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Tech company Cvent announced an expansion in Tysons last year, and now that expansion is bringing a host of new jobs in the Tysons area.

Cvent creates software for businesses to organize meetings and events. The company signed a 72,000-square-foot expansion that will see the company occupy three floors of Boro Station at 1765 Greensboro Station Place.

The company is advertising a total of 67 jobs. Among those, the company is looking to hire:

There’s a handful of internships with the company available as well:

Photo via Facebook

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A brand new suite of retail options has just been announced for The Boro, a large development near the Greensboro Metro station planned to compete with the Tysons Corner Center mall as a commercial hub.

The largest of the new tenants is a two-story Ethan Allen furniture store, according to a press release from the Meridian Group. The store is relocating from a Route 7 location and opening a 11,500-square-foot location at the corner of Boro Place and Westpark Drive.

Six other new retail locations were also announced, including:

  • Colour Bar Studio: a hair salon offering a variety of services including coloring and haircuts. The 3,400-square-foot salon, Colour Bar’s second in Northern Virginia, will be on the second floor of The Loft along Boro Place.
  • Paris Baguette: a French bakery offering an assortment of breads, pastries and cakes baked daily, as well as chef-inspired sandwiches and salads. Paris Baguette’s second location in Northern Virginia, the 2,600-square-foot café will be located on the ground floor of Boro Tower at the corner of Broad Street and Solutions Drive.
  • Akira Ramen & Izakaya: a restaurant that makes its own Soba noodles and features an open kitchen. This is Akira Ramen’s second location and they are opening a 2,000-square-foot restaurant on Boro Place, across from Whole Foods Market.
  • Tysons Nail Lounge: the lounge will be an expansion of Mint Nail Lounge, a premier manicure, pedicure and waxing lounge in the Mosaic District. The 1,600-square-foot location on the second floor of The Loft.
  • Poki DC: a 1,400-square-foot location offering poke as well as freshly-brewed bubble tea. Poki DC will open on Boro Place, adjacent to Akira Ramen.
  • Verizon Wireless: will offer phones, accessories and support services. Its 1,400-square-foot store will be on Greensboro Drive.

The new stores are scheduled to open alongside the 69,000 square-foot Whole Foods Market, ShowPlace ICON Theaters, and other retail sometime later this year. The exact date has not been announced.

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The Boro, one of the largest new developments transforming Tysons, almost didn’t happen — at least not in the form that it’s coming together now. More startlingly, it was also a fight to keep the nearby Tysons Biergarten alive for a transfer to a new site.

At Bisnow’s Tysons State of the Market event last week, several of the developers working on the Boro and surrounding projects met to offer a behind-the-scenes look at the project.

According to Gary Block, chief investment officer for developer The Meridian Group, some of the earlier development plans would have brought new developments online as soon as they were completed, but Block said they decided it was more important to open the development in a series of larger-scale phases.

“We knew we had a tiger by the tail,” said Block, “so after buying land, we tried to combine best of Reston Town Center and Fairfax City center, and we had to globalize and create a phase one that was all things to all people, a different type of retail that would compete favorably with the [Tysons Corner Center] mall. It had to be a different kind of office and a different kind of residential.”

The project also has funding support from the Rockefeller Group, though there was some initial hesitation about investing in Tysons.

“This was the first venture by Rockefeller in Tysons,” said Hilary Allard Goldfarb, regional development officer for Rockefeller Group. “We were nervous, but there’s a lot of office stability here.”

Several developers at the event recognized that developing in Tysons can be a gamble, especially with a portion of the site dedicated to costly residential units.

“It was tough looking at this initially to look at the numbers and justify development,” Bob Kettler, founder and CEO of the construction company Kettler. “But fueling the next wave of vertical construction was the right choice. Greensboro Drive is the Gold Coast of Tysons. It’s the highest land and you now have your core environment, and that is priceless. Now people have to deal with construction costs higher than when this project was priced out. If it was $850 million when [the Meridian Group] purchased it, it’s $1.1 billion today.”

Block said the announcement that Whole Foods would be moving in as a ground-floor retail anchor was a turning point for the development, one that cemented confidence from other investors.

“Whole Foods was a game changer,” said Block. “It’s [going to be] the largest in the country. It’s such a great place and people are going to be so happy with what they’re seeing.”

Now, Block says the final retail spots are starting to fill up.

“It’s like planning a wedding,” said Block, “and we’re down to the last few tables.”

But one of the pieces that almost got lost in the shuffle was the Tysons Biergarten, one of the few bright spots of Tysons’ nightlife. Donna Shafer, managing director for Cityline Partners, said finding a new home for the Biergarten was more of a challenge than she expected.

