News and notes from Reston (tm).

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

So Much for Getting a Sandwich and a Stamp With Your Meds: Lakeside Pharmacy, the Last Original Business in Lake Anne Plaza, Up for Sale

336191_1217215517-1.jpgAs Lake Anne Village Center girds itself for the promise of revitalization, the last of its original businesses has been put up on the market.

Lakeside Pharmacy, the last original business at Reston’s first village center, is no CVS. Like the pharmacies of the 1950s and 1960s, the shop doesn’t double as a grocery store, but it has a soda fountain and food counter where customers can order breakfast, lunch or dinner while waiting for their prescriptions to be filled. It also offers a candy counter, newspaper stand and U.S. Post Office in the 3,000-square-foot space.

Owner Larry Cohn opened the business more than 40 years ago. The space went on the market early this month.

"The owner has been there many, many years, and it’s just time for him to go on and start a new adventure," agent John Querolo said.
Regardless of who buys the property, it's unlikely that it will remain a place where you can shop, mail a letter and have lunch under the same roof.
"We would love to see it continue into the future as a working pharmacy," he said, but he noted that the idea might be improbable. Pharmacists are in short supply, and the shop would require a licensed pharmacist who would also be willing to oversee food preparation and sell goods like greeting cards and shampoo, while most druggists today can work at a CVS or supermarket without the responsibilities of owning the business or managing anything beyond the drug counter, he said.

"We are trying to find that person," Querolo said, but he added that Cohn was willing to sell the property to anyone ready to buy. With space for outdoor seating and a view of Lake Anne, he said, the location could become a prime restaurant site.
The only problem is there's another one of those sitting vacant across the street, at least for now. Until Reston becomes another Manhattan, we'll just have to enjoy these throwbacks to a simpler, earth-toned time while they're still here.


  1. I can't say I shopped here very much, but it's sad to see a business go, especially one that wasn't apparently having any difficulties, but I am excited that it might open up more opportunities. Now that there are a couple of vacant spots, dare I be optimistic that this might create some competition that will lower the rates that new businesses will be charged (thus making it more possible that someone will be able to justify the cost)?

    I know there are not supposed to be chains allowed at Lake Anne, but does that include even regional chains? It would be awesome to have a successful business that has one or a few other locations around the area come in. Big Buns is one example, but there are a lot of others. Then again, Lake Anne could stand some non-food places as well, but at the moment I'm drawing a blank as to what would be most useful, other than a pharmacy of course!

  2. Sorely missed. The only place to buy a stamp or mail a package without a line and a surly postal employee. A joint I go out of my way to patronize.

  3. The entry implies that the prospective tennant pulled out of the large restaurant vacancy.

    It's a nice location but a little small for another drug store. Most pharmacies have more room for OTC remedies, vitamims, and supplements.

    You know. Lake Anne would've been a good place to put the Reston Post Office. It would've brought in the regular foot traffic that the plaza is missing.

  4. Sad day in Lake Anne. I go there regularly. Seems that everything in Lake Anne is suffering. Glad to say that Lake Anne's church- Washington Plaza has had a wonderful year.

  5. Oh, no! I lived at Lake Anne the first year I was married, and LOVED the drugstore- I used to go there for lunch all the time. I still go to use their post office when the weather is warm, so I can have a nice walk while mailing my stuff. And a great place to take the kids for a grilled cheese or an ice cream, too.

  6. Broke in Charter Oak (BiCO)December 22, 2009 at 11:54 AM

    DVDMon, I'm unfamiliar with "Big Buns", but I do know that Georgetown Cupcake has expanded into what I believe is Bethesda now. I'd like to see them expand westward into Reston as well. I LOVE their cupcakes, but the thought of battling the Beltway to Bethesda or taking the hassle of getting to Georgetown and then standing in a line all the way up the block is off-putting.

    What about a Kirkland's? When I first moved here I bought several accent pieces and decor items from their store at Dulles Town Center in the dragon-infested lands of Loudoun County. They were much more reasonably-priced than what you'd find at Pottery Barn in the generally over-priced Reston Town Center, and with so many apartment-dwellers in Reston a good place to buy cheap home furnishings and home decor/accent items would be more than welcome.

    Does Reston have an indoor "fun park" anywhere? (i.e. indoor mini-golf, indoor batting cages, maybe a rock climbing wall, a few bowling lanes, an arcade, etc.?) I'd LOVE to go to a place like that with friends. What about a dinner theatre where you can sit and enjoy some home-cooked meals while watching a play? What about a nice low-key, down-to-earth, and generally NON-PRETENTIOUS place to just enjoy camaraderie while watching a game or doing karaoke, such as Jimmy's in Herndon? I was just there the other night for the first time, and it is now my FAVORITE place in all of NoVA! All we have in Reston are chain places in the town center for poseurs from Ashburn to hang out in while talking about their jobs while not batting an eye at the expensive pricing. Where does Reston have places like Jimmy's?

