Tysons, VA

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory, saying that snow, sleet, ice and freezing rain are likely to hit Fairfax County and surrounding areas tomorrow.

The advisory is set to go into effect from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Saturday (Jan. 18).

Snow and sleet is expected to total 1 inch, while ice could accumulate up to 1/10 of an inch., NWS says.

More from NWS:

* WHAT…Snow, sleet and freezing rain expected. Total snow and sleet accumulations of up to one inch and ice accumulations of up to one tenth of an inch.

* WHERE…Portions of central Maryland, northern and northwest Virginia and eastern West Virginia.

* WHEN…From 7 AM to 7 PM EST Saturday. Precipitation will begin as snow before transitioning to sleet and freezing rain. Precipitation will change to rain late in the day.

* IMPACTS…Plan on slippery road conditions.

NWS recommends that people stay cautious of ice when walking outside and that drivers slow down.

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Vienna police say a resident is concerned that wannabe dog owners are barking up the wrong tree for their puppy pick-ups.

“A resident advised that on two separate occasions, people have arrived at his residence to collect a puppy they have purchased,” Vienna police say. “The resident is concerned that scammers may be using his address while defrauding people.”

The incidents occurred between Jan. 8-12 in the 400 block of MacArthur Avenue NE.

In a separate incident, police say that someone spray-painted the playground equipment at the Tot Lot (Branch Road and Locust Street SE).

The vandalism occurred sometime between 10 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 12, and 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 13, police say.

Photo via Facebook

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To celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., several places around the Tysons area will have free community events and service projects on Monday (Jan. 20).

From musical performances to parades to volunteering opportunities, here’s where to find MLK Day events:

Falls Church

The Falls Church City Council recently declared Monday, Jan. 20, this year to be an official day of service in the city.

The city is gearing up for volunteer projects that day, according to a press release. The activities include:

  • city councilmembers, board members and commissioners plan to work at the Miller House, a home for adults with differing abilities
  • the  Falls Church City elementary school community is invited to join Give Day, an event looking to raise $10,000  and collect food for Food for Others

On Give Day, elementary school families will be able to assemble ‘Power Packs’ filled with non-perishable food items that Food for Others distributes to for local students. The event is set to take place from 10 a.m.-noon at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School (601 S. Oak Street).

The fourth annual march and commemorative program honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and civil rights history plan to take place in the City of Falls Church on Monday.

The event starts at 10 a.m. with the march proceeding down Lee Hwy to Falls Church Episcopal (115 East Fairfax Street).

“Area service organizations will be at the church providing information about volunteer opportunities in our local communities,” according to the event description. “A commemoration program with a keynote speech by Joan Mulholland, a Freedom Rider and civil rights activist, will take place in the church at noon.”

McLean

A tribute at The Alden on Thursday, Jan. 30, will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. with performances by musician Damien Sneed, a graduate of Howard University, and the Howard University Choir as part of the “We Shall Overcome” tour.

“We Shall Overcome” will feature spoken word from King’s recorded speeches combined with a variety of African American music traditions.

“When I saw ‘We Shall Overcome’ last January, I knew I had to bring it to The Alden,” The Alden Performing Arts Director Sarah Schallern Treff said in a press release. “By the time I spoke with Mr. Sneed’s agents the following afternoon, Jan. 30 was the only available date.”

The event is set to start at 7 p.m. at 1234 Ingleside Ave. Tickets cost $45 for the public, $25 for seniors and students and $20 for McLean Community Center tax district residents.

Vienna

Several churches in the Vienna area are offering service projects on Monday, including the First Baptist Church of Vienna (450 Orchard St NW) and The Church of the Good Shepherd (2351 Hunter Mill Road).

People interested in finding more volunteer opportunities around the area can search the databases on the Corporation for National and Community Service website.

Photo by Brian Kraus/Unsplash

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Happy Friday! Here are the latest stories about the Tysons area that the Tysons Reporter team has been reading:

New Tenants in Tysons — Bisnow has a roundup of the new businesses that signed leases to come to Tysons. [Bisnow]

Metro Metrics Released — “People are returning to Metrorail but avoiding Metrobus, according to 2019 figures released Wednesday by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority suggest.” As for Metrorail, the fastest-growing stations were McLean, up 28%, and Greensboro, up 22%. [Washington Business Journal]

New Fitness Event in McLean — “The McLean Community Center is introducing a new event to help people work toward their goals. Be Fit McLean Health and Wellness Fair will happen from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 18.” [Patch]

AJ Madison Showroom Opens in Tysons — “Michael Gross, Isaac Gross and Rabbi Chezzy Deitsch, together with a minyan of Chabad Tysons congregants, got together to open up a new premium appliance showroom.” [Connection Newspapers]

Sneak Peek: Tysons Reporter plans to cover the Fairfax County Board of Zoning Appeals’ public hearing for Newport Academy’s proposed treatment facility along Kurtz Road in McLean.

