Tysons Corner, VA

Construction is now underway at the sprawling Highland District from developer CityLine, which is planned to add 1.8 million square feet of residential, retail and office space on a 17-acre site straddling Old Meadow Road.

The new development is just east of the Beltway and south of Route 123, near the McLean Metro station.

Along with the Scotts Run developments, the Highland District is one of the large projects planned to replace the 1970s-era office buildings in Tysons East with new mixed-use developments.

The developer is kicking off the project with work on “Highlands B,” one of two buildings planned as the start of the new development. The buildings will be located on either side of Old Meadow Road at the southern end of the development. Building B is planned to offer 210 residential units and 7,000 square feet of retail on the ground floor.

Across the street, the mid-rise “Building A” is planned to have 410 residential units and 5,000 square feet of retail.

Plans for the development also include a spread of eight public parks throughout the Highland District, from urban plazas to smaller pocket parks.

The largest of the parks will take a small existing field and convert it into a full athletic field with an adjoining sports court, child play area and a dog park. The athletic field, which will be owned and operated by the Fairfax County Park Authority, will have synthetic turf and will be lit.

Photo via Fairfax County Planning and Zoning

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A new project is underway to make Tysons East a little more walkable.

The Scott’s Run Trail will provide a half-mile trail connecting Westgate Elementary School to the McLean Metro Station. The planned trail runs through the heart of Tysons East.

The path is planned to have an eight-foot-wide pedestrian walkway and two pedestrian bridges over the stream. The project’s aim is to facilitate pedestrian access to the McLean Metro for residents in the southern section of Tysons East, like the Pimmit Hills neighborhood.

Plans for the project date back to the Tysons Metrorail Station Access Management Study in 2011, and it was approved by the Board of Supervisors as part of a transportation priorities plan in 2014. The project recently opened for construction bids, which will be collected until March 5 and opened publicly that same day.

The total estimated cost of the project is $3.3 million funded by the Federal Regional Surface Transportation Program (RSTP).

Another trail pedestrian-bicycle trail is planned nearby to connect Tysons East with Tysons Corner Center.

Photo via Fairfax County Department of Transportation

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For over a year, the One Tysons East project was one on a long list of plans in the works but without any firm timeline established.

But now, it seems the project is picking up steam. No staff report is available online yet, but the project is scheduled for a Planning Commission hearing on March 27 followed by a Board of Supervisors review on April 9.

The plans call for the addition of a towering glass office building to the corner lot at 1690 Old Meadow Road, featuring a distinctive curved glass design.

The project is planned to include 250,000 square feet of office space and 12,000 square feet of retail, part of the growing Tysons East network that includes the Scotts Run complex and the Capital One headquarters.

Image via Akridge

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A man in the Tysons East area was arrested and charged with felony animal cruelty and other charges after police found evidence they believe indicates he killed his dog.

“The 41 year-old McLean man is facing four charges related to the death of his dog,” Fairfax County Police (FCPD) said in a press release. “Robert Hutchins was charged after officers were called to the 1600 block of Spring Gate Drive on Tuesday morning when residents reported a trail of blood leading to his apartment door.”

While performing a welfare check, FCPD said Hutchins was located with his deceased dog inside the apartment.

“Detectives and Animal Protection Officers were called to the scene to assist in the investigation,” the crime report continues. “Evidence was recovered implicating Hutchins’ involvement in the dog’s death.”

FCPD said the man was arrested the same day and charged with felony animal cruelty, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of ammunition by a felon and firearm use in the commission of a felony. He is currently being held at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center without bond.

Police are asking that anyone who may have more information about the incident to contact Animal Protection Police Officer Enna Lugo at [email protected] or 703-324-0222.

Photo courtesy Fairfax County Police Department

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There are plans in the works for nearly every corner of Tysons East, and a distinctive curved glass building called “One Tysons East” is planned for a corner of Route 123 near the McLean Metro station.

“The proposed development of 1690 Old Meadow Road will fill in one of the final remaining pieces of developable property adjacent to the McLean Metro Station,” Fairfax County staff wrote in a report on the project. “The property is completely surrounded by… prior Tysons development approvals.”

To the north, across Route 123, is the sprawling Capital One development that was completed last month. The Scotts Run South development abuts the property on two sides. Working inside the tight confines of this space, the report says the proposed building is “a unique visual feature at a prominent location.”

The applicant, Akridge, proposes a single office tower on the property with ground floor retail accessible to pedestrians. The building designs show that it would be accessible from every frontage. Encouraging bicycle transit is a key part of the development proposal as well, with a bicycle storage room and changing rooms included in the design.

One Tysons East would include 250,000 square feet of office and 12,000 square feet of retail.

The property is currently a two-story brick building constructed in 1977, formerly a GEICO training facility, which will be demolished as part of the construction.

The building has been in the works since at least late 2015, when Akridge acquired the brick building. According to the Fairfax County government website, the development is still under review by county staff.

