A nearly 40,000-square-foot space center is coming soon to Reston.
The project is the brainchild of Interstellar Dreams, a nonprofit organization by Robin McDougal, a former educator at Fairfax County Public Schools.
The organization hopes to “spark and nurture the next generation of STEM leaders with a focus on aerospace,” according to event organizers. The business also plans to open its first space center location at George Mason University’s College of Science.
The centers will include training and simulations through virtual and in-person methods created by LED walls and technology. The experience is intended to prepare emerging and existing professionals to meet the demand for space workers.
A press conference is planned on Monday (Aug. 29) at 8:45 a.m., following a public viewing of NASA’s launch of the Artemis I “Return to the Moon” mission at Reston Station.
The space agency is poised to launch its most powerful rocket ever for a test flight on a 42-day voyage around the moon. The launch begins at 8 a.m., and the viewing takes place in the plaza of Reston Station (1906 Reston Metro Plaza).
“As NASA prepares to send astronauts to the moon and beyond, Interstellar Dream’s event underscores the need for talent for the booming space exploration industry,” a spokesperson for Interstellar Dreams wrote in the statement.
A spokesperson for the company told FFXnow that more details about the center will be released after the viewing event.
“This region has a lot of space business [and] is ripe for having more emphasis on training a workforce,” the spokesperson said.
The event will be attended by Vint Cerf — one of the “fathers of the internet” — as well as Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn, and other local officials. Cerf will discuss the need for an inter-galaxy internet.
Reston Station, a massive mixed-use project at the door of the Wiehle-Reston Metro Station, is poised to welcome another big restaurant this year.
Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse is slated to open this fall, according to signage at the front of the 11,000-square-foot restaurant at 1902 Reston Metro Plaza.
The anticipated opening comes nearly three years after news about the lease at Reston Station first broke.
The restaurant will include seating for 356 people in its dining room and 170 seats on large patios. A 30-seat bar is also planned.
Davio’s offers seafood towers, lobsters, oysters, steak, salmons and other items.
The steakhouse takes up ground-floor space in a building that is the headquarters of international consulting firm ICF.
The restaurant has 10 locations across the country. The company did not immediately return a request for comment from FFXnow.
Photo via Valerie Rose/Facebook
Reston Station’s newest district — Reston Row — will be home to a major fitness facility.
VIDA Fitness Brands plans to open a flagship facility at 1845 Reston Row Plaza, taking up roughly 50,000 square feet across three levels of the office tower. The office tower is the fourth in Reston Station and the first building that will be built at as part of Comstock’s mixed-use development.
“We are thrilled to have VIDA Fitness and its suite of signature brands join the Reston Row District,” said Timothy J. Steffan, Chief Operating Officer for Comstock. “The integrated combination of health, wellness and beauty represents another significant merchandising addition to the retail component of the Reston Station neighborhood and will provide an array of fitness and wellness opportunities to Reston residents and guests at the JW Marriott next door.
According to a press release from Tuesday (July 26), the fitness facility will include a spa penthouse pool club on the rooftop — the company’s first open to non-resident members in the Dulles corridor.
VIDA plans to offer outdoor fitness classes at Reston Row’s Central Park. It will also include SweatBox, a workout method that combines cardio and strength training at intervals. Other features of the facility include:
- An oxygen treatment and recovery center with IV treatments, compression therapy and cryotherapy
- Aura Spa, a day spa that offers facials, sports and Thai massages, waxing body scrubs, cupping and CBD oil treatments
- Bang Salon
- Fuel Bar, a full-service lobby bar and cafe that includes co-working spaces and meeting areas
The facility will also have locker rooms, steam and sauna rooms, and WiFi access throughout the building.
“We are beyond excited to launch our newest location at Reston Station,” said David von Storch, president and founder of Urban Adventures. “It is clear to me that Comstock is creating a world-class urban environment at Reston Station with a retail tenancy consisting of the best forward-thinking local and regional operators, and office tenants that provide thousands of potential VIDA customers. We look forward to bringing VIDA Fitness and its affiliated brands to Reston Station, the perfect retailing opportunity to expand our market reach.”
VIDA has six other locations in the D.C. area, including a facility in Arlington.
Reston Row is currently under construction and will also include a JW Marriott hotel.
The next new neighborhood at the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station is in for some big changes.