Weekend Send Off: Let Tysons Reporter know what your plans for the weekend are in the comments section.

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In a newsletter to constituents today, Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust said a meeting in March will solicit community input on the American Legion Bridge.

Currently, the 495 Express Lanes Northern Extension project — a.ka. 495 NEXT — would extend the 495 Express Lanes north from the I-495 and Dulles Access Road interchange up to the American Legion Bridge and add two new tolled express lanes in each direction.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is set to present the results of the 495 NEXT environmental study and traffic analysis on Thursday, March 12.

Foust’s newsletter said that “one of the biggest transportation challenges in the McLean area is the congestion caused by inadequate capacity on the American Legion Bridge and the Maryland side of the Beltway.”

More from the newsletter:

In early 2019, VDOT signed a nonbinding Development Framework Agreement with Transurban. Delivering the project through this public private partnership would mean that no public funding by the Commonwealth is needed to extend the Express Lanes network. If approved, the project will replace Live Oak Drive, Georgetown Pike, and Old Dominion Drive Bridges and allow for the installation of pedestrian/bike facilities along the corridor. Construction could begin as early as 2021.

Virginia officials have been cautious about moving forward with the project because without replacing the American Legion Bridge, bottlenecks and congestion will only be relocated, not resolved.

A major development occurred late last year when Virginia Governor Northam and Maryland Governor Hogan announced “The Capital Beltway Accord.” The agreement is a commitment to work together to create a new, unified Capital Beltway and replace the aging American Legion Bridge. The cost of the bridge project is expected to be $1 billion and both states will contribute to the cost through public-private partnerships. The private entity will pay the upfront costs in exchange for future toll revenue meaning toll payers rather than taxpayers will foot the bill.

The new bridge will have four express toll lanes, in addition to eight free lanes, as on the current span. The tolls will fluctuate based on congestion, rising to keep traffic flowing freely. Construction could begin in 2022 and would likely take five or six years.

The next key piece of the puzzle is ensuring that the widening of I-495 just over the bridge in Maryland is done in coordination with the bridge project. Governor Hogan recently obtained a key vote to advance a plan to widen the Beltway from the American Legion Bridge to the Interstate 270 spur, and along the lower part of I-270 between the Beltway and Interstate 370.

“I am excited that we are making progress on addressing congestion issues that have plagued our communities, but I want to be sure that the project is done in a way that actually addresses our problems, rather than just moving them,” Foust said in the newsletter.

At the March 12 meeting, attendees will be able to provide input during a public hearing.

The meeting is set to run from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Langley High School in McLean (6520 Georgetown Pike).

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How young people live, work and play in Tysons dominated two panels at a Bisnow event earlier today.

The Bisnow event was held at Boro Tower, bringing together real estate professionals to talk about the future of Tysons. When thinking about what will make Tysons appealing now and several years from now, developers and real estate investors said they want to make decisions that will encourage young professionals to come to the area and stay.

The first panel kicked off a discussion of office space, with panelists lamenting that people who come to work in Tysons leave in the late afternoon and don’t stick around.

“Millennials do not want to be in a nondescript office building that is hard to get to,” Mukang Cho, the CEO of Morning Calm Management, said.

As far as nightlife goes, Gary Block, the chief investment officer of The Meridian Group — the developers of The Boro, said that innovative concepts with bars and restaurants can bring people together when the sun goes down.

“You wouldn’t think the second story of a grocery store would be a destination for a bar,” Block said, referring to the popular High Point bar in The Boro’s Whole Foods.

Block said that people who live, work or arrive at The Boro can expect activities in public spaces throughout the week.

The combination of walkability, entertainment options, shopping, apartments, office spaces and fitness opportunities make The Boro a neighborhood, Block said. Or, as a sign on a window in the Boro Tower said, “Tysons’ First Neighborhood.”

Deirdre Johnson, the vice president of Federal Realty, agreed, calling The Boro the “new Tysons downtown.”

While Tysons’ identity has long rested on its malls — especially Tysons Corner Center, Johnson said that residents are moving away from being “mall-centric.”

Outside The Boro, Block said that Eddie V’s Prime Seafood (7900 Tysons One Place) is “packed” on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

Juliann Clemente, the president of Clemente Development, said that the new members of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors recognize that Tysons will appeal to millennials.

Clemente urged the audience to reach out to the new board and share their dreams, desires and concerns about how to improve Tysons.

Christopher Auth, the divisional vice president of PS Business Parks, said that walkability and green space help attract people. Thinking big, Auth said that he would like to see a university in Tysons — an idea that several other panelists agreed with.

