News and notes from Reston (tm).

Monday, August 17, 2009

The RA Board Meeting So Exciting, It Couldn't Wait Until September

floor plan.jpgSo much for that exciting meeting in September that head Reston Association "web-logger" Robin Smyers talked about a week or so back. There's so much excitement these days that things just couldn't wait, so the RA Board is holding a "special" meeting this evening. What's so exciting? Among other things, the board will meet behind closed doors to "receive an updated analysis by Cresa Partners of the proposed economic offers from the properties under consideration for relocating the Association’s Headquarters Facility." Watch your kids on the tot lots, as it sounds like those child labor cubbies are getting filled after all!

But wait! There's more! Also on the agenda:

  • Discuss the establishment of a Special Committee on RA Recreation Master Planning
  • Consider support of a letter from the Association’s Transportation Advisory Committee regarding MWAA Proposal to Increase Tolls for Dulles Rail
  • Discuss Reston Association’s next steps with regard to Reston Master Plan amendment process; and
  • Receive information on easement requests for the Colt's Neck Road/Atlantic Realty property as well as a Bus stop improvement project.
Sounds like a pretty full plate, at a time when many folks are on vacation. Based on the agenda, it also sounds like some sort of action will be taken on the headquarters issue, so hopefully we'll learn what that is before, say, Labor Day.


  1. Wow -- wonder who's invited to this "special" meeting...

    Again... it appears the leadership wants nothing to do with the membership and will go forward to negotiating a new 'taj mahal" in some nondescript class A space... why not just move into the Nextel building...

    Why does this leadership not care about areas like Lake Anne...?? So many great ideas on how to move the RA headquarters into the Lake Anne Plaza as the first tenant in a newly revitalized community... RA would be demonstrating common sense, and a sesne of purpose to where it all started...

  2. Some proposed sketches of New Lake Anne Village Center... now that the Plan has been approved...

  3. Re: Anon 1:22 - where do they put the cars?

    The reason we dine out at Lake Anne instead of the 7/8 scale town center is the beaneries are an easy walk from the parking lot. At the 7/8 STC I have to drop gimpy (Mrs. Scubadiver walks with a cane) at the resturant. By the time I've found parking she's on her second Chardonnay.

    One of the great pleasures of living in Reston has been lingering over coffee while our children - and now our grandchildren - splash in the children's (now off-limits) fountain.

    When they build the industrial park in the Lake Anne parking lot it'll be just that. Another inhospitable glass and concrete wasteland.

  4. Anon 1:42, yes, you and I think alike... but I do think the redevelopment of Lake Anne is a good thing and it certainly won't have the scale and density of the "new bethesda" we've grown to hate... and at least at the New lake Anne Village Center, all new residents and merchants will pay assessments to RA -- unlike the tenants and residents at the "new bethesda" town center...

  5. Anon 1:42

    The plan is for an underground parking garage below the current parking lot with about 900-1000 spaces. Not enough for all the offices, residences planned.

  6. Where in Lake Anne is anyone going to find 15,00-25,000 square feet of office space?

    It doesn't exist and won't exist unless the current center is demolished which many oppose.

    How then is Lake Anne a viable option for RA HQ?

  7. Anon 2:55

    The current plaza/parking lot is a historic district and cannot be demolished.

    There is a comprehensive plan to redevelop Lake Anne with additional buildings primarily on the parking lot. Also 935 residential units will replace the 181 residential units at Crescent Apts across the street from Lake Anne plaza. There will be additional residences at the site of the Buddhist headquarters. There may also be a small hotel on the west side of the plaza. There is adequate room for RA at Lake Anne under the comprehensive plan.

    Did you look at the sketches? I wish they would hire a better architect.

  8. Lake Anne is a viable location for RA HQ post Revitalization... RA should evangelize getting the revitalization underway with a commitment to occupy the fisrt of the new spaces... until then, STAY WHERE THEY ARE --

    40 - 45 people do not need to sign a multi-year lease in another class A space until then...

  9. Anon 3:38

    Don't see a 30,000 sq. ft. office bldg on the new comp plant for Lake Anne

    Anon 4:35

    Since no developer has announce the filing of a rezoning to implement the new comp plan for Lake Anne and since it takes 2-5 years to go from filing the rezoning to opening the doors on a new building, RA should be signing a lease to stay where it is for 7-10 years?

