JUST IN: Construction deadline extended for downtown Herndon redevelopment

Downtown Herndon is slated for redevelopment into a mixed-use community (staff photo by Fatimah Waseem)

The Town of Herndon has granted Comstock a little more breathing room before the developer needs to move forward with its long-planned downtown overhaul.

A two-year pause in construction that was set to expire today (Tuesday) has been extended to Aug. 15 under a revised comprehensive agreement, the town announced this morning.

With a revised site plan and building permits for the redevelopment currently under review, the town and Comstock anticipate the extension will provide the time “necessary to finalize project details” that would allow construction to finally start, according to a press release.

“Comstock remains committed to the Town of Herndon and sees great value in being a part of this great community,” Comstock Chief Operating Officer Tim Steffan said. “The Herndon team has been tremendous to work with through these extremely trying economic times. We believe there is a path forward to create a tremendous asset to the town and Herndon community that will work for all involved.”

Adopted by the Herndon Town Council in October 2017, the agreement between the town and Comstock calls for nearly 5 acres of downtown Herndon to be redeveloped with 273 apartments, approximately 17,000 square feet of retail, a 16,265-square-foot arts center and a 726-space parking garage.

The agreement was amended in 2020 to set Dec. 31, 2021 as the deadline for construction to start, but it included an option allowing Comstock to pause the start date for up to two years due to market conditions and other complications, including issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As that initial deadline approached, the developer indicated that construction could instead begin by August 2022. Instead, it exercised the option for a pause in April 2022, citing increased costs and challenges with obtaining construction materials.

A current estimate for the project’s total cost is not immediately available, according to a Town of Herndon spokesperson.

The town says it’s been “working diligently” with Comstock to “restructure their contractual relationship in a manner that reflects the realities of project development in 2024.”

“In particular, today’s sky-rocketing inflation and its impact on interest rates are markedly different than when we first entered our agreement with Comstock,” Herndon Town Manager Bill Ashton said. “Our aim is to arrive at a mutually beneficial process that realizes the town’s vision for our downtown and makes good business sense for Comstock.”