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A rendering shows what a transformed Tysons Galleria would look like with a new service center and electric vehicle business on the ground floor (via Fairfax County)

Luxury electric vehicle manufacturer Lucid Motors passed a crucial step yesterday (Wednesday) toward getting its first service and delivery center in the D.C. area.

The company is seeking to open a venue in the basement of the former Macy’s at Tysons Galleria, converting the store doors and indoor space to allow vehicles to drive inside for servicing.

The Fairfax County Planning Commission voted on Wednesday (Oct. 20) to recommend that the Board of Supervisors approve the special exception proposal, which would give Lucid Motors five service bays and two vehicle display areas. Delivery service would also occur there.

Outside, 10 electric vehicle charging stations would be available for customers and the public in a nearby parking area, bringing the mall up to 22 stations.

“Like Tesla and other companies, this will be a big step forward in helping to further improve the environment and offer customers and area residents an alternative choice to the internal combustion engine,” said Bernie Suchicital, a land use planner with the law firm Walsh, Colucci, Lubeley & Walsh.

The firm is representing the applicant Tysons Galleria Anchor Acquisition LLC, which is connected to Brookfield Properties, the real estate company that took over the mall in 2018.

“The architecture will be contemporary in style, in keeping with the rest of the building, and will include a glass storefront at the corner of the building as it wraps toward International Drive,” an Oct. 7 staff report said.

A Board of Supervisors public hearing on the application has been scheduled for Nov. 9.

Lucid Motors plans to operate seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. with no on-site vehicle sales, according to the county. The company’s least-expensive vehicle starts at around $70,000 when a tax credit is applied, according to TechCrunch.

County staff recommend that the location also be restricted from offering rentals.

Walsh Colucci senior land use planner Elizabeth Baker noted in an Aug. 13 letter that the location will allow customers to configure and experience a new Lucid vehicle virtually as well as in person.

The company would also have 40 parking spots at the mall to store new and serviced vehicles.

The planned service center is part of the Tysons Galleria’s ongoing redevelopment of its former Macy’s store. Next to the proposed location, Bowlero opened earlier this month on the ground floor.

Lucid Motors is also working to open a studio this year at nearby Tysons Corner Center, which has asked Fairfax County to allow vehicle sales for up to eight businesses in its parking garages.

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While Bisnonna Bakeshop got the most high-profile welcome, the Italian bakery isn’t the only recent newcomer to Tysons Corner Center.

One week earlier, Extreme Halloween started haunting the mall’s large, vacant space next to Brandbox, opening its doors on Sept. 11. The pop-up store sells costumes, wigs, and decorations on a seasonal basis.

According to Extreme Halloween manager Dennis Bracey, the company previously visited Tysons Corner Center in 2009 and decided to return after getting a call from the mall about filling the open space. The pop-up will stick around until Nov. 2.

Tysons Corner is also preparing for the opening of Miniso, an international lifestyle retailer that sells toys, office supplies, and other low-cost goods. The store is located in the atrium centered around the conveyer-belt sushi bar Wasabi.

Though it describes itself as “Japanese-inspired” and sports an aesthetic sensibility similar to popular Japanese chains like Uniqlo, Miniso actually originated in Guangzhou, China, in 2013. The company now boasts more than 4,200 stores in over 80 countries and plans to double its U.S. presence this year, including with a new flagship store in New York City.

Last week, Tysons Corner Center said it expected Miniso to open that Friday (Sept. 17), but as of yesterday (Thursday), its doors remained closed. A spokesperson told Tysons Reporter that it’s “getting close” to opening.

Other recent changes at the mall include the addition of Middle Eastern eatery Marhaba to the third-floor food court, and furniture store Lovesac’s relocation to a spot near Wasabi that used to be occupied by sports gear retailer LIDS, which now has a permanent space by Hollister Co.

A Lovesac employee told Tysons Reporter that the relocation is temporary, anticipated to last about two months while its original space beside Claire’s gets remodeled. The renovated showroom will get a grand reopening in November.

The Tysons Corner Center’s directory lists a number of other retailers as “coming soon,” including ones like Fantasticks and Chopathi Indian Kitchen that were announced this summer.

Other upcoming additions are ZWILLING, a German company that sells kitchen tools, and the luxury fashion store Aritzia, which is scheduled to open next to the Tesla showroom this winter, according to a large sign covering its storefront.

“Each Aritzia destination is considered individually in order to create resonant, welcoming places that provide for rich, memorable, human experiences — which is exactly why we decided to open at Tysons Corner,” Aritzia said in an emailed statement, adding that more details will be shared as the opening gets closer.

