Assessments for Reston Association members could increase by 10% over last year based on preliminary budget talks.
At an RA Board of Directors meeting Wednesday night (June 8), board treasurer Bob Petrine kicked off a preliminary discussion on the budget and a proposed increase.
Last year, the board voted to hold the line on major fee increases, keeping the assessment at $740 with the use of its good cash standing and existing funds. Fees still went up 3%, since RA’s budget has a built-in increase, but a 6% hike had been initially proposed.
However, Petrine said that method is not a “sustainable” way to manage RA assessments into the future.
RA operates on a biennial budget developed in the fall of every odd year. The organization often visits the budget annually between August and November and prior to the second year of the budget.
Board member and vice president Jennifer Jushchuk called the potential assessment increase “a little scary.”
“I think we’re going to have our work cut out for us in the next several months to get to something everyone can feel comfortable with,” she said, emphasizing that the 10% hike was considering “a bare bones” budget.
The proposed budget could include $145,000 for a long-anticipated website upgrade, $70,000 for an administrative assistance for the covenants department, and a $30,000 increase in credit card fees.
The association could also hire a data manager to handle member-facing applications — a roughly $70,000 ticket item.
But the budget is in the initial planning stages, so a proposal will not be formally considered for several weeks.
A vote on the budget is slated for Nov. 17 and will be proceeded by several meetings and opportunities for public comment. The board will formally review the first draft of the budget on Sept. 22.
Amazon is bringing its version of a grocery store — Amazon Fresh — to Lorton this month.
The business plans to open a 38,000-square-foot location on June 23. It’s one of three locations coming soon to Northern Virginia.
A location in Manassas opened today (Thursday), and an Arlington location is expected to open in the coming weeks.
“Amazon is proud to support these communities by creating hundreds of high-quality jobs with the opening of each store, offering a starting wage of $15.50/hour, and donating surplus food to local food banks,” the company wrote in a press release.
The Lorton location is at 9409 Lorton Market Street and will be open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Like the Fairfax City store that opened in April, all three locations will feature Just Walk Out shopping — technology that allows customers to skip the checkout line.
Customers enter the store by scanning an in-store QR code in the Amazon app or using a credit or debit card to open the “Just Walk Out’ gates. Anything taken off a shelf is added to the virtual card. Customers then scan or use their card to exit the grocery store.
Amazon Fresh will accept cash, SNAP/EBT, credit or debit card, and the Amazon app.
The store will include national brands, made-to-order pizzas, rotisserie chickens, hot sandwiches, 365 by Whole Foods Market organic products, and local brands like Mason Dixie Biscuits, Bread First Bakery and Taharka Brothers Ice Cream.
According to the press release, Amazon Fresh will provide a coupon for $10 off orders of $20 or more that can be used at its new stores.
A plan to build 154 townhouses on a property surrounded by industrial uses and bisected by transmission lines opposite Westfield High School in Chantilly is drawing scrutiny from the Fairfax County Planning Commission.
At a meeting last night (Wednesday), some commissioners called the proposal by K. Hovnanian Homes at Gallery Park inappropriate for the area.
Providence District Commissioner Phillip Niedzielski-Eichner said the applicant was attempting to putting a “square peg in a round hole” and struggled to understand why county staff recommended approval of the application, which requires the site at 15014 Northridge Drive to be rezoned from industrial use to residential.
“We don’t have more industrial uses than we need in the county and here we are taking an industrial use and creating a residential island in the middle of industrial use,” Niedzielski-Eichner said.
Other commissioners expressed concern about the transmission lines that cross over the entire property.
The applicant’s attorney, Kenneth Wire, noted the presence of the high school contributes to the sense of community, suggesting that the development would not be on an island.
He also said the developer worked closely with the community, Dominion Energy, and Washington Gas to design the development so that the road network aligned with most of the transmission lines.
“The center of a community is often a school,” Wire said, adding that some buyers may not be perturbed by the presence of transmission lines above.
Staff said the development was appropriate for an area — known in planning jargon as Land Unit J — that could have up to 4,000 additional residential units.
“It’s really just the beginning of the evolution of Westfields,” Bill O’Donald of the county’s zoning department said.
The proposed townhouses are “strategically organized” around the power lines to include open spaces like grilling pavilions, fitness stations, play costs, and a playground, according to the application.
By county standards, 12% of the units are considered affordable, and roughly 3.5 acres of open space is planned. Trails will also be provided along Stonecroft Boulevard and Northridge Drive.
