A new eatery plans to come to Tysons Galleria’s Taste of Urbanspace.
Hei Hei Tiger, a self-described “Cantonese eatery focused on Chinese barbecue,” is coming to the food hall, according to the eatery’s Instagram.
Justin Schuble, the blogger behind DC Food Porn, claimed on Instagram that the eatery is opening “in the next few weeks.”
Hei Hei Tiger will be the latest dining option to join Tysons Galleria — sandwich pop-up LaoWich from the team behind Sen Khao and Butcher’s Cut, which is focused on steak and fries, opened earlier this year in the mall.
Photo via Hei Hei Tiger/Instagram
Fairfax County officials say that a newly approved parking rate for the county’s largest malls would not adversely affect Tysons malls.
Yesterday (Tuesday), the Board of Supervisors approved the zoning ordinance amendment that will allow lower parking rates at the four largest malls in the county — the two in Tysons, Fair Oaks Mall and Springfield Town Center.
The proposal was based on a review of the parking rates and demand at large regional malls by consulting firm Nelson/Nygaard.
The county’s planners stressed that the focus of the zoning amendment was meant to help Fair Oaks Mall, yet it sparked concern about whether it would create parking problems at Tysons Corner Center and also about the lack of data for the Tysons malls.
“It really has no bearing on Tysons,” Providence District Supervisor Linda Smyth said yesterday, noting that Tysons Corner Center is a part of the Planned Tysons Corner Urban District’s (PTC) parking rates, which allows for lower parking rates. Tysons Galleria is not a part of the PTC District, but could opt-in.
“There has been concern raised in the community that it would [cause issues in Tysons], but I agree with Supervisor Smyth that the real impact is in Springfield and Fair Oaks, where we need to reduce the parking requirements,” Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust said.
The change now lets shopping centers with 800,000 square feet of gross floor area or more to have a parking rate of 2.5 instead of four spaces per 1,000 square feet of gross floor area.
In addition to the zoning change, the county board also approved directing staff to prioritize review of the parking rates in phase two of the zoning ordinance modernization effort.
Today is Cyber Monday — a growing shopping day for people looking to score deals during the holiday season.
While Black Friday still draws shoppers to malls, the online retail focus of Cyber Monday offers a convenient option for shoppers. Meanwhile, Small Business Saturday encourages people to shop locally.
Of the holiday shopping days, let Tysons Reporter know which one you took the most advantage of.
Both Tysons malls have extended their hours for Black Friday (Nov. 29).
Shoppers looking to score deals right away can head to Tysons Corner Center to start shopping right after their Thanksgiving celebrations. The mall plans to be open on Thanksgiving from 6 p.m. to midnight and then close at 10 p.m. on Friday.
Shoppers can stop by the mall’s concierge desk on The Plaza Concourse between Victoria’s Secret and Zara for free beverages from Nespresso. People who spend $200 or more can bring their receipts to the concierge desk to get select a gift from Santa’s Gift Bag from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Here are some of the many stores in the mall offering Black Friday deals, according to the mall’s website:
- Aldo: “everything is on sale” until Dec. 3
- Crate and Barrel: 20%-30% off storewide until Dec. 2
- Guess: 40% off entire store from Thursday (Nov. 28) to Dec. 3
Over at Tysons Galleria, the mall be closed on Thanksgiving and open for Black Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
A zoning ordinance amendment that would allow lower parking rates at Fairfax County’s largest malls received a thumbs up from the Planning Commission last night.
The proposal would affect the four malls — the two in Tysons, Fair Oaks Mall and Springfield Town Center — and was based on a review of the parking rates and demand at large regional malls by consulting firm Nelson/Nygaard.
While the county’s planners have stressed that the focus of the zoning change is directed at Fair Oaks Mall, the proposal has sparked concern about its impacts on the Tysons malls.
“Taking away parking — or even insinuating taking away parking from Tysons — I think is a bad way to go,” Dwight Fuller, a managing partner with Great American Restaurants, told the Planning Commission at the public hearing earlier this month.
McLean Citizens Association criticized the county’s consideration of a proposal without complete data.
