Newsletter
Proposed outdoor space in Tysons (via Google Maps)

A 3.5-acre lot near the McLean Metro station that’s currently little more than an expanse of dirt could be transformed into an outdoor gathering space before being taken over by up to two planned highrises.

Cityline Partners, the real estate firm behind the Scotts Run mixed-use development, envisions a “quasi-public” park with farmers markets, food trucks, a movie screen, outdoor trampolines, pop-up retail, or other outdoor amenities.

Dubbed The Block at Scotts Run, the vacant, leveled area at 1616 Anderson Road is bordered by Route 123 (Dolley Madison Boulevard), South Dartford Drive, and Chain Bridge Road.

The Washington Business Journal first reported the news that developers are seeking approval for the interim proposal from Fairfax County while waiting for the right market conditions to build one or both highrises.

The application from New York City-based DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners — operating as Cityline Partners LLC — requests a 20-year term for the interim use, but any retail or restaurant space would not be occupied by the same tenant for the full term, according to a statement of justification from land use attorney David Schneider with the Tysons-based firm Holland & Knight.

“Without this interim activation, this prominent corner at the eastern gateway of Tysons will remain vacant for an unknown amount until the market signals that it is time to move forward with one or both highrise buildings,” he said in the Sept. 16 letter to the Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning.

The property is owned by one or two New York City businesses that occupies the 24th floor of a building in the Big Apple: 11 Madison Ave. The businesses are listed as “Van Buren 1616 Anderson LLC” and “Westgate 1600 Anderson Road LLC.”

Per the WBJ, though, Cityline is overseeing the interim proposal as the managing agent and master developer of Scotts Run South, which recently advanced with the opening of Archer Hotel Tysons.

The interim proposal would have a height limitation of 90 feet and occupy 30,000 square feet in gross floor area. Developers say they aren’t looking to build a nine-story building there but instead have room for “trapeze equipment and tents.”

According to Schneider’s letter, The Block is intended to set the stage for a Van Buren Gateway Park that the developers have committed to providing in the property’s ultimate build-out.

Photo via Google Maps

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Morning Notes

(Updated at 8:40 a.m.) Flood Watch in Effect — Fairfax County is under a Flood Watch into this afternoon, as “significant” rain is expected. Several roads have been closed due to flooding or downed trees, including Potomac River Road at Georgetown Pike, Lawyers Road at Hunter Mill, and Old Courthouse at Besley Road. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, FCPD]

Suspect in Tysons Sexual Assault Charged in New Incident — Fairfax County police have filed new sexual assault charges against a Woodbridge man who was arrested on Sept. 3 in connection with a sexual assault reported at a Tysons hotel in July. Reported on Aug. 26, the second incident involved the man allegedly assaulting a woman he’d arranged to meet at a hotel in the Seven Corners area. [Patch]

FCPS Shares SAT Results — The Class of 2021 performed above the national average on the SAT with just a 4.4% drop in participation, compared to a 31.4% global decline, despite the challenges of conducting standardized testing during the pandemic, Fairfax County Public Schools reported yesterday (Wednesday). Results from the College Board showed that Asian and white students recorded higher average scores than their Black and Hispanic counterparts. [WTOP]

Area Officials Consider Prioritizing Equity in Planning — The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments board will vote on Oct. 13 on a regional transportation and land use plan that would prioritize low-income residents and communities of color when allocating funds for affordable housing, transportation, and other projects. Planners say the move would help address disparities in health outcomes and access to transit and other services. [The Washington Post]

Tysons Media Company Has Suitors — “Tegna Inc. (NYSE: TGNA), the Tysons-based operator of dozens of U.S. television stations, said Tuesday it has recently received multiple acquisition proposals — a new round of overtures after offers last year were pulled as the Covid-19 pandemic was taking hold. According to reports, media mogul Byron Allen is teaming with alternative investment firm Ares Management Corp. (NYSE: ARES) on a bid, while private equity giant Apollo Global Management Inc. (NYSE: APO) and Standard General LP are joining on another.” [Washington Business Journal]

Regional Park Authority Founders Celebrated — The Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority recently lauded the achievements of its founders, including conservationist Ira Gabrielson, who gave land to Fairfax County that became Oakton’s Gabrielson Gardens Park. Started 62 years ago, NOVA Parks has preserved more than 12,000 acres of land and oversees attractions like the Washington & Old Dominion Regional Trail. [Sun Gazette]

