Tysons Corner, VA

Almost three years after The Boro broke ground, the Rise and Bolden buildings in Meridian Group’s 1.7 million-square-foot development are now leasing.

The two luxury apartment buildings are set to open later this summer, according to a press release from Meridian Group.

The 32-stories-tall Rise has more than 400 apartments, while Bolden, which will sit atop the Whole Foods Market, offers 133 “boutique residences,” according to the press release.

Both Rise and Bolden include a fitness center, yoga studio, an entertainment kitchen and club and a pool with a lounging area. They share an elevated outdoor sky park with a theater and bar area, fire pits and lounges, according to the press release.

The apartments appear to start at $2,400 for ones with one bedroom and one bathroom.

Meridian teamed up with McLean-based management company KETTLER ahead of the pre-leasing announcement.

Images courtesy Meridian Group 

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The sprawling Boro development that hopes to become the new beating heart of Tysons could be getting a little larger.

The Meridian Group — developers of The Boro — are planning to submit designs this summer for a recently acquired property across Westpark Drive at 8333 Greensboro Drive, according to the Washington Business Journal.

The Business Journal reported that the new development would likely be a mix of residential types including townhouses, apartments, for-sale condos, and a high-rise senior living component.

Senior living has been particularly hard to come by in Tysons, especially with The Mather facing some difficulty in the approval process.

Image via Google Maps

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The Town of Vienna is no stranger to landing on lists for prime spots to live.

For the second year in a row, Vienna nabbed the #1 spot for “The Best Places to Live in Virginia” list by HomeSnacks, which uses data from the Census, FBI, OpenStreetMaps and other sources to rank areas around the country.

HomeSnacks analyzed 62 places around the state and determined that Vienna’s low unemployment rate, “very stable household median incomes” and low crime rate made it stand out.

HomeSnacks used several criteria to evaluate its national “Best Places to Live” list this year, including high population density, low unemployment rates, median income adjusted for the cost of living, low housing vacancy rate, high expenditures per student, low student-teacher ratios and low crime.

So what do you think? Which of the following criteria do you think makes Vienna so desirable?

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(Updated 10 a.m.) There’s no shortage of luxury housing coming into Tysons, but what about affordable housing?

According to Brian Worthy, a spokesman for Fairfax County, the limited number of affordable units in Tysons are near max occupancy. But with new mid- and high-rise developments required to devote a portion of the new units to affordable housing, Worthy said there are more units on the way:

As of May 15, 2019, there are approximately 536 rental Affordable and Workforce Dwelling Units (ADUs and WDUs) that have been constructed in Tysons. The average occupancy rate is 94 percent.

Currently, there are approximately 3,919 rental ADUs and WDUs that have been committed by developers through Board of Supervisors approved rezoning actions. We don’t currently track the total number of these units that have been proposed as part of unapproved developments in Tysons, but to date, the major, approved rezonings have all committed to provide affordable or workforce dwelling units.

Worthy noted that ADUs serve households with incomes of 50-70 percent of Area Median Income (AMI). Fairfax County documents show that range as $38,600-$54,050 for single-family households, increasing proportionally to the size of the household.

Tysons’ WDUs serve incomes ranging from 60-120 percent of AMI, reflecting the higher cost of living in Tysons as compared to the rest of Fairfax. The WDU program is designed to help working households find housing close to employment centers and transportation options.

Creating housing affordable to locals at all ranges of the income spectrum has been a countywide problem. According to the FY 2020 Fairfax County budget, a total of 3,016 affordable units — privately-owned homes that are not bound by rent restrictions — have been preserved in Fairfax County between 2004 and 2018, but the county fell 82 units short of its affordable housing goals for last year.

The county projects a growth of 62,184 households over the next 15 years, of which 18,622 are expected to earn 80 percent of AMI and below.

Chart via Fairfax County Government

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The showroom’s closet full of prop Gucci and Saks Fifth Avenue bags says just about everything you need to know about The Monarch — Tyson’s new mega-rich condominium building under construction.

Yesterday (Wednesday), developer Renaissance held a project launch celebration inside their ninth-floor office in the Ritz-Carlton (1650 Tysons Blvd) overlooking the site.

