Tysons Corner, VA

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.

It’s been quite a busy year but the market finally appears to be slowing just a bit.

Teachers are hard at work getting ready for the school year to begin and Fairfax County schools will officially start back next week. This means that sellers are getting serious before the holiday season is upon us and the market slows to a crawl. This week’s featured home is a wow home for sure. Who needs to leave home when you have a 5,000 bottle wine cellar, a gym, a bar, a recreation room and a backyard to die for.

This home in Great Falls is a stunner and is now reduced in price by nearly a half million dollars. Enjoy peace and tranquility next to your koi pond and truly get away from the hustle and bustle.

9110 Dara Lane Great Falls (Reduced $450,000)

Check out the rest 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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A Vienna native has opened a new hair studio in downtown Vienna.

Sundown and Rise Up filled the former space of the Maple Avenue Market, which closed in February after nearly 10 years in downtown Vienna.

David McCarthy, the owner and stylist, grew up in Vienna and went to George Mason University before pursuing hairstyling, according to his bio on the salon’s website.

Sundown and Rise Up offers haircuts, blow-drys, coloring, highlights and balayage services.

The website describes Sundown and Rise Up as “a truly unique, open, creative, art-centered workspace in the heart of Vienna.”

The salon’s hours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Tuesdays, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Fridays and 8 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturdays.

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Mothers Out Front Fairfax, the local climate change branch of a national movement, is advocating for electric school buses in Fairfax County.

More than 40 people gathered at a room in the Patrick Henry Library (101 E. Maple Avenue) in the Town of Vienna for the “Clean Buses for Kids” campaign launch last evening (Tuesday).

Bobby Monacella, the co-leader of Mothers Out Front Fairfax and the mother of two kids attending the county’s public schools, told the attendees that electric buses seem like a “no brainer.”

“They are safer. They’re healthier. They are less expensive to expensive to operate. The maintenance is much less. The cost of electricity versus diesel is much less,” Monacella said.

She added that the push for electric school buses needs to start now because of the life cycle of diesel school buses.

“It made us realize we simply can’t buy one more diesel school bus because it lasts us 15 years and with the cost of fuel emissions, our kids’ future can’t wait for that,” she said.

Since electric school buses don’t have an engine, muffler or alternator that requires tune-ups, the lifetime fuel and maintenance savings over diesel buses total $170,000, according to a Mothers Out Front Fairfax press release.

Some places around the country have already made the switch from diesel to electric school fleets, including schools in California and New York.

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) runs one of the largest school bus fleets in the U.S. with more than 1,600 buses.

Karl Frisch, the Democratic candidate for the Providence District seat on the FCPS School Board, said that a switch to electric buses would attract companies, further diversifying businesses in the county.

Pat Hynes, who represents the Hunter Mill District on the school board, told Tysons Reporter that the cost of switching to electric buses is the main challenge facing the school board.

“I think it really comes down to the upfront cost not only for the buses, which are three times more expensive than the diesel buses, there’s also an investment that has to made in the infrastructure,” Hynes said, adding that the buses would need chargers.

Hynes said that “it’s a win, win, win” if the local government partners with the state government and also the local utility company to help defray the upfront costs.

Overall, Hynes said she thinks the school board will support the campaign as long as the electric buses aren’t more expensive than diesel-fueled ones in the long term.

“Every statement that the board has made in the last couple years in favor of taking some leadership on climate change has been supported almost unanimously,” Hynes said.

The school board and the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors also jointly formed the Joint Environmental Task Force to lead on climate action, Hynes said, adding that the task force will hold its inaugural meeting on Sept. 3 at the Mason District Government Center (6507 Columbia Pike).

“That is where policy will begin for both boards — the school board and the county board,” she said.

Del. Mark Keam (D-35th District) said that the conversation about electric buses should be broadened beyond talking about the environment.

“This isn’t about Julie taking care of her daughter or me taking care of my kids… It’s about Mother Earth suffering,” Keam said. “That’s why I think this conversation should start and end with the bigger picture of climate change and where we are with this crisis.”

At the end of the campaign launch, the group urged attendees to sign a petition urging the school board to buy a test bus in 2020 and request a small number of electric buses by 2021.

The group aims to replace FCPS buses with electric ones by 2024.

“When moms get involved, things happen,” Keam said to cheers.

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Fairfax County Fire and Rescue has the opportunity to step up their safety protocols thanks to a new grant.

The fire department is one of 25 departments across the nation that the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) thought would benefit from a pilot program that helps departments develop a community risk assessment tool.

The $7,000 grant includes a data analytics system that allows the fire department to identify risks to property and life while also finding different conditions that exacerbate the threat.

The money will go towards the creation of a personalized dashboard that will be active through July 31, 2020 and specialized training to accompany the program, according to the department.

“Not only will access to the tool give us invaluable information about our community’s needs, but it is rewarding to know that using the tool will increase its effectiveness and help other fire departments in the long run,” Battalion Chief George Robbins, who leads the department’s community risk reduction department, said.

This September, the NFPA will hand out another 25 grants to departments. The departments are chosen based on size, geography, community support and other indicators. So far, 150 departments have applied for the grant.

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Crescendo Studios, a new music studio in Merrifield, plans to host a grand opening this Saturday (Aug. 24).

Located in the former MHz Studio at 8101 Lee Hwy, the studio offers private lessons, a band for kids ages 7 and up and camps focused on songwriting, bands and sound engineering.

The celebration will include food trucks, a free yoga class from 11 a.m.-noon and performances by the Fuzion de Ritmos Dance Company and Take the Cake Music.

