Newsletter

The culinary scene at Cedar Park Shopping Center is about to heat up, with three new restaurants planning to open this winter, even after one tenant recently bowed out of the Vienna strip mall.

Crepes & Karak Cafe (280 Cedar Lane SE) shuttered on Aug. 30 after more than four years at the shopping center. A sign posted to the door indicates that the eatery will be moving to a new location but does not mention where that might be.

“We want to make sure that we have enough kitchen space to provide our services,” the sign says. “Thank you for your support and understanding.”

Crepes & Karak did not return requests for comment by publication time.

When Cedar Park celebrated the completion of an extensive renovation in November, Crepes & Karak owner Ashraf Hamid told Tysons Reporter that he hoped the shopping center’s new look would attract more customers and foot traffic after his business saw a 60% drop in sales following its two-week shutdown for the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.

Meanwhile, Cedar Park’s revitalization could soon kick into a near gear, as property owner First Washington Realty has leased more than 6,000 square feet of space combined to a trio of restaurants.

Sushi Koji

Sushi Koji (262H Cedar Lane) has been a decade in the making for husband-and-wife owners Hyung Joon Lee and Grace Park.

Though he’s Korean, Lee has spent years training and working as a chef at Japanese restaurants in the D.C. area, including Sushi Taro in D.C., where he learned from owner-chef Nobu Yamazaki. He has also won National Sushi Society competitions and other awards in both the U.S. and Japan, according to Park.

However, this is the couple’s first attempt at starting their own restaurant.

“Hyung Joon has always wanted to make good quality food and is excited that he is able to do so by opening his own restaurant,” Park told Tysons Reporter. “He will constantly develop and change the menu using fresh ingredients for every season.”

In addition to sushi, the menu’s primary focus will be on ramen, which will feature fresh noodles made from scratch. Dishes will use shio koji, the fermented seasoning that gives the restaurant its name.

Park, who is decorating and working with professional designers to set up the restaurant, says they started looking for possible locations in August. The Town of Vienna stood out for its budding foodie culture, but actually landing the vacant, 1,500 square-foot site in Cedar Park took some luck.

“It actually is kind of competitive,” Park said of finding retail space in the town. “We were surprised we were able to open the restaurant in Vienna, so we’re very excited about that.”

Fairfax County issued electrical and plumbing/gas permits to Sushi Koji on Sept. 9. Lee and Park hope to open the restaurant in early December. Read More

0 Comments
Ulta Beauty is moving into the former Performance Bike Shop space in Tysons’ Pike 7 Plaza

Ulta Beauty will be the next addition to Pike 7 Plaza in Tysons, property owner Federal Realty Investment Trust announced yesterday (Wednesday).

Purportedly the nation’s largest beauty retailer, Ulta Beauty will open its new location in the shopping center at 8350 Leesburg Pike in the spring of 2022. Over 25,000 products from more than 600 brands will be available for purchase in the new 10,000 square-foot space, according to a press release.

The company sells cosmetics, fragrances, skin care and hair products, and other beauty-related items.

“We are thrilled to welcome Ulta Beauty to Pike 7 providing the Tysons community and surrounding neighborhoods with an unparalleled and comprehensive beauty experience in one convenient location,” Federal Realty Vice President of Asset Management Deirdre Johnson said. “Ulta has revolutionized the beauty experience by inspiring confidence and encouraging inclusivity with self-care options for everyone.”

Ulta Beauty will replace the old Performance Bicycle Shop, two doors down from Staples.

This will be Ulta Beauty’s fourth Fairfax County location. According to its website, the Illinois-headquartered company currently has stores in Fair City Mall, Fair Lakes, and Bailey’s Crossroads.

Federal Realty recently submitted a rezoning application to Fairfax County seeking to build a drive-through restaurant in the Pike 7 Plaza parking lot. The proposal is still under review by the county’s planning and development department.

0 Comments

The McDonald’s at the Pan Am Shopping Center just outside of Vienna has closed.

Located at 3091 Nutley Street, the fast-food chain shared a standalone building in the shopping center with what used to be a Capital One Bank, though that space at 3095 Nutley has been vacated as well.

Neither McDonald’s nor Federal Realty, which owns the Pan Am Shopping Center, returned a request for comment on exactly when the location shuttered and what led to the closure.

Both 3091 and 3095 Nutley Street are now listed as available for leasing on Federal Realty’s webpage for the shopping center.

