Tysons, VA

Happy Friday! Here are the latest stories about the Tysons area that the Tysons Reporter team has been reading:

New Tenants in Tysons — Bisnow has a roundup of the new businesses that signed leases to come to Tysons. [Bisnow]

Metro Metrics Released — “People are returning to Metrorail but avoiding Metrobus, according to 2019 figures released Wednesday by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority suggest.” As for Metrorail, the fastest-growing stations were McLean, up 28%, and Greensboro, up 22%. [Washington Business Journal]

New Fitness Event in McLean — “The McLean Community Center is introducing a new event to help people work toward their goals. Be Fit McLean Health and Wellness Fair will happen from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 18.” [Patch]

AJ Madison Showroom Opens in Tysons — “Michael Gross, Isaac Gross and Rabbi Chezzy Deitsch, together with a minyan of Chabad Tysons congregants, got together to open up a new premium appliance showroom.” [Connection Newspapers]

Sneak Peek: Tysons Reporter plans to cover the Fairfax County Board of Zoning Appeals’ public hearing for Newport Academy’s proposed treatment facility along Kurtz Road in McLean.

Weekend Send Off: Let Tysons Reporter know what your plans for the weekend are in the comments section.

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How young people live, work and play in Tysons dominated two panels at a Bisnow event earlier today.

The Bisnow event was held at Boro Tower, bringing together real estate professionals to talk about the future of Tysons. When thinking about what will make Tysons appealing now and several years from now, developers and real estate investors said they want to make decisions that will encourage young professionals to come to the area and stay.

The first panel kicked off a discussion of office space, with panelists lamenting that people who come to work in Tysons leave in the late afternoon and don’t stick around.

“Millennials do not want to be in a nondescript office building that is hard to get to,” Mukang Cho, the CEO of Morning Calm Management, said.

As far as nightlife goes, Gary Block, the chief investment officer of The Meridian Group — the developers of The Boro, said that innovative concepts with bars and restaurants can bring people together when the sun goes down.

“You wouldn’t think the second story of a grocery store would be a destination for a bar,” Block said, referring to the popular High Point bar in The Boro’s Whole Foods.

Block said that people who live, work or arrive at The Boro can expect activities in public spaces throughout the week.

The combination of walkability, entertainment options, shopping, apartments, office spaces and fitness opportunities make The Boro a neighborhood, Block said. Or, as a sign on a window in the Boro Tower said, “Tysons’ First Neighborhood.”

Deirdre Johnson, the vice president of Federal Realty, agreed, calling The Boro the “new Tysons downtown.”

While Tysons’ identity has long rested on its malls — especially Tysons Corner Center, Johnson said that residents are moving away from being “mall-centric.”

Outside The Boro, Block said that Eddie V’s Prime Seafood (7900 Tysons One Place) is “packed” on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

Juliann Clemente, the president of Clemente Development, said that the new members of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors recognize that Tysons will appeal to millennials.

Clemente urged the audience to reach out to the new board and share their dreams, desires and concerns about how to improve Tysons.

Christopher Auth, the divisional vice president of PS Business Parks, said that walkability and green space help attract people. Thinking big, Auth said that he would like to see a university in Tysons — an idea that several other panelists agreed with.

While walkability might sound like simply an infrastructure issue, Johnson said that planners “have to give someone a reason to walk across the street.”

The panelists mentioned how a new grid of streets in Tysons facilitate walkability and connect communities.

“When little neighborhoods pop up, it creates a sense of place,” Cho said.

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After Forbes listed Tysons Corner as an upcoming travel destination, Tysons Reporter decided to follow up to learn more about the area’s potential as a staycation retreat.

Tysons Reporter wants to know how you’d spend some extra money around the area. What are your priorities when it comes to a vacation or staycation?

Let us know and then comment your favorite places to eat, shop, stay and play below or on social media.

Photo via Ritz Carlton Tysons Corner

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As Tysons grows, so do the opportunities for tourism around the area.

Visit Fairfax, a non-profit organization that works to encourage tourism around Fairfax County, plans to promote a series of new initiatives to boost visitation in 2020, according to President and CEO Barry Biggar.

Among the upcoming changes, the organization plans to capitalize on student and international markets and expand capabilities to host large conferences in Tysons, Biggar told Tysons Reporter.

