The Fairfax County Park Authority has purchased an historic property in McLean that previously belonged to President Jimmy Carter’s national security advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski.
The county park authority announced on Monday (Nov. 2) that it had acquired the 5.45-acre land known as Spring Hill for $2.4 million funded through park bonds. Located in the Dranesville District, Spring Hill sits near the intersection of Spring Hill Road and Old Dominion Drive in McLean.
Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust says he is grateful to the park authority for preserving the Spring Hill property and “many other beautiful properties in our county, for the use of current residents and future generations.”
“I also appreciate the Brzezinski family’s desire to protect the natural beauty and cultural significance of this property, and their willingness to work with the Park Authority to make sure that happened,” Foust said.
As the longtime residence of former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, Spring Hill has hosted many foreign leaders, according to Fairfax County’s Public Information Officer Judy Pedersen.
Brzezinski’s wife, the renowned artist Emilie Brzezinski, previously worked on her signature wood sculptures out of a studio built in the house.
Spring Hill’s former residents, size, and attractiveness make the property historic and a remarkable acquisition for the county.
“The attraction on that property is, first and foremost, the beautiful land,” Pedersen said. “A piece that size in the McLean area is an unusual find.”
Pederson says the county acquires land in advance and later makes plans for what to do with it.
“It’s not on this year’s work plan,” Pedersen said. “Future work is going to be aligned to the availability of capital funding, and that’ll be used for planning for the design and construction process.”
Those plans also include inviting the community to voice their ideas on what to do with the property.
“That’s the discussion that we’ll go back and have with the community at some point, about what is the appropriate and most sought-after use for this lovely property,” Pederson said.
Photo via Fairfax County Park Authority
This afternoon, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved rezoning for two developments near the Spring Hill Metro station in Tysons.
Georgelas LLC’s two mixed-use projects — West Spring Hill Station and North Spring Hill Station — would redevelop car dealerships along the north side of Tyco Road.
The projects include eight buildings, four parks, a new connection to the Dulles Toll Road and a sports deck that will include entertainment atop a building.
Elizabeth Baker, a senior land use planner who is representing the developer, told the county board that the companion developments move forward the vision to turn Tysons into a city.
“It’s really becoming a unified, urban environment,” Baker said about the area around the Metro station.
The Planning Commission held a public hearing on the developments back in September, but delayed the vote until this year to give staff and the developer time to work out issues with West Spring Hill Station.
Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik said that the two projects “substantially improved” since when they were first proposed, praising the Dulles Toll Road Connection and “prominent parks.”
Images via Fairfax County
The fire station in Tysons is at the top of Fairfax County Fire and Rescue’s list of old fire stations that need updates.
During the Planning Commission’s hearing on the Capital Improvements Program for fiscal years 2021-2025, Assistant Fire Chief Jason Jenkins said that Tysons Fire Station 29 is one of six stations built in the 1970s and 1980s that the fire department wants to revamp.
“Any of the fire stations built in the 1970s through the 1980s are reaching the end of their life,” Jenkins said. “Their capabilities, their flexibilities, their workforce — it becomes challenging to have to relocate personnel due to the lack of capabilities.”
Fire Station 29 in Tysons (1560 Spring Hill Road) was built in 1978 and is roughly 9,500 square feet, according to the CIP presentation.
Jenkins gave an overview of the plethora of deficiencies at Fire Station 29, which include:
- too few apparatus bays (three)
- inadequate living quarters for women
- limited gym and fitness area
- lack of decontamination area
- lack of fire sprinklers in apparatus bays
As the population boom continues in the county, Jenkins said that the fire facilities need to be able to expand.
In response to Commissioner Phillip Niedzielski-Eichner’s question “How do we do fire fighting in the high-rise level?” Jenkins said that fire stations need to have double the equipment to cut back their response times, which are increased due to building heights.
“So in lieu of waiting for a neighboring station to respond to a high-rise, you have duplicative resources that can respond simultaneously,” he said, adding that those resources include double the engines and paramedic units.
Now, the fire department is looking to double the size of the fire station, which would have five drive-thru bays, with funding from development proffers.
A proffer for the fire station that was negotiated in 2011 currently covers about 10% of the project’s cost.
More from the proposed CIP:
$1,417,152 has been received to date from negotiated proffer obligations to support the design and construction of a 5-bay replacement Tysons Fire Station. Additional proffer funding for the fire station will be provided as the designated Tysons development occurs.
“We have enough funding to start the design of the project,” a staffer from the Department of Public Works said.
Originally, the fire station was going to be built on the bottom of high-rise, but the plans fell through, Laurie Stone, a planner for the fire department, said. Now, the developer is providing the proffer funding over time.
“It was going to be the first proffered fire station,” Stone said. “We’re going to need the station before we have all of the proffer funding.”
The design process for the fire station begins early this spring, Jenkins said. Elsewhere around Tysons, work is underway to build the new Fire Station 44 near the McLean Metro station.
Image via Google Maps
The Fairfax County Planning Commission is delaying its decision on two mixed-use developments by the Spring Hill Metro station again.
Commissioner Phillip Niedzielski-Eichner, who represents the Providence District, asked the commission last night (Wednesday) to push its vote on the proposed project to next month.
