FCPS Can Keep Enforcing Mask Mandate — An Arlington County judge ruled yesterday (Tuesday) that Fairfax County Public Schools and the six other districts engaged in a lawsuit against Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s executive order can enforce their requirements until the legal challenge is resolved. The ruling came as the state Senate, led by Sen. Chap Petersen, approved a measure to let parents opt out of school mask mandates. [The Washington Post]
I-495 Pedestrian Bridge Under Construction — “Check out the progress on this bicycle and pedestrian bridge over I-495 and the connecting shared-use path in Tysons! This link from Tysons One Pl/Fashion Blvd to Old Meadow Rd and Provincial Dr is scheduled for completion this summer.” [VDOT Northern Virginia/Twitter]
Keam’s Roundabout Funding Bill Dies — A House of Delegates subcommittee voted to table legislation proposed by Del. Mark Keam, who represents Vienna and much of Tysons, that would’ve given more funding to sidewalk and roundabout projects. Virginia currently requires regional transportation funds to be prioritized based on congestion relief. [Sun Gazette]
Valentine’s Day Market Coming to Tysons — “Need a gift for your Valentine? @CelebrateFFX has you covered! Stop by the Loving Shop Local Market, this Saturday, Feb. 12 from 12-5 PM at The PARC for all of your Valentine’s Day essentials!” [Tysons Partnership/Twitter]
A fledgling company almost as young as the toddlers and other kids it seeks to outfit is opening a store in Merrifield this month.
LooLous is opening at the Mosaic District next to the clothing store South Moon Under. The company’s owner, Savin Ghaderi, told Tysons Reporter that it will officially open next Monday (Feb. 7).
The business formed last October but kicked off social media campaigns on Instagram and Facebook in 2020. Its website features clothing and items for purchase, with shipping taking one to two business days in the D.C. region.
“Growing up in the area, and operating as a small business, we wanted to do our part to contribute to our local economy, while providing a seamless shopping experience for every consumer — in particular busy moms who are looking for unique, fun pieces for their little ones,” Ghaderi said in an email.
The brand features cardigans and jackets, accessories such as Paris berets and dresses for kids as young as babies.
This will be its first brick-and-mortar store.
“Mosaic District was the ideal location for us as it allows us to provide our consumers with a boutique shopping experience that is exclusive yet also accessible,” Ghaderi also wrote.
The store is where the jewelry shop Alex and Ani was located before it closed the District Avenue location in 2020.
LooLous will have a grand opening event on Feb. 12 that will include refreshments, light snacks and raffles for all.
Angela Woolsey contributed to this report.
Aritizia is now in business at Tysons Corner Center.
The Canadian fashion brand had a soft opening for its boutique at the mall — its first in Virginia — just before Christmas, but the arrival wasn’t officially announced by Tysons Corner Center until Thursday (Jan. 6).
“Aritzia is such a great brand to have at Tysons Corner Center,” Lindsay Petak, the mall’s senior marketing manager, said in a statement. “The Canadian-based retailer has gained such a large brand following with their offering of beautiful, everyday luxury fashion in aspirational spaces with exceptional service.”
Located in between Banana Republic and the Tesla showroom, the 7,741 square-foot retail store features a private shopping room and employs a dedicated “style advisor” who can provide one-on-one, personalized service to customers.
Aritzia sells various types of clothing, from T-shirts and blazers to accessories, shoes, and face masks. It launched in a department store in Vancouver, Canada, before the family that owned the store opened the first standalone boutique in 1984, according to the company website.
Aritzia operates more than 100 boutiques across North America. The new Tysons Corner store is part of a larger effort to expand the retailer’s presence in the U.S., which now has 40 stores, including one in Georgetown.
“We are thrilled about this new location [at Tysons Corner] as we continue to expand across the U.S.,” Aritzia spokesperson Marianna Lozowska said.
Aritzia’s arrival comes during a period of transition for Tysons Corner Center.
Property owner Macerich is gearing up for Phase 2 of its development plans, which will add office, retail, residential, and plaza space where the former Lord & Taylor store and a nearby parking garage are currently situated.
More immediately, anchor store L.L. Bean is set to close up shop next Monday (Jan. 17) after more than two decades at the mall. However, online rumors that Barnes & Noble is also on the way out are unfounded, according to both a store employee and the company.
“Our lease has not expired and we plan on continued operation and serving our Tysons customers,” Barnes & Noble’s public relations team told Tysons Reporter.
