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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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It’s been a long time coming, but plans are being finalized for the Tysons Biergarten’s move to a new interim location at the McLean Metro station.

Cityline Partners LLC is scheduled to present its plans for the next stage of the Scotts Run development at a Fairfax County Planning Commission meeting on Thursday. The plans include two office towers and one residential building.

Before those buildings are developed, however, Cityline is asking that the site be used as a beer garden and an open lawn.

“One of the uses that the applicant is considering is a biergarten, which would be relocated from its current location at Tysons Central (adjacent to the Greensboro Metro Station) to the proposed [area],” wrote Cityline in the application. “Tents and shipping containers converted into food vendor establishments will serve the potential biergarten use.”

Tysons Biergarten is currently located near the Greensboro Metro station with a month-to-month lease. The location has always been a temporary fill for the planned Tysons Central development at the site — part of the broader Boro complex — but has become a local nightlife destination.

In addition to the Biergarten, a small plaza with a kiosk is proposed outside of the biergarten entrance manned by a person to help oversee parking.  The application specifies that the structures and interim uses are not permanent.

In 2013, the Board of Supervisors approved Cityline’s plans for a mixed-use redevelopment with hotel, office, retail and residential uses across 5 million square feet. How long the Tysons Biergarten would be located in this space before development begins is currently unknown.

After review by the Planning Commission, Cityline’s proposal will move forward for approval by the Board of Supervisors.

Top photo via Facebook. Development map via Cityline Partners LLC

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Tysons East has been in the spotlight a lot lately.

Apple is eyeing Scotts Run, a development in Tysons East, as a potential new office location. Greater Greater Washington just profiled the neighborhood, calling it a “glitzy, suburban” area that may someday be a haven for “creative class” professionals.

Like we did with Tysons Corner Center mall and Maple Avenue in Vienna, we’re using Fairfax County’s aerial photography maps to explore the history of the still-expanding Tysons East.

The earliest photography in 1937 shows the area as plots of farmland. The first development at the site was Pimmit Hills, built in the 1950s as a home for veterans of World War II and the Korean War. The photography from 1953 shows the neighborhood still in development, and by 1960 it had taken the general shape it still exists in today.

From there, the story of Tysons East’s development moves north. In the 16 years between 1960 and the photography from 1976, the area north of the Pimmit Hills exploded with new development. The construction of the Capital Beltway in 1964 and the construction of the Tysons Corner Center mall in 1969 helped spur new development in the area.

The aerial photography from 1990 shows continued growth in the area. In 1985, the Dulles Toll Road was extended from the Beltway to I-66, completely surrounding Pimmit Hills and the Tysons East development with major highways.

The largest change between 1990 and 2017 is the redevelopment of the smaller office buildings into major corporate campuses.  Photography from 2017 shows areas of the Capital One complex, like the Capital One Tower, still under construction. Professor Stephen Fuller, Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University, said the complex is likely to be an anchor for new development in Tysons East.

Photo (7) via Google Earth

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Morning Notes

Tysons East Aims to Keep ‘Creative Class’ Around — “Lots of people come to the glitzy, suburban Tysons East neighborhood to work, but most of them leave as soon as the workday is over. Tysons wants to change that.” [Greater Greater Washington]

USA Today ‘Firmly Entrenched’ in Tysons — “The company split in 2015, spinning off TEGNA as a separate broadcast television and digital media entity that will soon to move to a new home atop Boro Tower in Tysons Corner. Gannett and USA Today remain firmly entrenched on Jones Branch Drive in the impressive, two-tower campus now known as Valo Park, where the news of the nation and world continues to be filtered through a bustling newsroom.” [FCEDA]

Local Companies Making Acquisitions — Two Tysons-based companies are making notable acquisitions. Global IT services provider Avineon is buying Michigan-based InfoGraphics, Inc. while Capital One is acquiring Wikibuy, a “tech start-up used by millions to price-check while shopping on Amazon.” [Citybizlist, CNBC]

Forum on Anxiety in McLean — “The Safe Community Coalition and McLean High School PTSA will host a screening of the documentary ‘Angst: Raising Awareness Around Anxiety’ on Thursday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. at the high school.” [InsideNova]

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Tysons is working towards being a more bike friendly community, but as anyone who’s pedaled through the area could tell you, it’s not quite there yet.

