Reston Station is expanding near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station.
Comstock Holding Co., the Reston-based developer behind the project, acquired roughly eight acres — the largest swath of undeveloped land — in the Midline development, according to a company release.
A pair of three-story office buildings will be demolished to make for the redevelopment of the site primarily fronting Wiehle Avenue. But Comstock is exploring other changes, including improving the development’s connectivity to the Metro plaza.
Located on the east side of Wiehle Avenue from Sunset Hill Road to the Dulles Toll Road, Midline is a 1.8-million-square-foot, mixed-use development with 1.2 million square feet of residential space, 250,000 square feet of office and 250,000 square feet of planned retail.
Comstock’s leasing team is already working with several potential retail anchors and plans to begin development next year.
“Our plans for the acquired portion of Midline include a mix of uses, including office, residential, and retail, to compliment the recently built townhome and multifamily sections of the community,” Comstock COO Timothy Steffan said. “This natural integration of additional surrounding areas into the Reston Station neighborhood will further enhance access to Reston’s only Metro Station and improve the neighborhood experience for all who live, work, and play in Reston.”
So far, the initial phases of the redevelopment plan include townhouses, condominiums and apartments. Roughly 30% of the project will be reserved as public open space.
The demolition of the vacated Lake Anne Fellowship House is still several months away.
In the interim, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department crews are using the vacated building — which previously housed more than 300 older adult residents — as a training location for local fire departments.
The department has been using the building for aerial rescues using ladder truck and mannequins.
“Training in a real structure like this provides us with an amazing and very rare opportunity,” said Scott Kraut, fire captain at Firehouse 25, which is located 1820 Wiehle Avenue.
Kraut says the vacated building provides a rare opportunity for the firefighters to practice and use their skills in a residential high-rise.
The initiative began after the fire department submitted a proposal to use the building, according to a spokesperson for Lake Anne Fellowship House.
The affordable housing nonprofit Enterprise Community Development plans to redevelop the fellowship house after demolition takes place sometime next year.
Over the summer, residents of the fellowship house moved into a brand-new residence across the street, leaving behind the 1970s building that was one of the first high rises and the first affordable senior housing property in Reston.
The new Lake Anne House — located at 11444 North Shore Drive — is a $86 million project spearheaded by ECD and Fellowship Square Foundation.
The first and smallest pieces of a massive new neighborhood near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station are formally in the works.
At a Reston Planning and Zoning Committee earlier this month, Peter Lawrence Company and development partner MRP Realty said they plan to introduce a final development plan for mostly townhouses and stacked units at Isaac Newton Square.
The 32-acre project was approved in October 2019 for 2.8 million square of development, 2,100 residential units, 300 hotel rooms, office space and roughly 69,000 square feet of retail.
Since then, the project has been in-the-works, with the latest elements comprising only a small portion of the massive project. Townhouses oriented towards each other are planned on blocks W2, N1, and N3.
At the July 18 meeting, land use attorney Andrew Painter noted that the overall project could take decades to complete.
The site is bounded by the Washington & Old Dominion Trail on the south, Hidden Creek Country Club on the west, and Wiehle Avenue on the east. The development team plans to work around the natural contours created by mature willow oak trees that have been on the property for more than 60 years.
“That has been absolutely critical to us because that is the significant element of this future neighborhood,” Painter said.
The county approved up to 175 multi-family units for the easternmost corner of the site. An assisted living facility was the initial idea, but Painter said the development team has dropped that concept in favor of just 24 stacked townhouses.
“The status of assisted living and continuing living care after the pandemic is not in a good place at all,” he said.
That block is the smallest in the overall development plan. The proposal for blocks W2, N1, and N3 is in line with what the county originally approved in 2019.
The developers plans to submit a final development plan for the first pieces of the community over the next few months.
“When push comes to shove, we just can’t build everything that we got approved for,” Painter noted, reflecting on the overall development.
A developer-proposed solution for a new crossing at Wiehle Avenue at the eastbound Dulles Toll Road ramps in Reston is officially off the table.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously yesterday (Tuesday) to consider a different proposal for the controversial crossing, which was the subject of vigorous debate during the approval of TF Cornerstone’s Campus Commons project.
Community concerns about the safety of an at-grade crossing led to the formation of a study group that identified several options for the crossing. Not one member of the group — which met 15 times between December 2019 and August 2021 — supported the developer’s suggested overpass options or an at-grade crosswalk. Most favored an alternative crossing through an underpass — which comes with a hefty price tag.
With a deadline looming to make a decision on the proffer, the board has officially decided to ditch the developer’s proposed options and explore what Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn says will be the most appropriate pedestrian crossing option.
Alcorn says a final decision on the crossing will come after the county completes a corridor study of Wiehle Avenue between Sunrise Valley Drive and the Washington & Old Dominion Trail. The study was approved in September of last year and will begin six months after phase two of the Silver Line opens.
Yesterday’s board matter formalizes language that the board will not support the developer’s proposed overpass options. The developer will either construct the crossing ultimately selected or provide $1.65 million as laid out in the proffers.