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Bloomie’s is officially opening for business.

Bloomingdale’s smaller, more curated retail concept will welcome its first customers at noon today (Thursday) to kick off a three-day grand opening event in Merrifield’s Mosaic District. The 22,000 square-foot store is the first Bloomie’s to open in the country.

“We’re excited to introduce ‘Bloomie’s,’ our all-new store concept that brings the energy of Bloomingdale’s to a smaller style and service destination,” said Susan Cannaday, the general manager for Bloomingdale’s Tysons Corner location and the new Bloomie’s store.

Cannaday says Bloomie’s is “designed to create a sense of discovery,” with a curated, rotating assortment of merchandise that includes contemporary and luxury brands for clothing, cosmetics, shoes, handbags, jewelry, and other beauty items and accessories.

According to a press release, women’s apparel brands include Ganni, Staud, Maje, Rag & Bone, Cult Gaia, Jonathan Simkhai STANDARD, LoveShackFancy, Moussy, Mother, FRAME, RE/DONE, and AQUA. Meanwhile, the men’s apparel, shoes, and accessories sections include brands like Vince, Helmut Lang, Salomon, Barbour, and McQ.

To mark the store’s launch, Bloomingdale’s is also reintroducing a “Bloomie’s” brand. The first collection includes 35 special pieces from varsity jackets to combat boots to a special edition Zippo lighter. It will be available at Bloomie’s, Bloomingdale’s 59th Street flagship, and online.

“We were strategic in selecting the right categories and brands that reflect the local lifestyle, and offer services that meet our customers’ needs,” Cannaday said. “Whether you’re exploring the latest fashion and beauty trends, grabbing a bite at Colada Shop or working with a stylist, all of this can be done at Bloomie’s.”

Bloomie’s also features a new location for the D.C.-based Colada Shop, a restaurant that specializes in cocktails, coffee, and Cuban-inspired food.

Services offered at the store include a returns drop box, curbside pickup, and an option to pick up online purchases in-person. A customization desk provides personalization, monogramming, and alteration services.

“Bloomie’s is designed to be a more convenient and casual concept that fits into our customer’s everyday lifestyle,” Bloomingdale’s CEO Tony Spring said in the press release. “With our staff of stylists, omni services, lively restaurant, and elevated assortment, Bloomie’s can be their favorite neighborhood store.”

While today is the official opening, Bloomingdale’s started introducing its Bloomie’s concept to the Mosaic District neighborhood earlier this month with a pop-up at the Sunday FRESHFARM markets. Cannaday says they were “thrilled with the engagement we’ve seen from the local community.”

EDENS, the Mosaic District developer and property owner, says it is excited about the partnership with Bloomingdale’s to launch “a bold new concept.”

“Consumer preferences continue to evolve, but retail’s role in bringing people together remains fundamentally unchanged,” EDENS CEO Jodie McLean said in the press release. “Bloomie’s is designed to engage people and will serve more as a hub for experiences, with a focus on fashion.”

Bloomingdale’s existing presence in the Tysons area made the Mosaic District an appropriate place to introduce the Bloomie’s concept, according to Cannaday.

“We have two powerful existing Bloomingdale’s stores in the area with our Chevy Chase and Tysons Corner locations, so Bloomie’s enters a market where customers know our brand,” she said. “We chose this location within Mosaic District…because it provides an approachable and convenient location for the local communities.”

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A rendering of the interior of the upcoming Bloomie’s store in the Mosaic District (courtesy Bloomingdale’s)

Bloomingdale’s is set to open its first-ever Bloomie’s in Merrifield.

Bloomie’s — a smaller, curated fashion and beauty store concept — will open to the public tomorrow (Thursday) at 10 a.m. in the Mosaic District.

According to a media alert, the store will host a three-day block party to kick off its grand opening, which will continue through Saturday. The festivities will begin at noon and run through 6 p.m. each day.

The party will be open to the public and will feature life-size outdoor games, beauty demonstrations, complimentary customization services with a Bloomie’s purchase, and various family-friendly activities, including sketch artists and a balloon artist.

In addition, the adjoining Colada Shop will serve happy hour food and drink specials from 3 to 6 p.m. during the party. Visitors can also get a ticket for a complimentary gift at the new clothing store.

The grand opening events will be hosted in cooperation with SafeSpot Children’s Advocacy Center of Fairfax County, Inova Health Foundation, McLean Project for the Arts, and When We All Vote.

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Ulta Beauty is moving into the former Performance Bike Shop space in Tysons’ Pike 7 Plaza

Ulta Beauty will be the next addition to Pike 7 Plaza in Tysons, property owner Federal Realty Investment Trust announced yesterday (Wednesday).

