Reston Barnes & Noble Closing in Early 2013

The Container Store will open in bookstore space as Spectrum gets ready for new look and expansion.

Reston's Barnes & Noble will close its doors in February 2013.

The lease for the longtime tenant at The Spectrum shopping center was not renewed. Lerner Enterprises, which owns the shopping center, says The Container Store will take over the 25,000-foot space in the fall of 2013.

 Barnes & Noble has shuttered many brick-and-mortar stores nationwide over the last two years as more people turn to iPad and e-reader books. As of now, there is no plan to open another location nearby.

David Deason, Vice President of Development at Barnes & Noble, said the company wanted to stay in Reston and was willing to pay more to do so.

“We tried extremely hard to come to an agreement with the property owner to extend the lease at our Reston location, but despite our offering significant additional rent, the property owner was unwilling to agree to an extension," he said in an email. "We regret that we will be closing this location at the end of February, 2013.”

Barnes & Noble's departure leaves Reston without a book store in which to purchase new books. Reston's Used Book Shop, located at will celebrate its 35th anniversary in January.

The Spectrum is set to undergo a massive renovation in coming years. Plans have been in the works for nearly a decade to transform the strip malls, home to such stores as   PetSmart and Office Depot.

After more than a year of delays and deferrals from the developers, the Fairfax County Planning Commission on Nov. 1 recommended for approval the renovation plans, which include a proposal for a mixed-use development. featuring 774,879 square feet of non-residential space and 1,426 multifamily housing units.

The new Spectrum will also feature a minimum of 4,648 parking spaces and 30 percent open space.

There are also plans to replace the five-story building at 1760 Reston Parkway, just next to The Spectrum, with a 23-story retail and office tower. That plan was approved by the Board of Supervisors earlier this year.

The Spectrum plan will next move on to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors for final approval. That public hearing and discussion will be Jan. 8.

"The proposed redevelopment of the application site requires the gradual removal and redevelopment of the existing Spectrum shopping center, with the exception of the existing Harris Teeter/Office Depot and drive-in financial institution which are located in the north end of the subject property," says a county staff report on the project.

To read the entire staff report, click here.


