Reston Station Promenade’s Newly Approved Design Makes it More Visible and Walkable

Reston Station Promenade architectural drawing.

Reston Station Promenade will alter its design to bring more light into the more than 1.3-million-square-foot development and improve pedestrian access.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors signed off on the changes at its Jan. 28 meeting. The county approved Comstock’s initial plans almost two years ago for its urban neighborhood a quarter mile north of the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station.

The changes don’t affect the project’s previously approved total amount of development spread across four buildings. The design updates include:

  • Reorienting the hotel along Reston Station Boulevard so the building’s bulk faces Wiehle Avenue.
  • Converting a previously planned residential building into an office, reducing the Promenade’s total number of residential units from 590 to 340.
  • Removing the woonerf — a Dutch-style “living street” without sidewalks and curbs that pedestrians, bicyclists and cars share — to improve the experience for pedestrians by discouraging car traffic.

By rotating the hotel’s orientation 90 degrees, the new design brings more daylight into the Promenade — and it makes the entire development more visible to Metro riders coming north from Reston Station, Comstock’s development next to the Wiehle station.

Reston Station Promenade original site plan.
Reston Station Promenade new site plan.

More Green Space at Corner Park

The new plan also changes the design for the urban park at the corner of Sunset Hills Road and Wiehle Avenue. Called Corner Park, this pocket park now will be more visible from the street, and it will provide more green space. Previously planned as a primarily hardscaped, urban plaza, this 16,200-square-foot park will feature an open lawn, outdoor seating, tables and chairs and bicycle racks.

In total, the Promenade offers 1.2 acres of park space. Comstock also will contribute more than $2.3 million to the county for athletic field construction, plus $646,000 for on-site recreational facilities.

Reston Station Promenade Corner Park

Affordable Housing

While the Promenade will have 250 less residential units than before, Comstock’s commitment to affordable housing remains unchanged. It will make 16.5% of the Promenade’s units affordable, higher than the county’s 12% standard.

The decrease in housing brings the overall project more in line with the county’s land use recommendations. The Promenade will be divided almost evenly between residential and commercial development, as called for by the Comprehensive Plan. Before, it was 70% residential and 30% non-residential.

Public-Private Partnership

The Promenade continues the county’s partnership with Comstock.

Located at the corner of Sunset Hills Road and Wiehle Avenue, the project will rise up on an 8.4-acre site of which the Board of Supervisors owns 1.3 acres.

However, the board decided to sell a portion of its property to Comstock to allow for a more cohesive design for the Promenade. This advances the county’s land use goal for a unified urban block that builds out the local street grid in this area.

Comstock will pay more than $3 million for this land, and it will be allowed to shift density within its Reston Station development, generating an estimated $8.6 million per year in rental revenue for the county.

County owned property on Reston Station Promenade to be sold.

Reston Station is a public-private partnership between the county and Comstock. Under the partnership, Comstock leases about nine acres of county land for its 1.7 million-square-foot development, and it built the 2,300-space Wiehle Metro Station parking garage for the county.

Currently, Comstock pays $2.9 million in rent for its leases with the county, an amount that will increase over time under the lease’s terms. The development also generates commercial property taxes revenue for the county, helping to grow and diversify the economy.

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