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Plan for Ebbitt House restaurant, Reston Row neighborhood approved

The future Ebbitt House in Reston Row (courtesy Comstock)

A new concept for Ebbitt House — a suburban remodel of the District’s Old Ebbitt Grill — and changes in Reston Row — a mixed-use neighborhood near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station — are officially moving forward.

At a meeting last Tuesday (Sept. 12), the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved changes to the project.

Comstock, the developer behind the project, sought to reallocate 280,000 square feet of unbuilt but previously approved office space from its Reston Station neighborhood to Reston Row, increasing the height and number of residential units in a building in Reston Row. Comstock also removed above-grade parking and a private, elevated sport court.

The revised plan includes a new outdoor private dining area outside Ebbitt House, a spin-off of Old Ebbitt Grill and the leading brand of Clyde’s Restaurant Group.

Jeff Owens, chief financial officer for Clyde’s Restaurant Group, said the use of the Old Ebbitt Grill brand was a big move for the company. Clyde’s of Reston closed in Reston Town Center roughly one year ago.

“We’re really anxious kind of get back to Fairfax County again and we wanted to do in a big way,” Owens said.

Jill Parks, an attorney with Hunton Andrews Kirth, said Comstock also reworked the location of some parks and overall landscaping.

The issue of park space drew concern at a Fairfax County Planning Commission meeting in June. Although the commission ultimately recommended approval of the application, members said they worried it doesn’t meet urban parks standards.

Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn said the county is in the midst of discussions on how best to calculate the amount of park space required in applications.

“We’re literally moving 280,000 square feet of approved [space], 175 units from here to there,” Parks said, describing the simplicity of the proposed changes.

She said Reston Station and Reston Row represent “two of the most significant mixed-use developments in Reston, resulting in the creation of a dynamic, one-of-a-kind transit-oriented neighborhood.”

At the meeting, Reston Association board president John Farrell restated the board’s concerns about Comstock using amenities managed and owned by RA, like Lake Thoreau, for marketing its residential projects. Farrell also urged the developer to join RA — a move that Parks said Comstock was uninterested in.

Parks noted that Comstock provided $650,000 to Reston Association as part of its development proposals.

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