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Plans for Lake Anne Laid Out For Public

Residents and business owners get first look at Republic Land Development's vision for Lake Anne Plaza and Crescent Apartments.

Overview of Lake Anne Plan  Credit: Republic Land Development
Overview of Lake Anne Plan Credit: Republic Land Development
Interested residents and business owners came to Reston Community Center at Lake Anne on Monday to get a glimpse of what Republic Land Development has planned for the revitalization of the area.

Representatives showed what the Lake Anne of the future roughly will look like, with new housing, a revamped retail area and other added amenities.

Republic - which has developed projects such as Washington Harbour in Georgetown - was chosen by Fairfax County in July to redevelop the hillside site that currently houses the 16-acre Crescent Apartments. 

Last week, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved the interim agreement with Republic, paving the way for the process of county planning, Reston Association Design Review Board and other land use necessities necessary for a project of this scale. The interim agreement's specifics make replacing the 181 affordable housing units at Crescent and using the parking lot of the current Lake Anne Plaza high priorities.

The approval of the project design and land use permits is expected to take more than a year, says Republic president and CEO David Peter. Peter and other Republic representatives will make their initial presentation to Reston Association's design review board Tuesday night.

Some of the highlights of the plan, which could eventually bring more than 1,000 homes to Lake Anne.

* A half-circle design for Crescent itself as well as additional retail in what now is the Lake Anne Plaza parking lot, complementing Lake Anne's existing horseshoe design.

* Straightening out Village Drive so one turns into a grand entrance - "a front door" - to Lake Anne - where the lake and plaza is readily visible and inviting. Developers envision a boutique grocery store along Baron Cameron near the entrance to Lake Anne.

* Mid-rise affordable housing that will replace the 181 units of affordable housing at Crescent. There may be more than 1,000 housing units eventually between Crescent and other residential to be built at Lake Anne. Other housing will be townhouses, mid rise and one 15-story high rise, as well as an active seniors community.

* Community amenities to be built at Lake Anne include an amphitheater and an outdoor movie screening area.

* Additional retail and residential above in what now is the parking lot for Lake Anne Plaza. Retail parking will be below ground. The plans include about 50,000 square feet of office space.

* Public trails will connect Crescent with Lake Anne Plaza and other nearby areas to minimize need for cars. They would also like to connect Lake Anne and Reston Town Center with a bike sharing operation.

I am thrilled with the design," said Reston Association Lake Anne director Eve Thompson. Thompson lives at Heron House on the Plaza and also has a real estate office a few doors down.
"I think they have really taken into account the scale of Lake Anne. I think the design elements are consistent with what is here. I think it is going to be beautiful."

Former Lake Anne resident Howard Green, who still owns property there, came to the open house with a critical eye.

"I think there is a lot yet to be learned, he said. "I think in the general scope of things it is a major venture, but it looks like we have a quality developer. In the long run, the basic goal is to get more density. If we get more density, the shops on the plaza will not suffer as much. It will preserve what I consider to be an international icon. Because if this deteriorates any more, we won't have that stature." 

Check out some of the renderings attached to this story.

What do you think of the plan for Lake Anne? Tell us in the comments below.

