News and notes from Reston (tm).

Monday, October 5, 2015

Talloakspocalypse Now: Third Time May Not Quite Be The Charm For Proposed Redevelopment

Green Space
Hey, remember that time that a developer bought the alarmingly deserted Tall Oaks Village Center Stucco Wasteland and announced plans to add a bunch of midrise residential and maybe a few stores and whatnot that caused much sadness among planned community founders and neighborhood types alike, ultimately prompting the RA to dash off a strongly worded letter about maintaining open space and other amenities?

Yeah, that was awesome. Turns out the new owner, Jefferson Apartment Group, recently submitted another revision to its plan for redevelopment. They're sticking with around 150 residential units and 7,000 square feet of retail space, focused in two boxy buildings, one of which is new, near the entrance to the development -- which sounds like a lot, until you realize the handful of small existing tenants in the Stucco Wasteland currently occupy more space than that. They also moved things around to provide a more central green space area, apparently without adding more actual open space. Our BFFs at Reston 2020 are not amused:

The most we can see that JAG did in response was to add a second small retail building near the village center entrance and shift the blocks of residential buildings around so the same limited green space looks like a narrow lawn and asphalt spine through the center of the development. There is no plaza or central green that serves as a neighborhood focal point; what is proposed barely serves the development.
Not so fast, naysayers! The new site plan has some pretty sweet renderings of some awesome village center-like amenities. Brace yourselves!

Open lawn Which can double as a putting green if Reston National's would-be developers get their way.

  Passive "Passive" sounds about right.

  Bus Shelter Which will be helpful when you want to go somewhere with some open space.

  Fitness Can't wait to do chinups next to a 7-11!

  Dog area At least until the lawsuits start kicking in.

  Shady Or the building height will take care of that for us.

So all in all, it's pretty clear all these concerns are totally unwarranted! Pinch yourself, and you just might think you're in Reston Town Center. Still, our BFFs at Reston 2020 aren't convinced. Maybe they didn't see the shade element:
So what we are left with is the conclusion that the public meetings held by JAG were just a large-scale sham to make the community think that they were listening when, in fact, they cared little about what the community thinks is important in retaining Reston's and their neighborhood's character and vision. The meetings were merely a public relations gambit with a dash of a sales job thrown in on the minor modifications they conceded.
We know we're not getting a Wegman's, or even a Bloom's, at Tall Oaks. High-quality residential would definitely be a huge improvement over what's currently at Tall Oaks (then again, so would a couple of cardboard boxes with holes punched out for windows dropped in the center of the parking lot). But given the fairly universal demands that this village center retains some of the qualities of a village center, maybe a little more tweaking is still in order, the end.

1 comment:

  1. Good luck. It's a big parcel of land a half-mile from the Metro station that isn't a golf course. JAG clearly didn't buy the property for the exciting retail opportunities.


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