Purportedly the nation’s largest beauty retailer, Ulta Beauty will open its new location in the shopping center at 8350 Leesburg Pike in the spring of 2022. Over 25,000 products from more than 600 brands will be available for purchase in the new 10,000 square-foot space, according to a press release.

The company sells cosmetics, fragrances, skin care and hair products, and other beauty-related items.

“We are thrilled to welcome Ulta Beauty to Pike 7 providing the Tysons community and surrounding neighborhoods with an unparalleled and comprehensive beauty experience in one convenient location,” Federal Realty Vice President of Asset Management Deirdre Johnson said. “Ulta has revolutionized the beauty experience by inspiring confidence and encouraging inclusivity with self-care options for everyone.”

Ulta Beauty will replace the old Performance Bicycle Shop, two doors down from Staples.

This will be Ulta Beauty’s fourth Fairfax County location. According to its website, the Illinois-headquartered company currently has stores in Fair City Mall, Fair Lakes, and Bailey’s Crossroads.

Federal Realty recently submitted a rezoning application to Fairfax County seeking to build a drive-through restaurant in the Pike 7 Plaza parking lot. The proposal is still under review by the county’s planning and development department.

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Bloomingdale’s is setting up shop at the Mosaic District — with a culinary twist.

The clothing retailer announced today (Wednesday) that it will launch a new concept for a smaller, more tailored store at the Merrifield mixed-use development on Aug. 26.

Dubbed “Bloomie’s,” the 22,000 square-foot venue will feature a rotating assortment of fashion brands as well as the first Virginia location of the Colada Shop, a Caribbean eatery and cafe that started in D.C. in 2016.

“Our new Bloomie’s store will deliver everything [customers] love about Bloomingdale’s in a highly edited, convenient, and unexpected way,” Bloomingdale’s CEO Tony Spring said in a press release. “We’ve been part of the Washington, D.C., metro area community for decades, and we are excited to welcome new and longtime customers to Bloomie’s to be the first to shop this fresh and casual experience.”

Bloomingdale’s plans to introduce a small-store concept at the Mosaic District this fall were first reported in January by the fashion magazine WWD and its sister publication Footwear News. The Mosaic District confirmed the news through social media.

According to Footwear News, Bloomie’s is part of a broader effort by Macy’s Inc. — Bloomingdale’s parent company — to adapt to an uncertain retail landscape that was shifting away from traditional department stores even before the tumult brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Macy’s Inc. laid off about 3% of its workforce last summer, including hundreds of Bloomingdale’s executives, and is in the midst of a three-year downsizing plan that involves shuttering 125 stores and eliminating 2,000 positions, moves that the company projects will save $630 million annually.

Bloomingdale’s Director of Stores Charles Anderson says the company’s familiarity with the D.C. area, which includes a store in Tysons Corner Center, made the Mosaic District a logical place to introduce the Bloomie’s concept.

“We have two powerful existing Bloomingdale’s stores in the area and a vibrant online business, so Bloomie’s enters a market where customers know our brand,” Anderson said in a statement. “We chose this first Bloomie’s location within Mosaic District…because it provides an approachable and convenient location for customers.”

According to Bloomingdale’s press release, the Mosaic District store will emphasize fresh styles, with deliveries of new apparel coming in multiple times a week.

A centralized front desk will provide various customer services, including a returns dropbox, in-store and curbside pickups for online purchases, and customization and alteration services. The fitting rooms will also be outfitted with digital intercoms that customers can use to request assistance.

Perhaps the most unusual aspect of Bloomie’s, however, is its partnership with Colada Shop, which will have an outdoor patio seating area in addition to its indoor dining room.

The restaurant serves coffee, cocktails, and a variety of Caribbean food, including Cuban sandwiches and empanadas, depending on the location. It currently has two sites in D.C. and one location in Potomac, Maryland.

“My team and I are incredibly excited to become part of one of the DMV’s most innovative retail and entertainment communities,” Colada Shop CEO and co-founder Daniella Senior said. “Not only are we energized to bring the Caribbean way of life to Virginia, but we are also honored to be side-by-side with our partners at Bloomie’s and committed to create the most vibrant and sophisticated experiences for our guests.”

The store will mark its arrival in the Mosaic District “pre-opening activations” throughout the month of August and various festivities during the week of its grand opening on Aug. 26, the press release says.

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Lidl will officially open its new store at Merrifield Plaza this coming Wednesday (June 30), the grocery retailer announced today (Friday).

