Morning Notes

Two People Displaced by Vienna Townhouse Fire — A townhouse fire in Vienna that closed part of Church Street for about two hours on Wednesday (June 9) displaced two people and resulted in about $148,750 in damages. Investigators say the fire was accidental, started in a wall between a bedroom closet and second-floor bathroom by an “open flame device (torch) that ignited nearby combustibles.” [FCFRD]

Police Hold Town Hall on Vehicle Pursuit Policy — Community members raised concerns about drunk driving and car thefts at a town hall that the Fairfax County Police Department held yesterday (Thursday) to discuss proposed revisions to its policy for vehicle pursuits. Among other changes, the new policy eliminates traffic violations, misdemeanors, and non-violent felonies as situations that can justify a pursuit. [WTOP]

School Bus Crashes in Annandale — A school bus and car collided at the intersection of Gallows Road and Surrey Lane in Annandale yesterday afternoon. The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department said “several” kids on the bus were transported to hospital “as a pre-caution for a check-up” and the car driver was transported with non-life-threatening injuries. [FCFRD/Twitter]

Classroom Modular Coming to Kilmer MS — Kilmer Middle School will get 10 new classroom spaces with the construction on a modular facility that will also have a staff workroom and restrooms. The Fairfax County School Board is scheduled to award a contract for the project on June 17 with on-site work expected to begin in July and finish by the end of this calendar year. [Hunter Mill District School Board Community Update]

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Reston Hospital Center is constructing a new emergency room in Tysons (Courtesy Reston Hospital Center)

(Updated at 3:55 p.m.) Construction has begun on a new, standalone emergency room in the heart of Tysons, Reston Hospital Center announced today (Wednesday).

The freestanding 14,000 square-foot facility will be located at 8240 Leesburg Pike within walking distance of the Tysons and Greensboro Metro stations. That is approximately six miles north of Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church.

The closest healthcare facility in the immediate Tysons area right now is Kaiser Permanente’s Tysons Corner Medical Center (8008 Westpark Dr.), which has an ambulatory surgery center but no emergency room. It provides urgent care but only by referral, according to its website.

“We welcome the expansion of healthcare facilities and providers serving Tysons and its surrounding communities,” Tysons Partnership President and CEO Sol Glasner said in a statement to Tysons Reporter.

Reston Hospital, which is part of the HCA Virginia Health System, says it hopes to open the new emergency department in the first quarter of 2022.

“Upon launch, the 11-treatment room, state-of-the-art ER will be staffed with board-certified emergency room physicians and nurses, 24-hours a day, 365 days a year and offer the same services provided in an emergency room that is housed within the walls of a hospital,” the hospital said in a news release.

Reston Hospital announced the emergency room as part of a slate of investments totaling $70 million that are expected to be completed over the next three years.

Located near Reston Town Center at 1850 Town Center Parkway, Reston Hospital Center contains 231 beds and offers a variety of medical and surgical services, including around-the-clock emergency care with a dedicated pediatric emergency room and Level II trauma center, an Institute of Robotic Surgery, and an Inpatient Rehabilitation Center.

According to the news release, the new investments come on the heels of a multi-year expansion of the hospital’s Reston campus that concluded in early 2020. Along with the Tysons emergency room, other initiatives include technology upgrades, an expansion of the Inpatient Rehabilitation Center, and the launch of a neurointerventional suite that provides treatment for stroke patients.

The hospital also introduced an augmented reality system that assists with surgeries in October.

“These service expansions, investments and improvements are critical in helping us to continue delivering on our commitment as a premier specialty hospital, as well as being recognized as the healthcare provider and the employer of choice in the Northern Virginia region,” Reston Hospital Center President and CEO John Deardorff said.