(Updated at 3:30 p.m.) A new chicken spot is opening soon for Merrifield’s Pan Am Shopping Center.
Chicka Loca plans to open at the shopping center in mid-May at 3089 Nutley Street.
Owner Pedram Kanzi says his restaurant will offer 25 percent off all menu items for the first two weeks of opening.
“I’m thrilled to share a piece of my culture with the Fairfax community,” Kanzi said. “It feels surreal to be opening my very first restaurant — a dream that has been years in the making.”
A precise opening date hasn’t been set yet.
With a ramen and Korean barbecue restaurant also slated to open in the coming months, Pan Am Shopping Center continues to add new tenants, even as Federal Realty Investment Trust eyes it for redevelopment, though that could take several years to come to fruition.
“Federal Realty Investment Trust has taken the first steps toward seeking approval for a mix of uses at Pan Am,” said Deirdre Johnson, senior vice resident of asset management. “It should be noted that this project could take several years to bring to fruition. Our relationships with our merchants are extremely important to us, including Michael’s and Micro Center, and we plan to incorporate them into the property for many years to come.”
She says the company plans to work with all stakeholders to create “something that is successful, vibrant and something that can positively define the community.”
The proposal submitted to Fairfax County in March would transform the strip mall into a mixed-use development with three residential buildings, townhouse, and a public plaza.
In addition to the Micro Center and Michaels block, structures slated for demolition include the now-vacant, standalone McDonald’s building, and the Wells Fargo bank in the center’s northwest corner, which will be replaced by a 5,000-square-foot retail building.
Chico’s, a women’s clothing store, has officially shuttered its doors at Reston Town Center.
The business, which was located at 11910 Market Street, closed up shop last month.
It started off in 1983 as a small gallery and has since expanded across the country. There are several local locations, including McLean, Fairfax, and Leesburg.
There is no word yet on what will replace the store. The company did not return multiple requests for comment on why the store closed and when the last day of business was.
The closure comes amidst a flurry of recent changes in the town center, including the departure of Bow Ties Cinema and the addition of a new athletic facility from The St. James.
The center’s public spaces are slated for a facelift starting this spring, and tenants like Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and Fogo de Chao — among others — are slated to open up their doors this year.
A major gateway project that will guide people from Metro into the Town of Herndon is moving forward with a leaner model.
The plan for Parkview by Lerner Enterprises — which includes three mixed-use buildings — is headed to the town’s Architectural Review Board for preliminary review tonight (Wednesday). The buildings will open up to the Herndon Station promenade on the nearly 5-acre site at 593 Herndon Parkway.
The site is directly next to the north entrance of Herndon-Monroe Metro Station and flanks the west corner of the proposed promenade. The promenade extends from Metro’s pavilion to Herndon Parkway and is intended to serve as a pedestrian gateway to the town.
The board is reviewing the third version of this project. The first version maxed out on allowable residential, office and retail densities, while the second option focused on office and retail only. This latest iteration proposes less density and slashes building heights significantly.
The first building, which stands 170 feet tall, has mostly retail and housing on the base, a parking garage in the middle section, and an upper section of office space. Facing the Dulles Toll Road and Metro, it is the tallest of the three buildings proposed.
The ARB described the parking garage as “imposing.”
“The architectural design of the garage and the office building are very different and visually express two different forms and means of articulation. Ways to better tie the two together should be explored,” a May 2 memo from staff states.
The second building is described as a mid-rise residential building. Both the second and third buildings are roughly 85 feet tall.
The board is expected to review the project at a meeting to 7:30 p.m. The proposal is in the pre-application phase and must go through a number of steps before any approval is made. The final version may incorporate previous versions of the project.
Nordic-Knot has won $40,000 in a national contest for small businesses.
The Reston-based bakery — which specializes in its twisted pretzels — placed second out of 10 finalists in the annual Small Business Big Wins contest, which is run by Barclays Bank.
Ashland Birth Center placed first in the nationwide contest, which recognizes businesses that were heavily impacted by the pandemic. The Wisconsin-based maternity health care center received a grand prize of $60,000.
More than 4,750 small businesses from across the country shared stories of how the pandemic impacted their daily operations. After the 10 finalists were selected, public voting determined the final winners.
Nordic-Knot co-owner Melissa Romano said they plan to use the funds to increase marketing, outreach and boost its production line to “better serve our community.” Results were announced yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon.
