Tysons, VA
A donation from RJ and Heidi Narang will cover the cost of critical repairs at group homes for people with developmental disabilities (Photo courtesy Langley Residential Support Services)

For Langley Residential Support Services, a little charity goes a long way.

The Tysons-based nonprofit announced on Wednesday (May 5) that it has received a $15,000 grant from the Narang Foundation, a private family foundation based out of McLean.

This is not the first time that the Narang family has given a boost to Langley Residential, which provides residential and community support services to adults with developmental disabilities. The foundation also donated $10,000 to the nonprofit last year.

“The Narang Foundation is proud to once again support Langley Residential Support Services and the essential services they provide our community. It is our pleasure to assist LRSS,” said Foundation trustee RJ Narang, who is also president and CEO of the information technology contractor Renegade Technology Systems.

Founded in the 1980s by members of three McLean churches, Langley Residential Support Services opened its first group home in 1985 and now operates six homes in Fairfax County, along with a community support program that provides counseling, training, and other drop-in services.

The nonprofit says it currently serves 23 people through its residential program and 31 people through the community program.

According to an LRSS press release, the Narang Foundation increased its donation this year in response to funding challenges that the nonprofit has experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

LRSS has already used the funds to make repairs at two of its group homes. One of the facilities had an underground water main pipe leak that was also affecting a neighbor’s property, and the other had a failed heating and air conditioning unit that was discovered during seasonal maintenance.

“The gift has been a lifesaver in helping us make unexpected repairs to major systems at our group homes last month,” LRSS interim executive director Maureen Gum said. “We are thrilled that the Narang family has made this outstanding contribution that protects our community’s well-being and keeps everyone thriving.”

While the Narang Foundation’s grant was welcome, LRSS says more support is needed to address other projects that were delayed to accommodate the “ongoing overwhelming costs” of measures necessitated by the pandemic, including increased staffing, sanitation procedures, and personal protective equipment.

The nonprofit is now embarking on a two-week fundraising drive through May 18. Its needs include $300 to repair an existing stair lift, $700 to replace worn-out electrical systems, $6,000 to install a new stair lift, and $13,000 to install a vertical ADA-compliant platform lift.

“Every contribution makes a difference in providing the highest-quality care and support to LRSS individuals, their families, and our broader community,” Gum said.

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Updated at 6:05 p.m. — High winds have led to a surge in 9-1-1 and non-emergency public safety calls in Fairfax County.

The county is urging people to call 9-1-1 only if there is an emergency.

At least 76 traffic incidents have also been reported due to the ongoing weather, including events at the Route 50 and Prosperity Avenue intersection, according to Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik.

Earlier: More than 2,000 people in Tysons have lost power due to strong wind gusts that have pummeled Northern Virginia this afternoon (Friday).

According to Dominion Energy’s outage map, one of the biggest outages in the Tysons area is north of the Dulles Toll Road to the Potomac River, where 1,073 customers are currently without power. A crew has been dispatched to the area, but the cause of this outage is pending investigation.

An additional 1,084 people along Route 7 between I-495 and Spring Hill Road have also lost power. The outage has already been attributed to the wind storm, and a Dominion crew is awaiting assignment.

Two separate outages in the area around Wolf Trap National Park have collectively affected 1,195 customers.

Among those affected by the Route 7 outage is the Tysons District Taco (1500 Cornerside Blvd), which announced at 5:34 p.m. that it has closed until further notice after losing power.

Dominion Energy estimates that power could be restored throughout the area any time between 7 p.m. and midnight.

The National Weather Service issued a Wind Advisory that took effect at noon and was later upgraded to a High Wind Warning, which will remain in effect until 2 a.m. tomorrow (Saturday). Even though no rain or thunder was anticipated, the agency issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning at 4:38 p.m., saying that wind gusts could reach up to 60 miles per hour.

“Damaging winds will cause some trees and large branches to fall,” the NWS said. “This could injure those outdoors, as well as damage homes and vehicles. Roadways may become blocked by downed trees. Localized power outages are possible. Unsecured light objects may become projectiles.”

