Tysons Corner, VA

A Maryland-based real estate firm recently purchased part of the Arbor Row development in Tysons.

Washington Property Co. announced it bought a 5.2-acre slice of the 2.5-million-square-foot project last week, according to the Washington Business Journal.

“WPC now plans to build about 700 apartments and 8,000 square feet of retail on the site, which is located at the intersection of Westpark Drive and West Branch Drive,” according to WBJ.

Arbor Row’s overarching plan is to transform the back end of Tysons Galleria with a variety of mixed-use buildings. The portion of the project was offered for sale earlier this year after Cityline Partners decided not to follow through on its development plans for the site.

The new owner hopes to start construction within the next two years, WBJ wrote.

Images via CBRE

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The View. The Lumen. The Monarch.

Where do the new Tysons developments get their names?

Some of the names are obvious, like Capital One Tower or The Boro under construction across from the Greensboro Metro station, but others have obscure names derived either from the purpose or design of the project.

Here are the stories and thought processes behind the name of some new developments around Tysons:

The View 

What it is: A sprawling 3 million-square-foot development from the Clemente Development Company near the Spring Hill Metro station. The centerpiece of the project is The Iconic, a 600 foot-tall office tower.

“The View’s name is based on the fact that this project will be the western gateway project in Tysons as it matures into America’s ‘Next Great City,’ with dramatic views in all directions,” Juliann Clemente, the president of Clemente Development Company, said in an email. “The name captures the project’s essence and its prominent role in the development of Tysons’ skyline.”

Clemente also noted that much of the company’s names are picked by the development team over lunch.

The Evolution

What it is: A planned affordable housing complex temporarily on hold as the Clemente Development Company focuses on The View to the north.

“The Evolution’s name was chosen as it will provide the workforce — in one location — a home with educational facilities, child care services and other essential amenities all proximate to where the workforce lives, works and plays enabling residents to evolve within walking distance to work in the new city that will be Tysons,” Clemente said. “No commuting required. They’re turning commuting time into productive time, and we’re offering the opportunity to grow and evolve.”

The Monarch 

What it is: A high-end condominium tower east of Tysons Galleria that broke ground earlier this year. Units in The Monarch range from $600,000 to just over $3 million.

“The Monarch name was chosen for two reasons,” Kamarin Kraft, the vice president of the Mayhood Company, which is marketing the project, said. “The first is that the project is a part of the new Tysons and we are very proud to be part of this positive transformation. The Monarch butterfly is powerful symbol of this exciting transformation. The second reason is that we have outdoor space on every home and most of them are three-sided extended balconies which makes the building appear as if it’s taking flight when viewed from above.”

Arbor Row

What it is: A row of development projects located along Westpark Drive, of which The Monarch is one.

“I have to assume the Arbor Row name comes from the line of properties which flank Westpark Drive and share the mature grove of trees to the rear which is a unique asset in our urban setting,” Kraft said.

The Lumen 

What it is: A luxury-apartment that started leasing earlier this year with move-ins planned later this summer.

“The name for Lumen was inspired by the building design,” Lindsey Bernhardt, the account manager for LinnellTaylor Marketing, said. “Consisting of floor to ceiling windows spanning the entire building, standing at 32 stories tall, the Lumen is the tallest building in Fairfax County to date. The name is a play on the meaning of lumen, relating to luminous, letting the bright and radiant light in.”

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The Fairfax County Planning Commission greenlighted yesterday (June 12) a proposed senior living facility in Tysons despite concerns from staff about the height, size and open space.

Fairfax County staff recommended denial of the proposed two-tower senior living complex called The Mather.

The proposed building would go 60 feet above the 225-foot maximum. “The excessive height combined with a narrow building footprint oriented diagonally results in a building mass that inconsistent with adjoining structures and overwhelms the street,” according to the staff report.

Staff also took issue with the developer wanting to move the open space from an area on top of the parking garage to a sloping area behind the parking garage.

According to the staff report:

The three major issues noted above are all interrelated and stem from the manner in which the continuing care facility is proposed to be integrated into the existing Arbor Row development. Staff does not object to the concept of a continuing care facility as a use, and in fact, recognizes the services provided by such a facility are both necessary and desirable within Tysons. However, the continuing care facility has been designed in a way that reflects the unique needs of the applicant’s specific business model, and does not reflect the urban design recommendations of both the Comprehensive Plan and the Tysons Urban Design Guidelines.

