Tysons, VA

Modalia Capital, a Bethesda-based investment firm, is seeking a special exception permit from Fairfax County so it can purchase Powhatan Nursing Home in Falls Church.

If approved, the purchase would represent an expansion of the private, family-run firm’s senior living holdings, which currently includes Carriage Hill of Bethesda and some planned developments and redevelopments in North Carolina and Florida, according to its website. In the mid-Atlantic region, Modalia has leased Regency Care of Arlington and Regency Care of Silver Spring.

The 7.67-acre property at 2100 Powhatan Street will remain a nursing home serving McLean and Falls Church, according to county documents. Currently owned by Cynthia Butler, it has been family-owned and operated since it was built in 1965.

“Powhatan Nursing Home has been part of the community since its construction in 1965,” Kathryn Taylor, an attorney with the land-use firm Walsh Colucci, wrote in a letter to the Fairfax County Department of Planning & Zoning. “Upon the purchase of the Powhatan Nursing Home, the Applicant will continue the nursing home use, which offers valuable and beneficial services to the surrounding community.”

According to Walsh Colucci land use attorney Lynne Strobel, the property has already been put under contract, but Modalia needs its special exception request to be approved by Fairfax County in order to close the sale.

“I cannot speculate on what will happen if the special exception is not approved,” Strobel told Tysons Reporter.

Powhatan Nursing Home, which can house up to 160 residents, provides long-term and short-term care to individuals who require assistance with daily living, the letter said. This includes rehabilitation programs, physical therapy and occupational therapy.

Modalia plans minor exterior and interior repairs to refurbish and upgrade the aging building, the county documents say.

“The Applicant is an experienced operator of age-restricted housing,” the letter from Walsh said.

Modalia Capital is run by the Vucich family, which got its start in the nursing home business in Chicago after World War II, according to the website. The Vucich family operated more than a half-dozen assisted living and skilled nursing facilities in the Midwest that it has since sold.

The second and third-generation family members running Modalia are now building up a portfolio of senior living and multifamily properties in Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida.

If the sale is finalized, Strobel says Powhatan will be rebranded as Vierra Falls Church and become part of “Vierra Communities,” Modalia Capital’s newly rebranded senior living venture.

“Vierra has specialized in the management and operations of senior living and skilled nursing facilities since 1952,” Modalia’s website said.

Last October, the investment group purchased a property in South Florida that it may develop into an intergenerational, mixed-use development with condos, an assisted living and memory care community and retail, South Florida Business Journal reports.

Photo via Google Maps

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After a two-week delay, the Fairfax County Planning Commission voted on March 17 to support a proposed senior living facility in McLean.

Tri-State Development Companies secured a recommendation from Fairfax County planners in February to build on the 3.23-acre site at 1638 and 1642 Chain Bridge Road. The project would replace the existing single-family dwellings with 35 independent living units, five of which are expected to be sold as affordable.

The commission previously deferred making a decision on the project after a public hearing on March 3. Speakers voiced concerns about the heights of the units, potential traffic congestion, stormwater runoff, and the impact of a proposed clubhouse and patio on an immediate neighbor of the site.

Dranesville District Commissioner John Ulfelder recommended that the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors grant Tri-State’s special exception request after addressing several of the issues raised at the public hearing.

Ulfelder said the building heights would range between 36 and 40 feet, exceeding the 35 feet permitted in a R-3 zone, to allow for certain roof structures of the units to fit the surrounding neighborhoods.

“In addition, due to the typography of the site, the homes are set at a lower grade level than the surrounding homes,” Ulfelder said. “As a result, the roof heights are actually roughly comparable to the neighboring properties.”

In response to suggestions that a traffic signal be installed at the intersection of Chain Bridge and Davidson Road, Ulfelder noted that a traffic analysis predicts the facility would generate only 85 vehicle trips per day — fewer than what would be generated by a by-right development. The analysis also projected fewer than 10 trips in either the morning or evening peak hour.

He added that Virginia Department of Transportation traffic analysis done as part of the ongoing McLean Community Business Center Comprehensive Plan study concluded that a signal at the Chain Bridge/Davidson intersection might not be warranted for 20 years.

Ulfelder said the applicant has nonetheless “agreed to reserve space near its entrance for the installation of a future traffic signal if it is warranted.”

He said that the stormwater runoff concerns were addressed by Tri-State’s commitment to install a new stormwater system on the site that would exceed what is required by the county and state.

