Tysons Corner, VA

Tysons may soon get a new athletic field in connection to The Mile development.

The developers behind the previously approved The Mile project now want to create a youth-sized athletic facility in the Old Courthouse neighborhood of Tysons to fulfill one of the development’s proffers.

The developers want to create the field on a site along Boone Blvd that currently has an 8-story-tall office building and surface parking lot. The site was previously approved for an extended stay hotel that was never constructed.

The developers propose to convert the parking lot into a field measuring 180 feet by 330 feet. The field would be surrounded by a black chain link fence between 10-24 feet high to prevent balls from escaping and include portable toilets, bleachers and bike racks.

The parking lot would get reconfigured to serve both the athletic field and office building, which houses Cel-Sci Corporation and Liberty Tax Service. While the developers would own the field, Fairfax County Park Authority would operate and maintain the park.

“So we’re able to take advantage of that which I think is a creative way to find land in Tysons Corner that is much needed for athletic fields,” Elizabeth Baker, a senior land use planner for Walsh, Colucci, Lubeley & Walsh, told the Fairfax County Planning Commission last night (Wednesday).

Baker said that while the athletic field is “youth-sized” because it is smaller than a full-size athletic field, she expects adults will use it as well.

“I think it’s a field that is going to be well used,” Baker said. “Obviously it’s an older building. It was built 40 years ago so it a site that’s been around for awhile, but is a large parking lot with excess parking in it.”

At-Large Commissioner Mary Cortina asked if restroom buildings could replace the portable toilets at the site.

“The Park Authority model of providing those porta-potties I think is really a holdover — even though we continue to do it — from another era when we were more suburban and there were no services in some of those park areas,” Cortina said. “This is right in the heart of Tysons.”

Baker said that having portable toilets at the site is no different than Ken Lawrence Park or Quantum Field in Tysons, “so it is meeting the standards for the Park Authority and that’s what we’ve provided here.”

Still, Cortina made a plea to the Park Authority to do away with portable toilets in the future.

“As we’re doing urban design we can’t forget the toileting needs,” Cortina said. “To continue to have these porta-potties throughout this urban development, it just seems to be incongruous with the rest of the streetscaping et cetera.”

A representative from the Park Authority said that restroom buildings are considered for fields and parks connected to larger developments and that portable toilets are appropriate for standalone parks.

Baker reassured Cortina that the portable toilets are in a corner of the site so that they won’t be visible to people walking or driving along Boone Blvd.

The Planning Commission voted to approve the proposal, which now heads to the Board of Supervisors.

“This new synthetic turf field will be a welcome addition to the Park Authority’s inventory of playing fields in Tysons,” Phillip Niedzielski-Eichner, the commissioner for the Providence District, said.

First image via Google Maps, images 2-3 via Fairfax County 

0 Comments

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors gave The Mile, a proposed mixed-use development in Tysons, their stamp of approval at their meeting Tuesday (July 16).

The massive development aims to transform 38 acres of offfices in the North Central neighborhood into 10 mixed-use buildings with residential, retail, office, hotel and storage locations. The project is unique with its six planned parks spanning more than 10 acres.

Providence District Supervisor Linda Smyth said that the development’s largest park — a roughly 5-acre park with a large open lawn area, a performance stage, gaming areas, picnic areas, a children’s play area and trails —  will fulfill the county’s plan to have a central park in Tysons.

More from the county about the project:

Five buildings are residential along with supporting retail, and another four buildings include options for either residential, office or hotel uses, plus retail. The 10th building is a 5,000-square-foot retail kiosk planned for The Mile’s Signature Park. The approved plans also allow for an option to include 300,000 square feet in mini-warehouse or storage in one of the residential buildings.

The board also approved final development plans for The Mile’s first building — a seven-story apartment building with ground-floor retail on Westbranch Drive near the intersection with Westpark Drive.

Smyth thanked the developers for “coming up with something I think will be a lasting achievement in Tysons.”

Image via Fairfax County Planning Commission

0 Comments

A massive development proposed for Tysons and the Defense Health Agency’s expansion plans in Falls Church are set to go before the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors later today (Tuesday).

According to the agenda, the board will hold public hearings on the two proposals. If approved, both of the projects would come to areas of the county facing urbanization.

Proposed for Tysons’ North Central neighborhood, The Mile would transform 38 acres of office park into 10 mixed-use buildings with residential, retail, office, hotel and storage locations.

Unlike some developments recently proposed and built in Tysons, The Mile aims to add six new parks totaling more than 10 acres.

