More office space is coming to the Tysons Galleria area.
A new 21-story, 490,000 square-foot office building will be constructed at 1725 Tysons Boulevard, Lerner Enterprises, the developer behind the 11-acre mixed-use district known as Tysons II, announced today (Thursday).
The tower will fill a currently vacant lot across the street from the mall and adjacent to 1775 Tysons, the office building whose tenants include WeWork, QOMPLX, Inc., and Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse.
“As we continue growing Tysons II and Tysons III, we are thrilled to introduce 1725 Tysons Boulevard,” Lerner principal Mark D. Lerner said in a statement. “…This market defining project will be innovative and a truly unique workplace, offering unrivaled convenience, access and connectivity to the vast array of walkable amenities including Metro.”
Here is more on the project from the press release:
The innovative project by the Washington, D.C. office of international Gensler (Gensler.com) is designed to achieve LEED® Platinum; the industry’s highest designation for air quality, energy efficiency and sustainability. The building will feature space for a fine dining restaurant, a reflecting pool at the motorcourt, lobby level outdoor terrace, state-of-the-art tenant only conference center, fitness center, rooftop skydeck, as well as social, business and gaming lounges. The 1725 fitness center will include a yoga studio and wellness room. Just steps away from the main entrance of the property will be an outdoor garden amphitheater that will provide entertainment space and feature local performances and concerts; the first of its kind in Tysons, Virginia.
With 360⁰ views, 1725 Tysons Boulevard is the newest world-class, sustainably designed trophy office tower in The Corporate Office Centre at Tysons II.
Also in the works at Tysons II are a 21-story, 483,000 square-foot office tower at 8000 Galleria Drive and The Residences at Tysons II, a pair of 31-story, high-rise condominium towers, according to the development’s website.
Tysons II has been planned and approved for a total of approximately 6.8 million square feet of mixed-use development in Fairfax County’s Tysons Comprehensive Plan.
Lerner also intends to build out the area to the immediate south of Tysons Galleria as Tysons III, adding 2 million square feet of development right by the Tysons Metro station.
Inova Launches COVID-19 Testing Site — “Experiencing COVID-19 symptoms? An Inova COVID-19 Vehicle-Side Testing Clinic will open Dec 30. Open M-F, 8am-5pm. PCR testing only, no rapid antigen testing. Appointments are required, please contact call ctr: 571-472-6843. Open M-F, 8am-6pm.” [Inova Health/Twitter]
Fairfax County Public Schools Commits to In-Person Classes on Return — “We recognize that a lot has changed over the past two weeks, with the omicron variant causing an increase in COVID-19 cases nationwide. As we continue to live through this ever-changing pandemic, we are committed to keeping our schools safe and open for in-person instruction.” [FCPS]
Men Arrested for Local 7-Eleven Robberies — Fairfax County police have arrested two men who are allegedly connected to robberies of a 7-Eleven at 9511 Blake Lane in Fairfax on Dec. 6 and a 7-Eleven at 8110 Old Dominion Drive in McLean on Dec. 11. Police believe the suspects were also involved in other robberies in neighboring jurisdictions. [FCPD]
Fire Department Further Adjust Staffing Due to COVID-19 Cases — The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department detailed additional staffing changes yesterday (Wednesday) on top of ones reported earlier that day by Tysons Reporter’s sister site FFXnow. The department now has 66 employees infected by COVID-19, with another 12 staff members required to quarantine. [FCFRD]
Langley Student Gets Perfect ACT Score — “Kaavya Radhakrishnan, a junior at Langley High School in McLean, scored a perfect 36 on her ACT exam this year…Only about a third of 1% of students who take the ACT earn the top score – or just 5,579 out of 1.67 million students who took the ACT in the United States in 2020, according to the nonprofit that administers the test.” [Inside NoVA]
Highline Office Buildings Refinanced — “Westbrook Partners and American Real Estate Partners (AREP) have landed a $148 million refinance from CIM Group for Highline at Greensboro District, a 460,851-square-foot, Class A office campus in Tysons Corner…Westbrook and AREP purchased the two-building Highline complex — at 8401 and 8405 Greensboro Drive in McLean, Va. — in 2017 for $132 million, and have invested a further $31 million to renovate and reposition it since.” [Commercial Observer]