Biggar brought up how many locals see the constant construction in Tysons as a negative thing, but said perception changes depending on who he asks. For example, he said many international travelers see it as a sign of prosperity within a community.

As someone in charge of oversight for the marketing, sales and visitor services for Visit Fairfax, Biggar monitors larger trends across the county.

Fairfax County made over $3.2 billion in 2018 from tourism, according to Visit Fairfax’s website, which also noted that the county brings in the second most money for tourism in Virginia.

Though there are not yet statistics available for Tysons specifically, Biggar said he hopes to break down the numbers within the next year.

“When I think of Tysons, I think immediately of the opportunities we have for business travel,” he said. 

A large reason for the uptick in corporate and business events being held in Tysons, according to Biggar, is partially thanks to the expansion of the Silver Line to Tysons in 2014 and its upcoming expansion to the Dulles International Airport.

“Come 2020 we will have Silver Line service all the way to Dulles. Having that access all the way to Tysons or Reston will be significant in growing the business travel market,” Biggar said.  

Currently, the Sheraton Tysons ranks as the largest venue for conferences and events in the entire county, according to Biggar. But, Biggar hinted that this may soon change as the skyline view keeps shifting and making way for new developments like the Capital One Hall, which promises space to host not only corporate events but also theatrical productions.

Around Fairfax County as a whole, Biggar said Visit Fairfax is currently in the process of writing proposals to host an upcoming National Senior Games, which is a bi-yearly event under the United States Olympic Committee to bring together senior citizens from across the U.S. to compete in athletic challenges.

He said that Visit Fairfax wants to host more reunions for members of the military and armed services, because of Fairfax County’s proximity to Arlington Cemetery and the upcoming National Army Museum in Fort Belvoir.

Now, Visit Fairfax is working with the Tysons Partnership, an organization that promotes social and economic development of Tysons, to coordinate marketing efforts and help one another.

“We know them very, very well and will assist them with any information or intelligence that they may need,” Biggar said. 

One of the major gaps around Tysons, Biggar said, is the lack of live entertainment and nightlife. He said that the Capital One Center and other upcoming businesses are already planning to fill this niche market.

“If we look at Tysons Plaza or even Merrifield to see how they use their central green space to bring in performers, all of the development that is happening in Tysons should look at incorporating that,” he said.

“It brings about energy and creates an ongoing desire to go back and see what else is happening.”

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Welcome to the first, revamped Morning Notes of 2020! Here are the latest stories about the Tysons area that the Tysons Reporter team has been reading:

Toll Lane Plan Zooming Ahead — “Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said Friday afternoon that he and Comptroller Peter Franchot (D) plan to approve the next step of the much-debated proposal to add toll lanes to interstates 270 and 495.” [Bethesda Magazine]

General Assembly Convenes Tomorrow — “Already, Democrats submitted more than 260 bills for consideration in the upcoming session… It’s been 20 years since the Democrats have had this kind of control in Richmond, but more realistically, those with the kind of progressive values of the current majorities have never come close to running the show in Richmond before.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Here’s a “Decade Review Story” for Tysons — “The last decade was a period of rapid transformation in Tysons, with the opening of four new Metro stations, the tallest building in the D.C. region and major mixed-use projects like The Boro.” [Bisnow]

FCPS to Close Early Today — “Light snow is expected between noon to 7 p.m. today (Tuesday) in the area. Fairfax County Public Schools will close two hours early today.” [Reston Now]

You asked, we have answers: One reader asked what happened to House of Fortune in McLean. The restaurant’s Facebook page said that it closed Nov. 3, 2019. An employee said the restaurant closed after the owner became sick.

Sneak Peek: Looking ahead to stories later this week, Tysons Reporter will spotlight local thrift stores and provide more information about an upcoming “toy library.”

Have a great Tuesday and look out for Morning Notes again on Friday, Jan. 10.

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With the new year almost here, the editorial team at Tysons Reporter took a look at the archives to gear up for 2020.

Here’s a look at some of the biggest things that we’ll be keeping an eye on and covering next year.

Spanning the Tysons Area

E-Scooter Regulations Begin

Fairfax County has approved regulations that limit how many (and how fast) scooters can zip around their areas. The new rules start Jan. 1.

Newly Elected Officials 

New faces are joining the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and School Board, including Dalia Palchik, who will oversee the Providence District on the Board of Supervisors.