Signature Park, the largest park in the development, would encompass an entire block in the development — about 5 acres — and include retail, a performance stage, areas for games, trails and more. A dog park, linear park, recreation park and two urban parks are also planned for the development.

Over by Pine Spring Elementary School, the Defense Health Agency wants to add an L-shaped office building to its Falls Church headquarters.

The government agency oversees health care to active duty and retired U.S. military personnel and their families.

In addition to the roughly 195,000-square-foot building, the plans also include an 815-space parking garage. The new space would allow for about 600 more employees, according to county documents.

Images via Fairfax County

0 Comments

The Mile, a proposed mixed-use development in Tysons, received approval from the Fairfax County Planning Commission last night (Wednesday).

The massive development aims to transform 38 acres of office park east of Tysons Galleria into 10 mixed-use buildings with residential, retail, office, hotel and storage locations.

The development is unique with its multitude of parks — six in total spanning more than 10 acres. The largest one — Signature Park — would encompass an entire block in the development, the Fairfax County Planning Commission’s staff report said, adding:

The Signature Park includes 216,200 square feet (approximately 5 acres) and encompasses the entire land area of Block E. The Signature Park is intended as a regional facility intended by the Plan to serve the greater Tysons area and will include a large open lawn area, a performance stage, gaming areas, picnic areas, a children’s play area, walking/jogging trails, and a water feature. The proffers provide for the possible dedication of this Signature Park to the Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA).

Before the vote, Phillip Niedzielski-Eichner, the commissioner for the Providence District, said that he worked with the applicant to resolve seven issues in the staff report.

“This is a complicated project of very high significance for the future of Tysons, so it’s taken some time to work itself through,” he said.

Of those issues, Niedzielski-Eichner commented on three — architectural diversity, payment to the county’s Housing Trust Fund and sidewalks.

He said that the developers will ensure variety with the 10 buildings, which will be constructed over 10-20 years.

“It feels important this level of commitment to diversity of architecture, particularly the skyline, so that the future Planning Commission has a clear narrative on how each building proposed will be different from other buildings on the property,” he said.

As for the fund, Niedzielski-Eichner said that the developers increased their contribution to $1.50 per square foot. Meanwhile, he said that he expects Signature Park and the retail to be a “magnet for future activity.”

Niedzielski-Eichner praised the project for how its urbanization of Tysons.

The development is scheduled to go before the Board of Supervisors next Tuesday (July 16).

Images via Fairfax County Planning Commission

0 Comments

The Mile, a proposed mixed-use development, is looking to make Tysons North greener.

The development aims to transform 38 acres of office park east of Tysons Galleria into 10 mixed-use buildings with residential, retail, office, hotel and storage locations.

But unlike some developments proposed and built in Tysons, The Mile is planning on adding six new parks totaling more than 10 acres.

The largest one — Signature Park — would encompass an entire block in the development, the Fairfax County Planning Commission’s staff report said, adding:

The Signature Park includes 216,200 square feet (approximately five acres) and encompasses the entire land area of Block E. The Signature Park is intended as a regional facility intended by the Plan to serve the greater Tysons area and will include a large open lawn area, a performance stage, gaming areas, picnic areas, a children’s play area, walking/jogging trails, and a water feature. The proffers provide for the possible dedication of this Signature Park to the Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA).

The development also includes a dog park, linear park, recreation park and two urban parks.

At the Planning Commission’s hearing on the project last night (June 19), the commissioners debated whether or not private ownership of Signature Park would open up the possibility of the developers trying to build on that land later on.

Vice Chairman James Hart said that he doesn’t want Signature Park to be privately owned — like most parks are in Tysons, according to Planning Commission staff — saying, “It could become something else five years later.”

Commissioner John Carter, who oversees the Hunter Mill District, said that any changes to the park would put the project over the density limits.

The developer’s representative reaffirmed to the Planning Commission that the developers plan to offer Signature Park to the Fairfax County Park Authority.

John Ulfelder, the planning commissioner for the Dranesville District, raised a concern that was unrelated to the parks: the project’s uniform rooflines.

“In 2010 when we adopted the Tysons Plan, the expectation was we would get a variety of creative and innovative and attractive architecture throughout Tysons,” he said. “As it got developed, I’ve been a little disappointed with what we’ve seen thus far.”

Ulfelder asked to defer the decision on the project to give Phillip Niedzielski-Eichner, the commissioner for the Providence District who was absent, time to review the project.

The Planning Commission decided to defer the decision on the development to July 10.

Images via Fairfax County Planning Commission

0 Comments
×

Subscribe to our mailing list