Tysons Corner, VA

At the developer’s request, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is pushing its consideration of single-family homes in Merrifield to January.

Toll Mid-Atlantic LP Company is looking to knock down the existing house and structures by the Bear Branch stream valley and Lee Hwy to build 28 homes.

The redevelopment would keep about 35% of the property as open space. Each home would have a two-car garage, a 15-foot front yard setback and a 20-foot rear yard setback, according to the plans.

The Planning Commission recommended approval of the proposed infill project in September.

The proposal was set to have a public hearing before the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors today (Oct. 15), but the developer requested that the public hearing get pushed to the second board meeting in January.

Images via Fairfax County 

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New shops and restaurants are planning to open in Mosaic District.

Shoppers at the mixed-use development in Merrifield can expect a Sephora and Drybar to arrive.

As for food, a Connecticut-based eatery called The Granola Bar is the latest of half of a dozen eateries planning to open, including Neapolitan pizza chain Pupatella and Urban Hot Pot.

Pick your favorite below and tell us in the comments which other ones you are ready for.

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As businesses and restaurants start moving into an apartment building in the Mosaic District, people might notice that the building is absent from the “map view” on Google Maps.

Across the street from the Avalon Mosaic apartment building, the building at 2980 District Avenue has a sign indicating its apart of the Modera apartment building and is

Switch from bird’s-eye view to street or satellite views and the building does appear.

Typing in an address at the building will result in a pin getting dropped at the appropriate, building-less spot on the map.

While “map view” doesn’t have the building, it does show Penny Lane Park.

The expanding educational center Kumon recently opened in the building earlier this year.

Neapolitan pizza chain Pupatella, Korean BBQ chain Gyu Shige and Urban Hot Pot all have signs indicating they will occupy ground-floor space.

The Mosaic District’s website shows the building on its retail and restaurant map.

First and second maps via Google Maps; third map via Mosaic District

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Fairfax County police set aside some time today (Oct. 2) to hang out with locals around the county.

The annual “Coffee With a Cop” events are part of a nation-wide initiative to build a rapport with the public by sending police officers to coffee shops to chat with community members.

Over at the Merrifield event this morning, Lt. Tim Field and crime prevention officer Mario Colorado, both from the McLean District Station, fielded questions from locals at Starbucks (8104A Arlington Blvd) from 9:30-11 a.m.

“We are the public face of the county,” Colorado said, adding that the event allows people to approach police in a relaxed environment where they can “overcome the hurtle” of feeling like they are being a bother.

Therapy dog group Caring Angles brought Kyira, a 110-pound Rottweiler with an affinity for lap-sitting, to the Merrifield event this morning. An organization representative said they wanted to support the officers and also educate the community on the benefits of therapy dogs.

Field said he has been serving FCPD for around 33 years while Colorado has served for 22. Both men said they enjoy the event because it gives them an opportunity to visit with community members under happy terms, rather than during an emergency response.

Field said that people often want to talk about a wide variety of topics, ranging from quality of life concerns to fun philosophical ideas.

People will sometimes approach police at the “Coffee With a Cop” events and ask how to resolve personal dilemmas they are facing, like how to help a family member struggling with substance abuse, he said.

For anyone wanting to take advantage of this opportunity, there will be another chance to talk with Fairfax County police at Turkish Coffee Lady in Tysons Corner Center (1961 Chain Bridge Road) this evening from 5-7 p.m.

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Locals can learn about human trafficking prevention in McLean next week — just days after Fairfax County police busted an alleged sex trafficking ring in the Mosaic District.

Police arrested two Falls Church residents and charged them with felony sex trafficking in connection with a sex trafficking operation run out of the Avalon Mosaic after police raided one of the units, Fox 5 reported yesterday.

“Police did not say whether they identified any sex trafficking victims,” the story said.

Juemin Luo, 35, bonded out of jail, while Feng Ni, 32, is being held without bond, according to Fox 5.