Orange Line Shutdown

The Vienna, Dunn Loring and East Falls Church stations will tentatively be closed between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Meanwhile, the West Falls Church station will stay open with trains running less frequently from the station. At the East Falls Church Station, trains will still pass through the station even though it will be closed to riders.

Tysons

What Happens to the Proposed Valo Park Redesign?

The owners of Valo Park want to open the office complex to the public by adding restaurants, a 9/11 memorial and a bocce court. The plans are tentatively scheduled to go before the Fairfax County Planning Commission on March 25, 2020.

State of Proposed Spring Hill Project

The Fairfax County Planning Commission is set to decide on two mixed-use developments by the Spring Hill Metro station in March. The project would bring more commercial and residential units near Tyco Road.

New Fire Station Before 2021

Construction is aiming to be done on the new Scotts Run Fire and Rescue Station 44 in Tysons East by Dec. 31, 2020. The station is designed to relieve the overburdened Fire Station 29, which currently covers the entire Tysons area.

More Openings at The Boro

Dozens of stores and eateries opened in the mixed-use development this year, including Whole Foods and Ethan Allen. For next year, we’ll be keeping an eye on when ShowPlace ICON opens, along with the El Bebe and Open Road eateries.

Rebranding for Tysons

Tysons Partnership is working with Gensler to rebrand the area to encourage economic growth and is also looking to establish a “sustainable business and funding model” for the nonprofit association.

New Concept From The Owners Behind Tysons Biergarten

Tysons Biergarten is now closed by the Greensboro Metro station, but sometime in the spring, a new concept called The Shipgarten — made of shipping containers — aims to open at Scotts Run. Diners can expect a biergarten with German and Belgium beers, Asian fusion cuisine, barbecue food and a Mediterranean fast-casual restaurant.

No More Dropped Calls in the Tysons Metro Tunnel

Metro plans to have cell coverage in the tunnel between the Tysons Corner Center and Greensboro Metro stations by June. The tunnel is one of the last set of areas Metro is working to complete wireless coverage for AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon customers.

Merrifield

More Mosaic District Newcomers

Fairfax County permits indicate that SephoraDrybar, a Connecticut-based eatery called The Granola BarMadison Reed and several new food options like Neapolitan pizza chain Pupatella and Urban Hot Pot are coming to the Mosaic District. While opening dates haven’t been announced yet, Tysons Reporter will be following up to find out when people can expect the newcomers.

Self-Driving Vehicles

A pilot program with autonomous shuttles from EasyMile is set to start transporting people from the Mosaic District to the Dunn Loring-Merrifield Metro station in the spring or summer.

City of Falls Church

Solutions for Stormwater Issues

After severe flooding in July, officials in the Little City have been working to fix the damage, while also planning how to prevent future issues. A newly formed taskforce is set to work until July on updating the list of priority projects for stormwater improvements in the Watershed Management Plan.

Whole Foods Expanding NoVa Footprint in Falls Church

Weeks after opening in Tysons, the grocery chain signed a lease in early November to anchor the redevelopment of the corner of E. Broad and N. Washington streets. Tysons Reporter is looking to find out when the store plans to open and what community members think the new store’s impact will be on local businesses.

Progress of Little City Commons Development

Tysons Reporter will continue to provide updates on the construction of the new commercial area in Falls Church known as Litty City Commons.

Town of Vienna

New Tavern Opening Along Maple Avenue

The owners of Bear Branch Tavern said they want to open later this winter, adding a restaurant with two bars, a patio, indoor and outdoor fire pits, an oyster bar, frozen drink machines and bike racks to 133 E. Maple Avenue.

New Zoning Maple Avenue Guidelines

The Vienna Town Council extended the suspension of the Maple Avenue Commercial (MAC) Zone to June 2020. Town officials are working to redesign the rules for new development applications for Maple Avenue.

Senior Living Facility Moving Forward?

Sunrise’s proposal to build a senior living facility at 380 Maple Avenue will go before the Vienna Town Council next year.

McLean

The Future of Claude Moore Colonial Farm

The National Park Service is trying to decide what to do with Claude Moore Colonial Farm property. Three different proposed plans were presented to the community in the fall for feedback. NPS is hoping to release a final proposal in spring 2020.

The Fate of Overcrowded McLean High School

Fairfax County wants to shift students from the overcrowded McLean High School to the under-capacity Langley High School. Boundary scope meetings are expected to continue into the spring, followed by a public hearing on the proposal and then a vote, so that the change can impact the 2020-2021 school year.

