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Shift in Parking at RTC

New parking garage opens.

Before Thanksgiving weekend, to the delight of hundreds of shoppers, Boston Properties opened a five-level, 400-space parking garage at the Reston Town Center on Explorer Street between Freedom Drive and New Dominion Parkway.

For those who prefer a space in a surface lot, parking garages may soon be all that’s available. The remaining surface lots have long been planned for development.

Boston Properties, who owns one of two remaining surface lots, plans to close the lot it owns adjacent to the Accenture Building in early 2006, to make way for the Reston Town Center’s next phase of development. The two-block lot, planned for 560,000 square feet of office space and 75,000 square feet of retail, has recently been amended to include 400 condos.

Boston originally planned to construct a three-building office complex with ground floor retail, but argued current market conditions make it uneconomical to build an office building with sufficient parking.

Instead, Boston, a commercial developer, has since proposed to the Reston Planning and Zoning Committee to develop the southern block as residential with extra parking to handle the overflow of its office buildings.

In the plan, Boston hopes to enter into negotiations with a residential developer to construct a condo building on top of a parking garage.

The remaining surface lot in front of Ruby Tuesdays is owned by Equity Office Properties Trust. Equity already has approval for a 250,000 square foot office building on the site. They recently asked for the addition of an option to include residential. The new option would remain in essentially the same configuration and would include some ground-floor retail.