Another piece of the massive Scotts Run development taking shape near the McLean Metro station has fallen into place.
The real estate developer LMC announced on Thursday (July 29) that it has closed on land for a new mixed-use building called Paxton that will add 447 apartment units and 14,713 square feet of retail space to the 40-acre development in Tysons.
“Paxton will provide well-appointed apartment homes in Tysons close to a variety of dining, entertainment, and transit options,” Stuart Cain, vice president of development of LMC’s D.C. Metro office, said. “Paxton will offer a broad range of apartment types, with spacious floor plans and ample, modern indoor and outdoor amenities and workspaces in a growing urban community.”
The modern community will offer studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartment homes. Apartment interiors will be appointed with wood plank-style flooring, quartz countertops, under-cabinet lighting, stainless steel appliances, walk-in closets, floor-to-ceiling windows, recessed lighting and additional storage space. Resort-inspired amenities at Paxton will include ample co-working space with a conference room and business center, swimming pool, cabanas and lounge seating, firepits and fireplace, outdoor grills, lounge, entertainment kitchen, club room with a gaming area and billiards table and fully equipped fitness center with weightlifting and cardio machines. Residents will also have access to a seven-story parking garage with electric vehicle charging stations, package lockers, additional storage space and a pet park with a dog grooming room.
The developer projects that Paxton will open for its first move-ins in early 2024.
Approved in 2011 in two sections, one on the south side of Route 123 and one on the north side, Scotts Run will replace office buildings and a surface parking lot with up to 6.5 million square feet of mixed-use development.
Skanska, JLB Partners, and the hotel management company LodgeWorks Partners are also involved in Scotts Run.
The 178-room Archer Hotel is nearing completion and remains on track to open later this year, and construction on ShipGarten, a beer-garden-in-shipping-containers pop-up from the team behind the Tysons Biergarten, is expected to be finished soon for an opening this summer, though previous projected openings have come and gone.
Meanwhile, Cityline says it has completed work on the new Scotts Run Fire Station 44, and Fairfax County plans to make the building operational soon.
General Assembly to Hold Special Session in August — “Governor Ralph Northam today [Wednesday] issued a proclamation calling the members of the General Assembly into special session on Monday, August 2. A special session is necessary to fill judicial vacancies and allocate more than $4.3 billion in federal relief funding.” [Office of the Governor]
British Pub Opens Doors in Vienna — Hawk & Griffin had a long-awaited soft opening this week for its 435 Maple Avenue West venue, which is now open for reservations and will start allowing walk-ins on Friday (June 25). The British pub has been in the works since February 2020 but delayed opening due to the COVID-19 pandemic. [Patch]
Tysons Boulevard Lane to Close Again — One northbound lane of Tysons Boulevard will be temporarily closed for a second year to give pedestrians and bicyclists access to a half-mile stretch of road in the Tysons Galleria area. The closure will begin on July 6 with no set end date, though it could be reassessed depending on traffic conditions. [Fairfax County Department of Transportation]
Scott’s Run Trail Project Awarded — A new asphalt pedestrian trail and two bridges over Scott’s Run were named Project of the Year for Transportation in the under-$5 million category by the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the American Public Works Association (APWA). The project started construction in July 2019, and Fairfax County held a ribbon-cutting on Feb. 4. [Fairfax County Park Authority]
Vienna Hosts George Mason University President — GMU President Dr. Gregory Washington will discuss the paradox of Mason’s role as a key figure in American history and as a slaveholder at the Vienna Community Center at 5 p.m. today. The event will also feature a panel discussion as part of the Town of Vienna’s Liberty Amendments Month celebration. [Volunteer Fairfax/Twitter]
Last time Tysons Reporter checked in on ShipGarten, the unique restaurant/biergarten venture was expected to launch in early spring, but spring arrived and is now heating up into summer, and the shipping container doors remain fastened.
Rofougaran, who was CEO of the now-shuttered Tysons Biergarten, attributes the latest delay to several factors, including challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, a delay in obtaining materials, a delay in getting Dominion Energy out to the site, and the overall size of the project.
“The project [is] bigger than expected by not just us but the contractor,” he said.
