While plans for a massive redevelopment at Reston Spectrum were approved by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors earlier this month, it could take years - even decades - before the Spectrum morphs into the mixed-use development that planners envision.
Lerner Enterprises, the owner of the shopping center that runs from New Dominion to Baron Cameron along Reston Parkway, is offering no timetable for redevelopment. The company says it is excited about the future, but has no immediate plans to begin building.
“Lerner is pleased that the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors recently approved the redevelopment plans for The Spectrum at Reston Town Center," the statement reads. "The longterm vision is to redevelop the current shopping center into a vibrant mixed-use. transit-oriented town center."
"While we are excited about the future, we have no immediate plans to begin and invite the community to continue to enjoy our great mix retailers and restaurants available at The Spectrum.”
A commerical real estate source with ties to Reston development says longterm leases of the current Spectrum tenants will have to run their course before any real changes will occur.
The source, who asked his name not be used because he is not authorized to speak for Lerner, said most stores are somewhere in a 10-year lease.
Even The Container Store, which will move into the Barnes & Noble space later this year, likely signed a 10-year lease. The source says even that lease will have to expire before that portion of the Spectrum is redeveloped.
"Then new plans call for 12 to 15 buildings," he said. "I think you will see things go up piece-by-piece if the vacancies line up. You might see that [beginning] within about five years."
The future plan for the Spectrum includes 774,879 square feet of non-residential use; 1,422 multifamily residential units (with 12 percent set aside for affordable housing) in seven new residential buildings; 38 percent open space; underground and structure parking; LEED certifications; two new east-west streets and expanded bike trails and pedestrian access.
The development will be divided this way:
Land Bay A (where Best Buy and the soon-to-be closed Barnes & Noble are located) is planned for 546 dwelling units, 255 hotel rooms, 172,000 square feet of office, and 62,500 square feet of retail uses.
Land Bay C (where Harris Teeter is located) is planned for 237 residential units and 134,896 square feet of retail and bank uses. Only Harris Teeter will remain - and expand into the current Office Depot space - in the redevelopment.
Additionally, Land Bay B will wrap around the planned 23-story office tower at Bowman Towne Drive and Reston Parkway. That building, which will contain retail and 18 stories of offices, was approved by the supervisors in September.
The Spectrum is located just over a half-mile from the planned Reston Parkway Silver Line Metrorail Station, making it a proper place for transit-oriented development, said Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins. That station won't be built for at least five more years, though.
The application was reactivated last year, and was recommended for approval by the county planning commission in November.
Eventually, the look of the shopping center will change dramatically from a strip-mall center to a grand plaza. Buildings will be oriented away from Reston Parkway and New Dominion Drive and instead toward a widened Fountain Drive, giving the area a Reston Town Center-like feel for several more blocks outside of today's Town Center boundaries.
More on the Spectrum:
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