Tysons, VA

Two sites poised for redevelopment in Tysons now have new owners.

Thallium LLC acquired 8133 Leesburg Pike for a little more than $30 million, while McLean-based Tepe & Hisar LLC paid $19.5 million for 8201 Leesburg Pike — a total of about $50 million for the redevelopment sites, the Washington Business Journal reported.

Two years ago, Fairfax County approved the sites for a redevelopment project called International Place. Shortly afterward, the developer filed for bankruptcy.

It’s unclear what will happen to the two sites next.

“Dogan Savasman, identified in court records as chief executive manager for Tepe & Hisar, could not be reached for comment. He said in a previous interview he intends to redevelop 8201 Leesburg but those plans could change from what Garrett had proposed,” according to the Washington Business Journal.

Image via Fairfax County

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Vera Bradley will soon pack its quilted bags and say goodbye to Tysons Corner Center.

A sign by the entrance says that the handbag and luggage store will close on Friday (April 26) and encourages shoppers to visit its other locations at the Fair Oaks and Westfield Montgomery malls.

The imminent closure is the latest of a few ones this spring at the mall.

After filing for bankruptcy in February, women’s clothing chain Charlotte Russe had steep sales throughout March before closing up shop. Currently, the sizeable space on the second level by Barnes and Noble is vacant.

Gymboree shuttered more than 800 stores, including its location on the first floor of Tysons Corner Center, after filing for bankruptcy in January. The children’s clothing retailer, which was in business for 43 years, plans to sell its Janie and Jack brand, according to news reports. (The Janie and Jack store is still open on the second level.)

Gymboree’s last day of business was last Saturday, April 20, according to its Facebook page for the Tysons Corner Center location.

Home goods and decor store Dietch’ left its spot on March 31 after opening in the mall in August.

“We couldn’t afford the rent anymore and the business wasn’t as good as expected,” an employee at Dietch’ wrote in response to Tysons Reporter’s inquiries on the closure.

The former linens-focused store has barely visible writing on the glass saying “unique home furnishings and accessories.”

While the mall hasn’t announced new tenants for the vacancies yet, several newcomers are slated to arrive soon elsewhere in the mall, including 7-Eleven, an Italian legwear store, Morphe Cosmetics and a bubble tea shop. Recently, All Star Sports, shorts chain Chubbies and Bubbles opened.

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VivaTysons Magazine’s bankruptcy case has been dismissed, but financial challenges remain for the local publication.

Tysons-based Johnny Hanna & Associates LLC, which publishes the print periodical and its associated websites, sought last month to exit bankruptcy, saying that another magazine was trying to use the bankruptcy to poach VivaTysons’ advertising clients.

On Monday, a federal judge granted the company’s motion to dismiss the case and exit bankruptcy.

Despite the seemingly positive development, documents filed in court by VivaTysons’ attorneys paint a bleak picture of the company’s current finances. The magazine’s publisher listed assets of just under $64,000 amid debts and liabilities of more than $840,000.

According to the filings, VivaTysons’ revenue dropped precipitously last year, amid broader challenges for advertising-based publications. VivaTysons’ revenue for 2018 fell 37% to $489,418, from $777,116 in 2017, according to court documents.

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VivaTysons Magazine filed for bankruptcy last month after running up hundreds of thousands in debt, but the publication is now seeking to have its case dismissed.

An attorney for VivaTysons filed a motion asking a federal bankruptcy judge to dismiss the Chapter 11 case, arguing VivaTysons can better function and pay its debts outside of the bankruptcy process.

Among other reasons for exiting bankruptcy, the filing says an unnamed magazine competitor tried to use the bankruptcy to poach advertising clients from VivaTysons. (For the record, it wasn’t us. -Ed.)

From the filing:

The Debtor seeks to dismiss its case “for cause” for the following reasons: (i) the Debtor believes that it is losing essential advertising revenue as a result of its filing for bankruptcy; (ii) the Debtor is experiencing difficulty complying with the administrative burdens of chapter 11; and (iii) the Debtor is hopeful that it can achieve settlements with its creditors outside of bankruptcy. The Debtor believes its creditors will obtain a greater dividend outside of bankruptcy than pursuant to a plan in the bankruptcy case.

After the Petition Date, at least one of the Debtor’s competitors contacted the Debtor’s advertisers and falsely stated to the Debtor’s advertisers that, as a result of the bankruptcy filing, the Debtor was “closed.” The Debtor’s competitor used the bankruptcy filing and alleged “closing” to implore the Debtor’s advertisers to advertise in the competitor’s magazine instead of the Debtor’s magazine. The Debtor believes that it has lost essential advertising revenue because of the actions of its competitors as a result of the bankruptcy filing.

VivaTysons says in the filing that it owes four small business lenders and banks more than $250,000 collectively. It also owes money to its printing company, the printing company’s owner and potentially two other financial companies. The parent company of Washingtonian Magazine also filed a claim, saying it is owed $50,000 by Tysons-based Johnny Hanna & Associates, which owns VivaTysons.

VivaTysons is published every other month. It is mailed to readers and distributed to local businesses in Tysons, McLean, Falls Church, Vienna, Great Falls and Oakton.

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The publisher of VivaTysons Magazine has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

As first reported by the Washington Business Journal, Tysons-based Johnny Hanna & Associates LLC filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this month, citing assets of $100,001-500,000 and debts of $500,001-1,000,000.

Among the biggest creditors are George Stephenson and his Alexandria-based Stephenson Printing, which are collectively owed nearly $400,000. A handful of business lenders are also listed as creditors.

VivaTysons is published every other month. It is mailed to readers and distributed to local businesses in Tysons, McLean, Falls Church, Vienna, Great Falls and Oakton.

Hanna told WBJ that he has struggled to sell ads in the magazine as digital advertising continues to overtake traditional media.

“People have shied away from print for a while,” Hanna is quoted as saying. “Not many people want to immerse themselves in the community.”

A projected budget filed in federal bankruptcy court says Hanna’s company expects revenue of around $120,000 and expenses of around $190,000 over the next 12 weeks. The expenses include more than $75,000 in compensation for employees, writers and graphic designers; $50,000 for printing; and $25,000 for postage.

Hanna told WBJ that he expects to get “back to normal” after the bankruptcy process.

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