  10. well... I suspect we are going to agree to disagree as I belive it can be done... so I guess we tell RA to go ahead on signing a new $1.5M a year lease for spaces at the corner of Reston parkway and Sunset Hills... and isn't 30,000 sg feet a tad much for 45 people...??? I don't believe my firm in Reston uses that much space and we have many more folks... including conferencing facilities for community meetings sort of defeats the purpose of the community centers...

  11. Sorry... posted this response on the other thread...

    Actually, it would work as Land Unit B includes redeveloping the existing Professional Building and adding more...

    "...Land Unit B
    This land unit is located on the south side of North Shore Drive, immediately to the west of Washington Plaza. The land unit contains one office building (the Lake Anne Professional Building), two vacant parcels, and a large surface parking lot that provides parking for Heron House and the Quayside building.
    Page 12 of 16
    Amendment No. 2007-13
    Adopted March 30, 2009

    Baseline Recommendation
    According to the Reston Master Plan, Land Unit B is a part of the Lake Anne Village Center and is planned for mixed-use with a neighborhood-serving retail component up to a 0.25 FAR and office and residential components in addition to retail uses.

    Redevelopment Option
    As an option, this land unit is planned for residential and office development, with a minimal amount of support retail and service uses.

    The total amount of development allowed under the Redevelopment Option should be no more than 274,000 square feet. The residential component should consist of up to 144,000 square feet (up to 120 multi-family dwelling units), and the non-residential component (office, support retail, and/or other complementary non-residential uses) should consist of up to 130,000 square feet, subject to the following conditions:

    • Retail and complementary non-residential uses should be on the ground floor and limited to a maximum of 5,000 square feet;

    • The full amount of office use specified above can only be achieved if the proposal includes the redevelopment of the existing Lake Anne Professional Building; and

    • Usable open space in the form of plazas, urban greens, courtyards or parks should be provided to make attractive gathering places for residents. The provision of roof top plazas with well-defined public access is encouraged..."

  12. anonymous 11:21pm - Reston Association has 75 employees in fall/winter/spring and 300 employees in the summer

  13. 35,000 sq ft for 43 people.

    I believe RA currently has 49 people at their headquarters. Six will be moving to the new Nature Center, leaving 43 people. They are planning for "future growth". Government statistics use 225 sq feet per person to determine office space requirements; my company uses 250 sq ft. Using Gov Stats RA would have enough room for 155 people, or 361% increase in people.

  14. Most, if not all, of the 300 Seasonal employees do not occupy permanent office spaces at Isaac Newton Square...

  15. Does the Open Meetings Act not apply to RA? Every non-profit I know has to have open meetings...

  16. Well folks -- the preference here would be RA purchase their building, as laid out in the referendum a year or so ago.

    "... under the parameters of the 2006 Headquarters Referendum; which as authorized by the Members, allowed the Association to purchase or build, rather than lease, a building to house the Association’s operations in Reston, Virginia. The cost shall not exceed $5,000,000 as adjusted by the percent change in the average market price per square foot for commercial office space sold in Reston, Virginia, from September 2004 through the date of purchase of the property...."

    I believe the cap can be raised for market inflation to say $6M or so...

    This would certainly fit into the Lake Anne Plans as ther are many sites to do this, including the land that RA OWNS at Lake Anne...

  17. Open meetings law only applies to government activities. On the other hand, RESPONSIBLE non-profits promote transparency. Why close the meetings to the MEMBERS if you have nothing to hide? I recognize that having members present makes the meetings last longer, especially if you give them a chance to express their opinion. But not every meeting needs to allow that option -- but every meeting should allow for observation.

  18. Anon 11:23

    To what RA land at Lake Anne are you referring?
    The protected woodland east of the parking lot and along Chimney House Road? Actually RA doesn't own any land. Not at all. It's all ours. Any property listed on the Fairfax County database that says it is owned by RA is our collectively owned common land. It's the private property of Reston homeowners. RA likes to pretend it's theirs, but it isn't.

  19. To Anon 8:15 -- I stand corrected -- you'r right, we, RA, own the land... It was something to consider, as I just can't envision our RA leadership signing another multi-year lease in a class-A building somewhere along Sunrise...

    Why not extend the lease on Isaac Newton Square, with the intent of participating in the revitalization/redevelopment of Lake Anne...ultimately building/occupying space there...

  20. So did anybody go to this RA board meeting?


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