Let’s say that an application were to be filed with the appropriate county authorities to build a 10,000-person sports stadium and entertainment complex at the Reston Town Center. What do you think might happen? Would the local residences and businesses there welcome the sporting arena to their neighborhood with open arms, or would they be so outraged at the idea that they would organize to have the plan defeated?
The question isn’t so far-fetched. The owners of One Loudoun have stated that their project was being modeled similarly to the Reston Town Center wherein proposed retail tenants were to be high end, their proposed restaurant tenants upscale and their one-family residences surrounding the project priced in the half-million-dollar-plus price range. Well, if getting high-end retail tenants into the project was indeed the plan all along, why would One Loudoun wish to radically compromise that concept by introducing a sports and entertainment complex into their project when by all accounts a sporting arena will serve only to do the very opposite.
The same goes for future large corporate office tenants. Does any informed person really think by adding a sports arena to an office complex wherein an additional 5,000 to 10,000 sporting fans will be allowed to jockey their cars around the project’s parking lots, that that would encourage better corporate and retail tenants to lease space in the project and pay the owners a premium in rent and/or in leasehold pass-through charges? It is hard to believe that this sporting arena concept would ever work at Reston Town Center. By extension, it’s also hard to believe that it would work at One Loudoun.
We all know that current economic times are tough and that many businesses are struggling. So it would not be surprising if One Loudoun found it necessary to change its original upscale concept to one that is less chic. What would be surprising, however, is the county supervisors going along with One Loudoun’s proposed land use changes, knowing full well that a sports arena and entertainment complex will only add increased traffic, noise and pollution to the surrounding area’s residential communities. Since there already is an approved site for that very same sporting arena to be built approximately one mile away, a site which local residences appear to be satisfied with, there is absolutely no need for the County to approve a second arena in such close proximity to the first one without a few eyebrows being raised.