BXP Doubles Down on Office Plans for Reston Town Center in Va.

The REIT wants to build 45% more office than it previously applied for.

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Office market woes are hard to ignore these days, particularly in big coastal cities like Washington, D.C. Yet, the developer behind a large mixed-use project in nearby Northern Virginia is going in the other direction and doubling down with a plan for even more office space in the years ahead. 

BXP, the real estate investment trust formerly known as Boston Properties, submitted proposals with Fairfax County, Va., earlier this week to redevelop about a dozen acres next to its 4 million-square-foot Reston Town Center mixed-use district in Reston, Va. The plans call for  five all-new properties with a combined footprint of 2.1 million square feet in place of two existing buildings and a parking lot, according to Business Journals, which first reported the news.

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BXP’s new application for the redevelopment site, which sits across the street from the Reston Town Center Metro station, specifically notes 930,000 square feet of office space, rather than the 643,000 square feet of office previously approved by the county. The application covers the second phase of Reston Next, which is the district’s current expansion project. BXP is nearing completion of the first phase of Reston Next, per Business Journals, which includes two other trophy offices, a multifamily building and a hotel. 

To tack on that amount of square footage for office, BXP dramatically reduced the space reserved for retail, residential, restaurant and hotel in its plans by about 371,000 square feet, per Business Journals

Such a major bet on office is unusual these days. While overall office vacancy for Reston is currently 26.9 percent, according to a newly released market report from CBRE, the vacancy rate at Reston Town Center is just 4 percent, per Business Journals, citing BXP’s latest earnings report. 

A representative for BXP did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Nick Trombola can be reached at ntrombola@commercialobserver.com.