FCPS Settles Lawsuit Over Treatment of Students with Disabilities — “Three disability rights organizations…and the families of six students with disabilities had sued in 2019, alleging that students with disabilities in Fairfax schools experienced discrimination, trauma and physical harm through the excessive and improper use of seclusion and physical restraint. As part of the agreement reached Tuesday [Nov. 23], Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) will ban all seclusion practices and curtail its use of physical restraint by the next academic year.” [The Washington Post]
Black Friday Shoppers Return to Tysons Corner — Traffic and sales at Tysons Corner Center were roughly on par with 2019 for Black Friday, according to a senior marketing manager for the mall. She said the return of pre-pandemic crowds wasn’t surprising, since the shopping center has seen a steady increase in traffic over the past three weeks. [WTOP]
Fire and Rescue Department Offers Hanukkah Safety Tips — “Hanukkah starts this evening [Sunday] and runs through December 6. It is a joyous time, so please ensure you and your loved ones stay safe as the holiday season is the peak time of year for home candle fires. Get in S.T.E.P. (Safety Takes Every Person) With FCFRD This Holiday Season and candle with care!” [FCFRD]
McLean Rotary Club Recognizes Front-Line Service Workers — “Under the leadership of president John McEvilly, the Rotary Club of McLean has initiated a new program — ‘Dignity of Work’ Award. According to former McLean Rotary President Lynn Heinrichs, who chairs the initiative, the award ‘is designed to recognize and promote the great people working in the McLean community.'” [Sun Gazette/Inside NoVA]
Retirement Puts Vienna Tree Assessments on Hold — “Due to staffing shortages stemming from a retirement, the Town is temporarily unable to conduct tree assessments on private property. Tree assessments on private property are expected to resume in March 2022 after appropriate staffing levels have been restored.” [Town of Vienna/Twitter]
While Bisnonna Bakeshop got the most high-profile welcome, the Italian bakery isn’t the only recent newcomer to Tysons Corner Center.
One week earlier, Extreme Halloween started haunting the mall’s large, vacant space next to Brandbox, opening its doors on Sept. 11. The pop-up store sells costumes, wigs, and decorations on a seasonal basis.
According to Extreme Halloween manager Dennis Bracey, the company previously visited Tysons Corner Center in 2009 and decided to return after getting a call from the mall about filling the open space. The pop-up will stick around until Nov. 2.
Tysons Corner is also preparing for the opening of Miniso, an international lifestyle retailer that sells toys, office supplies, and other low-cost goods. The store is located in the atrium centered around the conveyer-belt sushi bar Wasabi.
Though it describes itself as “Japanese-inspired” and sports an aesthetic sensibility similar to popular Japanese chains like Uniqlo, Miniso actually originated in Guangzhou, China, in 2013. The company now boasts more than 4,200 stores in over 80 countries and plans to double its U.S. presence this year, including with a new flagship store in New York City.
Last week, Tysons Corner Center said it expected Miniso to open that Friday (Sept. 17), but as of yesterday (Thursday), its doors remained closed. A spokesperson told Tysons Reporter that it’s “getting close” to opening.
Other recent changes at the mall include the addition of Middle Eastern eatery Marhaba to the third-floor food court, and furniture store Lovesac’s relocation to a spot near Wasabi that used to be occupied by sports gear retailer LIDS, which now has a permanent space by Hollister Co.
A Lovesac employee told Tysons Reporter that the relocation is temporary, anticipated to last about two months while its original space beside Claire’s gets remodeled. The renovated showroom will get a grand reopening in November.
The Tysons Corner Center’s directory lists a number of other retailers as “coming soon,” including ones like Fantasticks and Chopathi Indian Kitchen that were announced this summer.
Other upcoming additions are ZWILLING, a German company that sells kitchen tools, and the luxury fashion store Aritzia, which is scheduled to open next to the Tesla showroom this winter, according to a large sign covering its storefront.
“Each Aritzia destination is considered individually in order to create resonant, welcoming places that provide for rich, memorable, human experiences — which is exactly why we decided to open at Tysons Corner,” Aritzia said in an emailed statement, adding that more details will be shared as the opening gets closer.
The redevelopment of the former Macy’s box store at Tysons Galleria is almost ready for the public, paving the way for the addition of a movie theater, a bowling alley, and other retailers.
