News and notes from Reston (tm).

Friday, May 16, 2008

Macaroni Grill Death Watch Continues: Spectrum Plan Recommended for Approval, Despite Palpable Lack of Breadsticks

The awesome redevelopment of the Spectrum shopping complex adjacent to the Reston Town Center was given a green light by county staff, meaning all that's standing between us and the end of the Macaroni Grill is a Fairfax County Planning Commission meeting on May 21.

The bad news? The conspicuous absence of breadsticks in the current site plan. The good news? A development much more in keeping with the awesome sterile medium-box retail of Reston Town Center, as opposed to the sterile, big-box retail of, say, Sterling.

A mixed-use development will replace the southern section, where Best Buy is located, with two high-rise apartment buildings along Bowman Towne Drive and two nonresidential high-rises along New Dominion Parkway. All four buildings could be as high as 180 feet, the equivalent of 15 stories.

Construction of 790,000 square feet of nonresidential uses, including some retail, is also proposed. A minimum of 5,251 parking spaces would be provided.
Sweet! We like tall buildings; we walk around Reston's fake downtown pretending we're in New York City, minus the cabs and the streetlife and the mass transit and the personality. But hey -- we've got more Container Stores (1), at least per capita.

But we digress. We've also learned more about the north end of the project:
Two residential towers are also planned for the northern part of the proposal, in the section currently housing the Harris Teeter grocery store.

Those two residential towers would be a maximum height of 120 feet tall. Harris Teeter would remain and possibly expand into the current Office Depot building, increasing the size of the grocery store from 56,000 square feet to 84,000 square feet.
We'll miss the surly, indifferent attitude of the Office Depot staff, that's for sure. No breadsticks for them.
Overall, the project includes two office buildings, seven new residential structures and one building that could be an office or hotel. The project would also create new, internal, privately owned east/west streets and eight “open-air public and private plazas.”

“I am pleased that the county recommends approval of this project,” Looney said Monday. “We were uncertain for a while that staff would ultimately make a recommendation for approval.”
Why's that? Just because some of the plazas were originally going to be hermetically sealed off from the public? Sour grapes, we say -- or maybe sour breadsticks.

1 comment:

  1. Ah man, the only thing you totally missed here is that Macaroni Grill doesn't have breadsticks, they have that awesome loaf of bread you dip in olive oil. I think you were getting it mixed up with Olive Garden.


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