So far, the county has hinted at pursuing a “high visibility” at-grade crossing.
In his board matter, Alcorn said the proposal should “address documented concerns raised by the community…to ensure that this improvement is designed to be aesthetically pleasing, highly efficient, safe and accessible for all users.”
The Campus Commons matter was initially deferred last month for clerical changes and the refinement of legalese.
The vote comes nearly three years after the board approved the Campus Commons project, which will transform an aging office park at 1900 and 1902 Campus Common Drive into a 1.3 million-square-foot development.
The developer of a major mixed-use project near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station could have to pay $1.65 million to help fund a safer alternative to a pedestrian crossing at the intersection of Wiehle Avenue at the eastbound Dulles Toll Road ramps.
At a board meeting yesterday (Tuesday), Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn introduced a board matter that would require developer TF Cornerstone, the developer of Campus Commons, to pay the proffered funds to build an alternative crossing for the area.
The board deferred a vote on the matter to the board’s next meeting later this month so staff could determine whether there might be legal concerns posed by the county dabbling in the implementation of proffers for developers.
“This is very unusual,” Alcorn said. “Frankly, this is the implementation of a proffer approved before I was supervisor. It’s probably not a process I would want to do again.”
The move came after Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross expressed concerns about the county’s involvement with proffers.
“I just want to make sure that we’re within our lane here with this request,” Gross said.
Alcorn says an at-grade crossing of Wiehle Avenue should only be explored if the improvement “can be achieved through enhanced multimodal design that demonstrates acceptable operational conditions and incorporates pedestrian safety measures” that are in line with his office, the Virginia Department of Transportation, and the Fairfax County Department of Transportation.
The move comes nearly three years after the board approved TF Cornerstones’ plans for Campus Commons — a project that would transform an aging office park at 1900 and 1902 Campus Common Drive into a 1.3 million-square-foot development.
Resounding community concerns about safety at the proposed at-grade crossing prompted the formation of a study group that evaluated three proposed options for the site.
But virtually all members voted against the three options proposed by TF Cornerstones. Instead, 71% supported a crossing with an underpass — which comes with a hefty price tag — and 59% supported an enhanced at-grade pedestrian crosswalk with more multimodal improvements. The conclusion came after 15 meetings between December 2019 and August 2021.
With none of the options in the approved Campus Commons plan finding support, Alcorn’s board matter suggests that the developer instead give the county money to build an alternative that would be refined after study on the Wiehle Avenue corridor and in coordination with future designs and crossings at Wiehle.
The developer plans to build three buildings with 655 apartments, more than 520,000 square feet of office space, and a little over 28,000 square feet of ground-floor retail. A 24-story tower and two small towers are proposed.
County Lands $10M to Address Homelessness — Fairfax County will get $10 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to support services for people experiencing homelessness. The money will fully fund 19 projects and represents a 9% increase from last year’s award, mostly for a domestic violence rapid rehousing program run by the nonprofit Shelter House. [Housing and Community Development]
FCPS to Provide Free Online Tutoring — “Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Scott Brabrand said unlimited tutoring in any subject for every grade level will be available through a new partnership with Tutor.com. The rollout will begin after spring break.” [WTOP]
Utility Work Requires W&OD Trail Detour in Reston — Washington & Old Dominion Trail users are being detoured to a gravel path this week so that AT&T can relocate a utility line in preparation for the construction of the planned pedestrian bridge over Wiehle Avenue. The work began on Monday (March 21) and could last up to a week. [Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling]
Vienna Town Council Eases Rules for Residential Porches — “Home improvement just got easier in Vienna. Homeowners with homes built near the front setback line can now construct a covered front porch on their property thanks to last night’s Town Council vote on a zoning code update.” [Town of Vienna/Twitter]
Paved Trail in Burke Completed — “Burke residents joined Fairfax County officials on Sunday to celebrate the completion of the Burke Centre VRE Trail Project, a new paved path that will provide pedestrians and bicyclists with easier access to the Virginia Railway Express station.” [Patch]
Afghan Refugee Graduates from FCPS — “Mountain View High graduate Eltaf Samim traversed six countries, completed seventh, eighth and ninth grade multiple times in different nations and turned in coursework in three languages on the way to get his high school diploma in Fairfax County this year.” [FCPS/Inside NoVA]
Wolf Trap National Park Adds More Summer Performances — “Newly added shows include Van Morrison, Boyz II Men, Tom Jones, Boy George & Culture Club, Kool & the Gang and more. Closing the season will be a community singing celebration called Joyfully Together on Sept. 18.” [Patch]
Reston Museum Seeks Volunteers — “Reston Museum seeks volunteer docents for flexible shifts Tues-Sun 11-4 pm. Docents greet visitors, introduce them to the museum and Reston’s history and assist with shop sales. Training provided, register here.” [Volunteer Fairfax/Twitter]
It’s Wednesday — Rain starting in the afternoon. High of 60 and low of 43. Sunrise at 7:08 a.m. and sunset at 7:25 p.m. [Weather.gov]