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Dave Hughes December 05, 2012 at 09:28 PM
Don't forget, there is a Barnes & Noble not too far away near Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax. But, yes, I miss all the cool bookstores we used to have, like all the area Borders, Crown Books, even the book department at Tower Records. Anybody remember the Little Professor bookshop that was at North Point when it first opened? Nice store with a coffee bar and fireplace!
Michelle December 05, 2012 at 09:48 PM
Maybe we could have an independent toy store AND an independent book store here in Reston. If the odds of such a business succeeding weren't so abysmal, I'd write a business plan and look for funding.
bethlannon December 05, 2012 at 10:31 PM
There was a book store in South Lakes Shopping center too back in the 80s. B&N put the small stores out of business. I was sad when that happened too. And South Lakes had a toy store. Matter of fact there were some excellent small businesses there. Harvest, a women's clothing store. Kids clothes store. I miss them all. But because I can't walk much anymore online shopping is a life saver. It's a strange new world.
Laura Ramon December 06, 2012 at 01:44 AM
Just want to point out that at Lake Anne Plaza is Reston's Used Book Shop- very cool, independently owned and operated for 35 years.
will mcgowan December 06, 2012 at 02:06 AM
I didn't think the B & N store was all that. Parking was/is a nightmare in that lot anyway. Fellow Restonites - have you been down to Merrifield/Dunn Loring lately? OMG!!! That is what is coming down the tracks and there is nothing we can do but get run over or step aside. I know it - you know it. Now on the bright side - the housing in Reston will become much more desireable and you know what that means. Cha ching - that's right. Boofie and Aquina are salivating for sure. I wish the County would put up stands along Whiele though - it's a racetrack now and when the new station opens it's going to be crazy. They need to put some traffic circles in to slow the cars down - just sayin
hilarie malmberg December 06, 2012 at 02:10 AM
Barnes & Noble and Crown Books (later Books-a-Million) put the independent "Little Professor Bookstore" out of business--too much competition for a small family-owned book shop. The "mighty ozymandias of the almighty dollar speaks, sells to the highest bidder, then moves on."
Michael December 06, 2012 at 03:01 AM
The high-density library-site idea specifically includes provision for the Reston Regional Library. Part of the recently-passed bond referenda is to study ways to improve the space for the library as one component of a broader development.
JAK December 06, 2012 at 05:04 AM
Great idea! Lincoln Property Company owns Tall Oaks the last time I was aware of it, while Lerner owns the Spectrum as well as North Point, and so on (North Point has maintained major vacancies ever since Blockbuster was booted by Lerner Enterprises (They even put a Subway in place just a few shops down from Jerry's, which is an idiotic business model), which also owns Tysons I & II, Dulles Town Center, the Washington Nationals, etc, and are based in MD).
Sad Reader December 06, 2012 at 05:53 AM
From what I understand, Gold's Gym will be taking over that space at Tall Oaks. It would have been, however, a great idea.
Monique Chimento December 06, 2012 at 02:05 PM
My five year old son is going to be crushed. One of his favorite things to do is to go to B&N and pick out some new books to take home. He also loved making new friends there while playing with the trains.
Obamaland December 06, 2012 at 10:32 PM
High density development is complements of progressives implementing U.N.Agenda 21; govt controlling EVERY aspect of peoples lives (where to live/how to live/what to eat/family size/mass transportation/etc. disguised using friendly sounding terminology like "sustainability"... leading sheep to slaughter. I'net search article by Joyce Morrison, "Why Americans Are Ignorant of U.N. Agenda 21". Also, by John Fonte, "The Ideological War Within the West."
Java Master December 07, 2012 at 02:57 AM
I am amazed at how uniformed /ignorant people are of basic business principles. (Example: Put a B&N in Tall Oaks? Utterly ridiculous on its face, for a host of reasons.) Barnes & Noble is downsizing, having closed numerous stores in recent years. Online bookstores have won most of the market. The Reston store seems to sell as many toys and gimmicks as it does books these days, as its selection has been drastically scaled back. Bricks and mortar stores with their high overhead cannot compete. Perhaps B&N will eventually find a new Reston-area location, but I a not holding my breath for quick action. I happen to miss Borders much more than any old B&N but competition and mismangment did them in.
DGeorge December 07, 2012 at 01:20 PM
I love the feel of a book in my hand. I always have. My house is so full of books that I am giving them away. I had distain for e-books and said I would never have one. My son-in -law and my Dau gave me a Kindle. It sat unused for a week or so then out of curiosity I started examining that Kindle. Slowly it has won me over. I can put a couple hundred ( a thousand?) books in my pocket and walk to Starbucks. I may never buy another hardbound book. As is said in the play "OtherPeoples Money", the last buggy whip company made probably the best buggy whip in the world and it was a shame they went out of business. Times they are a changing, as Dylan said. If you don't want to get run over, get out of the way.
Ray Wedell December 07, 2012 at 01:30 PM
Another sign that Armageddon is upon us: Increasing belief that we are heading in the direction where a book is the new buggy-whip. If this is progress, heaven help us.
