News and notes from Reston (tm).

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Fairway to Heaven: Three Cheers for the DRB, and Other Things We Never Thought We'd Say

no texas donut.jpegAfter what seemed like eons of back-and-forth and potential legal threats, the Reston Design Review Board approved a revised design for Fairway Apartments earlier this week. Gone is the delicious Texas donut design, the townhouses that are part of the 804-unit proposal are slightly shorter and more in tune with nearby clusters, and the famous "mauvescraper on its side" has been converted into three smaller multifamily buildings.

This is a significant win for Reston, since as recently as a month ago, JBG seemed to be digging in its heels and pushing back on making substantive changes. And earlier in the process, there was even talk that if the DRB rejected its proposal, JBG could challenge its right to do so in court.

We know that not everyone's going to be thrilled about this project or its (very real) impact on traffic, but this is an important decision that ensures that the DRB won't be challenged over its right to have the final say on development in Reston -- and it suggests that the board has the cajones to stick to its guns when needed. We'll also give JBG credit for making a good-faith effort to make changes, at the urging of county officials.

"The board should congratulate itself for sticking to its guns and getting to this point," said DRB member Ed Abbott. "And I congratulate JBG for sticking with us."
We couldn't agree more. To quote one of our awesome commenters, Macaroni Grill breadsticks all around.

On to the details of the proposal:
Now, the Texas Donut is gone and townhouses will be 3.5 stories. Parking for the multifamily buildings will be in a podium position that will blend in with the surroundings.

JBG architects also used nearby buildings, such as the Charles Goodman-designed Hickory Cluster, as inspiration for the exteriors of the townhouses, which now have a Cubist look to them.
Here's what they will look like:

New townhouses.jpg
Not bad at all, actually -- though when we Googled "cubist buildings," we got something that looked like this:

cubist look.jpeg
Perfect. Does it come in Russet Brown?

Having already been railroaded through approved by the Fairfax County Planning Commission, the Fairways proposal now goes before the county Board of Supervisors on March 20. If it is approved, the DRB will get another whack at a more detailed proposal, and will likely fixate on things like the colors of light fixtures and whatnot. At this point, they've earned it.


  1. Go DRB!
    I like the look of the new design... much more Reston than Texas.

  2. While DRB may have held out for a better deal, in the end, they still sold out (albeit for more concessions). I have nothing but disdain for the whole lot of them.

    1. Well, then, why don't you volunteer to serve on the DRB instead of just sitting there and bitching.

  3. Peasant From Less Sought After South RestonFebruary 23, 2012 at 6:07 PM

    If these sketches are accurate representations, this new design actually could look pretty nice if done correctly. Time for Reston to escape the 1970s, the decade that taste forgot and time cannot improve.

  4. So how much money did JBG promise to give RA for recreational facilities?

    1. I guess a couple of tennis courts can make anything better.

  5. The longer I look at it, the more I like the "cubist building". I can visualize it arching its way from shore-to-shore over Lake Anne. Indoor tennis and pool on the top floor of course, and a place for our puppies to poo on the roof.

  6. JBG is insane, they're basically running the community. As for the DRB, good luck with getting on that board if you're not an ABC yes person.


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