Tysons Corner, VA

If you stop by Founding Farmers Tysons, be sure to offer congratulations to manager Paris Twyman for her recent nomination as “Manager of the Year” for the 2019 RAMMY Awards.

The RAMMY Awards are an annual competition hosted by the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington to celebrate excellence in local restaurants.

Taco Bamba Taqueria, which started in Falls Church and now has locations throughout Northern Virginia and D.C., was also nominated for two awards.

The restaurant was nominated for “Favorite Fast Bites of the Year” and owner Victor Albisu was nominated as “Restaurateur of the Year.”

Photo via Founding Farmers

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The Jones Branch Connector is coming along, though construction has necessitated a series of weekend closures over the last few weeks.

A video put together by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) laid out the goals of the Jones Branch Connector and a look at what’s ahead for the project.

The project first had a partial opening in December — with one lane of traffic opening in each direction — giving drivers a preview of the bridge that will connect east and west Tysons. According to the video, new bike lanes and sidewalks are planned to open sometime in the spring and a second lane opening in each direction.

“VDOT and Fairfax County have really partnered together to improve transportation in Tysons,” William Cuttler, a VDOT engineer, said in the video. “This $60 million project is going to go a long way to provide multimodal connections and helping to transform this city.”

Cuttler said the connection will aim to not only benefit drivers looking to cross over the Beltway, but also offer residents of western Tysons quicker access to the McLean Metro station at the east end of the bridge.

“Currently the Beltway operates as almost a barrier between the east side of Tysons and the west side,” Tom Biesiadny, director of the Fairfax County Department of Transportation, said in the video, “so building additional connection across the Beltway is really important.”

Mike McGurk, from Transurban corporate relations, said the Jones Branch Connector would also help the accessibility of the I-495 Express Lanes.

The project is expected to be completed this fall.

Photo via VDOT

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South American chicken chain Pollos Keiko has opened its first American location — “Keiko Charcoal Chicken” — this week at 235 Maple Ave E. in Vienna.

The restaurant offers a variety of chicken options, from quarter-portions for $5.49 to whole chickens and three sides for $24.99, as well as salads, sandwiches, and sides like rice and plantains.

Nelson Barrios, one of the partners opening the restaurant, repeated the old real estate axiom for opening in Vienna: “location, location, location.” Barrios said he didn’t see anything quite like Keiko available in Vienna. (Don Pollo, a Peruvian chicken chain that opened a few blocks south in January, said the same thing).

Barrios said, for the most part, it was easy to get started in Vienna, though some of the administrative issues along the way were stressful.

“But once that’s done, you get to the fun part,” Barrios said. “It’s the reason someone wants to open a restaurant in the first place.”

Barrios encouraged Vienna residents to come in and try the chicken. Among the sides, Barrios said one of the more unique was “Tallarin Saltado” — a Peruvian stir fry noodle dish with green peppers and onions.

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Welcome to Luxury For Less, a weekly column highlighting the best deals in luxury real estate. Written by Brandy Schantz of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty, Luxury For Less offers tips and tricks navigating the competitive real estate market and securing the home of your dreams. To learn more, visit ttrsir.com.

Urban Turf, a local D.C. real estate blog, wrote an article in December of 2015 declaring that $2 Million is the new $1 Million in D.C.

They wrote this article based on a blog post by District Measured that asserted $1 million should not be used as a threshold for the luxury market because it is now too commonplace. The Tysons Corner area is certainly not Washington, D.C. but the real estate market is quickly becoming just as expensive, maybe just with some extra space.

It’s difficult to define luxury because it is so subjective. When I moved out of my college dorm room into an apartment, that two-bedroom apartment with its own kitchen and my own bathroom was luxury as far as I was concerned. As I’ve aged, I now look at luxury with a different lens; high-end professional appliances, great location, my own gym in the house and separate closets and bathrooms for me and my husband.