Carolee Wiegand Locklear September 17, 2013 at 03:04 PM
As a resident since 1974, I'm thrilled about the all the re-development plans that include the much needed 'Face-Lift' needed at Lake Anne Plaza. Lake Anne Plaza has been one of my favorite parts of Reston because of the local, quiet & quaint vibe. I believe the new project will still keep the integrity of the original landmark Mr Simon had designed...I welcome more growth & real esate, bring it on...
Spider September 17, 2013 at 06:58 PM
The plans look better than I was expecting. I hope the many years of construction does not cause too many disruptions.
Darryl Kramer September 17, 2013 at 07:31 PM
The new vision for the Lake Anne area is beautiful. I look forward to this project. My only concern is traffic. Has FFX county and DRB studied the traffic in conjunction with the other projects along North Shore to determine the feasibility of all these new housing units?
Kathy September 17, 2013 at 10:11 PM
I wish the pictures were higher resolution.
Kathy September 17, 2013 at 10:21 PM
There's a stretch of RA wooded open space east of Lake Anne plaza next to North Shore Drive. It sort of disappears from one image to the next. A long curved rectangular thingy appears in later images. So what's the deal? Does RA own the rectangular thingy, whatever it is? Okay, I found a better picture. It says public parking. So does RA own the parking lot?
HarleyGirl September 18, 2013 at 07:15 AM
I only hope we do not end up with yet another Reston Town Center with chain stores.
John Lovaas September 18, 2013 at 08:34 AM
Some very interesting concepts--overall and in individual sections. This was a very preliminary marketing presentation, but very well done. My initial questions have to do with parking --is it adequate? We have a shortage now whenever there is an event, and the redevelopment needs to resolve that. Traffic still problematic unless VDOT okays proposed link to Baron Cameron. Amphitheater is a cool idea, but would be better if audience area had direct pedestrian entry from it onto the existing plaza. Last, I really like the layout for the Reston Farmers Market. That area would be even more exciting and a better draw for events yearround if it were covered by a clear pavilion. This would enhance its role as a community gathering place, a focus of Robert Simon's Reston vision. Republic is off to a good start!
Bruce Kirschenbaum September 18, 2013 at 01:32 PM
I think you are all nuts. There is NO WAY Weihle, Baron Cameron, and North Shore can handle all this redevelopment with no MAJOR expanison of roads which is not going to happen. How can you add over 700 pats, and much more retail meaning hundreds of more cares on roads built for extremely lower density? All of these roads will be gridlock. Forgot needing more parking - which will not happen - you won't even be able to get to parking. Can you imagine everyone trying to get to Weihle Station during rush hour.I am willing to bet half of the writers don't live in Cameron Crescent and are retired. This is a joke, another developers rip off of what has been a nice area. Why is this being done? Because a developer wants to? Is the developer paying for more fire, more police, more teachers, more roads?
Jeff Myren October 22, 2013 at 09:34 AM
More residents will be paying more of what you mentioned (fire, police, teachers, roads) as they will be both taxpayers and RA Members. What comes first the chicken or the egg (in terms of development or expanded roads for potential development)? Will the traffic increase, yes. Will it be much of an issue in my mind? No. It's very tough to get funding for new and larger roads if there isn't a pending issue. Other more pressing projects will always get funding before our "wish list". When looking at the larger picture, people have to shop somewhere, if they can live and shop nearby, they may not even have to get in a car and can just walk, or ride bikes to the store. Rather than having people drive past Lake Ann to get to the town center to shop, they may be able to go here instead. Just as every suburb has been rapidly growing for as many years as I can remember, Reston is growing as well. When areas like Merrifield are getting a much needed facelift and attracting more people and businesses, we need Reston to as well. I'm extremely excited about this proposal, and know that any traffic concerns can be addressed as they arise, but there is no way you can get a developer to pay for major infrastructure improvements when they are not the only ones benefitting from it. As roads become an issue, VDOT can step in for the heavy lifting, but we are far away from that point now. Lake Anne is a very neat place, but could really use these improvements!
HarleyGirl October 23, 2013 at 07:10 AM
To Jeff Myren: "Will the traffic increase? Yes. Will it be much of an issue in my mind? No." Do you live anywhere near Lake Anne?
Andrew G. October 24, 2013 at 05:37 PM
Traffic is already a huge problem as it is. With this revitalization of Lake Anne and the Wiehle metro station, I won't bother getting near Wiehle during rush hour. I really hope they make it easier to bike to Lake Anne and the metro because driving anywhere on Wiehle will be a huge headache. I'll admit, the plans do look nice and I really wouldn't mind them doing the same to Tall Oaks where I live.

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