News and notes from Reston (tm).

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

The Mask is Off: Reston National 'Study Group' Unveils Carefully Deliberated Vision for Golf Course That Does Not Involve Golf, Extremely Naive People Reportedly 'Shocked'

For the past two years, the owners of the Reston National Golf Course have "studied" the best possible use of the land they bought as a golf course that is permanently designated as open space. But in a nice way, or at least as nice as an outfit called "War Horse" could possibly be.

A grassroots "neighborhood study group" fretted about things like walk scores, the shame of Less Sought After South Reston having slightly fewer upscale cupcake and salad retail establishments than their counterparts north of the Toll Road, and whether invasive English ivy was hurting the tree canopy. Heck, they even tried to ply us with booze!

But all good things—and investors' patience—must come to an end, and the mask is off. Earlier this week, the study group announced its deliberations are over, and it's come up with a totally not at all premeditated "vision" for the golf course. Give us some good blockquote, unbelievably expensive-looking "community" website that doesn't even open the press release when you click on it:

After two years of engaging with community members, stakeholders, and community organizations, the Reston National Study Group released its vision for the future of the Reston National Golf Course.

Does the vision include golf? No, but it does include a fancy graphical explanation of the plan: a "conservancy," which involves "reclaiming" 100 or more acres (we'll take the under on that one, thanks) and restoring it to a natural state (presumably invasive plants will be part of that natural state), a "linear park" (pathway), and "the village," which includes a "gathering space," shops, restaurants, and — wait for it — housing. Well, knock us over with a feather!

"This is not a plan," the fancypants website states, inasmuch that as such it would be rejected out of hand by the county for violating the current land use designation for the golf course the property owners were aware of when buying the golf course after presumably doing due diligence about the county's comprehensive plan. But there *is* a map to help you visualize what this might look like:

There's a lot of money behind selling this "vision," and these guys spent some ducats to get better elite PR folks than some other not-exactly-loved folks with deep pockets around these here parts. And for good reason: their $23.75 million investment in the golf course could be worth as much as $200 million if it's developed to its fullest extent. With that kind of ROI, you could have a whole bunch of "study groups" and open bars and social media campaigns and still walk away with a tidy profit.

Let's remember that our county supervisor, Walter Alcorn, has steadfastly said that he wouldn't support redeveloping the golf course without the support of its neighbors -- and the pledge buried in the vision that the developers would "invest in neighboring clusters to improve views.. and add value" seems to be a way to try to chip away at resistance get some of that support. 

Will it work? Some of that depends on the neighboring clusters, and some of that depends on our county officials, who can be... let's just say pragmatic when large sums of money are on the line. 

The fancy "study group" website asks for feedback on what you'd like to see at Reston National, so have at it, we guess. They're not offering free drinks any more, so you might as well get your thoughts in before last call.


  1. The footnote at the bottom of the very slick website — "Virginia Investment Partners LLC – the ownership of Reston National Golf Course – is funding The Reston National Neighborhood Study Group, and the efforts of Greg Hamm through New City Enterprises LLC" — is a shining pinnacle of transparency. Nothing to see here, nosiree!

  2. If past performance is an indication of future results, perhaps we can look forward to a massive tent bar on Reston National. See article

  3. keep the golf course

  4. Money talks ...this was a done deal from the getgo...never believed it would stay a golf course...sad to see it happen .

  5. It's NOT happening.


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