Tysons, VA

Tysons-area companies made up nearly half of Fairfax County’s list this year of top workplaces for commuters.

Fairfax County’s Board of Supervisors recognized 17 companies on Tuesday (Dec. 3) who have taken steps to become more commuter-friendly.

The eight companies in the Tysons area include:

Three companies in Reston, three in Herndon, two in Fairfax and one in Alexandria also made the “Best Workplaces for Commuters” list.

Fairfax County offers a program through the Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) provides employers with information about ridesharing and other transportation alternatives for workers, according to a press release.

“We are excited to celebrate the first 100 Fairfax County employers leading the nation in providing high-level commuter benefit programs to their employees,” Marcus Moore, FCDOT’s lead employer outreach specialist with the Fairfax County Department of Transportation, said in a press release. “Employers offering commuting alternatives receive value through enhanced recruitment and retention of staff, decreased parking expenses as well the ability to limit employee absenteeism. It’s a win-win for the employers, the employees and Fairfax County.”

The annual “Best Workplaces for Commuters” lists stems from the county’s partnership with a membership program managed by the Center for Urban Transportation Research at the University of South Florida “to recognize employers who have excelled in implementing green commuter programs, including ride-sharing, transit benefits, biking and walking, teleworking, alternate work schedules and other strategies,” according to the county.

Photo via KETTLER/Facebook

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Fairfax Connector is continuing to cut its bus service today (Thursday) due to worker strikes, impacting commuters in the Tysons area.

The strike today came after negotiations for a contract extension didn’t pan out, along with a strike at a Metro garage in Lorton. Strikes are taking place until 5 p.m. today in Herndon, Newington and Fairfax.

In an announcement yesterday (Wednesday), Fairfax County said that Fairfax Connector routes will operate on a Sunday service today.

This morning (Thursday), the county said that five routes that were set to operate on a Sunday schedule won’t run today, including routes 423 and 721 in the Tysons area, and that several routes — 505, 983, 981, RIBS 2 and RIBS 4 — will not operate full Sunday service today.

That leaves Fairfax Connector with about one-third of its bus routes still in service today.

More from the county’s transportation department:

The contract between Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1764, the union representing the bus drivers and mechanics, and Transdev, Fairfax County’s contracted bus operator, expired on Nov. 30, 2019.

As a result of the job action, Transdev does not expect all drivers represented by ATU Local 1764 to report for work on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019, and bus service will be operated by a limited number of available personnel. The decision was made to operate a Sunday schedule instead of a weekday schedule because that is believed to be the maximum level of reliable bus service that can be provided under the current circumstances.

Fairfax County officials are urging commuters to find other forms of transportation today.

People can contact Fairfax Connector customer service at 703-339-7200 for updates on service impacts, sign up for text or email alerts and follow Fairfax Connector on Twitter and Facebook.

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Tysons Partnership will receive up to $1 million from Fairfax County to help rebrand Tysons and rethink the group’s business model.

Tysons Partnership is working with Gensler to rebrand the area to encourage economic growth and is also looking to establish a “sustainable business and funding model” for the nonprofit association.

Currently, the members of Tysons Partnership pay dues, Sol Glasner, the nonprofit’s president, told the board in September.

The Board of Supervisors approved the funding, which comes from Economic Opportunity Reserve, on Tuesday (Dec. 3).

The funding could get allocated toward placemaking events, branding efforts, sponsorship and media outreach Joe LaHait, the debt manager for the Department of Management and Budget, told the county board in September.

Tysons Partnership aims to have the rebranding study done by the end of the year, which it will share with Fairfax County, according to county documents.

As part of the approval of the funding, the county requires that the recommendations from the final report do not overlap with the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority and that Tysons Partnership consider funding options as part of a new business model that provide long term sustainability, according to the county.

More from the county:

EOR funding will result in an equal match from the Tysons Partnership, who are fundraising their allocation from their membership. The county will request from the Tysons Partnership at the end of each financial quarter a summary of their fundraising amounts.

The county will then provide an equivalent EOR allocation to the Tysons Partnership. This process will continue following successive quarterly reviews up to a maximum county contribution of $1,000,000.

Several Fairfax County supervisors, including Providence District Supervisor Linda Smyth, have said that the funding could help revitalize Tysons with a more “sophisticated” branding approach. In the past, branding efforts have included water tank decals and streetlight banners, Smyth said.

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A new eatery plans to come to Tysons Galleria’s Taste of Urbanspace.

Hei Hei Tiger, a self-described “Cantonese eatery focused on Chinese barbecue,” is coming to the food hall, according to the eatery’s Instagram.

Washingtonian reported that diners can expect weekend dim sum brunch, a 20-seat cocktail bar, boba teas and a customizable barbecue menu from the team behind Tiger Fork in D.C.

