An office park across the street from the planned Reston Town Center Metro station will be converted into a new mixed-use district called Halley Rise over the next decade, developer Brookfield Properties announced on Dec. 17.
Formerly known as the Reston Crescent, the 36-acre property will be turned into 3.5 million square feet of housing, retail, offices, and public green spaces, all of it anchored by Reston’s first Wegmans Food Market.
Halley Rise will be located a two-minute walk away from the Reston Town Center Metro station, which is scheduled to open in 2020 along with the rest of the Silver Line’s second phase, according to a press release from Brookfield Properties.
“I am excited to see Brookfield implementing Fairfax County’s vision for smart, urban, mixed-use development near Reston’s newest Metro station,” Fairfax County Hunter Mill District Supervisor Catherine Hudgins said. “…The Halley Rise district will be a welcome addition to Reston’s south side, offering important commercial spaces, well-designed open spaces, and new retail offerings.”
Boasting a $1.4 billion price tag, the completed Halley Rise district will include 1,500 residential units, 1.5 million square feet of office space, and 250,000 square feet of retail for 20 to 30 vendors.
20 percent of the site, or roughly five acres, will be dedicated to public open space. Brookfield plans to incorporate three parks that will feature arts and cultural programming curated by its Arts Brookfield initiative, a privately funded arts program that brings free, public events to the developer’s properties.
Halley Rise’s planned 1.5 million square feet in office space will be in addition to the office park’s existing portfolio, according to the press release.
The 1,500 new residences will include condos and apartments with 15 percent of the units committed to Fairfax County’s affordable Workforce Dwelling Units program, which was designed to encourage the construction and maintenance of affordable housing for people with low or moderate incomes.
Brookfield has also committed to bringing new public streets and infrastructure improvements “to improve transit circulation and help reduce congestion in the broader community,” including a new off-site athletic facility, one mile of new sewer lines, new off-site traffic signals, and electric vehicle charging stations.
The project is expected to accommodate space for 8,700 permanent jobs, according to Brookfield Properties.
“This transit-oriented neighborhood development will create a vibrant community for Reston residents to enjoy while strengthening the economic growth of the region,” Brookfield Property Group and Brookfield Property Partners senior managing partner and chairman Ric Clark said.
As the development’s retail anchor store, Wegmans Food Markets as already signed a lease for an 80,000 square-foot supermarket.
Wegmans currently has seven stores in Northern Virginia, including ones in Fairfax, Chantilly, and Alexandria, but Halley Rise will have the first Reston location.
“We’re proud to continue our growth in Northern Virginia and be [a] part of this exciting project in Reston,” Wegmans senior vice president of real estate Ralph Uttaro said.
With construction slated to begin in the middle of 2019, the first phase is expected to finish in 2022 and will feature 640 residential units, 450,000 square feet of office space, 200,000 square feet of retail, and two new parks.
The entire district will be fully complete by 2026, according to Brookfield.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved the Halley Rise development for the 36-acre site on Sunrise Valley Drive between Edmund Halley Drive and Reston Parkway on July 31, making it the first major, mixed-use development planned for the south side of the Reston Town Center Metro station.
More recently, on Dec. 4, the board approved the 1.8 million square-foot Midline development planned by JBG Smith and EYA Development for a 17.5-acre property south of Sunset Hills Road, supplementing approximately 3 million square feet of approved mixed-use development planned for the area around the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station by Comstock Companies.
With the rise of mixed-use development, Reston’s continued tilt toward a more urban and less suburban environment has contributed to tensions between developers, county officials, and some community organizations.
After some discussion, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted on Dec. 4 to authorize public hearings to gather community input on proposed zoning changes that will increase the Reston Planned Residential Community District’s maximum allowed population density from 13 to 15 people per acre.
The county’s proposal also calls for increasing the district’s dwelling units per acre limit from 50 to 70 in transit station areas that have been planned for mixed-use development, a move that would primarily affect the Reston Town Center Transit Station Area, according to the county.
The Reston Association’s board of directors voted unanimously on Dec. 13 to continue the homeowners’ group’s opposition to Fairfax County’s proposed zoning changes.
The residents’ group Coalition for a Planned Reston, which includes members of Reston 2020, Reclaim Reston, and the Reston Citizens Association, has also expressed concern about the proposed amendment, saying in a letter sent to Hudgins on Nov. 29 that the process has been rushed and that the county has not sufficiently engaged with the community.
The Fairfax County Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the zoning amendment proposal at 7:00 p.m. on Jan. 23. The Board of Supervisors will have its own public hearing at 4:30 p.m. on Mar. 5 with the planning commission required to rule on the proposal by Mar. 15, according to Reston Now.
The pace of development also has Fairfax County officials contemplating paid street parking in Reston and Tysons, according to WTOP’s Max Smith, who reported on Dec. 17 that the county has hired a consultant to review its parking management plans.
Possible changes, including time limits, an overnight parking ban, and rush-hour restrictions, could take hold within the next two years.
Paid garage and street parking was already implemented at Reston Town Center in January 2017 by property owner and manager Boston Properties. The move fueled protests by both community members and retailers, some of whom ultimately left the town center.