I have worked with clients whose idea of luxury is no less than an unobstructed view of the Potomac and every luxury imaginable including a wine cellar, elevator in the home, a kitchen for the family and another one for the caterer, and private space for each member of the family and guests.

District Measured’s Steve Giachetti justified the new threshold with the fact that in 2015, over 18 percent of all single-family home sales in the District were over $1 million compared to 3 percent in 2001. In that same year, only four percent of homes in the District were over $2 million, making it a more “luxurious” price point.

In the Tysons Corner area, which I’m defining as Falls Church, McLean, Vienna and Great Falls, there are currently 557 detached homes on the market. Detached homes are most often considered the standard for suburban living so I’m using this type of home for the purposes of looking at luxury in our area. The lowest priced detached home currently on the market is priced at $437,000 in Falls Church. The highest priced detached home currently on the market is priced at $24 million in McLean. The chart below shows the breakdown of detached homes currently on the market in the area.

Over half of all detached homes currently on the market are listed for between $1 million and $2 million. Since only 30% of detached homes on the market are under $1 million while almost a quarter are over $2 million, it may even be said that luxury in the Tysons Corner, that $3 million is the new $1 million.

Don’t worry, there are still deals to be found and there are still some pretty great homes on the market well under $2 million. This week I’m featuring a home that I also featured last week with an amazing backyard. 8518 Wedderburn Station is now below $2 million and still just as breathtaking.

Check out all of this week’s Luxury for Less listings:

The properties listed are a small selection of properties available in the Tyson’s Corner area. For a full list of properties listed on MLS and private exclusives, please contact Brandy Schantz.

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UrbanStems may be gone from the BrandBox pop-up, but those looking for a little more greenery around Tysons Corner Center can look forward to a new “indoor garden oasis” coming to the mall this weekend.

Mall owner Macerich Properties partnered with Bloomia, a cut flower farm, to create “Field of Tulips” — an indoor garden in the mall’s Fashion Court.

According to a press release:

Guests can wander the garden featuring a variety of tulips in different shapes and colors, all hydroponically grown in the USA. The flowers can be picked and purchased with 10 percent of proceeds benefiting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the local charity handpicked by Tysons Corner.

The Field of Tulips garden is scheduled to be in place from March 22-24. The garden is free to enter and is open from 10 a.m.- 9:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and from 11 a.m.- 7 p.m. on Sunday, according to the press release.

Photo via Tysons Corner Center

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Five months after it was destroyed in a fire, the ruined husk of the Marco Polo restaurant building in Vienna has finally been completely demolished.

It’s unclear when demolition began, but by March 19 most of the rubble had been removed from the site.

The restaurant was originally built in 1954. In 2015, local developer Doug D’Alexander applied to have the lot redeveloped as Vienna Market, but the application failed. A more scaled-down version was presented in 2017 and was approved.

The development plans were complicated an alleged intentionally-set fire that gutted the building. Two teenagers were later arrested and charged with setting the fire as part of a vandalism spree.

The charred remains were left as a visible blight along Maple Avenue, though Vienna staff said plans for development are still in the works.

In January, Cindy Petkac, director of planning and zoning for the Town of Vienna, said the building was expected to be demolished within the month.

Vienna residents remembered the building, a longtime local prom-date spot, fondly.

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Dockless electronic scooters are coming to Fairfax County.

Lime scooters will soon be released on the streets of Vienna, Merrifield and Falls Church, according to a press release.

“We’re thrilled to expand our footprint in the DMV area and to begin serving Fairfax, providing accessible, affordable mobility options to riders across the city,” Sean Arroyo, Lime’s regional general manager, said in a press release. “We couldn’t be more excited to integrate ourselves into the community and to begin working with local leaders to help achieve their sustainability and accessibility goals.”

Users can use the Lime app to locate the nearest scooter, then scan the QR code on the handlebars or baseboard to use it. Users are encouraged to ride in bike lanes and wear helmets.

