ACLU of Virginia Sues Over Optional Mask Order — The civil rights organization filed a lawsuit against Gov. Glenn Youngkin yesterday (Tuesday), saying that his executive order making face masks optional in schools “shows a reckless disregard for students with disabilities.” The move comes as Fairfax County Public Schools prepares for a hearing in its joint lawsuit in Arlington County Circuit Court at 1 p.m. today (Wednesday). [WUSA9]
County Launches Black History Project — The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and public school system are collaborating on a Black/African American Experience Project to capture, share, and preserve those aspects of the county’s history. The effort includes collecting oral histories, supporting student activities and research, and identifying options for new historical markers. [Fairfax County Government]
Tysons Software Company Expands — “Tysons’ Appian Corp. has been on a fierce hiring spree, and now it’s adding more space to accommodate those new employees. The low-code software company, which has seen demand for its products grow during the pandemic, is taking on two additional floors at its headquarters in the former Gannett building at 7950 Jones Branch Drive.” [Washington Business Journal]
Funding Approved for Vienna Stream Restoration — “The second phase of the Bear Branch stream-restoration project in Vienna will move forward, following unanimous approval Jan. 25 by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. The project…is designed to reduce nutrients and bolster water quality in the Accotink Creek watershed.” [Sun Gazette]
Metro Offers Hiring Bonus to Bus Drivers — “Metro is offering up to a $2,500 pay incentive as part of a new campaign to hire more bus drivers. Metro, like transit agencies and other industries nationwide, is facing a staffing shortage due to the pandemic and is looking to hire nearly 70 bus drivers needed to meet the current bus service schedule.” [WMATA]
A Tysons-headquartered software company has acquired German software business Lana Labs for approximately $31 million.
Appian, which provides a cloud computing platform for mobile apps, announced the acquisition last Thursday (Aug. 5). The company says in a quarterly report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission that the transaction was completed on Aug. 4 and paid for with available cash.
Based in Berlin, Germany, Lana Labs has a machine learning algorithm to improve automation of business workflows. It’s known for its process mining, where problems can be detected in a data-driven approach.
The acquisition means Appian will be able to integrate that solution natively.
“There is a natural synergy between process mining, process modeling, and automation,” Appian CEO Matt Calkins said in a statement. “We believe that our acquisition of Lana Labs means that only Appian will be able to take customers from knowing to doing, in a unified suite.”
Calkins, who founded Appian in his basement over two decades ago, recently talked with the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority about the importance of growing and keeping tech businesses in the area, and he noted how founding members of his company have remained with it.
Appian specializes in low-code development, where businesses can even develop apps without writing code.
The company didn’t immediately respond to an inquiry seeking comment.
Lana Labs was founded in 2016 and employs around 30 people.
“Lana’s AI-supported analysis of complex business and production processes aligns with the focus Appian brings to simplifying organizations’ most important workflows,” Appian said in its news release about the acquisition.
Photo via Valo Park
The consulting company Guidehouse will bring more than 900 new jobs to Fairfax County later this year when it opens a new global headquarters in Tysons, Gov. Ralph Northam announced yesterday (Monday).
The new campus will be located at 1676 International Drive and house more than 1,550 employees when at full capacity.
“This move will allow us to best accommodate growth, serve our people and clients, and attract talent,” Guidehouse CEO Scott McIntyre said. “Virginia offers a highly skilled workforce and business-friendly climate, making it an ideal location for Guidehouse’s future.”
In terms of geography, the announcement represents a small move for Guidehouse, whose current headquarters is just down the road in Tysons Galleria. But the company says the new building will better accommodate the growth and increased demand for its services that it has experienced recently.
Guidehouse currently has more than 9,000 workers and over 50 offices around the world. It works with both the commercial and public sectors in industries ranging from financial services, health, and energy to defense and national security.
According to a company news release, Guidehouse will invest $12.7 million to establish its new headquarters and plans to create more than 1,000 new jobs in Virginia over the next three years.