The Severe Thunderstorm Warning expired at 5:15 p.m., but local residents could be dealing with the storm’s impact well into this evening.

Image via Dominion Energy

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Put on weight during quarantine that you’re looking to lose? A new fitness center in Tysons says it can help.

Personal20, a electronic muscle stimulation (EMS) training program, opened its second U.S. studio in Sport & Health Tysons at 8250 Greensboro Drive on Tuesday (April 27).

Founded in Portugal before opening its first U.S. franchise in Herndon in 2017, Personal20 advertises its workout as giving users the effects of a 90-minute workout in just 20 minutes by using electrodes that stimulate the muscles being used during the workout.

Personal20 cofounder Connie Ruiz, who also owns the Herndon and Tysons studios, says that EMS workouts have especially gained popularity in Europe. The EMS technology has also been featured on shows like “The Doctors” and “Rachael Ray.”

Ruiz told Tysons Reporter that Personal20 decided to expand into the Tysons area, because the Herndon studio frequently draws people from Tysons and D.C.

“We believe this location will quickly build up to serve the local area,” she said.

Recognizing that people might not have time to undertake multiple 90-minute workouts every week, Personal20 recommends that its clients do an EMS workout once or twice a week, which it says would be the equivalent of 90 to 180 minutes of non-EMS training.

According to Ruiz, both U.S. studios comply with all CDC guidelines for gyms and fitness centers, including temperature checks, masks, social distancing and equipment sanitizing. Patrons are allowed to take off their masks while working out but must wear them while entering and exiting the studio.

She says the Tysons studio is 750 square feet in size, allowing up to four occupants at a time, or two trainers with a client each.

“We believe these are the reasons our first studio recovered after Covid,” Ruiz said. “People feel safe with the extra measures of cleanliness and privacy.”

For more information on Personal20, people can visit their website or call 571-407-1199 (Tysons) or 703-559-4040 (Herndon).

Photo via Connie Ruiz

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The third phase of The Mile — a mixed-use complex replacing the former Westpark Business Park in Tysons — will combine apartments and a mini-warehouse.

Developer KETTLER and PS Business Parks recently filed an application with Fairfax County for this next phase of development, the Washington Business Journal first reported.

“Building B,” dubbed The Charlton in a rendering, will be up to 90 feet tall with up to 400 units, 150,000 square feet of storage use, and 10,000 square feet of retail use. It will sit on a 3.81-acre property on the east side of Westbranch Drive, according to the filings.

This phase is just part of KETTLER and PS Business Parks’ plans to develop an underutilized 45-acre area with office buildings and parking into a complex with 13 buildings mixing high-rise and mid-rise residential and commercial buildings with ground-floor retail uses, parking, and public park space.

“Building B is designed with a parking and storage structure as the core and the residential units wrapped around the structure parking,” the developer’s legal representative Elizabeth D. Baker said in a letter to the county. “Building B includes two courtyards which open onto the adjacent Signature Park providing extensive views of this future amenity.”

The Charlton sits west of the future Signature Park, which is part of the public open space amenity package that KETTLER and PS Business Parks are proposing for The Mile.

About five acres in size, Signature Park will have a “large flexible lawn with a stage for community events, a children’s playground, a terraced lawn, a recreational loop, lawn games, and a variety of outdoor seating options,” Baker said.

In the interim, before the park is built, the lot will be turned into a small plaza with seating and bike racks on the east side of Blyton Street, as well as a trail connection to the parcel to the east, she said. The graphic above illustrates where those amenities will be placed.

Blyton Street is one of the new streets being created as part of the development, along with Rowling Street, from which users will be able to access the retail space and the mini-warehouse self-storage facility. Residents will access parking from Westbranch Drive.

Construction work on the development’s second phase started in November. The Brentford apartment buildings, and the first units are expected to be complete in spring 2022. The first phase, Highgate at The Mile, was completed in 2017.

Images via Fairfax County

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(Updated at 8:05 p.m.) Even in the midst of a global pandemic, Tysons continues to grow. While there are many new buildings being built, Tysons Reporter reached out to developers on some of the bigger projects for updates on their construction timelines.

