Last May news broke that Meridian, a real estate investment company based in Bethesda, was purchasing the property that contains parts of the headquarters for both SAIC and Booz Allen. The sale also corresponded with plans for SAIC to split off a component of their business, Leidos, to Reston and thereby reducing their future office growth.
At the time SAIC was half way through the rezoning process to convert the acres of office surface parking into a mixed use community. When Meridian purchased the property they had full intentions to move forward with the concept. Although the project has yet to be approved, once it is, the real estate company will likely be more ambitious in schedule than SAIC re-purposing the property.
The company is well aware that perception could be the largest obstacle to transforming the property. With thousands of high paying jobs within a stones throw, the commute will be an obvious advantage, but the lack of urban amenities and retail in this corner of town will take investment to improve.
Part of the solution will be a new seasonal farmer’s market which will begin this May, but Meridian is being even more proactive in bringing real changes to town. The embodiment of this attitude is their plans for a new parklet, at the corner of Solutions and Greensboro Drive, which already is one of the hottest spots in town to see the areas premier food trucks.
The park will remove a handful of glut parking spaces that are unnecessary and turn them into a place for employees to gather, grab some food, and otherwise take a break. Meridian has plans on making the parklet permanent and part of their final rezoning plans, so they aren’t cheaping out. Solar powered cell phone chargers, new shade trees, and a central space to exhibit the latest local art are evidence that Meridian has plans for something great.