Tysons, VA

A newly proposed senior living community in McLean aims to promote aging in place.

Tri-State Chain Bridge Road wants to build 33 townhouse-style units on just over 3 acres on the north side of Chain Bridge Road near Westmoreland Street. The townhomes would be for seniors ages 60 and up.

Lori Greenlief, the land use planner with McGuireWoods who is representing the applicant, said that the proposal fills a need for senior living in McLean, noting that several options in the area are multi-family, four- to seven-story buildings.

Roughly 15% of the units will be affordable, and all of the units would be designed for aging in place with one-level living and options for an elevator and live-in caregiver suite, according to a document from the applicant to the county. The proposed community would also have a 3,600-square-foot amenity building for gardening classes, on-site physical therapy appointments, a fitness center and more.

Tri-State Chain Bridge Road said that the proposed independent living community is about one-fourth of a mile away from McLean’s downtown area.

More from the applicant:

Supported by the 50+ Community Action Plan Initiatives for housing and the well-documented need for senior housing in the Policy Plan of the Comprehensive Plan, this community will offer area residents the opportunity to remain in the McLean/Great Falls area and age-in-place in a purpose-built community designed for seniors.

The community will provide the array of amenities and services desired by the older adult population with homes designed to allow residents to age-in-place. Both the 50+ plan and the Comprehensive Plan highlight the need for options for seniors and the attached product proposed in this application will provide an alternative to the multi-family independent living lifestyle.

The focus of this community will be to create an atmosphere where residents will be able to interact for weekly or daily dining, classess, and a myriad of recreational and educational activities, with like-aged and like-minded people who are dealing with similar lifestyles and issues. At the same time, they will have the freedom to own their own space.

This community will be a safe space in that if there arises a need for added security, such as a pandemic, residents will be able to insulate within the community in their own homes but stay in community. This type of community will become more and more important as our seniors adapt to the “new normal.”

The applicant recently submitted the proposal to the county, which will get reviewed by county staff. Once accepted, the county website will add the scheduled hearing dates for the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors.

So far, Tri-State Chain Bridge Road has reached out to the surrounding neighborhoods and the McLean Citizens Association (MCA), Greenlief said.

Scott Spitzer, the chair of MCA’s Planning and Zoning Committee, told Tysons Reporter that the committee is currently evaluating the application.

Winnie Pizzano, the president of the Stoneleigh Homeowners’ Association, told Tysons Reporter that she has heard support for the project from her board, which oversees 134 townhomes.

“It’s obviously needed given the demographic is so much older in McLean than anywhere else,” Pizzano said, adding that it will be a good alternative to assisted living for people looking to downsize.

Greenlief noted that the proposal is in its early stages and that there is plenty of room for citizen input. Some aspects of the proposal are still getting figured out, like specifics around what “60+” will mean, Greenlief said.

People who want to provide feedback can contact Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust, Greenlief at McGuireWoods and Tri-State Chain Bridge Road. Once a staff coordinator is assigned, people will also be able to reach out to the county staffer.

Map via Google Maps

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Work has now started on a new senior living facility known as The Mather behind Tysons Galleria.

Demolition by the Whiting-Turner Contracting Company of a structure at 7929 Westpark Drive is underway, according to a press release. Utility relocation and public street improvements are expected to be done this summer.

The $450 million senior living community will offer one- and two-bedroom room apartments as the first Life Plan Community in Tysons, according to Mather LifeWays, an organization that creates senior living programs and places.

The Mather plans to offer new retail along Westpark Drive, “significant” green space with parking and loading below grade and an urban park with paths and seating, the press release said.

More from the press release:

The Mather’s apartment homes are designed with modern open floor plans, with prices starting at $660,000, and sizes ranging from 850 square feet to more than 3,000 square feet. Prices are dependent upon apartment size, location, service package, and health plan selected.

Apartment homes will feature expansive views, luxury finishes, and innovative smart home technology including lighting, solar shades, and thermostat, as well as a home automation hub that can be integrated with smartphones, tablets, and home computer systems.

The Mather will be the first Life Plan Community in Tysons. Life Plan Communities are lifestyle communities in which people can pursue new passions and priorities, with a plan in place that supports aging well. Life Plan Communities provide an important benefit: a continuum of living options, which enables people to plan ahead to access additional services, including health care, if ever needed…

Priority reservations are currently being accepted for Phase 2 of The Mather, with nearly 150 reservations in hand. Priority Members will have best choice in selecting an apartment home and view, can secure preconstruction prices, and be able to customize and upgrade apartment home finishes. Interested individuals can become Priority Members by providing a fully refundable $1,000 deposit.