COVID-19 Infections Contribute to Metrobus Driver Shortage — “More than 50 Metro bus routes are experiencing delays and increased wait times due to a driver shortage across the city. WMATA cites the spread of new COVID variants, such as delta and omicron, as one of the causes of the shortage, as employees take sick leave to recover.” [WUSA9]
County Urges Awareness of Unhoused People — As the winter solstice, last night (Tuesday) was the longest one of the year, prompting Fairfax County to acknowledge its 1,000-plus residents who experience homelessness every winter. The county advises community members to call its Department of Public Safety Communications at 703-691-2131 if they see someone in need of shelter, and the annual Hypothermia Prevention Program is now underway. [Fairfax County Government]
Nearby: Mary Riley Styles Library Goes Virtual — “Due to concerns about the recent increase in COVID-19 transmissions in the area, all in-person library programs and use of library conference rooms are suspended until mid-January 2022. Group study rooms may still be reserved, but are limited to groups of three or less.” [City of Falls Church]
Transit and Amenities Drive Fairfax County Office Demand — “New office buildings in transit-oriented mixed-use developments in Tysons and Reston have generated leasing and investor interest as office tenants court young workers. But as these projects soak up the pandemic-weakened demand for new leases, the older suburban-style office buildings have suffered.” [Bisnow]
Student Mental Health Support Staffing a Concern in FCPS — “Many Fairfax County Public Schools students were experiencing high levels of anxiety and depression even before the pandemic struck nearly two years ago and county officials are struggling to maintain adequate mental-health staffing to address those concerns.” [Sun Gazette/Inside NoVA]
Tysons Leads D.C. Suburbs’ Growth — “Tysons…is growing in almost every area, from population to office space to hotel rooms. While the area’s development boom started before the pandemic, the ability to work from home and the desire for more space have only helped areas such as Tysons.” [Axios]
Vienna Church Sponsors Charity Effort for Afghan Refugees — “Vienna Presbyterian is seeking volunteers to sign up and donate items for Welcome Backpacks for Afghan refugees as well as unaccompanied minors at the border. The church is working with Church World Service, one of the largest faith-based organizations assisting with refugee resettlement.” [Patch]
Tysons Defies Office Space Trends — “In the late innings of the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for office space in Tysons appears to be bucking some trends, according to local developers and brokers. In a market environment characterized by lease renewals, Tysons saw the only new lease in Northern Virginia over 50,000 square feet during the second quarter of 2021, according to CBRE’s second quarter research.” [Commercial Observer]
School Board Renames McLean HS Dressing Rooms — “The theater dressing rooms at McLean High School were renamed after Janie Strauss, a School Board member for the Dranesville District from 1993 to 2019, an avid former educator, and director of the nationally acclaimed Critics Awards Program for High School Theater, known as the Cappies. Her three children graduated from McLean where they were active in the arts and athletics.” [FCPS]
Local Arts Groups Receive Funding — “Twelve Fairfax County arts organizations will share just over $100,000 in funding through ArtFairfax’s ‘Arts Ignite Recovery’ (AIR) initiative. The organization established the AIR grant program to support arts groups as they emerge from the pandemic and restart their programming.” [Sun Gazette]
From the outside, the office towers at 6400 and 6402 Arlington Boulevard look much the same as they did half a century ago.
At 13 stories tall, they still loom over Route 50 as it approaches Seven Corners and still boast striking black-and-white facades that draw the attention of passing drivers while revealing little about their occupants.
Inside, however, property owner BoundTrain Real Estate has been busy overhauling both buildings from their lobbies to the top floor that once housed offices for executives of First Virginia Banks, which built 6400 Arlington Boulevard — now dubbed the South Tower — as its headquarters in 1972.
