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The McLean-based developer, the Jefferson Apartment Group, purchased the Tall Oaks Center in December 2014. The shopping center was approved for a redevelopment project that will include a mix of residential and commercial uses. Tall Oaks is situated within about a mile of the new Wiehle-Reston East Metro station. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved the final redevelopment plan on July 26, 2016.
Initial community meetings were held on April 23 and 27, 2015 to allow residents to ask questions and voice concerns to the McLean development company. The group provided a brief overview of the center's history along with a proposed conceptual plan for redevelopment. As a result of those public meetings and feedback from residents of the area, Fairfax County Supervisor, Cathy Hudgins, and the Jefferson Apartment Group hosted an open house on June 22, 2015 to share a revised proposal for the village center. Additional retail space and a larger plaza were added to the updated site plan. Download the initial and revised proposals by clicking on links on the right side of this page.
RA Board President, Ellen Graves, was authorized by the Board of Directors on Aug. 5, 2015 to send a letter (link to download the letter located in the top right column of this page) to Fairfax County Hunter Mill District Supervisor, Catherine Hudgins, and Planning Commissioner, Frank de la Fe, requesting changes in the redevelopment plan for the Tall Oaks Village Center. Click the link on the right to read the reply from Hudgins to the RA board president. The RA board wants the developer, the Jefferson Apartment Group, to meet the Urban Land Institute’s defined standards for public plazas and meeting areas (see below for more information).
Jefferson Apartment Group submitted its redevelopment package to Fairfax County in October,2015, and it was accepted for review by the county's planning staff. A link to these plans can be found on the right side of this page.
On Dec. 16, 2015, members of Reston Association's board advisory committees and staff held a public meeting with a representative from JAG to review the submitted zoning application plans and compile the association's comments on the plans. A link to RA's comments is available in the right column of this page.
In the spring of 2016, a retail marketing analysis done on behalf of Tall Oaks Village Center developer concluded that a grocery store anchor is not a viable option to include in the redevelopment project. The report by JAG’s real estate consultant, Robert Charles Lesser & Co. (RCLCO), was presented at a May 10, 2016 community meeting at the Tall Oaks site. Click the links on the right to read the analysis or download the May presentation.
The Fairfax County Planning Commission unanimously approved the JAG plan on July 21, 2016 before sending it on to the county Board of Supervisors, which approved the plan on July 26, 2016. On November 15, 2016, the RA Design Review Board approved exterior changes to the commercial buildings that will remain on the Tall Oaks Village Center site.
Tall Oaks is one of five village centers in Reston. The other village centers include North Point, South Lakes, Lake Anne and Hunters Woods. Most centers combine residential and retail areas and are within walking distance for residents.
The Reston Association Board of Directors has endorsed the Urban Land Institute's (ULI) definition of public realms as essential to the redevelopment of any village center in Reston. Below is ULI's definition of successful public spaces:
"A successful public realm is one in which commerce, social interaction, and leisure time activities may mix easily in an attractive, pedestrian-friendly, outdoor setting. People are drawn by the simple enjoyment of being there. If that enjoyment is to be felt, the public realm and public spaces must be well designed and programmed.
The public realm is open to programs that are significant to the community such as charity events, holiday events, and civic events. It becomes a true public place, taking on a life of its own. As part of the community that goes beyond simple commerce or public relations, it ultimately becomes a place with a history. The public realm should allow for the integration of the people, the place, and the larger community."