When it was first built in the early 70s, Reston’s Tall Oaks Village Center faced little retail competition, but its fortunes changed when the Reston Town Center’s shops and restaurants opened in 1990.
It was dealt another blow when its anchor tenant, grocer Giant, closed its doors in 2007. Today, the 70,000 square foot shopping center is 86 percent empty.
However, the languishing center is set to take rebirth as a vibrant mixed use development with housing, retail, office and open space.
The Board of Supervisors recently approved Jefferson Apartment Group’s redevelopment plans for the village center.
Located at the corner of Wiehle Avenue and North Shore Drive, the village center is one of five in Reston, although it’s the smallest at about 18 acres. It’s the first to be redeveloped though since the final update to the Reston Master Plan was adopted a year ago.
“When we went through the Comprehensive Plan change earlier, we ended up looking at Tall Oaks as one that would come forward in the more recent time rather the others changing,” Hudgins said.
The redevelopment includes approximately 5,800 square feet of office, 8,500 square feet of retail and 156 residential units consisting of:
- 70 condos in two, four-story buildings
- 42 apartments in units that are stacked two-over-two spread across four buildings that have exteriors designed to look like townhomes
- 44, four-story townhomes in seven
The plans call for the current two-story office building on the site to remain, but it will be expanded to include ground floor retail plus additional office space. Developers also will bump out the existing one-story retail building along North Shore Drive.
Importantly, the project will add a central plaza that will offer green space, recreation and seating. This approximately 21,200 square foot plaza will be the village center’s main gathering place. The county’s master plan for Reston envisions the village centers to be redesigned around a public plaza, accomplishing the original vision for these centers to be places that draw people together.
The Tall Oaks plaza will offer three different features.
- A recreation area will feature traditional playground equipment.
- A village promenade will offer two walkways that converge at fountain or sculpture. Trees, seating, chess tables and bike racks will fill the space between the two promenades, and terrace seating will face the future fountain.
- A retail terrace will be located next to the promenade, and it shade patio seating for cafes or other retail.
The plaza will be complemented by a 26,000 square foot linear green that will contain open lawns for recreation and benches. An eight-foot wide serpentine walkway will snake through the center of this green.
The project also will connect to Reston’s Blue Trail that links to North Point Village Center. The site will maintain the existing connection to the trial via the pedestrian tunnel under North Shore, and stairs will be added.
In total, green or open spaces make up 36 percent of the future development.