  7. I've never actually been there but have heard that Big Buns is great - think Chipotle but with burgers - ie you can do a "bol" or sandwich with a large number of toppings and choice of meat/non-meat (chicken, fish, beef, portabello, etc.).

    Anyway, you do have a point - I don't know of any good bakeries in Reston, although being new I may just be missing them. Vienna has a few, maybe Herndon has some as well?

    I've never been to Kirklands. Is quality/price like Ikea? Seems that space is a little small for a furniture store, though, no?

    As far as "fun parks" I think you might have to go out to Ashburn for something like that, although there's the scating rink, and potentially some day an indoor rec-center? There's also Atplay Cafe, but that's for little kids. Have you tried Lakeside Inn at South Lakes? It's non-pretentious, but I don't think they do karaoke, although they do have TV's for watching games. I've only been there once for dinner and the prices are pretty reasonable - they have a different special of half-price of a particular kind of entree each day of the week. Only problem might be the smoke if you are going to hang out around the bar - I can't stand the stuff so won't eat there, but what's the deal with smoking in VA, did they pass something recently outlawing it indoors in any establishment, or am I dreaming??

  8. The Convict in the GulagDecember 22, 2009 at 12:36 PM

    I, for one, dvdude, hope that all of the scat remains at Ashburn's scating rink. Now, if we were to get a roller rink...

    If you're into indoor climbing, there's a really nice establishment called Sport Rock over in DragonLand by the Costco. Pretty reasonably priced too.

    Smoking in all food and drink establishments is verboten as of Dec. 01. Kind of makes you wonder why Macaroni Grill maintains tables in their bar area now.

    Bring Roller Derby to Reston

  9. Broke in Charter Oak (BiCO)December 22, 2009 at 12:59 PM

    See, that's the thing. A lot of people would be willing to patronize many of these places, but as of right now they're all out in Cashburn or to the east nearer to the District. Sure, I can drive to them, but why take what little money my friends and I do have OUT of Reston?

    Another place I really love is Auld Shebeen in Downtown Fairfax. Why doesn't Reston have a place like that or Jimmy's in Downtown Herndon? Those places are cozy, down-to-earth, and offer great food at reasonable prices with a good sense of camaraderie. No, I haven't yet tried the Lakeside Inn, but something tells me it isn't on the same par as a Jimmy's or an Auld Shebeen. I sort of wish I wasn't so...well.."broke" because I'd love to bring a place like that to Reston. Enough of this yuppie crap (i.e. McCormick & Schmick's, Morton's, Jackson's, M&S Grill, Cosi, etc.) that people like me can't afford! There's a Dave & Buster's in or near Rockville, MD if I'm not mistaken, but there's none in NoVA, right? Why can't Reston even attract something like that? Yes, it's a chain, but it's not your run-of-the-mill one and could attract a broader audience than Type A d-bags from Ashburn who love to brag about work all night.

    My love of Kirkland's is probably garnering me some snickering from those who think I have poor and/or cheesy taste, but it's not unlike a mini-IKEA. They sell cheap (and probably admittedly poor quality) home accents and home decor items. Imagine Pottery Barn or Restoration Hardware---only for those of us who aren't in $100,000+ households. Georgetown Cupcake would be a welcome addition to Reston. They ONLY hone in on cupcakes in particular, so that's not a niche that should really threaten any existing Reston businesses. Yes, they're expensive little treats, but I could cough up $3-$4 for a cupcake every once in a blue moon.

    I really would love to know how a community of 65,000 survived so long without some sort of amusement center with batting cages, bumper boats, mini-golf, bowling, laser tag, an arcade, etc., etc. Is it because people would find it unsightly? My friends and I would LOVE a place like that in Reston. A dinner theater would be great as well---sitting and enjoying a multi-course meal once in a blue moon as a treat while the audience participates in a murder mystery program. I've ranted before that the non-affluent 18-26-year-old demographic is underserved in Reston, and quite frankly it is. I see tons of families, seniors, and 30-somethings enjoying life here, but where are all of the working Joe 20-somethings? Arlington?

  10. I'd very much enjoy an amusement center like that myself. Maybe we could have a riverboat in Lake Anne.

  11. Bico, first, don't write off a place you've never been to. Who knows, maybe Lakeside Inn is closer to those other places than you suspect. I don't know that is, but jeez, you might at least give it a shot before dismissing it!

    Kirklands sounds interesting, I'll have to check it out some time. We go to Ikea a bunch. But part of the draw is the funky stuff you don't see anywhere else - and their cafe.