The Fairfax County Bicycle Map ranks streets throughout the county on a “most comfortable” to “use caution” scale. Nearly all of Tysons is colored in the yellow “less comfortable” indicator.

Some of the major thoroughfares, like Westpark Drive, International Drive, and Leesburg Pike are all listed as “use caution,” though many of those streets are categorized as having bikeable sidewalks.

But on the periphery of Tysons proper, Nicole Wynands, Bicycle Program Manager for the Fairfax County Department of Transportation, said there are several neighborhoods and trails that are perfect for biking.

“The Pimmit Hills area of Tysons is the most bikeable neighborhood with calm residential streets and good internal connectivity,” said Wynands. “The Jones Branch Connector will open shortly to pedestrians and cyclists, connecting Pimmit Hills and the McLean Metro with downtown Tysons via a shared-use path.”

Whether that bike-ability lasts as the northern edge of the neighborhood faces redevelopment remains to be seen.

Wynands had additional Tysons area cycling suggestions.

“Another great residential cycling area is Tysons Green, west of Route 7, with a good connection to the W&OD Trail and a beautiful stream/valley trail (Foxstone Park & Waverly Park),” said Wynands, via email. “The Vesper Trail is in the final stages of construction and will connect Tysons Green to downtown Tysons.”

Some caution is still urged at the eastern end of Old Courthouse Road in Tysons Green. Earlier this week a man died crossing the street.

For those willing to brave bicycling through downtown Tysons, Wynands said there are a few corridors cyclists can ride on more comfortably.

  • Greensboro Drive — The street parallel to Leesburg Pike that runs along The Boro development.
  • Park Run — A street that runs from the Tysons Galleria Shopping Center to the Freddie Mac headquarters.
  • Westbranch Drive — A street east of Tysons Galleria along the planned The Mile development, right past the Tysons Republik Coffee.
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Hot on the heels of Amazon announcing its new office campus in Arlington, eyes are turning towards Apple’s rumored interest in a new location in Northern Virginia — specifically, Tysons.

The Washington Post reported in May that Apple was considering the Scotts Run development in Tysons. Now, Tysons Reporter hears that the iPhone maker is “seriously” eying a Fairfax County office campus, potentially bringing up to 20,000 jobs to the area.

So what is Scotts Run and what is planned there, exactly?

Scotts Run is a proposed 8 million-square-foot mixed-use development near the McLean Metro station. The development, broken into Scotts Run North and South, straddles Dolley Madison Boulevard (Route 123).

Scotts Run had been mentioned as a potential location for Amazon but passed over by Fairfax County and the Commonwealth of Virginia as an official applicant in favor of the 26-acre CIT site in Loudoun, also Tysons’ competitor for Apple.

Scotts Run South is part of a rapidly growing network of new developments at the eastern end of Tysons spurred by the development of the Capital One headquarters. Approved in 2013, plans call for seven apartments, nine office buildings, an Archer Hotel and retail space. The 425-unit apartment complex The Haden and the 14-story office building Mitre 4 have already been completed.

Two new residential towers were approved in May 2018. The towers will have a maximum of 475 units combined, of which 20 percent will be dedicated to affordable housing.

The proposed Scotts Run North development north of Dolley Madison Boulevard would convert a surface parking lot, which currently serves as parking for the Metro station, into a high-density mix of residential and office buildings.

Whether Apple chooses to go the Amazon route and help inspire a new name for the neighborhood remains to be seen.

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