“We are currently in design development of the space and targeting an early Fall occupancy date,” Guidehouse spokesperson Joy Jarrett said.
According to Northam’s office, the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority and Virginia Economic Development partnership collaborated to help Tysons beat out D.C. and Maryland for Guidehouse’s global headquarters.
The company is now eligible for the Virginia Jobs Investment Program, a state-funded initiative that reimburses companies for the costs of training new full-time employees, and the state’s Major Business Facility Job Tax Credit.
“A headquarters in Tysons puts [Guidehouse] in the center of the largest business hub in the D.C. region and a talent pool that will be able to enjoy the growing number of amenities in the area,” FCEDA CEO and President Victor Hoskins said.
Guidehouse says it was drawn to Tysons for the area’s strong education and healthcare systems as well as Fairfax County’s “commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship.”
The news comes on the heels of Northam’s April 30 announcement that the cybersecurity company Ridgeline International will expand its operations in Tysons with 162 new jobs and a research and development hub expected to launch in June.
“This announcement by Guidehouse is another indication of the strength of Fairfax County as a headquarters location for companies that operate around the globe,” Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay said. “It is a testament to the investment the county government has made into creating and sustaining a world-class business location that also draws the kind of professional workforce the company needs to grow and succeed.”
Photo via Google Maps
New Fairfax County Police Chief Sworn In — Kevin Davis was formally sworn in as Fairfax County’s new police chief yesterday morning (Monday). The former Baltimore police commissioner begins his tenure amid intense scrutiny of his past conduct and the county’s hiring process. [FCPD]
Wolf Trap Wireless Tower Plans Put on Hold — Fairfax County has paused negotiations with Milestone Communications on a special exception application for a 114-foot-tall monopole on the Wolf Trap Fire Station site. The proposal drew strong opposition from community members, who argued that the structure would be inappropriate for the surrounding residential neighborhoods. [Sun Gazette]
Tysons Pandemic Recovery Survey Deadline Extended — Tysons Partnership has extended the deadline for its survey to evaluate expectations for the area’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic to May 21. Previously scheduled to close on May 14, the survey asks about people’s interest in returning to offices, transit, dining, and other activities that were disrupted by the pandemic. [Tysons Partnership]
Vienna Animal Hospital Proposes Expansion — Veterinary Surgical Centers, which is located in Suite 100 in the basement of 124 Park Street SE, wants to expand to the first floor, where it would add neurology treatment, a new imaging center with a waiting room, exam and operating rooms, and other facilities. The Vienna Planning Commission will make a recommendation on the proposal at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday (May 12). [Patch]
Clemyjontri Park Playground Named Best in Region — Virginia Living readers voted for Clemyjontri Park as the site of Northern Virginia’s best playground in the magazine’s “Best of Virginia 2021” competition. The McLean park’s unique playground was designed for children of all abilities, including kids who use wheelchairs, walkers, or braces and kids with developmental or sensory disabilities. [Fairfax County Park Authority]
Photo by Hilde Khan
Virginia to Lift All Capacity Restrictions on June 15 — If COVID-19 cases continue to decline, Gov. Ralph Northam will lift all remaining capacity limits on businesses on June 15, as suggested last week. He has not decided whether to extend the state of emergency set to expire on June 30, a move that would be necessary to keep mask requirements in place. [WTOP]
Metro Will Expand Bus Service in June — Starting June 6, Metrobus will provide late-night service until 2 a.m. on 36 of its busiest routes, and some other routes will have service increased, in some cases to pre-pandemic levels. The changes will bring the overall bus system to 85% of its pre-pandemic service levels after Metrobus averaged about 180,000 passenger trips per day on weekdays in April. [WMATA]
Citizen Catches Rabid Cat in Falls Church — Falls Church City is urging residents to contact the police or Fairfax County Health Department if they’ve been bitten or scratched by a cat in the past two weeks after a stray gray-and-white domestic long-haired cat tested positive for rabies. The cat was first spotted “in the 100 block of Gresham Place on May 2 and again in the 100 block of W. Jefferson Street on May 3 where it injured a citizen who was able to capture it.” [City of Falls Church]