Comstock Companies, the Reston-based developer behind Reston Station, is seeking the county’s permission to change the mix of previously approved uses at Reston Row, which includes 1.4 million square feet of development west of Wiehle Avenue.
No density increase is proposed, but in a June 30 application submitted to the county, Comstock says it wants to shuffle some pieces of the development.
For example, the company hopes to drop a hotel planned in Reston Station’s Founding Farmers building, because it would interfere with the restaurant’s outdoor seating and pedestrians’ experience of the plaza. It also says “it no longer makes sense” to build a 28-foot tall residential building next to a 140-feet office building on Metro Center Drive because it’s further from the station.
Instead, Comstock hopes to shift the density to Reston Row’s Building D, a 320,000-square-foot building with a mix of hotel, office, residential and retail space.
Previously envisioned as a low-rise, 320,000-square-foot building, Building D will now be the tallest building in Reston Row at 350 feet. Comstock says that height is “necessary to support the increased density,” according to the application.
Under the new proposal, the building will have 500,000 square feet of development, with 425 residential units and retail.
Comstock is “concentrating its density to which it is already entitled closer to the Metro Station,” according to the application.
Comstock has reserved roughly 10,000 square feet for a roof deck on top of Building Five for Founding Farmers and 86,670 square feet for building seven, which is a mix of office, residential and retail.
Reston Row is currently under construction and is expected to wrap up in 2024. It will consist of four buildings with a mix of housing, offices, and a hotel as well as two urban parks.
A new “Commerce Center” is taking shape at the door of the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station.
Comstock, the Reston-based developer behind the massive, mixed-use Reston Station, plans to bring 1.3 million square feet of new office space, up to 469 residential units, a hotel, 30,000 square feet of retail, and a 12,000-square-foot childcare center on nearly 16 acres of land south of the Dulles Toll Road, west of Wiehle Avenue and north of Sunrise Valley Drive.
At a Reston Planning & Zoning Committee meeting on Monday (May 16), members encouraged the company to engage significantly with the community on the massive project.
“We encouraged the applicant to meet with all nearby community associations and individual homeowners who are not part of an association,” committee chairman Rob Walker wrote in a statement to FFXnow. “It was recommended those community meetings should take the form of a more charette-type format centered around key issues the community believes are important.”
Comstock plans to demolish Commerce Center IV offices on the property, even though it is fully leased and generates “significant revenue.” In application materials submitted to the Reston Planning & Zoning Committee, Comstock said the demolition will “provide a critically needed opportunity to enhance pedestrian circulation and create a substantial urban park.”
Comstock conceded that the demolition of the office building is “quite a substantial commitment” but is necessary to create space for an underground parking garage and a public space with ground-floor retail.
A trio of office buildings would remain on the site, housing roughly 456,000 square feet of office space. Overall, the space is intended to transition the Metro station area from more high-intensity, mixed-use development to the existing offices that flank the station.
Two residential buildings are proposed on the southern portion of the property, alongside three new office buildings closest to the toll road.
Committee member Katie McClain inquired about the extent of community engagement, particularly courting feedback from area residents. She said it was important to get feedback on the 16-story hotel proposed across residential buildings.
Brian Winterhalter, an attorney with DLA Piper, said Comstock is in the preliminary stages of community engagement and expects to launch several community meetings next month.
“We’re reaching out to each of the associations,” Winterhalter said, addressing concerns about lack of input in the plans.
“You really have a monopoly on the Metro there, but really the entire community need to be able to use that,” Michelle Kimmel said, lamenting what she sees as a lack of pedestrian walkability in the area and the absence of a Kiss and Ride.
The project has one of the highest development densities in Reston with a floor area ratio of 3.2, slightly higher than what is recommended by the county’s comprehensive plan.
Winterhalter said Comstock is seeking bonus density through the mid-block road on the property, the demolition of Commerce Center III and dedication of 16% of the total residential units as workforce housing.
Other committee members encouraged Comstock to ensure that the development activates Wiehle Avenue as much as possible.
“The streetscape along Wiehle looks a little thin to me,” committee member Mike Jennings cautioned.
Comstock is expected to continue engaging with the committee throughout the zoning process. The county has not yet officially accepted the application for review.
A new business has opened up shop at Comstock’s Reston Station plaza near the Wiehle-Reston Metro Station.
Scissors & Scotch opened in mid-April, bringing grooming services and a fully-stocked bars to customers.
The business is located at 1902 Reston Metro Plaza, Suite 101, and is part of Comstock’s Reston Station development.