    I've been to Dave and Buster's a couple of times, but that was when I was a lot younger (in the 90's), and even then I wasn't exactly enamored with it, but I guess that's just not my kind of place.

    I agree about the chains. I can't stand em. The food is pasable in some of the places, but there's no homeyness, no soul. It's why I don't patronize them unless others are dragging me to one of these places.

    I've never been to Georgetown cupcake, but my sense is that it might be a bit too trendy for an independent type places. If there was a cupcake CHAIN, I bet it might fit in at RTC, but as an independent, I don't know. Georgetown is very eclectic and has tons of independent businsesses, and so having a niche place like that makes sense - especially due to the large college contingent. But out here things need to probably be a bit more utilitarian. There aren't ANY general purpose bakeries that I know of in Reston (and I refuse to count Panera's as a bakery!), so until there's a more general one, I'm afraid a very specialized store serving only cupcakes would only go so far in how successful it was...

    Again, my sense is that you have a lot of issues with folks who make lots of money. Sure there are people who do and partronize these horrible chains and talk about vapid stuff, but there are plenty of others who don't - you probably just don't see them because they are spending their time at home, or in the classes that RA provides, or in the few independent businesses here, and yes in neighboring towns. As for 20-somethings, again, generally 20-something's are interested in areas that have a lot of OTHER 20-somethings. Sound familiar? While it's admirable (I guess) that you want to stay way out here in the burbs, I wonder why you do when you could work further in. As has been sugested before, having roommates is a key to affording more expensive places, and if you live further in, the prospect of having to own a car becomes less important. The fact you are spending $700 for you car tax indicates that you have one pretty fancy set of wheels. I bet you could sell that and live fairly comfortably for quite a while if you have a job that's accessible by public transit - or just by moving within walking distance to it. If you're stuck on the car thing, well, that's a personal choice, but don't blame Reston for that. You're also probably living in one of the more expensive places to live here, so again, these are all choices you've made. If you aren't happy with them, change those choices and reconfigure your life. You have time to be grumpy when you get older like most of us and can complain about much more than your money (ie your stomach and your hairline), so I would chime in with all the others that have been saying the same thing to you for a while - stop feeling sorry for yourself and go out and do what you need to to be happy. You DO have options!

  12. $700 on car tax? Can that be right?? Holy cow, bico, what in the world do you drive?? We pay less than $200 for BOTH our cars.

  13. Broke in Charter Oak (BiCO)December 22, 2009 at 2:19 PM

    I haven't paid the car tax yet, but my car is valued at roughly $15,000. According to the county's web site, the car tax is $4.57 per every $100 of assessed value. $15,000/$100 = 150. 150 x $4.57 = $685.50 (nearly $700). I'm not familiar with NADA (which they use) vs. Kelly BlueBook (which I'm familiar with), so maybe NADA's values are much, much lower. I don't consider a used Mazda sedan to be a "fancy" car.

    In regards to my "class envy" persona I admit that after re-reading what I typed it does appear to be the way. I personally don't care how much money people make. If they're 25 and have a job that pays them $90,000, then good for them. They are obviously more intelligent or larger risk-takers than I am. I wish nothing but lifelong success to the greatest percentage of the population as possible.

    What I DO resent here though is the emphasis and importance so many people tie to what they do for a living---so much so that work is what they tend to talk about at parties, at bars, at clubs, etc. Work, work, work. Yada, yada, yada. It's one thing to take pride in what you do. It's another thing to let what you do DEFINE who you are, and when that starts to happen I try to distance myself away from those sorts of people. Perhaps I shouldn't be eavesdropping as much, but yes I DO overhear a lot of people yakking about work in a lot of places on WEEKENDS, a time when people like yours truly try to distance themselves from the office environment and actually live life. Talking about work makes those around you THINK about work, and then that becomes a stressor to think about Monday morning on a Saturday night. I never before experienced so many people who chat about their jobs so much until I moved here. It can't be healthy. Let loose and live a little, people!

    My gripes about Reston mostly revolve around the notion of feeling "left out" as so much of the community is now being geared towards those with plenty of discretionary income. This community is trending further and further away from its founding principles of having something for everyone. What about those of us with sub-$50,000 household incomes? Should we just crawl under a rock? I became so outraged over the public school issue because libraries and parks are two of the few FREE things here I truly enjoy. Reston's library is the best I've ever been to, and I love Lake Fairfax. When I hear that their viability are being threatened to throw money at something that already receives the majority of tax dollars in the community I become frustrated at how the county basically gives the middle finger to people like me. Reston's library should have a second floor with how busy that place is. Our parks should be pristine. I get irked when parents seem to view these amenities as being easily expendible so they can throw money at schools. I said this in the other thread. I went to a below-average public school with a much lower budget than the schools here. Guess what? I turned out just fine. So did most peers. I had a 1300 on my SAT and graduated cum laude from a great college. Some friends of mine are going on to law school and medical school. More money isn't always the answer. A good education starts at HOME! Stop trying to rob those of us who don't have much money or much to look forward to of the very few things that make us happy just to be greedy (not directed at anyone in particular).

