While many return-to-office plans have been put on hold, companies seeking to bring workers back in person might face a challenge of an unexpectedly furry nature: employees reluctant to leave the pets they acquired during the pandemic.
A new business, Connected Canine, aims to help businesses alleviate that potential conflict. It operates out of the coworking space Industrious (1660 International Drive, Suite 600) in Tysons as well as out of Boulder, Colorado.
“We provide an HR toolkit with resources such as a health and behavior assessment used to understand a dog’s history before inviting them into the office and hands-on support to make the process of establishing a dog friendly office as simple as possible,” Jeff Skalka, founder and CEO of Connected Canine, said in an email.
Skalka said the company provides largely free resources and employs a team of veterinarians, an architect, and human resources professionals who have found ways to ease the process.
“Once a company establishes their dog friendly office, we charge a low, variable fee based on the number of participating employees and dogs to provide software and other services,” he wrote. “For example, our software allows employees to schedule time to bring in their dog, take pictures of their dog’s vaccination records to ensure offices remain healthy and safe for everyone, and gives employers the ability to track who is bringing in a dog and how often and ensure only approved dogs are allowed onsite.”
Skalka formed Connected Canine in December after talking with friends and fellow dog owners who shared concerns about leaving their pets back at home when they returned to the office.
Over 11 million households acquired a pet during the pandemic, The Guardian reported, citing a survey by the American Pet Products Association.
“One thing companies really like is that our solutions are customized to their exact needs which we uncover through employee surveys and conversations with senior leaders,” Skalka wrote.
The surge in pet ownership coincided with the pandemic-prompted shift to remote work for office-based employees across the U.S., many of whom say they would quit rather than go back to the office.
Though some companies have shifted back to in-person work, telecommuting may continue to prevail, with research and consulting firm Gartner projecting that over half of U.S. workers will be remote in 2022.
Photo via Google Maps
George Mason University student Adel Batterjee and his friends had one of Bowlero’s first games yesterday (Monday) following the opening of the new Tysons Galleria venue, which combines an arcade with a restaurant and bowling alley.
Bowlero has taken over the basement of the mall’s former Macy’s. The racks of clothing that Batterjee remembers from the old space have been replaced by almost wall-to-wall bowling lanes. Next to a sweeping 26-lane section is a classic Mustang and bar, and another 10-lane section stretches by 70-plus arcade games.
A grand opening for the Tysons Bowlero, which joins existing locations in Annandale, Centreville, and Arlington, is slated for Nov. 6. People can register online for the event, which runs from noon to 3 p.m and will feature free bowling and arcade play
“People are excited,” said Siarra Foster, Bowlero’s Northern Virginia district area manager. “It’s a fun addition of things to do in this area.”
The 39,000-square feet space, which began construction this spring, includes arcade games ranging from “Mario Kart Arcade GP,” complete with race car seats and steering wheels, to classic pinball machines, one of which features “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
Other modern twists to the classic bowling alley concept include arcade games with virtual reality headsets and electronic menus on lanes to assist customers.
Food items include a kids’ menu, grilled items such as burgers, salads, milkshakes and other desserts, hand-stretched pizza, party-sized options, and more.
It’s not just for kids, though, given the selection of beers, and screens throughout the location can play NFL games as well as slideshows. Company logos can also be featured on screens for when groups rent a section of lanes or the entire facility.
A prize area features quirky items, too, such as a Bob Ross version of Monopoly.
Even with the soft opening, the business is already inviting stores to participate in a friendly competition for bragging rights in a Tysons Galleria bowling league.
The location opened Friday (Oct. 15) for families and friends and is currently open to the public, Foster said.
Its hours are 2 p.m. to midnight Monday through Friday, noon to midnight on Saturday, and noon to 11 p.m. on Sunday.
A new primary care medical office is having its grand opening in Tysons today (Tuesday).
Heale Medical is opening at 8300 Boone Boulevard, an office building just south of the Chain Bridge Road and Leesburg Pike interchange, at 11 a.m.
Founder Dr. Amit Newatia told Tysons Reporter that, despite the area’s swelling population, there’s limited access to primary care treatment. There are, at least according to Google, around a dozen medical clinics or general practitioners in Tysons, along with a new emergency room opening next year.
“Despite this population growth, the area suffers from a dearth of options for modern primary care offices that customize care to the individual,” Newatia said. “Traditional primary care offices fail to fully cater to this evolving group of highly discerning patients, especially when it comes to long-term and preventative care. Heale Medical offers a unique perspective on primary care where patients are treated with great dignity and are given incredible empowerment over their health.”
According to the Heale Medical social media page, the office works with all major insurance carriers, though co-pays apply depending on the insurance.
Annual membership fees for Heale Medical are $199, but a press release said the practice is offering free membership for the first year for locals who sign up between Sept. 1 and Dec. 1.
