News and notes from Reston (tm).

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Red Alert: Reston Wegmans Rumors Exciting, But Also A Good Test Of What's To Come

The recent rumor that fancypants grocery store Wegmans is considering a Reston location just south of the Toll Road on Sunrise Valley Drive is v. v. exciting. Finally, all those smug Loudounites, what with their "town centers" with, whazzitcalled, "free parking" and all those particleboard homes with, whazzitcalled, "two-story foyers" and "one-sided brick facades" no longer have bragging rights to the one thing they have that is indisputably better than their western Fairfax brethren: a grocery store with prepared food and... what, sushi? We're not exactly sure. But we haven't been so excited since the grocery that used the feminine wiles of "Susie de los Santos" to peddle sexist bread first opened at Tall Oaks!

Far be it from this filthy "web log" to dampen everyone's enthusiasm about this potential bonanza of shrink-wrapped grilled green peppers, but here's a few HOT TAKES that we should all stop and consider:

1. The site Wegmans is reportedly considering, currently home to some dowdy one-story concrete association office buildings, is also the future site of the proposed -- and much-needed -- Soapstone Connector bridge -- something that might get built someday, assuming the county can find the remaining $167.5 million needed to build what must be a very fancy bridge. Given the opportunity to get some sweeeeeeeet tax revenue in the shorter run, will the county stick to its guns and demand the connector road stay there, essentially making the property unsuitable for a low-rise shopping center surrounded by acres of surface parking?

2. Given its proximity to the Metro, even without the Soapstone connector plans, is this really the best place for a low-rise shopping center surrounded by acres of surface parking? Or will Wegmans, which like its Loudoun customer base doesn't prefer being part of "stressful city-like shopping centers" (with a few exceptions), become part of some mixed-use development full of woonerf and whatnot? Or is this all just a negotiating ploy as it looks at other, presumably less expensive, property closer to (gasp) Herndon?

3. With plans to push even denser, less car-oriented development than ever before, will the county stick to its guns -- or just go for the sweeeeeet short-term tax revenue?

It's a good test of principles and promises made on the part of county planners. But given recent events, we think we all know the answer to those three questions. At least we'll have access to some nice prepackaged sushi, though it'll spoil by the time we make it back across the Toll Road through all the gridlocked traffic, the end.

5 comments:

  1. Spoken like a true northerner (those lands beyond the wall ..er, beyond the toll road). For those of us in "soon-to-be-sought-after" South Reston, we are effectively "bought off" by the addition of a Wegman's to this rampant development along Sunrise Valley. Everyone here on the south side is giddy with anticipation, as this is a welcome contrast to Campus Commons turning into 20+ floors of high-rise condo goodness, or the triple-building clusterfun that Vornado is going to cram next to the metro station's south escalators.

    The Soapstone Connector was a conjured dream to distract and silence those concerned about excessive traffic around Wiehle metro station. As this station will not be the Silver Line terminus for much longer, and traffic has not been a disaster, our elected officials and their developer friends will do only what is necessary. And if the Connector Myth has served its purpose, the show goes on. Wegman's will possibly have stacked parking, so the new usage will be at least as "green" as the paved hell of office campuses that precede it.

    But with all the yummy prepared foods and organic things available without crossing to the north, the people of the south rejoice. Hated north, with your costly RTC parking and your labyrinthine Trader Joes parking: we no longer need you.

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  2. Problem solved. The plan for Wegman's and bridge co-existence.
    http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.1206282.1353593374!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/article_1200/house1.jpg

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  3. Peasant From Less Sought After South RestonMay 25, 2017 at 8:21 PM

    In honor of failed Reston grocery stores from days past, perhaps Wegmans can have as its spokeswoman Sushi de los Santos? Just saying...

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  4. Can we get a walmart in South Reston? It will certainly blend in, specially around Glade drive near the community center. That should give the undesirables some place to go and keep them out of the RTC!

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  5. Does this portend high-rise high-density development around South Lakes Shopping Center? Sure looks that way!

    Cassandra

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