Nelson/Nygaard study’s evaluated parking data for Fair Oaks Mall collected by the property owner in December for both 2017 and 2018, along with data about the Springfield Town Center that the firm collected in June. The study did not evaluate the two malls in Tysons.
“Without a study specifically addressing parking at those two malls, the MCA believes it is inappropriate to reduce the parking requirements at those locations,” the MCA wrote in a letter dated Oct. 30 to the Planning Commission.
At both the public hearing and before the votes last night, county staff and the commissioners stressed that the Tysons malls already have opportunities to lower their parking rates — and haven’t.
Tysons Corner Center is a part of the Planned Tysons Corner Urban District’s (PTC) parking rates, which allows for lower parking rates. Tysons Galleria is not a part of the PTC District, but could opt-in.
At-Large Commissioner Timothy Sargeant said that the Tysons malls are “bucking the trend” of large malls — like Fair Oaks — that are struggling with empty parking lots as more shoppers rely on online retail or delivery services.
To address citizens’ concerns, Sargeant brought forward several proposals after the Planning Commission recommended approval of the zoning amendment, including:
- notification to the Planning Commission when a parking reduction request is submitted to the county
- a study of how to include the PTC in the county’s update of the zoning ordinance
- prioritize review of parking rates for the county’s update of the zoning ordinance
- integration of environmental improvements with the proposal
Sargeant noted that more parking rate studies are necessary.
The proposal now heads to the Board of Supervisors for a public hearing on Dec. 3.
A cycling studio plans to come to Tysons Galleria.
The mall has also welcomed two newcomers.
Photo via CycleBar/Facebook
The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.
We’ve scoured the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!
Wednesday (Nov. 20)
- Holiday Extravaganza — 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Sheraton Tysons Hotel (8661 Leesburg Pike) — This event combines networking with shopping and holiday spirit. The event will feature food, drinks, keynote talks and booths with shopping opportunities. Tickets start at $75.
Thursday (Nov. 21)
- Canning at Caboose Commons — 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Caboose Commons (2918 Eskridge Road) — People can learn about canning Caboose’s Fog and Citra Session IPAs.
Saturday (Nov. 23)
- Christmas Market — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Andrew Chapel United Methodist Church (1301 Trap Road) — At this market, people will be selling various items including baked goods, candles, wreaths and various gifts. Gift wrapping is available on-site and Santa will make an appearance for photos as well.
- 50s’ Sock Hop — 7 to 9 p.m. at Vienna Community Center, Auxiliary Gym (120 SE Cherry Street) — This event invites community members to come together for a friendly evening of dancing. Admission is $5 at the door and free for kids under 5.
- Apple Brandy Bottling Party — 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Falls Church Distillers (442 S. Washington Street) — This party celebrates the release of the distillery’s new batch of Apple Brandy. This event is free but organizers ask that attendees RSVP through email.
- Winter Walk of Lights — 5 to 10 p.m. at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens (9750 Meadowlark Gardens Court) — This event allows community members to enjoy holiday lights at the gardens. Hot drinks and smores are available for purchase on-site. Tickets are $14 and $8 for kids.
Sunday (Nov. 24)
- Sensory-Friendly Santa — 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. at Tysons Galleria (2001 International Drive) — Autism Speaks partnered with Tysons Galleria to invite children of all abilities to enjoy the Christmas festivities. The event page said that this will provide a calm environment for kids to meet Santa.
- Sutton Foster at Wolf Trap — 6:30 p.m. at Wolf Trap (1635 Trap Road) — Tony Award-winning singer Sutton Foster will take the stage as one of Wolf Trap’s last performances for November. Tickets to her performance start at $67.
- Hope Family Fun Festival — 2 to 5 p.m. at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School (601 S. Oak Street) — This festival allows community members and families to come together for an afternoon of face painting, moon bounces, yoga lessons, games and prizes for kids.
Photo via Falls Church Distillers LLC/Facebook
The Fairfax County Planning Commission is still tackling a proposal to reduce parking requirements for the county’s largest malls after a contentious public hearing last night (Wednesday).
