News and notes from Reston (tm).

Thursday, July 9, 2009

This and That: A Random Perambulation Around Reston News We Haven't Gotten Around to Posting

  • The Reston Citizens Association is holding elections in the most democratic way imaginable: at a booth at this weekend's Reston Festival.

  • Here's a shocker: Commercial real estate still kinda sucks.
    “There isn’t a lot of positive news out there,” said Mark Larsen, president of Reston-based Larsen Commercial Real Estate/ONCOR International. “There’s a little more activity now than there was between October and March, but that isn’t saying much. If companies can downsize or sublet the space, they’re going to.”

    According to statistics from the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, the county’s commercial vacancy rate hit 14.5 percent in 2008, up from 10.9 percent the previous year. That remains significantly lower than the high-water mark of 2002, when a post-9/11 freeze pushed vacancy rates to nearly 19 percent.
    Reston's vacancy rate is higher than the countywide average, at 17.5 percent. Way to go! But federal contractor Ericcson recently moved its headquarters to Reston, where we presume they'll be strapping bombs to dolphins and figuring out where that extra 's' in their name came from.

  • Stratton Woods Park, which is really closer to Bratz-lovin' Fox Mill than Reston, is getting some awesome lighting to allow 3am softball games and whatnot. Apparently some people aren't happy about this, but at least they'll still have a volleyball court to play on.

  • Now that it's illegal to text your BFF while driving, a Reston company by the name of ZoomSafer is developing software that will allow you to text, or "tweet," or whatever it is the kool kidz do these days, via voice commands. Our favorite part is that the software will remind you to "drive safely." Nanny state! Or you could just use the bitchin' satellite phones offered by Reston-based TerreStar, which have the added benefit of beaming your tweets into outer space, where perplexed aliens can wonder what "OMG" means.

  • A couple of good-news numbers: The Greater Reston Arts Center turns 35, celebrating with a juried exhibit called "Faraway Nearby." We assume they're talking about Loudoun County. Also, Reston Interfaith dedicated its 39th house for a needy family, which we're sure will lead to more snark in our comments section.

  • The Reston Chamber of Commerce has a new CEO. Mark Ingrao is a past Chairman of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce and Leadership Arlington, which means he probably moved out here to escape the gangsta rap videos. Matt Brennan of Brennan & Waite, P.L.C. was also announced as Chairman of the Chamber for 2009-10, but we don't have a good joke for that, so let's move on.

  • Finally, the economy might stink, but there's one thing you can still get for free in Reston: 80 gallons of unfiltered restaurant grease. Bon appetit!

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