Located at 2901 Gallows Road, the store will operate from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week. It took over a 30,000 square-foot space that had been occupied by Office Depot until that company’s lease ran out at the end of 2020.

“I welcome Lidl to the Merrifield area and look forward to the grand opening,” Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik said in a statement. “I am confident that this new Lidl store will serve the local community and join the diverse businesses representing our vibrant community here in the Providence District of Fairfax County.”

According to a press release, the grand opening celebration will kick off with a ribbon-cutting ceremony from 7 to 7:30 a.m.

The first 100 customers will receive a gift card that could range in value from $5 to $100 each. There will also be a raffle for a $500 Lidl gift card and “special giveaways,” the press release says.

As part of a partnership with Capital Area Food Bank, Lidl says that, for the first five days of operations, it will donate 50 cents to the food bank for every customer who signs up for a myLidl membership and sets the new Merrifield store as their home store.

The Merrifield Plaza store is Lidl’s first in the Tysons area. Currently, the closest locations are on Lee Highway near Fairfax City and Pinecrest Plaza in Annandale.

A Lidl spokesperson confirmed to Tysons Reporter in March that the chain is planning to move into the building on Chain Bridge Road in McLean that Safeway vacated on April 30.

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(Updated at 2:40 p.m.) Despite the uncertainty introduced by the COVID-19 pandemic, Tysons Corner Center has welcomed several new retailers in recent months, and a handful of newcomers are slated to move in within the foreseeable future, the shopping mall announced last Friday (June 4).

Tysons Corner Center Senior Marketing Manager Todd Putt says the mall has seen a “large volume of shoppers returning” as the pandemic has started to recede in Fairfax County.

“Clearly, shoppers are ready to move past the pandemic and we are seeing shoppers from across all age demographics,” Putt said in a statement to Tysons Reporter. “After being forced to stay close to home, individuals are looking for better experiences and services when they shop. Specialty retail brands are eager to get back on track launching their concepts and we are excited to be a partner to make that happen.”

Tenants waiting in the wings include Chopathi India Kitchen — a fast-casual Indian restaurant that currently has locations in Dulles Town Center, Ashburn, and Hanover, Maryland — and Fantasticks, which makes custom gelato bars and pops. This will be the artisan gelato shop’s third location, coupled with one in Gaithersburg and a pop-up at One Loudoun in Ashburn.

The mall also confirmed that Lucid Motors is still set to open a studio on site. The electric car company announced in July 2020 that it will move into Tysons Corner Center as part of plans to expand with 20 new studios and service centers in North America by the end of this year.

Lucid is also planning to bring a store and service center to Tysons Galleria, but its special exception application for that location is not scheduled to go before the Fairfax County Planning Commission until Oct. 20.

The clothing retailer Primark announced on April 28 that it will make its entry into Virginia with a two-story, 37,100 square-foot store at Tysons Corner Center. The London-based fast fashion company has opened 12 stores in the U.S. since September 2015 and anticipates launching in Tysons sometime between September 2023 and September 2024.

The final announced upcoming retailer is Fabletics, which sells sportswear, footwear, and “athleisure” accessories. The company primarily operates online selling subscription memberships, but it also has over 50 brick-and-mortar stores and plans to bring that number up to 74 stores in 2021.

Tysons Corner Center also announced that the following retailers and eateries have recently opened:

Psycho Bunny — a New York City menswear brand known for sophisticated styles that stand apart from the rest, with an unconventional logo, unexpected detailing and expressive pops of color that together offer an escape from ordinary.

Therabody — World-leading percussive therapy massage devices. Everybody experiences soreness, tension, or tightness — whether it’s from sitting at a desk, working out, or just living life. Therabody’s products make it easier than ever to feel better on your schedule and on your terms.

Diesel — Known for its long and storied history of strong, ironic, and playful campaigns, the Italian retail brand reopened in its new location on Level 2 of the mall and sells denim, clothing, footwear, and accessories.

Roll by Goodyear — a popular pop-up concept by Goodyear that says goodbye to garages and waiting rooms and brings tires to you.

Ardene — a family-owned Canadian value fashion retailer based in Montreal, Quebec. Founded in 1982, Ardene started as an accessories and jewelry retailer, and has since added clothing, shoes, brand collaborations, and licensed apparel into its product mix.

3DEN — Flexible urban amenity spaces and work lounges. 3DEN Tysons Corner has cozy nooks everywhere, space to work, space to lounge, plus free coffee and lightning-fast WiFi. Guests only need the 3DEN app and to access the lounge for just $5 an hour or $99 a month for unlimited access.

Minte — provides a high-end, natural plant and mineral-based teeth whitening experience in a relaxed setting.