“This will result in the detention of storm water on site and should result in an improvement for the downstream neighbors with less storm water being released from the site during rain events,” Ulfelder said.

Ulfelder also addressed the construction of the proposed clubhouse and patio, which was a concern for Bobbi Bowman, who lives in a property that abuts the site.

According to Ulfelder, Tri-State has flipped the clubhouse’s layout, moving the patio to the west side of the building, where it will be blocked from Bowman’s property. He also said hours of use for the patio would be restricted, with no music allowed outdoors and no happy hour or cocktail parties.

“I believe these changes adequately address the neighbor’s concerns about the possible impact of the patio on her peaceful and quiet enjoyment of her property,” Ulfelder said.

Mary Cortina, who represents Braddock District, was the only commissioner to oppose permitting the project.

While she expressed an appreciation for its design, stormwater retention plan, and amenities, Cortina argued that the site is not large enough for the number of proposed units and would create too much density without “adequate buffering to the surrounding neighborhood.” She also worried that the high density would result in insufficient tree preservation.

“It’s not neighborly to remove all the trees and max out the site, even if it is beautifully designed and serves a priority segment,” Cortina said. “Fairfax County has a wave of senior developments to accommodate, but if we want them to incorporate into existing neighborhoods, they need to meet the setbacks and the other standards in the zoning ordinance to fit into the neighborhood.”

Tri-State’s proposal will go before the Board of Supervisors for a public hearing on May 4 at 3:30 p.m.

Map via Fairfax County

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The fate of a potential senior living facility in McLean has been put on hold.

The Fairfax County Planning Commission deferred a decision to permit an independent living facility for adults 60 and older on Chain Bridge Road on March 3. The decision on the project is now scheduled for March 17 during the commission’s meeting, which will start at 7:30 p.m.

Dranesville District Commissioner John Ulfedler proposed deferring the decision in order to address issues presented during the March 3 public hearing.

Tri-State Development Companies secured a recommendation from Fairfax County’s planning staff in February for the development of the 3.23-acre site. The company has proposed replacing existing single-family dwellings at 1638 and 1642 Chain Bridge Road with 35 independent living units.

When presenting the staff report, Fairfax County senior planner Kelly Posusney noted that 15% of the dwellings will be provided as affordable, 55% of the site will be open space, and 90 total parking spaces would be provided via private garages attached to the individual dwellings and surface parking in the development.

McGuireWoods managing partner Greg Riegle, who represents Tri-State on the project, said the development would feature on-site management to assist residents with day-to-day living and amenities like fitness programs and entertainment.

“A commitment to provide the services, amenities and access to care appropriate to an aging population drives almost everything about this application,” Riegle said.

While there was some support from the public during the March 3 public hearing, many also raised questions and concerns about the potential for the project to increase traffic in the community, the development’s height, proposed setbacks, noise and light pollution, and storm water management.

Riegle said the project team is working on storm water management concerns by making downstream improvements. The plans also include on-site storm water management facilities to control an increase in runoff, addressing inadequate pipe capacity and flooding of properties downstream.

He added the proposed height of the residential units would not exceed 50 feet. The project overview lists the height of the units as between 36 and 40 feet, “depending on the style of roof.”

Multiple community members called for further evaluation of the development’s possible impact on traffic. Resident Elizabeth Yu requested that a traffic signal be installed at the intersection of Chain Bridge Road and Davidson Road, which runs perpendicular to the project site.

However, Riegle said an analysis performed by the project applicant and VDOT guidelines showed the project does not warrant installation of a signal.

Tri-State’s request to reduce the required 50-foot yard setback to between 27 and 34 feet, depending on the side of the lot, was a particular point of concern for Bobbi Bowman, the abutting neighbor to the site. She specifically requested that a proposed clubhouse, outdoor dining area, and fire pit be relocated from an area adjacent to her property to another location on the site.

“This clubhouse restaurant is essentially a business located adjacent to my home and my very low-density and quiet neighborhood,” Bowman said. “The clubhouse with its noise, and lights and happy hours is even closer to my home and our neighborhood because the applicant has asked to shrink the setbacks.”

Riegle said the clubhouse will be 83 feet from the common property line and the outdoor dining area 88 feet from the neighboring building, but he added that the issue is still being addressed.

“I think we can do some things with landscaping or the special arrangement to potentially improve that,” Riegle said. “We’ve conveyed that to the resident and we will continue to work on that between now and when this application is brought back for decision.”

