News and notes from Reston (tm).

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Furtive Glimpse of Proposed Indoor Tennis Facility Shows Earth Tones, Disturbing Lack of Juicery

No, this isn't an aerial view of a new earth-toned mini mall, but a rendering of what the awesome proposed indoor tennis complex at Lake Newport might look like. We were hoping for the plexiglass dome, but beggars can't be choosers. In this fancy "news paper" article, it says the plan is to go from six outdoor courts to five indoor ones.
"One of the nicest things is it doesn't really change the use of the site," said Larry Butler, director of Parks and Recreation for the Reston Association.

Though still in the early stages of design, Butler said the footprint of the facility would likely fall in line with what is currently at Lake Newport. The six outdoor courts there -- about 36,000 square feet -- will be replaced with five courts at 46,000 square feet, he said.

"We're really just taking a seasonal facility and making it year-round. It makes the most sense to put it at the Lake Newport site," Butler said.

Previous plans for an indoor tennis facility lost momentum because of location and scale. In July 2009, the Reston Association voted to eliminate the choice of Brown's Chapel -- a 22-acre park with walking trails, baseball fields, basketball courts, tot lot, picnic pavilion and historic chapel. The 500,000-square-foot facility carried a $65 million price tag. The size of the project sparked debate in the community, including a campaign to "Save Brown's Chapel," which opposed having a large complex on a historic site.

"Brown's Chapel was an integrated complex. It had aquatics, tennis, fitness, community meeting areas," Butler said. "What we're talking about now is a different animal."
We're guessing that means no juicery. Nuts.

Some 48 outdoor courts serve 15,000 players a year, according to the RA. After the well-deserved debacle of the Brown's Chapel Rec Center, it would be nice, if finances permit and the planets align, for them to -- wait for it -- be served. (Get it?)


  1. You're kidding right...?? this is a joke right..???

    When does this madness stop...??

    Why can't we protect our assets (i.e. budget in the black), improve our aging infrastructure, beautify our entry ways into our communities, enhance our common areas, maintain our facilities, make this a beautiful place again?

    That behemoth will likely cost $5 to $7 Million, and will likely kill us in annual operating costs....

    I smell our community going into debt.

    Not that this should become partisan, but, I'm a friggin' Democrat -- and even I say this has to stop. Fairfax County is facing a huge budget shortfall, the State of VA as well... we seem to think we do live in that bubble in the Simpson’s movie...

    Imagine taking a fraction of the upfront capital cost and operating costs of this monstrosity, and asking the communities what they could do with those funds in terms of repairs, maintenance and beautification.

  2. 10,000 MORE square feet does NOT "fall in line with what is currently..."

    What sort of poisoned Kool-Aid do these idiots drink?

    WE DO NOT WANT ANY MORE SPENDING -- CUT out assessments and STOP proposing to build things that WE DO NOT WANT!


    Fix and maintain that which is already here -- more than enough and most of which is wildly underused as it is.

    If you want to play tennis indoors, use the existing courts at Hidden Creek (in RESTON!) or go to Herndon.

    Obviously symers is getting the message that her leadership is nothing but FAILURE!

    Her house is for sale.

    Good riddance!

    2nd failed RA president in a row to beat it out of town after the damage is done!

    It's pathetic that smyers will not be paying for the abominable mess that she is leaving behind.

    Million-dollar websites, three-hundred thousand dollar ANNUAL legal fees, endless executive sessions where she imagines ways to spend that which her constituents have told her, again and again they do not want spent -- the epitome of an arrogant failed leader.

    Less than two months of her abuse and failure left!

  3. The abuse will continue with RA board, unless Joe Leighton, Peter Greenberg and Ken Knueven are elected. These candidates are being backed by Save Browns Chapel coalition - These three candidates will stop the abuse of the board.

    The RA board has hand selected its slate so their work can continue unless the RA members revolt.

  4. I wouldn't say the entire RA board has their candidates selected. Just one that we really know of. Also, it's been known since August that RA's committees were looking at other options for indoor tennis, etc. Where was your outrage then? This information is not new. Isn't this similar to the plan (or the same) from 2007, which is when the DRB originally approved it?

