News and notes from Reston (tm).

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

In Revised Plans, Reston Heights Not Quite So Tall

Reston Heights West - ugh.jpg

This new AutoCAD hawtness represents JBG's revised plans for the long-delayed Reston Heights development off Sunrise Valley Drive, which the Washington Business Journal declares "is looking like a shoo-in for Fairfax County approval." From these plans, it's clear that developer JBG learned some lessons from its long battle to get its Fairway Apartments redevelopment approved, most notably removing most of the mauvescrapers originally planed for the Reston Heights West site and replacing them with midrise, mixed-use buildings.
Reston Heights West was first approved by the Board of Supervisors in 2008 for 498 residential units, 245,000 square feet of retail and nearly 430,000 square feet of office in six buildings. In the amended plan, the numbers remain roughly the same, but the site has been completely re-imagined.

Citing changes in market trends and community interest in a more neighborhood-like scale, JBG has proposed a new blueprint that "allows for a new grocery and neighborhood retail into pedestrian-friendly, urban-type streetscape with mid-rise residential above…

What was, in 2008, four residential towers, one office tower, a single story commercial addition to the existing Reston International Center and underground parking is now six buildings — including a screened five-story parking garage — dominated by a 519,000-square-foot mid-rise residential building, a 15-story, 328,225-square-foot addition to the international center and lower-level retail distributed along a central plaza…

JBG's revised proposal "would make a strong design statement in the Dulles Toll Road corridor and Town Center portions of Reston," county staff concluded in its report, issued in late April ahead of a May 9 Planning Commission public hearing…
In layman's terms, the "strong design statement" appears to be "buildings whose sides come together at 90-degree angles," unlike Reston's other showcase of transit-oriented development. Though we are intrigued by what this structure fronting the Toll Road might be:

Based on the perspective of this rendering, this wavy building is awfully skinny. It's also not clear from the rendering if it's transparent. Maybe it's a parking garage for cars with really narrow turn radii. Or maybe it's a heat mirage from the exhaust fumes wafting in from the Toll Road.

To JBG's credit, there's acknowledgement that infrastructure around the development needs to be addressed to accommodate the additional traffic all this TOD hawtness will bring:
JBG has proposed a new traffic signal at Sunrise Valley Drive, new right-turn lanes at Reston Parkway and Sunrise Valley Drive, a shared-use path, new sidewalks and 280 bicycle spaces. Those commitments aside, ensuring safe passage across Reston Parkway, which will be widened ahead of the Silver Line's arrival in Reston, remains an issue that has not yet been solved. JBG has, however, agreed to fill in missing pedestrian links to safely get people from Reston Heights West to the Wiehle Avenue Metro Station about a mile away.
That doesn't sound like a lot, but it's more than will actually be ready a mile or so down Sunrise Valley when the Wiehle Metro station opens, so, um, good slightly better planning?


  1. So is the new high-rise building going in front of the International Center or behind it? Is this a view from Reston Parkway or Sunrise Valley?

  2. Can they just tear down that ugly int'l center??

  3. Disgusting. Absofrigginlutely disgusting.

    No Growth is Smart Growth.

  4. Nothing new to see here folks, just move along now.

  5. It appears that the International Center will be obscured from view on Sunrise Valley Drive by the ??15 story addition??. Intl Center is one of the ugliest buildings in the mauve-colored town.

  6. Looks like the 'urban renewal' architecture in Southwest DC. Yuck.

  7. proles don't appreciate nothing.

  8. Peasant From Less Sought After South RestonMay 15, 2013 at 2:30 PM

    Not quite so tall, but just as ugly. Maybe one step up from a New York City public housing project.

  9. Is "the grid" on the DTR side or the Reston Parkway side? I can't tell.

    Anyway, I think people behind "the grid" will be protected from laser beam attacks by aliens (or DHS, whichever comes first). Might be a good buying opportunity!

  10. >Reston Parkway, which will be widened ahead of the Silver Line's arrival

    Wha? First I've heard of this.

  11. Hmm, good luck current Reston residents of even getting into the new metro station. It'll be totally surrounded and blocked off with mega Real Estate Investment Trust projects. Same ole story....same ole "planning." Planning? Really?

  12. Relax, everybody... Once completed, the real thing (even if they are just suburban boxes) will look much better than the decrepit, dated buildings that are already there. And that is saying something.


(If you don't see comments for some reason, click here).