At a meeting next Thursday (Oct. 10), the Citizens Advisory Committee for the McLean Police District Station will focus on ways to identify and prevent human trafficking.

Police told Tysons Reporter that the topics for the regularly scheduled Citizens Advisory Committee meetings are often determined a month in advance.

The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. at the McLean Governmental Center (1437 Balls Hill Road) and is open to the public.

Attendees will also be able to learn about resources for people who are victims of human trafficking.

Hat tip to Michael O’Connell

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Shoppers can expect to find Sephora and Drybar in Mosaic District in the near future.

Several newcomers are planning to come to the mostly-empty building that also houses West Elm (2921 District Avenue), according to building permits.

Drybar, a national hair salon chain that specializes in blowouts, has a building permit for suite 110. Next door, a Connecticut-based eatery called The Granola Bar has a permit for suite 120.

Madison Reed, which seels hair color products, has a permit for suite 130. Beauty store Sephora plans to occupy suite 140.

Can’t wait for the stores to come to Merrifield? The nearest locations for Drybar and Sephora are at Tysons Corner Center.

The stores will join several other newcomers to Mosaic District. Here are the other stores and eateries Tysons Reporter previously discovered plan to come to Merrifield:

Tysons Reporter also recently spotted signs for Gyu Shige, a Korean BBQ chain that will soon share the same building as Pupatella.

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Tysons may not have the liveliest nightlife at the moment, but that could soon change as more late-night restaurants and places to hang out open. “Tysons After Dark” will highlight a different spot every week.

Thursdays are for karaoke. Several restaurants around the Tysons area let people step up to the mic to sing popular songs.

TD Karaoke (2980 Gallows Road)

Locals can find a modern interior with karaoke and bar grill in Merrifield. Private rooms are available to book from $30-$180 per hour. TD Karaoke is open from 4 p.m.-2 .m. Monday-Thursday, 4 p.m.-4 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 1 p.m.-2 a.m. on Sundays.

Clare and Don’s Beach Shack (130 N. Washington Street)

The “beach shack” serves up Floridian food with vegan and vegetarian options in Falls Church. “Boardwalk Karaoke” takes place from 9:30 p.m.-1 a.m. on the first Saturday of each month (Oct. 5, Nov. 2 and Dec. 7) through the end of the year. Dogs are welcome.

Mark’s Pub (2190 Pimmit Drive, Suite E)

Formerly known as Art’s Tavern, the Falls Church area sports bar has karaoke every Saturday at 9:30 p.m.

Tysons Biergarten (8346 Leesburg Pike)

Every Thursday from 4:30-9 p.m., people can sing to old and new songs. There’s no cover charge. During the beer garden’s happy hour (3-9 p.m. on weekdays), people can order $5 beers.

Photo via Tysons Biergarten/Facebook

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A Muslim woman is suing a Merrifield-based company, claiming that she was denied employment because of her faith.

Shahin Indorewala said she applied for a job at Fast Trak Inc. (2735 Hartland Road, Suite) last fall. The interview process was going well, she said in announcing the federal suit this week, but things allegedly went south when discussing prayer breaks with the company’s CEO.

The lawsuit alleges that the company denied her request to shorten her 90-minute lunch break to take two short five-minute breaks for prayers as an observant Muslim. The lawsuit also alleges that the company’s CEO mocked her religious headscarf in front of the company’s staff and refused to hire her.

“I was shocked and there were other people around me. There were other employees, there were other interviewees there, and I just felt very humiliated,” Indorewala said yesterday.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) filed the discrimination lawsuit Tuesday (Sept. 24) in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Indorewala and her attorneys are seeking a jury trial.

CAIR Attorney Gadeir Abbas told Tysons Reporter that Fast Trak will have about a month to respond to the lawsuit.

“It’s an extremely strong case,” Abbas said, adding that he has seen increasing levels of anti-Muslim sentiments in recent years. “The workplace reflects society.”