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Space in the Kingston, one of the newest residential buildings in the growing Tysons East, is disappearing quickly.

Tysons has a residence deficiency, with roughly 100,000 jobs but only 19,000 residents. But the demand is there, with the 319-unit Kingston filling up faster than predicted in the project’s initial lease-up timeline. Currently, 44 percent of the building is leased.

A residential unit in Tysons isn’t cheap either. There are 64 workforce dwelling units on the site, housing required by the county to be set aside as affordable, but the market rate rents start at $2,000 per month for a studio apartment. Two bedroom units cost $3,200 per month and three bedroom units lease for approximately $5,200 per month.

A press release for the apartment community highlighted the “high-end events” regularly hosted by the property management.

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Fresh off sidewalk improvements opening west of the Tysons Corner Center Mall, plans for bicycle and pedestrian improvements east of the mall just been approved and are moving forward towards a 2020 completion.

The new path would run along Old Meadow Road south from Route 123 through the rapidly redeveloping Tysons East to a bridge that would connect to the Tysons Corner Center mall.

The new path would offer a connection to the mall for the new residential and commercial developments proposed for the area. The project would also include a 10-foot shared-use path connected to other paths and sidewalks in the area.

“The project received design approval in December 2018,” said Abraham Lerner, associate manager of special project development with the Virginia Department of Transportation. “We are working on the final design… The main focus in the next two months is on advancing the engineering design of the pedestrian-bicycle bridge over the Beltway.”

Lerner said the final design process uses the alignments approved but with refinements and additional details to ensure the facility aligns with current standards.

According to Lerner, if the project continues as scheduled, VDOT will begin looking at right-of-way acquisition for the project starting in spring. Utility relocation is scheduled to run from November 2019 until April 2020, with construction from April to November 2020.

Images via VDOT

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Tysons is getting too big for just one fire station.

The Fairfax Fire and Rescue Department is planning on constructing a new fire station to cover the growing Tysons East neighborhood.

The entire Tysons area is currently covered by Fire Station 29, which has become increasingly overburdened as new development adds new density and new challenges.

Laurie Stone, planning section manager for Fairfax County Fire and Rescue, said the station is currently in the design process.

Stone said the fire station is being designed and constructed by Cityline Partners LLC, the company backing the Scotts Run Station South development. Cityline agreed to build the new station in exchange for winning permission to construct the new mixed-use development adjacent to the McLean Metro station.

“The Scotts Run Fire and Rescue Station 44 is proposed to be a two-level, three-bay free standing fire station located on Old Meadow Lane,” Stone wrote in an email. “Cityline will substantially complete the fire station and deliver it to Fairfax County by December 31, 2020.”

According to the staff report, a new athletic field will also be built adjacent to the planned fire station to be opened within three years of the fire station opening.

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(Updated 7:20 a.m.) Fairfax County Police say a pizza delivery driver was finishing up a delivery on Monday in the Gates of McLean neighborhood in Tysons East when he saw a man climb into the car and drive off.

According to a crime report, the theft took place around 10 p.m. The vehicle was unlocked with the keys in the ignition and the engine on while the delivery driver went up to the residence to drop off the food.

“While returning to his vehicle, he saw a man get in his car and drive off,” FCPD said.

“Officers found the car with the man sitting in the driver’s seat. Stolen property belonging to a resident that lived nearby was located inside of the vehicle as well,” said police. “Michael Louk, 47, no fixed address, was charged with auto theft, vehicle trespassing, and grand larceny.”

Photo courtesy Fairfax County Police Department

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The 85 students from four Fairfax and Falls Church public schools expected to graduate yesterday from the Capital One Coders program at the Capital One headquarters in Tysons East. What they weren’t expecting were free laptops given away by the company to each of the graduates.

The Capital One Coders program trains local middle school students after school for ten weeks. Students learn the basics of programming and eventually work up to developing their own mobile applications.

Part of the surprise at the graduation was gifting each student their own laptop and giving a $10,000 grant to the schools for STEM education. The kids went home with the laptops, but the grants will go to the schools at the end of the spring semester.

“The coders program started in 2014,” said Jay Sanne, Vice President of Software Engineering for Capital One. “It is deployed in each of our major people centers. It’s had a great response from schools and associates.”

Sanne said the coders program is part of a commitment to building a 21st century workforce with technology skills.

Typically students develop games, although Sanne said the applications students build are often pretty sophisticated. Sanne noted there was one student early in the program who developed a mobile application to automate her family’s chicken coop so she wouldn’t have to leave the house to open up the coop and let the chickens out.

“It’s amazing to see them going from week one to week ten, where they’re demoing real mobile apps,” said Sanne. “We see the excitement in the kids as we’re teaching the program.”

At the graduation, the students at the Capital One Coders program also demonstrated their apps for parents and loved ones in attendance. Different prizes were awarded, like most creative or most technical.

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