How young people live, work and play in Tysons dominated two panels at a Bisnow event earlier today.
The Bisnow event was held at Boro Tower, bringing together real estate professionals to talk about the future of Tysons. When thinking about what will make Tysons appealing now and several years from now, developers and real estate investors said they want to make decisions that will encourage young professionals to come to the area and stay.
The first panel kicked off a discussion of office space, with panelists lamenting that people who come to work in Tysons leave in the late afternoon and don’t stick around.
“Millennials do not want to be in a nondescript office building that is hard to get to,” Mukang Cho, the CEO of Morning Calm Management, said.
As far as nightlife goes, Gary Block, the chief investment officer of The Meridian Group — the developers of The Boro, said that innovative concepts with bars and restaurants can bring people together when the sun goes down.
“You wouldn’t think the second story of a grocery store would be a destination for a bar,” Block said, referring to the popular High Point bar in The Boro’s Whole Foods.
Block said that people who live, work or arrive at The Boro can expect activities in public spaces throughout the week.
The combination of walkability, entertainment options, shopping, apartments, office spaces and fitness opportunities make The Boro a neighborhood, Block said. Or, as a sign on a window in the Boro Tower said, “Tysons’ First Neighborhood.”
Deirdre Johnson, the vice president of Federal Realty, agreed, calling The Boro the “new Tysons downtown.”
While Tysons’ identity has long rested on its malls — especially Tysons Corner Center, Johnson said that residents are moving away from being “mall-centric.”
Outside The Boro, Block said that Eddie V’s Prime Seafood (7900 Tysons One Place) is “packed” on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.
Juliann Clemente, the president of Clemente Development, said that the new members of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors recognize that Tysons will appeal to millennials.
Clemente urged the audience to reach out to the new board and share their dreams, desires and concerns about how to improve Tysons.
Christopher Auth, the divisional vice president of PS Business Parks, said that walkability and green space help attract people. Thinking big, Auth said that he would like to see a university in Tysons — an idea that several other panelists agreed with.
While walkability might sound like simply an infrastructure issue, Johnson said that planners “have to give someone a reason to walk across the street.”
The panelists mentioned how a new grid of streets in Tysons facilitate walkability and connect communities.
“When little neighborhoods pop up, it creates a sense of place,” Cho said.
Land along the Dulles Toll Road may get developed into a residential community for people ages 60 and older.
Pulte Homes is looking to turn almost 5 acres of land — four consolidated parcels — at the northwestern intersection of the Dulles Toll Road and Spring Hill Road into 59 dwelling units: 36 multi-family units in one building, 14 single-family attached units and nine affordable units.
“The affordable dwelling units comprise 15% of the total number of units,” according to county documents.
According to county documents, the development would include:
- a four-story multi-family building with 32 two-bedroom units and four one-bedroom units atop of parking podium
- open space with a 2,000-square-foot clubhouse and pickle ball and bocce ball courts
- housing for roughly 80-100 residents
The community would have a villa-style architectural design with a “slightly more contemporary with a flat roof,” the documents say. The land currently has several aging single-family homes.
“The Applicant believes that this community will appeal to residents in McLean and the surrounding area who are seeking to downsize and enjoy less maintenance of their homes while continuing to live in the community,” according to the documents.
A Fairfax County Planning Commission hearing on the proposal is tentatively slated for June 10.
Image via Google Maps
Vienna officials recently voted on new zoning changes in order to proceed with work on Vienna’s new police station.
The Vienna Planning Commission held a meeting on Jan. 8, where community members could give feedback about the classification changes to town-owned parcels of land at 440 Beulah Road NE and 114 Locust Street SW.
The town bought the parcels in 2013 and 2018.
“The Town intends to demolish the existing vacant house [at Locust Street] and combine the lot with the 215 Center Street South parcel, which currently houses the Bowman House and the existing Police Department facility,” according to the staff report.
The property on Beulah Road is meant to serve as a temporary police station while the new one is built.
Commissioners said that the lots need to be rezoned for governmental use — in accordance with the Comprehensive Plan — before crews break ground on the project on police station project.
While commissioners talked about adjusting the language, ultimately Commissioners Mary McCullough and Sarah Couchman defended the way it was written.