Squishables — a popular toy store known for its soft, cuddly, and adorable plush products.

Tysons Reporter previously reported that 3DEN had opened in Tysons Corner Center’s BrandBox space in March.

The pandemic has hit shopping malls hard over the past year, with The Washington Post reporting in April that nearly 200 department stores have closed and another 800 locations are projected to follow suit by the end of 2025.

According to Retail Dive, the pandemic accelerated a shift toward online shopping, and the retail industry saw a significant decline in foot traffic throughout 2020, though numbers started to improve in June as states like Virginia started to ease public health restrictions.

Tysons Corner Center never entirely shut down, instead reducing operating hours and intensifying cleaning protocols. The mall has been fully open since May 19, 2020.

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Morning Notes

First Lady Northam Visits Tysons Mass Vaccine Site — “@FirstLadyVA Pamela Northam is visiting the mass vaccination site at Tysons Corner Mall, which just this week became the first vaccination site in Northern Virginia to allow walk up appointments. They are doing them Monday through Saturday, 9 AM to 4 PM.” [Tom Roussey ABC7/Twitter]

Primark Coming to Tysons Corner — The London-based clothing retailer Primark has signed a lease for a two-story, 37,100 square-foot store at Tysons Corner Center. Expected to open sometime between September 2023 and September 2024, the store will be Primark’s first in Virginia. The retailer prides itself on offering “amazing fashion at amazing prices,” but like other “fast fashion” brands, it has been criticized for exploitative labor practices. [Press release]

Vienna Plans to Lower Tax Rate — The Vienna Town Council signaled on Monday (April 26) that it supports reducing the town’s real estate tax rate by a quarter of a cent to 22.25 cents per $100 of assessed value. This would be the first time that the tax rate has changed from 22.5 cents per $100 in six years, but higher assessments mean that most homeowners will still see higher tax bills. [Sun Gazette/Inside NoVA]

Thoreau Principal Selection Process Underway — Fairfax County Public Schools officials held a community and staff meeting on the process to select a new principal for Thoreau Middle School. The school’s last principal, Yusef Azimi, was let go after police arrested him for reportedly failing to report child abuse allegations against a teacher. [Karl Frisch/Twitter]

Attorney General Allows Vaccination Requirements for Colleges — “In an official opinion Monday, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring has concluded that Virginia colleges and universities ‘may condition in-person attendance on receipt of an approved COVID-19 vaccine during this time of pandemic.'” [Falls Church News-Press]

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Morning Notes

Tysons Mass COVID-19 Vaccine Site Now Accepting Walk-Ins — “Walk-in appointments now available! The Tysons Community Vaccination Center now has first-come, first-served appointments 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday-Saturday.” [Fairfax County Health Department/Twitter]

Virginia Reviewing New Mask Guidelines — The CDC released new guidance yesterday (Tuesday) stating that people who have been fully vaccinated don’t need to wear masks outdoors except when in a big crowd of strangers. Gov. Ralph Northam’s press secretary said in a statement that the governor’s office is reviewing the guidelines “to determine if and where we need to make changes” to Virginia’s mask requirements. [Office of the Governor]

FY 2022 Budget Markup Approved — The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a markup package for the county’s fiscal year 2022 budget yesterday (Tuesday) that includes a 1% pay raise for county government employees and an additional $15 million for Fairfax County Public Schools, partly to support compensation increases. [Fairfax County Government]

New Police Chief Use-of-Force Record Scrutinized — Incoming Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis lost two lawsuits over his use of force when he worked in the Prince George’s County Police Department in the 1990s. In the first case, the plaintiff said Davis pulled him over without giving a reason and violently arrested him, while the second victim alleged that “Davis and other officers essentially kidnapped him for a night.” [NBC4]

McLean Day Goes to the Drive-Thru — After getting canceled last year, McLean Day is returning on May 15 as an in-person, drive-thru event with live entertainment, including jugglers, an aerialist, a DJ, and animals. Admission to the annual festival is free, and it will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the McLean Community Center parking lot (1234 Ingleside Ave.). [MCC]

Selfie Studio Coming to Tysons Corner — “Selfie WRLD, a franchise with more than 20 locations across the country, is opening a “do-it-yourself photograph studio” in the Tysons Corner Center mall on June 5…The venue will feature at least 25 different eight-by-eight-foot selfie stations, including a retro pink-and-green diner, a private jet, an upside-down room, a patriotic ball pit with lifeguard stand, and lemon lime neon-colored jail cell with lit-up “smooth criminal” sign (yup).” [Washingtonian]

Photo by Bill Johnson

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