When the novel coronavirus arrived in Fairfax County in the spring of 2020, the Tysons shopping center introduced a curbside pick-up program. Now, as the pandemic recedes, property manager Federal Realty Investment Trust wants to build off that momentum by introducing a drive-through restaurant to the plaza.
Federal Realty has filed a special exception application with Fairfax County’s planning department to permit a one-story, pad site restaurant with a drive-through and an outdoor seating area at 8365 and 8371 Leesburg Pike.
“This new use is needed in response to structural shifts in the retail economy that are increasing the reliance on pickup options as part of retail operations,” land-use attorney Greg Riegle wrote in a statement of justification on Federal Realty’s behalf. “Supporting the retail industry and allowing it to logically evolve is critical to maintaining the viability of areas planned and developed with established retail uses and will benefit the County and the Tysons community both economically and from a service delivery standpoint.”
Federal Realty declined to comment on its application when contacted by Tysons Reporter, including on whether a prospective tenant for the drive-through restaurant has been identified.
Current food-related tenants at Pike 7 Plaza include Starbucks, MOD Pizza, Cava Grill, Sakura Japanese Cuisine, and Panera Bread.
“Federal Realty looks forward to making future announcements regarding Pike 7, but as of now, there is nothing to report,” a Federal Realty spokesperson said.
According to plans submitted to the county, the proposed building would be 3,600 square feet in size and 18 feet tall with 16 parking spaces. The drive-through aisle would accommodate 11 vehicles, more than twice as many as required.
Since the building would be situated in a currently unoccupied corner of the parking lot, Pike 7 Plaza would see an overall reduction in the amount of available parking from 738 spaces to 679 spaces. The site does not have a minimum parking requirement because it is located right next to the Greensboro Metro station.
“The proposed parking is more than adequate for a retail center that relies on both transit and automobile arrivals,” the statement of justification says.
Federal Realty does not expect the project to adversely affect neighboring properties or produce any conflicts with traffic in the shopping center or the surrounding area.
According to the application, the new building is being designed to “minimize the potential for turning movement conflicts and to facilitate safe and efficient on-site circulation.”
The site will also provide pedestrian access from Leesburg Pike and to the adjacent Tysons Square shopping center.
“Vehicular circulation takes advantage of existing access points and fits logically within the circulation framework of the greater shopping center,” Riegle wrote.
A special exception is required to allow a drive-through restaurant in a C-7 commercial retail district, the zoning for Pike 7 Plaza. The application says the new building will not preclude future redevelopment of the shopping center, if Federal Realty decides to pursue that option at some point.
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