News and notes from Reston (tm).

Thursday, December 6, 2007

A reprive for the Macaroni Grill

Yet another delay for Lerner Enterprises' plan to redevelop the Spectrum Center, a godforsaken sea of big-box strip malls in what was originally supposed to be a high-density area matching the neighboring Reston Town Center.

At a presentation to the P&Z in March, Lerner representative Mark Looney outlined a redevelopment plan that would put 1,350 residential units and almost 676,000 square feet of office and retail space on the 19-and-a-half-acre property, the current site of Best Buy, Barnes and Noble, Citibank and other retail.
And the Macaroni Grill! Don't forget the Macaroni Grill!
The Town Center Office Building and Harris Teeter are not owned by Lerner and therefore not included in redevelopment plans.

The plan would connect the separate segments of the Spectrum Center, which are now divided by Bowman Towne Drive.
On the plus side, no more ugly strip mall. But we're forced, once again, to confront the future of a Reston without a Macaroni Grill. A crushing blow, to be sure, but especially tragic after the planned razing of Chili's and the departure of Ruby Tuesday's. A few years from now, what are Restonians to do when they're in the mood for large platters of microwaved pasta? No amount of so-called "high end" retail or Abecrombie & Fitches will make those carb cravings go away.

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