The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved the plans for redevelopment of Reston's Spectrum Center, ensuring that the Reston of the future will have Reston Town Center-like development from the Dulles Toll Road (and future Metrorail station) to Baron Cameron Avenue.
"This plan coming in gives the community a picture of what the Town Center core will be and subsequent development that will take place," Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins said at the BOS public hearing.
The 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 B (where PetSmart and On the Border are located) is planned for 643 dwelling units, 270 hotel rooms, and 48,650 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.
There were no citizen speakers in the public comment period, but land use attorney Mark Looney, representing Spectrum owner Lerner Enterprises, offered some history of the parcel.
The land was rezoned as part of the Reston Town Center commercial district in the 1980s. When it opened as a strip-mall retail in the mid-1990s, it actually was underdeveloped, said Looney.
"It was underdevelopment in respect to the property zoning," said Looney. "Reston Town Center was intended to be a grand downtown. This was developed in transition [due to the economy of the early 1990s]. In the interim, it be came a big box-development."
The redevelopment of the Spectrum has been in the works for years, but the timing was not right to move forward until now, said Looney. Additionally, the first Metro Silver Line station is slated to open at Wiehle Avenue in December 2013 and the Reston Parkway Station is scheduled to open in about six years.
The Spectrum is located just over a half-mile from the planned Reston Parkway Station, making it a proper place for transit-oriented development, Hudgins said.
The application was reactivated last year, and was recommended for approval by the county planning commission in November.
Looney said the redevelopment is "the vision for what the property was always intended to be," adding that many buildings will be oriented toward Fountain Drive - which will become a central boulevard lined with shops and outdoor cafes - rather than oriented towards parking lots.