  14. Bico,

    Look, I appreciate that you are frustrated and it's fun to whine. But you have lived here, what, all of 6 months? And you are ranting about things you don't know anything about. What do you know about the local schools? Have you researched this? Or you just read on a blog that our schools were really great and suck up all the tax revenue, so it must be true?

    BTW, you are really too old to be still talking about your SAT score.

  15. Oy, Bico, 1300 is not really something to brag about...

  16. There have been all kinds of stores in Lake Anne and none have attracted enough foot traffic to stay in business. The one solution that will generate foot traffic and bring money to the area is a STRIP CLUB sports bar or for BiCO, a Chip and Dales, where he could meet other people. I am young, single, and live close to Lake Anne, I know a lot of my friends and myself will go there, especially for breakfast. Plus, it would help the other business around the lake by bringing people.

    I know it sounds disgusting to some people, but that kind of business brings foot traffic from all over the DC metropolitan area.
    And the police station is three blocks away, by the way.

  17. From the Uplands of RestonDecember 22, 2009 at 3:20 PM

    Larry Cohn is the owner of Lakeside Pharmacy; selling after 40 years in Reston. He has earned the accolade "Best of Reston" four times. A wonderful guy. Top notch personal service. His assistant Beverly Gilbert is also very good, but she has taken a pass at buying the property.

    Reston will loose a bit of it's character with the departure of such an anachronism -- individual focused retail service by a caring on-site owner.

  18. Elperuno, my hunch is that RA wouldn't approve a strip club. Maybe a Hooters in RTC? No, not "Yuppie" enough I guess. But wait, strippers with breakfast? Somehow that doesn't fit.

    Ok, seriously, what other establishments do we not have here that we have to travel too far for? I just keep thinking of food, ugh! What about a tiny Indy theater? That would be kind of cool. Could do Indy at night and second-run discount movies (kid-centric ones even) during the day! Ok, probably neither of those spaces in Lake Anne are big enough, but I'd love an Indy theather in Reston.

    Or, hey, what about one of those fancy cyber cafes tha used to be all the rage 13 years ago??

  19. geez, stop your belly ach'n!

  20. When the pharmacy/lunch counter/postal substation goes, just about everything that made Reston a lovely small town when I arrived here in the early 1980s will be gone. We'll still have the used bookstore. And that's about it. There is nothing in Town Center that draws me. All that's left of Hunters Woods are memories and a cold strip mall. I hope somebody buys the pharmacy and keeps it the way it is.

  21. ... and Reston's transformation into a soul-less, suburban wasteland is complete. Sigh.

  22. How does everyone like that HOPE AND CHANGE!

    It sounds like some of you libs out there don't like big business or I mean Big Government!

  23. The library should probably start charging a nominal fee for accessing the web. Everytime I've been there, the dozen or so computers are in use. If the people don't like it, the library could also sell advertising space on their computers so the cheapskates have to click on the ads once every minute to stay connected.

  24. I'm a step ahead of you, Anon 10:42. What we really should do is put advertisements in all those books, or whatever they're called, and charge for each page turned and/or per hour. Especially with those Harold Putter books that are so popular that I never get a chance to look at their pictures. That'll teach the do-gooder library culture to neglect the power of consumerism. Whoever came up with the idea that libraries should be free is a moran.

  25. The Convict in the GulagDecember 23, 2009 at 3:33 AM

    BiCO, you fail to grasp the purpose of Reston. Reston is a bedtown. It's only been in the last 15 or so years that major business has sprung up here. Unless you worked in the service industry, your major job choices, as well as major cultural venues lied to the East with the exception of the Reston Players.

    But, if we really want something to spice up the town, I'm with Prunie Boy. We could use a good strip club, a pawn shop and maybe a couple of pay day check cashing operations. We could put all of that over at Tall Oaks. I'm sure it will fit in nicely with the new "ethnic" grocery store.

    The only other thing necessary to complete the trailer park chic would be a good indoor firing range. I really do hate to travel all the way down to Woodbridge when I crave some 9mm entertainment. Maybe we could put such a place down on the east end of Sunrise Valley Drive.

  26. jeez, Bico, so you screwed up and bought a home without researching the area first. You can either a)try to make the best of it, b)realize you screwed up and move (and learn a lesson about thoroughly researching a location before picking up a mortgage), or c)whine, whine, whine about how unfair it is that Reston doesn't have the amenities YOU want, and lash out at random people for not voting to have our tax money allocated the way YOU want.