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Morning Notes

Virginia Redistricting Commission Splits on Map — The commission will submit two possible maps for new congressional and legislative districts to the General Assembly in October after its Democratic and Republican members couldn’t agree on who will draw the maps. Del. Marcus Simon (D-53rd), who called the commission flawed when it went on the ballot last November, was not impressed. [WTOP]

Virginia Tech Expert Backs Mite Theory for Bug Bites — An entomologist with the Virginia Tech Insect ID Lab says oak itch mites are likely behind the mysterious, itchy bug bites that many D.C. area residents have reported in recent weeks, possibly linked to the cicada emergence. A Fairfax County environmental health official told Tysons Reporter last week that the mites were a suspected cause but had not been confirmed. [ARLnow]

County to Hold Meeting on Pickleball Study — “The Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) seeks the public’s input on the emerging sport of pickleball and invites the community to attend a virtual meeting to introduce its draft Pickleball Study…The event will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, at 7 p.m. and will be available online afterward for those unable to attend live.” [FCPA]

Vienna Dog Park Closed This Morning — The Vienna Dog Park at the corner of Courthouse Road and Moorefield Road SW will be closed for maintenance from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. today (Thursday). It is the only publicly owned dog park in the Tysons area. [Town of Vienna/Twitter]

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Dog in floral bandana (via The Boro/Twitter)

Fairfax County’s final Dog Park Park Study calls for the construction of one new dog park, a timeline to build six more, and a better maintenance plan for existing parks.

After a nearly two-year long process full of surveys, drafts, and feedback, the Fairfax County Park Authority Board of Directors endorsed the final report at a meeting late last month.

The park authority initiated the study in 2019 due to the “abundance” of questions about county dog park operations and expansion, including the “perceived demand” for more parks. Feedback was gathered by surveying more than 4,600 residents.

According to a county press release, the final report will act as a “guiding document” for the county as it plans, designs, maintains, and operates dog parks going forward.

Recommendations in the final report include building at least one new dog park by 2025, though an exact location isn’t specified.

Currently, the county has 13 public dog parks, 11 of which are owned and operated by FCPA. An additional one would meet the needs of the county’s projected population in 2025, according to the park authority’s data.

Although the report doesn’t say exactly where the new park should be built, it suggests that McLean or Lake Fairfax in Reston would be good options due to demand and a lack of existing dog parks.

Park bond funding should be used for the building of the park, the report proposes.

After that dog park is completed, the report says the county should establish a schedule for constructing six more dog parks, which should meet and, even, exceed demand over the next two decades.

It recommends Baileys, Jefferson, and Bull Run planning districts as options for locations.

A map of existing and planned Fairfax County Park Authority dog parks (via FCPA)

In terms of what those new dog parks should include, survey respondents noted that room for dogs to run, adequate number of trash cans, shade, water spickets, and parking were features most requested by residents.

The report also recommends developing a more thorough plan for park upkeep, including additional and better placement of trash cans, more frequent refilling of waste bag dispensers, and better signage. It says FCPA should encourage volunteer dog park teams to help with this upkeep.

In addition to addressing the state of dog parks countywide, the report makes recommendations for improvements to each individual dog park in that the park authority operates.

Suggested alterations range from converting a hose bib at the Baron Cameron dog park in Reston into a drinking fountain and installing a structure or planting trees to provide shade at Blake Lane in Oakton to redesigning Grist Mill Park in Alexandria to have a separate section for smaller and older dogs.

FCPA estimates that it costs just under $10,000 a year to maintain each dog park.

A draft of the report was first released in early March, which was followed by another public comment period that led the park authority to refine some of its recommendations.

The Tysons area is currently low on public dog parks. The Blake Lane park (10033 Blake Lane) is the closest one owned by the FCPA, and pups can also romp in an off-leash area at Moorefield Park in the Town of Vienna.

A dog park is being considered as part of the McLean Central Park redesign, but the proposal got some pushback after the park authority’s concept plan suggested it would require eliminating an existing tennis court.

The final dog park study report will be posted on the county’s website in September.

Photo via The Boro/Twitter

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A rendering of the proposed residential-retail expansion of The Boro (courtesy The Meridian Group)

(Updated on 9/2/2021) The former National Automobile Dealers Association headquarters building will be demolished this month to make way for a planned expansion of The Boro, the developer behind the Tysons mixed-use neighborhood announced today (Monday).