“There came a point when construction was advancing that [the Biergarten] was looking for a new home,” said Schafer. “We are firm believers in pop-up activities and the Biergarten did a good job of capturing that market. We don’t want these guys to leave Tysons, so we raised our hands and said, ‘We’ve got a lot of real estate, we’re happy to make a home.'”

The Biergarten would eventually land at Cityline Partners’ Scotts Run development, but the permitting for finding that new space was more of a challenge than Schafer had initially expected.

“We thought it would be an easy process, but while we have a fantastic comprehensive plan, there are moments where I think everyone’s heart is in the right place but this plan is operating like code or black letter later,” said Schafer. “So the flexibility has dissipated. So for us, it meant eight months of work, tens of thousands of dollars, and a hundred-page staff report for a pop-up Biergarten. I hope it becomes a pivot point… to help facilitate a good conversation without sacrificing goals.”

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The cost of living in Tysons is high — most of the new residential developments around Tysons advertise their new living units as “luxury” — and there’s a good reason why.

And as developers fight over the last few pieces of prime real estate near Metro stations, some are admitting that the cost of setting up shop in Tysons is unlikely to go down anytime soon.

At Bisnow’s Tysons State of the Market event yesterday (Thursday) at 1600 Tysons Boulevard, developers met to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the region over the next few years.

“Costs have risen,” said Gary Block, chief investment officer for the Meridian Group, developers of The Boro. “It’s tough to underwrite new residential development today. Rents have to be very high to justify development.”

One of the biggest drivers of cost in Tysons is also one of the biggest draws: nearly unlimited density. Speakers at the State of the Market event said a high capacity for density means developers are looking to get more out of each plot of land, which means building up, and that means using more expensive steel frames rather than wooden frames.

“Wood frame is an option,” said Jim Policaro, senior vice president of Lerner. “But you’re giving up potential density. You’re going to have more noise issues with wood frame construction, but the net effect is rent that might be slightly lower. If you’re willing to give up some density and sacrifice the height you can get, it’s definitely a viable option.”

But the market for residential development in Tysons is focused on areas near Metro, areas where density is king.

“Residential coming into the market is driven by density, “said Mark Carrol, executive vice president of Skanska Commercial Development. “These locations are within walking distance of the Metro.”

Developers said a boosted demand for higher-end residential development will likely be one of the main impacts of the new Amazon headquarters in Arlington.

“Not everyone can live in Arlington, or wants to,” said Policaro. “Employees who are married with children might see Tysons as a laudable option for residential.”

Carrol added that from a cost perspective, developers have seen an escalation of almost 7 percent in this market. If there are residential developments that are more affordable than the new luxury developments, they will have to be in places further away from Metro access.

“Those further away from the Metro are going to have to make certain changes and accept the fact that their rent streams are going to be significantly lower,” said Brian Tucker, managing director for JLL.

As for who is moving into these high-end residential developments, Bob Kettler, founder and CEO of Kettler, said half of the people moving into condominiums in the area are “empty nesters” — older couples whose children have left their home. The other half is split between professional couples and affluent single professionals.

Kettler also noted that the demand is still very present for high-end residential, with prices on units moving up three times over the last four months.

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Morning Notes

Another Tysons Firm Moving to Boro — “Alion Science and Technology Corp. is leaving one Tysons tower for another. The engineering firm, headquartered at Lerner Enterprises’ 1750 Tysons Blvd., has agreed to lease 16,000 square feet at Boro Tower… Alion will join KPMG LLP (roughly 168,000 square feet), Tegna Inc. (46,000 square feet), Hogan Lovells (44,500 square feet), and Womble Bond Dickinson (24,239 square feet).” [Washington Business Journal]

Weather Delays Silver Line Repairs — “Promised sealant for problem concrete panels at Silver Line stations due to open next year is on hold. The sealant is intended to prevent the panels, which were revealed last year to have an incorrect mix that could create problems, from deteriorating over coming decades.” [WTOP]

Tysons Development Quiz — “How much do you know about construction, leasing and development activity in Tysons? Take this quiz to test your knowledge.” [Bisnow]

Hunter Mill District Races — Two candidates are running for the Hunter Mill District seat on the Fairfax County School Board, which is being vacated by incumbent Pat Hynes. Meanwhile, long-time Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins announced yesterday that she will retire after her term ends. [Reston Now, Reston Now]

Reminder: Drone Meeting Tonight — A meeting to discuss a comprehensive plan for Fairfax County’s use of drones, particularly for public safety, will take place tonight at the McLean District Governmental Center. [Tysons Reporter]

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How is Tysons progressing in its quest to become America’s “next great city?”

A pair of upcoming events are planned to look at the current state of Tysons’ economy and where it should go from here.

The first, a “State of the Market” event next Thursday (Jan. 24), will focus on the development of the local office and retail markets. The event is hosted by Bisnow, a commercial real estate news organization.

