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Moving Forward with Developers

Property owners at Lake Anne Village Center begin talks with developers.

Millennium Bank has had formal meetings with five different developers, Martha Green told the Reston Community Reinvestment Corporation Board at its Thursday, Feb. 9 meeting.

Green, formerly an RCRC Board member because of her position as president of the Lake Anne of Reston Condominium Association (LARCA), was voted off last year. She currently represents the bank on the RCRC Board.

“I’m seeing a building of [developer] interest,” said Green.

THE BANK HAS issued a request for information (RFI) directed to developers who might be interested in revitalization at Lake Anne.

“In the next 30 days, we will probably be able to report something, probably in executive session, regarding the RFIs we’ve sent out, which would lead to [requests for proposals],” said Green. The bank, Green said, would consider business deals for “the control of property in exchange for remuneration.”

Kurt Pronske, president of RCRC, also reported that property owners in the Lake Anne revitalization district met with representatives of KSI, Services Inc. “The meeting took place subsequent to the December [RCRC Board] meeting,” said Pronske. “Most owners were able to attend.”

Pronske said the meeting’s discussions centered on problems KSI was having trying to determine the zoning in the revitalization area, particularly what level of density would be allowed.

While at the meeting with KSI, Green said she heard an interesting, new idea. She said that KSI suggested that Lake Anne become its own zoning entity separate from the Reston Master Plan to avoid the current zoning complications. “It was a fresh idea,” said Green.

If the district became its own zoning district, it wouldn’t be restricted by existing zoning ordinance.

AFTER BRIEFLY discussing the meetings with developers, the board turned its attention to the news about the county buying Crescent Apartments, which are across the street from the village center. “Now [the county is] a very big player,” said Anne Strange, RCRC Board member.

The board applauded the county’s purchase, agreeing it would benefit revitalization efforts.

“The county’s participation is going to accelerate this process,” said Pronske.

But economics alone, said Howard Green, RCRC’s treasurer, will have to speed things up. “The [$49.5 million] price for [Crescent] is higher than the current use,” said Green, referring to the existing rental-generated revenue. Crescent comprises of 181 affordable housing units.

Howard Green’s statement was confirmed by Lee Rau, commissioner of Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (Hunter Mill), who sat in on the Feb. 9 meeting. Rau said that there is a $20 million-$22 million shortfall between the purchase price of Crescent and existing rental revenue.

“There will have to be some market-rate housing created to make the price work,” said Pronske. If so, the county may look to build additional housing on the 16.5-acre Crescent site.