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Morning Notes

Revisit Original Tysons Corner Apple Store via AR — “On May 19, 2001, Apple opened its first two retail stores in Tysons Corner, Virginia and Glendale, California. Now you can revisit the world’s first Apple Store exactly as it appeared twenty years ago on grand opening day through an interactive augmented reality experience.” [9 to 5 Mac]

Apple Anniversary at Tysons Corner Center —  “Twenty years ago today, Steve Jobs opened the first ⁦@Apple store in Tysons Corner, VA, a suburb of D.C. Here I am talking to him during his press walkthrough of the store.” [Walt Mossberg/Twitter]

Falls Church School Vaccine Clinics Coming — In addition to bringing COVID-19 vaccine sites to Fairfax County high schools, the Fairfax County Health Department will provide school-based clinics to Falls Church City Public Schools students on Friday (May 21) and June 11. The deadline to register for the clinics is today (Thursday) at 8 p.m. [FCHD]

Civilian Review Panel to Hold Public Forum for Police Chief — The Fairfax County Police Civilian Review Panel will host a virtual public forum on WebEx at 7 p.m. on May 26 to discuss civilian oversight of law enforcement with new Police Chief Kevin Davis. This is the second opportunity that community members will get to question Davis, whose appointment was met with skepticism from local civil rights advocates. [Supervisor Dan Storck/Twitter]

Retired MCC Executive Director Gets Sendoff — “State and local officials, along with past and present members of the McLean Community Center Governing Board, gave a final send-off to the center’s departing executive director, George Sachs, during a May 2 gathering at McLean Central Park…Sachs retired May 7 after 11 years at the center. His successor, Daniel Phoenix Singh…assumed his new post April 12.” [Sun Gazette]

New Maintenance Facility Opens at Pimmit Run — “The Fairfax County Park Authority has opened a new Area 1 Maintenance Facility at Pimmit Run Stream Valley Park to better meet current and future maintenance needs. The project involved the demolition of three aging maintenance buildings, the relocation of two storage sheds on site, and construction of a new one-story 7,500-square-foot maintenance building.” [FCPA]

McLean Leads Virginia in Billionaires — “McLean has two billionaires with a collective net worth of $4.7 billion, making it the top locale in Virginia in terms of billionaire wealth, according to a new analysis from the financial news website 24/7 Wall St.” [The Center Square/Inside NoVA]

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Morning Notes

COVID-19 Vaccine Could Soon Be Approved for Teens — The CDC is scheduled to discuss recommending COVID-19 vaccinations for 12 to 15-year-old individuals on Wednesday (May 12). If it is approved, the Fairfax Health District says it will have vaccine available, and state and local appointment scheduling systems will be updated accordingly. [Fairfax County Health Department]

Falls Church Man Arrested for Threatening People at Mosque — 41-year-old Jonathan Lincoln faces assault and disorderly conduct charges after reportedly threatening people with a knife and trying to stab a security guard at the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Seven Corners. The incident occured around 3 p.m. on Saturday (May 8), and there were no injuries. [WTOP]

Virginia Republicans Hold Nominating Convention — Virginia Republicans cast ballots in 39 different locations across the state on Saturday in a convention to select the party’s nominees for governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general. The results could take days to materalize, but turnout was expected to surpass the party’s last gubernatorial convention in 2013, when about 8,000 of 13,500 approved delegates cast ballots. [The Washington Post]

Falls Church News-Press Announces Endorsements — The Falls Church News-Press has thrown its support behind Terry McAuliffe, who is seeking to return to the governor’s mansion in November. It also endorsed Del. Mark Levine (D-Alexandria) for lieutenant governor and incumbent Mark Herring for attorney general. [Falls Church News-Press]

Vienna Farmers Market Kicks Off Season — “It may be cloudy and chilly but the Farmer’s Market hosted by our local Optimist Club in @TownOfVienna is open! Pleased to help cut the ribbon to open this season of fresh foods and goods!” [Del. Mark Keam/Twitter]

Construction on Madison High School Addition Continues — “Tearing the roof off the place, literally! If you watch until the end you can see a sheet a of steel be pulled down. One at a time, they came down today. Making room for the third floor!” [James Madison High School/Twitter]

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Morning Notes

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]

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At its meeting tonight (Wednesday), the Fairfax County Park Authority Board will finalize the funding to convert Holladay Field from natural grass to synthetic turf.

