News and notes from Reston (tm).

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Lake Anne Revitalization Back on Track, Unless It Isn't

Here is an exciting rendition of what Lake Anne Plaza might look like someday possibly maybe never. You can see the existing part of the plaza at the bottom of the picture (the comical statuary pictured here is at the bottom center), and what you're looking at is a whole slew of new buildings and a fancypants fountain that would go where the surface parking lot is now. An awesome new underground parking structure would be feasible, according to a new transportation and parking study done by the county, allowing the creation of an awesome, city-like streetscape not unlike the one in Reston's Fake Downtown.

What could possibly go wrong? Besides the economy cratering and whatnot, that is.

Lake Anne revitalization is back on track now that a transportation and parking study of the area has been completed. The staff at Fairfax County’s Planning and Zoning Department is expecting to present a draft of the plan amendment in a public meeting in early November.

When the first studies and focus groups took place in 2005, said Heidi Merkel, the county’s chief planner on the Lake Anne revitalization project, people probably thought that as soon as a plan amendment is in place construction would begin at Lake Anne. However, in today’s economic climate, she said, the perception is different. "The market decides" when the developers might propose projects in the revitalization area. "With the current economic situation, the status quo might be here a while," said Merkel.
There's been a lot of complaining about the process, what with even renderings like this being kept under wraps, unanswered questions about the fate of the Crescent Apartments affordable housing owned by Fairfax County, and bad memories of the South Reston Park and Ride lot brouhaha a few years back.
"What I remember is furor over a certain public private partnership proposal in Reston," said Baba Freeman, recalling the resident uprising against a proposal at the South Reston Park and Ride lot at the end of 2006. "That would be an unfortunate mistake to repeat," said Freeman.
That would never happen, right?
Merkel said a decision is yet to be made on whether more meetings will be held after the plan amendment draft is presented in November. The date and location for that meeting is yet to be confirmed.


  1. Is it so bad how it is? I love the Lake Anne town center - please don't change it!

  2. It may not be a bad space but the business owners aren't getting any customers. Tavern on the Lake just closed. Some of the other businesses are barely hanging on. That's the problem they're having. People may like it just how it is, but if there are no businesses, there isn't much of a Lake Anne Village Center.


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