News and notes from Reston (tm).

Friday, December 11, 2015

Bad News: Legitimately Awesome Lake Anne Redevelopment Not To Be (Updated)


Really discouraging news from our BFFs at Reston Now earlier today:

The long-awaited, multimillion dollar revitalization plan for Lake Anne is off the books for now.

“Lake Anne Development Partners has actively pursued the redevelopment of Lake Anne Village Center since 2012,” LADP said in a statement Wednesday. “Unfortunately, LADP has not been able to satisfactorily assemble all of the required land parcels needed for a viable development plan. It is with true regret and disappointment that LADP’s planned redevelopment of Lake Anne will not be moving forward.”

If you go to the LADP website, this is what now greets you:


In similar fashion, much of the work done over the last few years now has to begin anew, from (almost) a blank slate. Give us some not-particularly-encouraging blockquote, BFFs at Reston Now:

Hudgins said the county will begin deliberations about the longterm implications for the future of Crescent.

“At this time, the County is not prepared to predict when or how we will proceed with redevelopment of the project,” wrote Hudgins.

First unveiled in 2013, the heavily-anticipated project was formally approved this spring, but planned work on realigning roads never began ahead of a groundbreaking projected for early next year.

The county can go back to its overall redevelopment plan for the area, and there have been other nibbles from developers interested in redeveloping the parcels the county assembled with Crescent Apartments at their center. But it's unlikely another developer will be as sensitive to the area, the existing workforce housing found in Crescent Apartments, and the overall Reston aesthetic as LADP was. Not that it was a perfect proposal -- our BFFs at Reston 2020 and others pointed out legitimate concerns about open space, connections to public transportation, recreational amenities, and the logistics of a controversial land swap -- but it was pretty damn good for something of its scope and scale.

Also, the county, which owns Crescent Apartments and had been slowly allowing it to empty out in preparation for the redevelopment, now plans to start leasing apartments again -- which tells you all you need to know about the odds of something else happening around Lake Anne any time soon.

When other developers of late have to be pushed really hard to consider even token concessions to Reston-like amenities, it's hard not to see this as a tragedy.

Time to drown our sorrows. That brewpub in the existing plaza can't open soon enough.

Update: Official statement from Supervisor Cathy Hudgins here. "The County is deeply disappointed by this turn of events and shares the frustration that we know the community must be feeling," the statement says. "We will keep the community informed on the status of the site."


  1. That sucks. Hope this doesn't keep things frozen in amber around the plaza for another 20 years.

  2. I was looking forward to the new development. :(

  3. Too bad for our unopposed supervisor Hudgins. She's never seen a development project that she wouldn't vote for. We who live next to Lake Anne are elated for a stay of execution from the jackhammers.

  4. The worst part is that it was probably all those amenities and careful attention to Reston principles that made the project a no-go from a banker's perspective. That's going to make it a lot harder for the next group that comes along to try something similar.

    Things apparently haven't changed that much since Bob Simon was run out of town for a similar approach back in the 1960s.

  5. Another failed government experiment. It's time for Cathy to retire and all the staff involved be fired.

  6. You really want that big ugly thing within view of the plaza? Wow times really have changed. The old Reston is long gone.


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