News and notes from Reston (tm).

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Stuff Gettin' Smashed: Vacant Part of Reston International Center Meets the Wrecking Ball


Did you notice that the vacant commercial wing behind the black-cube monolith known as the Reston International Center is being torn down? Probably not, since it's behind the Reston International Center and has been vacant for some time, and can't be seen from the road, which may explain why it was vacant in the first place. And before the wrecking crews went in, the building was used for "practice" by Fairfax County fire officials last Friday. Apparently there was a strong smell of smoke in the air during the drills, but maybe Chili's was just making some really well done steaks.

Confidential Restonian Operative "DB" shares this exciting internal memo about the demolition which began Tuesday:
Please be advised that demolition of the vacant retail building is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, March 22, 2011. The building will be torn down from the inside out in a process that should take approximately 14 days to complete.

The work will be performed from approximately 6:00 am to 3:00 pm. We ask that you continue to be mindful of the construction fencing currently surrounding the retail strip. During the demolition, the stairs located closest to Chili’s Restaurant will be accessible as well as a temporary ADA ramp that has been constructed on the left side of the retail strip closest to the Sheraton Hotel.

In addition to the retail building demolition, the dumpster enclosure at the back of the parking lot will also be removed. During this demolition project, a portion of the parking lot may be blocked off for the contractor’s equipment.

After the building and foundation have been removed, sod will be laid and an additional set of stairs will be constructed between the two ADA ramps.
So they paved paradise, and put up... sod? Doesn't seem very transity-oriented-developmenty to us. But it's all part of the awesome Reston Heights project, which county supervisors approved way back in ought-8. The plan, which also called for the razing of the bank building and Chili's, will create 498 new residential units, 230,000 square feet of office space, and 145,000 square feet of retail.

In December, JBG filed a revision to its plan, configuring the approved project around one new five-story office building, six "minor commercial buildings," whatever that means, and four four-story residential buildings atop "structured parking" -- something we've also seen planned for the other side of the Toll Road. But it sounds like the Popeye's is safe, though we're not quite sure if the Chili's is still slated to head off to the Big Buffet Line in the Sky.

All we know is that if Chili's and Popeye's might survive, there may still be hope for the Macaroni Grill. We won't set back the minute hand of the Macaroni Grill Doomsday Clock back just yet, but we'll keep our carb-clotted fingers crossed, the end.


  1. Goodbye, beautiful brutalist strip mall.

  2. What is housed inside the Reston International Center? Why are there 37 antennae on top? What international communication comes through these? 24-hour Telenovelas? Inside Bollywood Network? Help me, Restonian. You're my only hope.

  3. So they are going to tear down the empty retail strip to put up a bigger retail strip with offices to boot? Wow, I really look forward to all those new for lease signs when driving past on Sunrise Valley drive for the next decade. Do they realize there is a glut of office space in Reston and companies are leaving? Guess not.

  4. If they are knocking things down around here, could there be hope that someone will finally knock down those "Regional Visitor Center" signs on Reston Parkway?

    Help us out on this one too, Restonian. What is up with those?

  5. Justine:

    I'm afraid you'll be disappointed to learn that inside the Reston International Center there's no nefarious cabal plotting world domination. The building has been less than 50 percent occupied ever since some company that was leasing seven floors of it moved out more than a year ago. What you have inside it now is a potpourri of some IT geeks, some law offices, a wine distributor, a dental office, and a very good print shop (Reston Copy Center) that The Peasant has used on occasion to print his manifesto in support of red mulch.

  6. Restonian

    What is to become of the Wachovia, the Kabob, the 7-11 and Popeyes

  7. Peasant,

    Thanks for the information and how does one get a copy of aforementioned manifesto?


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