Tall Oaks

Bentana Woods, North Reston

Many people don’t realize how close Reston is to the lovely Lake Fairfax Park. In fact, several Reston neighborhoods back up to the park. Bentana Woods is one of them.

The rustic nature around Bentana Woods will make you forget you live in a bustling urban area. Built in1972 by Bennett of Virginia, this community is located in the Tall Oaks section of Reston, Virginia. I recently found the original marketing brochure, which was pretty entertaining. Some of the information is not relevant anymore (I assume most people have replaced the Formica-surfaced cabinet tops by now, and Lake Anne Elementary School has indeed been built). However, some of the selling points are very much still selling points today (I edited some of these, but I really enjoyed the language… you can probably tell which bits are from the original):

  • Bentana Woods offers something special to the family that seeks the values of home ownership with a maximum of space and good design and a minimum of care and maintenance.
  • Cohen, Haft & Associates designed the townhouses to provide flowing indoor-outdoor space.
  • Influenced by California’s early Spanish missions, the design utilizes dark wood trim to give dramatic emphasis to exteriors of brick, stucco, and wood.
  • Interior living spaces range from 2,120 to 2,515 square feet, for a total of nine floor plans. There are three and four bedroom models are available, with 2.5 to 3.5 baths.
  • Garages and step down living rooms are features in many models. Fireplaces are also included in many of them.
  • Kitchens have received special attention in Bentana Woods to give each family added ease and convenience. All kitchens open both to the dining room and family room to facilitate formal and informal entertaining in either.
  • That bane of townhouses — the dark stairway — doesn’t exist in Bentana Woods. Skylights or large doors and spacious bay windows also brighten dining rooms and family rooms, creating the feeling of breezy openness, and provide dramatic views of the rolling woodland.

All of these features are things my clients want in their homes. Bentana Woods is actually two separate clusters — Bentana Woods Cluster has 48 homes while Bentana Woods West has 108 homes. More than 50% of the neighborhood lands are common areas with open grass, tot lots, and stands of trees — trees that the National Wildlife Federation has certified as a Backyard Wildlife Habitat.

In addition, Bentana Woods is about 1 mile from the Reston Metro Station and short drive to Reston Town Center or Lake Anne Plaza. The location is fantastic, which makes the fact that these townhouses are charming and well designed even better.

If you want to be close to the action, but feel like you’re living in a National park, Bentana Woods is the Reston neighborhood for you!

The Tall Oaks Center Project

Beauty or blight? Tall Oaks Village Center has been considered both. Blight mostly because most of the stores have been empty for years. In December of 2014, McLean-based Jefferson Apartment Group purchased the Tall Oaks Center and almost immediately announced plans to redevelop it for mixed residential and commercial uses.

Not everyone in the neighborhood was happy about that. But, just about a year ago (January 26, 2016), the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the final redevelopment plan.

One of the questions from local residents was whether an anchor grocery store would be part of the plan — many in the surrounding area miss being able to walk to the store. In the spring of 2016, a retail marketing analysis concluded that a grocery store anchor is not a viable option to include in the redevelopment project. So what exactly is going in there? Well, without a grocery store, it seems retail space isn’t viable either. The report indicates there will be 7,500 square feet of space for restaurants. There will also be open spaces and a water feature for children to play in.

I have no doubt the development will be beautiful. It would be nice if there was some retail for local residents, but by now they’ve gotten used to traveling to shop. I do wonder what restaurants will go in. It’s fun to speculate.

Here is a video tour of the proposed plan.

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