News and notes from Reston (tm).

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Fancy Garage May Be Only Thing Standing When Metro Comes to Reston

Garage.jpgAlthough Fairfax County supervisors approved the fancy new Comstock Wiehle Metro development last week, there's no guarantee anything except the attractive parking garage will be started--much less finished--by the time the first dangerous, smoke-filled Metro cars roll into the Wiehle Metro station in 2013.

Although there might not be any new buildings at the Wiehle Avenue Metro station when service starts in 2013, riders at least will be able to park at the Reston commuter rail station.

Although the market will determine how quickly new buildings go up, developer Comstock Partners has promised that, at a minimum, the Metro facilities, parking garage and the public plaza will be complete when service begins in late 2013. Comstock is building the project through a public-private partnership deal with Fairfax County, which owns most of the land that will be developed.

As part of the development, Comstock will make some improvements to the Wiehle-Sunset Hills intersection to accommodate increased traffic volume and make it more pedestrian and bicycle friendly, said Rick Stevens, a county transportation planner. The Washington & Old Dominion Trail crosses Wiehle Avenue close to the intersection.
So now we know what the fanciful concrete bollards are for.
Comstock has made changes to the plan throughout the review process to address community and county staff concerns, such as promising to set aside 19.5 percent of the residential units for low- and moderate-income housing. The buildings also will be built to environmental design standards.

Supervisor Catherine Hudgins (D-Hunter Mill) said this project is only the beginning of redevelopment proposals to accompany Reston's two future Metro stations.

"It's important that this site is developed well, but it's also important that the adjacent properties complement that development," said Hudgins of Reston.

Hudgins said she thinks the project now reflects the principles that Reston was founded on 46 years ago.

"This is really the beginning of this project, and making sure that it represents what Reston is," said Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova (D-At Large). "I think this will be a very exciting place."
Here's hoping "market conditions" allow the site to be something other than a muddy field civic plaza adjoining an ugly parking garage by 2013.


  1. Are there any plans to develop the Fast Food Row where the Pizza Hut and other fast food restaurants are now located? The large surface-parking lots for each of the three restaurants doesn't ssem like a good use of land surrounding the Wiehle Ave metro station.

  2. I call BS on that 19.5% low and moderate income housing. My prediction is that they pull a Loudoun County special, propose a warm fuzzy percentage of affordable housing to get the plan passed, and when stuff actually gets built, oops, they didn't build quite as much affordable housing as they said they would. Our bad...was that wrong? If we had known that was frowned upon... We'll be happy to pay any fine you want to levy on us...we'll still come out ahead by the time we're doing selling everything.

  3. 11:14: the parking lots at the fast food hole are large? Where are you from that you'd consider them large?

  4. They're large because there are any ground level spaces at all.

  5. I prefer a muddy civic plaza to what they are going to build.

    Not sure about Fast Food road but most likely but after Isaac Newton Sq is redeveloped - I think that is the next space.

  6. A real garage will look much nicer than another fake city. I hope it stands alone for many years.

  7. Thank you, David. Put in the garage, but we don't need more stores, more offices and, more importantly, more residences.

    No Growth is Smart Growth.

  8. Amongst the 'Hoods in Colvin WoodsJune 5, 2010 at 10:12 AM

    No. "Smart" growth would be to build this parking garage entirely UNDERground while using the space above as urban green space to complement the rest of the development.

    I still don't know why some of you people think Reston is CAPABLE of "No Growth." Like it or not hundreds of thousands of people are going to continue moving into the metropolitan area over the coming years. A good chunk will settle in Fairfax County. Would you prefer they all moved to Loudoun County and then used Reston as a "cut-through" to get to other areas to our east?

  9. In case you haven't figured it out, BiCO, thousands of people moving to LoCo is going to happen anyway, whether or not we allows thousands more into Reston. Development is not a zero sum game. The more development there is around Reston, the more pressure there will be in the surrounding areas for additional development as well.

    We can't stop LoCo from doing what it's going to do. We can only control the destiny of our own little 'grad.

    No Growth is Smart Growth.

  10. "promising to set aside 19.5 percent of the residential units for low- and moderate-income housing."

    Because there is no enough crime in Reston already. Now in eastern Reston too... Sheesh...


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