Reston Town Center

What's Happening with Reston Development: More Changes for RTC

The Reston skyline is changing faster than you can wonder what is next. Some Restonians think this is good, others not so much. I think much of the development happening is pretty exciting.

There are two areas really going through changes, both in North Reston. The first is by the Wiehle Metro and the second is by Reston Town Center. In fact, by the end of this year, neither of those areas will look at all like they do today.

In a Reston Now article last week, Dave Emke reported on some more proposed development around the Town Center. It looks like property owner Renaissance Centro wants to tear down the three-story office building at 1801 Old Reston Avenue (with is on the corner of Reston Parkway and Temporary Road) and add another high-density high-rise with around 120 units. As opposed to much of the real estate in Reston Town Center, these would be condos vs apartments. Of those units, 24 would be workforce dwelling (a program in Fairfax County designed to give income-qualified households the opportunity to live at a reduced rent in some of the new privately owned and operated market rate apartments communities).

As with all of the dwellings built in Town Center, these will be upscale units. Amenities include a grand lobby, a resident lounge and party room, a fitness center, and a rooftop amenity package.

Renaissance Centro built The Harrison to the north and Stratford House to the south, and the nearby Carlton House.

The property will need to be rezoned from commercial to planned residential mixed-use for this development to happen. According to the Fairfax County website, the public hearing before the county Planning Commission has been tentatively scheduled for Sept. 28. So, if you have an opinion about this development, mark that date on your calendar. And let me know in the comments what you think about this proposal.

West Market, North Reston, VA

Reston is a pedestrian-friendly place, and the West Market community in North Reston is the perfect embodiment of that.

west market, north reston West Market, North Reston offers all of the advantages of living in Reston Town Center...and more!
Photo by Karen Fegani.

West Market, North Reston offers all of the advantages of living in Reston Town Center...and more! Photo by Karen Fegani.

Built in the late 90s, this neighborhood is within walking distance of Town Center (and all the great restaurants, shops, and entertainment there), Lake Anne Plaza, grocery stores (Trader Joe's and Harris Teeter), the W&OD trail, and the YMCA. You don't need a car to live here, but if you do have one it is a quick hop onto Fairfax County Parkway and the Dulles Toll Road.

West Market comprises two condo communities: Lincoln Park Condominiums and Madison Park Condominiums. The Lincoln Park community has 104 luxury, 2-story townhome style condos. Madison Park has 122 condominium units, 24 of which are townhouses, accommodated within seven buildings.

Five different builders came together to create a community with a diverse architectural style--many people notice the rounded exteriors that are unlike anything else in Reston. Spacious common areas include a club house, which includes a main hall and kitchen for meetings and gatherings, a fitness center and sauna, and an outdoor pool.

West Market is a great choice for anyone wanting to live in the Reston Town Center area without actually being in Town Center.

Is your pooch welcome in your new Reston condo?

It seems like such a simple thing. The phone rings, you answer. The person on the other end says they found you on the internet and are interested in working with a Reston specialist. "That's me! How can I help you?"

The Devil's in the Details...

Long story short, the buyers wanted a one or two bedroom condo in the Reston Town Center area for under $400,000 This was to be a kind of pied-à-terre that they would use during the week while in town for business. Great, I can do this, I can find them a great place. We continue to talk about what they liked and what they were hoping for and then comes the deal changer--dogs, not one but two and they're large dogs, over 50 pounds of loving fun.


Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of dogs, my husband and I share our condo with two French Bulldogs. We started with Scout and then a few months later decided to add Boo. Because I'm active in my condo I knew that we had a pet policy that called for one pet per household and that in order to get an exception I would have to make a case to the Board of Directors before we added the second pup.

Condo Living does mean Rules


Before I took my pooch loving buyers out I started making calls to the Town Center properties. Every condominium had slightly different rules regarding pet ownership. It ranged from a strict 1 pet per unit, to 1 dog and 1 cat or 2 cats, to 2 pets no weight restrictions. Some properties have breed restrictions. I was so glad that I took the time to make the calls before showing property, it would have been disastrous to find the perfect property only to realize that "Rover" wasn't welcome.

Home Owner's Associations, Townhouse Clusters and Condo living does mean more rules. They can be anything from not being allowed to park your boat or RV on the street to not being able to own any pets--get the scoop up front to save from being disappointed later.

Reston Condo Living, Part Three: Are my condo fees too low??

Coleson Cluster Townhouses Reston VA Lake Anne Area NeighborhoodColeson Cluster Townhouses Reston VA Lake Anne Area NeighborhoodIf you live in a condo where the fees haven't gone up for years, or if you are looking to buy a condo where they are advertising a low condo fee as a "feature" take a closer look. It's likely that the costs of goods and services have not gone down. Try to determine if something isn't happening that should be happening?

When evaluating the financial position of a condominium there are some cost-of-ownership items that don't apply in single-family home ownership. One glaring item is the cost of delinquencies. In today's world of upside down mortgages and foreclosures many condominiums are struggling with a loss of operating revenue (monthly condo fees), due to delinquent condo fee accounts.

Well-managed condos will actually provide an allowance for some percentage of delinquent accounts to insure that they have adequate operating cushion. When looking at a condominium's resale package be sure to look at the dollar amount of delinquent accounts and ask what that number represents as a percentage of the whole.

So what's the upside of condo ownership? In a well-run, well-managed condominium where the Board of Directors takes its responsibility seriously, property values are protected through active maintenance and enhancement of the property. You not only get to enjoy a well maintained property while you live there and you can feel confident about the condition of your property when you go to sell.