News and notes from Reston (tm).

Friday, March 18, 2011

Behold! Loudoun County's Plans For Its Own Particleboard Fake Downtown


While walking around Reston's fake downtown gritty urban core, you may have noticed roving packs of wide-eyed people wandering aimlessly, looking up with a mixture of awe and bewilderment at the tall buildings that surround them. Yep, it's pretty easy to spot the folks from Loudoun's particleboard wastelands like Ashburn and "Brambleton," wherever THAT is, who consider a trip to Reston Town Center an authentic urban excursion, right down to the police officers on horses and just the soupcon of danger that comes from an unknown experience, like maybe getting a cupcake made of flax instead of bran at some edgy, marginal place of business like a cupcakery.

But we digress. Apparently soon, Loudoun's teeming multitudes won't have to cross the county line for an "authentic" urban experience. They're growing their own:
It what could be seen as the first implementation of the new plan for the Rt. 28 corridor, seven members of the Board of Supervisors lent their support to the Dulles World project, which is designed as a high-density, mixed-use development along Rt. 28 near the Dulles Toll Road and the Fairfax County border. The project, and its developer, received high praise from supervisors for the amenities it had agreed to and its willingness to work with the county staff over the past year and a half.

With Dulles World originally proposed as a mixed-use development that would include up to 1,495 multi-family units, slightly more than 3.9 million square feet of office, commercial and retail uses and up to 130,245 square feet of civic uses, the developer agreed to reduce the number of multi-family units to 1,265, while leaving 12 percent of them as units that would meet the county's needs-those units for residents living with incomes up to 70 percent of the Area Median Income.

First proposed in 2008, Dulles World has been held up in the review process because of litigation with the Center for Innovative Technology over road right of way and discussions surrounding plans to build a bridge over the Dulles Toll Road, which would provide another connection between Fairfax and Loudoun. The dispute over the location on the Dulles World property and the right of way battle with CIT, prompted the developer to propose a different construction plan based on by-right uses, a plan supervisors said would not provide for the best use of the property. With the help of Chairman Scott K. York (I-At Large) and Supervisor Stevens Miller (D-Dulles) on the joint committee with Fairfax County and the Town of Herndon, the project was ultimately able to go back to a plan that would make best use of the property.
Sweet! We could always use some more midscale retail and dining options, especially for that fourth meal of the day between lunch at Unos and dinner at the Macaroni Grill. Let's just hope that the folks in Loudoun don't start getting big heads about their fancy new development:
"I hear people talk about Reston Town Center as a comparison a lot. This isn't Reston Town Center. It's better than Reston Town Center," Miller said. "This is the place that people are going to want to be like in the future."
OH NO HE DIDN'T! He'd better "stand down," or whatever the kids today don't actually say, with that "better than Reston Town Center" talk, lest he find a to-go box of greasy Vapianos leftovers in his bed or something. And now that Loudoun officials are making noises about threatening to withhold funds unless Metro builds a Dulles Airport station that's only vaguely near the airport, their fake downtown could wind up being adjacent to a giant parking lot formerly known as Rt. 28, the end.


  1. His comment, "This is the place that people are going to want to be like in the future."

    Ummm...people are going to want to be like a PLACE?

    In that case, I'll take Paris, London or even Tunis, but NOT Dulles World. It even sounds boring.

  2. Dulles World is a fine idea until the robots go berserk and start attacking their masters.

    Traffic out there is already hellish. Just imagine how fun it will be when they add a bunch of high-rises! But no doubt we'll see them all riding their bikes along the shoulder of Route 28 on their way to Wegman's...

  3. Can we call it Dullard World?

  4. I wonder whether those robots will look like Yul Brenner, Anti.

    While I think that if they're going to extend Metro to IAD, then it should go ALL the way to IAD. I don't know about you folks, but if I have to chose between a cab taking me right to the door of the airport or a train that stops 200 yards short of the airport and then makes me walk the rest of the distance OUTSIDE with 20 pieces of luggage, a Convictress and a couple of Delinquents in tow, well, I can only say, "Hello, fossil fuels."

    And if Loudoun won't spring for the money to pay for the extension of Metro beyond Wiehle, that's no sweat off of my back either. That means that I'm boarding at the end of the line and, therefore, I'm guaranteed a seat.

    And for all of you Dweebs who were saying earlier that Super-Sizing Reston would relieve development pressures in Loudoun, well, I think Dulles World is proof that YOU ARE WRONG.

    No Growth is Smart Growth.

  5. Here, here convict. Let them have DullesWorld, go west young . . . .

  6. And I thought you were kidding about the name "Dulles World" , now that truly is Loudon County quality.

    Sounds like a mega mall in a bad horror movie, just wait for the zombies.

  7. Not putting the airport station near the airport would go down in history as one of the most penny wise, pound foolish decisions ever. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe a good amount of the ridership projections for Phase Deux of the Silver Line is based on the idea that airport passengers will actually use Metro. The odds of that happening decrease exponentially the further away the station is from the airport.

    Maybe they can rename the station "Dulles North Parking World (Somewhere Near the Airport)"

  8. You bring up a good point, Ego. If they're hellbent on saving money by stopping short of the airport, they can just not extend the line beyond Wiehle. That will save them a ton of money.

    And if that seems a bit to far to walk, well, then the MWAA could just run a shuttle service, which has got to be cheaper than spending tens of millions of dollars on a rail line extension.


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