Justin Schuble, the blogger behind DC Food Porn, claimed on Instagram that the eatery is opening “in the next few weeks.”

Hei Hei Tiger will be the latest dining option to join Tysons Galleria — sandwich pop-up LaoWich from the team behind Sen Khao and Butcher’s Cut, which is focused on steak and fries, opened earlier this year in the mall.

Photo via Hei Hei Tiger/Instagram

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Fairfax County police say that the 60-year-old man who was struck by a vehicle in Tysons on Monday night has died.

Police said in an update today (Wednesday) that D.C. resident Abraham Feldman was crossing Old Courthouse Road at the intersection of Lord Fairfax Road around 7:19 p.m. when he was struck by a 2001 Chevrolet Tahoe traveling eastbound on Old Courthouse Road through the intersection.

Police said Feldman “was in the vicinity of the crosswalk” when the crash occurred. He was hospitalized with serious injuries and died earlier today, police said.

“The driver remained at the scene and is cooperating with detectives,” police said. “Preliminarily, alcohol does not appear to be a factor for the driver or the pedestrian. Detectives have not yet determined if speed was a factor for the driver.”

Police are asking that anyone with information contact the Crash Reconstruction Unit at 703-280-0543.

Image via Google Maps

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Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney-elect Steve Descano has revealed his first two planned appointments.

Descano announced last Wednesday (Nov. 27) that he intends to have Terry Adams, a private defense attorney in Arlington, take on the role of Chief Deputy, lauding his 14 years working on criminal and civil cases in Virginia.

“A clear and well-respected leader, Terry is a proven litigator with years of trial experience in Northern Virginia,” Descano said in the press release. “In addition, he would bring a well-rounded background and unique perspective to the position that will prove vital in helping to transform and lead this office forward.”

Previously, Adams worked in the Arlington County Sheriff’s Office and was on active duty in the Marine Corps for eight years, according to the press release.

Descano also announced that he plans to promote Senior Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jessica Greis Edwardson to Deputy.

Greis Edwardson started working in the office of the commonwealth’s attorney in Fairfax County in 2009, where she was the first dedicated domestic violence prosecutor, according to the press release.

More from the press release:

She currently represents the Commonwealth in the prosecution of all violations of criminal law, specializing in homicides, sex crimes against children and adults, child pornography and exploitation cases, and domestic violence.

Ms. Greis Edwardson has been co-chair of the Fairfax County Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team since 2009, and serves on the County’s Domestic Violence Prevention Policy & Coordinating Council. She has trained judges, attorneys, law enforcement, advocates, and community service providers on criminal and civil legal issues in her areas of specialization.

Prior to joining the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, Ms. Greis Edwardson spent three years at Legal Services of Northern Virginia and two years at Potomac Legal Aid Society, representing domestic violence victims in all aspects of domestic relations litigation, and supervising and training staff attorneys. Ms. Greis Edwardson also spent two years at a private law firm.

“I am extremely proud to announce Jessica Greis Edwardson, Esq. as my choice for Deputy in the Office of Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney. I respect and thank Ms. Greis Edwardson for her service to this community and her eagerness to continue to do so. Her experience, specifically in this courthouse with the toughest cases, makes Ms. Greis Edwardson a clear choice for leadership. As we establish an appropriate path forward for this office’s growth, structure, and policies, I know Jessica will be essential,” said Mr. Descano.

Both Adams and Greis Edwardson are immediately named to the Descano Transition Team. Mr. Adams will be leading the division of the Transition Team that is primarily focused on office personnel and structure. Ms. Greis Edwardson will serve within that division.

Additional announcements regarding Office leadership are forthcoming.

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Fairfax County officials say that a newly approved parking rate for the county’s largest malls would not adversely affect Tysons malls.

Yesterday (Tuesday), the Board of Supervisors approved the zoning ordinance amendment that will allow lower parking rates at the four largest malls in the county — the two in Tysons, Fair Oaks Mall and Springfield Town Center.

The proposal was based on a review of the parking rates and demand at large regional malls by consulting firm Nelson/Nygaard.

The county’s planners stressed that the focus of the zoning amendment was meant to help Fair Oaks Mall, yet it sparked concern about whether it would create parking problems at Tysons Corner Center and also about the lack of data for the Tysons malls.

Nelson/Nygaard study’s evaluated parking data for Fair Oaks Mall and the Springfield Town Center, but the study did not evaluate the two malls in Tysons.

“It really has no bearing on Tysons,” Providence District Supervisor Linda Smyth said yesterday, noting that Tysons Corner Center is a part of the Planned Tysons Corner Urban District’s (PTC) parking rates, which allows for lower parking rates. Tysons Galleria is not a part of the PTC District, but could opt-in.

“There has been concern raised in the community that it would [cause issues in Tysons], but I agree with Supervisor Smyth that the real impact is in Springfield and Fair Oaks, where we need to reduce the parking requirements,” Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust said.

