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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.

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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.”

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Abandoned shopping cart (via David Clarke/Unsplash)

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

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(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.

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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

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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.

Hours are:

  • 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

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Tysons Corner Center is making the best of the holiday season with socially distanced, masked versions of traditional mall festivities.

“It’s no secret that 2020 has been a difficult year, especially among food and beverage, retail, and service-based sectors,” Todd Putt, the mall’s marketing director, said.

But the shopping center is moving forward by focusing on seasonal activities, new store openings, and other initiatives, Putt says.

There are many new events on the roster, but customers will recognize one familiar tradition: Santa.

“Everyone is looking for something that feels normal, and Santa in malls is one of those traditions that people associate with normal,” Putt said. “We didn’t want to give it up. We wanted to have it fit the moment and focus on the health of our guests.”

Santa will be seated at a distance from his guests with a physical barrier. Guests will be asked to wear masks, and hand sanitizing stations will be plentiful. Reservations are recommended, but not required.

From Friday, Nov. 27 to Dec. 31, guests will also be able to meet and greet The Grinch in his cave next to A Christmas to Remember, one of the new stores in the mall. Admission includes a free printed photo and a collectible Grinch ornament.

After Santa and The Grinch, shoppers can visit stores that have been reopening since the summer, with some opening as recently as two weeks ago. New brands include Purple Mattress, Elite Jewelers, Brow and Body Spa, A Christmas to Remember, Tailor on Tap, Lids, See’s Candies, Neuhaus Chocolate, Therabody, and Tonal.

Some — such as Purple Mattress, Therabody and Tonal — are digital brands that are just starting to have brick-and-mortar locations, Putt said.

“There is something to be said about a physical retail presence, and brands recognize that,” he said. “It’s a great way to communicate about their brand.”

The stand-out categories for shopping this holiday season are fitness, home furnishing, electronics, and athleisure apparel, which “makes perfect sense,” Putt says.

Tysons Corner will also be awarding $500 to a deserving person who stepped up for their friends, family, or community during this year. Those who nominate someone could win $500. Read More

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Shop small from the comfort of your home this holiday season at the Creative Collective Virtual Holiday Pop Up, starting November 20.

For the past two years, Creative Collective has held a holiday pop-up at Tysons Corner Center featuring small, local businesses. This year, due to the pandemic, they are moving the pop-up online.

The Creative Collective Virtual Holiday Pop Up will feature videos from local creative makers, designers and curators.

“Our customers love meeting the people behind the products, learning about what inspires them and about their creative process. These videos help our customers make that personal connection with our local business partners,” said Aurelou Cole and Wendy Whittleton, owners of Creative Collective.

The Creative Collective Virtual Holiday Pop Up will showcase products from these local, predominantly women- and minority-owned businesses. “We love supporting small, local businesses. They have great products, and we hope this virtual holiday pop-up will help them during this very difficult time to continue to grow,” Cole and Whittleton said.

The Creative Collective Virtual Holiday Pop Up begins November 20. Follow the action at Creative Collective’s Instagram and Facebook pages (@creativecollectivepop).

(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.

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Gov. Ralph Northam Shows Up to Fairfax County Early Voting — “I was glad to see voters and election workers in Fairfax today staying safe, wearing masks, and practicing social distancing” [Twitter]

Reminder: Barbie Truck Coming to Tysons Corner Center This Week — “A Barbie truck is crossing the country on a tour that will stop at Tysons Corner Center late next month to sell limited edition retro Barbie material. The truck is scheduled to stop at Tysons Corner Center (1961 Chain Bridge Road) on Saturday, Oct. 24, from 10 a.m.-7 p.m.” [Tysons Reporter]

Vienna Launches ‘Stop and Stroll’ Initiative — “Starting on Oct. 24, a different shopping center will be featured on select Saturdays. The shopping centers will host socially-distant seasonal activities and in-store promotions.” [Patch]

Cut Cable in Vienna Cancels Arlington Classes — “Our ISP notified us of a major fiber cut in Vienna causing a service disruption for APS. The vendor is working to restore service, but there is no estimate for restoration.” [Twitter]

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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