The men’s salon and cocktail bar occupies a little over 2,000 square feet on the plaza.
It’s open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., on Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.
While packages aren’t required for services, customers can purchase a membership for unlimited booze, special discounts and guest passes, according to its website.
“We are very excited to continue our expansion in the Washington D.C. area at Reston Station,” Kai Christian, the company’s operations director, said in a statement. “At Scissors & Scotch our team of seasoned barbers, stylists and bartenders strive to make our customers look and feel great. We believe those who live and work in the Reston area will love the unique combination of grooming services and cocktails our locations are known for.”
This is the Scissors & Scotch’s first location in Fairfax County, joining franchises in Arlington and D.C. Originally started in Omaha, Nebraska, the business is now based in Kansas City, Missouri, with shops in Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas.
“Beltway Accord” Still a Mystery — More than two years after Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and then-Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced plans to rebuild the American Legion Bridge, an actual, documented agreement remains elusive. Conflict over Maryland’s Capital Beltway toll lanes project has been a source of anxiety in McLean, where officials broke ground on the I-495 widening last month. [Maryland Matters]
Advocacy Groups Meet Incoming FCPS Superintendent — “On Friday, April 15, representatives of several advocacy groups met with Dr. [Michelle] Reid, as well as Fairfax County School Board Chair Stella Pekarsky and Vice Chair Rachna Sizemore Heizer, to discuss their concerns about the superintendent selection process.” [FCPS]
Registration Opens for Kids’ Summer Program — “The Fairfax County Park Authority is accepting registrations for Rec-PAC this summer at 30 elementary school locations across Fairfax County. Rec-PAC is an affordable, structured, six-week summer program for children in grades one through six featuring a different theme each week.” [FCPA]
New Concourse Planned at Dulles Airport — “A new 14-gate concourse at Dulles International Airport could open as soon as 2026 under plans outlined Wednesday…The $674.7 million project…would be the most significant upgrade to the airport in more than a decade. The planned 400,000-square-foot building would replace the single-story structure that handles regional and commuter flights at Dulles.” [The Washington Post]
Reston Station Adds Wealth Management Firm — Comstock announced on Tuesday (April 19) that the office and private investment firm Cresset Manager has signed a lease agreement for 11,500 square feet on the ninth floor of 1900 Reston Metro Plaza. The company is expected to relocate its D.C. area office, currently in Reston Town Center, to the new space in the third quarter of 2022. [Comstock]
Annandale Baseball Diamonds Renamed — “On Saturday, April 16, 2022, the Fairfax County Park Authority joined the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and the Annandale-North Springfield Little League (ANSLL) to rename the Pine Ridge Park baseball facilities to the Kehrer Baseball Complex…The change was made to honor two longtime ANSLL volunteers Darryl and Dawn Kehrer.” [FCPA]
Design Update Coming on Richmond Highway Bus Service — The Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) will host three in-person meetings this spring on Richmond Highway BRT. The first one is scheduled for April 28 at Bryant High School and will provide updates on the design and intersection improvements at North Kings Highway and Shields Avenue. [FCDOT]
It’s Thursday — Mostly cloudy throughout the day. High of 66 and low of 44. Sunrise at 6:25 am and sunset at 7:53 pm. [Weather.gov]
The redevelopment of a seven-acre site on Reston Station Boulevard is nearly complete transforming low-rise office buildings into a residential development with some ground-floor retail.
Faraday Park, which includes two residential towers with 408 units and 26 townhouses, has opened its second tower — Faraday East — for pre-leasing. The building, which was formerly the site of a parking lot and is located at 11201 Reston Station Boulevard, includes 166 apartments.
Faraday West, which includes 242 apartments and 10,000 square feet of retail on the corner of Reston Station Boulevard and Michael Faraday Drive, is roughly 70% leased.
A spokesperson for the company tells FFXnow that the development distinguished itself from other housing options because of its makerspace and commercial kitchen, along with ground-floor retail.
“Faraday Park is also walkable from the Wiehle-Reston Metro Stop and within blocks of major offices including Google, Microsoft and Oracle,” the spokesperson said.
Townhouses flank both buildings.
The east tower includes a range of apartments from studios to three-bedroom units ranging from 465 to 1,500 square feet. The seven-story building also includes a makerspace with woodworking tools, a photo room, two fitness centers, two kitchens, common rooms, outdoor dining areas, a rooftop pool and sundeck, along with a playground and co-working space.
