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.”
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
Almost two years after its October 2019 ground-breaking, the luxury hotel opened its doors to patrons yesterday (Tuesday), according to developer LodgeWorks Partners, which also owns and operates the establishment.
Archer Tysons is the seventh addition to the company’s Archer Hotel brand, which also has properties in New York City, New Jersey, Massachusetts, California, Washington, and Austin, Texas. LodgeWorks says its goal is to bring “boutique sophistication” to growing metropolitan areas.
“The urbanization of Tysons and the emergence of its newest walkable Scott’s Run South neighborhood is the epitome of live, work, play,” LodgeWorks President Mike Daood said. “Archer Hotel with its Virginia-centric, boutique vibe and classic hotel bar supports that lifestyle. We believe we bring something unlike anything in the area and hope to be a natural hub for commerce, getaways and celebrations.”
Designed by LK Architecture, the seven-story hotel has 178 rooms and over 17,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting and event space, including a penthouse on the top floor. There are four different room layouts, with the largest suites reaching about 870 square feet in size, according to a press release.
Amenities include an AKB Hotel Bar that offers food and drinks, a 24-hour pantry in the lobby called The Market, complimentary Wi-Fi, in-room coffee, and curated, house-made turndown desserts, such as chocolate squares from the McLean-based chocolatier Craving for Chocolate.
The hotel also features art by local and regional artists, including a seventh-floor photo gallery centered on musicians who have lived in Virginia.
To celebrate the opening, Archer is offering a 20% discount on rooms at all locations through Oct. 31, though guests must book their stay for a period before March 31, 2022.
Located at 7599 Colshire Drive, Archer Tysons is the latest addition to Scotts Run, the 8 million square-foot development that Cityline Partners and other developers are building north and south of Route 123 around the McLean Metro station.
Cityline also finished construction on Fairfax County’s new Scotts Run Fire Station this summer. The station, which the developer built as part of its Scotts Run South proffer agreement with the county, became operational on Aug. 14 and has a grand opening scheduled for this Saturday (Sept. 18).
“We are very excited to have the Archer Hotel at Scotts Run now open,” Cityline Partners Managing Director Tasso Flocos said by email. “The new boutique hospitality addition at the center of our urban neighborhood is an attractive place for visitors and neighbors to experience connections with others and the natural stream valley park.”
Across the street from Archer Hotel, work continues on The Heming, a 410-unit luxury apartment building from developer Skanska that began construction in January 2020 and is expected to be delivered by the second quarter of 2023.
The residential tower will sit above a three-level public plaza and 38,000 square feet of retail at 1800 Chain Bridge Road, which is also scheduled for a 2023 completion.
Also coming to Scotts Run is Paxton, a mixed-use building with 447 apartment units and 14,713 square feet of retail. Developer LMC announced on July 29 that it had closed a deal with Cityline to purchase land for the project, which is projected to be ready for tenant move-ins in early 2024.
More Rain Soaks Northern Virginia — Up to five inches of rain fell across the region early Sunday morning (Aug. 15), causing flash flooding in Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax and Prince William counties. High water closed Arlington Boulevard near Route 7 in Falls Church, while downed wires shut down Clarks Crossing Road at Elgin Drive in Vienna and Melbourne Drive at Van Fleet Drive in McLean. [Inside NoVA]
New Scotts Run Fire Station Begins Operations — The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department’s new Station 44 at Scotts Run officially went into service on Saturday (Aug. 14). Located at 1766 Old Meadow Lane, the station had been under construction since 2019 and contains three vehicle bays, offices, and living quarters for up to 12 people per shift. A grand opening is scheduled for Sept. 18. [Chief John Butler/Twitter]
Construction Starts on Bridge Over I-495 — Work is now underway on the bicycle and pedestrian bridge over I-495 near Route 123 and a shared-use path that, when extended along Old Meadow Road, will connect Tysons Corner Center to the McLean Metro station. Traffic impacts, including lane closures, will occur on the Capital Beltway and Old Meadow during construction, which is expected to finish in summer 2022. [VDOT]
Woman Assaulted Near Tysons Corner Center — A man yelled derogatory statements at two women who were sitting on a bench in the 7900 block of Tysons One Place at 9:55 p.m. on Aug. 10 and assaulted one of them before fleeing the area. The Fairfax County Police Department has labeled the incident a bias or hate crime. [FCPD]
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