At least according to one real estate broker, realtors looking to expand outside Tysons, Reston or Arlington County should be looking into commercial redevelopment in Vienna.
In an article published by the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors, Frank Dillow, a senior commercial broker in Long & Foster’s Commercial Division, pointed to 2014’s approval of Maple Avenue Commercial (MAC) zoning as a step towards flexible zoning to attract new developments.
“Vienna’s interest in rethinking its downtown comes as suburban communities throughout Northern Virginia react to residents and developers seeking to transform existing retail outlets into more modern lifestyle community centers featuring restaurants and entertainment,” Dillow said.
The approval of MAC zoning regulations are part of an effort by the Town of Vienna to combat rampant vacancies throughout the town. The new regulations allow buildings up to four stories tall and greater density than usual to be considered for Maple Avenue, a primary thoroughfare in Vienna.
But the MAC zoning has also come under fire, from the public and members of the Town Council, for what is seen as too quickly and too radically altering the character of downtown Vienna. Controversy over MAC zoning led to a moratorium on new proposed developments until a review process for the ordinance can be completed. That review is currently ongoing.
But Dillow said in his article that local residents are increasingly understanding the necessity of added density.
“Increasingly, people understand that to achieve their community goals and create a vibrant place to live, the community needs different types of development — different types of density,” Dillow said. “As Northern Virginia continues its rapid commercial transformation, realtors should be looking beyond the current well-publicized developments in Tysons, Reston or Arlington County, to expanded opportunities in the commercial redevelopment occurring in older, more established communities such as Vienna.”
FRIT Opening Tysons Office — Maryland-based Federal Realty Investment Trust, which owns the Pike 7 shopping center, is planning to open an office in Tysons to better manage its Northern Virginia properties. [Washington Business Journal]
Sheriff’s Office Alerts ICE — “The Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office notifies U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement authorities when a possibly undocumented immigrant in its custody is scheduled to be released, a written notice given to inmates says.” [Fairfax Times]
Programming Note — For those of you used to seeing Morning Notes on this site, or on our sister sites of ARLnow and Reston Now, we’re changing things up a bit here. Instead of a daily post, we will now be doing a once-weekly roundup of Tysons, McLean, Vienna and Falls Church-related items in the news since last Friday.
Police Looking for Missing Local Man — Fairfax County Police are asking for the public’s help finding a missing, endangered 21-year-old man who was last seen January 31 on the 3100 block of Monticello Drive in Falls Church. [Twitter]
Part of Development Project Offered for Sale — “A piece of the planned 2.5-million-square-foot Arbor Row mixed-use development in Tysons is being offered for sale as its owners seek to capitalize on the momentum growing through other recently completed or planned projects in the area.” [Washington Business Journal, Bisnow]
West Falls Church Development Modified — The Falls Church City Council is set to vote on a series of five modifications to a plan for the private development of a 10.3 acre city-owned property near the West Falls Church Metro station. Among the changes are “an increase in residential density allowing an additional 50,000 square feet in senior housing and an additional 100,000 square feet in residential density of either condominiums or studio and one bedroom apartments.” [Falls Church News-Press]
Pair Arrested for Mall Theft, Assault on Officer — Two women from Laurel, Maryland were arrested last week and charged with stealing items from the Superdry store at Tysons Corner Center. One of the women is charged with assault on law enforcement after allegedly trying to fight the arresting officers. [FCPD]
Gannett Rejects Takeover Offer — Tysons-based newspaper chain Gannett has rejected an unsolicited takeover proposal, made by a hedge fund-owned company best known for slashing costs and jobs. [USA Today, BusinessWire]
Free Soup at Barnes and Noble — The Tysons Corner Center Barnes and Noble store is offering free soup with the purchase of a sandwich this month. [Instagram]
Another Tysons Firm Moving to Boro — “Alion Science and Technology Corp. is leaving one Tysons tower for another. The engineering firm, headquartered at Lerner Enterprises’ 1750 Tysons Blvd., has agreed to lease 16,000 square feet at Boro Tower… Alion will join KPMG LLP (roughly 168,000 square feet), Tegna Inc. (46,000 square feet), Hogan Lovells (44,500 square feet), and Womble Bond Dickinson (24,239 square feet).” [Washington Business Journal]
