What’s Happening in 2016 in Herndon?

What’s Happening in 2016 in Herndon?

Del. Jennifer Boysko (D) defeated Danny Vargas (R)  in the open seat created by retirement of Del. Tom Rust (R-86). She begins her role on Jan. 12.

Del. Jennifer Boysko (D) defeated Danny Vargas (R) in the open seat created by retirement of Del. Tom Rust (R-86). She begins her role on Jan. 12. Photo by Ken Moore.

Historic Downtown: Next Steps

Following the purchase of the Ashwell property which created a contiguous 4.675 acres of Town-owned land in Herndon’s downtown, the Town issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) on Nov. 2, 2015.

The town’s vision for the redevelopment calls for four-story (mixed-use/residential) and three-story (mixed-use/commercial) structures, a jointly-funded public/private parking structure, and an 18,000-square-foot arts center, among other features.

Initial proposals are due in February 2016.

The process will be executed in two phases: an initial concept phase, open to all proposers, and a detailed phase, open to proposers upon invitation following review of initial concept phase proposals.

Additional information, including the complete RFP, is available on the town’s website at www.herndon-va.gov. Interested proposers may contact Dennis Holste, economic development manager, at dennis.holste@herndon-va.gov.

According to the RFP, Herndon: “hereby solicits submission of proposals for the redevelopment of 4.675 acres of land in historic downtown Herndon into an attractive, mixed-use development, including a parking structure in which the Town has fee interest to a minimum of 220 spaces. The Town envisions a development of excellent design and quality providing the historic town core with additional vitality while respecting and reflecting the heritage of the downtown,” according to Town documents. “The Town envisions these benefits to be utilized to develop a superb environment for outdoor pedestrian enhancements including outdoor dining and passive and programmed activities. The site also benefits by being within 1.5 miles of the future Silver Line Herndon Metro Station. The Town will have circulator bus service from the downtown to the future Metro station.”

The Town of Herndon gives residents the opportunity to track progress on the downtown projects on its website www.herndon.va-gov.

Herndon purchased 1.67 acres of land in Herndon’s historic downtown from Ashwell, LLC for $3.519 million.

The Town already owned the municipal parking lot and the parking lot parcel containing ArtSpace. But the Elden Street front property, that had been occupied by the Subaru dealership, affected the value of the Town’s land as well as Herndon’s plans for all of the downtown.

“The Town of Herndon has been envisioning a comprehensive redevelopment in our downtown for decades,” said Mayor Lisa Merkel. “Until this purchase, however, we have been limited in our ability to effectively position downtown Herndon for comprehensive redevelopment, as much of the necessary land was under private ownership.”


The Town continues to prepare for the coming of the Silver Line, which will help make Herndon, “A Next Generation Small Town.”

Preparing for Silver Line

Herndon continues to prepare for the future Metrorail station in Herndon.

”Herndon is ready,” said Mayor Lisa Merkel, regarding Herndon’s future Silver Line stop. Merkel dubbed Herndon, “A Next Generation Small Town.”

“We are so fortunate,” she said. “This is a huge project, one of the biggest infrastructure projects in the country. There aren’t many towns that can get involved in projects like this.”

The Washington Metropolitan Airports Authority recently projected cost of Phase I, the 11.7 mile segment of the Silver Line with five stops, to be $2.982 billion.

Construction is hoped to begin on Herndon’s future Silver Line Stop in 2016 with its opening by 2019-2020, according to a talk Merkel gave in May.

The entire Silver Line will be a 23-mile extension of the existing Metrorail system from East Falls Church, with current stations in Tysons and Reston, and additional stops in Reston, Herndon and eventually to Washington Dulles International Airport west to Ashburn.

The Herndon Town Council approved 38 acres to be set aside for its future Metro stop in February 2012.

“It’s the right space, we could never consider that in any other part in town,” said Merkel.

