The Reston Association Board of Directors unanimously passed a resolution Thursday night to approve the establishment and composition of a special headquarters search committee.
Last January, a referendum passed that gave Reston Association (RA) permission to build or purchase a new headquarters building not to exceed $5 million. Creating the search committee was the next step in fulfilling this mandate.
“The costs of commercial properties are going up faster than residential properties,” said RA Director Barbara Aaron, stressing the need to move quickly on issues concerning the headquarters. The lease on the present RA headquarters at Isaac Newton Square expires in August of 2006.
The newly established search committee will be charged with several important advisory duties, including determining the RA’s building needs, considering all possible headquarters alternatives, reviewing prospective commercial real estate broker proposals and making recommendations to the board of directors.
“One of the components of the committee would be to have some experts,” Aaron said, who represents the Hunters Wood/Dogwood District.
AARON SUGGESTED that expert representatives from the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP) come in as a group to serve on the search committee and help the RA committee go through the process, possibly for free.
“We’d like to make a proposal [to NAIOP] by way of a letter to see if they have some people to help advise us,” Aaron said.
Aaron said that a formal process to select members of the committee has not yet started.
In addition to a wide range of real estate professionals, the search committee will be composed of one RA member, two RA board of directors, the fiscal committee chair, a fiscal committee member, the chief financial officer and the facilities advisory committee chair or the staff liaison to the facilities advisory committee.
During debate before the resolution’s vote, RA treasurer John Higgins voiced concern that only one RA member was slotted to serve on the search committee.
“I wanted to point out that there was concern in the community about how the association went about finding a [headquarters] building,” Higgins said.
“We’ve had a good number of member comments on this,” said Higgins, who wanted to be sure that the directors had given ample consideration to member representation on the search committee.
Vicky Wingert responded by explaining that the two directors on the committee not only represent their districts, but also are RA members. She said, “We want to get the best deal, too.”