Brookfield Properties, which owns the mall, is in the process of breaking up the 260,000 square-foot space that housed the former 30-year old department store into smaller spaces for approximately 10 retailers.
“What the inspiration here was, we wanted people to feel comfortable spending time and sitting, not just shopping,” John Cournoyer, executive vice president of construction, design and development for Brookfield Properties, said on Wednesday (July 28). “So, we wanted…people being able to dwell, do other things, meet people, extend the day.”
Work continues on the exterior façade of a Crate and Barrel that will occupy one of the retail locations, but it is expected that construction will be completed by the end of the year. The spaces are fully leased and will open in a rolling capacity over the next six months.
“Each retailer will have its own timing and ability to open and move quickly throughout the project,” said Chris Pine, executive vice president of anchors, big box leasing and development for Brookfield.
Brookfield had considered opening the whole space at the same time but decided a more gradual approach would work better.
“You could in one strategy wait until everybody is done and turn the switch on and everybody opens up,” Pine said. “But we like the idea of just rolling through it and then, month after month, there’s a new retailer, something new happening, adding to the overall excitement and enthusiasm for the project.”
As part of the redevelopment, Arhaus opened a new showroom for its artisan furniture and home decor today (Friday). The store was previously located on the other side of Route 123 at Tysons Corner Center, according to a press release.
Other new tenants include the interior design store RH, a CMX CinéBistro theater that will occupy the top of the three-level space, and a Bowlero on the bottom floor.
The expected completion date for the overall project is the end of March or early April 2022 as tenants build out their individual spaces after the stores are enclosed.
In addition to the retail space, there is a central area between retailers designed for people “to rest and relax” with a bevy of amenities, such as plug-ins “for people that want to charge their phone or work on their laptop,” according to Mark DeCapri, senior vice president of planning and design for Brookfield.
DeCapri added that the design plans are meant to provide “something unique” with varied lighting, different types of spaces, and unique elements like a moss feature on the center area’s ceiling. At the end of the wing, glass allows natural light in at the future Crate and Barrel site.
In the works since Macy’s closed in January 2019, the project will also give the mall a new outdoor plaza with seating and landscaping, including a live green wall. The streetscape is intended to blend in with the existing mall and enhance customer convenience.
“I think when you go out to the original mall, the spaces are of vast scale and they feel very good. They’re sun-lit, and it’s a different feeling than you get here,” DeCapri said.
“So, this wing was looked at as another place for people to really come if they wanted a more intimate space to sit. You can sit out in the mall and it’s a fine experience, but if you’re trying to move a little way more to a living room setting, this is really a unique instance of having that available to the public.”
In terms of sustainability, Brookfield recycled 7,860 tons of material — 88% of the materials used in the construction of the redevelopment.
“One of the things that we evaluated very early on was saving this building. It would have been easier to tear it down, but we decided that we didn’t want to have all those materials end up in a landfill,” DeCapri said. “…Both those things were very important to us.”
Abandoned shopping carts can create problems and even be left in streams, but a new state law seems to provide little help, Fairfax County supervisors say.
During a land use policy committee meeting yesterday (Tuesday), the Board of Supervisors reexamined a Virginia law intended to discourage people from taking shopping carts away from businesses, worrying that introducing a local ordinance might just add an exhaustive and ineffective process.
“What we’re asking of our investigators is extraordinarily time-consuming and fruitless,” Braddock District Supervisor James Walkinshaw said of the draft abandoned shopping cart ordinance.
A leading concern is that adding an ordinance may take up time and put an unnecessary administrative burden on county staff, who could, for example, document the same incident twice since the state law dictates that a cart’s owner get a 15-day notification period before it can be removed.
Currently, if a cart is blocking a road or a group is cleaning up a stream, there is no restriction on removing it.
The Virginia General Assembly passed a law in 2020 to allow counties to pass legislation to:
- Fine people with a civil penalty up to $500 for removing shopping carts from stores’ premises and parking lots
- Make stores liable for returning or disposing of abandoned carts, including paying up to $300 per cart that the county removes
The land use policy committee discussed the issue in December, though staff advised against adopting an ordinance and board members were skeptical. During the meeting, Chairman Jeff McKay voiced opposition to fining people trying to get groceries home.
The draft ordinance that the county presented on Tuesday only referenced fines for businesses — not individuals.
Even before the 2020 state law, the Commonwealth made removing shopping carts from store premises and parking lots a misdemeanor, with the potential for a fine up to $500.
