News and notes from Reston (tm).

Friday, June 29, 2012

Mauvescraper Now: 23-Story Office Building Inches Closer to Approval

RTC elevation2.jpg

The Fairfax County Planning Commission voted last night to recommend for approval the proposed 23-story office mauvescraper that would replace the existing Reston Fairfax County Times building on Reston Parkway.

The project will now go before the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors as something of a mixed bag -- on the one hand, it has already been approved by the Reston Design Review Board and Reston Planning & Zoning Committee, and plans to build something tall there have been in the works since the 1970s. On the other hand, county staff recommended denying the project (PDF), as have Reston2020, ARCH, and the Reston Association itself, which opposed the project (while profiling it in its magazine). The main argument? It's too far from Metro, too tall, and should have a residential component like the proposed Spectrum redevelopment that will eventually surround it.

Three planning commissioners also voted no last night, although Hunter Mill rep Frank de le Fe voted to recommend approval. Here's one of the naysayers:
"A building this large that is three-quarters of a mile from the Metro is really automobile-oriented," said James Hart (at-large). "This has some county-wide implications if we approve a building this large this far from the station."
For their part, the developers think they've got a winner on their hands, even as office vacany rates slip elsewhere in the region:
Richard Wealen, managing partner of RTC Partnership, said in February the features of the tower — a contemporary design by Reston's Polleo Group — will make it a desirable location, despite nearby office vacancy rates.
They may have a point -- Reston Town Center's vacancy rates are still a ridiculously low 4 percent, even with the departure of Accenture, Sallie Mae, and others in recent years.

It's not clear when the county supervisors will vote on the project, so who knows when we'll be able to enjoy the view of gridlocked traffic the Macaroni Grill from the "outdoor 38,000-square-foot terrace and green roof on the sixth floor."


  1. A word of warning to the BoS. Vote against this at your own risk. Anyone who votes against this will find themselves running against an opponent with a massive war chest, thanks to Citizens United.

    No Growth is Smart Growth but Corporations are not People.

  2. Might be time to start looking for a new home outside of Reston.

  3. "On the other hand, county staff recommended denying the project Here Comes The Sun Shield (PDF), as have Reston2020, ARCH, and the Reston Association itself, which opposed the project to build an earth-based solar thermostat that would lower the surface temperatures of the Sun (while profiling it in its RA science magazine, If God Wanted Man To Lower The Surface Temperatures of the Sun, Then God Would Have Made Icarus the Pope). The main argument? It's too far from Reston's interplantery sister city, the Martian colony of Delusionalville, too tall (with the definition of 'too tall' being that if the building is taller than a piece of pasta from Macaroni Grill with a fly resting on top of it then it's too tall, and should have a time-travel residential component like the proposed Spectrum redevelopment that will eventually surround it. However, since Northrup Grumman was in favor of project Here Comes The Sun Shield, Reston's alphabet soup can of community organizers found themselves outplayed by Reston's alphabet soup can of top secret government organizations intent on saving the imperiled mid-Atlantic region's ski industry from another horrendous season, such as was last experienced 80 years ago in during the terrible summer desert wind storms that occured during the winter of 2011 when Wintergreen's ski lifts melted."

    In some alternate universe perhaps a more advanced civilzation's leadership would give a rat's ass what Reston2020, ARCH, and the Reston Association think, but not in the the Fairfax County-based Citizens United Super Pac community called F' All Y'all Developerville.

  4. I remember when all of Town Center was forest.

    Twenty years from now, I will be writing that I remember when you could still drive from south to north Reston in less than two hours.

    What a world is being created here for us.

  5. Reston stopped being "Reston" about a decade ago, after the 90's last burst of commercial real estate orgasmic exertions. The supervisors have seldom met a developer they didn't like, so this one is a shoe-in anyway. Since this building will be surounded by the Spectrum project anyway, what's one more outsized box?The impotence of Reston's alphabet soup citizen groups has never shown more painfully.

  6. I think DMD and JM have hit the nail on the head. The Developers are in the driver's seat of the bus called Reston. The Developers and their minions, the BoS, only care about the opinions of R2020 or ARCH or any of other groups to the extent that they can use these opinions to get their way.

    Let me put it another way, folks. You Are Being Used By The Developers For Their Profit, Not Yours.



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