News and notes from Reston (tm).

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Macaroni Grill Death Watch, Part 3: 'Approval Does Not Mean Immediate Redevelopment' (Translation: Keep the Breadsticks Coming!)

As expected, the Fairfax County Planning Commission formally approved plans to redevelop the Reston Spectrum shopping center into an awesome Macaroni Grill-free zone.

The proposed redevelopment plan, as outlined in a county staff report released May 8, will include the gradual removal and rebuilding of the existing Spectrum shopping center, currently the site of Best Buy, Barnes & Noble, Citibank and other retail businesses.
It's like there's a vast, left-wing media conspiracy to leave out the name of the most important Spectrum tenant of all. (Hint: overflowing pasta bowls) But don't tear up that call-ahead card on your refrigerator just yet!
According to attorney Mark Looney with Cooley, Godward and Kronish, Lerner Enterprises--the owner of the center--does not have immediate plans for the redevelopment.

"The approval of this plan at this point in time does not result in an immediate redevelopment of the property," Looney told planners at the May 21 public hearing.
Sweet! Of course, there's always got to be someone who's not down with the family-friendly combination of large, carb-intensive plates and reasonable prices:
Reston resident Heidi Keusenkothen, the only person to speak against the redevelopment at the public hearing, said that she did not believe it fell in line with Reston founder Robert E. Simon's concept for Reston.

"He planned this community because he was tired of the congestion in New York," she said. "You are taking away an area that my family and I enjoy and use every weekend. Just because this was part of an original plan for Reston doesn't mean it is the right thing to do now."

After her testimony, Hunter Mill Commissioner Frank de la Fe immediately contradicted Keusenkothen, saying that Simon in fact supports the redevelopment. "I encourage you to read and live Reston," he said.
Oh, snap! We'll be sure to add that to our upcoming hardcover book, A Children's Treasury of Planning Commission Putdowns.

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