Weather Delays Silver Line Repairs — “Promised sealant for problem concrete panels at Silver Line stations due to open next year is on hold. The sealant is intended to prevent the panels, which were revealed last year to have an incorrect mix that could create problems, from deteriorating over coming decades.” [WTOP]
Tysons Development Quiz — “How much do you know about construction, leasing and development activity in Tysons? Take this quiz to test your knowledge.” [Bisnow]
Hunter Mill District Races — Two candidates are running for the Hunter Mill District seat on the Fairfax County School Board, which is being vacated by incumbent Pat Hynes. Meanwhile, long-time Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins announced yesterday that she will retire after her term ends. [Reston Now, Reston Now]
Reminder: Drone Meeting Tonight — A meeting to discuss a comprehensive plan for Fairfax County’s use of drones, particularly for public safety, will take place tonight at the McLean District Governmental Center. [Tysons Reporter]
Fatal Pedestrian Crash on Route 50 — “Officers responded to the report of a hit-and-run crash involving a pedestrian on Arlington Boulevard near Summerfield Road, at approximately six [Friday] night. The pedestrian was crossing Arlington Boulevard, not in a crosswalk, and was hit by a dark colored mid to full-size pickup truck with an open bed. The truck did not stop and drove away from the scene. The pedestrian, 93-year-old Pericles Apostolou, from Falls Church, was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.” [FCPD]
Tegna Auctioning Office Fixtures — Broadcast conglomerate Tegna is moving from its current Tysons home to the Boro development. As part of the move, it’s auctioning off furniture, TVs and other items of value from around the office. Bids close Thursday. [Washington Business Journal, Rasmus Auctions]
Local Hackers Gather in McLean — “All day Monday, the NoVa Hackers held their SchmooCon Epilogue in McLean… Over 150 members attended topical lectures, competed in MetaCTF challenges, and participated in discussions about cyber and information security between insider groups.” [WDVM]
Big Names Among Potential Galleria Tenants — “Tysons Galleria… is in advanced talks with Tiffany & Co., Apple Inc. and gourmet grocer Balducci’s, in addition to high-end movie theater chain iPic, to open in portions of the space, according to two sources with knowledge of the discussions.” [Washington Business Journal]
Possible Money Motivation in McLean Double Murder — “The newly unsealed search warrant reveals why Megan Hargan might have carried out the crime: Megan’s mother discovered someone had attempted to wire ‘large amounts’ of money from her bank account on the day before her slaying. Pamela Hargan notified her bank the transfer was fraudulent. On the day of the killings, a second transfer was initiated to send money to a title company that was handling the purchase of a home by Megan in West Virginia.” [Washington Post]
Huge Tysons Development Still Looking for Office Anchor — “The developer behind Scotts Run had courted Amazon and Apple in hopes of landing an anchor for its planned 8M SF Tysons development, but neither of those panned out. Cityline Partners now continues to search for a tenant to kick off construction on the project’s office component. Cityline is one of several developers with major Tysons office projects waiting in the wings, hoping to sign pre-leases before breaking ground.” [Bisnow]
FCPS Offering Sub Gigs for Furloughed Feds — “Fairfax County Public Schools, the largest school district in Virginia, is offering substitute teaching positions to federal employees furloughed during the government shutdown. The hiring event will take place Friday, Jan. 11, from 2 p.m.-4:30 p.m. at the FCPS Administration Center, 8115 Gatehouse Road, Falls Church.” [Patch]
Senators Press Administration on Tax Refunds — “Virginia Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-Va.) have sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin asking how Virginia taxpayers will be affected by the government shutdown, which has left the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) short-staffed and potentially unprepared for the beginning of the 2019 tax-filing season.” [Fairfax Times]
McLean Foundation Sets Grant Deadline — “The McLean Community Foundation has set a deadline of Feb. 1 for non-profit organizations seeking to apply for its next round of grant funding. The foundation recently awarded nearly $67,000 in grants, including funding to McLean Little League and the Old Firehouse Teen Center, among others.” [InsideNova]
Developer Buys NADA HQ — “The Meridian Group has acquired the NADA headquarters building and an adjacent development site, adding to its growing Boro District near the Greensboro Metro station in Tysons.” [Washington Business Journal]
