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The first major renovations to Reston Town Center’s in 30 years are well underway, with the pavilion set to reopen later this year.

A spokesperson for Boston Properties says the opening of the pavilion is anticipated “sometime in November with the return the ice rink for the winter season.”

“The Fountain Plaza and Pavilion rehabilitation and renovation work at Reston Town Center has made significant progress since commencing in March 2022,” Sapna Yathiraj, Boston Properties’ marketing director, wrote in a statement to FFXnow.

The Fountain Plaza is also slated to open later this year, although an exact timeline was not immediately available.

The upgrades are led by Alan Ward, a principal at Sasaki Associates. As previously reported the enhancements include:

The Pavilion

Two fire pits in front of the Pavilion adjacent to Market Street will add to the holiday and cooler months’ experience

Large fans will help cool the space during warmer months for both formal and informal gatherings

An expansion through the service street adjacent to the Hyatt will create more flexibility and space for programming, events, and daily activations
A wooden deck that will serve as a seating area and a stage for smaller events and performances

Additional seating areas in the artificial turf area during warm months

Other

The fountain: Renovation of the lower base area, with new tiling, expanded seating, and tiered landscaping, and replacement of the entire outdated mechanical system. The original design of the upper base and Mercury statue will remain unchanged.

New trees and plantings to replace aged greenery and damaged root systems

Expansion of outdoor seating, including stadium-style structures and traditional tables and chairs

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Reston Regional Library (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

A developer that filed a competing proposal for a new Reston library and affordable housing is calling into question Fairfax County’s handling of an unsolicited proposal it received for a new library near the same site.

Developer Norton Scott says the county mishandled the solicitation process after developer Foulger-Pratt filed a proposal to redevelop 4.5 acres of land at the intersection Bowman Towne Court and Town Center Parkway in October 2021.

Norton Scott is petitioning the county to incorporate more public opportunities to review other sites for the library that the company says would better serve Reston residents and are more in line with Reston’s comprehensive plan.

“They are sliding this through in a way that circumvents the public process that is so inherent to planning in Reston,” Chelsea Rao, vice president of Norton Scott, told FFXnow.

The Foulger-Pratt proposal — which was publicized with significant redactions — would redevelop the 4.5-acre property into an apartment building for working families and a new library, while demolishing 30 affordable rental townhomes on the site. What’s publicly known is that roughly 350 affordable housing units across two buildings with a garage and the library are planned.

The Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA) issued a call for competing proposals earlier this year — all governed under the provisions of the Public-Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act of 2002, which lays different groundwork for public-private partnerships.

To date, the Norton Scott proposal is the only competing application received.

Located near Reston Regional Library’s current site and a neighboring lot owned by the developer’s subsidiaries across from the police station’s parking lot, the Norton Scott plan would have consolidated three county-owned parcels with a one-core parcel to the south.

It would’ve created a 1.8-acre plaza, 39,000-square-foot library, a new homeless shelter, a performing arts center, a human services building, and 582 housing units — including 354 affordable units. The plan would also preserve existing affordable housing on the Bowman Town Center Court property.

But FCHRA spokesperson Benjamin Boxer told FFXnow that Norton Scott’s application was deemed non-responsive because it involves a completely different site.

“Norton Scott’s competing proposal was non-responsive to the solicitation because the site for their proposal was located on entirely different property owned by the Board of Supervisors, as well as a separate parcel owned by Norton Scott, not the FCRHA-owned property identified in the request for competing proposals issued by the FCRHA,” Boxer said. “Norton Scott may submit its own unsolicited proposal for the other location, and they were so advised over a month ago.” Read More

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The festival takes place in Reston Town Square park tomorrow (courtesy Canine Companions)

A DogFest is coming to Reston Town Square Park tomorrow (Saturday).

The event, slated to take place from 11 a.m to 3 p.m. at 11900 Market Street, will benefit Canine Companions, a nonprofit organization that encourages clients and their dogs to live with greater independence. Activities include service dog demonstrations, music, games, speeches and activities for kids.

The event is free, but online registration is encouraged.

“Help us raise money to provide exceptional dogs for the over 400 people currently waiting for their new canine partners,” Canine Companions spokesperson John Bentzinger wrote in a release.

The organization was established in 1975 and is active in six regions across the country.

Dogs that take part in the event must adhere to several conditions, including being social, being up to date with vaccinations, and remaining on a leash no longer than six feet at all times.

