Pedestrians will soon be able to get over I-495 once the Jones Branch Connector’s sidewalk open, connecting North Central to Tysons East.
Currently, the Jones Branch Connector is undergoing construction for a $60 million project that will add two travel lanes and on-street bike lanes in each direction.
“Right now the Jones Branch Connector sidewalk is slated to open mid- to late summer 2019,” Michael Murphy, a spokesperson for the Virginia Department of Transportation, told Tysons Reporter.
Back in December, the Jones Branch Connector partially opened with one lane of traffic in each direction, but “Sidewalk Closed” signs have kept pedestrians away.
“By providing an alternate route across the Beltway and linking the Tysons East and Central areas, the Connector is expected to relieve traffic along Route 123, at the I-495 interchange, and at other congested intersections,” according to VDOT. “The road is expected to carry more than 32,000 vehicles per day by 2040.”
The project is slated to finish in the fall.
The new Scotts Run Fire and Rescue Station 44 in Tysons East is scheduled to move into construction soon.
“Construction of the Scotts Run Fire Station (Tysons East) will begin this summer,” Laurie Stone, the planning section manager for Fairfax County Fire and Rescue, said. “Per the proffer terms, Cityline — the developer — should deliver the completed fire station to the county by Dec. 31, 2020.”
The station is designed to relieve the overburdened Fire Station 29, which currently covers the entire Tysons area. The station recently celebrated its 40th anniversary, where much of the discussion centered on the challenges of being the only station covering the increasingly dense Tysons.
The new station is being designed and constructed by Cityline Partners LLC, which is developing the Scotts Run Station South project. Construction of the fire station was part of a proffer for the mixed-use development.
Plans show the fire station as a two-level, three-bay station on Old Meadow Lane.
Image via Samaha Associates
The curved One Tysons East project has hit a roadblock that could stall the project.
Akridge — the project’s developer — has put a temporary hold on the entitlement process for the office building while it works out right-of-way negotiations with the Virginia Department of Transportation over the Route 123 frontage, according to the Washington Business Journal.
Leadership at Akridge said the process should only take a couple of months, but in the meantime, the Business Journal says the project is classified by Fairfax County as “indefinitely deferred.”
The last major change for the project was in April when the building went through a series of design changes, including an effort to mitigate the likelihood of bird impacts with the building.
The project is part of a series of new buildings planned for Tysons East — a neighborhood around the McLean Metro station seeing rapid growth spurred in part by the opening of the new Capital One headquarters.
Image via Akridge
City Works Eatery and Pour House set an opening date that is right around the corner for its upcoming Tysons location at the Capital One Headquarters.
The restaurant announced today (April 24) that it plans to open at 1640 Capital One Drive North on Tuesday, May 28.
Focused on classic American cuisine, the menu will have gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options, along with more than 90 draft beers and eight wines, according to the press release.
Here’s a sampling of items on the menu:
- Kung Pao cauliflower
- smoked chicken wings
- duck nachos
- an assortment of tacos
- filet mignon sliders with caramelized onion and horseradish cream on a pretzel roll
- fried chicken sandwich with spicy bread, butter pickles and Carolina mustard barbecue sauce
- “City Works Burger” made with a short rib and brisket blend, topped with aged white cheddar, shredded iceberg lettuce, tomato, red onion and a dill pickle on a toasted brioche bun
Roughly 30 percent of the draft selection is sourced from breweries around the Virginia area, including Parkway Brewing Co., Devil’s Backbone Brewing Co., Midnight Brewery and Union Craft Brewing, the press release says.
The restaurant will seat up to about 175 people on the first floor, which will have 12 high-definition televisions. The patio will have about 50 seats and feature an outdoor container bar, three televisions and a canopy, the press release says. Additionally, the restaurants will have two private event dining rooms — also with televisions.
The Tysons location will be the first one for City Works in Virginia.
The restaurant is currently hiring servers, bartenders, hosts, line cooks, prep cooks, brushers, runners and dishwashers.
Photo via Facebook
The restaurant’s menu is focused on classic American food and drinks, with 90 draft beers and eight wines planned for the bar.
