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Carey Needham
Director, Capital Facilities

Reston Arts Center Feasibility Study

Project Number: CC-000024

map - Proposed Reston Arts Center Site Plan (BLOCK J)
Proposed Reston Arts Center Site Plan (BLOCK J)

Project Background

The proposed arts center would be the result of a proffer from Boston Properties in the next phase of development at Reston Town Center (Block J). The proffer would provide a site for an arts center that houses a performing arts venue, as well as other arts-related amenities, that can be accommodated in 60,000 square feet.

Facilitated by architectural firm Grimm + Parker, an exploration of community expectations was carried out between February and April 2022 to determine the desired program of spaces in the arts center. Grimm + Parker used the information gathered to create concept options to consider. Following determination of the optimum program space elements, Grimm + Parker also provided rough-order-of-magnitude (ROM) cost estimating to help inform the County’s response to the proffer opportunity.

See meeting information, presentation materials and related documents provided below.

Project Description

In July of 2018, the Board of Supervisors approved Proffer Condition Amendment and Development Plan Amendments PCA 86-C-119-07/DPA 86-C-119-03 and 86-C-121-08/DPA 86-C-121-05 and Planned Residential Community Application PCA 86-119-02. As part of this approval, a proffer identified Block J, located near the intersection of Sunset Hills Road and Town Center Parkway in Reston, as the potential location for a community-based arts center.

The goal of this feasibility study was to evaluate community needs and requirements and to initiate preliminary programming, conceptual design, and ROM cost estimates for the potential use of the Block J site for an approximately 60,000 square foot arts center. All feasibility study evaluations and determinations were completed prior to proffer-related deadlines in summer 2022.

Project Location

The Block J project site is located adjacent to Sunset Hills Road in the southeastern corner of the proposed development site. The project is in the Hunter Mill Magisterial district.

Photo: Overall Development Site Shown
Overall development site shown


Project Phase

This feasibility study was conducted as a pre-design development stage task and was required to assess community needs and requirements for an arts center to be located on the Block J site.


Feasibility study activities were conducted from January 2022 through mid- July 2022. Additional programming, design, and construction activities will move forward based on the feasibility study phase outcomes and county leadership direction. See Feasibility Study highlights and timeline below.

  • Community outreach meetings, initiated to understand community needs for a proposed arts venue in the Reston Town Center area, were held from February to April 2022. In addition, big picture design and rough-order-of-magnitude cost estimating efforts to determine the feasibility of the Boston Properties proffer option on the Block J site were completed in early June 2022.
  • On June 13, 2022, RCC Board of Governors held its Annual Public Hearing for Programs and Budget. This meeting included the Reston Arts Center Feasibility Study report to the community on program spaces and estimated cost.
  • On July 28, 2022, with the agreement of Boston Properties and the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, the Fairfax County Department of Planning and Development extended the decision deadline for the Boston Properties’ Reston Art Center proffer option at Reston Town Center to January 31, 2023.
  • In October 2022 and November 2022, town hall meetings were conducted by Supervisor Alcorn’s office to further discuss the Reston Arts Center proffer option and its alternative.
  • On January 24, 2023, the Board of Supervisors accepted the Block J proffer for up to 60K feet of developable space for an arts center.
Community Outreach February – April 2022
Preliminary Programming / Design Concepts / ROM Cost Estimating April – June 2022
Community Reengagement / Proffer Determinations June - July 2022
Building Design and Construction To Be Determined *

* Based on feasibility study outcomes.

What to Expect

Block J updates will be posted as the project moves forward.

Project Cost and Funding Source

Estimated costs for the proposed arts center were determined as part of feasibility study evaluations.

Community Meetings were held as follows:

February 14, 2022, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. RCC Hunters Woods Community Room / Community Engagement Kickoff Meeting In-person Meeting
February 28, 2022, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. RCC Hunters Woods Meeting Rooms 1-4 Focus Group – Performing Arts In-person Meeting
March 14, 2022, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. RCC Hunters Woods Meeting Rooms 1-4 Focus Group – Visual Arts In-person Meeting
March 28, 2022, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. Focus Group – Arts Education; FCPS; Equity/Opportunity Neighborhood Zoom Meeting
April 4, 2022, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. Focus Group – General Wrap Up Zoom Meeting
June 13, 2022, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. RCC Hunters Woods Community Room Delivery of Feasibility Study Results In-person Meeting

Background Materials

Presentations to the Community

In 2019, Reston Community Center undertook a comprehensive community survey conducted by the University of Virginia’s Center for Survey Research that included a set of questions about the potential for this arts venue as it related to Reston Community Center resources. The Power Point slides here represent a detailed discussion by UVa researcher Dr. Kara Fitzgibbons of the survey results and the related levels of statistical confidence in them. To see the full survey report, visit Reston Community Center Community Survey 2019 Report.

View the presentation: Reston Community Center 2019 Community Survey - July 26, 2021

Following the onset of the pandemic in 2020, a SurveyMonkey set of questions was offered to the public to gauge whether views about Reston Community Center or the arts venue may have been dramatically altered by the experience of COVID-19. That SurveyMonkey obtained input from 267 respondents and the summary of results is also provided indicating that views continued to align with the 2019 Community Survey.

View the presentation: Reston Community Center - SurveyMonkey pulse check July 2021

To understand the arts facilities landscape for Fairfax County and the region, visit Performing and Visual Arts Venues in the metropolitan Washington D.C. region.

February 14, 2022

Recording of Reston Arts Center Community Engagement Kickoff Meeting, Feb. 14, 2022

February 28, 2022

Recording of Reston Arts Center Community Engagement Meeting, February 28, 2022

March 14, 2022

Recording of Reston Arts Center Community Engagement Meeting, March 14, 2022

March 28, 2022

Recording of Reston Arts Center Feasibility Focus Group meeting of March 28, 2022

April 4, 2022

Recording of Reston Arts Center Feasibility Focus Group meeting of April 4, 2022

June 13, 2022


Recording of Reston Arts Center Community Engagement Meeting June 13, 2022


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