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A new jazz series is coming soon to Reston Town Center (via RTCA)

A new jazz series is kicking off next month in Reston Town Square Park next month.

The Reston Town Center Association is launching a jazz series on Sept. 8. Called Sip & Stroll, visitors can purchase alcohol at some establishments on site and stroll to designated areas at select events.

The series kicks off with Darden and Friends on Thursday evenings from Sept. 8 through Oct. 27. Darden Purcell, a national recording artist and director of jazz studies at George Mason University, will close and curate the series.

The event is free and presented by RTCA and Reston Community Center.

RTCA Executive Director Robert Goudie says the series was launching to further expand the town center experience.

“What a way to launch it, with world-class jazz from Darden and her friends, presented in partnership with our longtime cultural partner, Reston Community Center, and with the generous support of Boston Properties and the Avant (our green room sponsor),” Goudie said. “We think that this will hit all the right notes.”

In a statement, RCC’s executive director Leila Gordon said the center was supportive of the idea when it was pitched it to the center by RTCA.

“Combining the beautiful early evenings of fall in the ambience of the park and offering audiences the added treat of sipping their beverage of choice from one of the participating restaurants, is a perfect match. We think people will thoroughly enjoy themselves,” Gordon said.

Alcohol can only be bought from establishments within the event perimeter — which is town square park and surrounding streets.

The concert will run on Thursday from 5-6:15 p.m. and the park will be open for the event at 4 p.m. All alcohol must be cleared from the park by 7 p.m.

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A new free shuttle service is coming to Reston Town Center (courtesy Reston Town Center Association)

A new free shuttle service is coming soon to Reston Town Center to connect the RTC Metro Station to Reston’s urban core.

LinkRTC, the new, privately-funded shuttle service managed by the Reston Town Center Association, is expected to begin operation on weekdays when the station opens in the fall. Six stops are planned for the internal shuttle, which will provide free service from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays. 

RTCA Executive Director Robert Goudie said the shuttle is intended to connect the area’s residents, workforce and visitors to a network of restaurant, retail, workplaces and programming. 

“The town center continues to grow as a dynamic, regional destination,” Goudie wrote in a statement. “We see linkRTC as an important community amenity that will link the downtown with Metro. 

Reston Limousine and Travel Service, a local transportation company, will operate two 14-passenger vans that will run with 10-minute intervals between service at each stop. The company has more than 250 vehicles.

The vans are ADA-compliant and include two wheelchair-accessible seating places. Properties within RTCA that opt in will pay for the service under a cost-sharing agreement. 

As we explored this with our major property holders, it became clear that a sensible first phase would be rolling this out within the extended urban core,” Goudie told FFXnow. “Once we launch, other properties that might wish to have a stop and be a part of the funding solution can contact us about the possibility of opting in. It may be a service we can voluntarily grow over time.”

Goudie anticipates expanding the program throughout the town center in the years ahead. 

Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn says the shuttle will help bolster Fairfax County’s vision of ensuring that development allows people to get to transit easy. 

“This supports Fairfax County’s investment in Metrorail, provides another multi-modal option to the growing Reston Town Center, and creates another alternative to single occupancy private vehicles in the heart of Reston. These are things that everyone in our community should support,” Alcorn wrote in a statement. 

RTCA is the governing association for RTC.

Signs will be posted at each stop. An app will also be available for riders.

The shuttle has been in the works for years. The county’s latest comprehensive plan for Reston contemplates the inclusion of a shuttle or circulator service to knit the town center with Metro. 

RTCA will launch the service once trains begin running at the station, possibly in October of this year, after years of delays.

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Midtown Jewelers at Reston Town Center (via Midtown Jewelers/Facebook)

For more than 10 years, a family-owned jewelry boutique has called Reston home. 

That will change in the fall of this year when Midtown Jewelers leaves Reston Town Center for a new location in the Town of Herndon. 

The business has collected several accolades, including best jewelry store by Washingtonian magazine and has frequently been given the couples’ choice award by Wedding Wire. 

The business, which offers on-site jewelry and watch repair, appraisal services, and a collection of jewelry is currently located at 11990 Market Street. The new location will be at 700 Lynn Street Suite B.

A company representative did not immediately return a request for comment.

