Tysons, VA

(Updated at 8:05 p.m.) Even in the midst of a global pandemic, Tysons continues to grow. While there are many new buildings being built, Tysons Reporter reached out to developers on some of the bigger projects for updates on their construction timelines.

Monarch

A 1o1-unit luxury condominium high-rise, The Monarch is part of the 19-acre Arbor Row mixed-use development near Tysons Galleria. Construction stalled last year after developer Renaissance Centro parted ways with its construction contractor.

While there is no official timeline for completion, a spokesperson for the project told Tysons Reporter that a new contractor has been selected and should be announced soon. Once the contractor is announced and construction begins, the owners recently told frustrated residents that construction should be complete in 21 to 24 months.

“It is moving forward and we are still selling the condominiums,” Kami Kraft, vice president of the marketing firm The Mayhood Company, said.

The Mather

Also part of the Arbor Row development, The Mather is a Life Plan Community that will open in two phases, with the first coming in 2023. It will have apartments with access to assisted living, memory care suites, and medical services for residents 62 and older. Phase 1 is already 80% pre-sold, and phase 2 pre-construction sales will begin soon.

The existing structure on the site was demolished in May 2020, and work on various public improvements, including a relocation of site fences, temporary reconfiguration of traffic lanes, and sewer system upgrades, began the week of March 8.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Mather’s parent company Mather created an “interdisciplinary” team to support staff and residents across its facilities and develop infection control protocols.

“These conversations have led to enhancements that will be seen in the design and operations at The Mather in Tysons, such as HVAC systems which will include UV light purification and 100% of air exhausted to the exterior,” Mather Senior Vice President of Sales Gale Morgan said.

Capital One Center

The second phase of construction is currently underway at Capital One Center, a 24.25-acre complex with dining, shopping, outdoor activities, a movie theater, and more attractions coming.

While slightly inconvenienced by the COVID-19 pandemic, disrupting shipments of materials and equipment, the lack of traffic helped construction pick up the pace, according to Capital One Center Managing Director Jonathan Griffith.

The next big opening will be The Perch, an outdoor space atop Capital One Hall with food trucks, a Biergarten, live music, and more. The skypark is set to open this July, while Capital One Hall — a performance venue with a 1,600-seat theater, a 250-seat black box theater, and other event spaces — is scheduled to open in October.

The 300-room Watermark Hotel is slated to open in late 2021 as an “all-suite lodging facility” set to host “associates of Capital One as well as corporate and leisure guests visiting the region,” according to a job posting made by B.F. Saul Hospitality, which will be managing the property. Read More

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The Falls Church City Council will get a staff briefing and presentation during its work session tonight (Monday) on a proposed One City Center mixed-use development just across the street from the still-pending Broad and Washington project.

The discussion is slated for 9:30 p.m., according to the meeting agenda.

Atlantic Realty Companies is proposing an extensive mixed-use apartment building with space for a grocery store and other retail space, as well as commercial and office spaces. The plan includes creating a new traffic circle at the intersection of S. Maple Avenue and W. Annandale Road and designing a Dutch-style “living street” called a “woonerf.”

According to a Falls Church City staff report, Atlantic is proposing to build a development over 4.6 acres at the intersection of W. Broad and S. Washington Streets that features:

  • About 17,500 square feet of ground-floor retail
  • A 26,500-square foot grocery store at the corner of Maple Avenue and Broad Street
  • 13,365 square feet of retail and commercial space on the mezzanine level
  • 43,000 square feet of office space
  • 246 apartment units across six stories, 15 of which will be set aside for affordable housing
  • 9-10 levels of structured parking with 969 spaces

About 75% of the complex will be dedicated to apartment living, leaving 10% for office space and 15% for retail. Atlantic is seeking a special exception from the council to have apartment units in the complex and allow for a 40-foot height bonus, which would bring the building to a maximum of 115 feet.

Atlantic currently owns and manages all the affected properties: the George Mason Square office complex and two-story parking garage, a BB&T Bank, Matt’s Tailor & Bridal Boutique on W. Broad Street, a vacant parcel at the corner of W. Broad Street and S. Maple Ave., and a five-story office building with a surface parking lot.

Atlantic’s commercial program is based on the need for flexibility to help drive foot traffic to the property, Andrew Painter, the developer’s legal representation, said in a letter to the city.

“Traditional format retail has been challenged in recent years by the rise in e-commerce, and COVID-19 has greatly accelerated this trend,” he wrote. “Similarly, the recent increase in virtual meeting services and the escalated pace of technology adoption is having deleterious repercussions on office demand.”