    You seem to be enjoying option "c" fairly thoroughly, but is it really doing you any good??

  27. Anon 9:12, obviously you are not a careful comment reader here. Bico is not a home owner and that's why he's in an even more flexible position than you would think. Just needs to make it till his lease ends.

    By the way, Bico, I think youre calculations are incorrect about your car tax. I think the most we ever paid for a single car was a little over $400 and that was for a less than 1-year-old car that we purchased for about $22K 5 years ago. Somehow I don't think the tax has more than doubled effectively in 5 years!

    And if you guys think taxes are honerous here, move to Maryland or DC. When I moved to VA from MD (while at the same job) it was like getting a decent-sized raise.

    Like it or not Real Estate valuations, at least in this area of the country, are tied to school quality. When every other locality around you is pumping lots of money into their system, if you don't, your taxpayers' property gets devalued in comparison. Not saying this is logical or good, but it is what it is. Those who don't have children can feel slighted and even those of us who do can understand that. We don't have to pump tons of money into schools, but I would never consider teachers to be fat cats. A, they have tremendously challenging jobs, and B, they do not make anything close to what I make as a programmer, even probably at their highest seniority. Perhaps the principals and other high-up administrators do. My only concern in this regard is that unions can become a stumbling block to having the best quality in the classrooms, since they make firing teachers who aren't good fits more difficult, even for legitimate reasons. Then again, there is supposed to be a teacher shortage, so that could also be driving up salaries and thus taxes at least some...

  28. From some of the immature comments always posted by BICO, I am sure he is not a Homeowner, just a renter. Just from his guess at what his car tax will be, shows he doesn't have a clue about this tax works, and what the state reimburses.

    There are great cupcakes by the way at the Edibles Delight store in RTC, and guess what, it's locally owned. There are plenty of local businesses doing quite well at RTC, if you take the time to seek them out, rather than just running the place down all the time.

  29. wait, Bico, you are a renter?? So you are blasting the county for spending too much on our schools, money that comes from the real estate taxes that you *don't even pay*?


  30. Anon 11:47 - yes, but as someone else pointed out, his landlord assuredly passes some of that tax burden onto him. My only issue is that from what I recall, Bico lives in a high-rise around RTC. Maybe a studio/efficiency, I'm not sure, but as has been pointed out, this is among the pricier places to rent in Reston, and because he lives alone (vs. with roommates), he incurs additional expenses. There are plenty of lower-income folk in Reston, so it's certainly doable, but as a single person, you probably need to room with friends if you don't want to spend most of your income on rent every month!

  31. Broke in Charter Oak (BiCO)December 23, 2009 at 1:34 PM

    Where should I begin?

    1.) dvdmon: I actually live in the cheapest place I looked at in Reston. My alias on here denotes my complex. I liked that it afforded me the opportunity to walk to amenities like Lake Anne and RTC without paying the comparatively higher rents. I'm paying $1,135/month (plus utilities) for a 1-BR apartment, if inquiring minds must know. The only cheaper place I looked at was Stuart Woods in Herndon, and I didn't like the location in the least. As someone who had never before been to the area I didn't feel comfortable going in on a CraigsList offer with total strangers in a strange building to cut corners to make ends meat. I figured at least with a managed community I'd be in a safer and more secure situation.

    2.) Admittedly I wasn't aware that my $685.50 figure would be supplemented by a state reimbursement to the county that would offset much of that tax. However, in case some of you haven't been following the news that very same state subsidy is now being nixed in the proposed state budget by outgoing governor Tim Kaine. I will then be liable for that entire $685.50 figure.

    3.) Why does being a renter vs. being a homeowner make my concerns about the community any less valid? Why does it imply I have any less of a vested interest in wanting to see Reston thrive than any homeowner? That is exactly the same sort of pretentious attitude that is starting to grate on my nerves. Not all of we singles earn six-figure salaries and can afford a $400,000 home in Reston. Some of we renters are very passionate and intelligent people.

    4.) I am certain that part of that $1,135/month base rent that I pay goes to help compensate for the property taxes my apartment community pay towards your children's schools. Nobody has convinced me yet that cutting other services to throw more money at schools is necessarily going to improve educational quality in a county that already has far above-average public schools, overall. Why not just raise taxes? I'll stomach digging a bit deeper with my rent being jacked up a bit to help finance the schools, but any attempts to "rationalize" cutting libraries, parks, etc. while also keeping taxes flat to throw that money at schools when it may or may not help is ludicrous and WILL garner my ire.

    5.) "From his immature comments I'm sure he's a renter": Further perfect evidence of the classism and elitism that exists in Reston of homeowners vs. renters. I've spoken to homeowners in Reston who are concerned about its present and future as well. Once again, why should renters not be entitled to input into making Reston a better place for EVERYONE?