The grand opening will run from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

The education-oriented music studio is also looking to use a currently empty space adjacent to the studio’s existing location to offer an expanded music program.

Photo via Crescendo Studios/Facebook

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A Falls Church deli sold a $2 million Mega Millions lottery ticket to an Alexandria man who came in to buy a sandwich.

Calvin Kim went to the Saigon Bakery & Deli (6773 Wilson Blvd) in the Eden Center to buy a sandwich for his wife and ended up getting the winning Mega Millions lottery ticket with an add-on that doubled his prize, according to a Mega Millions’ post earlier in August.

“Matching the first five numbers in Mega Millions would normally win $1 million. But when Mr. Kim bought his ticket, he spent an extra dollar for the Megaplier,” the post said. “That extra buck doubled his prize to $2 million.”

Kim said he plans to put his winnings toward his retirement, according to the post.

“His ticket was the only one in Virginia to match the first five numbers in the May 28 drawing and one of just five nationwide. No ticket matched all six numbers to win that night’s estimated $418 million jackpot,” according to Mega Millions.

Image via Google Maps, photo via Mega Millions

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A Severe Thunderstorm Watch is now in effect for Fairfax County.

The National Weather Service issued the watch at 3 p.m. today (Tuesday). It will last until 9 p.m.

Forecasters say stray thunderstorms and showers are possible for the Tysons area.

File photo

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Hair salons keep popping up in the Town of Vienna.

Along Maple Avenue, there are around two dozen hair salons and various types of beauty parlors offering personal care services.

While nearby Falls Church and McLean also have a plethora of salons, the ones in Vienna are concentrated mainly along Maple Avenue, with many hair salons working in close proximity to their competitors.

Along Maple Avenue by Nutley Street SW, the Village Green Shopping Center at one point housed three hair studios — Village Green Hair SalonAvivo Salon and Day Spa and Dogan and John Hair Salon. (Avivo relocated to Tysons earlier this year.)

Tysons Reporter asked Lynne Coan, the town spokesperson, what might draw the appeal for owners to open up shop in this particular area.

“I did check with our planning department, and we really don’t have an explanation for why there are so many hair salons in Vienna,” Coan said. “There are no unique or ‘encouraging’ ordinances.”

Salon O Tony (130 W. Maple Avenue) has been open for 12 years because of its customer service and good reputation, Mustafa Demir, the shop’s spokesperson, told Tysons Reporter. When asked about competition among all the various hair salons, he said salon management doesn’t think it is an issue, but didn’t expand on why.

In 2019, at least three new salons and beauty relators arrived in the area — each one of them offering a variety of hair cuts and spa treatments.

Alya Salon and Spa  (139 Park Street) and Jolie Hair Studio (121 W. Maple Avenue) both opened in February.

Hair studio Sundown and Rise Up moved into the former space of Maple Avenue Market (128 E. Maple Avenue) this summer.

These openings come at a time when the Town of Vienna said that more businesses have opened than closed recently, despite vacancies and increasing rents around town.

“It seems that, for whatever reasons, each community has a proliferation of some kind of business, be it pizza shops or nail salons or hair salons,” Coan said. For the Town of Vienna, it appears to be hair salons.

Photo 3 via Facebook, photo 4 via Facebook, map via Google Maps

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BAE Systems announced its new Robotic Operations Center in Tysons yesterday (Monday).

The new center will “customize and deploy suites of software robots that automate high-volume, repetitive tasks in support of U.S. national security missions,” according to a press release.

“The emphasis on security is driving a significant increase in the collection of data across the IT enterprise, giving analysts access to more data in greater detail than ever before,” Peder Jungck, the vice president of intelligence solutions at BAE Systems, said in a press release.

Known as ROC, the new center stems from BAE Systems’ partnership with UiPath to increase machine learning in the U.S. defense and intelligence communities earlier this year.

“The ROC streamlines IT operations, helping customers to take advantage of the vast sea of information to improve responsiveness while reducing cost and security risk,” Jungck said.

The multinational defense, security and aerospace company has a Tysons office at 1676 International Drive, Suite 1000.

Image via Google Maps 

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After 27 years of service in the U.S. Military, Vienna resident Timothy Redmond decided to share his experiences in an autobiography.

As You Were” is a novel about Redmond’s personal life experience after 9/11 and the time he served on duty in Afghanistan. Though the book came out in 2018, it continues to attract attention from readers as he tours local bookshops.

Before he even decided to write a novel, Redmond discovered his passion as a novelist during a creative writing workshop for retired combat veterans hosted by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

During the writing process, Redmond told Tysons Reporter he spent time processing traumatic events that happened to him and his close friends — including the death of a friend.

“It’s stressful to relive some of that,” he said.

He also said it took him a little extra time to write the book because he “wanted to get it right” and respect the people he served with through remembrance. Redmond mentioned that several members in his former unit read the book and gave positive feedback.

From the description of the book on Amazon:

A freshly-minted prosecutor with the Brooklyn DA’s Office, Tim Redmond thought he’d left his life as a Green Beret behind as he pulled into the World Trade Center train station on the morning of 9/11. Three months later he was back in Afghanistan with his old A-Team gearing up for the fight of their lives! Follow this team of Special Forces on their raucous and heroic journey through the unimaginable horrors of war and their unique struggle to return to a home they can no longer make sense of.

Redmond shared his book with the community on Aug. 4, when he set up a table at the new Barnes & Noble in the Mosaic District. He signed autographs and bonded with community members from around the region.

Looking forward to the future, Redmond, who works at a local law firm in Tysons, said that he and his publicist are in the process of scheduling similar events in Tysons.

Photo courtesy Tim Redmond

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