Developed by the same team behind Tysons Biergarten and the still-operating Hops N Shine in Alexandria, ShipGarten will be a pop-up biergarten with restaurants located inside four converted, 40-foot shipping containers.
In addition to the central biergarten, which will have 20 German taps as well as sausages and pretzels, the restaurants will include Chalkboard BBQ & Craft Beer, the Asian fusion fast-casual joint Rollbär, and the Persian fast-casual establishment Salamati Grille.
The delays that ShipGarten has encountered could ultimately turn out to be a boon, since starting on May 28, Virginia will lift the capacity and social distancing requirements that have limited operations at existing restaurants and bars for the past year.
Rofougaran says the current plan is to require masks for staff and encourage social distancing, but that could change depending on how the next month unfolds.
“We believe we are about a month until we open so we will reevaluate everything once we get closer to [the] opening date,” he said.
ShipGarten’s opening will be a key step forward for Scotts Run, a 40-acre mixed-use development focused around the McLean Metro station that currently consists of The Haden — an apartment complex — and the 14-story Mitre 4 office building.
The ShipGarten team saw Scotts Run as an ideal location to expand on the ideas that they introduced with Tysons Biergarten, which closed in November 2019 to make way for planned redevelopment around the Greensboro Metro station.
“The amount of room available allowed us to utilize the space to put together something that everyone in not just the tysons region but all of the DMV could come and enjoy,” Rofougaran said by email. “Plus being on top of a hill overlooking the Tysons Skyline was a great added bonus!”
Cityline Partners, one of several developers working on Scotts Run, says it looks forward to ShipGarten opening next month. The biergarten is expected to stay on the site as a pop-up for about three years as more of the surrounding development falls into place.
“We are delighted to have such an active and fun interim use at our development directly adjacent to the Scotts Run Stream Valley Park,” Cityline Managing Partner Tasso Flocos said. “The Shipgarten is a wonderful outdoor addition overlooking the urban neighborhood in the making and is an important venue to fill a much needed void for Tysons.”
Image via ShipGarten/Instagram
Fairfax County School Board Adopts Budget — The Fairfax County Public Schools fiscal year 2022 budget includes funding for 50 new positions for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) students, school-based technology specialists, and 18 new social worker and psychologist positions to meet state requirements. It also covers technology support fees previously charged to families and a 2% market rate adjustment for all employees. [FCPS]
Bike to Work Day Is Here — The D.C. area’s annual initiative to encourage people to ride their bicycles to work marks its 20th anniversary today. The Tysons area has pit stops at Tysons Corner Center, the Mosaic District, and the MITRE Corporation headquarters in McLean, where cyclists can pick up a complimentary T-shirt, win giveaways, and in some cases, get a free bicycle tune-up. [Bike to Work Day]
Park Police Chief Calls Ghaisar Shooting “Tragic” — Park Police Chief Pamela Smith called the 2017 shooting of McLean resident Bijan Ghaisar “tragic” yesterday (Thursday) when announcing that the agency will outfit all officers with body-worn cameras by the end of this year. She didn’t comment on Fairfax County and Virginia prosecutors’ recent request that the Justice Department take up the case against the Park Police officers, which is now in federal court. [WTOP]
Scott’s Run Security to Intensify on Memorial Day — The Fairfax County Park Authority will increase the presence of security at Scott’s Run Nature Preserve in McLean starting on Memorial Day (May 31). Security personnel will be on site throughout the week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. to enforce park rules, including the prohibition of alcohol and glass bottles and safety measures in the waterfall area. [Patch]
Mill Street Building Sold for $5 Million — The 23,000 square-foot building at 319 Mill Street in Vienna was sold last week to a local businessman identified as MITCO Mill Street LLC. Zoned for retail or industrial use and occupied by three long-term tenants, the property is part of an effort to revive Mill Street with new retail businesses, including a Cubesmart that’s now under construction. [Vienna Business Association]
McLean American Legion Post Honored — “It took an extra year because of pandemic-related delays, but American Legion Post 270 in McLean and its former commander, W. Glenn Yarborough, on May 19 finally received ceremonial copies of honorary resolutions passed last year by the General Assembly.” [Sun Gazette]
