Newsletter

Morning Notes

Lane Closure on Maple Avenue Starts Today — “Starting [Monday], the right lane on the westbound side of Maple Avenue will be closed between Courthouse Road and Pleasant Street to enable work crews to construct right-of-way improvements. Lane closure will run from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Friday.” [Town of Vienna/Twitter]

McLean Author Helps Afghan Refugee — “Since arriving at his sponsor Toby Harnden’s home in McLean, Rohullah Sadat has had a quality of living he could only dream about when he was trapped in Afghanistan as a regime was collapsing. But he is kept up at night knowing that even if his dreams come true here, some of them are left unfinished as long as his family remains in Afghanistan.” [Northern Virginia Magazine]

Metro to Slightly Trim Train Wait Times — “Starting Monday, weekday waits on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines will be reduced from a half-hour to 20 minutes, on average, matching the frequency of the Green and Yellow lines, Metro said. Trains on the Red line, Metro’s busiest, will continue to arrive about every 12 minutes.” [The Washington Post]

Tysons Corner Center Theft Leads to Arrest in Carjacking — Fairfax County police arrested three men at 5:55 p.m. on Feb. 8 after getting called about a man stealing property from a store in the mall. Officers determined the man’s car had been stolen during a carjacking in a nearby jurisdiction, and a stolen, loaded handgun was also found on one of the men. [FCPD]

Petersen Predicts Masks to Become Optional in Schools Soon — Gov. Glenn Youngkin will likely use an emergency clause to make a bill letting parents opt out of school mask requirements take effect on March 1, state Sen. Chap Petersen said at a town hall on Saturday (Feb. 12). FCPS announced last week that it will make masks optional when community COVID-19 transmission drops to “moderate” levels for seven consecutive days. [Patch]

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Morning Notes

Deadline to Update Metro Fare Card Looms — “Starting March 1, fare cards issued before 2012 will not function throughout the transit system because Metro upgraded fare gates at most stations that don’t sync with older cards. The transit agency for nearly a year has tried to notify owners of the older cards, but few have switched as ridership hovers at historically low levels.” [The Washington Post]

Tysons Corner Center Celebrates Lunar New Year — The mall partnered with the Asian American Chamber of Commerce to host a Lunar New Year celebration on Saturday (Feb. 5). Traditional musical and dance performances by local groups ushered in the year of the tiger, which began on Feb. 1. [WDVM]

Stolen Vehicle Found in McLean — A 19-year-old Maryland resident was arrested for grand larceny on Jan. 28 after a Fairfax County police officer stopped his 2021 Toyota Corolla on the George Washington Parkway at I-495 around 2:03 p.m. The vehicle had been reported stolen from a nearby jurisdiction. [FCPD]

Fairfax County Introduces Hope Cards — “Fairfax County has joined more than five dozen jurisdictions in Virginia in offering the Hope Card program — a way to enforce a civil protective order and a handy resource for victims of family abuse. A Hope Card is an easy to read and carry laminated, wallet-sized card that contains all the essential information of an existing, permanent civil protection order.” [Fairfax County Government]

Vienna Opens Registration for Spring Classes — “Spring Class registration begins Monday for Town residents and Feb. 14 for people who live outside the Vienna town limits. Check out the Vienna Parks and Recreation program guide now.” [Town of Vienna/Twitter]

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Singers Clint Black and Lisa Hartman Black will perform at Capital One Hall (courtesy Clint Black)

The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve searched the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean, and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Tuesday, Feb. 1

  • Trivia Tuesdays — 7-9 p.m. at Audacious Aleworks Brewery & Taproom (110 E Fairfax Street) —  Bring your team together for a chance to win a $25 gift certificate to the brewery and more.

Wednesday, Feb. 2

  • Sam Bush, Mike Marshall Edgar Meyer, George Meyer — 8 p.m. at The Barns (1635 Trap Road) at Wolf Trap — Bluegrass and classical musical acts merge in this special combination. Tickets start at $77. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The show repeats on Thursday.