Monarch

A 1o1-unit luxury condominium high-rise, The Monarch is part of the 19-acre Arbor Row mixed-use development near Tysons Galleria. Construction stalled last year after developer Renaissance Centro parted ways with its construction contractor.

While there is no official timeline for completion, a spokesperson for the project told Tysons Reporter that a new contractor has been selected and should be announced soon. Once the contractor is announced and construction begins, the owners recently told frustrated residents that construction should be complete in 21 to 24 months.

“It is moving forward and we are still selling the condominiums,” Kami Kraft, vice president of the marketing firm The Mayhood Company, said.

The Mather

Also part of the Arbor Row development, The Mather is a Life Plan Community that will open in two phases, with the first coming in 2023. It will have apartments with access to assisted living, memory care suites, and medical services for residents 62 and older. Phase 1 is already 80% pre-sold, and phase 2 pre-construction sales will begin soon.

The existing structure on the site was demolished in May 2020, and work on various public improvements, including a relocation of site fences, temporary reconfiguration of traffic lanes, and sewer system upgrades, began the week of March 8.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Mather’s parent company Mather created an “interdisciplinary” team to support staff and residents across its facilities and develop infection control protocols.

“These conversations have led to enhancements that will be seen in the design and operations at The Mather in Tysons, such as HVAC systems which will include UV light purification and 100% of air exhausted to the exterior,” Mather Senior Vice President of Sales Gale Morgan said.

Capital One Center

The second phase of construction is currently underway at Capital One Center, a 24.25-acre complex with dining, shopping, outdoor activities, a movie theater, and more attractions coming.

While slightly inconvenienced by the COVID-19 pandemic, disrupting shipments of materials and equipment, the lack of traffic helped construction pick up the pace, according to Capital One Center Managing Director Jonathan Griffith.

The next big opening will be The Perch, an outdoor space atop Capital One Hall with food trucks, a Biergarten, live music, and more. The skypark is set to open this July, while Capital One Hall — a performance venue with a 1,600-seat theater, a 250-seat black box theater, and other event spaces — is scheduled to open in October.

The 300-room Watermark Hotel is slated to open in late 2021 as an “all-suite lodging facility” set to host “associates of Capital One as well as corporate and leisure guests visiting the region,” according to a job posting made by B.F. Saul Hospitality, which will be managing the property. Read More

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Virginia-based Starr Hill Brewery announced today (Wednesday) that it will be nesting in The Perch, the skypark atop Capital One Hall in Tysons.

The brewery will lease a biergarten space with more than 5,000 square feet within the 1.2-acre skypark, which is expected to open this summer. Visitors will have access to an outdoor dining and lounge space as well as an amphitheater with lawn seating, which will offer live entertainment managed by Starr Hill.

Starr Hill will serve a biergarten-themed menu and stock a full bar highlighting its beers.

“We couldn’t be more excited to be a part of the growing development around the Capital One Center,” Starr Hill Vice President of Finance and Retail Josh Cromwell said. “The Perch is such a unique space and when we were approached about bringing to life a rooftop biergarten and amphitheater concept, we couldn’t turn it down. There will be tremendous energy at Capital One Center and we’re proud to bring Starr Hill into the D.C. metro area.”

Headquartered in Crozet, Virginia, Starr Hill has four locations in Richmond, Roanoke, Lynchburg and Charlottesville. The independent, regional craft brewery has won numerous awards in the U.S. and abroad.

“Capital One Center is thrilled to welcome one of the most-recognized breweries in Virginia, Starr Hill, to The Perch,” Capital One Center Managing Director Jonathan Griffith said. “Starr Hill’s brand and reputation within the craft beer community, as well as their experience in the live music scene, will further establish The Perch as a unique destination for Tysons and the Greater Washington region.”

In addition to the Starr Hill Biergarten, The Perch will feature food trucks, a games plaza, a sculpture garden and a dog park. The skypark is situated above Capital One Hall, a corporate and performing arts center set to open this fall, and adjacent to the Watermark Hotel, Capital One’s corporate lodging facility, opening in late 2021.