    6.) I'm not implying teachers are "fat cats." On the contrary my sister happens to be a public school teacher. I know very well the contributions they make to our society can't be replicated, and they should be compensated acccordingly. I'm not saying let's CUT school funding. I'm asking why the only other option is to NOT raise taxes and make cuts to other services that those of us without children enjoy? Just raise taxes if you want to increase school funding.

    7.) I give up. I'm just going to have to agree to disagree on many issues.

  32. "Why does it imply I have any less of a vested interest in wanting to see Reston thrive than any homeowner?"

    Well, for one because all you talk about is how much you hate it here and how you plan to move next year anyway.

  33. I agree with BiCO that Fairfax County spends to much money in education. Jesus, they just throw money at it. What a theft! I get those papers with pie graphs that Fairfax County puts in the mail. It shows you where you money is being spent. Those graphs show you that more than 50% of all our taxes goes to the students. I attended Southlakes High, class 04, I saw so much waste of money its none sense. It’s not the Counties responsibility to teach the kids it’s the PARENTS. Yes, there is dumb asses that are going to be dumb, don’t use my tax money on him its not my responsibility. I grew up with my mom and she work most the day, I study and work at the same time and was able to get in IB classes without the counties help. Its time to teach responsibility to students and parents because all you need its go there, seat your ass, pay attention, and study. Nothing extra.

  34. or to teach spelling

  35. Hey, I write this in a fly, am working. Plus, English is not my first language. To be more specific, is like twitted.

  36. I'd have a hard time writing in a fly, too. :P

  37. Kaine wants to replace the symbolic car tax with a real local income tax surcharge of 1 percentage point. The localities would receive the income tax revenue in lieu of the car tax rebate.

  38. "I study and work at the same time and was able to get in IB classes without the counties help. "

    I'm not really sure what this means. It was the county that PAID for the IB program. How would the county have helped apart from that? If the county slashes enough money from the education budget, the high schools won't be able to have IB classes at all.

  39. "total strangers in a strange building to cut corners to MAKE ENDS MEAT."

    Nice that this boy does have some self imposed limits...

  40. Anon 8:17

    Well, Southlake’s has the IB program instead of AP. When I lived in Texas, it was called Honor classes. So every county or city has a higher education program. Why does Fairfax County need two different ones?
    I have to admit I wasn’t in IB English, but I did have IB Physics, IB Math, IB History, and IB Chemistry.

    Yeah Le Pigeon, is on the fly, slang or double meaning. I guess I just create a new phrase.

  41. elperuno- Not every high school does offer these programs (AP, IB, etc). Lots of high schools in poorer area, don't have the money to fund these programs. That's the point... Bico is saying that HIS high school only offered 3 different AP classes, therefore we shouldn't be paying through the nose to keep these expensive programs in our schools.

  42. The county should revamp the way they assess real estate taxes to create a more stable source of revenue. They should move away from taxing purely on the basis of the last sale of that property and move toward assessing taxes agaist the square footage of the property that would indicate how much public service is expected to be utilized by the occupants.

  43. Anon 10:30,

    Does my point, Fairfax County spends to much money in education. They should use our tax money in other places that improve the quality of life.

    Transportation: In Munich, Germany the bus stop have electronic signs telling the people how long before the bus is going to arrive; instead of a sign with a bus symbol. Like what the metro has.
    One more, take away or decrease the toll road fee.

    Parks: Rec centers, more dog parks, and turf fields.

  44. I think the state and county should focus on bringing costs under control. This is a two-year window of opportunity where the federal government is throwing massive amounts of money at the economy and the state governments to keep things afloat. Local governments should plan for tougher times ahead when the stimulus abates and pension costs rise from the coming wave of retirements.

  45. Anon,

    Yeah me too, in one year the current government has spend more money than all the 220 years the US has been in existence has spend. Good point.

  46. Wow....I worked at the drug store counter for a few years in the early 70's. It was an awesome center of the universe. Cudos to Larry for staying and being part of the community for so long.

  47. The governments should also streamline their bureaucracy and bring down the average age of their employees. Their staffing costs are way too high.


  48. The pharmacy will sorely be missed.
    Lake Anne plaza is a condo-assn. It is their covenants which don't allow chain stores. Also each space is individually owned. So it isn't about making a place offer cheaper rents.

  49. Lake Anne is an abysmal failure!

    Condo fees are outrageous; the water is polluted, The A/C system is something that even the Soviets would laugh at.

    Fairfax County spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to burnish the place and, still, it's a dump and an embarrassment to Reston!

    Get rid of it, tear it down, develop it in a way that is sensible and reflects successful development practices.