The building is a part of Cityline Partners LLC’s Arbor Row, which includes the completed Nouvelle residential building and The Monarch. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved the senior living complex last June.

“The Mather has received strong interest and is 65% sold of Phase 1,” the press release said, adding that the first phase is anticipated to open in 2023.

Photo courtesy The Mather

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An employee at an affordable senior living facility in Tysons has tested positive for COVID-19, according to memos from the building’s management.

Managed by Polinger, Tysons Towers Apartments (8500 Tyspring Street) offers a federally-assisted rental program for people ages 62 and older and people with disabilities.

Tysons Reporter obtained copies of two memos signed with the name of a Polinger employee.

A memo dated Thursday (March 26) says that a Tysons Towers employee went to the hospital with coronavirus symptoms, later receiving a positive test result for the virus on Thursday.

An earlier memo says that the building management can’t provide more information on the case, citing HIPAA laws.

The employee was last in the senior living facility’s community on Friday, March 20, according to the memos.

“At this time, we have closed the Management Office and have sent all employees home until further notice,” the most recent memo says, adding that half of the staff was sent home on Monday (March 23).

The memo says that the building received a deep cleaning earlier this week, cleaning of common areas has since increased in the building and visitors are being screened with a questionnaire.

The memo includes information on preventing the spread of the virus — like reminding people to wash their hands and social distance.

The Polinger employee who signed the memo did not respond to a request for comment.

A spokesperson for the Fairfax County Health Department declined to comment on the Tysons Towers case.

“We currently have 124 cases of COVID-19 in Fairfax County, including 44 cases new cases that were reported today,” John Silcox, the spokesperson, said. “As our numbers increase, we won’t have information on every new case in the community.”

As for cases in assisted living facilities or skilled nursing facilities in general, Silcox said that the health department works with the building’s management on infection control policies.

“These include isolating all residents who have symptoms of illness; restricting congregating and eliminating gatherings; screening of staff for symptoms at the beginning of each shift; discouraging cross-facility employment; guiding appropriate use of personal protection equipment (PPE); providing guidance on enhanced cleaning practices; and implementing visitor restrictions,” he said.

Image via Google Maps

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A new group in Falls Church plans to deliver groceries and prescriptions to residents who are at a high-risk for the coronavirus.

Called the Falls Church Area COVID-19 Aid, the group officially kicks off today, according to a press release. At no charge, the group will shop for and deliver groceries and medications via a “no contact” procedure.

“For those who are elderly, or disabled, or particularly vulnerable, it is much harder to get through social isolation and can be life-threatening,” the press release said.

Two Falls Church residents — Mike Michener and Ally Bernstein — separately posted a similar idea on NextDoor and, after seeing each other’s posts, decided to team up, according to the press release.

Now, the group has about 40 volunteers ranging from teens to retirees, the press release said.

People interested in using the service can call (703) 982-0736 to reach Falls Church Area COVID-19 Aid. People interested in learning more can contact Tamar Abrams at (703) 855-4900 and [email protected]

Photo by leonie wise on Unsplash

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In response to the novel coronavirus, several local stores are offering special shopping hours for seniors and high-risk customers.

We’ve rounded up what we know so far about these hours, although some grocers have not defined the age minimum for being classified as a “senior.”

Here’s the latest update on specialized shopping hours for seniors and high-risk people:

  • Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market: First hour of shopping every day
  • Target: First hour of shopping on Wednesdays
  • Whole Foods: (Vienna, Idylwood Plaza and Tysons): people ages 60 and older can shop at 7 a.m. before the stores open at 8 a.m.
  • Safeway: 7-9 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, per a store representative
  • Harris Teeter: 6-7 a.m. on Mondays and Thursdays for people ages 60 and older
  • Giant: People age 60 and older or with compromised immune systems between 6-7 a.m.
  • Walgreens: Tuesdays from 8-9 a.m., also open to caregivers and immediate families
  • Trader Joe’s: Mondays from 9-10 a.m.
  • Walmart (1500 Cornerside Blvd in Tysons): will open at 6 a.m. for seniors on Tuesday, March 24
  • The Fresh Market: seniors and immuno-compromised people can shop 8-9 a.m. every day at all locations

Additionally, some stores are offering in-person and online express lanes for seniors:

“Harris Teeter will designate ExpressLane Online Shopping pick-up times from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for seniors only every Thursday until further notice and will waive the $4.95 fee & offer $5 delivery for seniors during these times,” according to the grocery store chain.

“Every day between 9-10 a.m., crew members will maintain an additional line outside the front door for our senior customers,” according to Trader Joe’s website. “This will ensure that those customers in need will have an expedited entrance to the store to help make their experience a more positive one.”