Thursday, Feb. 3

Friday, Feb. 4

  • Talk Back, Look Forward — 7:30-9 p.m. at McLean Community Center (1234 Ingleside Ave.) — Celebrate Black History Month with a discussion panel featuring the director and subjects of the “Traveling While Black” virtual reality experience, which looks at how racism has limited African Americans’ movement. The event is free, but registration is required.
  • Ana Popović — 8 p.m. at The Barns (1635 Trap Road) at Wolf Trap — Bluegrass guitarist shares her fiery style that’s graced the stage with B.B. King, Gary Clark Jr. and many more. Tickets start at $30. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 5

  • Lunar New Year Celebration — 1-3 p.m. at Fashion Court near Nordstrom’s at Tysons Corner Center (1961 Chain Bridge Road) In celebration of Lunar New Year, which is Feb. 1, the mall is partnering with the Asian American Chamber of Commerce on this event, which will feature dance and musical performances as well as prizes.
  • Mostly Hits and The Mrs. — 8 p.m. at Capital One Hall (7750 Capital One Tower Road) — Months after the Tysons venue announced their show, Country music stalwart Clint Black (“Killin’ Time,” “Same Old Train,” “When I Said I Do”) and his wife, fellow singer and actress Lisa Hartman Black, make their debut. Tickets start at $39.50. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Sunday, Feb. 6

  • The Music School Open Mic — 12 p.m. at Jammin Java (227 Maple Ave. East) — Show off your skills at this Vienna venue. Free.
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Morning Notes

Clothing Stores to Fill Former L.L. Bean — The now-closed L.L. Bean at Tysons Corner Center will be divided into smaller parts, including a two-story store for the fast fashion chain Primark. Plans indicate that Old Navy and Lululemon Athletica will also relocate to new spaces, leaving about 10,000 square feet left for other tenants. [Washington Business Journal]

Firefighters Flock to Woodson High School — “An early morning fire on damaged at least one building in Fairfax County Public Schools’ Woodson Complex off of Main Street on the eastern border of Fairfax City on Sunday. The complex is home to the school district’s Office of Facilities Management, which houses FCPS’ central operations, grounds operations, receiving, and food service.” [Patch]

FCPS Recognizes More Religious Holidays — The Fairfax County School Board approved a calendar for the 2022-2023 school year that designates Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Diwali, and Orthodox Good Friday as student holidays. The year will start on Aug. 22, and Veterans Day is also now a student holiday and staff work day. [FCPS]

Tysons-Based ID.me Partners with IRS — “You’ll soon have to prove your identity to a Virginia-based security company called ID.me in order to file a return, check tax records, or make payments on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website. Your old username and password credentials–if they still work–will stop working in the summer of 2022.” [Fast Company]

GMU Changes COVID-19 Vaccine Policy — George Mason University students are now “strongly encouraged,” rather than required, to get vaccinated against COVID-19 after new Attorney General Jason Miyares said on Friday (Jan. 28) that state universities can’t mandate the vaccine without enabling legislation. About 96% of the university’s students are vaccinated. [The Washington Post]

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Tysons Corner Center is getting an up-close-and-personal look at reproductions of Michelangelo’s famous ceiling paintings from the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel.

An art exhibit that’s made its way through cities across the globe is coming to the mall on Jan. 28 for a month-long showing. Called “The Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition,” it features high-definition photos and printings that emulate the brushstrokes of the 16th century artwork.

“This exhibition gives visitors a chance to engage with Rome’s most iconic treasures in ways that were never possible,” said Martin Biallas, CEO of the Los Angeles-based event planning company group SEE Global Entertainment, producer of the exhibit.

The show will occur from Wednesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., taking place in a 10,000 square-foot space on the mall’s lower level across from H&M.

A timed ticketing system is in place to limit capacity and allow for social distancing, according to a press release.