“We’ve grown this business very carefully and we were put through the runner during the pandemic,” Romano told FFXnow. She expects to announce some big, new clients in the coming weeks.
For Nordic-Knot, the pandemic meant a dramatic business shift came quickly into play. With many of its distributors closed during the peak of the pandemic, the business shifted to providing their products to customers directly.
Now, even as wholesale distribution picks up, the business plans to maintain direct services for consumers directly.
A vending cart that offers customer direct access to goodies will return to Lake Anne Plaza this summer.
Romano says they plan to continue big partnerships while providing direct access to their items.
“Lane Anne has and will always be our special place of business,” Romano said. “We are really excited for this opportunity for our business.”
Reston’s annual Founders Day will return on Saturday (April 9) to Lake Anne Plaza.
While the event celebrates Reston’s diversity and rich history, this year’s festivities give a special nod to Uruguayan artist Gonzalo Fonseca, who designed many of the sculptures at Lake Anne.
Fonseca was an internationally recognized artist, world traveler and polylingual, according to Reston Museum, which will house an exhibit paying tribute to the artist.
Fonseca, who died in 1997 and would have been 100 years old this year, viewed sculpture as a “microcosmic way to engage civilization and weave together past and future,” according to his website. With stone as his medium of choice, he designed a playground, underpass and monument in Reston.
Other activities include a sun boat design contest and art projects at Reston Art Gallery & Studios, Public Art Reston, the Japanese Culture Club, and Robert Bernhards at the studios.
The day kicks off at noon with a performance by award-winning duo 123 Andres.
The complete schedule is below:
Musical Performances & Remarks
- 12 p.m. — 123 Andrés
- 12:30 p.m. — Opening Remarks & Brick Dedication by Reston Museum Board Representative Chuck Veatch
- 12:33 p.m. — Remarks by community representatives
- 1:10 p.m. — Foley Irish Academy of Dance
- 1:50 p.m. — Reston Chorale
- 2:10 p.m. — Reston Community Orchestra Brass Ensemble
- 2:50 p.m. — Lopez Studios
- 3:30 p.m. — Reston Community Players
Schedule of events at Reston Community Center
- 1-1:50 p.m. — Multilingual Birthday Party: enjoy cake and learn birthday phrases in other languages.
- 2-3 p.m. — Community is what it is all about: an ode to Lake Anne book launch with the book creators Cheryl Terio-Simon and Eric MacDicken
- 3-4 p.m. — Film Series about Reston and Reston’s Public Art:
- “Fun, Beauty, Fantasy: Reston’s Public Art” by Rebekah Wingert-Jabi
- Fonseca Film Project by Ryan Burke
- “Moon Viewing Platform” by by Raphael Chambers (2nd Place winner of the “My Community” video contest celebrating the 50th anniversary of the founding of Reston)
- “If You Lived Here: Reston” by PBS
The annual Founder’s Day celebration is presented by the Reston Historic Trust with support from Reston Community Center. It is co-sponsored by Reston Association and Public Art Reston.
Another Nashville-style hot chicken spot is taking the county by storm.
Hangry Joe’s Hot Chicken plans to open a Centreville location at 14215U Centreville Square in the next few weeks, according to a company representative.
The restaurant has been rapidly expanding in the county, opening an initial Fairfax location in September and one at Herndon’s Worldgate Centre in January. More Virginia locations are planned in Oakton, Short Pump and Alexandria.
While a exact date has not been determined yet, the restaurant will offer 25% off all orders on grand opening day.
Derek Cha, the founder of sweetFrog, a frozen yogurt spot, launched the business with business partner Mike Kim.
Hangry’s serves hot chicken ranging from “plain” to “angry hot.” Other items on the menu include loaded waffle fries, salad, chicken tenders, okra and Korean-style chicken nuggets.
Photo via Google Maps
There’s more movement on the tenant front at North Point Village Center in Reston.
Subway, located at 1474 North Point Plaza, appears to have closed up shop. Its windows are covered up with paper and its website states the location is closed.
The company did not respond to multiple requests for comment from FFXnow. It is unclear if the closure is permanent or temporary.
Most recently, Matsutake Sushi & Sake Bar opened in the center, replacing a former Boston Market. Bb.q Chicken, a Korean fried chicken spot, opened last July, replacing Jerry’s Subs.
The center has other food-oriented tenants like Gregorio’s Trattoria, Finn Thai, Bobby’s Bagel Cafe and Glory Days Grill.