Ashley Hopko and Catherine Douglas Moran contributed reporting

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A second resident in a senior living facility in Falls Church has tested positive for COVID-19, according to Fairfax County health officials.

The county announced the new coronavirus case at The Kensington (700 W. Broad Street) on Sunday (March 22) — a few days after the first case was announced on Thursday (March 19).

“Fairfax County Health Department, The Kensington, and the City of Falls Church are fully collaborating on the investigation and taking immediate action to prevent further spread,” according to the county.

The man who first tested positive was isolated after he started having respiratory illness symptoms on Saturday, March 14, county officials said.

Seven other people who were sick at the assisted living and memory care facility received negative test results for the virus, the city said in a press release.

The City of Falls Church, which is a part of the Fairfax Health District, declared a local emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic on Monday, March 16.

Image via Google Maps

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(Updated at 11 a.m.) A man living in a senior living facility in the City of Falls Church has tested positive for the coronavirus, Fairfax County officials say.

The Fairfax County Health Department announced today (Thursday) that the man, who lives at The Kensington (700 W. Broad Street), was isolated after he started having respiratory illness symptoms on Saturday, March 14.

“Specimens were collected on March 16 and sent to the Virginia state laboratory,” according to the county. “Health officials have been providing infection control guidance to the facility since testing was initiated, and visitor restrictions had already been in place.”

This is the first positive coronavirus case reported in the City of Falls Church.

More from the health department:

“When COVID-19 occurs in a setting where there are many older people with underlying health conditions, we are concerned” said Health Director Dr. Gloria Addo-Ayensu. “We’ll be working very closely with the facility over the coming days to protect other residents and staff and prevent further spread.”

Based on this positive result, FCHD has deployed an infection control team to the facility to initiate an investigation, including identifying the potential source of exposure. Working in partnership with the facility management, the team will:

  • Evaluate all staff and provide them with personal protective equipment
  • Interview residents and staff members to assess illness and exposures
  • Collect specimens on any symptomatic residents or staff
  • Provide guidance on infection control activities, including isolation and quarantine and environmental cleaning of the facility

“Our team has been working diligently since November 1 to ensure our infection control processes are strong and in place,” said Amy Feather, Executive Director, The Kensington Falls Church. “Residents have been monitored daily for fever and respiratory symptoms since news of the spread of COVID-19 became public. In addition, team members have been monitored for symptoms of flu and COVID-19 at the start of their shifts. Anyone with symptoms has been sent home, asked to contact their physician and to monitor their symptoms.

“Staff has been doing sanitizing within the community, particularly within high traffic areas. Deliveries have been restricted to outside entrances and retrieved by staff to those in the community. As per guidance from the CDC for health care communities, the community has limited visitors and canceled all events and outings. The Fairfax County Department of Health has been an invaluable partner in helping us mobilize the resources we need to test and monitor the health of our residents and staff. We are extremely grateful to them for their help.”

Seven other people who were sick at the assisted living and memory care facility received negative test results for the virus, the city said in a press release.

According to a statement from The Kensington:

A staff member was proactively taking their own temperature and called out on Friday. They have not returned to the building and are awaiting test results.

Another staff member was told to leave work after developing a fever during their shift. They have been tested and are awaiting results…

Residents have been monitored each shift for fever and respiratory symptoms over the past week. In addition, team members have been monitored for symptoms of flu and COVID-19 at the start of their shifts.

Anyone with symptoms has been sent home, asked to contact their physician and to monitor their symptoms. Staff has been sanitizing within the community, particularly within high traffic areas. Deliveries have been restricted to outside entrances and retrieved by staff to those in the community.

As per guidance from the CDC for health care communities, the community had limited visitors and had canceled all events and outings.  “We had asked families not to visit or take residents out into the community,” said Feather.  “We had cancelled all but critical doctor’s appointments for residents. Our teams are creative and have set up virtual ways for residents and family members to connect in lieu of in-person visits.  They are arranging these virtual visits through Facetime or video chats.”

Feather explained that the community has had plans in place well ahead of this diagnosis.  “Because we deal with an at-risk group of people living in our community, we had detailed plans in place well before this development. The plan follows the CDC guidelines for all healthcare facilities,” said Feather.

The City of Falls Church, which is a part of the Fairfax Health District, declared a local emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic on Monday, March 16.

“The virus has now hit home for our community as it has for so many communities around our country and around the world,” Mayor David Tarter said in the press release. “It underscores just how serious this pandemic is, and the importance of following the recommendations and mandates of our health care professionals.”