The event will be held at 1600 Tysons Boulevard. Tickets to the event are $99.

Breakfast and networking start at 7:30 a.m. A discussion of continuing Tysons’ development boom starts at 8:30 a.m., followed by a discussion of how the new developments around the Greensboro Metro station will impact the market starts at 9:15 a.m.

“As we look at 1.5 million square feet of office under construction, 1,800 multifamily units to deliver, and massive mixed-use developments in the pipeline, the area shows no signs of slowing down,” Bisnow said in the event description. “With a few years of booming development, is the market fully built?  How much more construction does the market need to see? Northern Virginia is poised for growth, but is it growing quick enough to meet the supply being delivered?”

One week later, the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce will host its 27th Annual Economic Conference. The central theme of the conference is a review of the last ten years of development in Tysons and examining economic indicators for the area’s future growth.

The event is scheduled for Jan. 31 from 7:30-11 a.m. in the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner at 7920 Jones Branch Drive.

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Foot by foot, Tysons is getting a little more walkable.

Tomorrow afternoon, Fairfax County will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony for two new sidewalks along Leesburg Pike (Route 7) under Chain Bridge Road (Route 123). The new sidewalk connects the Pike 7 shopping center and The Boro development with the retail and restaurants west of the Tysons Corner Center mall.

According to the Fairfax County Department of Transportation press release:

The sidewalks are part of the Dulles corridor bicycle and pedestrian access improvements and provide enhanced pedestrian access along Leesburg Pike with 1,100 feet of sidewalk on the north side and 800 feet of sidewalk on the south side. These improvements were designed by the Fairfax County Department of Transportation; constructed by the Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services (DPWES); and funded under the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Locally Administered Project (LAP) program.

The ribbon-cutting is scheduled for 1 p.m. tomorrow and to be attended by several members of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and Sol Glasner, president and CEO of the Tysons Partnership.

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New residential buildings are coming to The Boro, but a new partnership with WhyHotel means many of them might temporarily be hotel-style rentals before they’re leased.

WhyHotel is a startup based in D.C. that takes unrented units from recently-built apartments, from studios to two-bedroom units, and rents them out as hotel spaces and pay some of the rent back to the developer. Meanwhile, on-call staff handle the cleaning and other guests needs.

In addition to new WhyHotel locations planned in Arlington, the company announced Monday that it will partner with The Meridian Group and Kettler to operate a “pop up” hotel in The Boro (8395 Greensboro Drive). Up to 150 residential units will be used as WhyHotel rentals. Guests will be able to stay in the units starting late summer or early fall next year.

The new WhyHotel spaces will be located in Rise, a 27-story luxury high-rise apartment building scheduled to open sometime in 2019.

Image via The Meridian Group

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Morning Notes

Friday Night Fire in Merrifield — “On Friday, November 30 at approximately 11:59 p.m., units from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue and the City of Fairfax Fire Department were dispatched for a reported kitchen fire in the 9400 block of Lee Highway in the Merrifield section of Fairfax County.” [FCFR]

More on Bluestone Lane Coffee Shop — “Bluestone Lane plans to break into the Northern Virginia market next year at the Boro development in Tysons Corner in mid-to-late 2019… The global brand from Australia is known for its ‘avocado smash’ toast, cold-pressed juices, custom teas, and other healthy fare.” [Eater]

PSA: Don’t Illegally Park in Accessible Parking Spaces — “With the holiday shopping season underway, finding parking at shopping centers can be harder than tracking down the hottest toy of the year. As a result, shoppers sometimes illegally park in accessible spaces reserved for people with disabilities. Approximately 75,000 county residents have a disability, so it is critical that these parking spaces remain available to them.” [Fairfax County]

Winchester Woman Arrested for Vienna Assault — “Vienna police officers went to Park Terrace Court, S.E., on Nov. 5 at 1:42 a.m. after authorities received a 911 hang-up call. Police located a resident who advised she had been assaulted by her girlfriend.” [InsideNova]

Fairfax Tax Deadline Extended — “Fairfax County Government Offices will be open Wednesday, December 5. However, because Wednesday has been proclaimed as a national day of mourning to honor the passing of former President George H.W. Bush, the due date for 2018 second installment Real Estate tax payments has been extended until December 6.” [Fairfax County]

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The massive Boro development in Tysons has a very small problem: its new Elf on the Shelf needs a name.

The development is holding a social media contest to name the elf as part of some planned holiday activities this month. The person who posts the most creative suggested name, as determined by the Boro, will win a Starbucks gift card.

Thus far the suggestions on Facebook include:

  • Bobo
  • Elfat Burrow
  • Boronimo

Photo via Facebook

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