News and notes from Reston (tm).

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Reston Town Center Clamps Two Major Tenants As Mauvescraper Tops Out at 420 (Heh) Feet

Cancel the quarterly shipment of weighted blankets for the elite crisis management team at Reston Town Center, because after a continuing spot of not-so-great news, our favorite plastic fantastic fake downtown is BACK, BABY!

In the last few weeks, RTC owner Boston Properties has announced two major bits of tenant news. First, Volkswagen announced it is moving its U.S. headquarters from Herndon to the fancy new high rises that are extending RTC's footprint south to the Toll Road and soon(ish)-to-open Metro station. And Microsoft is planning to add to its previously announced 400,000 square foot expansion with another 45,000 square feet at its existing space at Two Discovery Square, that building across the footbridge from the rest of RTC.

It's all good news for RTC and its massive, 1.1 million square foot expansion, which was once called Reston Gateway and whose largest 420-foot (heh) mauvescraper topped out last week. Skyscraper nerds will likely dispute this, but that makes it the second tallest structure in the region, after the Washington Monument and the Capital One Tower in Tysons. Pre-leasing for the new phase of RTC, anchored by Fannie Mae, is now at 85 percent, according to the Washington Business Journal.

These big lease announcements are definitely going against the grain of the pandemic and predictions that office space needs could be permanently altered going forward. Boston Properties itself estimates that its census is still "well under 15 percent" in Northern Virginia, even after more stringent restrictions were lifted earlier in the year. And, of course, retail activity hasn't exactly been on fire at RTC of late.

But Volkswagen? A big f-in deal, as the man who may or may not be our future president, depending on what you hear on Twitter, once said. And there's absolutely no truth to the rumor that this is Boston Properties' top-secret new business model for RTC:

1. Sign lease with VW, which makes cars
2. People buy cars
3. People drive cars to Reston Town Center and pay to park
4. PROFIT!!!!!

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