The plan for the field was approved by the board in June 2020, but more funds are now needed because of an increase in material prices due to the pandemic. The board has been asked to approve an additional $127,135 to cover a budget shortfall.

According to the board’s meeting agenda, the funding will come from a park bond approved by Fairfax County voters in 2016 — specifically from money that was tagged for a redesign and expansion of Langley Fork Park.

The project carries an overall estimated cost of $1.6 million. About $1.5 million in funds have already been approved, including money from the 2016 park bond, renovation funds for existing Langley Fork Park facilities, and $650,000 contributed by McLean Youth Soccer, which is working with the park authority on the project.

The project will also receive a $20,000 Mastenbrook Matching grant, according to Fairfax County Park Authority Public Information Officer Judy Pedersen.

Located at 1311 Spring Hill Road next to Spring Hill Elementary School, Holladay Field is a 5.1-acre park with a full-size natural-turf athletic field.

“The change [to synthetic turf] is a reflection of the continued growth in field sports such as soccer,” Pedersen said.

The project will help McLean Youth Soccer provide more practice and game-day space for its 3,000-plus players, according to MYS Executive Director Louise Waxler, who says there is “a critical need” for more facilities as the program has grown.

“The conversion of the Holladay field to synthetic turf offers the youth of McLean another quality playing surface requiring far less maintenance and increased accessibility for user groups,” Waxler said.

The Park Authority has contracted with Fieldturf to install the new artificial turf field.

According to the board agenda, the county received an initial proposal from the contractor for $1.48 million on Jan. 18. That was negotiated down to $1.43 million on Feb. 8, but the price was still 16% higher than anticipated based on an engineer’s estimate that it would cost $1.2 million.

County staff reduced the budget shortfall from $292,000 to the $127,135 scheduled to be approved today by eliminating a proposed fence and soccer side goals from the project. McLean Youth Soccer will instead provide movable side goals for the field.

The project timeline has not changed, with construction still set to start in mid-June and expected to take approximately four months.

“Thanks to Supervisor Foust, the Fairfax County Park Authority, and the generous investment by two private donors within McLean Youth Soccer, we are one step closer to meeting our field needs,” Waxler said. “This is not only an investment in our kids, but also an investment to the McLean community as a whole.”

Image via Google Maps

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(Updated at 3:45 p.m. on 5/19/2021) 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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Morning Notes

Phase 2 of COVID-19 Vaccinations Begins — Fairfax County officially entered Phase 2 of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout yesterday, making everyone 16 and older eligible. With the county retiring its registration system, appointments can be scheduled directly with providers through VaccineFinder, though limited supplies means they might be initially hard to come by. [Fairfax County Health Department/Twitter]

Man Found Dead in Bailey’s Crossroads — An Alexandria resident has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder after a man was found dead around 3:30 a.m. in a parking garage in the 5100 block of Leesburg Pike in Baileys Crossroads. Hernan Leiva, 58, of Falls Church had apparent stab wounds and blunt force trauma to his upper body. [FCPD]

Descano Seeks to Vacate Convictions by Fairfax County Police Officer — “Fairfax County prosecutors are moving to throw out more than 400 criminal convictions based on the testimony or work of a former patrol officer who is accused of stealing drugs from the police property room, planting drugs on innocent people and stopping motorists without legal basis, court filings show.” [The Washington Post]

Pharmacy Workers Sentenced for $8 Million Fraud — Six people have been sentenced to prison for healthcare fraud that involved paying and receiving kickbacks and billing health care benefit programs for expensive, unnecessary drugs and equipment. One defendant owned several pharmacies in Northern Virginia, including the now-closed Medex Health Pharmacy in Merrifield. [U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia]

