News and notes from Reston (tm).

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Meanwhile, Back at the Leak House: RA Apparently a Fan of Handshake Deals, Losing Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars (Updated)

Leaky Roof

You know that fun envelope that comes from the RA every year, asking you to part with $657? Apparently, you can maybe just say "yeah, nope, changed my mind" and not worry about it. Who knew?

Ha ha, no, you can't do that, silly homeowner rabbit! Only the company involved in a contentious multimillion-dollar property transaction with the RA can, even if it leads to an operating loss compounded by significant cost overruns. Give us some infuriating blockquote, BFFs at Reston Now:

Former tenant Tetra commercial real estate was expected to rent back the property through 2016.

Instead, the company, which had its offices in the building since 2003, left at the end of 2015. That means RA did not receive about $107,000 in payments and was also responsible for paying $20,000 in property taxes. Tetra did not break a contract — the contract ended at the end of 2015. It did, however, unexpectedly opt not to sign two six-month renewals, said RA CEO Cate Fulkerson.

Oops. That was awkward.

Having endured renovation projects for some sweeeeeet '70s construction, we're somewhat sympathetic to the idea that things wind up costing more than you'd like to believe when Surly the Contractor jots down an overly optimistic "estimate." Maybe even nearly a half-million dollars over budget, which will buy a lot of shingles. Hey, stuff happens, right? But assuming folks will sign contract extensions a year out, and planning budgets around that as though they were done deals, not handshake agreements? Not such a great way to run a railroad.

So, um, thanks, Reston Association, for making us backers of the Tetra purchase look really, really smart in retrospect.

Fortunately, the RA has, as they say in the movies, a plan to make up some of the overrun: Hearkening back to the child labor cubbies in their new headquarters building, they're going to offer afterschool childcare, and maybe teach the little tykes a thing or two about applying shingles with a nail gun, at what they're now calling the "Lake House."

Why Lake House, you ask? Because Leak House would just be cruel, the end.

Update: Sounds like the RA meeting where this was discussed went well. Give us some worrisome blockquote, BFFs at Reston Now:

The board turned down a request by members to speak after the long Lake House discussion.
First rule of Leak House? Don't talk about Leak House.


  1. Reston is a dumpster fire. Can we just change the name to Depreston already?

  2. You people in Reston are STOOPID! STOOPID! Believe me, you don't know how to make a beautiful deal like I do. What kind of STOOPID person makes a handshake deal?

    However, I will build you a wall to keep the riff-raff from Herndon out of your STOOPID town.

  3. Childcare? That's not very creative. I'm thinking tennis pro and bait shop with a speakeasy in back...

  4. Malfeasance all around on the part of RA officials - shame shame shame!

  5. It's a good thing nobody saw this coming. because that would be really embarrassing.

  6. The RA Board was warned in the public forum before the vote; their revenue projections were also "rosy". So, the promise of not raising HOA fee due to the Leak House purchase will soon be overcome by the reality - paying the sunk cost, the cost overrun, and the ongoing operating (at a loss) cost.


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