McDonald’s announced in July 2020 that it was permanently closing 200 stores, most of them in Walmarts. The move focused on “low-volume restaurants” and was accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

0 Comments
The existing office building at 1953 Gallows Road (via Google Maps)

(Updated at 3 p.m. on 6/29/2021) A developer is looking to transform a site with an eight-story, 88-foot-tall concrete office building into a three-building residential development called Flats at Tysons Corner.

The existing building at 1953 Gallows Road in Tysons would be replaced with a multifamily residential building with 225 to 260 units. The new structure would be 50 to 75 feet high and include a courtyard in its center, according to a development plan filed Tuesday (June 22) with Fairfax County.

Other proposed changes include converting parking lots into space for two 60-foot high multifamily buildings — one with 36 units and the other for 50 units, including 14 workforce dwelling units total — and also creating two publicly accessible parks with amenities such as lawn furniture, ping pong tables, and more.

The existing office building, built in 1983, would remain during the first phase of the project, which would focus on the parking lot area, and then be demolished in the second phase, per the development plan from Pulte Homes.

Approximately 2,628 square feet of space in the property’s northeastern corner will be set aside during the project’s first phase to accommodate a planned extension of Boone Boulevard in accordance with the county’s Tysons Comprehensive Plan, according to a statement of justification submitted by the law firm DLA Piper, which is representing Pulte.

The development will also contain a new service road that will be constructed as a future public street to connect Gallows Road to Boone Boulevard, with the potential to eventually be extended to Leesburg Pike.

In the statement of justification, DLA Piper says the proposed redevelopment will help “rejuvenate” the site by introducing residential uses to an area dominated by commercial and office buildings:

The redevelopment of this site as proposed presents a timely opportunity to rejuvenate the under-utilized, asphalt-covered site and transform it in the vision contemplated by the Comprehensive Plan for Tysons Urban Center with additional meaningful open space, the introduction of residential units to the quadrant, enhanced environmental features, critical multimodal transportation infrastructure, and a stepdown transition in density from the core of Tysons near Route 7 to the outer edges across Gallows Road. If this opportunity is missed because adjacent sites are not ready to redevelop, the Property will likely remain a sea of parking…for another 15-20 years, rather than serving as a catalyst and setting the stage for an exciting transformation of this quadrant.

PulteGroup, which is based in Atlanta, did not immediately return Tysons Reporter’s questions about the project, including its timeline. It’s the third largest homebuilder nationwide.

The Meridian Group, which owns the existing office building, says it has a contract with Pulte to sell part of the surface parking lot for the proposed development, but there are no immediate plans to get rid of the building.

“The developer plans are just designed to give them flexibility for the distant future,” a Meridian spokesperson told Tysons Reporter. “Perhaps in 20 years, they might want to demolish the building. But they have no plans to do so. The building will remain untouched and is not part of the rezoning.”

It isn’t yet clear when the project could go before the county planning commission. Upcoming meetings through July 28 didn’t list the application on board agendas, and the county’s online Land Development System showed no hearing information.

Nearby at Fairfax Square, the mall is seeking to upgrade signs. If PulteGroup’s proposal moves forward, the more than 5-acre residential complex would wrap around that shopping and dining center.

Photo via Google Maps

0 Comments

McLean’s Chesterbrook Shopping Center has changed hands for the first time since the early 1980s.

After managing the property for almost two decades, Federal Realty Investment Trust has now acquired the 89,625 square-foot shopping center at 6244 Old Dominion Drive for $32.1 million, the real estate brokerage firm KLNB announced on Friday (May 7).

The entire transaction took less than four months to complete, according to a press release from KLNB, which represented the previous owner, Chesterbrook One LLC.

“Chesterbrook Center is well positioned for significant growth and perfectly aligns with our Northern Virginia strategy,” Barry Carty, Federal Realty’s senior vice president of East Coast acquisitions, said. “We were thrilled to work with KLNB on this sale and look forward to building on the previous owners’ decades of work to grow Chesterbrook into a destination center for the community.”

According to KLNB, the Chesterbrook Shopping Center had been owned by the same family since the early 1980s and has been anchored by Safeway since 1965.

Other tenants include Starbucks, Walgreens, Bank of America, BB&T Bank, Mylo’s Grill, New Star Asian Bistro, and the dog daycare and boarding facility Playful Pack, which officially opened yesterday (Monday).

Federal Realty has served as the center’s operations and leasing manager since 2002, which will allow for a “seamless transition” in ownership, Federal Realty Corporate Communications Manager Brenda Pomar says.

“With its close proximity to Tysons, Arlington and Washington D.C. along with the impactful amount of daily vehicular traffic on Old Dominion and the strong demographics surrounding the property, Federal is excited to explore opportunities for Chesterbrook,” Pomar said.