The office also doubles as a fully furnished model residence. Renaissance staff guided prospective residents through lavish bedrooms and kitchens, noting amenities like a direct-access elevator that opens right into the living room and white-glove lobby attendants who can carry groceries for residents.

The building offers a kind of opulence unfathomable to anyone making less than $100,000 a year. Units in The Monarch range from $600,000 to just over $3 million.

Kami Kraft, the vice president of The Mayhood Company, which is marketing the project, said the types of employment in Tysons and the proximity to Tysons Galleria were indicative to a need in the area for new luxury condominiums.

The building is currently under construction and is scheduled to open in late 2020.

The project is part of the Arbor Row development, a 19-acre stretch of mixed-use buildings along Westpark Drive. The first building of the project, the residential Nouvelle, was completed in 2015 and the next phase, the senior living facility The Mather, is going to the Fairfax County Planning Commission tonight.

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If you’re looking for a place to house your servants, watchman and tenant farmers, there’s good news — Fairfax is in the middle of a process to simplify its complex and humorously outdated zoning code.

At a Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Development Process Committee meeting yesterday (May 14), the committee reviewed a series of proposed changes to modernize the zoning code — a process dubbed zMOD.

During the meeting, a consultant working on the modernization said Fairfax County’s zoning wasn’t the most labyrinthine he’d seen, but it was close.

Much of the process involves consolidating a wide array of residential classifications — like dormitories, fraternity/sorority houses, rooming/boarding houses, etc. — into a single use, like “residence hall.” Servants quarters and housing for tenant farmers in Fairfax are now grouped together as “caretaker quarters.”

But the regulations also add new zoning uses to the code as well, like electric vehicle charging or solar collection systems.

At the meeting, staff said part of the new zoning would include extensive modifications to accessory dwelling unit (ADU) zoning. These are dwelling units designed as separate from the primary residence.

Currently, all ADUs require a special use permit, but under the new regulations, an administrative approval could be obtained if the unit is located entirely within the main residence — like a basement separate from the main house.

The zMOD process is scheduled to be presented as a consolidated draft to the Board of Supervisors in July. Work is expected to continue on the zMOD process throughout 2019 with public hearings on the final draft in spring and summer 2020.

Photo via Fairfax County Government

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Three years after construction started, the 32-story luxury-apartment tower Lumen in the heart of Tysons is now leasing and soon to open.

The building is still undergoing the final phases of construction, with hard hat touring of the location starting later in April. The first move-ins are planned to start this summer.

Lumen Apartments is located northeast of the Leesburg Pike-Chain Bridge Road junction, and since it topped-out last July it has dominated the Chain Bridge Road skyline. The Lumen is part of a series of new mixed-use projects planned near the Greensboro Metro station, which notably include The Boro project just to the north.

The Lumen project contains 398 units on 25 floors, from studios to two-bedroom apartments. The 15th floor of the building has a fitness center and yoga area.

Rental rates at the Lumen are not currently available, but a representative of the apartment complex told Tysons Reporter the information would be forthcoming over the next 30 days.

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(Updated April 8) As Sunrise Senior Living haggles through the approval process in Vienna, the assisted living franchise also filed permits earlier this week for a new facility in downtown McLean.

On March 11, Sunrise Development filed a special exception application to allow a senior living facility at 1515 Chain Bridge Road, replacing the existing McLean Medical Building.

In the application, the business noted that the need for assisted living facilities is high in Vienna.

Despite immense need, the McLean CBC does not currently contain any assisted living facilities. Per Fairfax County’s compiled demographics for the McLean Census Designated Plant , 92% of households in McLean have one or more people over the age of 60, which is more than double the 43% of households for the rest of the County.

Sunrise isn’t wrong on that count. McLean is disproportionately elderly and has struggled to create housing that allows local residents to age in place. Sunrise Senior Living isn’t cheap, so it probably doesn’t hurt that McLean is also one of the wealthiest places in the United States.

The proposal for a Sunrise facility in McLean also comes at that area is in the middle of a planning process to reshape the center of town.

The application notes that the new facility would be located within Subarea Two of the McLean Commercial Business Center, an area outside of the main downtown and planned to have very little change. The Sunrise facility would be replacing an existing medical office building, which it argues is in keeping with the intent of the plan.

