Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Developer Plans Massive Mixed-Use Project in Reston

Brookfield Properties has plans to construct a massive mixed-use complex at its office park in Reston, Virginia. The developer has filed a proposal with Fairfax County to rezone two of its existing office properties to allow for the development.

The company is seeking the change for its two office buildings known as One and Two Reston Crescent, which are at the corner of Reston Parkway at 12000 and 12018 Sunrise Valley Dr and were constructed in 2007.

Brookfield’s plans call for 2,260 residential units, 1.8 million square feet of offices, and at least 64,000 square feet of retail. A 160-room hotel could also be part of the final plans.

The site is about a half-mile from the future Reston Town Center Metro station, which is scheduled to be up and running in late 2019.

One and Two Reston Crescent are in the Reston Town Center Transit Station area and designated Transit Station Mixed Use.

Development in that zone typically seeks to retain a 50/50 mix of residential and nonresidential uses at a relatively low-density 2.0 to 3.0 Floor Area Ratio.

The location is about one-half mile from JBG Companies’ Reston Heights, where the second phase of development is under construction.

VY will include 498 residential units; 145,000 square feet of above-grade retail, 100,000 square feet of below-grade retail and 428,225 square feet of office space.

It is also less than a half-mile from Reston National Golf Course, which is also seeking a zoning change to allow for large-scale development.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Pair Accused of Stealing $250,000 in Electrical Supplies

A former police officer and his wife are accused of the theft of approximately $250,000 in electrical materials from an electrical supply company in West Monroe, Louisiana. According to the arrest warrant, a manager at Elliott Electric Supply, "conspired with and aided her husband in stealing electrical supplies from the warehouse."

Paul Dunn Jr., and his wife, Martha Denese Dunn, were booked into Ouachita Correctional Center, accused of felony theft and felony criminal conspiracy.

A representative from Elliott Electric Supply said that approximately $250,000 in electrical merchandise went missing over a two-year period.

As part of the theft investigation, business inventory, invoices, order tickets, ship tickets, video surveillance, job estimates, security system logs, job blueprints, employment statements and additional documentation were examined.

Investigators found that items invoiced to Dunn's electrical contracting company, Service Electric Co., did not coincide with estimates of the materials that should have been needed on those jobs.

The arrest warrant states other electrical suppliers said Service Electric only obtained a small amount of materials from their firms during the time period investigated.

Dunn's employees told investigators they would text Dunn most evenings and detail the amount of materials needed for the next day. They would then pick the materials up at Dunn's house or he would bring it by the site the next morning, according to the arrest records.

According to the warrant, security system logs indicated from Jan. 1, 2015, to Sept. 28, 2015, Denese Dunn's scan code accessed Elliott Electric 384 times after hours. Video surveillance recordings are reported as showing Paul Dunn loading electric materials alone after closing time.

The warrant also states documentation and employee statements show some tickets and invoices to SEC were never billed or were deleted by Denese Dunn, who had started work at Elliott approximately eight years ago while Dunn started his electric business approximately three years ago.

As part of the theft investigation, police officers obtained a warrant to search Paul Dunn's phone and located photos and text messages containing electrical material lists. The lists were determined to contain estimated materials in keeping with what Dunn should have used for major jobs.

Specific missing items or items not billed delineated in the arrest warrant include a 100-Kilowatt generator valued at approximately $25,000, four smaller generators valued at $3,000 each and $90,000 in wire.

One generator was reportedly installed at the Dunn's home while another was in an ex-relatives home. It also estimated Service Electric would have used a similar quantity of wiring over the past two years.

Court documents said Paul Dunn was fired from the Monroe Police Department and charged with malfeasance in office and felony theft in 2000. On Sept. 27, 2004, he pleaded guilty to theft.

Dunn is also due in court for a trial on charges of violating a protective order, reportedly stalking his ex-wife.

Bond for Paul Dunn and Denese Dunn was set at $100,000 each for felony theft and $25,000 each for felony conspiracy.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

$98M FBI Central Records Center to be Built in VA

After nearly a decade, Congress has approved construction of a FBI records management complex in Frederick County, Virginia. Funding includes $97,853,000 for the General Services Administration that’s specifically identified to be spent on the FBI’s Central Records Complex.