Map via Fairfax County

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The Shepherd’s Center that serves Oakton, Vienna, Reston, and Herndon is no more.

The local nonprofit organization, which provides services to older adults, has merged with an affiliate in Great Falls to form the Shepherd’s Center of Northern Virginia (SCNOVA), the new organization’s interim executive director, Jayne Young, announced on Feb. 15.

Young says the Oakton/Vienna/Reston/Herndon Shepherd’s Center and Shepherd’s Center of Great Falls started exploring options to improve their reach and efficiency several months ago, as the COVID-19 pandemic has forced nonprofits to reevaluate how they deliver services.

“Certainly, the pandemic has challenged us to find new ways of tackling most anything you can think of,” Young said in a letter. “For our Shepherd’s Center, that included taking a look at the way we meet our mission so we ensure that we continue delivering impactful services as efficiently as possible.”

The merger will give clients from the smaller Great Falls center access to more services, while combining the resources and volunteer networks of the two organizations, which are both affiliates of the Shepherd’s Centers of America.

Young says all Great Falls volunteers and clients will be transferred to SCNOVA, which will operate out of the existing Oakton/Vienna/Reston/Herndon facility at 541 Marshall Road in Vienna. Free transportation services will also still be provided to seniors in Great Falls.

The full transition is expected to be completed on Sunday (Feb. 28).

Founded in 1997, the Shepherd’s Center of Oakton-Vienna expanded to include the Reston and Herndon areas in 2019.

The nonprofit assists adults 55 and older with free transportation to medical and therapy appointments, food pick-up and delivery, minor home repairs, and health counseling and referrals. It also offers educational classes, luncheons, caregiver support groups, and other community programs.

“We are excited to begin 2021 with such good news!” Young said in her letter. “Working together, we hope to provide even better and more impactful services to seniors in Northern Virginia.”

Image via Google Maps

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Updated at 3:25 p.m. on 2/18/2021 — Tri-State Development Companies will not be constructing a vehicular link between a private road in its proposed independent living facility and Fern Oak Court.

Fairfax County planning staff had recommended such a connection, but “the applicant has expressed that the surrounding neighbors have voiced opposition to such a connection and therefore, is not proposing this link,” according to the staff report.

Tri-State tells Tysons Reporter that the internal, private road will be closed.

Earlier: Tri-State Development Companies has secured the approval of Fairfax County’s planning staff to build an independent living facility for adults 60 and older on Chain Bridge Road in McLean.

A staff report published on Feb. 10 recommends that the county grant the McLean-based developer’s request for a special exception, which would enable the construction of the proposed Chain Bridge Estates facility on 3.26 acres of land zoned for single-family residential use.

If the application is ultimately approved, the existing single-family dwellings at 1638 and 1642 Chain Bridge Road will be replaced by 35 independent living units designed to serve residents over 60 years of age.

According to the report, the new residences will be a mix of single-family attached units and multi-family dwellings. In keeping with the Fairfax County Zoning Ordinance, 15% of the units will be priced at a rate affordable to households that earn 70% or less of the D.C. area’s median income.

The report says that Fairfax County staff initially had concerns about the development’s proposed layout, but those were allayed after Tri-State revised its application to include an eight-foot-wide trail along Chain Bridge Road and full transitional screening, except for a northwest corner that will have an underground stormwater management system.

“While staff acknowledges that screening alone does not address concerns with compatibility and intensity, staff finds that the combination of screening, architecture and open space results in reduced massing and intensity near the property line,” the report said.

Staff also note that having individual residential units, rather than a large multifamily building, will ensure “the development is more in keeping with the residential character of the area and does not appear as a commercial use.”

To serve residents, Tri-State has proposed building a 3,600 square-foot community clubhouse with various amenities, such as rooms for on-site medical and physical therapy appointments, an indoor warm-water pool, a community library, fitness room, art studio, and outdoor gathering area for dining.

The developer also says it will provide 90 parking spaces and an on-site network of walking trails with seating, recreation areas, and connections to nearby neighborhoods.

The McLean Citizens Association passed a resolution on Feb. 3 supporting the project with some conditions, including that Tri-State pay for a traffic light if one is needed at the Davidson Road intersection.

According to the report, evaluations by Virginia and Fairfax County transportation staff and an analysis submitted by Tri-State indicate that the intersection will not warrant a traffic signal, but it will need a turn lane with at least 100 feet of vehicle storage. Tri-State has proposed constructing a 117-foot lane.