“My problem with this is…it provides absolutely no incentive for people to stop stealing carts,” said Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity, who also wondered if certain areas or customers might be disproportionately affected. “This is kind of outside the businesses’ control.”
Photo via David Clarke/Unsplash
(Updated at 2:40 p.m.) Despite the uncertainty introduced by the COVID-19 pandemic, Tysons Corner Center has welcomed several new retailers in recent months, and a handful of newcomers are slated to move in within the foreseeable future, the shopping mall announced last Friday (June 4).
Tysons Corner Center Senior Marketing Manager Todd Putt says the mall has seen a “large volume of shoppers returning” as the pandemic has started to recede in Fairfax County.
“Clearly, shoppers are ready to move past the pandemic and we are seeing shoppers from across all age demographics,” Putt said in a statement to Tysons Reporter. “After being forced to stay close to home, individuals are looking for better experiences and services when they shop. Specialty retail brands are eager to get back on track launching their concepts and we are excited to be a partner to make that happen.”
Tenants waiting in the wings include Chopathi India Kitchen — a fast-casual Indian restaurant that currently has locations in Dulles Town Center, Ashburn, and Hanover, Maryland — and Fantasticks, which makes custom gelato bars and pops. This will be the artisan gelato shop’s third location, coupled with one in Gaithersburg and a pop-up at One Loudoun in Ashburn.
The mall also confirmed that Lucid Motors is still set to open a studio on site. The electric car company announced in July 2020 that it will move into Tysons Corner Center as part of plans to expand with 20 new studios and service centers in North America by the end of this year.
Lucid is also planning to bring a store and service center to Tysons Galleria, but its special exception application for that location is not scheduled to go before the Fairfax County Planning Commission until Oct. 20.
The clothing retailer Primark announced on April 28 that it will make its entry into Virginia with a two-story, 37,100 square-foot store at Tysons Corner Center. The London-based fast fashion company has opened 12 stores in the U.S. since September 2015 and anticipates launching in Tysons sometime between September 2023 and September 2024.
The final announced upcoming retailer is Fabletics, which sells sportswear, footwear, and “athleisure” accessories. The company primarily operates online selling subscription memberships, but it also has over 50 brick-and-mortar stores and plans to bring that number up to 74 stores in 2021.
Tysons Corner Center also announced that the following retailers and eateries have recently opened:
Psycho Bunny — a New York City menswear brand known for sophisticated styles that stand apart from the rest, with an unconventional logo, unexpected detailing and expressive pops of color that together offer an escape from ordinary.
Therabody — World-leading percussive therapy massage devices. Everybody experiences soreness, tension, or tightness — whether it’s from sitting at a desk, working out, or just living life. Therabody’s products make it easier than ever to feel better on your schedule and on your terms.
Diesel — Known for its long and storied history of strong, ironic, and playful campaigns, the Italian retail brand reopened in its new location on Level 2 of the mall and sells denim, clothing, footwear, and accessories.
Roll by Goodyear — a popular pop-up concept by Goodyear that says goodbye to garages and waiting rooms and brings tires to you.
Ardene — a family-owned Canadian value fashion retailer based in Montreal, Quebec. Founded in 1982, Ardene started as an accessories and jewelry retailer, and has since added clothing, shoes, brand collaborations, and licensed apparel into its product mix.
3DEN — Flexible urban amenity spaces and work lounges. 3DEN Tysons Corner has cozy nooks everywhere, space to work, space to lounge, plus free coffee and lightning-fast WiFi. Guests only need the 3DEN app and to access the lounge for just $5 an hour or $99 a month for unlimited access.
Minte — provides a high-end, natural plant and mineral-based teeth whitening experience in a relaxed setting.
Squishables — a popular toy store known for its soft, cuddly, and adorable plush products.
Tysons Reporter previously reported that 3DEN had opened in Tysons Corner Center’s BrandBox space in March.
The pandemic has hit shopping malls hard over the past year, with The Washington Post reporting in April that nearly 200 department stores have closed and another 800 locations are projected to follow suit by the end of 2025.
According to Retail Dive, the pandemic accelerated a shift toward online shopping, and the retail industry saw a significant decline in foot traffic throughout 2020, though numbers started to improve in June as states like Virginia started to ease public health restrictions.
