News and notes from Reston (tm).

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

High-Rise Complex Proposed for Site of Fairway Apartments: Maybe We Were a Bit Hasty About This Whole "Another Manhattan" Thing

fairway.jpgThe JBG Companies, which is developing the high-rise Reston Heights development adjacent to the Reston International Center, is now proposing another high-rise complex at the site of Fairway Apartments near Lake Anne.

The proposal, which will be deliberated by the Reston Planning & Zoning Committee at a meeting June 1, includes two 10-story buildings, 31 townhouses, a series of smaller residential buildings, and 8,000 square feet of retail space -- enough for a couple of Macaroni Grills and maybe some lesser eatery. Maybe we spoke too soon when we said people's fears about Reston becoming "another Manhattan" were overblown:

The proposal calls for 940 apartment units to be phased in over an, as yet, undetermined period. The proposal is divided into two sections: the western section overlooks the nearby golf course. Construction proposed is as follows: Building A – 10 stories, 180 units; Building B – 10 stories, 215 units; Building C – 4 stories, 144 units. Garage parking for building A is 288 spaces; for B 344 spaces except for 3 on the private street; 266 parking spaces are proposed for Building C, the 4 story building, and a retail store operation with all but 27 of the spaces in a garage. In addition, a proposed 8000 sq. ft. retail operation is also proposed. Of the 266 spaces mentioned above, 35 are dedicated to the retail operation. In addition in the western section, 31 townhouses are proposed with a total of 85 parking spaces assigned to them.

In the eastern part of the proposal, there will be two 4 story buildings (Buildings D & E), Building D will contain 153 units with 215 parking spaces. Building E will contain 217 apartment units with 348 parking spaces. All parking will be in garages except for 11 spaces on the private street.
We hope if this project is completed, they keep the names as is. Who wouldn't want to live in the penthouse of "Building A?" They could market the project as having "Reston prestige married with Soviet flair."

Seriously, the proposal begs a question: Why build such an elaborate multi-use project near, but not in, the Lake Anne Village Center parcels already approved for redevelopment? We're guessing the answer is that JBG has owned Fairway Apartments for a number of years, and as real estate agents like to say, they're not making any more land these days.

22 comments:

  1. What is with the desire to Ballston-ify all of Fairfax County? Is there any reader/ Reston resident who wants such changes?

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  2. Anonymous, I like seeing such changes, so long as they go with smart growth.

    I'd like to know about this project. Is the non garage parking on street parking or parking spaces? Is the retail integrated with the rest of the buildings and most importantly will it be built to the edge of North Shore to make it more pedestrian friendly? Lastly if this area is to become more urban what sort of transit improvement is the county planning? Some sort of circulatory with service to the Town Center and future Wielhle Ave Metro stop should be part of the proffer agreament.

    Most importantly are these garages hidden from public sight? I don't want to see a bunch of cement structures here, this parking needs to be underground, or otherwise well integrated with the project.

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  3. Actually, JBG has a reputation of being a good neighbor as far as these sorts of developments go. A mixed-use, high density development could be a vast improvement over an aging garden apartment complex.

    It would be a shame if the density here precluded or discouraged high-density development closer to Lake Anne Village Center, though.

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  4. The high-density, mixed-use, new urbanist form Fairfax County has planned for us will obliterate our open spaces. Bob Simon's Reston will cease to exist. We should abandon our lovely town for what, the current construction fad?

    You can call it smart now, but will you call it smart when the county decides they have another plan for your neighborhood?

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  5. When does it stop being "Bob Simon's Reston" and start being the Reston belonging to ALL the people who pay the extra fees to live here?

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  6. I used to live by Lake Anne, and the roads up there absolutely cannot hold any more traffic. They are insufficient to meet even the current demands, let alone the demands of thousands of additional residents. Is the county going to build new roads up there? And where are the additional children supposed to go to school- is the plan still to make them attend classrooms in the new apartment buildings and ride buses to lake anne elementary (which has no additional classroom space) for gym class?

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  7. Reston is unique the way it is! If people want to live in "denser" areas, why can't they choose to live in Arlington or Falls Church (or Fairfax, or Tyson's Corner, or Bethesda...)? There are PLENTY of options for people who want to live a more urban lifestyle. There are NO other options for people who prefer Reston the way it is.