Scooters cost $1 to unlock and 15 cents per minute to ride. Rides are finished in the app to be parked at a street curb or bike rack. Riders must be 18 years or older.

E-scooters are popular in major cities D.C., and are already ubiquitous in close-in suburbs like Arlington, but the hoards of abandoned scooters left haphazardly strewn across the streets has also drawn some criticism or even dramatic acts of vandalism.

In addition to Vienna, Falls Church and Merrifield, Lime says it is also bringing scooters to George Mason University and the City of Fairfax.

Photo via Facebook

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Fairfax County Police are holding an anti-DUI and alcohol awareness event at Langley High School in McLean today.

The event, which is being held from 9 a.m. to noon, is timed to coincide with some key moments on the school calendar.

More from FCPD:

Prom and graduation season are quickly approaching, and we want to remind teens about the importance of being responsible at celebrations. We are partnering with Fairfax County Public Schools by hosting our Spring Drug and Alcohol Awareness Program.

Juniors and seniors at Langley High School will be given the opportunity to wear physical impairment goggles while being tested on both simple and complex tasks, such as driving a wheelchair through a cone course or going through a mock sobriety check with our officers. Students will also learn about Virginia’s underage drinking laws and the consequences for breaking them, as well as the physical and mental dangers that often come with underage drinking.

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In the middle of the hustle and bustle of the Tysons Corner Center mall, a space that offers a moment of calm has opened up.

On the first floor of the mall, “The Lounge” is a free respite from the noise and consumerism of the rest of the mall. Five chair swings are scattered across the room with boxes providing outlets for charging. The chairs are fairly secluded, offering privacy for work or a quick mid-day respite.

The lounge is part of Brandbox, a suite of rotating stores which opened in November.

The location is still working out some kinks, like spotty wi-fi and an occasionally glitchy TV. There was also no staff available at the location today and the reaction from most passersby was confusion, with several wandering into the back of the facility by accident.

In addition to the free relaxation, one Brandbox retailer is offering an experience this week that promises to be an alternative to the usual mall hubbub.

On Thursday (March 21), cosmetics store Winky Lux is scheduled to host a demonstration event. Admission costs $10, but attendees are given a $10 Winky Lux gift card and other goodies.

“We’ll be offering product demos from 5-7 p.m.,” the online-oriented retailer said on the event page. “Matcha themed refreshments from Kung Fu Tea and Lolli & Pops and goodie bags to the first 25 attendees!”

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(Updated 9 a.m.) — Metro ridership may be in free fall overall, but at least in the Tysons area ridership is continuing to climb.

Three of the four stations in the Tysons area saw increased ridership in the last few months of 2018 as compared to the year before.

The McLean Metro station saw the largest increase in ridership, rising 18.6 percent over the last year. The station is located close to the Capital One headquarters, which opened late last year.

The Greensboro Metro station, meanwhile, saw an increase of 10.8 percent, while ridership at the Tysons Corner station increased 3.9 percent. The stats, compiled by the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission, compare ridership in October, November and December of 2018 with the same period in 2017.

The Wiehle-Reston East Metro station saw the highest overall ridership among Silver Line-only stations, with over 1 million rides during the three-month period. The station is the furthest point west on the Silver Line.

The only Tysons stop with a decline in ridership was the Spring Hill station, which declined 2.9 percent. There is very little in walkable proximity to the Spring Hill station, though plans are in the works for several new developments east of the site and a few to the west.

Stations on the Orange Line did not fare as well. While the West Falls Church Metro station saw a 4.1 percent increase in late 2018 as compared to late 2017, Dunn Loring and the Vienna Metro stations saw a 1.1 and 1.4 percent respective decrease in ridership.

Professor Frank Shafroth, director of the Center for State and Local Leadership at George Mason University, told Tysons Reporter earlier that the high Metro ridership in Tysons is likely a result of the area’s notorious traffic, though car remains the more popular for commutes than Metro.

Photo via Twitter

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