Lilguy December 07, 2012 at 01:56 PM
I'm not sure how a business decision by two private parties--Lerner & B&N--has any bearing on your comment, much less "UN Agenda 21." But, hey, you're as welcome in our universe as you seem to be in your own. Just watch out for the blue helmets!
DGeorge December 07, 2012 at 02:58 PM
LOL, people said the same thing about automobiles. They will never catch on. GET A HORSE, they yelled.
Robert Beale December 07, 2012 at 09:54 PM
Well said. And as to this new petition we hear about; what would a judge say to the Container Store's recently negotiated and signed lease for the existing B&N retail space?
Karen Goff December 07, 2012 at 10:56 PM
Just wanted to add to the comments above that Gold's Gym has been a rumor for over a year. No proof that it is true - trust me, I have been checking.
Robert Beale December 07, 2012 at 11:33 PM
I too like to read a paper book. I can make notes, put my little page points in for later reference, and sit anywhere I like to read. I can only well read one book at a time, albeit, sometimes I have two or three, or more in process. The paper books are on the way out it seems and our libraries are culling them out, but we must look to the potential eventual day when electronic media may be interruped, maybe for days, or even months at a time. Electronic records, possibly on a massive scale, CAN be lost forever.
IndependentThinker December 08, 2012 at 03:56 PM
Armageddon.....ha ha ha....I can tell you I don't mourn the dust from the big pile of old, decaying books I dumped in my garbage bin when I got my first Kindle. I've never looked back. As I'm sure many people never looked back after they traded in their horses for cars (nice to not have so much horse poop on the streets, isn't it?).
Linda December 11, 2012 at 10:02 PM
Something that confuses me. If B & N was trying to renew their lease - even at a higher lease amount, then they must have found it feasible to stay. In other words, if it had been renewed, they would still be there for - however many years. So, now that the lease has not been renewed, why is it not feasible for them to not move to a different space? Confused... here....
Karen Goff December 11, 2012 at 10:20 PM
Linda -there are many factors at play here and we don't know what they were. Such as B & N could have said they would pay X, but Lerner said they wanted them to pay X+X. Or the lease term could have been an issue. Maybe B & N wanted to stay, but not with a longterm lease. As far why is it not feasible for them to move to a different space, I don't have the answer. But for starters, there are no other 25,000 square foot spaces near the town center available. Tall Oaks would be completely unsuitable for a chain like that.
Linda December 12, 2012 at 12:45 AM
Karen, That is what I was thinking. I've been wracking my brain for available space of that size and I can't think of any. Well, there is one building with a ground floor space that looks empty - at the Reston Town Center. It is on Library Street I believe. But I could be wrong and it really isn't available. And even if it was, the rent would probably be unreal!!
James December 12, 2012 at 05:41 AM
We deserve an mid size independent bookstore with an atmosphere that fosters community. Time to take a few steps back, pony up a little more money per book, and support a non chain vibe in Reston. This place is becoming a big ole Wal Mart. Break the chains.
Robert F. Dorr December 15, 2012 at 07:46 PM
I'm not an impartial observer. I'm an author and have done book signings at this and other outlets before. (My current book "MISSION TO TOKYO" is reviewed in Oakton Patch). But I'm also a customer, too, and I feel certain Barnes & Noble could have saved this store it it had wanted to. The company's outlets in Fairfax and Reston have always had good people whose efforts aren't sufficient to overcome the flaws of poor management and leadership. The Spectrum Center location in Reston stands out especially for having both -- good people but poor leadership. There won't be any book stores in a few more years anyway, but if Barnes had better management it might be able to postpone the end for a little longer.
Brian Carlson December 16, 2012 at 12:14 AM
The sad thing is that by going down market and renting to Container Store, Lerner will start a slide in the value of their properties in Reston. Short term they make some money, but in the longer term Reston Parkway will begin to look like Route 1 south of Alexandria or Route 7 beyond Tysons Corner. Yuk.
Robert Beale December 16, 2012 at 02:09 AM
Fact is Spectrum is going to close too soon. B & N leaving is just another step to make way for plastering Reston with high-rise retail/commerical/residential complexes to convert this once quiet place into something that will look and feel like Crystal City or at best Ballston. The cars are just going to head to Dulles Town Center and Tysons where we will all shop, eat and see our movies without having to pay for parking.
joebeets February 14, 2013 at 12:47 AM
Best Buy is known as "The Amazon Showroom" in the retail biz.
joebeets February 14, 2013 at 01:01 AM
People say "we want an X", but when they discover that goods at storefront X cost more than the same goods delivered for free in 2 days from mammoth warehouses staffed by minimum-wage people who are consumed like any other raw material, they *buy* the goods based on price from the online source. True, not everyone is ignorant of the difference between inexpensive and cheap, but the people who demand "cheapness at any price" vastly outnumber the more thoughtful. Alas.
William Baez February 16, 2013 at 03:30 PM
Last day is Feb 28, 2013


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