  5. Really??? We are in the middle of a recession and lots of people are having trouble even paying their assessments. But we need to spend several million dollars so a few people in north Reston can play tennis indoors during the winter? We live in a fairly mild climate where you can play tennis outdoors just fine 10 months out of the year. Our community has much greater needs than this.

  6. "Just one that we really know of"?

    Please share with us whom (or is it "who"?) that may be?

  7. The structure looks to be misaligned with the current court layout if that's Route 606 in the background. There isn't enough room to realign the courts in that way and would add unnecessarily to construction costs.

  8. Just one? Were you out of town when the three dog sled team was announced? I worried that Danaher might have a heart attack shoveling his way to a Board seat with Richard Chew driving his sled dogs so hard. Collins from CA was in over his head in 28" of snow but he shoveled on. Robinson just hitched up to the wrong driver. Oh well, spring and a new board is on the way.

  9. Million-dollar CRAPPY websites.

    Really, stop the spending madness....or at the very least drop a few bucks on the south side. (We don't got no tulips in our medians).

    I know... forget the indoor tennis facility and put back the PLAYGROUND equipment RA removed because they COULDN'T AFFORD the insurance.

  10. Anonymous 3:05:
    What makes you think the SBC candidates are any different? They are uninformed, angry, and DON'T want to do anything on the board that isn't in there self serving interest. Is that what we want? They spend over $34K to fight the big bad RA, post a Youtube video that illegally used copyrighted music, want only their opinions to be heard, scream and yell at anyone who doesn't agree with them, try to stop processes where we all should be heard and all for what? Ridiculous. Not very responsible, IMO.

    We don't have lit ballfields at Browns Chapel because of Rick Beyer, who was worthless when he was president of RA. He served, screwed up the governing documents, and left after just one term. What makes you think his slate will do any better? What makes these North Point "neighobrs" think they are any better than us, just because we don't live north of the toll road.

  11. Folks... the comment above is spot on -- a little civility please -- from both sides.

  12. Anon 10:50
    You are upset because you don't have lights on the ballfields at Browns Chapel Park? You would not even have Browns Chapel Park if it wasn't for a grassroots effort by your neighbors who spent time and money simply to save a park.

  13. Light and improve the ball fields at Browns Chapel. This could be one of the best facilities for our baseball playing children. Hundreds of children could play there every week. The facility already has toilets and a snack shop - these are missing at all other baseball facilities except Freddie Crabtree. We could improve an existing facility and it could be done at a fraction of the cost of the tennis proposal.

    Spend a little, get a lot.

  14. So is this a facility designed for Reston residents. Something simple to let those who play outdoors to have a comparable indoor facility.

    Or have the RA/RCC tennis people that we pay for pushed for a design that allows them to meet their ambitions to bring tournaments here.

    Go on, take a guess.

  15. Anon 12::27 The plans are available for viewing at RA headquarters. The facility is fairly spartan. There is no stadium seating for tournaments. The restrooms are small and not posh locker rooms for spoiled tennis pros. The cost estimates are currently $3-5 million but await more detailed drawing and "take-offs" from a construction estimator.

    Anon 12:23 lighting two of the 3 baseball fields furtherest from the houses will cost $350,000 and have been recommended by PPAC. The fields also need to be regraded and resodded which would add another $100-200,000 to the renovations of the existing facilities.

    Anon 3:05 I like Joe but Greenburg and Knueven came across at the Arch forum as angry mean guys who don't want to spend any money on anything or anybody and would eliminate RA if given the chance. Just get off their lawn!

  16. Regardless of the candidates... tell me why assessemnets continue to go up -- I assume to keep the budget in order. So why do members endorse this bevhavior of planning huge capital outlays when our own infrastructure needs it more... where are the "closed door" sessions discussing our existing treasured assets that are in decline...??

    Has anyone visited Lake Anne... my god... get some of this proposed money in there...

  17. Anon 1:14 am

    I was at the Arch forum as well and had a completely different impression. Angry, mean and eliminate RA?? (that would have been very entertaining to see considering all the current RA board members in attendance) I think we have a decent choice from among some serious individuals for a change and that is great. I think all of the candidates are taking it seriously and were well informed and well intentioned. I wouldn't want to do the job - I am just glad we have people willing to stick their necks out, it is a thankless job.