Starr Hill is not the only retailer to recently announce it would be setting up shop in the 6 million square-foot Capital One Center in Tysons.

Reston Skylines first reported earlier this month that the boutique nail salon and spa Nothing in Between Studio will be moving into the ground floor of Capital One Center.

NIB Studio confirmed the news to Tysons Reporter. This location marks an expansion for the salon, which also has a studio at 6410 Arlington Blvd in Falls Church.

The studio bills itself as a “healthy and clean nail salon” providing non-toxic nail care. It offers eco-friendly, non-toxic, plant-based, cruelty-free products.

“We are providing full spa services including body massage, body scrub and chair massage,” NIB studio told Tysons Reporter.

An opening date has yet to be announced, Capital One Center Manager of Marketing and Community Affairs Meghan Trossen says.

“Right now we have no other leases to announce,” she said.

Reston Skylines also reported that City Tap House, which has seven locations, including one in Loudoun, would be coming to Capital One Center. However, the brewery told Tysons Reporter that it does not have plans to set up shop in Tysons.

Photos courtesy Starr Hill Brewery

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The former Lord & Taylor in Tysons Corner Center is now a mass vaccination site that can administer vaccines to upwards of 3,000 people a day.

In place of clothing racks are now hundreds of black chairs, all spaced to allow for social distancing, but vestiges of the department store — like the glass cases for jewelry — remain. The state-funded clinic, the first of its kind in Fairfax County, started delivering COVID-19 vaccinations today (Tuesday).

“This is the economic engine of Fairfax County, indeed the Commonwealth, and it is necessary people in Fairfax County get vaccinated,” Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chair Jeffrey McKay said during a press conference yesterday (Monday). “This is an act of charity, and we in Fairfax County are charitable people.”

As of Sunday (April 18), Fairfax County has expanded vaccine eligibility to anyone 16 and older, and more than a quarter of Virginia’s population has been fully vaccinated.

“However you’re able to get an appointment, please get vaccinated,” Gov. Ralph Northam said during the press conference.

After dropping steeply earlier this year, new case rates are plateauing, and the positivity rate is down to 6.1%, he said. As a result, small tweaks in the guidelines will be coming in a few weeks, such as changes to capacity limits for performing arts and sports.

Virginia State Vaccination Coordinator Dr. Danny Avula said that the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice will make a decision on Friday (April 23) about whether to move forward with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration continue to collect data.

To fill the hole left by the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, Virginia has received an additional 15,000 doses of the Moderna and Pfizer shots this week for a total of 220,000 first doses, he said.

“It sounds like the production capability for Moderna and Pfizer is kind of maxed out,” Avula said. “We do not expect a significant increase in Moderna and Pfizer moving forward.”

Todd Putt, the senior manager of marketing for Tysons Corner Center, said Lord & Taylor left last year, and a logistics team converted the space into a clinic in a few weeks.

“We’re thankful to have the clinic here and to contribute in this way,” Putt said.

Retail outlets had been offering abundant space for a while, but the state and county needed more vaccine supply before it could open any clinics, according to Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik.

“This is a great local, state, and federal partnership to work more quickly to meet vaccine demand,” she said.

Officials said interpreters will be on-site to help and for those who speak languages not represented, as machines will offer translation services in more than 100 languages.

Residents can sign up for an appointment through the state website. They can also use VaccineFinder to find local pharmacies and other sites that are providing vaccine doses.

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Not all grocery stores are created equal.

There isn’t exactly a dearth of grocery stores in the area around the planned West Falls Church Economic Development Project, inspiring some confusion when it was announced the project will be anchored by 123,000 square feet of retail primarily consisting of a grocery store.

But at a recent meeting last week on the project, developer EYA argued that the city is big enough to accommodate multiple grocery retailers.

“Within this market, because it’s such a high density area leading towards both to Tysons as well as towards downtown Falls Church, the numbers within that three mile ring is high,” Evan Goldman, executive vice president of acquisition and development for EYA, said. “Even though you do have a lot of grocery stores, you have different types of grocery stores.”