The existing George Mason Square arcade will be removed and replaced with a pedestrian plaza lined with new fast-casual eateries, retailers, and a pedestrian-oriented “woonerf” between the existing and proposed new buildings that may be periodically closed for special events and fairs, according to Painter’s letter.

This “woonerf” will have “high-quality pavers, overhead accent lighting, landscaping, hardscape treatments, and parallel parking for adjacent retailers,” he said.

Painter wrote that these changes will “anchor the project’s eastern entry, activate George Mason Square’s ground floor area, and provide an updated, modern signature asset to the City’s rapidly evolving downtown.”

He noted that Atlantic is proposing a 30 by 40-foot exterior visual screen, which can be used for “screen on the green” events or coverage of live city events.

Painter added that it “will also keep the George Mason Square development competitive from an aesthetic perspective which, in turn, will energize the Applicant’s leasing program and drive tenant demand.”

The grocery store, he said, will be “a new entrant to the City’s grocery store market.”

As for transportation, the project will include a proposed mid-block crossing and a high-intensity activated crosswalk signal on W. Broad Street.

Painter said the proposed traffic circle will “provide a safer intersection for pedestrians and will, in conjunction with the new public park on the Triangle Parking Lot, transform the intersection into a more attractive urban gateway.”

Photos via Falls Church City 

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(Updated at 12:35 p.m.) The Meridian Group is following up its mixed-use development, The Boro, with plans for an expansion along Westpark Drive.

Fairfax County recently accepted a rezoning application from Meridian that involves about 9.37 acres of land in the west quadrant of Westpark Drive and Greensboro Drive, the developer’s legal representative Elizabeth D. Baker told Tysons Reporter.

The application concerns two buildings in a larger conceptual development plan that calls for four buildings — Buildings I, J, K and L — that will be developed with residential, continuing care, health club, and retail and service uses, she said in an email.

“This development will be an extension of The Boro, which is a successful transit-oriented mixed-use development across Westpark Drive,” said Baker, who is the Senior Land Use Planner for Walsh, Colucci, Lubeley & Walsh.

Fairfax County accepted plans for Buildings I and K on Feb. 25. It has also accepted and is evaluating a plan for a proposed continuing care facility in Building J by Silverstone Tysons.

Meridian is proposing the following specifications for Building I, which would be adjacent to Westpark Drive:

  • Maximum of 200,000 square feet — up to 175,000 square feet for residential use and up to 25,000 for retail
  • Maximum of 130 dwelling units, likely condominiums
  • Approximately seven stories with a maximum height of 90 feet
  • Underground and above-ground parking structures

“In addition to interior residential amenities, Building I includes an elevated outdoor terrace that looks out onto a central park,” Baker said.

Building K would be located west of Building I with frontages on Greensboro Drive. It has the following proposed specifications:

  • Up to 430 residential units
  • Up to 20,000 square feet of neighborhood-serving retail use
  • Approximately seven stories with a maximum height of 90 feet
  • Underground and above-ground parking structures

“Two interior courtyards providing amenities for the buildings’ residents are located atop the parking garage podium,” Baker said.

In addition to a central park, Meridian envisions creating a linear park along Westpark Drive. It would be a combined pedestrian and bicycle circuit designed to accommodate leisure bikers and walkers, according to Baker.

“Known as the Community Circuit, this park will include marked pavement, wayfinding signage, bike and pedestrian amenities, and focal elements such as public art, benches, and specialty landscaping,” she said.

The Meridian Group acquired the National Automobile Dealers Association headquarters building at 8400 Westpark Drive and an adjacent site in 2018, the Washington Business Journal reported. The developer paid $33.7 million to the NADA, which relocated to 8484 Westpark Drive that October.

A separate development is in the works at nearby Westpark Plaza.

The lot at 8401 Westpark Drive will be converted into an interim public “reading park” with new vehicle storage after the Fairfax County Planning Commission granted developer Dittmar’s request to amend its plans on Dec. 9. The amenities will occupy the site until Dittmar kicks off its idling plans for two residential buildings, a new hotel, and retail.

Image via Google Maps

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The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has approved the construction of an apartment building with ground-floor retail in Merrifield.

The project replaces a 1980s-era, three-story office building at 2722 Merrilee Drive with a seven-story, 85-foot-tall residential building with retail and recreational amenities.

Proposed by Elm Street Development under the name Merrilee Ventures, the apartment building will have 239 residential units and 30 units for retail use.