    Jees---we've been "studying" and "charetteing" it for decades and still it's an eyesore and a dump -- Is this not the definition of insanity?

    It's too bad that Bob Simon has a huge financial interest in the status quo and earns rents PAID BY TAXPAYERS for the underutilized "community" center annex and on several other units --- Lake Anne is a demonstrated failure and it's time to move on!

  50. Hickory Cluster Knuckle DusterDecember 27, 2009 at 5:49 PM

    Anon 5:37

    What lake in Reston is pristine? Maybe you think Lake New Port is? Newport feeds Lake Anne.

    The condo fees are expensive but the upkeep of the buildings is expensive.

    I don't think a registered historic district is an embarrassment to Reston. Plaza America, Lake Newport Shopping Center, or Spectrum Center are more of an embarrassment. The abortion that idiots like you perpetrated on Hunters Woods is an embarrassment.

    I have RELAC in my home and it works fine. It wont chill my home to 65 degrees while it is 100+ outside, but that is a small price to pay to not hear the cacophony of ac units in a town home development in every other part of Reston.

    Haters like you are an embarrassment.

    Lake Anne is special and unique. If dopes like you ran the show everything would be an ugly shithole like other shopping centers or a soulless corporate pile of crap like RTC.

    Stay out of Lake Anne, we don't want or need you. Go grab an all you can eat spaghetti bowl at Macaroni Grill and stuff you self with it.


  51. I noticed that two more commercial establishments on the Plaza had put up vacancy signs.

  52. I'm going to have to jump on anon 5:37 as well... AND I WANT TO SEE REDEVELOPMENT... !!!

    Lake Anne is a jewel, and its heritage and legacy need to be preserved forever -- this village center was the center of the universe -- from its inception in the early 60's, to now. Yes, it needs help and more density is the obvious answer. I believe one can have both.

    But, for someone to tell me my home is a dump and an embarrassment is a an immature statement – we love Lake Anne and know it needs help. So either join us in making things happen for this village or shut your filthy mouth... you sound like you’re Milton Matthews’ surrogate.

  53. I work at an establishment at Lake Anne that will soon be vacating too. The buildings have had little maintenance over the 40 years which has lead to water leaks and flooding in many units. We have a serious MOLD problem and electrical problems that could lead to a fire at any moment. The plaza would have been great had it been taken care of. At this point no businesses will want to come to a plaza that should be condemned. The property management is a joke and do not seem to care if the entire plaza fell apart, but it does make you wonder where all that condo fee $ goes. I predict in one years time all the shops will be gone except one or two of the little latino markets.

  54. I lived briefly in Heron House and have often wondered if the buildings in the rest of the plaza are in as bad shape. The building is so badly insulated that in the winter we couldn't get our apartment above 55 degrees during the day- it was ridiculous. We had water leaking in from the ceiling and sewage backing up into our bathtub. I know they've done some renovations since then (this was 6 years ago), but I can't believe how badly they let that place deteriorate over the years. I was told by my landlord that the condo fees were so high (I think $700 a month?? I don't recall exactly, since I wasn't paying them) because the management had neglected basic building maintenence for so many years that it was essentially falling apart.

  55. I live in the Heron House... while it has had its issues, I would NOT be placing the "condemned for occupation" sign on the front door.

    Lake Anne Plaza needs a rework of all the homeowner and business associations as well as a major say in the Redevelopment discussions – if they ever turn those conversations on again.

    Please do not convey the message of desperation in these threads – Lake Anne is a beautiful place to live.

    Yes, it needs attention – conversations focused on solutions versus what’s bad will be far more productive and helpful in the long run.

    And, I might add, while tearing down is an option, I prefer to see the Historic area saved, and new development around it to keep it replenished with density and dollars.

    I love my home...

  56. Why does everyone think "no chains are allowed" at Lake Anne? The spaces there are owned by a variety of individual landlords who can rent to anyone they wish (as is obvious in many cases). Having individual owners is part of the problems that exist.

  57. congratulations to the lake anne condo association!!Their "tireless" efforts show howmuch they have accomplshed!Every business will soon be vacating because the association is run by idiots.The problems are too expensive to fix because of continued lack of action.Get used to more latino shops with loiters hanging around!!

  58. I keep reading the Lake Anne Revitaliztion Plan and say -- please bring it on.

  59. HCKD and anon 554

    It's blind ignorant bigots like you who have your heads in the sand. It's your intolerant arrogance to anyone who has a difference in opinion as to what Lake Anne is or isn't that has stopped everything, any form of progress, from, well progressing.

    Lake Anne MAY have been the center of the universe at one time, but nothing stays the same forever and that's why Lake Anne is as it is.

    Either open your eyes and realize that your Utopian non- "village" is a flop or shut up and listen to others, outsiders, who may have some new and fresh ideas to help you.

