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Metro Matters: All On Track Mixed Use, Transit Oriented Development Following Silver Line Stations

The positive economic impact of the opening of the first phase of the Silver Line in 2014 continues in Tysons and is rapidly rolling west along the Phase 2 alignment in Reston and Herndon, according to recent reports.

The three new metro stations in this area – Reston Town Center, Herndon and Innovation Center – along with the existing  Wiehle-Reston East Station are attracting new commercial and residential development, all part of the goal to attract high-density projects where people can work, live and play.

The latest news for the Wiehle-Reston East area  is the announcement that Google has signed a lease to occupy 90,000 square feet in Comstock Holding Cos. Inc.’s 1900 Reston Metro Plaza building. That’s more than one-quarter of the space available in that building. The Washington Business Journal reports that a sought-after Cleveland Clinic spinoff Centerline Biomedical is looking at the Tysons area to house a new technology facility for its research and development staff, which is on the forefront of using breakthroughs in
vascular surgery. 

Bisnow recently listed 8 new projects planned near the Phase 2 stations:

Near Reston Town Center Station

Reston Gateway: Boston Properties announced plans for almost five million square feet of mixed use development between Reston Town Center and the rail station. The site is directly across Sunset Hills Road from the north pavilion. The development includes 1.8 million square feet office, 2,010 residential units, a hotel and retail.

RTC West: JBG Smith is planning a 22-story apartment building with 283 units, a 20-story condominium building with 293 units, an eight-story office building, a seven story loft-like office building around the existing development, including the popular Cooper’s Hawk at Sunset Hills Road and Town Center Parkway.

Brookfield Properties has plans for its 36-acre site north of the Reston Town Center Station that include 1,500 residential units, 1.5 million square feet of office space and 250,000 square feet of retail space, including a Wegman’s. Brookfield anticipates completion of the project in 2026.

Near Herndon Station

Metro Square: Stanley Martin Homes’ Metro Square at the corner of Herndon Parkway and Van Buren Street is nearly sold out of the 64 condos finished or under construction.

Woodland Park East: Tishman Speyer, Pinkard Group and NVR are planning 1.6 million square feet of mixed use, including office, retail and housing units, including apartments and townhouses. Construction has begun on the development located south of the Dulles Toll Road and west of
Monroe Street.

555 Herndon Parkway: Penzance has plans for a mixed used development at 555 Herndon Parkway, adjacent to the north pavilion that calls for a mix of uses in 10-, 23- and 24-story towers.

Lerner Cos. has submitted a proposal to the Town of Herndon for a large mixed-used development at the north pavilion. Details have not yet been publicized.

Near Innovation Center Station 

Innovation South: Being built directly south of the rail station by Rocks Engineering and Penzance,  plans call for more than  1,000 residential units, hotel and retail and office space at The Landing.

The Hub: In Loudoun County, The Hub, by Open-Reebes, is approved for 3.5 million square feet of office, more than 1,200 housing units, retail, hotel space and entertainment facilities.

Waterside: Also in Loudoun County and north of the Hub, the 335 acres upon which Chantilly Crushed Stone sits has been approved for nearly 2,600 homes, two hotels, and 500,000 square feet of retail space.

CIT: On the Loudoun/Fairfax line is the Center for Innovative Technology building and campus, a 24-acre facility recently put up for sale by the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Pomeroy Cos. has two projects planned on 40 acres at Sunrise Valley Drive and Frying Pan Road. Aurora Station at Dulles will include 1,000-plus housing units and commercial space, while Pomeroy and CRC Cos. will have another 1,114 units and space for an elementary school.

Protective Sealant Application Underway on Silver Line

Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project crews have resumed spraying a protective sealant called Silane on precast concrete wall panels to help prevent future damage from road spray and salt at some of the Phase 2 Metrorail stations.

Sealant application is 98 percent complete at Herndon Station and will begin soon at Reston Town Center Station. Spraying is also planned at the Ashburn and Loudoun Gateway stations. 

Working when weather permits, crews appear to passers-by as if they might be exterminators. Indeed, they are not. The chemical they are applying is  a protectant that has been approved as a solution to a problem with the concrete panels first reported in spring 2017 related to air entrainment and improper ratios of the water to cement mix in the concrete. This issue did not create safety concerns, but did raise concerns about the panels’ long-term durability.

In fall of 2018, crews for Capital Rail Constructors (CRC), the project’s lead contractor for the Silver Line rail extension, had replaced precast concrete panels that had been deemed inadequate. Inspections determined that the
concrete problems originated in a sub-contractor’s manufacturing process.

The Airports Authority and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, which will take over the project when it’s completed, and the contractor agreed to additional mitigation — which is the application of the protective coating periodically over the coming years. These coatings will be funded by the contractor and the frequency of future coatings will be determined by WMATA, which is expected to monitor the durability over the 100-year life of the project. 

CRC suspended spraying at the Innovation Center Station in February because of weather after completing about 75% of that work at Innovation Center Station.  Innovation work has not progressed because of dynamic testing in that area and will resume as dynamic testing permits.

Warmer, drier weather should allow the process to move forward at a faster pace, according to John Kearney, the rail project’s construction manager.

According to Airports Authority rail team, crews have completed power washing panels at all stations in preparation for spraying. None of the flawed panels were installed at the Dulles Airport Station.

Rail project officials said they are happy to see the sealant application moving ahead, noting that unusually heavy rains and snows of the winter months slowed the work, which requires up to 48 hours of dry weather for the process to be completed.

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