On Tuesday (Jan. 26), supervisors approved the developer’s request to reduce the site’s existing parking by 18% because it is close to the Merrifield-Dunn Loring Metro Station.

The Merrilee building will have 294 parking spaces, including 264 set aside for residents. Merrilee Drive and a planned private street will also have on-street parking.

Elm Street Development is providing 20,000 square feet of passive and active open space, including a retail plaza, an outdoor fitness area, and an expanded streetscape along Merrilee Drive.

“One of the opportunities for Merrifield is to simply link the [Dunn Loring Metro station] to the extensive retail amenities in the established urban core,” McGuireWoods managing partner Greg Riegle, a representative for Elm Street, said on Tuesday.

He further described the project as “an opportunity to promote that connectivity and set a template for the walkable streets, pedestrian amenities, and reasonable street-level retail that will make it an increasingly interesting and amenitized walk.” 

During the meeting, Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik lauded the project because it will enhance the pedestrian experience and provide open spaces, including a much-needed dog park.

“I am pleased it resulted in a high-quality urban design that maximized indoor and outdoor amenities and publicly accessible spaces,” she said.

Elm Street Development is still working with Providence District to find .45 acres of space to develop into an urban park. The company is unable to meet a standard in Merrifield’s comprehensive plan that requires urban park space in new developments.

Staff calculated that .63 acres of on-site park space would be required, but Elm Street Development said only .17 acres fit on the site. So, the developer is looking to make up the remaining .45 acres elsewhere. If it can’t find that space, the developer will contribute $500,000 to Fairfax County Park Authority for future urban park spaces.

Those who worked on the project told the supervisors that the project revealed challenges in the urban park standards within the Merrifield Suburban Center Comprehensive Plan.

When approving the Merrilee project, Palchik asked Fairfax County staff to find new ways to achieve the plan’s vision for urban parks.

“The challenge of meeting the urban park standard within the application brought to light needs that, when addressed, will help realize the comprehensive plan’s vision for additional park resources here in Merrifield,” she said.

The Fairfax County Planning Commission unanimously approved the project on Dec. 9 after deferring the decision for a week over concerns about the urban park space requirements.

Although concerns over parking and stormwater management were raised during the planning commission’s public hearing in December, no public speakers came forward on Tuesday.

Photo courtesy Elm Street Development, image via Fairfax County

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Tysons development Circle Towers is rebranding to Trillium Apartments (9401 Lee Highway) as it finishes up a series of extensive renovations.

“The Applicant is in the midst of renovations to Trillium Apartments, including a rebranding from the complex’s former name, Circle Towers,” the property owner said in a report.

The property owner is currently seeking a permit from Fairfax County to reflect that change, though social media accounts for the complex have referred to it as “Trillium Apartments” since at least January.

The website indicates that the apartment complex is available for tours.

The website says units at the facility range from $1,399 for a one bedroom-one bathroom unit to $2,468 for a three bedroom-2.5-bathroom unit, and features amenities like a fitness center and study spaces.

Image via Trillium Apartments

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New PPP Loan Guidance — “New guidance from the Small Business Administration changes the compensation limits for certain Paycheck Protection Program borrowers who are considered owner-employees.” [Washington Business Journal]

Here’s Where VA COVID-19 Cases Are Up — “Richmond, a city of over 230,000 people, recorded more new cases than Prince William County, which has over 470,000 people. Localities leading in new cases on Thursday were Fairfax County with 81, Richmond City with 73, Prince William County with 66, and Virginia Beach with 55.” [Patch]

Painted Rocks Share Positive Messages — “Local Girl Scouts met in person in the middle of last month, for the first time since the pandemic began, to paint stones for ‘Rock Your August with Kindness,’ the Vienna Arts Society’s (VAS) third summer project. The public may admire or even take home the approximately 150 rocks painted by the Scouts, said VAS member Mary Ellen Larkins, who co-chaired the project with MaryBeth Davis.” [Inside NoVa]

Families Living in Tysons High-Rises — “Tysons shows that high-rise housing can be an appealing home for all ages. In Tysons, 21.4% of residents are under 20 years old, an increase of about 20% since Tysons’ redevelopment plan for more housing was implemented in 2010. The majority of Tysons’ housing stock consists of mid- to high-rise, elevator buildings.” [Greater Greater Washington]

Photo by Michelle Goldchain

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A temporary statewide moratorium on eviction proceedings will remain in effect from this week through Sept. 7, according to a Virginia Supreme Court Order.

The move comes amid an ongoing Congressional stalemate over the next economic relief package.