“This town has every intention of building a new police facility, and our Comprehensive Plan is supposed to lead the future direction of what we want to see done,” McCullough said.
Couchman echoed her sentiment, adding that the town likely wouldn’t have purchased the land on Locust Street had they not intended to build a police station there.
The Planning Commission voted to recommend the zoning changes in the Comprehensive Plan for both lots to the Vienna Town Council.
The conversation will continue regarding the language in the plan, though. The commissioners asked town staff to look into how things like this have been addressed in the past, citing case studies around Tysons Corner.
Image via Town of Vienna
The Vienna Town Council has delayed consideration of giving up certain alleys due to concerns over buffers between residential and commercial areas.
Earlier this week, the council was set to vote on requests for alley vacation for property adjacent to 108-110 Church Street NE and behind 207 Center Street N.
Mayor Laurie DiRocco said at the meeting on Monday that the town staff does not need the land for public use. However, several council members raised objection to considering the fate of the alleys.
“People are upset about development and they want to see some buffers,” Councilmember Howard Springsteen said. “Do we want to give up these buffers?”
The conversation about buffers recently ignited when Wawa cut down trees it wasn’t supposed to. Residents said the trees would have been a buffer between the residential area and the upcoming store at 245 Maple Avenue W.
“I’m really reluctant to give up alleys right now,” Springsteen said, saying that the Wawa incident has raised issues about having buffers between commercial and residential areas.
The alley for Church Street is between commercial areas, while the Center Street one is between commercial and residential areas.
Town Attorney Steven Briglia urged a delay on the vote to allow for more time to discover the property records for the alleys.
“Some of the old alleys, we’re not sure how we got them,” Briglia said.
“We don’t have a plan or idea of how or to what extent in what manner any given alley or easement is specifically useful to the Town of Vienna in whole,” Councilmember Douglas Noble said.
Noble said that the town needs a systematic approach for retaining or selling the undeveloped sections of right-of-way.
“We need to have a larger conversation about this before we start knocking off one property here, one property there,” Noble said.
Councilmember Pasha Majdi requested that the council postpone the proposal until after Town Manager Mercury Payton provides an update on an internal review about communication with residents about construction incidents.
Image via Town of Vienna
New work and plans are underway at the Scotts Run development near the McLean Metro station.
Named “The Heming,” the luxury apartment building will have 410 units, the company’s press release said.
Construction is set to start this month and be completed in late 2022, according to Skanksa.
In 2018, Cityline Partners sold a portion of the development to Skanska. Now, Cityline is set to sell another part of the development.
Plans have been filed for a 26-story, 447-unit apartment building with 18,000 square feet of retail at the intersection of South Dartford Drive and Chain Bridge Road, according to Bisnow.
“Cityline Partners Managing Director Donna Shafer tells Bisnow that Lennar approached Cityline unsolicited to propose the deal, and that she thought its proposed project would complement the other buildings that have moved forward on the site,” according to Bisnow.
Image via Cityline Partners
The developer behind the Scotts Run development in Tysons wants to make some changes to the project.
The changes, which were proposed in November, include an adjustment to two heights to a parking podium connected to a residential building, according to Lynne Strobel, the attorney representing the Smith Group.
The developers want to raise the parking garage height from four stories to five for one building and from 4.5 to five for another, according to documentation from Strobel, adding that the height is still within the range originally approved by Fairfax County.
“The podium will appear to be an extension of the building with the use of glass and masonry,” the documents said.
The 26-story building, which will primarily include residential housing, would no longer include underground parking with the proposed changes.
“It’s within the same range of units,” Strobel said, adding the changes won’t affect residents outside of an aesthetic design shift.
When development changes are minor, a Fairfax County Planning Commission spokesperson said that it is not always necessary to host a public hearing or require the Fairfax Board of Supervisors to re-approve the proposal.
The upcoming buildings sit on roughly an acre of land, according to Fairfax County records and will be partially designated for affordable housing options.
Image via Cityline Partners
Sunrise’s new proposal to build a senior living facility at 380 Maple Avenue will go before the Town of Vienna’s zoning and architectural review boards this week.