While walkability might sound like simply an infrastructure issue, Johnson said that planners “have to give someone a reason to walk across the street.”

The panelists mentioned how a new grid of streets in Tysons facilitate walkability and connect communities.

“When little neighborhoods pop up, it creates a sense of place,” Cho said.

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Updated 3 p.m. — Includes information from FCPS about the school buses.

Eight electric school buses are set to roll into Fairfax County before the end of the year.

Dominion Energy announced today (Thursday) that Thomas Built Buses was selected in December as the vendor for the 50 buses for the first phase of the project.

Last year, Dominion Energy unveiled its initiative to bring 50 school buses to 16 counties and cities to replace diesel-powered buses by the end of 2020.

Fairfax County will be a part of the first batch of electric school buses Dominion Energy is working to add across Virginia.

“This is an innovative, sustainable solution that will help the environment, protect children’s health, make the electric grid stronger, and free up money for our schools,” Dominion Energy Chairman, President and CEO Thomas Farrell, II, said in the press release.

Fairfax County, which currently has a fleet of 1,625 diesel-fueled buses, will get eight electric ones, with Dominion Energy covering the difference in cost between the electric and diesel buses, according to Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS).

“Dominion will also subsidize the cost of [the] necessary charging infrastructure,” FCPS said.

More from the press release:

The buses also provide environmental and health benefits through reduced emissions and reduce operation and maintenance costs for schools by up to 60 percent.

Phase two of the project, with state approval, would expand the program to bring at least 1,000 additional electric school buses online by 2025. Once phase two is fully implemented, the buses’ batteries could provide enough energy to power more than 10,000 homes.

Phase three would set the goal to have 50 percent of all diesel bus replacements in Dominion Energy’s footprint be electric by 2025 and 100 percent by 2030.

“Adding electric school buses in our fleet is consistent with the environmental focus of Fairfax County and the school division,” FCPS Superintendent Scott Brabrand said in the FCPS press release. “Before this new partnership, the availability of electric school buses was very limited and cost was prohibitive for school divisions. This exciting new Dominion Energy initiative is moving us forward and is making electric school buses a reality.”

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The “coming soon” sign has been outside Chi Mc for a few months, but diners may have to wait a little longer for the eatery to open in Vienna.

Tysons Reporter first learned of the Korean eatery’s plans to come to Vienna via a permit to serve wine and beer in June 5.

In November, Tysons Reporter saw “coming soon” and the “Chi Mc Korean Friend Chicken” signs at the spot in Danor Plaza (126 Branch Road SE).

Jon Weiss, the vice president of leasing for Rosenthal Properties, told Tysons Reporter that he believes the eatery has faced some permitting delays — “nothing unusual.”

Chi Mc might open at the end of January, Weiss said.

Chi Mc, which means “chicken and beer” in Korean, currently has locations in Annandale, Alexandria and Chantilly, according to its website.

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Del. Mark Keam (D-35th) has introduced a house bill that would let the Town of Vienna require developers to meet tree requirements 10 years sooner than other jurisdictions.

His proposal, which was filed last Monday (Jan. 6) comes months after Wawa received backlash from residents for chopping down trees it wasn’t supposed to in the Town of Vienna.

Vienna officials are currently working on a plan to prevent anything similar from happening again.

The bill would allow:

the Town of Vienna, by ordinance, to require that a subdivision or development provide for the preservation or replacement of trees on the development site such that the minimum tree canopy 10 years after development is projected to meet specified coverage criteria.”

Currently, the criteria apply to coverage 20 years after development.

The measure has been referred to the Committee on Counties, Cities and Towns.

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Demolition is expected to happen soon on the house on city-owned property that will soon be a park in Falls Church.

City Manager Wyatt Shields told the Falls Church City Council on Monday (Jan. 13) that the city is in the process of finalizing the agreement to tear down the house on the 2-acre property at 604 S. Oak Street.

Known as the Fellows Property, the site is located near the Thomas Jefferson Elementary School.

City officials say the recent purchase will preserve the property as open space and possibly serve as a future school use.

The property is set to become usable park space, according to the city’s 2019-2024 Capital Improvements Program.

More from the CIP:

Until a Master Park Plan is developed, the funding needs are unknown. However, there has been preliminary thought of open natural space for family use to include amenities such as a walking trail, picnic area, a disc golf course and the possibility of a much needed community garden plot. The funding needs listed is similar to the cost of the project at West End Park as they will likely have a similar scope.

“It is a site with wonderful old trees, tulip, oak, magnolia, cherry,” Shields said about the site. “The home is not protected by the historic preservation ordinance, as it misses the cut off age by a few years.”

The demolition costs are accounted for in the budget requests and the work is set to start this month or February, Shields said.

Image via Google Maps, image via City of Falls Church

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