The proposal would affect the four largest malls in Fairfax County — the two in Tysons, Fair Oaks Mall and Springfield Town Center — and was based on a review of the parking rates and demand at large regional malls by consulting firm Nelson/Nygaard.
County documents indicate that the proposal is meant to help Fair Oaks Mall.
“Fair Oaks Mall is also currently looking at redevelopment opportunities and an evaluation of the parking rates is viewed as critical to ensure the long-term vitality of the mall,” according to a county staff report.
Yet most of the discussion about the proposal last night focused on the inclusion of the two malls in Tysons — Tysons Galleria and Tysons Corner Center.
Dwight Fuller, a managing partner with Great American Restaurants, told the Planning Commission that parking is a problem for staff and diners in the Tysons area.
“Taking away parking — or even insinuating taking away parking from Tysons — I think is a bad way to go,” he said.
“It’s hard to do this one size fits all,” Vice-Chairman James Hart said, asking if there could be a way to eliminate the other malls from the proposal. “Is there a way to do this for the mall that seems to need this?”
Zoning Administrator Leslie Johnson told Hart that the staff could have tried to define the proposal in a way that would only make it applicable to Fair Oaks Mall.
Tysons Malls Have Flexibility With Parking
Despite concern about parking at the Tysons malls, county staff told the Planning Commission multiple times throughout the evening that the Tysons malls “have additional flexibility” already when it comes to parking.
During the discussion between the staff and commissioners, it was unclear how much of the conversation revolved around both Tysons malls or just Tysons Corner Center. Yet the feedback from staff suggested that both Tysons malls already have the opportunities to pursue reducing their parking limits if so desired.
“[The proposal] does not have a lot of relevance to the Tysons malls because they can go to zero [parking spaces,]” staff said. Yet, for economic business decisions, the malls are unlikely to drastically cut or eliminate parking, staff said.
Tysons Corner Center is a part of the Planned Tysons Corner Urban District’s (PTC) parking rates, according to the staff. Tysons Galleria is not a part of the PTC District, but could opt-in, staff said.
Tysons Corner Center also proffered to pursue parking reductions with the redevelopment of part of the site, staff said.
The staff presentation noted that declines in retail parking demand are expected to continue because of mall locations near other transit options and the prevalence of online shopping. The presentation noted that lower parking rates could lead to better utilization of surface parking.
When asked by the commissioners if the proposal would serve as a catalyst for the Tysons malls to cut their parking, the staff said, “No, it would not.”
A Call For More Data
The proposal is based on a Nelson/Nygaard study that evaluated parking data for Fair Oaks Mall collected by the property owner in December 2017 and December 2018, along with data about the Springfield Town Center that the firm collected in June.
The firm found that less than 65% of the available spaces were occupied during peak times from a parking count for the Springfield mall and analyzing data from the Fair Oaks Mall. The study did not evaluate the two malls in Tysons.
County staff insisted that the study looked at the peak shopping month — December.
Commissioner Ellen Hurley, who represents the Braddock District, criticized the limited range of the Nelson/Nygaard study and that there isn’t any data about the parking demand for the day after Thanksgiving.
“I think it’s disingenuous to say the ‘peak day of the peak month’ when most shoppers realize the peak day is the day after Thanksgiving,” she said.
Hurley called for a survey of mall shoppers to provide more data about the parking demand. She also noted that not everyone has access to the Metro.
“It’s kind of feeling like you’re saying that Tysons could eliminate all parking,” she said. “From the lens of equity that doesn’t seem like a really smart way to go.”
Commissioner John Carter, who represents the Hunter Mill District, also called for more data about malls’ parking rates.
Carter suggested a table with the parking rates for 10 or so malls in Fairfax County and surrounding jurisdictions.
“I don’t question that malls are evolving tremendously,” he said.
“Relatively Simple and Straightforward”
Tony Calabrese, a DLA Piper attorney representing Fair Oaks Mall, said that the proposal was “intended to be relatively simple and straightforward.”
Addressing Hart’s comments, Calabrese said that trying to make changes to the proposed amendment might lead to more confusion.
Calabrese said that Fair Oaks Mall does survey its shoppers and claimed that the day after Thanksgiving is not nearly as the holiday peak in December.