The new plans include approximately 950 square feet of ground-floor restaurant space and 85 assisted living units and common areas, along with structured parking and one level of underground parking, according to town documents.
Tonight (Wednesday), the plans head to the Board of Zoning Appeals for a public hearing on the request for the conditional use permit.
Then on Thursday (Dec. 19), the Board of Architectural Review will hold a public hearing on exterior modifications for Sunrise’s plan.
Both public hearings start at 8 p.m. at the Vienna Town Hall (127 Center Street S.)
Image via Sunrise
After several months of delays, plans to redevelop the St. Paul’s Lutheran Church property in the Falls Church area may go before Fairfax County planners in the spring.
Developer Toll Mid-Atlantic LP Company is seeking permission to redevelop 10 acres of the property at the intersection of Leesburg Pike and Idylwood Road into a residential neighborhood.
The Fairfax County Planning Commission’s public hearing for the project has been postponed several times this year since the application was first submitted in April.
“The St. Paul’s Lutheran Church SPA public hearing and concurrent Toll Brothers rezoning public hearing were moved since the applicant has yet to resubmit plans to the County for review,” Senior Planner Kelly Posusney told Tysons Reporter.
The Planning Commission is now scheduled to consider the application is now set for the spring — if plans are resubmitted to the county, Planning Commission staff told Tysons Reporter.
Posusney said that the resubmitted plans are now tentatively expected in January.
“If they fail to resubmit in January, the public hearings would most likely need to be moved again,” Posusney said. “The project has only completed our pre-staffing review, which is the initial review by staff. They never submitted plans for a staffing review, and that is why they need to resubmit.”
Image via Google Maps
Vienna residents voiced support for new plans for Sunrise Senior Living Facility to use the spot of an approved mixed-use development to the town’s Planning Commission.
At last night’s meeting, locals praised Sunrise for listening to and incorporating feedback from residents for its plans.
Now, Sunrise wants Vienna officials to approve its tweaks to the approved building designs and use at 380 Maple Avenue.
Representatives from Sunrise said that they want to make “minimal changes” to the previously approved building design for 380 Maple Avenue, adding that they are mindful of the location as a “gateway to the town.”
The majority of the roughly half of a dozen people who testified at the public hearing said they support the project, but do have lingering concerns about cut-thru traffic on Wade Hampton Drive.
Most of the discussion at the meeting focused on whether or not adding time-restrictions to the road would address the issue.
“I really do appreciate the look of the building,” resident C. John Pott told the commissioners before echoing concerns about traffic and safety.
By the end of the meeting, the Planning Commission indicated support for the new plans. The proposal now heads to the Board of Zoning Appeals and Town Council for consideration.
If the changes are approved by the Town Council, a Sunrise representative said that the facility would take 20-24 months to build.
Three images via Sunrise; map via Google Maps
The Fairfax County Planning Commission postponed its decision on two mixed-use developments by the Spring Hill Metro station again last night (Dec. 11) to March.
The fate of Georgelas LLC’s proposed project is now slated to be decided on March 11, 2020. The Planning Commission will either determine that the project needs more revisions or recommend denial or approval before sending it to the Board of Supervisors.
The project would bring more commercial and residential units into the area, remodeling the current car dealerships along the north side of Tyco Road.
Commissioner Phillip Niedzielski-Eichner, who represents the Providence District, said last night that the project is not ready for a final recommendation, but did not provide any additional reasons for the delay at the meeting.
This is the third time that the Planning Commission has deferred the decision on the project since the public hearing. Back in October, Niedzielski-Eichner said the developer asked for more time.
“There were a whole host of issues that were laid out [previously],” a spokesperson from Providence District Supervisor Linda Smyth’s office told Tysons Reporter, adding that the decision was deferred because there are still unresolved issues from previous meetings.
Fairfax County planners have said that the North Spring Hill Station addresses the expectations in the Tysons Comprehensive Plan, but the West Spring Hill Station “does not fully address the criteria, particularly with regards to providing a comprehensive, functioning grid of streets; the provision of open space; and coordination of development.”
For now, anyone interested in the project can still submit comments online, a commissioner said last night.
Image via Fairfax County