Reston Town Center
Reston Town Center is located six miles east of Washington Dulles International Airport and 21 miles west of Washington, D.C., just north of Exit 12 (Reston Parkway) off the Dulles Toll Road (VA-267).
Construction of the Silver Line of the Washington Metro rapid transit system is currently underway and will improve public transportation access to the center directly with the opening of the Reston Town Center station in 2016.
Reston Town Center is designed with open avenues and with wide sidewalks. It is built around Fountain Square, a medium-sized open area between the surrounding shops. The main landmark in Fountain Square is Mercury Fountain, designed by Saint Clair Cemin. Directly in front of Mercury Fountain is Market Street, and across the street is the Pavilion. The Pavilion doubles as a covered open-air ice rink during the winter and as a concert and event venue throughout the rest of the year. To the left and right of the Fountain along Market Street are the One Fountain Square and Two Fountain Square buildings, respectively, with the One & Two Freedom Square buildings a little further down past One Fountain Square. The center is surrounded by street parking and several parking garages.
According to its official web site, Reston Town Center combines elements of the ideal downtown, the "vitality of an Italian piazza and the diversity of a French boulevard." The popular spot in the Northern Virginia suburb of Reston is the closest thing to a "downtown" in the area and continues to expand, attracting new residential and business clients with ease. It now boasts more than 50 retail shops and 30 restaurants. In addition, Reston Town Center has a 13-screen cinema which was recently renovated and a Hyatt Regency hotel.
Since the most recent phase of construction in 2009, Reston Town Center, in the past known more so for its shopping, dining, and entertainment, has developed into an equally desirable location for businesses and residences. Among brand name companies who now have offices at Reston Town Center are Google and Rolls-Royce North America. Meanwhile, high-rise condominiums have led to an influx of young professionals, creating a city-like downtown atmosphere.
Readers of Northern Virginia Magazine chose Reston Town Center for its 2008 top ten list "Hip to be Where." Dubbed a "downtown for the 21st century," the appeal and pull of Reston Town Center should continue to grow with the expansion of Metro service's new Silver Line.
Reston Town Center was conceived and planned starting in the late 1970s by Mobil Land Development for approximately 460 acres of undeveloped land near Dulles International Airport. Construction of the town center began in 1988, over 20 years after the founding of Reston in 1964 by Robert E. Simon.
Phase 1 of construction started the center off with two 11-story office buildings, One Fountain Square and Two Fountain Square, along with smaller office/retail buildings and the Hyatt Regency hotel. This phase opened in October 1990 and consisted of the area located between Reston Parkway and Library Street.
Phase 2 consists of the 18-story One Freedom Square and 16-story Two Freedom Square (both built in 2000). The remainder of Phase 2 would remain undeveloped until the three South of Market buildings and a nine-level parking garage were built and opened in 2009 by Boston Properties. One, Two and Three South of Market buildings are 10, 6, and 10 stories, respectively. Immediately following the opening of the garage, an additional 8-story office building, Democracy Tower, was constructed above and now serves as offices for College Board. Phase 2 is located between Library Street and Explorer Street.
Phase 3, is home to three residential highrises (finished in mid-2006), Reston Town Square Park, and The Avant apartment building (currently under construction). Phase 3 is located between Explorer Street and Town Center Parkway.
- Michael P. Russell (7/17/2011), Reston Town Center—Soft Programming Makes Good Public Space Design Great, UrbDeZine
- Ward, Alan (June 1, 2006). Reston Town Center: Downtown for the 21st Century (1st ed. ed.). Academy Press. p. 218 pp. ISBN 0-9728575-1-6.
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