The property is expected to generate seven trips in the morning peak hour, nine in the evening, and 130 daily trips when completed, the report says.

Other transportation-related commitments from Tri-State include:

  • renovating the existing Fairfax Connector bus stop at Chain Bridge and Audmar Drive with a new shelter and pad
  • providing a vehicular link between a proposed internal, private road and Fern Oak Court to the north (Correction: A vehicular link was proposed between the internal road and Fern Oak Court, but it is not being considered due to neighborhood opposition. Tysons Reporter apologizes for the error.)
  • giving residents the ability to outfit their homes with electric vehicle charging infrastructure

The Chain Bridge Estates project has been scheduled for a public hearing before the Fairfax County Planning Commission on Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m.

Map via Fairfax County

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A new assisted living community is preparing to open its doors in the Vienna area.

Watermark Retirement Communities announced in a press release yesterday (Tuesday) that it will welcome tenants to The Providence Fairfax with a grand opening in March.

Located at 9490 Sprague Ave., The Providence is part of the MetroWest neighborhood just south of I-66 and the Vienna Metro station. It sits one-tenth of a mile down the road from The Atrium at MetroWest, a condominium complex for adults 55 and older run by Pulte Homes.

According to its website, The Providence features 100 assisted-living residences, along with 30 units for a memory care program designed to support residents with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and memory loss. There are also 24 units for residents in The Bridge program, which serves people who experience mild cognitive challenges.

“The Providence is perfect for anyone searching for the support and connection of a community accompanied by first-class amenities and unparalleled wellness and learning opportunities,” The Providence Executive Director Annamarie Mariani-Huehn said.

Seven stories tall with two floors of underground parking, the senior living complex is structured around a central courtyard. Amenities include a wellness center with a salon and spa, a fitness center, club rooms, a community room, and dining venues, such as a bistro and bar and a formal dining room with an open-hearth oven.

The residences take the form of private studio, one or two-bedroom apartments that are available for rent on a monthly basis. Prospective tenants can arrange tours for tours of the building by appointment.

The Providence is a collaboration with Silverstone Senior Living, which is also planning to bring senior housing to The Boro in Tysons. This is Watermark’s first community in Fairfax County, but the company has been working on a facility in Alexandria that its website says will open in early 2022.

The new senior living facility is the latest addition to the MetroWest development, which spans 56 acres from I-66 to Lee Highway and has been slowly emerging for more than a decade. Plans to bring more housing, retail, and office space to the community are still underway.

Photo courtesy Watermark Retirement Communities

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The McLean Citizens Association (MCA) board of directors passed a resolution last night (Wednesday) in support of an indepedent living community for seniors that has been proposed for Chain Bridge Road.

Under the name Tri-State Chain Bridge LLC, the McLean-based Tri-State Development Companies has applied for a special exception from Fairfax County to construct a facility with 35 attached condominium units and a 3,600 square-foot clubhouse on a 3.2-acre site at 1638 and 1642 Chain Bridge Road across from Davidson Road.

“The MCA supports this Application because of the desirable and unique situation of the Property for this kind of housing and because it meets an expressed need of the senior residents of McLean,” the MCA resolution says.

However, MCA’s support of the project comes with some conditions.

The community group recommends that Tri-State commit to paying for the installation of a traffic light at the Chain Bridge and Davidson intersection if Virginia and Fairfax County transportation officials ever determine that one is needed.

Tri-State’s statement of justification to Fairfax County states that “a signal is not warranted” for that intersection. A traffic impact assessment found that the proposed facility would generate approximately seven trips during morning peak hours and nine trips during the evening peak, producing an estimated total of 85 daily trips.

MCA board member Winnie Pizzano, who lives near the proposed development site on Westmoreland Street, suggested setting a limit on how long the developer could be obligated to pay for a potential traffic light.

“I’d like to have a light there. It would make a big difference. But I’m not convinced that there’s enough traffic flowing up Davidson,” Pizzano said. “…In the long term, you’re asking this association to pay for a light, the need for which may be generated by other communities that could be built along there.”

The board discussed Pizzano’s proposal, but it was not incorporated into the final resolution.

Other conditions attached to MCA’s support of the project include requirements that Tri-State contract with a transportation service to facilitate outings for residents of the independent living community and a healthcare provider so residents have around-the-clock access.

“The applicant should be bound to stronger covenants to better assure that the contemplated services for seniors will in fact be provided and that the age limitations are enforced,” MCA Planning and Zoning Committee Chair Scott Spitzer said.