Calabrese noted that the amendment would not affect the Tysons malls from being able to reduce their parking if they wanted to — the Tysons Galleria, while not a part of the PTC currently, could opt-in with the zoning administrator’s approval, staff said.
“The parking requirements have to be dropped,” Calabrese said.
“Supportive But With Reluct-ness”
The Planning Commission voted to defer the decision to next Wednesday, Nov. 20.
At-Large Commissioner Timothy Sargeant said that deferral will give the commissioners time to consider the comments from the public hearing.
Commissioner Phillip Niedzielski-Eichner, who represents the Providence District, asked the staff if they could exclude the Tysons malls. Staff replied that the proposal would barely impact the malls, which already could find ways to reduce their parking requirements.
While Niedzielski-Eichner said he would prefer to see the Tysons malls kept out of the proposal, he said he is “supportive but with reluct-ness.”
Ultimately, he said that he wants to help Fair Oaks Mall and doesn’t want to risk having to over through the process again if this proposal is rejected.
The proposal is slated to head to the Board of Supervisors for a hearing on Dec. 3.
Now that Halloween and the election, Santa Claus is coming to Tysons for photos with kids and pets.
Presented by HGTV, the “Santa HQ” is returning to Tysons Corner Center (1961 Chain Bridge Road) on Saturday (Nov. 9) to let families “explore the wonder of Santa in the digital age,” according to a press release.
More about the HGTV event:
HGTV Santa HQ guests can customize their individual experience by using augmented reality to view the Elf Academy in magical ways. Visitors can use the workshop’s Magic Mirror to transform into one of Santa’s elves.
Guests can virtually change their elf’s outfits, create customized Elf Academy ID collector cards at the Elf ID station, explore Santa’s Workshop and Elf Academy using ELF-RAY Vision and test out the Naughty O’ Nice Meter. Families can continue their adventure with a custom photo opportunity and an in-person visit with Santa inside his modernized sleigh.
Adding another dimension to the holiday experience, Tysons Corner Center will provide multiple camera angles to capture your family’s entire Santa experience.
Photo packages start at $39.99. Santa HQ will be available until Dec. 25, according to the press release.
Shoppers at the mall can also bring an unwrapped toy and participate in “Help Through Holiday Giving” that will support the Salvation Army’s Giving Tree.
Additional Christmas events at the mall include:
- Nov. 15: Holiday Tree Lighting on The Plaza from 6-9 p.m.
- Dec. 7: Breakfast With Santa from 8-11 a.m.
- Nov. 9-Dec. 24: Dreamworks Spirit Activation
- Tuesdays from Nov. 19-Dec. 17: Sensory Santa from 6-8 p.m.
- Dec. 9 and Dec. 16: Yappy Hour from 6-8 p.m.
Over at Tysons Galleria (2001 International Drive), kids can take photos with Santa from Friday, Nov. 15 through Tuesday, Dec. 24. People can sign up for free photo packages from Nov. 9-27.
Santa will also do pet pictures from Nov. 18 until Dec. 16. with photo packages starting at $39.99.
The “It’s a Wonderful Lifetime” photo takeover, Brookfield Properties and Autism Speaks are partnering up to offer “Santa Cares Day” — a sensory-friendly event for families with kids with autism and other special needs to take pictures with Santa — on Nov. 24.
(Updated at 2:45 p.m.) The Fairfax County Police Department is investigating burglaries in Tysons Galleria that have left two jewelry stores with smashed windows.
The incident happened around 4 a.m. today (Nov. 5), Sgt. Greg Bedor, a police spokesperson, told Tysons Reporter.
The police department used its helicopter to search for “several suspects,” Bedor said.
The rest of the stores in the mall appeared to be open.
Bedor confirmed that two stores were burglarized. Police cleared the mall (2001 International Drive) around 11 a.m., Bedor said.
Bedor said that Tysons Galleria is not open 24/7 — the hours listed on the mall’s website indicate that the mall opens at 10 a.m. and closes at 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday, with different hours on Sundays.
“Detectives are reviewing security camera footage for possible suspect information,” Bedor said, declining to provide more information on the suspects.
Kalina Newman contributed to this story.