6402 Arlington — the North Tower — came later in 1987, according to Fairfax County property records.
Formerly known as the Falls Church Corporate Center, the buildings have been rebranded as Lookout at 6400 as part of a $11 million renovation project that BoundTrain hopes will revitalize the site for an office market transformed by the rise of remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Lookout is a pretty good indicator on front-end demand people coming back to the office because of that value proposition,” BoundTrain Managing Principal Michael Klein told Tysons Reporter. “…Rent is still important. Economics are still important, but most tenants still want amenities.”
BoundTrain bought the 410,197 square-foot office complex for $38.1 million in February 2019 with the goal of modernizing it.
At that time, the towers were over 70% leased, but dated interiors, deferred maintenance, and a lack of amenities had turned them into a “broken asset,” Klein says. Interviews with tenants indicated they had stayed because the location is convenient for commuting.
However, the real estate company saw potential in the buildings, adopting the name Lookout at 6400 in reference to the 360-degree panoramic views they provided of Northern Virginia into D.C.
To take advantage of those views, BoundTrain gutted the former Virginia First Bank executive floor at the top of the South Tower and installed a 3,000 square-foot tenant lounge that retained one of two existing fireplaces but was otherwise entirely redone.
Other amenities introduced since work on the renovation started in September 2019 include a new roof, conference rooms, a 5,000 square-foot fitness center with a bicycle room, a wellness room, and a revamped ground floor that has a separate lobby and elevator for medical uses. Read More
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
County Appoints New Parks Director — “The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors affirmed the selection of Jai Cole as Executive Director of the Park Authority [Tuesday]…Cole, a park professional with more than two decades of leadership experience with award-winning recreation and park agencies will begin immediately, filling the vacancy created by the retirement of…Kirk Kincannon earlier this year.” [Fairfax County Park Authority]
Deadline for COVID-19 Relief Grants Extended — Fairfax County has extended the application deadline for its Active and Thriving Community Grants Program to 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 21. Previously set to close yesterday (Tuesday), the program is intended to help child care providers, community programs, and other small businesses and nonprofits negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. [Fairfax County Government]
Tysons Adapts to Decline in Commuting — With the pandemic keeping many workers at home, local business leaders say a growing emphasis on mixed-use developments like The Boro and Capital One Center will help office-centric Tysons adapt to a world of remote work. Proximity to transit and retail amenities will be key to attracting young employees, ID.me Chief Marketing Officer Jean Rosauer said at last week’s Future of Tysons event. [Bisnow]
Some Teachers Skeptical of Live-Streaming Proposal — “After Fairfax County Public Schools added classroom streaming for students forced to stay home because of COVID-19, some teachers are pushing back…David Walrod, a teacher at FCPS, who also serves as the first Vice President of the Fairfax County Federation of Teachers, worries that the live streaming will evolve into concurrent learning — which even the superintendent said wasn’t ideal for students.” [WUSA9]
Tysons Security Company Evacuated Clients from Afghanistan — “As U.S. troops began to withdraw from Afghanistan, Tysons-based Global Guardian reached out to its clients there to offer evacuation assistance. On August 5, 10 days before the Afghan government collapsed, the company began evacuating its clients from Kabul and two other cities. By August 18, Global Guardian had successfully evacuated all but one individual, whom it later got out of the country.” [Fairfax County EDA]
An office building from the 1970s could be demolished to make way for a modern skyscraper along the Capital Beltway in Tysons.
The 11-story, 135-foot tall Park Place I (7926 Jones Branch Drive) is slated for an overhaul. Property owner B.F. Saul Real Estate Investment Trust is looking to replace it with a building with ground-floor retail, a terraced plaza, outdoor seating areas, and “trophy-class office space,” according to application materials.
The developer is seeking a special exception from Fairfax County to waive certain requirements, including an increase in the site’s permitted building height, to make way for the project.
“Compared to the existing building, the proposed Park Place I building will be rotated 90 degrees, thereby opening up views, light, and air through the site and creating symmetry with the adjacent Hilton Worldwide headquarters building,” Mark Viani, a land use and zoning lawyer for the project, said in a July 2 statement of justification to the county.
