News and notes from Reston (tm).

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Shocker: Initial Lake Anne Plans Look Halfway Decent

Lake Anne plans.jpg

Folks got their first glimpse of the proposed redevelopment of Crescent Apartments and its surroundings this week, and damned if it didn't look halfway decent.

In a shocking departure from other plans of late, these initial drawings from developer Republic Land Development mirror and respect the existing architecture in interesting ways -- note the inverted parallels (a fancy architectural term we just made up) of the plaza's original "J" building and Heron House extending back from the lake towards Baron Cameron, and the way the remaining residential buildings follow the form of the current Crescent Apartments, mixing midrise apartments with townhouse-y sorts of things to avoid a monolithic mass with inaccessible interior spaces that resemble an emoticon from the air. No wavy, above-ground parking garages, no canyonlike "civic plazas," and above all, no fanciful concrete bollards.

Sounds like there's quite a bit to like. Give us some good blockquote, BFFs at Patch:
* A half-circle design for Crescent itself as well as additional retail in what now is the Lake Anne Plaza parking lot, complementing Lake Anne's existing horseshoe design.

* Straightening out Village Drive so one turns into a grand entrance - "a front door" - to Lake Anne - where the lake and plaza is readily visible and inviting. Developers envision a boutique grocery store along Baron Cameron near the entrance to Lake Anne.

* Mid-rise affordable housing that will replace the 181 units of affordable housing at Crescent. There may be more than 1,000 housing units eventually between Crescent and other residential to be built at Lake Anne. Other housing will be townhouses, mid rise and one 15-story high rise, as well as an active seniors community.

* Community amenities to be built at Lake Anne include an amphitheater and an outdoor movie screening area.

* Additional retail and residential above in what now is the parking lot for Lake Anne Plaza. Retail parking will be below ground. The plans include about 50,000 square feet of office space.

* Public trails will connect Crescent with Lake Anne Plaza and other nearby areas to minimize need for cars. They would also like to connect Lake Anne and Reston Town Center with a bike sharing operation.
Of course, these aren't even the official preliminary plans, and the approval process alone could take a full year. And it could take up to a decade for all this to be built, and what gets proposed isn't always what winds up actually getting built (*cough cough Fair Lakes*). God knows what 1,000-plus new units will do to traffic in the area. And, while it's not exactly the original Penn Station, the days appear to be numbered for the iconic gas station across from the plaza.

Our BFFs at Patch have lots more architectural rendering hawtness, if you're into such things. We did notice one odd thing in this otherwise placid rendering of the new apartments:

Lake Anne 1.jpg
See those specks at the upper right?

Lake Anne 2.jpg
Looks like the Future DRB gets its drones after all, the end.


  1. Quote from last night's DRB Meeting Panel Member: "This is the most Reston like design that's ever come before this panel."

  2. What does "most Reston like mean? Looks like another Reston Town Center to me!

  3. Unless they plan a Silver Line turnout how do the architects expect people to move in/out of this new much denser development? No parking?


  4. Ok- bring on the haters!

  5. Did you notice that with all of that extra square footage of concrete, the entire area is still served by single lane roads? Some planning, huh?

  6. Unfortunately, the existing "Plaza" will continue to decline, as there is nothing in this "revitalization" plan that includes improving the existing buildings or infrastructure at Lake Anne. Personally, I think all new construction should be forced to be on RELAC, just like rest of us.

  7. No bollards? What do ya mean, no bollards? Gotta have bollards! Back to the drawing board for more bollards!

  8. Parking? Drive by any of the Hudginsvilles in Reston and see the overflow cars parked chock-a-block on the through streets. So it shall be at Lake Anne. The facilities will be inaccesable.

  9. This cannot happen soon enough. Yes, there will be problems (traffic, infrastructure, etc.), but on the whole this needs to happen for the very survival of the plaza. I think the development will prompt existing businesses to invest in their properties as well. It will have a positive impact.

    1. I guess we'll see if that's true in about 12 years. Nothing yet has prompted the existing businesses to "invest" in their "properties". Many of the businesses don't own the space they are in, and historically, the absentee landlords have not shown that they willing to "invest" in even routine upkeep for their units.

      I live on Lake Anne Plaza, and I hope you are correct -- but I wouldn't bet the farm on it.

  10. I live on the plaza as well and will have a front row seat to this entire process. When I mention "invest", who know who will own these existing businesses down the road. It is my understanding that several of them are currently on the market. It is my thinking that if new owners buy into the area, they will make captial improvements to keep pace with the new businesses. Seems to be a lot of naysayers with this revitalization, much like we had with the Silver Line, however, the truth is that change is coming to Reston and now is our opportunity to shape the future of this community and not just stand aside and criticize.

    1. Several of them have been "on the market" for a number of years now, if that tells you anything.

      Again, I guess we'll see in about 12 years.

    2. Annon 1:15
      So anyone who may disagree with YOUR view of things is automatically "criticizing" and a "naysayer". Typical.

  11. No, but what I am saying is that some people tend to criticize or resist anything that amounts to change around here.

  12. There will be a zip line from Embrey Rucker Shelter directly into The Crescent.


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