Reminder: Wolf Trap Tickets Go on Sale Today — Tickets for Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts’ initial batch of summer performances will be on sale starting at 10 a.m. Highlighted by a 50th anniversary gala concert, these will be the first live, in-person events at the venue since December 2019. [Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts]
New Mural Coming to The Boro — Work has begun on a mural by Baltimore artists Jessie and Katy that will grace the Leesburg Pike side of The Loft, an office building in the Tysons mixed-use development. Expected to be completed later this spring, the mural will be among the largest in the D.C. area at 400 feet long and 80 feet high. [The Boro/press release]
Falls Church Dentist Moves to Larger Location — “Congratulations to Dr. Ramineh Kangarloo and the team at Gentle Touch Dentistry For All Ages for expanding to a larger location in the Providence District! Thank you for serving the community and finding ways to give back.” [Supervisor Dalia Palchik/Twitter]
Photo by Joanne Liebig
Tysons IT Company to Add 162 Jobs with Expansion — Gov. Ralph Northam announced on Friday (April 30) that technology security company Ridgeline International, Inc. will invest $1.75 million and create 162 new jobs to expand operations at its headquarters in Tysons. Founded in 2015, Ridgeline started with five employees and now has more than 200 workers with an emphasis on hiring veterans. [Office of the Governor]
I-66 Construction to Close Gallows Road Lanes Overnight — “Gallows Road over I-66 will be reduced to a single travel lane in each direction nightly Monday, May 3, through Saturday, May 8, from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. The northbound side of Gallows Road will be closed with two-way traffic running on the southbound side.” [VDOT]
Vienna Farmers Market Returns — The Vienna Farmers Market came back this weekend and will be outside the Vienna Community Center from 8 a.m. to noon every Saturday until Oct. 30. It is one of dozens of farmers markets that have started opening around Fairfax County this spring. [Town of Vienna/Twitter]
Northern Virginia Could Reach Community Immunity This Summer — “A year to the day after Northern Virginia hit its peak number of hospitalizations for COVID-19, the University of Virginia predicted the region could reach community immunity from the virus by June or July…Based on current vaccine acceptance and vaccine update levels, the region could be the first in Virginia to achieve immunity among adults.” [Inside NoVA]
Removal of Asphalt W&OD Trail in Falls Church to Begin — Removal of the existing asphalt Washington and Old Dominion trail and preparation of the new trail’s subsurface is set to begin this week as part of the Dual Trails Project in the City of Falls Church. Sections of the trail will be inaccessible for about four weeks each during work to install new pavement. The project is expected to be completed by August. [Falls Church News-Press]
If approved, the purchase would represent an expansion of the private, family-run firm’s senior living holdings, which currently includes Carriage Hill of Bethesda and some planned developments and redevelopments in North Carolina and Florida, according to its website. In the mid-Atlantic region, Modalia has leased Regency Care of Arlington and Regency Care of Silver Spring.
The 7.67-acre property at 2100 Powhatan Street will remain a nursing home serving McLean and Falls Church, according to county documents. Currently owned by Cynthia Butler, it has been family-owned and operated since it was built in 1965.
“Powhatan Nursing Home has been part of the community since its construction in 1965,” Kathryn Taylor, an attorney with the land-use firm Walsh Colucci, wrote in a letter to the Fairfax County Department of Planning & Zoning. “Upon the purchase of the Powhatan Nursing Home, the Applicant will continue the nursing home use, which offers valuable and beneficial services to the surrounding community.”
According to Walsh Colucci land use attorney Lynne Strobel, the property has already been put under contract, but Modalia needs its special exception request to be approved by Fairfax County in order to close the sale.
“I cannot speculate on what will happen if the special exception is not approved,” Strobel told Tysons Reporter.
Powhatan Nursing Home, which can house up to 160 residents, provides long-term and short-term care to individuals who require assistance with daily living, the letter said. This includes rehabilitation programs, physical therapy and occupational therapy.