Police Expanding Dressing Room Filming Case — Fairfax County Police have added Fair Lakes Promenade and Springfield Town Center to the list of shopping centers where they think 39-year-old Mumtaz Rauf secretly filmed women in the dressing room of stores like Forever 21, Gap, H&M, and Old Navy. Rauf was already suspected of filming at Fair Oaks Mall and Tysons Corner Center. [FCPD]
Park Fees May Increase — “Fees for using the Fairfax County Park Authority’s RECenters, gardens, historic sites, rental facilities and trails would increase under a slate of fee changes proposed by agency officials. The fee package would bring in an estimated $656,000 more revenue, officials said.” [InsideNova]
Tysons Startup Moving to California — “Tysons personal data startup Kork… recently got a $5 million term sheet from a New York-based private equity firm for its Series A round that values the company at $15 million… But the growth has also led to another big moment — Kork plans to move to California in the coming months, according to CEO and co-founder Robert Wensley. ‘We tried really hard to raise money here in D.C. but it’s impossible unless you are cybersecurity of some sort,’ Wensley said.” [Washington Business Journal]
Tysons Startup Raises $10 Million — “McLean-based Verato Inc., which provides cloud technology to consolidate medical records, has raised $10 million in Series C financing… Verato has already outgrown its 6,000-square-foot headquarters, so it plans to move in July to another Tysons space totaling 12,000 to 14,000 square feet.” [Washington Business Journal]
Building Near Spring Hill Metro Purchased — “Transwestern today announces it brokered the sale of Tysons Pond II, a 67,151-square-foot, free-standing office building located at 1604 Spring Hill Road in Tysons… A private investor purchased the 70 percent leased asset for $10 million.” [Citybizlist]
Nantucket Bay Scallops Season in Tysons — “Nantucket Bay scallops are in season and Eddie V’s of Tysons Corner has a special scallop dishes that are available for a limited time.” [WUSA 9]
Jerry Gordon Reflects on Retirement — “Jerry Gordon has two weeks left on his job as the president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Authority, and his office is so empty it echoes… After 31 years on the job, Gordon is transitioning out of a role that led Fairfax to become a superstar in economic development.” [Washington Business Journal]
More Silver Line Phase 2 Problems — “Hundreds of concrete rail ties installed at track crossovers along the second phase of the Silver Line are flawed, officials say, a problem that could further delay the multibillion-dollar rail project that is already 13 months behind schedule.” [Washington Post]
A month after announcing that KPMG was leasing up to seven floors, the Boro Tower is touting another newly-signed tenant.
Law firm Womble Bond Dickinson will be moving into the tower’s 15th floor in mid-2019, developers The Meridian Group and Rockefeller Group announced Tuesday morning.
The under-construction, 20-story office tower, part of the massive Boro development next to the Greensboro Metro station in Tysons, is now 68 percent leased. Other announced tenants include the soon-to-be-relocated headquarters of Tysons-based TV station group TEGNA and the law firm Hogan Lovells.
More from a press release:
The Meridian Group and Rockefeller Group announced today that Womble Bond Dickinson is moving its Tysons office to Boro Tower, a new trophy office tower near completion at The Boro
The law firm will lease 24,239 square feet – the Tower’s entire 15th floor — beginning in mid-2019. The building is now 68 percent preleased ahead of construction completion, with about 135,000 square feet of office space remaining.
“We are excited and proud to welcome this outstanding law firm to Boro Tower,” said David Cheek, President of The Meridian Group, which is developing The Boro.
Today’s announcement continues the momentum for the mixed-use development. “Womble Bond Dickinson joins a premier lineup of firms, companies and organizations that have chosen The Boro for their new location,” said Gary Block, Chief Investment Officer of The Meridian Group.
Womble Bond Dickinson will relocate its Tysons office at 8065 Leesburg Pike about a mile away. Approximately 40 of the firm’s attorneys and staff will work at Boro Tower.
“We’re excited to be moving into Boro Tower, a premiere office building located in The Boro, which we anticipate will be a vibrant complex and a new hub to the Tysons business community. Our new space will provide an ideal location (including easy Metro access) and office environment to serve our existing clients and attract new ones,” said Gary Nunes, the firm’s Tysons Office Managing Partner. “Our firm is experiencing an exciting period of evolution and growth, and our new space will help fuel that growth, including helping us recruit and retain top talent. Womble Bond Dickinson has called Northern Virginia home for nearly 20 years, and this move ensures that we will remain an active member of the community for many more years to come.”