Virginia Declares State of Emergency Over Gas Supplies — Gov. Ralph Northam gave the state and local governments increased flexibility and funding yesterday (Tuesday) after a ransomware attack disrupted the Colonial Pipeline, which provides 45% of the East Coast’s gasoline supply. 7.5% of the state’s 3,880 gas stations reported running out of fuel, a shortage primarily attributed to panic buying. [WTOP]
Businessman Wins Republican Nominaton for Governor — Glenn Youngkin, a Great Falls resident and former chief executive of the private equity firm The Carlyle Group, will represent the Republican Party in Virginia’s gubernatorial race after prevailing over six other candidates in a ranked-choice voting process. The party chose Virginia Beach Del. Jason Miyares as its nominee for attorney general in a convention on Saturday (May 8). [Patch]
Fairfax County Limits Crowds at Scotts Run — Parking at Scott’s Run Nature Preserve in McLean is being limited to 50 vehicles after the park was “overrun” by rowdy visitors last summer. Fairfax County officials attributed the surge in visitors to young people looking for an outlet during the COVID-19 pandemic, which closed many recreational facilities in the area. [Sun Gazette]
ViVa Vienna Seeks Volunteers — ViVa Vienna is looking for volunteers to help out with the annual Memorial Day weekend festival, which will be slightly different from past years due to the pandemic. Volunteers are needed to clean up trash, monitor rides and games, and support the entertainment stage. [Town of Vienna/Twitter]
Photo by Joanne Liebig
(Updated at 3:45 p.m. on 5/19/2021) Even in the midst of a global pandemic, Tysons continues to grow. While there are many new buildings being built, Tysons Reporter reached out to developers on some of the bigger projects for updates on their construction timelines.
A 1o1-unit luxury condominium high-rise, The Monarch is part of the 19-acre Arbor Row mixed-use development near Tysons Galleria. Construction stalled last year after developer Renaissance Centro parted ways with its construction contractor.
While there is no official timeline for completion, a spokesperson for the project told Tysons Reporter that a new contractor has been selected and should be announced soon. Once the contractor is announced and construction begins, the owners recently told frustrated residents that construction should be complete in 21 to 24 months.
“It is moving forward and we are still selling the condominiums,” Kami Kraft, vice president of the marketing firm The Mayhood Company, said.
Also part of the Arbor Row development, The Mather is a Life Plan Community that will open in two phases, with the first coming in 2023. It will have apartments with access to assisted living, memory care suites, and medical services for residents 62 and older. Phase 1 is already 80% pre-sold, and phase 2 pre-construction sales will begin soon.
The existing structure on the site was demolished in May 2020, and work on various public improvements, including a relocation of site fences, temporary reconfiguration of traffic lanes, and sewer system upgrades, began the week of March 8.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Mather’s parent company Mather created an “interdisciplinary” team to support staff and residents across its facilities and develop infection control protocols.
“These conversations have led to enhancements that will be seen in the design and operations at The Mather in Tysons, such as HVAC systems which will include UV light purification and 100% of air exhausted to the exterior,” Mather Senior Vice President of Sales Gale Morgan said.
Capital One Center
The second phase of construction is currently underway at Capital One Center, a 24.25-acre complex with dining, shopping, outdoor activities, a movie theater, and more attractions coming.
While slightly inconvenienced by the COVID-19 pandemic, disrupting shipments of materials and equipment, the lack of traffic helped construction pick up the pace, according to Capital One Center Managing Director Jonathan Griffith.
The next big opening will be The Perch, an outdoor space atop Capital One Hall with food trucks, a Biergarten, live music, and more. The skypark is set to open this July, while Capital One Hall — a performance venue with a 1,600-seat theater, a 250-seat black box theater, and other event spaces — is scheduled to open in October.
The 300-room Watermark Hotel is slated to open in late 2021 as an “all-suite lodging facility” set to host “associates of Capital One as well as corporate and leisure guests visiting the region,” according to a job posting made by B.F. Saul Hospitality, which will be managing the property. Read More
Fairfax County and the Virginia Department of Transportation are working on an agreement to include funding for Scotts Run Stream restoration efforts in McLean as part of the I-495 Northern Extension (495 NEXT) project, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay said on Tuesday (Feb. 23).