Photo via Midtown Jewelers/Facebook

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The former Inova Cameron Glen Care Center in Reston (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

The former Inova Cameron Glen Care Center, a 150-bed nursing and rehabilitation facility in Reston, will soon be no more.

Inova plans to demolish the building — which has sat unused since 2014 — beginning next week. The process will start off with tree removal.

Nursing homes beds were relocated to Oakton and Leesburg after the Fairfax County Fire Marshal deemed the building unfit for occupancy in 2021.

In a statement, Inova noted that the demolition of the nursing home sets in motion the vision for redeveloping Reston Town Center North, a 47-acre area in the heart of Reston’s urban core. The nearly 3-acre area will remain dedicated as an open central green.

“This rare opportunity to return developed land to open space is a unique and valuable component of the larger community redevelopment plan,” Inova wrote in the statement.

Inova is working with community partners, law enforcement and Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn to ensure the community is aware about the planned demolition and secure the safety of the site.

“Looking forward, we are eager for the completion of the Reston Town Center North redevelopment and the valuable community facilities and housing that will be enabled by the project,” Inova said.

The news comes after nonprofit organization Reston Strong asked Inova to undertake a feasibility to study if the building can serve as temporary transitional housing.

But other pieces of the massive project — which has long been in the works — are moving forward.

In February, the county received an unsolicited proposal from Foulger-Pratt to redevelop a nearly 3-acre parcel owned by the county into an apartment building for working families, a new library, and free parking. The application prompted the county to solicit a call for proposals.

Alcorn also established a task force to study public facilities in the RTC North area.

Inova spokesperson Melissa Riddy told FFXnow that a firm timeline is not in place for the completion of the central park. 

“The features of the open space in the Central Park have not yet been planned as it is part of the joint planning exercise between Inova and Fairfax County for the redevelopment of Reston Town Center North,” Riddy wrote in a statement.

She added that the timing will depend entirely on the outcome of the planning and zoning process. 

A spokesperson for Fairfax County told FFXnow that the county is still working through the procurement process. More information is expected “in the coming weeks and months,” according to Benjamin Boxer, a spokesperson for the Fairfax County Department of Housing and Community Development. 

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Morning Notes

A family hits the mini golf course at Jefferson District Park in Idylwood (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Metro Promises Relief for Train Riders Next Month — Starting Monday (Aug. 1), the addition of more rail cars will speed up service on the Orange, Blue and Silver lines to every 15 minutes on weekdays instead of the current wait times, which can reach up to 20 minutes. Metro says it anticipates expanding those service adjustments to weekends in September. [WMATA]

Man to Plead Guilty to Herndon Murder — A Virginia man told a Fairfax County judge he wants to plead guilty to the 1987 killing of 37-year-old Eige Sober-Adler in Herndon after being indicted in the case in January. Charles Helem is already serving life in prison for strangling and killing his ex-girlfriend, Patricia Bentley, in Chantilly in 2002. [WTOP]

Reston Residents Frustrated by Car Burglaries — “Some angry Reston residents are complaining that the police are doing too little to stop a persistent car burglar repeatedly targeting their community…Neighbors say the same burglar has returned to the West Market neighborhood near Reston Town Center at least four times over the course of the year” [WUSA9]

New Sidewalks in Lincolnia Near Finish — “Work is wrapping up on #Lincolnia Road Sidewalk and Spot Improvement Project! This #FairfaxCounty Transportation project consists of 1,000 LF of sidewalk to connect pedestrian facilities along North Chambliss Street and Lincolnia Road from the Lincolnia Senior Center to Linmar Court” [Supervisor Penny Gross/Twitter]

Pittsburgh Bank Coming to Reston — “First National Bank is expanding in Northern Virginia. F.N.B. Corp. (NYSE: FNB) said Wednesday it has filed applications with the Order of the Comptroller of the Currency to open new branches in Reston and Arlington. The bank currently operates seven First National Bank offices in Northern Virginia and the District and said it expects to grow that total to 11 by 2024.” [Washington Business Journal]

Maintenance Set for Planned Tysons Trail — “Fairfax County supervisors on July 19 authorized the county’s transportation director, Thomas Biesiadny, to execute a perpetual agreement with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) for joint operation and maintenance of a new shared-use path in Tysons.” [Sun Gazette]

