Tysons Corner, VA

The Vienna Town Council rejected the rezoning for the Sunrise Senior Living Facility proposed for downtown Vienna.

The senior facility had previously faced a myriad of concerns around its parking, retail space and location at the corner of Maple Avenue and Center Street — although a staff presentation prior to the vote on June 17 demonstrated new changes meant to quell some of the issues.

According to a staff presentation, Sunrise reduced the maximum number of residents from 115 to 108, plans to determine the final locations for the bike racks during the site plan approval and added a proffer to secure at least 12 off-site parking spaces for employees — a move meant to address concerns about the project lacking enough parking.

“The intention is not to take from street parking,” Jerry Liang, the senior vice president of development for Sunrise, told the Town Council. “Rather this is Sunrise proffering to enter into an agreement with a property owner somewhere in the area for 12 spaces that employees will be able to utilize… and to handle overflow situations.”

Liang said that they would look away from the center of town that could be reached via a shuttle.

The new proffer seemed to satisfy Councilmember Linda Colbert’s and outgoing Councilmember Tara Bloch’s concerns about parking, leading Bloch to put forward a motion to approve the project.

Before the vote, several other councilmembers voiced issues with the project, and Councilmember Pasha Majdi noted that because of a protest petition, the motion would require five “yes” votes in order to pass.

“I’d hate to see it fail tonight,” Majdi said before the vote. “I’d like to see it be successful. I don’t know how it’s going to go.”

Despite Majdi’s suggestion that the council table the project, Bloch pushed forward the vote to approve the rezoning, which ultimately failed with a 3-4 vote.

Mayor Laurie A. DiRocco, Majdi, Howard Springsteen and Douglas Noble voted no. Bloch, Colbert and outgoing councilmember Carey Sienicki voted yes.

Rendering via Town of Vienna

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Tysons is now set to get a new senior living facility in two towers behind the Tysons Galleria.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved the senior living complex known as The Mather during the board’s meeting yesterday (Tuesday).

The Mather is a part of Cityline Partners LLC’s Arbor Row project near Tysons Galleria, which includes the completed Nouvelle residential building and The Monarch, and plans to transform the back of Tysons Galleria along Westpark Drive into a suite of mixed-use buildings.

Slated to open in 2023, The Mather plans to seek a LEED Gold designation for the building and will be the first Life Plan Community in Tysons, according to a press release from Mather LifeWays, an organization that creates senior living programs and places.

“The Mather will offer apartment homes with SMART home technology, amenity-rich community spaces and luxury of a different kind for those who wish to plan ahead to live life to the fullest,” Mary Leary, the president and chief executive officer of Mather LifeWays, said in a press release.

The one- and two-bedroom room aparments in The Mather will start at $650,000, according to the press release.

Image via Fairfax County Planning Commission 

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A proposed senior living facility in Tysons is heading to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors for a public hearing tomorrow (June 25).

The Mather, a proposed two-story senior living complex, is a part of Cityline Partners LLC’s Arbor Row project near Tysons Galleria, which includes the completed Nouvelle residential building and The Monarch.

The development would transform the back of Tysons Galleria along Westpark Drive into a suite of mixed-use buildings.

The Fairfax County Planning Commission greenlighted the senior living facility earlier this month despite concerns over the project’s height, size and open space.

Image via Fairfax County Planning Commission 

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The Fairfax County Planning Commission greenlighted yesterday (June 12) a proposed senior living facility in Tysons despite concerns from staff about the height, size and open space.

Fairfax County staff recommended denial of the proposed two-tower senior living complex called The Mather.

The proposed building would go 60 feet above the 225-foot maximum. “The excessive height combined with a narrow building footprint oriented diagonally results in a building mass that inconsistent with adjoining structures and overwhelms the street,” according to the staff report.

Staff also took issue with the developer wanting to move the open space from an area on top of the parking garage to a sloping area behind the parking garage.

According to the staff report:

The three major issues noted above are all interrelated and stem from the manner in which the continuing care facility is proposed to be integrated into the existing Arbor Row development. Staff does not object to the concept of a continuing care facility as a use, and in fact, recognizes the services provided by such a facility are both necessary and desirable within Tysons. However, the continuing care facility has been designed in a way that reflects the unique needs of the applicant’s specific business model, and does not reflect the urban design recommendations of both the Comprehensive Plan and the Tysons Urban Design Guidelines.

While Providence District Planning Commissioner Phillip Niedzielski-Eichner called the proposal “one of the most complicated applications the commission will recall,” he ultimately brought forth a motion to approve the project.

Before the vote, Niedzielski-Eichner asked staff to address each of the three major concerns and allowed the applicant’s representative, John McGranahan Jr., to respond.