Tell us in the comments which pf these upcoming things you’re most interested in.

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As 2020 nears, there are plenty of bars, restaurants and clubs around Tysons catering to people trying to spend their final hours of the year in style.

Here are some of the events Tysons Reporter spotted on New Year’s Eve.

Jammin Java will host an 80s’ themed dance party begging at 6:30 p.m. that will feature prizes for the best outfits, trivia and a champagne toast at midnight. There is a $35 cover for tickets but all ages are welcome to attend.

Greenhouse Bistro will host a Toast to the Decade event feating a complimentary champagne toast at midnight. People are invited to swing by Greenhouse Bistro (2070 Chain Bridge Road) around 9 p.m. and stay until 2 a.m. There is a $50 cover per person and there is a strict dress code for men, according to the event page.

New Year’s Eve Masquerade Rumba at Inca Social (2670 Avenir Place) will offer guests a chance to celebrate with dinner, a DJ and a midnight champagne toast to celebrate 2020. Guests will receive a masquerade mask and other goodies. Tickets start around $20.

Maggiano’s Little Italy (2001 International Drive) is hosting a murder mystery-themed dinner from 5:30-8:30 p.m. on Dec. 31. Guests will have the chance to investigate clues in order to solve a crime. Tickets are $100 and include a multi-course meal.

Sapphire Tysons (8201 Greensboro Drive) is hosting an event from 8:30 p.m. until 12:30 a.m. with unlimited food and an open bar. The cost is $85 or $150 for a couple. People are encouraged to dress up to hit the dance floor and enjoy a DJ playing a variety of music genres.

Anyone excited about the return of the roaring 20s’ can gather at Blackfinn Ameripub (2750 Gallows Road) from 9 p.m. until 2 a.m. and enjoy 1920s-inspired cocktails, a champagne toast at midnight, a live DJ and a photo station. Tickets start at $15 online and include appetizers and the toast.

Photo by Yasemin K. on Unsplash

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(Updated at 5:20 p.m.) A man died this morning following an incident at the Capital One construction site in Tysons, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.

FCPD said that the man, Nelson Aguilar-Salamanca, was brought to the hospital and pronounced dead after he was struck by a rebar that fell from a crane at the 1600 block of Capital One Drive.

A police spokesperson said the first 911 call was received around 7:30 a.m. and that the incident happened in front of the Capital One headquarters.

Aguilar-Salamanca was a 55-year old Maryland resident, according to an FCPD press release, which added that he was working on the site as a subcontractor.

Construction is still underway on the second phase of Capital One’s corporate campus in Tysons, which is set to include a Wegmans grocery store and a performing arts center. Construction is set to wrap up in 2021.

Anyone who witnessed this accident is asked to call the Major Crimes Bureau at 703-246-7800 or submit an online tip.

Map via Google Maps

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The new year will mean a fresh look for Capital Grille near Tysons Corner Center.

The restaurant plans to expand at 1861 International Drive and relocate outdoor seating with a patio fence, according to a building permit.

The restaurant will also get a renovated vestibule area and demolish the “existing bank canopy” — possibly referring to the Presidential Bank branch next door.

Since the permit was processed yesterday (Dec. 26), it’s unclear when the work would start.

Image via Google Maps

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The developer behind the Scotts Run development in Tysons wants to make some changes to the project.

The changes, which were proposed in November, include an adjustment to two heights to a parking podium connected to a residential building, according to Lynne Strobel, the attorney representing the Smith Group.

The developers want to raise the parking garage height from four stories to five for one building and from 4.5 to five for another, according to documentation from Strobel, adding that the height is still within the range originally approved by Fairfax County.

“The podium will appear to be an extension of the building with the use of glass and masonry,” the documents said. 

The 26-story building, which will primarily include residential housing, would no longer include underground parking with the proposed changes.

“It’s within the same range of units,” Strobel said, adding the changes won’t affect residents outside of an aesthetic design shift. 

When development changes are minor, a Fairfax County Planning Commission spokesperson said that it is not always necessary to host a public hearing or require the Fairfax Board of Supervisors to re-approve the proposal.

The upcoming buildings sit on roughly an acre of land, according to Fairfax County records and will be partially designated for affordable housing options.

Image via Cityline Partners

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