McKay shared the news in a letter to Virginia Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine that reiterates some of the county’s lingering reservations about the project, which seeks to extend the I-495 Express Lanes approximately three miles from the Dulles Toll Road interchange to the American Legion Bridge.
“In conjunction with the stream restoration project planned by the County, the additional funds received from the I-495 NEXT concessionaire will provide a more holistic approach to stream restoration that helps promote streambank stabilization, enhanced outfalls, and an overall improvement to Scotts Run,” McKay said in the letter, which was unanimously approved by the full board during its meeting.
The board raised concerns about the environmental impact of 495 NEXT, among other issues, in a letter to Valentine in early December, stating that runoff from the proposed project would affect almost 100 acres of wetlands, water, and land around Scotts Run and the Potomac River and exacerbate flooding issues in McLean.
The potential Scotts Run agreement and Maryland’s announcement last week that it has chosen a consortium led by Tysons-based Transurban for its Capital Beltway toll roads project have eased some — but not all — of Fairfax County supervisors’ anxieties about 495 NEXT.
Urging VDOT to coordinate with its counterpart across the Potomac as closely as possible, Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust noted that, while last week’s announcement was a meaningful step forward, the actual realization of Maryland’s I-495/I-270 project remains far off.
“We have gone on record as saying that [495 NEXT] does more harm than good if we don’t get Maryland to move forward with their project,” Foust said. “They are making good progress. What happened last week, I think it was good news and very exciting, but they’re still not there yet.”
He also asked that McKay’s letter be amended to request more detailed renderings of planned ramps for the Dulles Toll Road interchange from VDOT, reiterating previously voiced concerns about the possible traffic and construction impacts on surrounding communities.
In addition, the Board of Supervisors wants VDOT to extend the shared-use trail included in the 495 NEXT project to Tysons, rather than ending it at Lewinsville Road, and fully fund one of the Tysons-Bethesda bus routes that have been proposed as a transit option for the I-495/American Legion Bridge corridor.
According to the board’s letter, the route would carry nine vehicles with an estimated initial cost of $5.2 million and annual operating costs of $2.2 million.
Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity cautioned against making too many demands of a project that already carried an estimated $500 million cost as of last March.
“Those requirements get paid by someone. They don’t get funded out of thin air,” Herrity said. “…Since these are just recommendations, I’m going to be supporting the letter, but I think we’ve got to be careful that we don’t push this project out of existence.”
Supervisor Walter Alcorn, who represents Hunter Mill District, said county leaders need to make their concerns about major projects like this known, especially since a private vendor will be involved.
“We have to make sure that the public interest and the environmental issues and everything else that’s important to the broader community is paramount,” Alcorn said.
VDOT issued the following statement to Tysons Reporter in response to the Board of Supervisors’ letter:
VDOT remains committed to continuing to work with the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to listen to and address their feedback on VDOT’s I-495 Northern Extension Express Lanes Project. The issues identified by Fairfax County are important to VDOT and will continue to be an important part of the dialogue as we work together to solve one of the Washington Metropolitan Area’s most congested transportation links. Through the continued collaboration among the staff of VDOT and Fairfax County, VDOT is confident that a multimodal transportation solution can be put in place, which will improve travel and make a positive impact on our Commonwealth.