The press release noted that patients have access to health an wellness support services, as well as “health screenings, management of acute and urgent illnesses or injuries, and chronic conditions.”
Shake Shack wants to take over a closed restaurant in the Mosaic District.
The burger-and-shake chain has been working through Fairfax County’s permitting process to move into the former Choolaah space at Suite 110, 2911 District Avenue, but it still lacks health, building, and other approvals.
Construction Journal and the Washington Business Journal previously reported the news, though the latter noted that plans could fall through. That was the case with a former Arby’s location that Shake Shack had planned for North Bethesda.
According to the WBJ, Shake Shack’s plans include an outdoor patio and bar-style seating inside:
Per the Mosaic plans, drawn up by Gensler, the Shake Shack will break down as 4,070 square feet inside and 668 square feet on the outdoor patio. Inside there will be bar-style, linear and open seating and four order kiosks. In addition to Gensler, the team includes Henderson Engineers, engineer KPFF and TriMark, a food service consultant and supplier.
An email sent to a Shake Shack spokesperson yesterday (Wednesday) wasn’t returned by the time this article was published.
The company’s only other location in Fairfax County is at Tysons Corner Center. It opened in 2014.
Choolaah, an Indian fast-casual food chain, opened in the Mosaic District in 2016 and temporarily shuttered amid the pandemic before announcing in January that the closure would be permanent.
Health, building, mechanical, and other reviews are listed as incomplete after Shake Shack saw permitting setbacks in September. Its application to the county was processed July 13 and is still listed as pending.
Health Department Tweaks Approach to Quarantined Students — Starting today (Thursday), students who have been exposed to COVID-19 can complete wellness checks and get guidance from the Fairfax County Health Department online instead of having to wait for a phone call. The change is part of an ongoing effort to speed up the contact-tracing and quarantining processes so students can return to school buildings. [FCHD]
Local Arts Groups See Bright Spots Amid Upheaval — “Fairfax County’s art scene is under-funded, under-capacity and still weathering the pandemic, but several upcoming projects will bring it closer to its potential, the president of ArtsFairfax said. The county’s prospects are changing more quickly than at any other point in her 12 years with the organization, Linda Sullivan told the Greater Tysons Citizens Coalition during a Sept. 9 roundtable.” [Sun Gazette]
Vienna Schedules Meeting on Economic Strategy — The Town of Vienna will hold a public meeting from 6-7:30 p.m. on Sept. 30 for residents to discuss a draft economic development report that looks at how the town could more effectively attract and support businesses. The town hired a consultant in January to conduct a market study and propose an economic development strategy that were released in June. [Patch]
Italian Bakery Sets Tysons Corner Grand Opening — “Handcrafted Italian pastry is coming to Tysons Corner Center! Celebrate the Grand Opening of DreamStart Winner Bisnonna Bakeshop on Saturday, 09/18 with family-friendly activities starting at 10am” [Tysons Corner Center/Twitter]
Almost two years after its October 2019 ground-breaking, the luxury hotel opened its doors to patrons yesterday (Tuesday), according to developer LodgeWorks Partners, which also owns and operates the establishment.
Archer Tysons is the seventh addition to the company’s Archer Hotel brand, which also has properties in New York City, New Jersey, Massachusetts, California, Washington, and Austin, Texas. LodgeWorks says its goal is to bring “boutique sophistication” to growing metropolitan areas.
“The urbanization of Tysons and the emergence of its newest walkable Scott’s Run South neighborhood is the epitome of live, work, play,” LodgeWorks President Mike Daood said. “Archer Hotel with its Virginia-centric, boutique vibe and classic hotel bar supports that lifestyle. We believe we bring something unlike anything in the area and hope to be a natural hub for commerce, getaways and celebrations.”
Designed by LK Architecture, the seven-story hotel has 178 rooms and over 17,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting and event space, including a penthouse on the top floor. There are four different room layouts, with the largest suites reaching about 870 square feet in size, according to a press release.
Amenities include an AKB Hotel Bar that offers food and drinks, a 24-hour pantry in the lobby called The Market, complimentary Wi-Fi, in-room coffee, and curated, house-made turndown desserts, such as chocolate squares from the McLean-based chocolatier Craving for Chocolate.
The hotel also features art by local and regional artists, including a seventh-floor photo gallery centered on musicians who have lived in Virginia.
To celebrate the opening, Archer is offering a 20% discount on rooms at all locations through Oct. 31, though guests must book their stay for a period before March 31, 2022.
Located at 7599 Colshire Drive, Archer Tysons is the latest addition to Scotts Run, the 8 million square-foot development that Cityline Partners and other developers are building north and south of Route 123 around the McLean Metro station.