Tysons Corner Center never entirely shut down, instead reducing operating hours and intensifying cleaning protocols. The mall has been fully open since May 19, 2020.
Abandoned shopping carts are likely to stay put in Fairfax County.
County staff is recommending against adopting any legislation that would allow the county to remove abandoned shopping carts and charge a maximum $300 fine to the owner.
The Virginia General Assembly enacted legislation this year enabling jurisdictions to adopt stricter legal measures to contain the spread of carts in the area.
If the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approves the measure, the county can warn the owner of a cart to remove it after fifteen days. The owner would be charged a fee of up to $300 per cart. If someone is using a cart outside the premises of the cart owner, the county could collect a fine of up to $500.
It’s unclear how pervasive the abandoned shopping cart problem is in the county.
County staff note the legislation could help reduce the “visual clutter” of unused and neglected shopping carts in the area, especially if they’re in the way of roads and sidewalks, but it would also be incredibly challenging to enforce the legislation and keep shopping carts at bay.
“Enabling legislation falls short of that needed to establish an effective shopping cart ordinance for the county,” according to meeting materials.
Staff suggested that the county consider new legislation that would require businesses to monitor, control, and prevent cart removal.
More outreach and education about the issue, along with the voluntary implementation of an “abandoned cart prevention plan,” was also suggested.
The board’s Land Use Policy Committee is expecting to take up the issue at a Dec. 8 meeting.
Photo via David Clarke/Unsplash
With Thanksgiving over and Christmas music on the airwaves debate-free, local nonprofits and nurseries are starting their annual sales of Christmas trees and other holiday greenery.
People getting into the festive spirit can choose from many local organizations, which will use the money to fund everything from scholarships and Boy Scout Troop outings to youth ministry programs and community health programming.
Trinity United Methodist Church in McLean (1205 Dolley Madison Blvd) kicked off its sales right after Thanksgiving Day, and they will continue through mid-December. The sales benefit Trinity youth ministries and Boy Scout Troop 869.
Hours for the sales vary depending on the day:
- Thursday & Friday: 4-6 p.m.
- Saturday: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Sunday: 12-5 p.m.
St. John Academy in McLean (6422 Linway Terrace) is launching its Christmas tree sales this Thursday (Dec. 3). A tree lot will be set up in the school’s lower-level parking lot through Dec. 20.
Trees start at $50, and garlands and wreaths are also available. Sale hours are 4-7 p.m. on Wednesday through Friday and 10 a.m.-7 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
The Optimist Club of Greater Virginia is selling Christmas trees, wreathes, roping, and tree stands at the corner of Maple Avenue and Branch Road near PNC Bank and Giant in Vienna. Weekday hours go from 4-8 p.m., and weekend hours are from 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Tree sales fund awards, scholarships, and honoraria for students from James Madison, George Marshall, and Oakton High Schools, as well as their school pyramid, scout troops, sports teams and youth groups, according to the Vienna Business Association website.
The Vienna Lions Club has Fraser Firs for sale with costs ranging from $65 to $115. The club will also be selling wreaths, ropage and related holiday goods in the Walgreens parking lot at 225 Maple Ave.
- Weekdays: 2 to 8 p.m.
- Saturday: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Sunday: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
According to its website, the Vienna Lions Club expects items to be gone before Dec. 13.
“We will remain open until we sell out,” the club said. “We anticipate a strong and brisk tree sale and remind our loyal customers of just how quickly our inventory can diminish.”
Proceeds from the sale benefit local, national, and international LIONS Sight and Hearing Foundation activities, along with several organizations, community, and individual betterment activities.
Local nurseries in Fairfax County have also decked out their socially distanced halls with greenery to buy.
In Vienna, shoppers can stop by DePaul’s Urban Farm (2599 Chain Bridge Rd) for trees and a holiday market.
The Merrifield Christmas shop looks more spread out this year to allow for safe social distancing, but it is still offering the same selection of Christmas decor, plants, and greens.
Orders must be placed before arriving at one of the store’s three locations in Falls Church, Fair Oaks, and Gainsville. Once shoppers arrive at the loading station, they can remain in their vehicles while staff loads their purchases.
Meadows Farms has trees, poinsettias and wreaths galore, with locations in Chantilly, Falls Church, Annandale, Vienna and Herndon, and 16 other shops. It also has an online library with decorating tips and care instructions.
If you know of any other location, please let Tysons Reporter know!
Staff photo by Jay Westcott