Meridian and Rockefeller Group are co-developing the Gensler-designed, 437,000-square-foot trophy office tower.
From its vantage on “The Hill” – the highest ground elevation in Fairfax County -Boro Tower offers panoramic views from the Blue Ridge Mountains to downtown Washington, D.C. The 20-story building, designed to achieve LEED Gold certification, features a shimmering glass curtain wall, accented by a modern, white-glazed terra cotta.
The Tower offers 9- to 10-foot finished ceilings and ideally sized, efficient floorplates that minimize columns and maximize daylight and views. The building boasts ample amenities, including a rooftop terrace, fitness center, locker rooms and bicycle storage that perfectly complement the 10,000 SF of lobby level retail space.
CBRE’s Rob Faktorow and Terry Reiley represented The Meridian Group and the Rockefeller Group in the leasing deal. Womble Bond Dickinson was represented by Mike Shuler and Nate Krill at Avison Young.
“Boro Tower continues to generate significant interest from a wide range of prospective tenants,” said Tom Boylan, Vice President of The Meridian Group. “It offers the best of all worlds: a trophy office building in an ideal location, surrounded by numerous dining, shopping and entertainment options.”
Womble Bond Dickinson is the fourth major tenant to select Boro Tower for its offices.
The three others:
- Big Four accounting firm KPMG, which announced last month that it will lease up to seven floors of the Tower.
- Global law firm Hogan Lovells, which will occupy the Tower’s entire 17th floor and the majority of its 16th floor.
- Media company TEGNA, which is moving its headquarters to the top two floors.
Boro Tower is located in the heart of The Boro, Meridian Group’s amenity-rich development. Located within steps of the Greensboro Metro station, The Boro will be the premier Metro-oriented, mixed-use destination in Tysons.
The 15-acre development will consist of a dynamic mix of office, rental and for-sale residential, retail, entertainment and open park space – a walkable urban environment that has long been sought in Tysons.
The Boro’s dramatic 1.7 million-square-foot first phase, on schedule for completion in 2019, will deliver nearly 700 residential units, 260,000 square feet of destination retail and Boro Tower.
“The Boro is one of the premier developments in the Washington Metro area,” said Hilary Allard Goldfarb, Senior Vice President at Rockefeller Group. “Tenants are drawn to Boro Tower for its quality, location and amenities, combined with the sense of place that The Boro district uniquely offers.”
Ideally located near Route 7, Route 123 and Greensboro Drive, The Boro is designed to bring people outside — with pedestrian-friendly roadways, attractive open spaces and a variety of restaurants offering outdoor seating.
The Boro has already attracted such best-in-class companies as Whole Foods Market, which is planning a 69,000-square-foot flagship location; and Kerasotes ShowPlace ICON Theatres, which will open a luxurious new cinema with 15 state-of-the-art screens and upscale dining options.
“The Boro will be a vibrant community to live, work, dine and relax,” Boylan said. “It will be a place that sparkles with life both day and night. We have a lot to look forward to here.”
Pedestrian Deaths Now Double Last Year — “On Oct. 25 and 26, there were two pedestrian fatalities in Fairfax County. So far in 2018, there have been 100 pedestrian crashes and 10 fatalities. In 2017, there were 189 pedestrian crashes with five fatalities.” [Fairfax County]
A Look Inside the New Capital One HQ — “The 940,500-square-foot structure… is jam-packed with other amenities — commissioned artwork, a full-size basketball court, a FedEx store, a Power Up technology bar, outdoor terrace and market cafe inspired by the likes of Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market. It’s got pretty much everything but a place for employees to bed down for the night, but no worries, a corporate hotel’s part of the project’s next phases, along with a performing arts center, an urban-format Wegmans and a third office building set to break ground early next year.” [Washington Business Journal, Bisnow]
Medicine Cabinet Clean-out Results — The Fairfax County Police Department’s 2018 Medicine Cabinet Clean-out drive collected more than 2,200 pounds of expired or unwanted medications, including 351 pounds collected at the McLean District Station alone. [FCPD]