While the Vienna location is locked in a struggle with the Vienna Town Council over whether or not the building fits within local height parameters, the McLean facility is half the size allowed by-right on the property and 10 feet shorter than the existing building.

The project is tentatively scheduled for a Planning Commission hearing on Sept. 11 and a Board of Supervisors hearing on Sept. 24.

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The Fairfax County Planning Commission moved forward a plan for a new mixed-use residential and commercial development called Hanover Tysons in northern Tysons at its meeting last night (March 14).

The Hanover Company’s plan is to demolish the vacant seven-story office building that was built in 1983 and replace it with a new residential development.

The new residential building would be between five to seven stories with up to 420 dwelling units and include ground-level retail and nearby park space.

In keeping with Fairfax County’s efforts to promote more affordable housing around Tysons, workforce housing will make up 20 percent of the total units, according to the staff report.

Located just west of Jones Branch Park at 1500 Westbranch Drive, Hanover Tysons is a little under one mile from the Tysons Corner Station.

The county’s Board of Supervisors is set to take up the proposal with a public hearing next Tuesday (March 19).

Photo via The Hanover Company

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The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve scoured the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Tuesday (March 12)

  • Workshop: Fair Housing Protections for People with Disabilities12-1 p.m. at The Arc of Northern Virginia (2755 Hartland Rd.) — Non-profit organizations Arc of Northern Virginia and Housing Opportunities Made Equal are hosting a workshop on fair housing protections for people with disabilities focusing on what state policies are for housing discrimination and what people with disabilities should look out for when moving into a home.

Wednesday (March 13)

  • McLean Public Safety Program7:30 p.m. at the McLean Governmental Center Community Room (1437 Balls Hill Road) — The McLean Citizens Association invites the public to its Public Safety Program featuring Richard Schott, Fairfax County’s police auditor and Anna Northcutt, a member of the Fairfax County Police Civilian Review Panel.

Thursday (March 14)

  • Community Forum on Housing for All7-8:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Vienna (450 Orchard St NW) — The Fairfax County NAACP will be hosting an event discussing issues related to affordable housing in Fairfax.

Friday (March 15)

  • Farewell Bell’s at Tysons Biergarten — 11-2 a.m. at the Tysons Biergarten (8346 Leesburg Pike) — The Biergarten is celebrating Bell’s before the company’s beer is no longer sold in Virginia. Everything from fruity drinks to a selection of stouts will be on offer. Registration for the event is free. The event is free and open to the public. A similar event will be held in the Lost Dog Cafe in Merrifield on Wednesday.
  • Chubbies Tysons Grand Opening5-8 p.m. at Tysons Corner Center (1961 Chain Bridge Rd.) — To coincide with the coming of spring, shorts chain Chubbies is celebrating with music and free gifts for the first 100 purchasers of items over $99.
  • Backbeat Underground Live — 8-10 p.m. at 1st Stage Theatre (1524 Spring Hill Rd.) — The Backbeat Underground and Virginia Chamber Orchestra will be performing a “souljazz” concert in the Tysons black-box theater. Tickets are $25 at the door, $20 for seniors or advance purchasers, or $15 for students or military.

Sunday (March 17)

  • The 8th Annual Nowruz Festival — 10 a.m.-6 p.m. at Tysons Corner Center (8100 Tysons Corner Ctr) — A bazaar with music, dance and costumed characters will be held at the mall to celebrate the Persian New Year. The event is planned to include six hours of live performances and an array of traditional Persian sweets, pastries and other dishes.
  • Trade-In and Trade-Up Bicycle Blue Book Event11 a.m.-5 p.m. at Spokes Etc. (224 Maple Ave E) — The Spokes Etc. Vienna location is offering credit for anyone who trades in an old bicycle and an additional 10 percent through March 31 for anyone upgrading to a Trek Disc Brake Road Bike. The Blue Book value guide can help assess the value of the bike for trade-in credit.
  • Capitol Steps in Vienna4-6 p.m. at James Madison High School (2500 James Madison Dr.) — Bipartisan political satire crew Capitol Steps will perform at James Madison High School in a fundraiser for the school’s booster organization. Tickets range from $25 to $30.

Photo via Facebook

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