Visitors have already snatched up all of the dates in January for the first three days of the show.

While visitors to the historic Sistine Chapel can view the artwork from around 66 feet away, that’s reduced to around 13 feet with the show, the company says on its website.

“This exhibition is like a sanctuary; you’re transformed into a completely different world,” said Biallas, who produced the exhibit after seeing the ceiling frescoes in person.

“When I visited the Sistine Chapel in Rome, there were long lines and we were rushed through,” he said. “This exhibit at Tysons Corner Center allows everyone an opportunity to see the amazing art at their pace and up-close, at an affordable price, and enjoy an inspiring and unforgettable experience.”

Tickets generally range from $19 to $23 per adult plus fees, but family bundles and other discounts are available for seniors, students and the military. Visitors can also purchase audio guides.

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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.

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The L.L. Bean store at Tysons Corner Center (via Google Maps)

L.L. Bean is closing the Tysons Corner Center store that heralded its national expansion next month.

The anchor store at the Tysons mall will close Jan. 17, company officials tell Tysons Reporter.

“This decision was not an easy one, and though we worked with the landlord to explore many options, we were unable to reach favorable terms in a way that would allow us to best serve our customers moving forward,” company spokesperson Amanda Hannah said in a statement.

When the location opened in 2000, it marked the first major expansion outside of Maine, where founder Leon Leonwood Bean started the company, The Baltimore Sun noted at the time.

According to the newspaper, the region’s large fan base of the flannel and outdoor brand was a driving force behind the decision to open a two-story, 76,000 square-foot store in what was then known as Tysons Corner.

Hannah stated that the company looked for other space in the mall but couldn’t reach a solution. She wrote the company is actively looking for a new location in the area.

L.L. Bean notified staff in the summer, offering severance and other opportunities within the company.

Hannah wrote that the company “could not reach an agreement with the landlord that met our desired store format and needs.”

A representative for the mall said there’s no information to share on who might be going into the space.

Photo via Google Maps

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A watercolor rendering of Tysons Corner Center Phases 1, 2A, and 2B from Route 123 (courtesy David Walker/Macerich)

Tysons Corner Center is ready to embark on a new stage of development, but it will look a little different from what was previously envisioned.

Property owner Macerich submitted development plans to Fairfax County on Wednesday (Dec. 22) that expand its anticipated Phase 2 for the mall to include an overhaul of the old Lord & Taylor store, which has been used as a mass COVID-19 vaccination site for much of the past year.

Under the proposal, the department store will be replaced by a either a 330-foot tower with 540,000 square feet of office or a 400-foot tower with a mix of office and residential space. Both options include 50,000 square feet of retail centered around a plaza.

Designated Phase 2A, the redevelopment constitutes the first half of a two-part project that aims to concentrate the site’s office space near the Tysons Metro station, while adding more outdoor gathering spaces akin to the 1.5-acre Plaza that opened in July 2014 and now serves as the mall’s events hub.

“We would like to build on that success,” Macerich Vice President of Development Hillary Zahm said. “We think this is a good location for office, but we would like to maintain flexibility in case we decide that we would like to do a mix of uses.”

As originally approved in 2007 and amended in 2015, the plan for Tysons Corner Center called for four phases of development totaling over 6 million square feet of gross floor space.

The Tysons Corner Center development plan, as currently approved (via Macerich)

Completed in 2015, the first phase introduced The Plaza, the 22-story Tysons Tower office building, the VITA apartments, and the Hyatt Regency, but Macerich decided to rethink its second phase after acquiring the Lord & Taylor building following the store’s unexpected closure in January 2020.

Macerich’s plans to demolish the building first surfaced this summer in a Reston Skylines report, though Zahm characterizes the redevelopment as a complement to the existing Plaza, rather than an expansion.