“Rooney Properties and BMC are pleased by how well the West Tower was received by the community and to see how current residents are taking advantage of amenities like the state-of-the-art fitness center and beautiful rooftop,” said Chris Oursler, Director of Construction and Development for Rooney Properties.
The project was designed by DC-based architecture firm MV+A Architects and will be managed by The Bozzuto Group.
Monthly rent for the smaller apartments — at 590 square feet — starts at around $1,817 while the larger apartments go for $3,885 per month.
The project includes 31 workforce dwelling units in the west tower and 20 in the east tower as part of the county’s affordable housing program, according to the spokesperson.
Gov. Glenn Youngkin visited Google’s Reston Station office today (Tuesday) to help the company share its plans to continue building up Virginia’s technology industry.
Flanked by public officials at a media event, Google executive Vint Cerf announced it will invest over $300 million in Virginia this year.
“Virginia is a shining example of the work we’re doing across the United States with a growing office right here in Reston Station and continued investments that we’re making in our data centers in northern Virginia,” Cerf said.
According to a news release, the tech giant plans to invest approximately $9.5 billion in offices and data centers and create at least 12,000 new full-time Google jobs across the U.S. this year.
Google didn’t discuss details about specific local investments, but a public relations firm said the company “plans to continue investing in its data center portfolio in Northern Virginia.”
“We have now a framework to incentivize data center investments across all industry, and we have a great working relationship with Google,” Youngkin said.
Cerf also said the company will provide a $250,000 grant to CodeVA, a Richmond-based nonprofit focused on teaching coding skills to kids. The money will support programming for students across the state.
Mark Isakowitz, Google’s government affairs lead in the U.S. and Canada, said the company worked with the governor’s team to make the investment announcement a reality. While the state didn’t provide any “specific” funding to the company, the partners have a shared vision, according to Youngkin.
The Republican governor said Google’s investment will have ripple effects for the Commonwealth’s economy. He also announced that Virginia is joining a National Governors Association initiative to prioritize computer science curricula in schools.
Google partners with Virginia on education
Google will also work with the Virginia Community College system and Department of Education to help people of all ages get professional certificates. The effort involves the state’s 23 community colleges and five higher education centers in the Commonwealth.
Per a news release:
This partnership will provide more entry-level opportunities for Virginians seeking careers in tech fields via the certificates, which are taught and developed by Google employees with decades of experience. Google Career Certificates are available in the fields of data analytics, IT support, project management, and user experience (UX) design, and do not require prior experience or a degree.
While Google has invested in Northern Virginia with two data center campuses in Loudoun County and the recent expansion of its Reston office, the region has over 90,000 open technology positions, according to the Northern Virginia Technology Council.
“This is an exciting day,” Youngkin said, thanking Google and saying he was excited to see workplaces come alive.
Daniel Golding, a Google infrastructure director who leads the capital region’s tech site, suggested that the company is probably about 20 or 30% more effective when employees work in the office instead of from home.
“It’s really important to collaborate and work together,” he said.
Youngkin chatted with workers and toured amenities in the four-level office. Looking down on Reston and the Dulles Toll Road from the building’s 15th floor, he joked that it must be “a terrible place to have to work.”
“Look at that view,” Youngkin said.
(Updated at 4:48 p.m. to clarify construction is currently underway)
Like other construction projects in the area, Virginia’s first JW Marriott is facing some delays.
The 26-story hotel, which plans to open at Comstock’s Reston Station, has been delayed by a year, according to a spokesperson for the Reston-based development company.
“Construction was delayed on this for a year due to the pandemic,” the spokesperson said, adding that work is currently underway on the site.
The hotel, which will be located at the intersection of Reston Station Boulevard and Wiehle Avenue, had planned to open in 2024 and will cost roughly $250 million to complete.
JW Marriott launched in 1984 as Marriott International’s luxury brand. There are more than 100 JW Marriott hotels in 36 countries.
Once completed, the building would complement the design of the Helmut Jahn office tower across the street.
Overall, the development is expected to have around 400 hotel units. The JW Marriott will include 250 guest rooms, 90 residents, roughly 15,000 square feet of meeting space, two restaurants and other amenities.
Marriott’s Extended Stay hotel is also planned for the site. CRS Hotel LC, a company managed by Comstock, finalized a franchise agreement in February 2021.
The project is expected to delivery in late 2024.