Extending The Boro to the north side of Westpark Drive, the vacated office complex will ultimately be replaced by approximately 40,000 square feet of retail space, more than an acre of public park and active recreational space, and more than 800 residential units, The Meridian Group says.

“This next phase will continue to deliver on the goals and objects of the Tysons Comprehensive Plan, including increased connectivity, walkability, balanced housing, vibrant streetscapes with active storefronts, and exceptional public amenities like the first installation of a Tysons-wide cultural and recreational trail,” The Meridian Group Senior Vice President Tom Boylan said in a statement.

The project will involve development on four parcels:

  • Block J: the 16-story Silverstone Senior Living building, which will have 197 units, 79 of them dedicated to assisted living and memory care, and ground-floor retail. Construction could start by the end of this year, and the Dallas-headquartered senior living provider expects to finish the project in late 2023.
  • Blocks I and K: workforce and market-rate residential buildings with approximately 34,000 square feet of retail. Co-developed by Meridian and the real estate firm Akridge, Block I will consist of 122 residences, and Block K will offer 421 residences. The two buildings could be complete in 2024.
  • Block L: townhomes or a health club to supplement a park at the corner of Clover and Broad Streets

In a news release, Meridian says its Boro expansion will introduce a new grid of streets with a signalized, pedestrian-only crossing at the Whole Foods entrance and “pedestrian connections” at Westpark Drive’s intersections with Greensboro Drive and a new road called Broad Street.

A map of the buildings in The Boro extension from the proposed development plan (via Fairfax County)

In a rezoning application submitted to Fairfax County in May, the developer says Broad Street will be a private road that will eventually stretch past The Boro’s northern property line to Spring Hill Road.

Meridian also proposes adding a new public street called Clover Street to connect Broad and Greensboro and extending Boro Place as a private road across Westpark, which is currently divided into six lanes by a median with Greensboro and Route 7 as the closest traffic lights.

A five-story-high glass corridor bridge will be constructed over Boro Place to link Blocks I and K.

In addition, an on-road bicycle lane will be added to Broad Street, but the application says one along Westpark Drive “is not possible due to existing right-of-way constraints.”

According to Meridian’s press release, its expansion of The Boro will further fulfill the county’s Tysons Comprehensive Plan by adding bicycle share locations, new dedicated bicycle lanes, two new bus stops, a dedicated Tysons Circulator travel lane, and three blocks of an “active recreation amenity” that it calls the Tysons Circuit.

“The Tysons Circuit will include interpretative signage, benches, landscaping, and specialty paving, which together will form a distinct and unique pathway along Westpark Drive down to Leesburg Pike,” the press release said.

The plan also calls for a linear ribbon park system dubbed Allsboro Park that will feature garden and seating areas, public art, and a pickleball court.

Opened in 2019, The Boro turned the government contractor SAIC’s former campus into a mixed-use space with luxury high-rise apartments, the office-oriented Boro Tower, restaurants, and the mid-Atlantic region’s largest Whole Foods.

Meridian purchased the NADA building for $33.7 million in 2018 in anticipation of the development’s expansion.

Earlier this summer, a massive mural was unveiled at The Boro, accompanied by a new pop-up bar from The Sandlot. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams (1669 C Silver Hill Drive) also opened there this spring, and the Australian coffee shop Bluestone Lane could open this month.

Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik’s office declined to comment on specifics of the application, because it is pending with county hearings scheduled in October. Spokesperson Caroline Coscia said the applicant also intends to re-submit the application on Friday (Aug. 13).

The Fairfax County Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the project at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 6, and the Board of Supervisors is slated to hold its hearing at 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 19.

Map via Fairfax County

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Morning Notes

Woman Hospitalized After Stabbing at Ritz Carlton — “Officers are on scene of a stabbing at the Ritz Carlton, 1700 Tysons Blvd, in McLean. A woman was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. A person of interest, a man, is detained and receiving treatment for non-life-threatening injuries.” [Fairfax County Police Department/Twitter]

Virginia Sales Tax Holiday Starts Tomorrow — “Virginia’s annual sales tax holiday is this weekend. Stock up on qualifying school supplies, clothing, hurricane and emergency preparedness supplies, and certain ENERGY STAR™ and WaterSense™ products without paying state sales tax starting Friday, Aug. 6, at 12:01 a.m. and ending Sunday, Aug. 8, at 11:59 p.m.” [Fairfax County Emergency Information]