Modalia plans minor exterior and interior repairs to refurbish and upgrade the aging building, the county documents say.
“The Applicant is an experienced operator of age-restricted housing,” the letter from Walsh said.
Modalia Capital is run by the Vucich family, which got its start in the nursing home business in Chicago after World War II, according to the website. The Vucich family operated more than a half-dozen assisted living and skilled nursing facilities in the Midwest that it has since sold.
The second and third-generation family members running Modalia are now building up a portfolio of senior living and multifamily properties in Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida.
If the sale is finalized, Strobel says Powhatan will be rebranded as Vierra Falls Church and become part of “Vierra Communities,” Modalia Capital’s newly rebranded senior living venture.
“Vierra has specialized in the management and operations of senior living and skilled nursing facilities since 1952,” Modalia’s website said.
Last October, the investment group purchased a property in South Florida that it may develop into an intergenerational, mixed-use development with condos, an assisted living and memory care community and retail, South Florida Business Journal reports.
Photo via Google Maps
Metro Silver Line Phase 2 Delayed Again — “Metro executive vice president of capital delivery Laura Mason said Thursday based on the latest information from the Washington Metropolitan Airports Authority – which is in charge of building Silver Line phase two – fall 2021 appears to be the best estimate for when service can start.” [ABC7-WJLA]
VHSL Issues New Face Mask Requirement for Student Athletes — “Starting tomorrow, winter athletes must wear a face mask at all times. This includes while they are engaged in physical activity. Because of safety concerns the only exceptions would be wrestling, gymnastics and swim & dive (when engaged in activity).” [McLean High School]
Fairfax County Suggests Pause on 495 NEXT — “Fairfax County supervisors approved two letters to the state transportation secretary Dec. 1 urging the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) not to finalize decisions on its 495 Express Lanes Northern Extension (495 NEXT) project until Maryland officials make highway-capacity arrangements on their side of the Potomac River.” [Sun Gazette/Inside NOVA]
Comcast Expands Network in Tysons and Other Parts of Virginia — “Comcast Business today announced it has completed construction in Virginia – expanding the company’s advanced fiber-optic network to more than 2,800 additional businesses.” [Comcast Business/PR Newswire]
Tysons IT Company Expands Microsoft Collaboration — “DXC Technology (NYSE: DXC) today announced an expanded strategic collaboration with Microsoft to deliver a more personalized, intelligent, secure and modern workplace experience to help companies to address rapidly evolving business challenges and customer and employee needs.” [Business Wire]
Falls Church City School Board Member to Resign — “Lawrence Webb, a member of the Falls Church City Council and School Board since 2008, announced his resignation as of Jan. 1 from the School Board on Tuesday.” [Falls Church News-Press]
Northrop Grumman Finishes Design Review of Artemis Astronaut Living Quarters — “Falls Church-based Fortune 100 defense contractor Northrop Grumman Corp. announced Wednesday it has completed the initial preliminary design review (PDR) for the Habitation and Logistics Outpost (HALO), which will serve as living quarters for astronauts at the Lunar Gateway mini space station during lunar exploration missions.” [Virginia Business]
The Boro Commissions Mural from D.C. Artists — “The new addition to the Boro is designed to invite passersby into the neighborhood and ‘infuse happiness and joy to everyone who sees it, whether that is a commuter on the metro, a resident or shopper at the Boro, or a driver on Route 7,’ the company said in a news release.” [Inside NOVA]
Photo via VDOT
Falls Church-based Rare Bird Coffee Roasters is expanding, despite its temporary closure.
The cafe is set to take over the next-door location that sits on the corner of North Maple Ave and West Broad Street, according to the Falls Church City Council.
It is unclear when the construction will be complete.
When asked about the updates, “We are making an official announcement soon,” a spokesperson said, adding that more details will be released soon.
Rare Bird Coffee Roasters decided to temporarily close its doors around March because of the COVID-19 pandemic but still offers free local shipping on various products, the website said.
Photo via Rare Bird Coffee/Facebook