Tysons, VA

A new proposal submitted to Fairfax County aims to transform the Dunn Loring Center into a residential mixed-use project.

The site (2722 Merrilee Drive) near the Dunn Loring-Merrifield Metro station is currently home to a three-story office building that was built in 1984.

According to county documents, Merilee Ventures, L.C. wants to rezone the 2-acre property for a mixed-use development with a five-story building with up to 239 multifamily dwelling units, including 40 Workforce Dwelling Units, atop two-and-a-half levels of parking with 293 spaces.

The development would also include 3,875 square feet of ground-floor retail use, a public plaza to “bookend” the Halstead Square development to the east and changes to the Merilee Drive streetscape, including a 6-foot sidewalk and 8-foot parking lane.

Merilee Ventures says that the redevelopment will help implement the Comprehensive Plan for the Merrifield Suburban Center, according to county documents.

More from the documents:

The Comprehensive Plan guidance for the area envisions mixed use redevelopment in a pedestrian-oriented urban environment.

Merrilee Ventures, L.C.’s objective is to bring forth a development proposal that carries forward the theories and concepts reflected in the Plan language by establishing a highquality living environment that activates the street and complements other recent development projects in the area.

Ground floor retail and interior amenity space, in combination with a public plaza and additional streetscape improvements provide a strategic focal point that will create a sense of place and anchor the Halstead Square development to the east.

The county’s Planning Commission is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the proposal in September.

Image via Google Maps

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Fairfax County police said they recently arrested a woman for allegedly trespassing with a gun in a truck near the Dunn Loring-Merrifield Metro station.

The incident happened shortly before 3 p.m. in the 2600 block of Prosperity Avenue yesterday (Thursday).

“The victim saw a woman inside of his truck and confronted her,” police said. “The woman displayed a gun then left the area and was found by officers a short distance away”

Police charged the 24-year-old woman from South Carolina with brandishing a firearm, concealed carry weapon violation and vehicle trespassing.

File photo

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Come March 15, some or all of the parking options will be closed at three Metro stations in the Falls Church and Vienna area.

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) announced on Friday that pre-construction ahead of summer work will impact parking at three Orange Line stations.

While the summer work on the Vienna, Dunn Loring, West Falls Church and East Falls Church stations doesn’t start until May, the parking changes are set to start on March 15.

“Due to the stations’ location and extreme space limitations, construction crews will need to utilize surface parking lots to stage heavy equipment and tons of material,” according to a press release from WMATA.

Here are the planned changes:

  • surface parking lots at the East Falls Church, West Falls Church and Vienna stations will be closed for seven to nine months
  • parking at the Dunn Loring station will not be impacted
  • Kiss & Ride lot will remain open for pick-up and drop-off only at East Falls Church station
  • West Falls Church station parking garage will remain open
  • Vienna station Parking Lot 1 will be temporarily closed beginning March 15
  • Vienna station’s parking garages and Parking Lot 3 will remain open.

The changes mean that parking won’t be available at the East Falls Church station.

Metro expects that the parking will fill up at the West Falls Church station before 7 a.m., according to the press release.

“Vehicles parked in closed lots after 12:01 a.m. on March 15, 2020, may be subject to towing,” the press release says.

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As WMATA looks ahead to summer Metro repairs, more details have been revealed about the Orange Line closures that will impact riders in Northern Virginia. 

Beginning May 27, the Vienna, Dunn Loring and East Falls Church stations will be closed, according to a WMATA presentation at a Falls Church City Council meeting earlier this week, which added that the Silver Line from McLean to Wiehle-Reston East will also be affected. 

Crews will update slip-resistant tiles, LED lighting, add new large digital displays and build new shelters on the platforms during the closures, WMATA representatives said at the meeting.

WMATA representatives also said free buses will replace trains at each of the affected stations and riders can expect the closures to last through Sept. 7.

Summer was chosen as the ideal time for the project because ridership is down slightly during that time of the year, the representatives said.

“We found it was really much more efficient when we use longer extended periods (of closures),” one representative added, compared to completing updates at night or over weekends.

During closures, four bus routes will offer riders alternative options:

  • from Vienna to West Falls Church
  • from Dunn Loring to West Falls Church
  • from East Falls Church to Ballston
  • from Rosslyn, then to Courthouse before stopping at Ballston and finally to Vienna

There will also be added on-demand shuttles from Vienna to Dunn Loring and West Falls Church to East Falls Church.

The presentation also mentioned that Silver Line trains from McLean to Wiehle-Reston will stop at each station but run on a reduced schedule.