The U.S. General Services Administration announced that it intends to buy a 60-acre parcel on U.S. 50 in Frederick County for the construction off the new records facility.

The agency named the property at 2117 Millwood Pike, known as Arcadia, as the preferred location for the facility over two other sites near Winchester that were under consideration.

Frederick County was selected in a comprehensive site search based on its merits largely because of its location.

It is far enough from Washington to be reasonably safe if the capital were attacked, but close enough to enable government officials to visit quickly whenever necessary.

The GSA had been considering three different parcels near Winchester on which to construct the new FBI records facility.

Frederick County fit its criteria for site selection, including its proximity to Washington, D.C., reliable transportation and communication networks, an educated work force and an absence of potential terrorist targets.

The GSA plans to buy the land this summer. The GSA will proceed with the facility’s design and begin construction in the early 2017.

When completed, the $98 million state-of-the-art facility will serve as the central repository for all FBI records and facilitate quick access to vital records and information.

It is projected that the new complex will employ approximately 1,200 people — including new positions and transfers from other FBI facilities.

These initiatives will significantly improve search and record-retrieval capabilities by increasing search accuracy; by decreasing search time; and by reducing lost files, missing serials, and the manual movement of files.

When complete, the overall impact will be to reduce even further the FBI’s pending Freedom of Information/Privacy Act numbers and processing times.

“This is good for national security, it’s good for the FBI, it’s good for the country and I think it’s good for Frederick County, too,” Rep. Frank Wolf, R-10th, said. “The FBI employs some of the finest people in the world, and you have a lot of people who work for the FBI already living out there.”

The bureau’s records center has been on the area’s list of the Ten Most Wanted economic development projects for years.

Presently, the bureau operates a records management center in leased space at 170 Marcel Drive — off Tasker Road just northwest of the Walmart Supercenter on Front Royal Pike. More than 500 people work at that site. The FBI’s 10-year lease expires in August 2016.

That GSA is recommending a 256,500 square foot facility — more than double the 106,296-square-feet it’s leasing— and 430-space parking lot. The complex would support the FBI’s current and future critical record management space needs.

Heery International has been awarded the contract to manage construction for the FBI's Central Records Complex, and assist the GSA in selection of the design/build contractor.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Explosion Damages Electrical System at Virginia Dam

A fire at Philpott Dam in Virginia destroyed equipment already slated to be replaced. One of the switches that carries electricity from the dam’s generators to the power grid exploded, causing a fire in the control room. No one was in the control room at the time.

According to Craig “Rocky” Rockwell, operations project manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the blast took place in the basement of the powerhouse along Spillway Road in Henry County.

The fire was under control within an hour, Bassett Fire Chief Junior Lynch said, although crews remained at the dam for several hours.

One firefighter was treated for an injury to his hand, Lynch said.

The explosion did not cause structural damage to the dam, Rockwell added.

The investigation into what caused the explosion is continuing. However, the switchgear system that was destroyed is in the process of being replaced with a more modern system, a project that the Army Corps of Engineers has been working on for several months.

The system that was destroyed was about 65 years old. The new system will have more modern safety features and be housed in a separate building to further minimize the chance of injuries in the event of a system failure.

It is difficult to put a dollar value on the damage, Rockwell said, considering that the switchgear that was destroyed was scheduled to be junked within weeks.

“We’re going through a multi-million dollar upgrade,” he said. “Did it really cost us any more for the system we’re replacing to go down two to three weeks earlier? … If you were going to demolish a building and some kid came in and broke all the windows out of it before they demolished it, could you really say that the kid did any damage?”

Prior to the incident, the switch-over was expected to be completed by mid-summer, but the fire will now change that timeline.

Dominion Power customers will not notice any changes in the meantime, because the utility will simply draw power from its other sources, which is a fairly common occurrence.

Because the dam will not be generating power for the next several weeks, the Corps will work with its water management team to determine a set level of flow that will maintain a steady level in both Philpott Lake and the Smith River.

As of now, there will be no power generation at the dam until the new switchgear building is completed and the new equipment brought online.

The investigation into what happened will continue.