Reston Station Promenade promises to expand the urban neighborhood north of the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station, almost doubling the current mixed-used development next to the station.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved the more than 1.3 million square foot development at its meeting on April 10.
The project significantly helps to fulfill the board’s vision for a thriving, transit-oriented neighborhood around the rail stop. The county’s land use plan for this area north of the station calls for up to 2.4 million square feet in development with about 1,900 housing units.
Real estate developer Comstock Partners’ newest project extends the previously approved 1.7 million square foot Reston Station development adjacent to the Metro station. The Promenade creates a new urban block directly across the street from Reston Station.
The project will be located on an 8.4-acre site at the corner of Sunset Hills Road and Wiehle Avenue. The county owns 1.3-acres of this land, which is currently the site of 30 office condos, one and two-story medical buildings and a Bank of America branch.
The redevelopment plan replaces these low-rise, suburban buildings with four new high-rise buildings that include up to 80,000 square feet in ground-floor retail:
- Two residential building with up to 540 units.
- 14-story office with 300,000 square feet.
- 23-story, 280-room hotel with up to 80 private residences.
The developer is also actively seeking a boutique music and entertainment venue for the development.
Notably, the Promenade creates a more cohesive design for this site than previously planned. The county’s 1.3-acre property had been planned for a residential building as part of Reston Station. However, the Board of Supervisors approved the developer’s plan to incorporate this land into the Promenade to create a more unified block that helps to build out the local street grid and provide greater open space for the neighborhood.
The Promenade also advances the county’s affordable housing goals. The developer has committed to make 16.5 percent of its units affordable, higher than the county’s 12 percent standard. One-third of the affordable units will be for families earning 70 percent of the area median income (AMI), one-third will be for families making 90 percent of AMI and another third for families earning 100 percent of AMI.
Comstock Partners also will contribute more than $1.9 million to the county’s affordable housing trust fund.
While the development includes two new public roads, it also debuts a woonerf—the Dutch term for living streets. Found in Europe, these shared streets are intended to be used simultaneously by pedestrians, bicyclists and cars. They are designed without sidewalks, curbs and traffic lights. This forces cars to slow down and reclaims the streets as a realm for public interaction.
Plans for this Reston woonerf include planters, landscaping, trees and benches on the street to enliven it as a public space, as well as colored concrete pavers. Outside of The Wharf and Eckington Yards in D.C., the Promenade will be one of the few places in the region to experience this continental-style street.
The Promenade builds upon the successful public-private partnership that created Reston Station.
Our county owns about nine acres that make up the approximately 11-acre development. Eight years ago, the county sought a partner to help build the public garage for the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station while maximizing the economic return on its land. Under the partnership, Comstock Partners built the 2,300-space, county owned garage. Reston Station’s first residential building, BLVD, a 448-unit apartment, was completed in 2016.
Comstock Partners plans to start construction this spring on its next office building, known as 1906 Reston Metro Plaza. The county is currently reviewing the building plans for this 180,000 square foot office.
Projects such as Reston Station are a key part of the county’s economic success strategic plan to grow and diversify the economy.