Cityline also finished construction on Fairfax County’s new Scotts Run Fire Station this summer. The station, which the developer built as part of its Scotts Run South proffer agreement with the county, became operational on Aug. 14 and has a grand opening scheduled for this Saturday (Sept. 18).
“We are very excited to have the Archer Hotel at Scotts Run now open,” Cityline Partners Managing Director Tasso Flocos said by email. “The new boutique hospitality addition at the center of our urban neighborhood is an attractive place for visitors and neighbors to experience connections with others and the natural stream valley park.”
Across the street from Archer Hotel, work continues on The Heming, a 410-unit luxury apartment building from developer Skanska that began construction in January 2020 and is expected to be delivered by the second quarter of 2023.
The residential tower will sit above a three-level public plaza and 38,000 square feet of retail at 1800 Chain Bridge Road, which is also scheduled for a 2023 completion.
Also coming to Scotts Run is Paxton, a mixed-use building with 447 apartment units and 14,713 square feet of retail. Developer LMC announced on July 29 that it had closed a deal with Cityline to purchase land for the project, which is projected to be ready for tenant move-ins in early 2024.
The newest park in Tysons has arrived, though those prone to vertigo might want to exercise caution.
The Perch sits 11 stories in the air on top of the upcoming performing arts and corporate center Capital One Hall. The 2.5-acre space is filled with small trees, flowers, shrubs, and other greenery amid paths for strolling.
Anchored by the Starr Hill Biergarten, the park also includes stone-lined bocce ball pits, a dog park, and an amphitheater that is expected to be used for musical performances. A miniature golf course is slated to open this spring, lined with food stalls designed to resemble food carts.
“It’s unique,” said Rachel Obregon, who sampled beer from Starr Hill with Daniel Valcicak on Wednesday (Aug. 25).
The pair plan trips based on breweries and heard about the opening through a private Facebook group, DRINK NOVA. Valcicak, who was familiar with Starr Hill from its other Virginia locations and tried out some of the beer garden’s IPAs, said they would definitely bring friends there.
Other visitors remarked on how the spot worked well as a hangout, especially for those wanting to wait for evening rush-hour traffic to become less congested.
“Everyone has just been blown away,” Brian Griffin, Starr Hill Brewery’s Tysons general manager, said. “Families have come with their dogs.”
The brewery sells craft beer and food options ranging from burgers to arugula salad and kids’ meals. It also experiments with batches to provide beers that can’t be found in other spots.
The amphitheater will offer live music from Wednesdays through Sundays. Three booking agencies already have bands slated to play most days through November, Griffin said. Anticipated genres range from reggae to acoustic music, with a family-friendly focus on weekends during the day.
The Perch is part of Capital One Center, the mixed-use development where construction work continues on a retail-office skyscraper slated to open in 2023.
“Once this building is built out, we will be able to house 8,500 associates on site,” said Meghan Trossen, marketing and community affairs manager for Capital One Center. “We’ll have ground-floor and second-floor retail of this [upcoming] tower, so we want to have a lot of restaurant options here…That street-level pedestrian experience that we see in D.C. and a lot of fun neighborhoods, we want to bring that to Tysons.”
Future residential and office buildings are also planned.
The park will get a grand opening from Sept. 17-19 with Perchfest, a family-friendly event with games and activities for kids. Trossen noted that 10 superheroes will rappel from The Watermark Hotel as part of the festival, which will also feature face painting and an ice-cream cart.
Meanwhile, The Watermark Hotel is set to have a soft open on Sept. 21. The lobby is on the same floor as The Perch and will feature a Japanese-American small plates menu called Wren overseen by Executive Chef Yo Matsuzaki.
Drinks will range from sake to Japanese beers, and the hotel has arranged to get barrels of bourbon from Old Forester and another 127-proof bourbon from Elijah Craig, according to Luis Mantilla, the hotel’s beverage director.
“It’s really hard to get into a barrel program,” The Watermark Sales Director Tara McNamara said.
Block B of the Capital One Center, which contains the financial company’s headquarters, was completed in 2018, making it the tallest occupied structure in the DC region.
A new store in Vienna will feature food without packaging, household products that don’t add to landfills, and much more.
Mala Persaud, who has lived in the town for over a decade, plans to unveil Trace — The Zero Waste Store to the public this October at 140 Church Street Northwest, part of her personal journey to embrace a lifestyle of seeking to eliminate non-recyclable and non-reusable products and packaging.
“People can actually see with their own eyes…how much trash we generated with the pandemic,” Persaud told Tysons Reporter. “This is a way to make it a little bit easier to make slightly different choices.”
She plans to have approximately 400 items at her store with bins for spices, bulk foods from rice to nuts and beans, local products such as honey and peanut butter, hygiene items such as soap and shampoo, and household cleaning items.