    I am 22 years old and recently moved here thinking it was a tolerant welcoming place. How wrong I was!

    I have seen places in the deepest South that are light years ahead of you and your closed minds.

  60. Hickory Cluster Knuckle DusterDecember 31, 2009 at 5:43 PM

    Anon 12:45

    You are 22, just moved here, and your outsider opinion is to tear down Lake Anne Plaza?

    Knock down the award-winning housing and shopping center to build what? Another fucking RTC?

    I'll pull my head out of the sand when you pull you head out of your ass.

    Like I said, go eat a bowl of never ending macaroni and choke on it.

  61. HCKD

    You have just proven the point.

    You use of such foul language demonstrates only your ignorance, intolerance and utter foolishness.

    You are pathetic and you are dismissed!

  62. Lake Anne was once a jewel, and now it is falling apart. They've been jawing about revitalization for at least five years, while no action whatsoever has been taken, most of the businesses have failed, and the smell of mold has become pervasive in the remaining businesses. It will take a huge cash infusion and a developer willing to work with the community to preserve the original plaza and expand on it to make it viable and buy out most or all of the owners of the retail spaces to make Lake Anne a jewel again. The retail areas all need to be gutted and have new plumbing, new walls, and new ceilings, or they will never be viable because they're too far gone. You could preserve the architecture on the lake and put in a Landmark cinema, brewpub with performance space, knitting shop, wine store, Great Harvest bakery, cupcake place, a coffeeshop with decent food and coffee, and additional good small eateries, which would need some subsidization by the owner. Restaurants need to be open when the farmer's market is going on, instead of inexplicably shuttered during a peak business time. Build a parking deck at the corner of North Village and North Shore, the kind with plants on the outside so it blends in better. I will be very sad when the pharmacy goes, because that will further reduce foot traffic and likely serve as the death knell for still more businesses at the plaza. We moved here in part because we loved Lake Anne Village Center and being able to walk there, but it's pretty sad to go there these days.

  63. To December 31, 2009 12:45 PM ...

    I'm Anon 554, and I actually agree with you. I don't think my prior message was bigoted nor ignorant. I welcome redevelopment and more density... I (like the many commentors here) wait and wait and wait for something to happen. I agree with Anon January 3, 2010 9:16 PM above... I have enjoyed living here at Lake Anne, and want it to survive and thrive -- vs. being passed by.

    Your anger certainly gets out in front of you --telling me my home is a dump, my way of lfe is detrimental to the good of the many... and we haven't even met.

    Good luck to you...

  64. Does anyone know if the Polar Plunge will still happen since Body By Geoff is gone, I know they had a major role in that event.

  65. yes,polar plunge is still set for feb 6th i think...I love anonymous' idea!lake anne does need major work!I love the idea of movies, decent coffee shop,cupcake should be on the board!!kudos!! If only the powers that be were reading this!!!=)

  66. body by geoff is gone too!!!whats going on there!!!!do people who live there care??i was there on monday,very sad to see the plaza empty....aren't there any associations at lake anne?ie..condo assoc. or merchants assoc.??if so, what do they do??

  67. Yes, Body by Geoff is gone, but don't worry another spanish market is opening next to Jasmine. The condo ass. ignores the concerns of the businesses, slacks on overall maintenance, and spends the majority of their time changing the flags on the lamp posts and worrying about the christmas lights on the fountain.

  68. great! another cheap spanish shop!is lake anne turning into el salvador??whats next?? a day laborer site!those were christmas lights??!!how can lake anne pass DRB's approval??by the way, I read in the connection,an article saying that it is "right on track" on track for what??failure!!and the grafitti stains are still there!!who writes this stuff??

  69. lets not get too harsh with the condo must be awfully hard to upkeep 4 businesses!!especially when the ass. has only 5 days a week to get stuff done!!

  70. don't they have someone living on site???

  71. Kelly from SpringwoodFebruary 16, 2010 at 12:06 PM

    I like Lake Anne, it's too bad they can't make up their minds and fix what needs to be fixed. The atmosphere there is certainly better than RTC. (in my opinion) It's sad that the pharmacy is going, I've never had the chance to go there and it sounds like a nice place. Too bad we can't have an old fashioned hardware store at Lake Anne. The only one I know of is Fischer's in Springfield and to get there you have to deal with the whole Mixing Bowl mess. I'm probably in the minority here, but I'd rather go to old fashioned hardware store's instead of Home Depot. Though a bakery and good coffee shop would be nice too! :)

  72. Kelly, FYI, there's an old-fashioned hardware store in Vienna called Stalcup Hardware right next to Jammin Java. It's nice but extremely pricey. As much as I wanted to support a local business I could only afford to buy so much from them...


(If you don't see comments for some reason, click here).