News and notes from Reston (tm).

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Macaroni Grill Gets Reprieve Until May, Grateful Populace Rejoices

The awesome planned redevelopment of the Spectrum Center adjacent to Reston's Fake Downtown(tm) has encountered yet another delay (second item).

An advertised April 23 Fairfax County Planning Commission public hearing concerning Lerner Enterprises' plans to redevelop the Spectrum Center in Reston has been moved to Wednesday, May 21.
So that means we'll be able to enjoy the Macaroni Grill, an island of classy, reasonably priced fare in a ocean of godforsaken big-box retail, for at least a little while longer.

It's all part of an awesome plan to rectify the original plan for Reston's Fake Downtown, replacing the ugly, soulless big-box retail that got unceremoniously plopped on the site with ugly, soulless faux-urban buildings and not-so-big-box retail.
The redevelopment plan 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 & Noble, Citibank and other retail.

“It is a long-term redevelopment proposal for the existing Spectrum Shopping Center,” said Mark Looney, an attorney with Cooley, Godward Kronish, which is representing Lerner. “That property was zoned as part of the original Reston Town Center creation back in the late 1980s and it was underdeveloped with the current retail uses.”

Looney said that the reason behind the public hearing deferral is to further address some staff recommendations "that were also endorsed by the Fairfax County Planning and Zoning Committee" to improve the pedestrian connections through the development.

“The project has always been designed to be an urban, pedestrian-oriented development opening onto Fountain Drive, but we are now trying to build-in additional pedestrian connections through the development, opening up some of the plaza areas to the public,” he said.
What, were they originally going to be sealed off with barbed wire and a moat guarded by sharks with frickin' laser beams on their heads? Losing the Macaroni Grill would have been an awfully big price to pay for that.

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