Viani, who works with the Arlington-based law firm Bean, Kinney, & Korman, noted that the current building remains in operation but “is outdated and is 100% vacant of all tenants.”
B.F. Saul previously submitted plans for an 18-story building in 2018, when it sought to obtain a parking requirement exception. Under its current plan, the redeveloped property would provide 1,842 spaces — more than the 1,506 spaces required.
As part of improvements, the owner would provide 4,040 square feet of urban park space at the property along Jones Branch Drive, which also would be widened to accommodate a new bike lane.
The proposed construction project is in a C-4 High Intensity Office District county zoning area, which restricts a building height to 120 feet and requires a front setback of 54 feet.
Under the names Tysons Park Inc. and Tysons Park Place II LLC, B.F. Saul is requesting permission for the new building to be 175 feet high and other waivers, including a 41-foot front setback.
The proposal calls for amending a special exception that was approved in 2000 and permitted the Park Place II to reach up to 150 feet in height but maintained Park Place I’s current height, according to the application.
As part of the justification in the request, Viani noted the county’s Tysons Comprehensive Plan calls for buildings up to 175 feet tall in that area based on its proximity to Metro stations. He says that by building “up” rather than “out,” the applicants will better improve pedestrian-oriented spaces and on-site open space.
“Its location along a prominent road makes it a desirable site for additional height to help create a stronger building identity and sense of place in Tysons,” Viani wrote.
Starr Hill Biergarten Opens — Starr Hill Brewery opened its new Tysons beer garden at 11 a.m. on Saturday (Aug. 21) with live music, craft beer, and more. The 5,000 square-foot venue is part of Capital One Center’s The Perch skypark, which will celebrate its grand opening with a three-day music festival in mid-September. [Starr Hill/Instagram]
See FCPS Photos from First Day of School — “Today was a great day to be in Fairfax County Public Schools! Almost 180,000 students returned to our buildings this morning, excited and ready to learn. Enjoy some highlights from #FirstDayFairfax and #FCPSReturningStrong on social media, or visit our website for more photos.” [FCPS]
Construction Firm Adds Vienna Office — Skanska USA has signed a five-year lease for a 3,129 square-foot office at 8521 Leesburg Pike in Vienna to expand its civil practice in the mid-Atlantic region. Executive Vice President Michael Viggiano says “the rapidly changing Tysons region has been an area of investment” for the construction company “for many years,” pointing to its involvement in projects like The Heming at Scotts Run and The Boro. [Commercial Observer]
Visit Fairfax Leader Details Pandemic’s Impact on Hospitality — “The COVID-19 pandemic still is wreaking havoc upon the region’s hospitality industry and full recovery may be a good distance off, the president and CEO of Visit Fairfax told Greater McLean Chamber of Commerce members Aug. 19…Biggar predicted it would be at least mid-2022 — and perhaps sometime in 2023 — before business travel recovered.” [Sun Gazette]
Falls Church Community Center Closed — “FYI: the Community Center is closed this week (Aug. 23 – Aug. 29) for their annual deep clean. It’s good timing, since the building has an eau de sweaty camper essence right now.” [City of Falls Church/Twitter]
Third COVID-19 Vaccine Dose Now Available — Fairfax County Health Department clinics can provide a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine to people who are fully vaccinated but whose immune systems have been compromised by certain medical conditions or treatments. The third dose is thought to boost the immune response and can be administered at least 28 days after the individual gets their second dose. [FCHD]
Law Firm Moves into Boro Tower — The law firm Williams Mullen announced yesterday (Monday) that it has moved about 30 attorneys and staff members into its new Tysons office at Boro Tower (8350 Broad Street, Suite 1600). The Boro’s developers said in May that the firm had leased 14,950 square feet on the office building’s 16th floor. [Williams Mullen]
McLean Project for the Arts Announces Fall Classes — “Registration is currently underway for fall art classes at McLean Project for the Arts (MPA). Autumn offerings include the return of many popular classes, as well as the debut of exciting new options. MPA will be holding fall classes both online and in-studio.” [MPA]