The change now lets shopping centers with 800,000 square feet of gross floor area or more to have a parking rate of 2.5 instead of four spaces per 1,000 square feet of gross floor area.

In addition to the zoning change, the county board also approved directing staff to prioritize review of the parking rates in phase two of the zoning ordinance modernization effort.

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The owner behind a new taco place in Falls Church is looking to expand in Northern Virginia.

Wild Tacoz celebrated its opening at 7167 Lee Hwy — the former home of Milan Bakery and Miss Donuts — two weeks ago on Wednesday, Nov. 20.

Wild Tacoz is the first location for Kool Foods, a company that makes snacks and pre-packaged meals with dietary and nutritional supplements.

Owner Teddy Koumarianos grew up in the area to a family that worked in the restaurant business — which he credits for launching his passion for food.

He told Tysons Reporter that he created Kool Foods after nutritional foods improved his diabetes, heart disease and other health issues.

Kool Foods and Wild Tacoz focus on “well-proportioned,” healthy food served in an appetizing way, he said, adding that the food at the eatery is made marinated in a powder made from frozen vegetables.

“People love Mexican food,” he said. “You say the word [tacos], and everybody gets hungry.”

Diners can find taco burgers, design-your-own-salads, a salsa bar, packaged snacks from Kool Foods and taco options including soft and crunchy shells on the menu. For beverages, people can try the beet, tart cherry, honey and spice drinks that are made by Wild Tacoz.

Customers should try the combo deal with the taco burger — taco-flavored meat between two pieces of cornbread — and a Kool Foods meal, Koumarianos said.

He dubbed it “Now and Later” — the idea being that people will eat their taco now and save the pre-packaged Kool Foods meal for later.

Koumarianos hopes that the name “Wild Tacoz” will jump out at people traveling along the busy stretch of Lee Hwy in Falls Church. For people driving to the location, there’s parking in the back parking lot of the building off of Cavalier Trails, according to a Facebook post.

Located in a building built in the late 1940s, the space is a prime spot because of its low rent and close proximity to single-family homes in the Falls Church, Arlington and Merrifield areas, Koumarianos said.

The building’s age did cause delays, though. A sign last June said that it was coming in fall 2018 and then a sign in May said that it planned to open in the summer.

The wood beams holding up the roof had to get reinforced and the building required updates to its plumbing, Koumarianos said, adding that the permit process with Fairfax County took longer than expected.

Now that the Falls Church location is open, Koumarianos aims to make Wild Tacoz a chain. He said he’s hoping to expand to Arlington, Reston, Chantilly and Ashburn.

Photos via Wild Tacoz/Facebook

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Fairfax County’s Board of Supervisors approved funding to help the Town of Vienna find economic development solutions.

The Town of Vienna approached the county earlier this year about splitting the cost of an economic development strategy and market study totaling $100,000.

The town set aside its $50,000 half when it approved its fiscal year 2020 budget.

Recently, the town has taken steps recently to work towards boosting its economic development and address vacancies plaguing Maple Avenue.

The town created its first-ever economic development manager position in the summer and hired a business development manager in Arlington County for the role in November.

The town had a 15% vacancy rate with 138 vacant spaces — 68 of which are on Maple Avenue, Scott Sizer from the Department of Economic Initiatives told the Board of Supervisors during a Budget Committee in September.

The new strategy and study — which could take up to a year to complete — are meant to revitalize Maple Avenue, find more efficient use of resources to address the vacancies, discover how to aid business recruitment and create place-making strategies, Sizer said.

“The proposed project is an opportunity to support [the] revitalization of the Town’s Maple Avenue corridor and improve property tax revenues for the county and town,” according to county documents, noting that the new economic development manager will oversee the studies and implement the recommendations.

The board approved the $50,000 yesterday (Tuesday). The funds are coming from the Economic Opportunity Reserve.

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Jersey Mike’s plans to start serving subs with a side of fundraising today near the Spring Hill Metro station in Tysons.

Located at 1501C Cornerside Blvd, the sandwich chain is one of several eateries in Tysons West Phase III — a redevelopment that added new retail buildings across from Walmart.

Other options for diners include the newly opened B.GOODSmoothie King and Dunkin’ Donuts.

Franchise owner Asha Thakur, the franchise owner, is set to hold a grand opening and free sub fundraiser today (Wednesday) to Sunday (Dec. 8) to support the Children’s National Hospital, according to a press release.

People who live or work in the area might snag one of the 10,000 coupons circulating throughout the community offering a free regular sub for a minimum $2 contribution to the Children’s National Hospital.

Over in Falls Church, the upcoming Jersey Mike’s at the Falls Plaza location (1108-A West Broad Street) is expected to open at a later date, a spokesperson for the company told Tysons Reporter.

The Tysons spot is open from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. every day, the press release said.

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