No Condos South of Market

No Condos South of Market

Boston Properties drops bid for residential use in Town Center.

In a tangible sign of the weakening condo market, Boston Properties has dropped its bid to build residential space in the Reston Town Center.

The commercial office developer had initiated plans last fall to build as many as 400 condominiums in the Reston Town Center, in an area which had until recently served as a parking lot across from Big Bowl.

But a combination of events led to the developer dropping the bid for residential space, said Pete Otteni, a vice-president at Boston Properties.

The developer found a tenant, Otteni said, and negotiations with a residential developer fell through. “Certainly the softening in the condo market contributed to the decision,” he said.

The Boston condo project, along with three others had been part of a potential for nearly 1,400 units in the central area of Reston. The other three projects are still moving forward.

Boston, which has already begun construction, will put up an office complex consisting of two 10-story buildings, one six-story building and one eight-story building. Each of these buildings will have retail on the ground floor, similar to the rest of the town center, Otteni said.

The buildings will total about 860,000 square feet, Otteni said. The parking lots which will be lost to the buildings held about 450 spaces. However, the new buildings will have parking garages with about 2,300 spaces. Boston doesn’t have plans to charge for parking, but Otteni left open the possibility that they might do so sometime in the future.

Boston expects to complete the first phase of the project, one of the 10-story buildings and the six-story building in early 2008. The tenant will be NII holdings, an international telecommunications firm, Otteni said. He said that the Reston offices will become the company’s global headquarters.

According Morningstar, an investment research company, NII holdings operates primarily in Latin American countries where Nextel Communications previously had the right to operate.