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NEW: Tequila Grande demolished, paving way for Vienna’s 444 Maple development

More than two years after it was vacated, Tequila Grande in Vienna has been reduced to rubble.

Demolition work began last week on the former restaurant, which occupied the corner of Maple Avenue and Nutley Street for roughly four decades. The property will become 444 Maple Ave., a much-debated mixed-use building that will also take over the adjacent Vienna Wolf Trap Hotel.

All buildings on the site are expected to be knocked down by the end of March, says Chris Bell, the senior vice president of acquisition and development for 444 Maple developer Hekemian & Co., Inc.

“After that, we’ll start construction sometime in late spring, early summer,” Bell told Tysons Reporter yesterday (Tuesday).

The Vienna Town Council approved the proposed redevelopment in October 2018, despite opposition from many community members and a moratorium on additional mixed-use development projects imposed just a month earlier.

444 Maple Ave. will replace the restaurant and hotel with a four-story apartment and retail center. The developer intends to build 151 multifamily rental units on top of approximately 20,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space.

Fencing went up around the site last year, with hopes that demolition would begin this past fall. However, supply-chain and cost issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic convinced the developer to push pause on the project, according to Bell.

Though Bell didn’t specify what prompted the project’s resumption beyond that “now seems like a better time,” Hekemian recently selected Tysons Service Corporation as a general contractor, and it received a demolition permit from Fairfax County on Jan. 19.

Vienna’s Board of Architectural Review approved final designs on Oct. 21.

Bell declined to confirm marketing materials that suggest the development has already landed a few tenants, including the pizza chain Mellow Mushroom.

“We are working with several tenants, but we don’t make any comments until the leases are signed,” he said.

After the anticipated start in a few months’ time, the overall timeline for construction gets hazy. Bell says a project of this kind typically takes 18 to 20 months to build.

“We’re just looking forward to getting it started and getting it built,” Bell said. “It’s been a long time coming, and we’re excited about it.”

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