Old Dominion Drive gets about 18,000 vehicles per day, according to KLNB.

Federal Realty’s leasing brochure for Chesterbrook states that 137,751 people live within a three-mile radius of the shopping center, and the area’s median household income is $172,080.

The plans for the property going forward are not yet clear, but Federal Realty Vice President of Asset Management Deirdre Johnson says the acquisition supports the property manager’s overall strategy for Virginia, which is fueled by the area’s “strong job growth, desirable demographics, high barriers to entry, and business-friendly climate.”

Federal Realty’s other Tysons-area properties include Tysons Station, Pike 7 Plaza, and the Pan Am Shopping Center on Nutley Street in Vienna, along with Falls Plaza, Graham Park Plaza, and Idylwood Plaza in Falls Church.

Federal Realty sold a portion of Graham Park Plaza last year to the developer EYA, which is replacing the vacant retail space with townhouses. The company is also rebranding Falls Plaza as Birch & Broad as part of a renovation project that’s expected to finish later this year.

“Chesterbrook presents many opportunities to create a unique and special community destination,” Johnson said. “We are currently exploring options and look forward to announcing future plans.”

Photo courtesy KLNB

0 Comments

Construction work on an extensive renovation of Falls Plaza Shopping Center will begin in mid-April, property owner Federal Realty Investment Trust announced yesterday (Wednesday).

The 144,000 square-foot shopping center at 1200 W. Broad Street in Falls Church will get a new look with overhauled building façades, new signage and decorative lighting, enhanced landscaping, and expanded outdoor seating areas.

As part of the renovation project, Falls Plaza will be rebranded as Birch & Broad to reflect its location at the intersection of Birch and Broad streets and “align with the Modern Farmhouse aesthetics featured in the renovation,” according to Federal Realty’s press release.

“This transformation underscores Federal’s long-term commitment to our properties, merchants, and the communities in which we operate,” Federal Realty Vice President of Development Jay Brinson said.  “The new public gathering spaces and expanding café seating areas combined with the new architecture and placemaking upgrades will make Birch and Broad a place that truly captures the essence of community, a quality for which the City of Falls Church is recognized.”

The renovation will also occur concurrently with an interior remodel of the Giant Food that anchors the shopping center.

According to Giant Food Director of Strategic Planning and Execution Gary Budd, the remodel will enable the grocery store to “significantly upgrade” its fresh and prepared food departments. Added offerings will include a new gourmet cheese case and a fresh pizza program.

The store’s layout and decor will also be revamped to make navigation simpler for shoppers.

“The remodeled Giant is an exciting step in our mission to continue to offer improvements and unique selections across the areas we serve,” Budd said.

Other existing retailers at Falls Plaza include Conte’s Bike Shop, CVS Pharmacy, Plaka Grill, Starbucks, Jersey Mike’s and Road Runner Sports.

Federal Realty anticipates that the shopping center renovation will be finished later this year, prior to the winter holiday season.

0 Comments

The Falls Plaza Shopping Center in Falls Church is about to get a new look.

Property owner Federal Realty Investment Trust announced today (Thursday) that the 144,000 square-foot shopping center will undergo renovations intended to update its physical appearance and enhance amenities next year.

“Federal is a long-term holder of real estate and has been part of the Falls Church community for over 50 years,” Federal Realty Vice President of Asset Management Deirdre M. Johnson said. “The new amenities and conveniences coming to Falls Plaza…reflect the evolving needs of the community that we serve.”

Scheduled to start in the spring of 2021 and conclude prior to Thanksgiving, the redesign will include new building façades that fuse “a modern farmhouse design with industrial elements” as well as new decorative lighting and signage, according to a Federal Realty press release.

The project will also introduce parking spaces for curbside pick-ups, expand the sidewalks with outdoor dining and gathering space, augment the plaza’s landscaping, and add a fireplace.

Federal Realty first acquired ownership of Falls Plaza in 1967. Anchored by Giant Food, the center features a Staples, Conte’s Bike Shop, CVS Pharmacy, Starbucks, and a variety of other retail, dining, and services venues.

Most recently, Falls Plaza added the restaurants Plaka Grill, Tasty Dumplings, and Jersey Mike’s.

“We are appreciative of the continued support that both the city residents and officials have provided us over the past 50 years, and we look forward to the next 50,” Johnson said.

0 Comments

(Updated at 12:05 on 10/30/2020) Town of Vienna residents and visitors are invited to enjoy the crisp fall weather and live entertainment while supporting local retail during the town’s first-ever Vienna Shop & Stroll.