Redistricting Commission Holds Public Hearing — “Northern Virginia residents on July 27 told the Virginia Redistricting Commission to redraw congressional and state legislative boundaries in ways that are logical, protect minority voting rights and do not split communities…The 11th U.S. House of Representatives District, occupied since 2009 by Gerald Connolly (D), was a frequently cited example at the meeting of a poorly district. Speakers said voters living in Reston, Vienna and Tysons had nothing in common with those in Triangle on the district’s southern edge.” [Sun Gazette/Inside NoVA]

Vienna Opens Parks and Rec Fall Program Registration — “Fall Class and Camp registration is now open for Town residents! Check out the program guide and reserve your spot today! Registration for non-Town residents opens on Monday, Aug. 9.” [Town of Vienna/Twitter]

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Morning Notes

Metro Extends Service Hours This Weekend — Starting Sunday (July 18), Metro will provide rail service until midnight for the first time since operating hours were reduced at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The transit agency approved a package of fare reductions and service improvements in June aimed at attracting riders as more offices are set to reopen in the fall. [The Washington Post]

Freedom Hill Park to Recognize Historic Carter Family — As part of an interpretive history project, the Fairfax County Park Authority is inviting the public to a traditional land ceremony and sign dedication at Freedom Hill Park in Vienna on July 31. The new signs will tell the story of the multiracial Carter family, whose accomplishments include establishing the First Baptist Church of Vienna and possibly spying for the Union during the Civil War. [FCPA]

Fairfax County School Board Elects New Chair — The school board unanimously approved Sully District representative Stella Pekarsky as its new chair for the 2021-2022 school year. Board members thanked Mason District representative Ricardy Anderson for her time as chair amid the pandemic and noted she will get some much-deserved time with her family. [FCPS]

Food Trucks Stop by Providence Community Center — “Come by the Providence Community Center tomorrow [July 16] from 11am to 1:30pm for some freshly made empanadas by @empanadasdemza! This will make for a great snack over the weekend so make sure you grab some extra to share with your friends and families!” [Supervisor Dalia Palchik/Twitter]

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Morning Notes

MCA Supports Proposal to Replace Office Building — “The McLean Citizens Association’s board of directors on July 7 passed a resolution generally supportive of a proposed townhouse development at 7700 Leesburg Pike, but sought changes to bolster pedestrian safety and discourage cut-through traffic.” [Sun Gazette]

Lack of Transparency Frustrates Justice Park Advocates — Documents obtained by the community group Justice for Justice Park, which opposes a proposal to convert part of the Falls Church park into a parking lot, show that county park and school officials had been negotiating a land transfer for two years without telling the public. The group argues a master plan amendment should be required before any moves are made. [The Annandale Blog]

New Jersey Driver Wanted for Assault on Police Officer — According to the Fairfax County Police Department’s weekly report, a police officer was treated at a hospital for minor injuries after attempting to arrest a man who was driving a vehicle without the owner’s permission. The incident occurred in the 2000 block of Peach Orchard Drive in Tysons on July 3, and the man has not been located yet. [FCPD]

Vienna Named Bicycle-Friendly Community — The Town of Vienna has been recognized by the League of American Bicyclists as a bronze-level Bicycle-Friendly Community, an award given to “communities that demonstrate a strong commitment to bicycling by creating transportation and recreational resources that benefit residents and improve the quality of life.” [Town of Vienna]

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Morning Notes

PIVOT Grant Application Deadline Today — This is the last day for hotels, restaurants, and other local businesses affected by the pandemic to apply for COVID-19 relief funding from Fairfax County’s PIVOT grant program. The application portal will close at 11:59 p.m. [Fairfax County Government]

COVID-19 Mostly Spreading Among Unvaccinated People Now — “From December 29 to June 25, 99.7 percent of new COVID-19 cases have occurred among unvaccinated or partially vaccinated Virginians, according to VDH. Those residents made up 99.3 percent of hospitalizations and 99.6 percent of deaths over the same time period.” [Virginia Mercury]

McLean Nonprofit to Raffle Off Nats Memorabilia — “The McLean area branch of the American Association of University Women’s (AAUW) used-book sale, its annual charitable fund-raiser, has been postponed again due to lingering effects of COVID-19. Instead, the group will hold a substitute fund-raiser featuring [Washington Nationals pitcher Max] Scherzer memorabilia, along with a request for contributions to support education and local scholarships for women.” [Sun Gazette/Inside NoVA]