Staff photo by Jay Westcott
Ribbon Cutting Held for New Scotts Run Trail — “Fairfax County leaders on Feb. 4 cut the ribbon for the new Scotts Run Trail, which with serpentine curves connects the Pimmit Hills neighborhood with the McLean Metro station on the eastern edge of Tysons.” [Sun Gazette/Inside NoVA]
Sunrise of McLean Residents Get COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic — Residents and employees of the assisted living community Sunrise of McLean “received their first doses at a clinic hosted by CVS on Jan. 28. Sunrise Senior Living is working to schedule a clinic for second doses within the next few weeks in coordination with CVS Health.” [Patch]
Vienna Inn Prepares 61st Anniversary Celebrations — “To mark the 61st anniversary, Vienna Inn is hoping to achieve a new goal with a 1960 meal challenge. The restaurant hopes to provide 1960 meals for front-line workers and first responders by the end of February.” [Patch]
School Board Criticized for Delaying Decision on New School Holidays — “Religious leaders in Northern Virginia are criticizing the Fairfax County Public School board after some members signaled they won’t back a task force’s recommendation to add…four additional days off to observe Jewish holidays Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the Hindu festival Diwali and the Muslim celebration Eid al-Fitr.” [The Washington Post]
Fairfax County Seeks Community Input on Affordable Housing — A public comment period has opened on the one-year and five-year plans that guide Fairfax County’s housing and community development goals and how it spends the roughly $8.5 million in federal funds it receives annually to address community housing and human services needs. [Fairfax County Government]
“As many can tell, the tent’s been put up, the shipping containers are being built as we speak, and everything is pretty much moving forward rapidly,” former Tysons Biergarten CEO and managing partner Matt Rofougaran said.
The pop-up will feature four specially-designed shipping containers where food and drinks will be prepared, along with three year-round tents where guests will sit at tables.
Originally, the new bar was slated to open in the spring of 2020, but it was pushed to the third quarter of 2020 due to the pandemic. Rofougaran also attributed the delays to the long processes involved in trying to do something this new.
“Our contractor has never cut up shipping containers before and converted them into bars,” Rofougaran said. “Fairfax County has never seen anything like this.”
Finding the right tent took a while too, and ultimately, they had to be ordered from Germany.
“Overall, everything about it is different than your normal restaurant-bar,” Rofougaran said.
The experience completely diverged from the process for Hops N Shine in Alexandria, which took six months from getting permits to opening, he said.
At ShipGarten, customers can choose from four mini-restaurants that will each operate in a shipping container: Salamati (which Rofougaran describes as “Persian-style Chipotle”), Tysons Biergarten (German fare like the old establishment served), Rollbär (Asian fusion) and Chalkboard (barbecue).
Customers will order from kiosks outside the containers and pick up their food from one of a half-dozen windows that are being cut into the containers. They will be able to sit at tables, spaced 10 feet apart, under the tent or in the field.
During non-COVID-19 times, Roufgaran says customers would be able to sit at the bar section of the shipping container.
“This will be the safest place for you to do social distancing because of how much land we have,” Rofougaran said. “We’re providing very good social distancing.”
For now, people can try offerings from Salamati and Rollbär at Hops N Shine. Kitchen staff will be preparing the Persian food for a pop-up on Feb. 10 from 6 to 9 p.m., and Asian fusion food will be served from noon to 4 p.m. on Feb. 13.
“The pop-ups are the best,” Rofougaran said. “We get people from Tysons showing up to these all the time.”
Images via ShipGarten/Instagram
Update 10/28 — The new parking district will relieve overparked residential streets near the Scotts Run Nature Preserve, not the Scotts Run development in Tysons East. According to Robin Geiger:
As you can see from the area of impact shown on the map above, this permit district is not in the Tysons East district and will have no impact on multi-family development. The permit district will instead provide relief to residents of communities adjacent to Scotts Run Nature Preserve, whose streets have been heavily impacted by the increased number of visitors to the park. You also indicated that guests could receive temporary passes for no more than two weeks. That also is not true. Permits and visitor passes are available only to residents of the permit district.
Earlier: Be careful where you park near Scotts Run, because some of those spots could soon become residents only.
New residential developments are coming in to Tysons East even as other developments, like the Capital One complex, are expanding or being added. To stem off future conflicts, the Board of Supervisors is set to review this afternoon whether to implement (public hearing item for 4:30 p.m.) a parking district for the Scotts Run District.
Residential parking districts can be a mixed bag, with residents secure in their parking but adding difficulty to finding parking for guests — back in a time when people could have friends over at their house.
The Scotts Run Residential Permit Parking District document noted that guests could receive temporary passes for no more than two weeks.
The new district will be designated District 48 and would not be available to residents of new multi-family developments.
“One transferable visitor pass per address shall be issued in the name of a bona fide resident of said address,” the document said. “However, visitor passes shall not be issued to multifamily or townhouse addresses, which have off-street parking provided.”
Image via Fairfax County