Riders can expect the West Falls Church station to remain open but with single-tracking and for trains to go through — but not stop at — the East Falls Church station.

There will also be a variety of Metro Buses, ART Buses and Fairfax Connector Buses that will also be affected, according to the presentation.

Image (2) via City of Falls Church

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Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.

McLean and Vienna are not HOA heavy areas, in my opinion, as compared to areas out in Loudoun County.

We have a short list of neighborhoods that have mandatory participation, which is the main difference between a civic association and an HOA. An HOA has a mandatory fee you have to pay if you buy a property within that area, which also means you have to obey the rules and regulations of that neighborhood. A civic association may also have a fee, but it’s strictly optional if you want to participate, and usually it’s very small.

Now some people like the rules of an HOA so they can keep the neighborhood looking “clean,” for example if a neighbor’s lawn gets too long, or there’s a bunch of trash/old cars in a yard. However, the downsides to an HOA are that any changes you want to make on the outside require approval (usually). Adding a shed, renovations, a pool, etc. all require review and approval. With a civic association, you can usually do whatever you want and only have to adhere to Fairfax County regulations.

The other big thing to know is that when you’re buying or selling homes within an HOA community, the seller is required to provide a copy of all of the bylaws, budget, meeting notes, etc. to a purchaser who has a 3 day review period, during which they can void for any reason.

Want chickens and the HOA documents say no? Void the contract without a penalty. A civic association is not subject to this 3 day period since participation is optional. However, it still might be nice to know what the civic association does. It might give insight into neighborhood parties, events, resources, etc.

Some example of civic associations are:

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Bruster’s Real Ice Cream on Avenir Place is closing for the winter later this week.

A sign on the door says that the location (2672 Avenir Place) by the Dunn Loring Metro station will temporarily shut down beginning Thursday (Oct. 31).

The chain serves up a variety of cold treats including ice cream, shakes, floats, sodas and cakes.

Partons can grab a sweet-treat on Tuesday and Wednesday from 4-9 p.m. before Bruster’s closes for the season.

The shop will reopen on March 1, 2020, according to the sign.

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Autonomous vehicles connecting the Mosaic District to the Dunn Loring-Merrifield Metro may arrive as soon as next spring.

Earlier this year, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors decided to start a pilot program for self-driving vehicles as a shuttle service. Dominion Energy and the county decided to partner up on the program.

Deputy County Executive Rachel Flynn said at a Bisnow event today (Thursday) that the autonomous vehicles are expected to arrive in the spring or summer.

The vehicles will come from EasyMile, which is based in France, she said.

Flynn also said that the county has received a grant from the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, but did not disclose the amount.

Photo via Facebook/EasyMile

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A new craft beer store is coming to Avenir Place by the Dunn Loring-Merrifield Metro station.

Black Dog Beer Shop is set to open this fall at 2672M Avenir Place, according to a liquor license application.

“The goal of Black Dog Beer Shop is to provide a craft beer store with a large variety of local craft beers,” according to the beer shop’s website.

People can expect to find local brews at the shop, including Port City Brewing, Aslin Beer Co. and Ornery Beer Company, along with taps for growler fill-ups.

Owner Tyler, who is a disabled Marine veteran, said on the website that he is opening the store because “I wanted a place to grab a beer with my dog.”

As for the dog behind the store’s name?

“Ash, the black dog in Black Dog Beer Shop, is currently 8 months and well over to 80 lbs… Some of his favorite chew toys include stainless steel, wood and iron. Don’t leave your beer unattended around him, he will definitely steal it!” the website says.

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A husband and wife team have opened a business franchise that cleans and does maintenance on homes in the Tysons area.

Carmen Hendricks and Chad Akers, who both have backgrounds in real estate, decided to join the TruBlue Total House Care franchise after looking for affordable home care in the area, according to a press release.

“There was definitely a need for a holistic, reasonably-priced approach to exterior and interior home maintenance in this area that could help seniors stay in their homes longer and be great for busy professionals, like ourselves, who want to spend less time working on their own homes and more time with family and friends,” Hendricks said.

TruBlue Total House Care of Vienna provides handyman, maid, lawn and seasonal services in Vienna, Oakton, Tysons, McLean, Great Falls, Falls Church and Dunn Loring.

The business offers a monthly maintenance program, along with services to homeowners, realtors and rental property owners who need help with moving maintenance and commercial services for business clients.

“We both love this area, but have never felt like we’ve gotten to know the community or the people who live here, other than those we have met through work,” she said. “We want to be the neighbor you can trust with all of your house care needs.”

Photo courtesy TruBlue Total House Care of Vienna

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