The Fairfax County Planning Commission voted last night to recommend for approval the proposed 23-story office mauvescraper that would replace the existing
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