Merkel called the Silver Line the “economic engine for the next 50 to 100 years.”

Herndon has more than 1,100 businesses and four corporate headquarters in town. Herndon anticipates attracting additional businesses and perhaps a campus or satellite campus in the future.

“We want to make sure we capitalize on this opportunity,” she said.

Rust Retires, Boysko Begins

Long-time Herndon resident Jennifer Boysko (D) will succeed Tom Rust (R), who announced his retirement as 86th District delegate last spring. Boysko won the 86th District with 54.46 percent of the votes over Danny Vargas, who received 42.01 percent of the vote.

Before serving in Virginia’s House of Delegates, Rust was Herndon’s mayor from 1976-1984 and again from 1990-2001. Before he was Herndon’s mayor, he served on its Town Council from 1971-1976.

“It’s already been an incredible learning experience,” said Boysko, in an interview election night after election results came in.

“I’ve talked to literally thousands of people in my district, listening to what they need, what are their concerns,” she said.

Boysko served as Supervisor John Foust’s legislative aide, and worked on many Herndon issues.

“She’s an amazingly hard worker, she’s smart, she cares about people and doing great things, and she’s in public service for all the right reasons,” said Foust.

The Virginia General Assembly will meet for 60 days in Richmond beginning Jan. 12.

Talk to the General Assembly

The Fairfax County delegation to the Virginia General Assembly will hold a hearing for public comment on the upcoming 2016 session on Saturday, Jan. 9, beginning at 9 a.m. at the Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax.

Residents who want to sign up in advance to speak at the hearing should contact the Office of the Clerk to the Board of Supervisors at 703-324-3151, TTY 711, by noon on Friday, Jan. 8.

The Virginia General Assembly will meet for 60 days in Richmond beginning Jan. 12.

First Fall Election

Herndon's Council adopted an ordinance in March moving Herndon's next Town election to November 2016. Herndon's local elections had taken place in May since the Town was incorporated in 1879.

At Herndon precincts, between 75-80 percent of registered voters turned out for the November 2012 presidential election year, and approximately 38-45 percent turned out during the midterm elections in November 2010, according to town records. In general, 20-25 percent of registered voters turn out for elections when they are in May.

For more information, visit http://www.herndon-va.gov/Content/Government/Town_Council/town_elections/default.aspx.


The vehicles and equipment have long had a tight fit at Herndon Station #4. Steps are now underway for a renovation process for a new facility to replace the building on Spring Street in Herndon. Completion is expected in summer 2016.

New Fire Station

Herndon’s new 14,500-square-foot fire station at 680 Spring Street is estimated to be completed this summer, according to Town documents.

The temporary fire station is housed at 791 Elden Street.

Congressional Race

U.S. Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-10) is serving her first term in Congress, elected following the retirement of long-time Congressman Frank Wolf.

Comstock is up for reelection in November, and will face Democrat LuAnn Bennett, who describes herself as a small business owner and working mother who has lived in Northern Virginia for more than 30 years.

Virginia Congressional District 10 includes McLean, Great Falls, Herndon, Chantilly, Lorton and some other parts of Fairfax County.

Route 7 Widening

Throughout January, teams from the Virginia Department of Transportation will meet with Amberwoods, Bradley Oaks, Lockmeade, Locust Hill homeowners and Shouse Village homeowners association, as well as the Towlston Meadow Community Association, about plans to widen Route 7.

VDOT cancelled its two day Public Information and Open House Meeting scheduled for Jan. 8 and 9, but information meetings and hearings are tentatively planned for later in the winter and spring.

The $265 million project would widen 6.9 miles of Route 7 in 2021, increasing from four to six lanes between Reston Avenue and Jarrett Valley Drive.

VDOT hopes for approval of the design from the Virginia Commonwealth Transportation Board in the summer of 2016.

Safety accessing the road remains a major concern to neighborhoods along Route 7 corridor.

See www.ConnectRoute7.org.