey closed in mid-March, with most respondents hailing from outside the Lake Anne area.

Respondents also generally agreed or were neutral about the possibility of adding structured parking.

The survey revealed mixed views on an “educational anchor” or school in the area. A little over 40% of respondents agreed with the need for new residential development — roughly 5 percentage points more than those who disagreed with the prospect.

Residents were also divided on whether economic sustainability was a priority at the expense of the neighborhood’s historic aspects. The survey found that “seasonality” and infrastructure were the two biggest challenges facing the area.

The largest portion of respondents — nearly 45% — was age 65 or older. Most also lived outside of the immediate Lake Anne area. Roughly 56% of respondents also reported a household income of $160,000 or more.

The firm also held four virtual focus groups with area stakeholders earlier this year, as it creates an economic vision for the future of the Lake Anne Commercial Revitalization Area.

The study was initiated by Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn.

After releasing the first draft of the vision on May 18, Streetsense hopes to firm up a formal vision by June 5.