In a statement on Monday (Aug. 10) Gov. Ralph Northam said the decision is necessary to ensure all Virginians maintain “safe, stable housing” as the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic continues. He hopes to work with the Commonwealth’s General Assembly this month to craft more permanent legislative protections for homeowners and tenants.

So far, the state has pumped $50 million via the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) specifically for households facing eviction or foreclosure due to the pandemic. A number of county-based resources to navigate the issue are also available online.

The end of the federal moratorium on evictions, which expired last month, and the lapse of the $600 weekly boost to unemployment benefits, has left many renters in peril.

Roughly 27 percent of adults in the country missed their rent or mortgage payment in July, according to a nationwide survey by the U.S. Census Bureau. Roughly 34 percent of renters said they were unsure how they would make their August payments.

Given this economic backdrop, do you think Northam should further extend the temporary ban on eviction proceedings? Let us know in the comments below. Also, we’d love to hear from readers on their experiences with paying rent and mortgages and their interactions with landlords.

Photo by Tierra Mallorca/Unsplash

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Work has started on the Highland District Apartments — a 390-unit apartment building coming soon to Tysons.

Billed as a “luxury class-A multifamily development project,” the five-story building will encompass a parking deck, according to PointOne Holdings.

PointOne Holdings announced the development yesterday (Tuesday) with the NRP Group.

“We are excited to be breaking ground on our latest development, Highland District Apartments in Tysons Corner, Virginia,” Ben Colonomos, PointOne Holdings’ managing partner, said in the announcement.

The building at 1768 Old Meadow Road is expected to be done by the summer of 2022, Bisnow reported.

The project’s description stresses the location’s proximity to jobs east of I-495 in Tysons and access to the McLean Metro station.

“Highland District will enjoy excellent walkability to over 20,000 jobs at the Capital One Headquarters, Northrop-Grumman and MITRE,” the website says.

Here are the amenities residents can expect, according to the website:

  • clubroom with gaming areas
  • areas for work
  • a doorman
  • infinity edge pool
  • yoga lawns
  • outdoor grilling area
  • package concierge service
  • fitness center with spin and cardio studios

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved the Highland District development, which includes six buildings, eight parks and an athletic field, in 2016. The development will sit next to Tysons’ second fire station, which is currently under construction.

Image via PointOne Holdings

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Fairfax County police received reports of nearly two dozen airbags stolen from cars in a residential area in the Old Courthouse neighborhood.

“Upwards of 22 airbags” were taken from vehicles — mainly Honda Civics and Accords, Sgt. Greg Bedor, a police spokesperson, told Tysons Reporter.

The incident occurred between 10:30 p.m. on Sunday (Oct. 27) and 5 a.m. on Monday (Oct. 28) in the 2100 block of Tannin Place, Bedor said. The area is mostly apartment buildings, including The Reserve at Tysons Corner, and condos.

Bedor said that the vehicles had smashed windows or were unlocked.

Police are “looking for security footage,” Bedor said.

Image via Google Maps

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(Updated at 9:40 a.m.) Two apartment buildings are now open in The Boro development in Tysons.

The Rise and Bolden buildings in Meridian Group’s 1.7 million-square-foot development opened last weekend, according to tweets.

“The Boro offers the perfect blend of a spacious, airy, and accessible living environment with an urban, amenity-rich retail district designed to connect people to everything around them,” Tom Boylan, the senior vice president of The Meridian Group, said in a press release.

Both apartment buildings (8305 Greensboro Drive and 1660 Silver Hill Drive) started leasing in the spring.

The 32-stories-tall Rise has more than 400 apartments, while Bolden, which sits atop the upcoming Whole Foods Market, offers 133 residences.

Both Rise and Bolden include a fitness center, yoga studio, club room with entertainment kitchens, indoor bike room and pool with a lounging area. They share an elevated outdoor sky park with a theater, bar area, fire pits and lounges.

Architectural firm Shalom Baranes Associates designed both of the buildings. Rise’s interior was designed by Perkins Eastman, while the Bolden’s was done by RD Jones + Associates.

The apartments include washers, dryers, dishwashers and walk-in closets.

The least expensive apartment listed in the online brochure is a one-bedroom, one-bathroom in Bolden starting at $2,098. The most expensive one listed is a two-bedroom, 2.5 bath apartment with a den in Rise for $5,488. Some of the rents are not listed and require inquiry.

“The opening of Rise and Bolden at The Boro marks a significant milestone in the transformation of this Tysons’ community into a walkable urban place, or ‘Walk-UP,'” Boylan said.

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