Image via Google Maps

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To prevent the risk of spreading the coronavirus, Fairfax County announced today (Sunday) that all of the county’s senior centers and adult day health care centers are now closed.

The centers in the Tysons-area include the Providence Senior Center (3001 Vaden Drive), Lewinsville Senior Center (1613 Great Falls Street) and the Pimmit Hills Senior Center (7510 Lisle Avenue).

The centers are closed until further center, according to the county. “We are continuing to re-evaluate the need for closure and will reopen when it is appropriate to do so,” the announcement said.

Starting tomorrow (Monday), the county will provide meal delivery service to people are who registered.

As of Sunday afternoon, the Virginia Department of Health says there are 45 presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in the commonwealth, with 10 in Fairfax County.

The pandemic has prompted schools to close or switch to online learning and companies to ask employees to work from home in the D.C. area.

Fairfax County Public Schools closed Friday for four weeks until April 10. A laptop distribution to students that was supposed to take place tomorrow (Monday), has been postponed, FCPS said.

FCPS announced yesterday (Saturday) the first FCPS-related case, saying that a staff member at Lynbrook Elementary School has tested presumptive positive for coronavirus.

“The Fairfax County Health Department is conducting an investigation to identify individuals who are at risk of exposure and will be contacting those individuals directly to provide further guidance and testing if necessary,” according to the county.

While the schools are closed, FCPS plans to expand its free grab-and-go meals to 18 sites by Monday, including the following in the Tysons area:

  • Bailey’s Primary ES (6111 Knollwood Drive)
  • Cunningham Park ES (1001 Park Street)
  • Graham Road Community Center (3036 Graham Road)

Families can find the food distribution outside the schools from 8-10:30 a.m. for breakfast and from 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. for lunch.

Additionally, civil jury trials have been suspended for 30 days, starting Friday (March 13).

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

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Two lawsuits against the Town of Vienna have been resolved now that Sunrise Senior Living’s plans are moving forward to occupy a different Maple Avenue location.

Steven Briglia, the town’s attorney, told the Town Council on Monday (March 9) that “soon the ink will be dry on both.”

The first lawsuit involved a Vienna couple suing town officials for approving the rezoning for a mixed-use development at 380 Maple Avenue.

“The parties have agreed it can be dismissed with prejudice,” he said. “It has been removed from the court docket.”

The mixed-use development site is now being considered for a Sunrise Senior Living Facility.

After the Town Council killed Sunrise’s original plans to bring a facility at the corner of Maple Avenue and Center Street, Sunrise sued Vienna officials for $30 million.

Sunrise then proposed to take over the 380 Maple Avenue spot and its plans have been moving forward with the town.

Briglia said that on Friday (March 6) that the Sunrise has agreed to drop the case.

“They are very happy with locating to 380 [Maple Avenue] and to move forward on that,” he said, adding that the non-suit “will remove the cloud on that property.”

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The Vienna Town Council voted last night (Monday) to back plans to turn a previously approved mixed-use development along Maple Avenue into a Sunrise Senior Living Facility.

Sunrise is looking to open an 85-unit assisted living facility at 380 Maple Avenue — the site of an approved redevelopment for multi-family condos. The facility would have 950 square feet of restaurant and cafe space, structured parking and public art.

The Vienna Town Council killed plans last year for a Sunrise facility farther up Maple Avenue. Dennis Rice, the owner and developer at 380 Maple Avenue, has said that having the assisted living facility on his site could address neighbors’ concerns about the condos.

“I think this might be a win-win for the town and the residents,” Councilmember Howard Springsteen said last night.

Residents who testified at the public hearing mostly agreed that the new plans are a better fit for the neighborhood, with one calling it a “better building.”

However, most of the 10 people who testified did have some sort of concern, like worries about light pollution from the proposed acorn lights, size and pedestrian safety along Wade Hampton Drive SW and Glen Avenue SW.

“I support this project even though it remains too big,” resident C. John Pott said.

“We hope to pretend the building isn’t even there and those lights will destroy our illusions,” one resident said about the lights.

Several councilmembers said they are open to residents’ pleas to close — or place cut-thru signs at — Wade Hampton Drive or look into adding sidewalks along Glen Avenue and Wade Hampton Drive.

“If this project goes forward, it would be nice to put sidewalks on Glen [Avenue] and try to close Wade Hampton [Drive],” Springsteen said. “We can close Wade Hampton [Drive] very quickly at very little cost.”

Most of the people who testified praised Sunrise for having representatives listen to neighbors’ feedback on the proposal.

The Vienna Town Council approved Sunrise’s amended proffers and modification requests after the hearing.

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