Trace joins a growing community of environmentally friendly stores that seek to provide alternatives to single-use packaging, which often ends up in landfills, the ocean, or incinerators that emit greenhouse gases.
Persaud committed to transitioning away from single-use packaging when she was on vacation in Belize in 2016 and saw plastic bottles and trash on a road, sensing that it could soon be washed into the ocean.
“The earth cannot re-absorb the plastic we’ve created,” her website says. “So we have to find a way to reduce how much we use. Zero Waste stores make it possible to re-use what we already have, thereby reducing the amount that ends up in landfills or in the ocean.”
Even Trace’s store sign is an opportunity for sustainability. Persaud is asking the town to allow changes for her building storefront so she can use more reusable and cost-effective materials, enabling any future tenants to simply replace lettering rather than having to make a completely new sign.
Her application is going before the Board of Architectural Review tomorrow (Thursday) for its 7:30 p.m. online meeting.
“When I leave…the next business owner is just going to be able to lift the letters off and get new ones printed, and it will cost a couple hundred dollars,” she said.
Persaud’s family has served as an example for her low-waste lifestyle, too: Her parents were surprised by all the packaging used in the U.S. when they immigrated from Guyana, and her grandmothers saw paper towels as a luxury, reusing them until it was no longer possible to do so.
Her 20-year-old son has also taken steps to reduce his waste footprint, such as avoiding plastic cutlery for takeout food.
Persaud has personally vetted the items that her store will sell, such as wooden spoons. She brings her own set with her to avoid creating unnecesary waste.
“It does become habit-forming,” Persaud said of adjusting to bringing her own packaging to a store. “And then when you see how much less trash you’re generating, it actually feels pretty good.”
Tysons Could Get a Rock Climbing Center — An affiliate of the Manassas-based Vertical Rock Climbing & Fitness Center plans to convert the former Hamilton’s Sofa & Leather Gallery at 8461 Leesburg Pike into a rock climbing facility. The 9,220 square-foot space has been leased and is slated to open later this year, but Fairfax County is still processing permit applications to allow the use at that location. [Washington Business Journal]
Tysons Education Nonprofit Honored by General Assembly — Del. Mark Keam (D-35th) presented a signed commendation to the Center for Excellence in Education (7918 Jones Branch Dr.) during the 38-year-old nonprofit’s annual Congressional luncheon on July 15. The State Senate and House of Delegates both approved a proclamation recognizing CEE for promoting science, technology, engineering, and math education with free programs for students and teacher training. [CEE]
Visit Fairfax Joins Regional Sports Tourism Partnership — “The tourism-marketing organizations of Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William and Stafford counties on Aug. 10 announced the launch of SportsNOVA, a new regional sports-tourism partnership designed to market Northern Virginia as a premier destination for travel-sports events.” [Sun Gazette]
Maryland Beltway Project Contract Approved — The Maryland Board of Public Works voted 2-1 to approve a “predevelopment agreement” with toll lanes operator Transurban and financial firm Macquarie to design express lanes on I-270 and part of the Capital Beltway. The much-debated project is seen as critical to the success of Virginia’s 495 NEXT project in McLean, which got key federal approvals last month. [The Washington Post]
Police Investigate Offensive KKK Flyers — Bigotry-filled flyers aimed at the Fairfax County School Board were found earlier this week in the Springfield and Sully Districts, apparently distributed by the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. School board members and local leaders, including Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay and the president of the county’s NAACP chapter, denounced the flyers, which are under investigation by county police and the FBI. [Patch]
County Government Observes Juneteenth — Fairfax County government offices are closed today in recognition of Juneteenth, which falls on Saturday (June 19). Fairfax County Public Library branches are closed, as is the McLean Community Center, but many park facilities are open, and the county’s trash collection services will proceed as normal. [Fairfax County Government]
Athletic Training Facility Opens in Falls Church — Capital City Sports Academy will hold a grand opening ceremony from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday) for its new, 4,500 square-foot sports training facility at 3431 Carlin Springs Road. Attendees can meet the owners and coaching staff, take a tour of the facility, and win two months of free classes. [Capital City Sports Academy/Instagram]
Volunteers Clean Up Vienna Park — “As Vienna Little League prepares to host Virginia’s Little League Major Baseball State Tournament in July, George C. Yeonas Park is getting a facelift with the help of two dozen sweaty and hard-working volunteers. On Thursday, around 25 volunteers who work for Dominion Energy showed up at Yeonas Park to tackle projects to improve the fields and other facilities.” [Patch]
Great Falls and North West Street Sidewalks Extended — “After much effort by @fairfaxcounty and @FallsChurchGov staff, and local residents, today we celebrated completion of the NW Street and GF Street sidewalk extensions. It was a beautiful day and I am so glad we were able to gather together in person!” [Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust/Twitter]