News and notes from Reston (tm).

Friday, October 26, 2018

Now Just No Oaks: Reston Tall Oaks Village Center Meets Its More Than Timely Demise (Updated)

Pour one out, as the kids no longer say, for the long-vacant, little lamented Tall Oaks Village Center Stucco Wasteland, which is finally meeting its maker. The Reston village center that wound up becoming the graveyard of a Giant, two international grocery stories, and the seemingly failure-proof 7-11 and Burger King franchises, finally began getting smashed up into tiny pieces of stucco and sadness on Friday, leaving a Susie de Los Santos-sized hole in our hearts.

Adding insult to injury, Confidential Restonian Operative “Joel” took this cellular telephone photo of Fairfax County firefighters recently smashing holes in the gutted building as practice, we guess, for the next time they need to get into a long-deserted shopping complex awaiting conversion into transit-oriented housing and a smidgen of retail inhabited by hordes of CGI grannies.

After the project, which includes 156 residential units, 8,500 square feet of retail and 6,000 square feet of office space, was approved by the county back in ought-sixteen, we’d wondered why it was taking so long for demolition work to begin. Was it because the bloom was off the Metro boom? Were the developers trying to assuage residents' concerns about limited retail space by covertly developing a shrink ray to compress a full-service Wegmans into 8,500 square feet of retail space?

Hahaha,no, silly rabbits, that would just be crazy! While the county signed off on the general design, the property changed hands and the new developer had recently been going back and forth with officials about whether the planned garage parking spaces could be made smaller. Give us some good minimum-width regulation blockquote, BFFs at Reston Now:

In an Aug. 21 proposal submitted to the county, Stanley Martin, the contract purchaser of the property, says the county’s requirements for the size of garages, which are included in original entitlements, are too generous and create a “design challenge that is inconsistent with the planned site layout.” The county requires personal garages to have a minimum width of 11.5 feet for single-car garages and 20 feet for two-car garages.
Maybe the firefighters were practicing punching holes in those fancy new garages so people can open their doors after parking. Or maybe this is all overwrought. After all, these cars will fit perfectly!

Construction is slated to begin in March, and Tall Oaks' last two remaining businesses have already relocated to the two pieces of the village center that will remain standing -- Paisano's Pizza to the former 7-11/Curves building, and the Fur Factory to the office building nearby. But still, the demolition marks the end of a kinder, gentler village center, one where one could pick up some sexist bread for dinner or choose from several legitimately great dining options (RIP Mama Wok's, El Manantial, Pho 75, et. al.) and grab one of those old-timey videocassettes to "Betamax and chill," as the oldsters never used to say but would have been pretty cool if they did.

Sad Tall Oaks.jpg

We’ll let Tall Oaks’ onetime symbol of hope for retail revitalization have the final word.

Farewell, stucco emporium of our dreams.

Tall Oaks 1

Update: The first of two hearings on the skinny garage issue is scheduled for November 15. CRO "Joel" sent us another cellular telephone photo of what's left of Tall Oaks after a few days of hot bulldozer-on-stucco action (spoiler alert: not much).

"They sort similar materials into piles, presumably for recycling," he says. "My wife was surprised that there is a market for used stucco."

1 comment:

  1. When Compare Food was there, the melons were always firm and plump.


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