Niedzielski-Eichner said the postponement is to give more staff more time to review a resubmission and changes by the developer, Georgelas LLC.
The project is split into two parts — North Spring Hill Station and West Spring Hill Station — and would transform current car dealerships along the north side of Tyco Road into commercial and residential units.
Previously, the project has been held up over Fairfax County planners’ concerns that the West Spring Hill Station doesn’t fulfill the Tysons Comprehensive Plan.
The decision was previously postponed from December, when Niedzielski-Eichner said that the Georgelas LLC asked for more time on the application.
The project is now scheduled to go before the Planning Commission on April 22.
Images via Fairfax County
When a Honda van T-boned a sedan near the Spring Hill Metro station in Tysons, a third driver caught it all on camera.
The crash happened on Tyco Road near the Adaire apartment building. The van pulled out of the parking lot for the Audi Service Center and Tysons Collision Center right before hitting the sedan, which was in the left-hand, southbound lane.
The video shows the driver of the van throw his hands above his head right after the crash.
The sedan’s fender and the van’s front bumper appeared damaged after the vehicles both pulled into the parking lot.
A Reddit user posted yesterday the minute-and-a-half video capturing the crash. Already, the post has 436 upvotes and 136 comments.
“The irony that he was pulling out of an auto service center vastly improves this,” another user said in the comments.
Fairfax County police said gang activity may be behind the New Year’s Day shooting that injured three people in the Spring Hill area.
In an update today (Thursday), police said that two men and one woman had gunshot wounds after a shooting in the 8600 block of Westwood Center Drive early in the morning on New Year’s Day.
The three people were treated for non-life-threatening injuries and released from a local hospital, police said today.
John Lieb, a police spokesperson, told Tysons Reporter that one scene was located in the parking lot of the Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham, while another was in a breezeway of the buildings.
Lieb was not able to confirm if any of the people involved in the shooting had been staying at the hotel.
“The suspects were described as black males,” police said. “Detectives believe this shooting is gang-related.”
Map via Google Maps
(Updated at 8:40 a.m.) Fairfax County police say three people were injured after a shooting this morning near the Walmart in Tysons.
Police tweeted that they were on the scene in the 8600 block of Westwood Center Drive shortly after 5 a.m. today (Wednesday).
Three young adults were injured in their lower bodies from the shooting at the Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham, NBC4 reported.
“Three people have been taken to the hospital with injuries believed to be non-life threatening,” police tweeted. “No suspect information is currently available.”
Officers are in the 8600 block of Westwood Center Dr in Tysons Corner for a shooting investigation. Three people have been taken to the hospital with injuries believed to be non-life threatening. No suspect information is currently available. #FCPD pic.twitter.com/tpQSVYP57V
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) January 1, 2020
Map via Google Maps
Updated at noon — An employee at Thai’s Corner Restaurant told Tysons Reporter that it has closed permanently.
Earlier: Diners seeking Thai food will have to find an alternative to Thai’s Corner Restaurant, which appears to have closed its Tysons spot.
The restaurant (8607 Westwood Center Drive) served a variety of sushi, soups, fish and curries by the Spring Hill Metro station, according to its Facebook page.
The inside of the restaurant appeared disheveled today (Thursday), with letters and mail piling up on the floor just on the other side of the front door, along with furniture missing. A sign in the window said, “Sorry we’re closed.”
A server at a nearby business said that he ate at the restaurant about a month ago. A tipster told Tysons Reporter that the restaurant was closed earlier this week.
Tysons Reporter reached out to the business owner but has not heard back.
Hat tip to Mia O.
The Fairfax County Planning Commission postponed its decision on two mixed-use developments by the Spring Hill Metro station again last night (Dec. 11) to March.
The fate of Georgelas LLC’s proposed project is now slated to be decided on March 11, 2020. The Planning Commission will either determine that the project needs more revisions or recommend denial, approval or indefinite deferral before sending it to the Board of Supervisors.
The project would bring more commercial and residential units into the area, remodeling the current car dealerships along the north side of Tyco Road.
Commissioner Phillip Niedzielski-Eichner, who represents the Providence District, said last night that the project is not ready for a final recommendation, but did not provide any additional reasons for the delay at the meeting.
This is the third time that the Planning Commission has deferred the decision on the project since the public hearing. Back in October, Niedzielski-Eichner said the developer asked for more time.
“There were a whole host of issues that were laid out [previously],” a spokesperson from Providence District Supervisor Linda Smyth’s office told Tysons Reporter, adding that the decision was deferred because there are still unresolved issues from previous meetings.
Fairfax County planners have said that the North Spring Hill Station addresses the expectations in the Tysons Comprehensive Plan, but the West Spring Hill Station “does not fully address the criteria, particularly with regards to providing a comprehensive, functioning grid of streets; the provision of open space; and coordination of development.”
For now, anyone interested in the project can still submit comments online, a commissioner said last night.
Image via Fairfax County
Two new local locations for Jersey Mike’s are gearing up to open soon.
The spot at 1501C Cornerside Blvd by the Spring Hill Metro station in Tysons plans to open next Wednesday (Dec. 4), according to the website.
Over in Falls Church, the Falls Plaza location at 1108-A West Broad Street is also expected to open the same day, according to a spokesperson for the company.
The sandwich chain currently has job openings in Falls Church.