Park Road in McLean Closed for Pipe Replacement — “Park Road between Kirby Road and Old Dominion Drive, and Vermont Avenue between Massachusetts Avenue and Park Road will be closed to through traffic, weather permitting, from 7 a.m. Monday, April 19 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 20, and then have daily closures Wednesday, April 21 through Friday, April 23 and Monday, April 26 through Tuesday, April 27 to replace a stormwater pipe.” [VDOT]

George Mason High School Demolition Still Underway — “As the demolition of the OLD George Mason H.S. continues, the old Science Wing and Facilities Shop is no more.” [FCCPS Office of Facilities Services/Twitter]

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(Updated at 11:30 a.m. on 4/16/2021) The Monarch, a luxury high-rise condominium complex, is still in the process of being built northeast of Tysons Galleria.

Construction on the Jones Branch Drive property began more than two years ago, and it was originally set to open in 2020.

However, the project stalled last year when the developer Renaissance Centro split ways with its hired contractor. Right now, there is no official timeline for completion, though the owners recently told frustrated citizens that once construction begins again, the building should be done in 21 to 24 months.

“A new contractor has been selected and should be announced in the next few weeks. Construction will commence very shortly thereafter,” Kami Kraft, vice president of The Mayhood Company, which is marketing the project, told Tysons Reporter.

The Monarch is a luxury high-rise condominium complex with 101 units. As few as four to six units will be on each floor, according to the sales website. Prices for the units range from $600,000 to just under $3 million.

The 20-story tower will be part of the 19-acre Arbor Row mixed-use development envisioned on Westpark Drive, joining the residential building Nouvelle, which opened in 2015, and The Mather, a senior living facility set to open in 2023.

Kraft confirmed that units at The Monarch are still being sold, and private tours of the sales gallery are open for prospective buyers by appointment. More information on The Monarch can be found on the sales website.

Correction: This article initially described The Monarch as an apartment complex. The units are condos, not apartments for rent. H/t to nvacondos for pointing out the error.

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Morning Notes

Fairfax County Records Third Pedestrian Death of 2021 — Police reported on Friday (April 9) that Falls Church resident Ramakant Bhusal, 36, was struck by a car while crossing Arlington Boulevard near the Graham Road intersection. Speed and alcohol do not appear to be factors for the driver. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Construction to Begin on Marco Polo Development — Starting today (April 12), the sidewalk in front of 245 Maple Avenue W. in Vienna will be closed for approximately five months “to allow for safety and proper right-of-way during construction.” The mixed-use Vienna Market development was approved to take over the former Marco Polo site in 2019. [Town of Vienna/Twitter]

Inova Seeks Volunteers for COVID-19 Vaccine Site — “Fairfax County has received a request to recruit volunteers to help provide assistance to the Inova Stonebridge COVID-19 Vaccination Center in Alexandria, which provides COVID-19 vaccines predominately for individuals who reside and/or work in Fairfax County.” [Fairfax County Government]

Fairfax County Holds Virtual Budget Public Hearings This Week — Community members can weigh in on the county’s proposed FY 2022 budget and capital improvement program on Tuesday through Thursday (April 13-15). The Town of Vienna and City of Falls Church are also holding budget meetings this week. [Fairfax County Government]

Ramadan Begins Today — Agora Tysons (7911 Westpark Dr.) is one of several restaurants in the D.C. area offering halal-friendly options for carry-out and delivery in lieu of extended holiday hours during the Muslim holy month. [Dine After Dark]

Mosaic District Displays COVID-19 PSA — “Many thanks to @mosaicdistrict for showing our #COVID19 Spanish language PSA on the big screen reminding folks on the importance of wearing a mask, washing your hands & employing physical distancing.” [Northern Virginia Regional Commission/Twitter]

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