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  8. New urbanism does not destroy open space, in fact because people are living more verticaly there is more open space then when everyone had a single family with a quarter acre fenced off lot.

    As for smart growth, I'd love to see the rolling acres of parking lots behind my house developed into something more useful.

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  9. I disagree, Lake Anne Elementary is not crowded. They actually started bussing in kids from Vienna this year to fill the seats.

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  10. Josh,

    The mixed-use development just approved for the Crescent Apt site at Lake Anne calls for 935 residential units (2,338 residents if you use 2.5 per unit which I do because that is the figure the county used to raise the density cap on our residential areas in Reston). There are 16.5 acres at Crescent and that gives a figure of 142 people per acre. Manhattan's density is 110 people per acre. In addition, the site is planned with three or four parking garages, one a football field in length. How much green space, or trees, would you expect to be standing at the end of construction? There is theory and then there is practise.

    The transportation plan, to address your other question, suggests that future removal of all street parking along North Shore Drive is planned and bike lanes will be added both directions.

    In addition, the Lake Anne plan asks to have the 3+ acres of RA woodlands along the east side of the parking lot and along Chimney House Rd be included in redevelopment.

    Are you still loving smart growth?

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  11. I for one won't mind a bit if someone does something useful with yet another of the Reston Ghetto Style appartment complexes. Maybe they can wander over to South Reston with their wrecking balls when they're through. And while they're at it, maybe they can put up some street lights.

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  12. Anonymous

    That large hill is not open space, it is private property used primarily by residents of Fairway. The other open space they'll be using up is surface parking, which I don't think anyone considers quality open space.

    Also Manhattan has a wide variety of houses, from town homes to condo towers, which average the density out to 110 per acre. Reston as a whole is no where near seeing such density. Also a 2000 person increase still leaves about 18000 people less than Reston was planned for.

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  13. 15,000 to 20,000 new residents projected for the strip between Sunrise Valley and Sunset Hills along the Dulles Toll Rd in mixed-use developments.

    10,000 more for Town Center.

    3,000 more for Lake Anne.

    3,000 to 5,000 more for each of the other village centers or shopping centers to be redeveloped as mixed-use--Hunters Woods, Tall Oaks, North Point, South Lakes.

    No one has said how many more will come from redevelopment of old neighborhoods. However, there will be 1500 more just at Fairway Apts.

    When they take out the old neighborhoods they will be redeveloped at high density, too. What's old? 60s era construction. That's what I heard from a Fx Co employee at a public meeting last October.

    I'd say Restonite was indeed hasty about the "another Manhattan" thing.

    Am I nuts? Do some reading.
    http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpz/projects/reston.htm

    I think lawns count as open space.

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  14. The Convict in Gulag 4May 22, 2009 at 11:30 AM

    I'm with the 4:10 pm Anonymous. They can redevelop Shadowood, Winterthur and Stonegate as mixed use, market rate units and I'll be behind them. The nice thing about those sites is that they already lay astride four lane roads. Well, not Stonegate, but I would be willing to overlook that fact. And all three sites are a convenient walk to "real" shopping, like grocery and drug stores ...and a Burger King, no less.

    And if RCC/RA decides to relocate the mildly contested Taj Ma-Rec-Center, they could place it on one of those properties.

    We welcome progress in the Gulag, unlike the tree hugging malcontents to the North!

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  15. All neighborhoods in Reston are on the table for redevelopment. Cathy Hudgins wants to reformat Reston into an urbanized, mixed- use metropolis. It won't be just Shadowood, Winterthur and Stonegate that will be redeveloped. They will also be looking at your neighborhood, Gulag, to consider inserting commercial infill. They may take your house out and put in a high-rise with a Starbucks on the street level? Smart growth.

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  16. Yes, developers want to take over Reston. They are encouraged to continue to take advantage of oudated zoning incentive programs originally meant to bring economic growth to NEGLECTED areas. Reston is not neglected!

    Now they want to knock down the Winwood child care center on New Dominion/Explorer street, and put up a high density mixed use (apartments and retail) building, 16 stories high - the bottom two of which are proposed retail and restaurant.