Help Clean Up Nottoway Park This Weekend — “Join us at Nottoway Park on Saturday, July 10th, to celebrate Latinx Conservation Month, and help manage invasive plants, visit some sheep, and learn how to care for plants. Nottoway Park is located at 9537 Courthouse Road in Vienna, VA.” [Palchik Post]

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Production of the new mural by artists Jessie and Katey to be unveiled at The Boro this week (courtesy The Boro)

(Updated at 12:15 p.m.) The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

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

Tuesday (June 22)

  • Duck Harbor (Online) — 8 p.m. — A heartwarming web series about a bi-coastal love story written by E.M. Lewis and Bob Bartlett, this online, live theatrical performance from 1st Stage airs for free every Tuesday at 8 p.m. All aired episodes and bonus content will also be available through Duck Harbor ALL ACCESS for $15.

Thursday (June 24)

  • Summer Live Music: Zach Cutler — 5-8 p.m. at the Upper Promenade near Boro Park (8350 Broad St.) — This week’s live music series at The Boro features local guitarist Zach Cutler. RSVP to receive more information.
  • Films in the Park: The Birdcage — 7:30-9:30 p.m. at Strawberry Park (2910 District Ave.) — The Mosaic District’s Films in the Park series continues this Thursday with The Birdcage starring Robin Williams and Gene Hackman. The film is rated R and will run for one hour and fifty-seven minutes. Grab your picnic blanket and join your neighbors at Strawberry Park for a movie night!
  • Concerts in the Park — 7-9 p.m. at Cherry Hill Park (312 Park Ave.) — This week’s Concert in the Park in Falls Church features local cover band Nomad. They’ll be playing classic rock songs from artists like The Beatles, Rolling Stones and more. Email [email protected] with questions or concerns.

Friday (June 25)

  • Wolf Trap Salon Series (Online) — 7 p.m. — A series of online opera recitals curated by the artists in the show. The virtual performance gives “an intimate look into artistry…providing a unique glimpse into how they interpret art, songs and the world around them.”

Saturday (June 26)

  • Drag Storybook Hour10:30 & 11:30 a.m. at Dolley Madison Library (1244 Oak Ridge Ave.) — Come join one of two drag storybook hours to celebrate Pride Month. This event is free and appropriate for all ages. It’s co-sponsored by Fairfax County Public Library and the McLean Community Center.
  • Mural Unveiling at The Boro — 12-4 p.m. at The Boro (8350 Broad St.) — Muralists Jessie Unterhalter & Katey Truhn have finished their mural at The Boro, and there is a party to celebrate its completion. RSVP to see the unveiling, eat snacks, games, arts and crafts, live music and more fun!
  • ShowPlace ICON F9 Car Meet — 4-8 p.m. at the ShowPlace ICON Theatre parking lot (1667 Silver Hill Dr.)Join other car enthusiests to celebrate the release of “F9: The Fast Saga.” The car meet-up is free and will happen rain or shine.
  • Mosaic Skateland Grand Opening — 5:30-10 p.m. at Mosaic Skateland (2910 District Ave.) — The Mosaic District invites the community to a “disco-inspired celebration” at its new roller rink, featuring live music from the band Groovalicious. In honor of Pride month, 50% of roller rink tickets sales will be donated to Fairfax County Public Schools Pride, which works to make an inclusive and respectful  enviornment for all students. Purchase tickets in advance or on site.

Sunday (June 27)

  • Summer Sunday Concert: JoJo & The Pinecones — 5 p.m. at the McLean Central Park gazebo (1468 Dolley Madison Blvd.) — McLean’s Summer Concert series continues this Sunday with a free, family-friendly show by the New York City based group, JoJo & The Pinecones.
  • 1st Stage Celebration at The Boro Benefit  — 5-8 p.m. at Boro Park (8350 Broad St.) — A live concert reading of “A New Brain” by William Finn and James Lapine will be preformed as the 2021 benefit for 1st Stage. In-person tickets are sold out, but the event will also be available for free online. Register online for a link to the live-stream. There is also an option to donate to the theater.
  • Aspirations to Reality — 7 p.m. at Church of the Holy Comforter (543 Beulah Rd.) — Artists from HALO Inc. will sing in a variety of styles and deliver a spoken narrative at this free outdoor concert on the church’s front lawn. The concert is part of the Town of Vienna’s Liberty Amendments Month festivities.
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