While Providence District Planning Commissioner Phillip Niedzielski-Eichner called the proposal “one of the most complicated applications the commission will recall,” he ultimately brought forth a motion to approve the project.

Before the vote, Niedzielski-Eichner asked staff to address each of the three major concerns and allowed the applicant’s representative, John McGranahan Jr., to respond.

McGranahan argued that the recommended denial by staff was not considering the proposal’s height and size in the context of the surrounding neighborhood.

A staffer said that the mass of the building was considered to be out of context to the nearby buildings and that the applicant’s desire for more height for operational and financial considerations wasn’t enough justification to go above the maximum height.

Staff and McGranahan also disagreed on the relocation and redesign of the open space.

By the end of the back and forth, Niedzielski-Eichner said he was persuaded by the applicant’s reasoning.

Now that the proposal has a favorable recommendation from the Planning Commission, it heads to Fairfax County’s Board of Supervisors.

The project is a part of Cityline Partners LLC’s Arbor Row project near Tysons Galleria, which includes the completed Nouvelle residential building and The Monarch. The development aims to transform the back end of Tysons Galleria along Westpark Drive into a suite of mixed-use buildings.

Image via Fairfax County Planning Commission 

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Updated 5 p.m. — After a long series of delays, D.C.-based Mediterranean restaurant Agora plans to open its Tysons branch in June.

The restaurant is located on the ground floor of the Nouvelle at 7911 Westpark Drive — part of the Arbor Row development northeast of Tysons Galleria. The 4,000-square-foot eatery will have a custom brick oven, according to a press release.

The split-level interior — which owner Ismail Uslu had previously told Tysons Reporter was part of a design challenge that led to the delays — will include Turkish decor.

The menu will feature short ribs, grilled octopus and other Mediterranean favorites.

Agora is set to be open every day from 11 a.m.-2 a.m.

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If you peeked under silver duct tape on the front window of Agora at 7911 Westpark Drive, you would find a sign saying “Opening 2018.” Things have not gone as planned.

The new restaurant would be the second location for the Mediterranean eatery based out of Dupont Circle in the District. The restaurant is under construction in the Nouvelle apartment tower northeast of Tysons II, part of a suite of Arbor Row developments.

The restaurant was announced last October with plans to open in December. But by February, owner Ismail Uslu said he had been struggling with a slow permitting process that has taken a full year for approval.

At the time, Uslu said the new opening was scheduled for March. But midway through April, the interior of the restaurant is still under construction.

According to Uslu, the restaurant is having design difficulties related to elevation. The restaurant is not only split-level but located on a slope running down Westpark Drive. Uslu said the new aim is to open sometime in mid-to-late May.

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There’s already been a substantial amount of digging and preliminary work at the Monarch, a 20-story condominium tower northeast of Tysons Galleria, but last week the project officially broke ground.

The tower at 7887 Jones Branch Drive is now under construction with an opening scheduled for late 2020.

The site is planned to have 94 residences with a dozen floor plans, from 880 to 3,4000 square feet, meaning the building will have a range of two to six units per floor. Designs show that all residents will have floor-to-ceiling windows and outdoor balconies.

Prices range from $600,000 to just over $3 million.

The project is part of the Arbor Row development, a 19-acre stretch of mixed-use buildings along Westpark Drive. The first building of the project, the residential Nouvelle, was completed in 2015 and the next phase, senior living facility The Mather, is going to the Fairfax County Planning Commission next week.

“Arbor Row is the new Tysons’ most livable neighborhood,” Albert H. Small Jr., founder of developer Renaissance, said in a press release. “There already are pedestrian pathways that lead to enticing restaurants and shops, and more green space than you will find anywhere else in Tysons. With both Wegmans and Whole Foods opening soon in the immediate area, Arbor Row will offer extensive options to support a healthy lifestyle.”

While the project is planned to be walkable in the long-run, locals should be aware that construction activity has temporarily closed the sidewalk along Westpark Drive.

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