News and notes from Reston (tm).

Friday, April 3, 2009

RA Headquarters Referendum: The Home(less) Stretch

As the April 10 deadline for the referendum on whether the RA should spend $15 million to buy an awesome new headquarters with hip unisex bathrooms like they had on that Ally McBeal show and space-age filing cabinets and whatnot draws near, there's been a full-court push to sell the referendum, including breathtaking TV shows and inspired blogging, all to try to win over some petty naysayers like these guys. Much like that one crappy album where KISS posed without their masks on the cover, the RA has even unveiled its super-secret consultants who helped it evaluate its space needs, the day after a blog post here pointed out they had declined to identify them. Coincidence? Yeah, probably. But anyway:

The consultants advising Reston Association on whether to buy, build or continue to lease its headquarters, said at a meeting March 26 that they based their advice to buy on their findings that RA needs more space to be most efficient.

Richard Meadows from CresaPartners said the consultants and RA discussed several options, including signing a short-term lease while RA purchases land and builds a new headquarters, and an option in which RA would purchase its current building. Meadows said bringing the current building up to modern standards would be too costly.

Meadows said CresaPartners has been working for RA since July 2008. The possibility of leasing another headquarters space was discussed in December. He said this is a "tenants market," and the firm completed cost analyses.
Wow. For a sizable consulting fee, we could have told them it was a "tenants market" and been home in time for lunch. So, Reston Founder Bob Simon and ARCH President Jerry Volloy, are you convinced yet?
Simon said he thinks the referendum will fail and RA should extend their current lease so they can build in the Lake Anne Village Center and help redevelop the area. He said he knows that RA's current building is a "badly designed" space and is aging badly. He said choosing any other option would be "irresponsible."

Alliance for Reston Clusters and Homeowners President Jerry Volloy, said when he was CEO of RA every time out-of-town ambassadors came to visit Reston the one place they wanted to see was Lake Anne. He said the plans for revitalization are nearly finished and RA could lead the efforts in revitalizing the center. Volloy said moving to Lake Anne would show "incredible leadership" and bring a legacy to RA's leaders.
Help jumpstart a much-needed revitalization at a time when private investment is utterly nonexistent lagging? That's so crazy, it just might work.

1 comment:

  1. Brooklyn Bridge SalesmanApril 4, 2009 at 1:35 PM

    Just got in the mail today my second postcard from the RA breathlessly reminding us to vote in the headquarters referendum. Another $5,643 of our assessment wasted just on postage alone (not counting the cost involved for printing and labor) for this needless expense.

    I remember reading some time back how the state of Indiana saved millions of dollars a year by not sending reminders to its citizens that their drivers licenses were about to expire. Maybe the RA, too, can treat us all as adults who are cognizant of deadlines? Or would that be expecting too much?

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