Fast Trak CEO Ramses Gavilondo told the Associated Press that he didn’t hire Indorewala because she “wanted to preach her religion” and that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigated and found no wrongdoing. Fast Trak has so far not responded to Tysons Reporter’s requests for comment.

Photo via CAIR/Facebook

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The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved yesterday (Tuesday) plans to urbanize a Merrifield office park engulfed by I-495, Lee Hwy and Route 50.

The changes to the Merrifield Suburban Center will turn Fairview Park into a mixed-use development with more office space, multi-family homes, a hotel, retail and recreational uses.

Additionally, the changes urge developers to include affordable housing dwelling units or workforce dwelling units, along with senior living and student housing options.

The changes to the plan will also alter an area catty-corner to Fairview Park near the Inova Fairfax Hospital.

Fairview Park currently has offices — including the four-story-tall HIIT Contracting building — by a lake and residential communities. A tributary of Holmes Run runs along the southern edge of the area. Northrop Grumman Federal Credit Union and the 2941 restaurant are nearby.

“The justification for the nomination states that the existing single-use office park model that was successful in the 1980s is no longer competitive with mixed-use work environments that provide retail and service amenities, as well as the opportunity to live near work,” according to a staff report.

Elizabeth Baker, a senior land use planner for Walsh, Colucci, Lubeley & Walsh, previously told the Planning Commission that only three of the eight previously planned office buildings have been built for Fairview Park, which had a 29% office vacancy rate last year.

Baker told the supervisors last night that Fairview Park’s offices were the “gold standard” in the 1980s. While the office park has been well maintained, she said that retaining tenants has been a struggle.

Charlie Hall, a Falls Church resident who chaired the task force that helped to evaluate the proposed changes, told the supervisors that the new vision “closely align with the task force’s recommendations.”

“Every major dispute has been resolved,” Hall said. “This is exactly what [the taskforce] wanted to come out of this.”

Hall urged the board to make an immediate commitment to improving the public sector in the nearby area to keep pace with the increased number of people from the upcoming urbanization, echoing concerns from residents worried about worsening traffic and housing congestion, along with added strain on overcrowded schools.

Providence District Supervisor Linda Smyth said that it’s important to make sure that Merrifield — the center of Fairfax County — does not become a “congestion center” that will hurt not only locals, but also people traveling through that area.

The board approved the proposal, along with five follow-on motions from the Planning Commission, which include:

  • conducting a multi-modal transportation study
  • conducting a study of the connectivity barriers created by I-495
  • working with property owners to reduce single-occupancy car trips
  • working with Fairfax County Public Schools staff to determine school capacity needs
  • developing a funding plan for transportation projects recommended in the Merrifield Suburban Center Comprehensive Plan

“Merrifield has been a success and the idea here was to keep the success going,” Smith said.

Image via Fairfax County, map via Google Maps

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A new education center opened in the Mosaic District earlier this month.

Kumon (2980 District Avenue) began enrollment in late August and now offers young students extra help in subjects like math and reading to supplement their education, Tanya Khandpur, the location’s owner and main educator, said.

The center works with kids from the early stages of reading and math all the way through calculus and reading comprehension, according to the location’s website.

Khandpur said that business has been excellent since they opened and that the center has met its enrollment goals.

She employs several assistants to help teach the kids at the center in small groups. “For students qualifying into our early learning program we work two students to one assistant and for our main classroom, we work four students to one assistant,” Khandpur said.

Parents who are interested in the company’s programs can sign up online or attend an orientation session. The center is open from 3-  p.m. Monday-Thursday.

Kumon also has locations in Vienna (525 W. Maple Avenue), Falls Church (7115 Leesburg Pike) and McLean (1320 Old Chain Bridge Road).

Once a Kumon student herself, she said she personally believes in the center’s mission.

“I feel very strongly that the Kumon program can serve beyond academics and build a strong bond between parents and children, especially when implemented correctly.”

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