Commerce Metro Center – Here comes 1.5 million square feet of more development at Wiehle-Reston East

Washington Business Journal

December 6, 2016

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved Vornado Realty Trust’s Commerce Metro Center, a giant transit-oriented plan the board says will unlock Metro access for the south side of the Wiehle-Reston East station.

Vornado won the rezoning of an 11.5-acre cluster office park at Wiehle Avenue, Sunrise Valley Drive and the Dulles Toll Road from industrial to mixed use. It also received approval of a final development plan for 1.5 million square feet of residential, hotel, office and retail.

“This is another site that has been industrial for some time,” said Supervisor Cathy Hudgins, D-Hunter Mill. “But you look at the site and recognize the incongruency of where it sits today, across from the Metro station. This development plan gives that access on both the north and sides of the station.”

The development plan for 1850, 11400 and 11440 Centennial Park Drive will feature two of Reston’s tallest buildings: a 24-story, 300-unit residential building and a 22-story, 385,000-square-foot office building. Also planned are a seven-story residential building, a 175-room hotel and ground-floor retail in several of the buildings. Vornado would retain three office buildings within the development.

It is unclear whether this development would stay with Vornado or become part of the JBG Smith Properties portfolio when Vornado (NYSE: VNO) completes the merger of its D.C.-area portfolio with The JBG Cos.

The complex, to be developed in stages, will sit across the Dulles Toll Road from Comstock’s Reston Station. The board was also expected to approve on Tuesday an additional 260-unit residential plan for Wiehle Station Ventures, an affiliate of Dallas-based Lincoln Property Group. That building will be on a surface lot adjacent to Commerce Park.

J BG has several other projects nearby, including VY at Reston Heights(under construction), and RTC West(under construction) and an application under consideration to transform 17.5 acres on the east side of the Wiehle Metro into 1.6 million square feet of mixed use.

The Commerce Park plan calls for 1.5 acres of open space spread over five pocket parks and enhanced pedestrian and bicycle connectivity (including a two-way bicycle track along Sunrise Valley Drive).

The project’s land use attorney, Greg Riegle of McGuire Woods, said the public spaces are a signature element of the project. The developers plan a retail and park promenade along what is now an office building, as well as public art and a water feature.

A staff report says the project, designed with KTGY Group Architects of Tysons, would be developed in four phases, with the 200-unit residential building going up first along Sunrise Valley Drive and Wiehle Avenue. Next would be the residential tower at Wiehle and the Toll Road, followed by the office building adjacent to the Metro, and the hotel.