It is the biggest and longest initiative organized by the Town of Vienna Economic Development Office, which will soon celebrate its one-year anniversary after being formed in November 2019. The town’s business liaison committee and the Vienna Business Association are partners on the event series.

Each Saturday through Dec. 12, designated shopping centers will host safe and socially distant seasonal activities and in-store promotions. Locals and visitors are encouraged to meet business owners and learn more about the history of the shopping centers.

“It grew out of the fact that we need to come up with creative ideas throughout this time,” said Natalie Monkou, the economic development manager for the Town of Vienna. “The more creativity, the better.”

The Vienna Shop & Stroll kicked off last Saturday (Oct. 24) at the Vienna Shopping Center (180 Maple Avenue), where seven businesses participated. It featured two pop-up opera concerts by emerging artists at the Kennedy Center’s Washington National Opera. The singers performed two micro-concerts from the Concert Truck, a Maryland-based pop-up truck that aims to make classical music more accessible.

“I’m actually pretty pleased with what happened on Saturday,” Monkou said. “It was set at one of the busiest shopping centers in town, so it was a great place to kick off what we could do for other locations.”

The pop-up concert truck was “a great way to remind people that Vienna is accessible to all,” Monkou said.

Future special programming will remain in the realm of music and art to avoid direct competition with the shopping centers. Concerts are also family-friendly and a great way to manage social-distancing guidelines, Monkou says.

“If we are going to provide something, we want it to be something that we can count on families to enjoy with little ones,” she said.

Because the Economic Development Department is so new, “everything we’re doing is a pilot,” Monkou said. “Depending on the participation from tenants and property managers, we’ll see if the [Shop & Stroll] is an annual thing.”

She emphasized engaging property owners because they have a role to play in the success of the town.

“When their businesses don’t do well, we all suffer,” she said. “We all benefit when we come together to do something that’s off the beaten path.”

Here are the dates and locations for upcoming Shop & Stroll Saturdays:

Correction: This article previously described the Vienna Business Association as the organizer of Shop & Stroll. The VBA is a partner with Vienna’s economic development office as the main organizer.

0 Comments

Mexican restaurant El Sol is currently under construction after recently opening in Vienna. 

El Sol has two locations, one in D.C. and one in Vienna’s Cedar Park Shopping Center. The restaurant is working on renovations and — as of a few months ago — was aiming to finish construction by the end of the summer or early fall of this year, according to Natalie Monkou, Vienna’s economic development director.

The parking lot construction and construction on the Cedar Lane Bridge, a central line to the shopping center, is making business tricky for businesses in the shopping center and other nearby businesses, according to Peggy James, the executive director of the Vienna Business Association

“I have been in three locally-owned restaurants over there, and it is really bad for all,” said James, emphasizing the importance of supporting El Sol during the construction.  

The Cedar Lane Bridge construction is scheduled to last from May through November, according to James. 

El Sol has been serving Mexican cuisine since 2014. Chef Alfredo Solis and his sister Jessica opened up the restaurant together and serve Mexico City staples such as huaraches, tortas, and tacos, according to the restaurant’s website. 

Another restaurant in the shopping center that is experiencing business trouble due to the construction is Crepes & Karak Cafe. The restaurant sells crepes, salads, coffee, smoothies and more.

“They have a nice social distance going on between their tables,” said James on the Vienna VA Business News Facebook group. 

James encouraged Vienna residents to continue to support these businesses during the pandemic and the construction. 

Photo via Lydia Russo on Vienna VA Foodies/Facebook

0 Comments

Shoppers can now get curbside pick-up from certain stores at Tysons Corner Center.

The mall’s website says that the retail to-go option is available for select retailers and restaurants.

“Contact the store directly to find out merchandise availability, payment options, and to place an order,” the mall’s website says. “Stores with exterior entrances may have their own curbside pickup locations.”

Participating stores include:

Currently, people can find curbside pick-up at the entrances between Macy’s and Pottery Barn, next to Coastal Flats and valet and between California Pizza Kitchen and Panera.

Nearby Tysons Galleria rolled out its curbside pick-up earlier this week.

Tysons Corner Center recently announced that it fully reopened to shoppers. The mall is open from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon-6 p.m. on Sundays.

In addition to the retail to-go, Tysons Corner Center also has a list of its restaurants that are offering delivery and take-out and a list of nearly two dozen stores allowing in-person shopping.

“We continue to promote a healthy shopping environment for our guests and employees through intensified cleaning procedures and proper social distancing signs,” according to the mall’s website.

0 Comments
×

Subscribe to our mailing list