News and notes from Reston (tm).

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Lake Anne Revitalization Approved, So Bring on the 99-Story Condos

Despite overwrought trepidation that Reston would turn overnight into "another Manhattan," only with fewer polyglot hot dog vendors on street corners, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved an awesome redevelopment plan to transform the sleepy area into a bustling urban core, assuming this wacky global slowdown subsides and developers become interested in projects more ambitious than cardboard boxes under freeway overpasses.

In all, the amendment allows the addition of a total of 1,495 to 1,655 residential units, 63,000 to 81,000 square feet of retail space and 225,000 to 235,000 square feet of office space to the Lake Anne Village Center area.
Sweet! With a population of 8.3 million in NYC, Reston is right on track to become another Manhattan -- assuming 5,021.276 people move into each one of those 1,655 residential units. It could happen, folks!

The revised plan eliminates a wacky suggestion to raze buildings to let people zipping by on Baron Cameron Avenue see the lake, and rejiggers some of the commercial and affordable housing requirements, though the NIMBY folks will likely still be annoyed.
The commission reduced the amount of "non-residential development" allowed on the parcel where the Crescent Apartments stand, from 4,000 to 2,000 square feet or, under the "full consolidation" option, from 8,000 to 4,000 square feet.

The amount of non-residential development was reduced in order to keep new businesses in the development from drawing customers away from Washington Plaza. The purpose of the amendment is to bring more people to the historic plaza, where businesses have been dying off for lack of traffic.

The Planning Commission also removed language instructing that the Millennium Bank at the main entrance to the plaza be moved. The idea of moving the bank was to open up visibility to the plaza, but many, including the Architectural Review Board and Reston founder Bob Simon, opposed the move, saying the current design, with a narrow entrance leading to the open plaza and lake, was intentional and pleasing.

Also, the recommendation on civic uses became a prescription for "complimentary non-residential uses" and was expanded to include talk of a hotel and cinema. A call for "excellent design and architecture" and interactive public art was added to the urban design recommendations. Many other minor changes were also made.

The commission had also requested that staff work out a way for the burden of affordable housing to be shared more equitably. Originally, the proposal was to require that Fellowship Square, which provides housing for elderly citizens of limited means, retain all of its 240 affordable dwelling units. Little was to be added to the maximum number of dwelling units allowed on the Fellowship Square parcel unless the full consolidation was attained.

Before passing the amendment Monday, the Board of Supervisors voted to change the text to say the total number of affordable dwelling units at Lake Anne was to remain constant but could be redistributed among the various land parcels.
Of course, all these awesome plans await one thing.
Now, Lake Anne only needs a developer, or developers, interested in working with the county on a rezoning to realize the new plan.
Or maybe a certain homeowner association looking for space to build an awesome new headquarters, complete with a full complement of filing cabinets and whatnot?


  1. Oh, woe is us. Less desirable South Reston will get even less desirable because we won't have anything similar. about we do something like this in Hunters Woods Shopping Center? It fits the qualifications -- population density, businesses failing, and even better, it has bank robberies! Just think of the excitement! It also has a great plaza area for the Farmer's Market! Then we could be the MORE desirable less desirable South Reston!

  2. AS one of those undesirables that lives in South Reston, I say STFU. I don't want anything to disturb the soothing strains of the FCPD helicopter orbiting over South Lakes Park and Winterthur aparments on those hot, balmy weekend nights of Summer. It is so soothing to here the whoop-whoop-whoop of the chopper blades wafting on the gentle breeze through my open bedroom window during wee hours while I'm trying to sleep.

    Attracting a better class of clientele would only ruin the ambiance of the Southgate/Winterthur/Stonegate triangle.

  3. Peasant From Less Sought After S. RestonApril 9, 2009 at 9:38 PM

    I don't know, is it possible we have a mini-insurrection brewing here in Less Sought After South Reston?...almost sounds like a secessionist movement (and we ARE coming up shortly to the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, after all). We may have to break away from them damn Yankees in Sought After North Reston; instead of bombarding Fort Sumter, maybe we can bombard the oppressors' seat of power in Isaac Newton Square to preserve our sacred traditions and cultural values -- you know, our neutron bomb-enhanced streambeds, the holy shrine of the Soapstone 7-11, our fine 1970s architecture that taste forget and which neither time nor the DRB can improve. Let the damn Yankees keep the Macaroni Grill and Lake Anne; we have all that fine venison, squirrel, and other fresh fixin's we scrape off of Lawyers Road every day.

  4. So where's the Farmer's Market going to be when they plop towers in the parking lot? I'll be a mess if I don't get my fresh squash and hummus.

  5. Awesomely awesome awesomeness.


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