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Multifamily Housing in Reston: Too Many Luxury Units?

**According to the George Mason Center for Regional Analysis,  although new rental housing construction has “increased in the region over the past three years, it has been increasingly high-end rental units located in particular submarkets.”  In order for multifamily housing to continue to be successful, there need to be enough units to appeal to residents at all price points.

This may be food for thought for local developers who are eying Reston as a place for hundreds, even thousands, of multifamily units as Reston morphs into a transit-oriented community.

New buildings in Reston include:

  • The Avant at Reston Town Center (359 rental units)
  • The Harrison (slated to open later this year on Reston Parkway; 362 units)
  • The BLVD (recently began construction at Reston Station; 450 units)

There are also multifamily buildings planned for Reston Heights (498 units) , Fairway (804 units), Crescent/Lake Anne (935 units) and the Lake Anne Fellowship House site (425 units).

The Harrison, which is currently being built right on the other side of Reston Parkway from the Reston Town Center
The Harrison, which is currently being built right on the other side of Reston Parkway from the Reston Town Center

Changes to the Reston Master Plan, which were approved by Fairfax County Supervisors earlier this week, allow for up to 27,900 units of residential development (including existing), an increase of 14,695 from the previous plan.

Is Reston ready for that many units, especially if they come with luxury-sized rents?  The newer Reston properties are commanding a high price.  At the Avant, for instance, amenities such as granite counters and an on-site yoga room start at $2,157 a month for a studio apartment.  A two-bedroom costs more than $2,800 a month.  The other buildings under construction are expected to have similarly high rents.

While a certain number of Reston’s new units will be set aside as affordable housing, the report says developers will need to be more flexible as the needs of those who seek to live in multifamily buildings change.  Many middle-income residents and families who may have formerly opted for a single-family home will seek to live in multifamily housing close to a transit station and amenities, the CRA report says.

“Although much of the recent multifamily housing development in the Washington region has focused on one- and two-adult households under 35 years old that have dominated the submarkets in The District, Arlington County, and Alexandria, multifamily housing will need to change in order to meet the demands of an increasingly diverse market,” says the report.

“Multifamily housing, whether rental or owner-occupied, is no longer the housing of last resort. Increasingly, residents choose these options to be closer to jobs, shopping, restaurants, and parks; to reduce maintenance responsibilities inherent in single-family homeownership; or to allow for greater flexibility and mobility in employment. Further, for many households traditional ownership may not be accessible due to wage levels, salary instability, or lack of affordable financing.”

Are you looking to rent or own in Reston?  I would be thrilled to help you!  To start your search for homes, townhomes, condos and rentals in Reston CLICK HERE.

– Casey Menish, Realtor
(571) 426-8567
The E4Realty Group of RE/MAX Gateway
42365 Soave Drive, Suite 200, Ashburn VA 20148

**Information from an article titled “GMU Report Says New Housing Needs To Keep Range of Incomes in Mind” by Karen Goff of Reston Now

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