“We recognize the need to turn the mall, in some ways, inside out and create spaces on the exterior that are really welcoming and warm for our guests,” Zahm said, noting that Tysons Corner Center has seen more people using the plaza during the pandemic. Read More

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Morning Notes

Health Department Adapts to Omicron Surge — With COVID-19 cases continuing to rise, the Fairfax County Health Department is changing its contact-tracing process to focus staff and resources on “higher-risk scenarios,” such as congregate settings, schools and childcare facilities, and outbreaks. Other individuals who test positive for COVID-19 will be notified by text message. [FCHD]

Robb Family Comments on McLean House Fire — Children of former Virginia governor Chuck Robb and his wife, Lynda Johnson Robb, confirmed that their parents had no life-threatening injuries after a fire destroyed the McLean mansion where they have lived for nearly 50 years. The Robb family thanked the firefighters and medical professionals who responded to the incident. [Office of the Governor]

Rare Owl Spotted in Oakton — “Animal Protection Police officers in Fairfax County, Virginia, helped a rare owl get out of a tough spot last month. The Fairfax County Police Department posted about the rescue on its Facebook page Tuesday. APP officers were called to the Oakton area Nov. 17 for a report of an owl that had flown into a home under construction.” [WTOP]

Tysons Corner and Galleria Close Early Tomorrow — “Between Christmas Eve for late shoppers and post-Christmas shopping, the two malls in Tysons have adjusted hours on upcoming days. Santa photos will continue at malls through Christmas Eve. Malls and surrounding stores are generally closed on Christmas Day, Dec. 25.” [Patch]

McLean Holiday Lights Contest Voting Underway — McLean residents can now vote online for their favorite neighborhood holiday decorations as part of the Light Up McLean contest. The McLean Community Center will announce winners in three categories — best overall, most creative, and best holiday theme — on Jan. 3. [Old Firehouse Center/Twitter]

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The Winter Walk of Lights in the Meadowlark Botanical Gardens (courtesy NOVA Parks)

The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve searched the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean, and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Monday, Dec. 20

  • Winter Break Trip: UNO’s Pizza Making & Movie — 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. day trip to Union Station in D.C. and AMC theatres — Students ages 10 through 14 can learn how to make deep-dish pizza at UNO’s and then enjoy a movie afterward, thanks to the Old Firehouse Teen Center in McLean. Cost is $65 for residents.
  • Holiday Yarn Trees — 3-5 p.m. at Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library (7584 Leesburg Pike) — Library staff will provide all the supplies needed to craft winter-themed tree decor in this activity for people aged 8 to 18. With room capacity limited to 40 people, advance registration is required, and masks remain mandatory in all Fairfax County facilities.

Tuesday, Dec. 21

  • Jammin Java Songwriters Circle — 8 p.m. at Jammin Java (227 Maple Ave. East) — Local singers and songwriters share stories and music. Cost is $16. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Dec. 22

  • Needlecraft Circles — 1-2 p.m. at Thomas Jefferson Library (7415 Arlington Boulevard) — Join other older adults to learn a new needlecraft. Supplies provided.

Thursday, Dec. 23

Friday, Dec. 24

  • Photos with Santa — 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2-5 p.m. at Tysons Corner Center (1961 Chain Bridge Road) — It’s your last chance to ask Old Saint Nick what you want for Christmas. He will accept walk-in visits on Dec. 23 and 24 after hearing from good boys and girls daily by reservation since Nov. 12.

Saturday, Dec. 25

  • Meadowlark’s Winter Walk of Lights — 5-10 p.m. at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens (9750 Meadowlark Gardens Court) in Wolf Trap — Enjoy lights and holiday scenes in this annual transformation, which goes through Jan. 2. The tickets for those ages 2 and over are $18 each.

Sunday, Dec. 26

  • “Traveling While Black” — noon-6 p.m. at the McLean Community Center (1234 Ingleside Ave.) — A virtual reality movie shows participants’ part in the struggle for racial justice. One-hour appointments are available for the exhibit, which runs through Feb. 12.
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