McGranahan argued that the recommended denial by staff was not considering the proposal’s height and size in the context of the surrounding neighborhood.

A staffer said that the mass of the building was considered to be out of context to the nearby buildings and that the applicant’s desire for more height for operational and financial considerations wasn’t enough justification to go above the maximum height.

Staff and McGranahan also disagreed on the relocation and redesign of the open space.

By the end of the back and forth, Niedzielski-Eichner said he was persuaded by the applicant’s reasoning.

Now that the proposal has a favorable recommendation from the Planning Commission, it heads to Fairfax County’s Board of Supervisors.

The project is a part of Cityline Partners LLC’s Arbor Row project near Tysons Galleria, which includes the completed Nouvelle residential building and The Monarch. The development aims to transform the back end of Tysons Galleria along Westpark Drive into a suite of mixed-use buildings.

Image via Fairfax County Planning Commission 

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The Lewinsville Center, an “intergenerational facility” with programs for the elderly and children, is now open in McLean.

The new center houses:

  • The Lewinsville Senior Center: a program with a fitness room, tech access, and gathering places for adults 50 and over to take up new hobbies and socialize.
  • Lewinsville Adult Day Health Care: a program designed for memory care, including a gated outdoor garden and fountain, an indoor walking path, library, health clinic and art room.
  • Lewinsville Montessori School and Westgate Child Care Center: colorful play and learn spaces aimed at caring for young children.

The new center is built near The Fallstead, an 82-unit affordable senior living facility, which opened last October.

“The Lewinsville Center seeks to foster a strong sense of community through providing the supports, programs and services which allow individuals and families throughout the neighborhood to continue to contribute their talents and abilities through all of life’s stages,” according to Fairfax County’s Neighborhood and Community Services website.

Both the Lewinsville Center and The Fallstead aim to address a lack of senior living and senior care facilities throughout Fairfax County.

Images via Fairfax County

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The Sunrise Senior Living Facility proposed for downtown Vienna received approval from the town’s Planning Commission last night (May 22).

The senior facility has faced a myriad of concerns around its parking, retail space and location at the corner of Maple Avenue and Center Street.

After public hearings, dozens of residents and some of the planning commissioners said they are worried that the parking spaces might not accommodate all of the visitors, employees, shoppers and roughly 100 residents.

Recent modifications that the Planning Commission OK’d last night dropped the number of units from 83 to 82, removed the mezzanine, reduced the retail to 2,264 square feet, altered the fence height and removed the grand staircase inside the facility — changes the developers said addressed town residents’ previous criticisms.

The changes mirror a solution proposed by Planning Commissioner Mary McCullough at the May 8 meeting to reduce the retail space to free up the parking spaces that retail employees and shoppers would use.

“The improvements are a true reflection that you listened,” McCullough told the developers last night.

While most of the planning commissioners said they thought the modifications improved the project, Commissioners Sharon Baum and David Miller said they still had reservations.

Baum said that she wanted to see more retail space instead of less, while Miller brought up a concern about the senior living facility’s placement.

“Is this the use we want at this corner?” Miller asked, questioning how many of the older residents would visit nearby retail and restaurants. Miller said that he would rather see apartments or condominiums, hinting at younger residents.

Ultimately, the Planning Commission approved the modifications and the proposal.

“Is it perfect? No,” Michael Gelb, who chairs the Planning Commission, said. “I haven’t seen a perfect project yet.”

Next up, the proposal has a Vienna Town Council meeting scheduled for June 3. Town Council has until Aug. 2 to make a decision.

Rendering via Town of Vienna

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Updated at 11:30 a.m. on May 9 — The Planning Commission decided to defer the decision to May 16. A description of The Monarch was corrected. 

A proposed senior living facility in Tysons is headed to the Fairfax County Planning Commission for a vote tonight (May 8) that may result in a recommended denial.

Fairfax County planners took issue with the height, design and open space planned for the two-tower senior living complex called The Mather and have recommended denial of the application, the Washington Business Journal reported in late April.

According to the staff report in WBJ’s story:

Staff does not object to the concept of a continuing care facility as a use, and in fact, recognizes the services provided by such a facility are both necessary and desirable within Tysons. However, the continuing care facility has been designed in a way that reflects the unique needs of the applicant’s specific business model, and does not reflect the urban design recommendations of both the Comprehensive Plan and the Tysons Urban Design Guidelines.

The project includes 18- and 27-story tall towers with a podium connecting the towers on the lower levels and 300 independent living units, 78 assisted living units and 18,000 square feet of retail and restaurants on the lower floors.

The project is a part of Cityline Partners LLC’s Arbor Row project near Tysons Galleria, which includes the completed Nouvelle residential building and The Monarch, which is under construction. The development aims to transform the back end of Tysons Galleria along Westpark Drive into a suite of mixed-use buildings.