A Fairfax County planning staff report on the Tri-State project is scheduled to be released on Feb. 9 before the proposal goes before the county planning commission for a public hearing at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 24.

Image via Google Maps

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The Pulte Home Company is looking for special exception to transform a section of land near Odricks Corner, just north of Tysons, into a cluster of independent living homes.

“The Applicant has consolidated four (4) residentially zoned and developed parcels that may be transformed into a community that will be limited to persons 60 years of age and older,” a law firm representing Plute said. “As shown on the special exception plat submitted with this application, the Applicant proposes a total of 59 dwelling units consisting of 36 multi-family dwelling units in a single building; 14 single-family attached dwelling units; and 9 affordable dwelling units. The affordable dwelling units comprise 15% of the total number of units.”

The proposal includes both multi-family buildings and single-family attached dwelling units. The project is located just across Spring Hill Road from Sunrise of McLean.

“The proposed multi-family building will be four (4) stories of residential units served by elevators,” the report said. “The building will be constructed on top of a parking podium, which will include resident parking and trash collection… The multi-family building will be comprised of 32 two-bedroom units and 4 one-bedroom units. The one-bedroom units will be approximately 950 square feet and the two-bedroom unit will range in size from approximately 1,300 to 1,700 square feet. The single-family attached dwelling units are designed as villas with a first floor master bedroom that allows one floor living. Each unit will have approximately 2,600 square feet of living area and a two-car garage.

The project also includes affordable dwelling units that are stacked, multi-family units with designated parking and designed to allow residents to age in place.

The proposed development is scheduled to go to the Planning Commission on Wednesday, Oct. 14.

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Silverstone Senior Living is slated to build senior housing in Tysons, becoming the first potential tenant at a proposed new development that will serve as an extension for The Boro.

The “continuing care home”, will have 200 available units for seniors and will include a fitness center, a barbershop and salon, a theater and multiple dining areas, according to documents from developer the Meridian Group. Senior housing in Tysons has been traditionally hard to come by, and much of the housing in the pipeline is not cheap.

The senior housing is a part of a 1.1 million square foot extension of The Boro, an upscale development in Tysons with apartments, offices, a movie theater and a Whole Foods. If approved, the extension will be a mixed-use development with residential housing, ground-floor retail space and a health club along with senior housing.

The site of the proposed development will be on the former grounds of the National Automobile Dealers Association Headquarters located on 8400 Westpark Drive after Meridian Group acquired the property in 2018 for $33.7 million, according to the Washington Business Journal.

Plans call for four buildings on the site with Silverstone’s senior housing to be inside a 180-foot-tall structure with 260,000 square feet of gross floor space. A representative for the Meridian Group declined to comment as no other details for what will go inside the planned development have been released.

The other planned projects include two other residential buildings with ground-level retail space that will be have a maximum height of 90-feet-tall. The fourth building is slated to become the health club if approved.

“The vision is to extend The Boro development across Westpark Drive and to continue the transformation of Tysons from a suburban office park to an urban center,” Elizabeth Baker, a senior land use planner for Walsh Colucci, Lubeley & Walsh told Tysons Reporter in May.

Rezoning for the proposed development is still in the review process and likely won’t go before a public hearing until 2021, Baker said.

Image via Google Maps

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As Tysons continues to urbanize, the Meridian Group’s planned extension of The Boro may bring new locations for Silverstone Senior Living and Life Time Fitness.

Silverstone Senior Living, which is headquartered in Texas and has an office in Tysons, wants to put in a continuing care facility near Westpark Drive and Greensboro Drive, according to county documentation. The living facility would include 200 senior living units and 53,000 square feet for memory care and assisted living services.

“The applicant’s objective is to provide seniors with state of the art facilities and residential offerings with appropriate levels of care and service to meet their health needs,” the application said.

The building would occupy one of the areas in Meridian Group’s proposed mixed-use redevelopment of the National Automobile Dealers Association site. 

In addition to the senior living facility, the redevelopment wants to include residential units, retail space and an urban park, according to county documents.

The rezoning application for the senior living facility is currently being reviewed by Fairfax County, according to Lynne Strobel, the attorney representing the project. “We have filed a final development plan in conjunction with the rezoning,” she said.

Along with the senior care facility, there is also a possibility that a Life Time Fitness facility might open as well, Strobel said.

Photo courtesy Hilde Kahn

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