Idylwood Office Buildings Sold — “Dave Schaeffer, CEO of Cogent Communications, has acquired 7799 Leesburg Pike, a pair of 11-story office towers totaling 377,717 square feet in Tysons, Va. The sale price was $49 million, according to someone close to the deal…At the time of the sale, the buildings were 36 percent leased to seven tenants, including Tyson MRI and Imaging Center and the University of the Potomac Virginia Campus.” [Commercial Observer]

Reston Offers “Superhero” Triathlon for Kids — Coming this Sunday (July 31), the CORE Foundation will host its first-ever Reston Superhero Youth Triathlon at Ridge Heights Pool. Over 100 people have registered for the competition, which will feature running, swimming, and bicycling and have categories for para and adaptive athletes. [CORE Foundation]

Vienna Parks and Rec Registration Coming — “Get ready, get set for fall fun with Vienna Parks and Recreation! Explore the program guide and sign up for classes, camps and more adventures for the whole family! Registration for Town residents opens at 8 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 1. Registration for all others opens Monday, Aug. 8.” [Town of Vienna]

It’s Friday — Rain in the evening and overnight. High of 82 and low of 74. Sunrise at 6:09 am and sunset at 8:25 pm. [Weather.gov]

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The Reston Multicultural Festival takes place in Reston Town Center this year (via Reston Community Center)

A staple of Reston’s events scene — the Reston’s Multicultural Festival — returns in September with a new venue and line-up of presenters.

This year’s festival will take place at Reston Town Center through a partnership with the Reston Town Center Association instead of the typical location at Lake Anne Plaza.

Reston Community Center Executive Director Leila Gordon told FFXnow that the relocation was necessary after the center found itself “unable to agree on mutually satisfactory terms of use for Lake Anne Plaza” with the Lake Anne of Reston Condominium Association (LARCA).

“We needed to make alternative location plans to proceed with the other layers of planning the Reston Multicultural Festival requires,” Gordon wrote in a statement. “Fortunately, we have a continuing and longstanding relationship with Reston Town Center Association in presenting complex, large-scale events and programming, so this location was a logical alternative and will be a lovely venue for this signature community event.”

This year’s festival also includes a new line-up through a partnership with the National Council of Traditional Arts, bringing NEA National Heritage Fellows, which have received the country’s highest honor in folk and traditional arts.

Fellows — including New Orleans’ Treme Brass Band, Capoeira Master Jelon Vieira and soul pioneer William Bell — will take the stage at Reston Town Square Park on Saturday, Sept. 17 between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. The festival will also feature master crafts artists who will demonstrate their art.

“This year’s special anniversaries offer us an opportunity to design a unique lineup and produce the event in a new setting,” said RCC Board of Governors Chair Bev Cosham. “We are delighted to partner with the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA) to present the NEA Heritage Fellows, and with Reston Town Center Association (RTCA) to create a memorable day of celebrating the diversity of cultures that makes ours a great nation and Reston the special community we know it to be.”

The performances are part of an expanding partnership with the NCTA and mark the 40th year of the NEA fellowship program. Since 1982, the program has granted 467 National Heritage Fellowships. Fellows are nominated by the public and then judged by experts in the arts.

Participants are encouraged to come dressed in attire related to their cultural roots.

It’s not the first time that disagreement between LARCA and event organizers have prompted a location change.

In April, a free summer concert series by the center relocated to Reston Station after an impasse between the board and RCC. At the time, Gordon told Patch that RCC failed to reach an agreement on crafting a policy for plaza use and an application to execute events in an orderly manner.

RTCA Executive Director Robert Goudie says the association is looking forward to partnering with RCC again.

“Our longstanding partnership has generated outstanding performances and events for the entire community to enjoy. This year’s Multicultural Festival will continue and extend that terrific partnership,” Goudie said.

A complete breakdown of the festival is below after the jump. The schedule and participating organizations will be released in early September.

Read More

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The PNC bank at Reston Town Center has closed (via Google Maps)

(Updated at 6:30 p.m. on 7/20/2022) PNC Bank customers will have to go elsewhere to conduct business in Reston Town Center.

The location at 11932 Democracy Drive in the town center has permanently closed, according to its website. The vacancy is near the location of Fogo de Chao, a new Brazilian steakhouse that is under construction.

The closure leaves just one other PNC Bank location in Reston, which is located at 1450 North Point Village Center.

It comes after the company previously announced plans to shutter 280 branches over two years.

H/t to Adam Rubinstein for the tip. Image via Google Maps

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