The proposal is scheduled for a decision at the Planning Commission’s meeting tonight.

Image via Fairfax County Planning Commission 

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More concerns about the proposed Sunrise Senior Living Facility cropped up at the Town of Vienna’s Planning Commission meeting last night (April 24).

The Sunrise development and Vienna Town Council are already at odds over the project exceeding the town’s height requirements — a topic that also resurfaced during the public comment period last night.

“My real concern this is essentially a five-story building that is being sold as a four-story building,” Vienna resident Chuck Anderson said during public comment. “MAC was sold as a four-story and now we’re allowing five stories. I think there are a lot of people who are upset about this.”

While the public hearing focused on the development’s proposed reduction for its loading space width, fewer bike spaces, new fencing, extended awnings and desire to move the bus stop, concerns about parking and retail space dominated the discussion.

Planning Commissioner Sarah Couchman stressed an emphasis on maximizing opportunities for the assisted living facility’s ground floor retail space. Jerry Liang, senior vice president of development for Sunrise, said the current plans could support one larger tenant or two smaller ones.

“I think it would be great for Vienna to have another retail bay in that area,” Couchman said, questioning whether the lobby with the grand staircase could get reconfigured to add more retail space. “I don’t really see many people using the stairs given your population.”

Questions around parking erupted after Liang told the Planning Commission that the 83-unit facility proposed might have up to 35 employees during peak times on weekdays and would also want to offer valet parking on site for holidays and weekend events.

Some of the planning commissioners expressed skepticism that 60 parking spaces could fit the residents, visitors, retail customers and employees. Liang responded by saying that some of the employees will probably use public transit and carpools and that residents are expected to use about 33 spaces, with the retailers having 29 spots.

Planning Commissioner Mary McCullough said she is concerned about how the parking will affect the already-congested Church and Center streets.

“It’s a problem right now without your facility,” she said, questioning how the senior living facility could also valet park with only 60 parking spaces.

Chair Michael Gelb said he also shares McCullough’s concerns about the parking. “It’s a little bit of a hope and a prayer that this will work out,” he said.

The Planning Commission voted to keep the public hearing on the Sunrise proposal open and will return to the development on May 8.

Image via Town of Vienna

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(Updated April 8) As Sunrise Senior Living haggles through the approval process in Vienna, the assisted living franchise also filed permits earlier this week for a new facility in downtown McLean.

On March 11, Sunrise Development filed a special exception application to allow a senior living facility at 1515 Chain Bridge Road, replacing the existing McLean Medical Building.

In the application, the business noted that the need for assisted living facilities is high in Vienna.

Despite immense need, the McLean CBC does not currently contain any assisted living facilities. Per Fairfax County’s compiled demographics for the McLean Census Designated Plant , 92% of households in McLean have one or more people over the age of 60, which is more than double the 43% of households for the rest of the County.

Sunrise isn’t wrong on that count. McLean is disproportionately elderly and has struggled to create housing that allows local residents to age in place. Sunrise Senior Living isn’t cheap, so it probably doesn’t hurt that McLean is also one of the wealthiest places in the United States.

The proposal for a Sunrise facility in McLean also comes at that area is in the middle of a planning process to reshape the center of town.

The application notes that the new facility would be located within Subarea Two of the McLean Commercial Business Center, an area outside of the main downtown and planned to have very little change. The Sunrise facility would be replacing an existing medical office building, which it argues is in keeping with the intent of the plan.

While the Vienna location is locked in a struggle with the Vienna Town Council over whether or not the building fits within local height parameters, the McLean facility is half the size allowed by-right on the property and 10 feet shorter than the existing building.

The project is tentatively scheduled for a Planning Commission hearing on Sept. 11 and a Board of Supervisors hearing on Sept. 24.

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A new, 86-bed assisted senior living facility could be on the way for 2347 Hunter Mill Road, adjacent to the United Methodist Church of the Good Shepherd in northern Vienna.

According to the application, the facility would primarily serve seniors living currently living within five miles of the property, or whose current caregivers live nearby. Senior living facilities around Northern Virginia can be scarce, though several are planned across the Tysons area.

The proposed facility would provide accommodations for people with dementia or memory loss, providing housing, meals, programming and supportive care services.

The applicant, Orr-BSL Hunter Mill, LLC, is proposing a two-story building with approximately 43,680 square feet of space. The application says the building will include outdoor courtyards and a garden accessible to residents of the facility.

The facility would operate 24/7 with a staff of 30 employees.

A Planning Commission hearing for the application is scheduled for June 12 at 7:30 p.m.

Photo via Google Maps

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