According to the Tysons location’s website, the new restaurant will be over 12,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor dining spaces.
“We enjoy sharing our love of sports and music, and plan to show an array of events on our 24 flatscreen HDTVs with state-of-the-art audio,” City Works said on their website.
Photo via Facebook
Developers of a distinctive curved-glass tower called One Tysons East have promised to make peace with the local bird population and improve nearby roads.
With an endorsement from both the McLean Citizens Association and the Planning Commission at last night’s (Wednesday) meeting, approval of rezoning for the project at a Board of Supervisors meeting next Tuesday (April 9) seems likely.
But while the project seems to have had a relatively smooth development track so far, Providence District Planning Commissioner Phillip Niedzielski-Eichner noted that it raises issues in the air and on the ground that will need to be addressed as more of Tysons East is developed.
There are 27 pages of proffers — accommodations on the part of the developers offered to Fairfax County to get a development approved — associated with the project. Among them are a series of transportation improvements for Old Meadow Road, including new street lanes and a potential bike lane.
But Niedzielski-Eichner noted that new developments planned throughout Tysons East are going to put a considerable strain on the four-lane street.
“There are existing traffic issues on Old Meadow Road today, and will be as future already entitled developments are constructed that are significant and beyond the scope of this single zoning application,” said Niedzielski-Eichner. “Solutions will require all stakeholders on Old Meadow Road to resolve. I recommend staff identify concrete steps to help mitigate traffic and queuing on Old Meadow Road.”
Niedzielski-Eichner also said problems with how the glass building might impact birds came up during the development process. The proffers included an obligation on the developer to make changes to the building design to deter bird-strikes.
According to the proffers:
In an effort to reduce bird injury and death due to in- flight collisions with buildings, the Applicant will include one or more bird friendly design elements, as determined by the Applicant, in the design plans of the building. The bird friendly design elements may include, but not be limited to, the use of color, texture, opacity, fritting, frosting, patterns, louvers, screens, interior window treatments, or ultraviolet materials that are visible to birds, the angling of outside lights, curbing of excessive or unnecessary night-time illumination in commercial buildings, reduction of bird attracting vegetation, the use of decoys, and breaking of glass swaths.
It’s estimated that between 365 million and 988 million birds are killed in the United States each year from crashing into windows, with an average 24 expected to die annually at a single skyscraper.
“There was a request for clarification of how we intended to meet bird-friendly design guidelines in the proffer commitment,” said Scott Adams, representing the developers. “We’re happy to commit to work with staff to ensure the goals of bird-friendly design are met with the design of this building.”
Image via Akridge
A representative of Capital One said the City Works — a 12,000 square foot restaurant with 90 beers on tap — is on track to open in May, and the Starbucks recently opened, but that there will be no Taco Bamba on the Capital One campus.
The building went so far as to wrap the storefront that would have housed Taco Bamba with artwork that included a photo of a taco. But the celebration of the planned Taco Bamba may have been premature from the start.
Jennifer Williams from Know Public Relations, which represents Taco Bamba, said in an email that the restaurant and the landlord never reached an agreement or executed a lease for the space.
Taco Bamba was founded in Falls Church and has recently been spreading throughout the region. The restaurant was also recently nominated for “Favorite Fast Bites of the Year” and “Restaurateur of the Year” at the 2019 RAMMY Awards.
(Updated 10:50 a.m.) The Starbucks in the Capital One building (1600 Capital One Drive) is now officially open.
According to an employee at the Starbucks, the location has been open for a little less than a month.
The news will likely come as little surprise to employees at Capital One, who seem to be frequenting the establishment so much that many of the baristas are on a first name basis with the customers.
For those who don’t work at Capital One, that there’s another Starbucks open in the area may come as a bit of a surprise — there was no fanfare around the opening and the storefront is hard to see from the McLean Metro station, given the construction of the forthcoming Wegmans building.
There are now ten Starbucks in the Tysons area, including two in Tysons Corner Center mall. The Capital One Starbucks is the second in Tysons East; the other is inside the Safeway at 7401 Colshire Drive.
The City Works Eatery and Pour House along Capital One Drive next to the Starbucks are still currently under construction.
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
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