    Doug Carter is the architect - who happens to be on the Reston Design Board. We can expect 375 more apartments, restaurants with trash trucks and delivery vans at all times of the night and day, and more than 1500 more cars on our roads - which are beginning to look as potholed as DC. (Have you seen New Dominion and Town Center Parkway intersection recently?)

    They don't have a permit YET. Be sure to attend the June 1 presentation by the developer to the Reston Board to voice your opposition. We're supposed to be placated with the usual "planned open space" and "courtyards" that will replace the natural tree area next to the Reston library. And the LEED certification they are planning to obtain is bogus too - because gettng that certification allows them to build higher - they're not creating a LEED building out of the goodness of their hearts.

    We need to find out what other plans RHA Development of Oakton has for building in Reston. Is it more high rise, high density "Paramount" style buildings that overshadow the low-rise character of the surrounding areas? Time to ask some questions!

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  17. Yes, developers want to take over Reston. They are encouraged to continue to take advantage of oudated zoning incentive programs originally meant to bring economic growth to NEGLECTED areas. Reston is not neglected!

    Now they want to knock down the Winwood child care center on New Dominion/Explorer street, and put up a high density mixed use (apartments and retail) building, 16 stories high - the bottom two of which are proposed retail and restaurant.

    Doug Carter is the architect - who happens to be on the Reston Design Board. We can expect 375 more apartments, restaurants with trash trucks and delivery vans at all times of the night and day, and more than 1500 more cars on our roads - which are beginning to look as potholed as DC. (Have you seen New Dominion and Town Center Parkway intersection recently?)

    They don't have a permit YET. Be sure to attend the June 1 presentation by the developer to the Reston Board to voice your opposition. We're supposed to be placated with the usual "planned open space" and "courtyards" that will replace the natural tree area next to the Reston library. And the LEED certification they are planning to obtain is bogus too - because getting that certification allows them to build higher - they're not creating a LEED building out of the goodness of their hearts.

    We need to find out what other plans RHA Development of Oakton has for building in Reston. Is it more high rise, high density "Paramount" style buildings that overshadow the low-rise character of the surrounding areas? Time to ask some questions!

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  18. We Were a Bit Hasty About This Whole "Another Manhattan"

    LOL!!!..
    I was going to say something "nice" since I happen to have gone down there for Memorial Weekend (I have family in VA & MD) and I happen to have eaten at the Reston Town Center, VA this past Sat (food sucked). And my last job down there, before moving here to NYC in '96, was in fact in the Town Center...and then I hear a statement like this! Plllaaazzzzeee....there is NO place in the U.S. like Manhattan so to even say "another" is a joke. Now for my real opinion of Reston Town Center.....ZZZZZZZzzzzzzzz

    Sorry but that's only IMO!

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  19. http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=168977

    This is the "real Manhattan!"

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  20. Aww, first making the Tennesseans mad and now the Manhattans. Hehehe.

    I dunno. I understand its easiest to blame Cathy because she's the HM district supervisor, but the entire Ffx. Co. board of supervisors had to approve the Lake Anne redevelopment plan amendment thingie and other such documents. I know the other district supervisors don't understand Reston like its residents or like Cathy, but unless you speak up when they're doing these things (maybe travel down to the govt. center in Ffx. and speak at the public hearings) its hard to complain after the fact. I think they voted on the Lake Anne plan amendment thing just recently. How many Restonian readers went down to speak out against the redevelopment plan?

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  21. I see Fairways Apts vacancy signs all the time. It looks like an opportune time to increase vacancies.

    Weren't nearby Spectrum, ParcReston. and Cameron Crescent supposed to have rezoned for high-density buildings as well? Why accept any more applications for increasing density in this immediate area while these projects are on the shelf?

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  22. "The high-density, mixed-use, new urbanist form Fairfax County has planned for us will obliterate our open spaces. Bob Simon's Reston will cease to exist. We should abandon our lovely town for what, the current construction fad?"

    You've got it backwards. High-density high rises SAVE open spaces and single family homes obliterate them.

    Do the math: In a highrise, you can fit 500-1000 people on a single acre of property. If you spread those people out in single family homes on quarter-acre lots, they'd take up 125-200 acres.

    High density = Smart Growth
    Single family homes = sprawl

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