  18. Anon 10:21

    What part of Lake Anne Plaza is own by RA?

    What "closed door" sessions are you referring to?

  19. Anon 11:57 none of it.

    Vote RANDO!

  20. If none of Lake Anne Plaza is owned by RA, none of RA's money can be used to rehabilitate it, Anon 10:21

  21. RA does own property at Lake Anne... look it up... it's even discussed in the FFX Cty Revitalization Plan for Lake Anne. RA apparently also maintains the lake and at one time promised an annual sum of money (small) to support the area...

  22. anon 7:12 the question was Lake Anne PLAZA. Everyone knows that RA owns and maintains the lake. Shesh

  23. According to RA's own market research data only 6% of residents play tennis and an even smaller percentage will use an indoor facility. So someone needs to explain to me why it make sense for RA to spend at least 5 million on this project? Why does it make sense for our association to make the biggest investment that it has ever made, and to go into debt for the first time, on something that will benefit so few of its members. Is this the best bang for the buck for our association dues?

  24. Anon 8:11... Reston owns several acres of wooded land adjacent to the Plaza. You may recall Bob Simon earlier in the year tried to convince RA to move their Headquarters there versus the new lease, as a way of starting the Revitalization of Lake Anne. $5M was originally approved to buy/build with an inflation clause. RA did not consider it viable and went with the lease on Sunrise instead. If you read the Lake Anne Comprehensive Revitalization Plan, approved last March, you would see the issue of the RA owned property. RA has no interest in Lake Anne (in my opinion).

  25. Amazing. Only one person demonstrated the courage to post as anything other than Anonymous.

  26. Ya right. RA's arrival would really boost Lake Anne. Newton Square looks as dormant as Lake Anne Plaza. Hasn't that clown noticed?

    Maybe what we need are some special RA events at Newton Square to boost tourism. How about an annual lumberjack contest to show who can cut down the most trees in 60 seconds? We could have a logrolling competition from the Hickory Cluster pond to Lake Anne.

  27. I think the intent of the prior poster re: RA and Lake Anne -- was to see if the investment of RA moving its HQ to Lake Anne would be a catalyst to get a developer to take a serious look at the Revitalization of the area.

    The County Approved Comprehensive Plan for Revitalizing Lake Anne is here:

    In the text, regarding the RA poperty, it is a part of Land Unit A (there are 5 Land Units in the Plan):

    "...Land Unit A

    Land Unit A consists of the area north of Washington Plaza (as shown in Figure 42), the majority of which is located within the Lake Anne Village Center Historic Overlay District. It includes the surface parking lot north of Washington Plaza, dedicated open space owned by the Reston Association, the Association of School Building Officials (ASBO) building, and the 24-7 convenience market..."

    The plan has been approved, but obviously in this economic climate, no developer is ready to move. The number of properties involved complicates things as well. RA leading the way, might have made a great statement of community commitment... ohhh well...

  28. RA is clueless...

  29. Anon 1:40 Its hard to imagine membership support for converting RA open space into RA office space. Plus such a conversion would require a comp. plan amendment and a rezoning. Also tough to imagine support for that.

    Hard to figure out how to save Lake Anne Plaza. Its destiny may be similar to the old Hunters Woods Plaza.

  30. I believe the Comprehensive Plan states that parcel of RA land will be developed. At least it's stated in each of the recommended plans -- Baseline up to full Comprehensive...

    The Plaza needs some, I say some, new development around it... I read the Plan and like the ideas. I wish the other Village Centers would get this attention...

  31. "Anonymous said...

    Amazing. Only one person demonstrated the courage to post as anything other than Anonymous."

    Oh, the irony. But does Anon 9:22 AM realize it?

  32. Interesting reading from the fiasco a year ago... to now

  33. I just thought I'd say I was amazed that 31 out of the prior 32 comments were from Anonymous. Damn, that guy is prolific!

  34. Anon is a woman but not Octomom!


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