The identity of the grocer expected to move into the extensive mixed-use development remains under wraps, sealed by a nondisclosure agreement, according to City of Falls Church staff.

Goldman noted that some grocery store chains operate as primary stores for staples, while others live symbiotically with those chains as providers for more niche products.

“Like Trader Joe’s, that’s something where somebody will often cross-shop,” Goldman said. “They’ll go to Trader Joe’s and Giant or Whole Foods or Harris Teeter. The grocery store we’re bringing to bear is something more unique and different as well, so it might be something as well where people cross-shop to grocers.”

The cross-shopping trend for grocery stores was called into question during the pandemic, however, when more shoppers started to focus on getting all their grocery needs at a single store. Whether that endures after the pandemic is too early to say.

“Grocery stores, of all the retail tenants, probably have the most sophisticated demographic software when they determine locations,” Goldman said. “So they clearly think there’s demand for their product here, and we agree based on what we’ve seen.”

Final action on the West Falls development — and its mystery tenant — is scheduled for May 24.

Image via City of Falls Church

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(Updated at 11:30 a.m. on 4/16/2021) The Monarch, a luxury high-rise condominium complex, is still in the process of being built northeast of Tysons Galleria.

Construction on the Jones Branch Drive property began more than two years ago, and it was originally set to open in 2020.

However, the project stalled last year when the developer Renaissance Centro split ways with its hired contractor. Right now, there is no official timeline for completion, though the owners recently told frustrated citizens that once construction begins again, the building should be done in 21 to 24 months.

“A new contractor has been selected and should be announced in the next few weeks. Construction will commence very shortly thereafter,” Kami Kraft, vice president of The Mayhood Company, which is marketing the project, told Tysons Reporter.

The Monarch is a luxury high-rise condominium complex with 101 units. As few as four to six units will be on each floor, according to the sales website. Prices for the units range from $600,000 to just under $3 million.

The 20-story tower will be part of the 19-acre Arbor Row mixed-use development envisioned on Westpark Drive, joining the residential building Nouvelle, which opened in 2015, and The Mather, a senior living facility set to open in 2023.

Kraft confirmed that units at The Monarch are still being sold, and private tours of the sales gallery are open for prospective buyers by appointment. More information on The Monarch can be found on the sales website.

Correction: This article initially described The Monarch as an apartment complex. The units are condos, not apartments for rent. H/t to nvacondos for pointing out the error.

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The Falls Church Kiwanis Little League is hoping not to strike out on a proposal to add new batting cages to a field at Idylwood Park between Falls Church and Tysons.

At a Fairfax County Parks Authority meeting tonight, the Kiwanis Little League is docketed to suggest adding three hitting stations to the field, with a concrete bases, heavy-duty cage netting, and synthetic turf mats.

“Hitting stations allow multiple players to practice their skills simultaneously in a safe, protected space,” a staff report said. “By making such efficient use of space, this improvement will alleviate some of the competing uses in this popular park.”

The Kiwanis Little League has raised $12,737.25 for the project, but is seeking a matching contribution from the county in the form of a Mastenbrook Grant, which provides up to $20,000 in matching funds for local park projects.

In its application for the grant program, the Kiwanis Little League says that players hoping to use batting cages currently have to travel to Arlington, and a new set of cages in Falls Church could help alleviate the demand.

In a supplement to its application, the league further explained the benefit of adding hitting cages at Idylwood Park, which is located on Virginia Lane:

Hitting stations would be an extremely popular recreational resource at Idylwood Park and many different groups would benefit from them including several hundred FCKLL members, local travel teams, middle and high school students, as well as the general public. They would provide a new year-round recreational and developmental resource for individuals, teams and the community at-large, without adding burden to fields. They are a practical and effective alternative to batting cages and allow multiple players to work out in a confined space, safely and at the same time. Equally important, it provides the community with another opportunity to be outside and engage in physical activity.

Image via Fairfax County

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