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County approves Tysons drive-thru restaurant, possibly a Shake Shack

A newly approved drive-thru restaurant at Pike 7 Plaza in Tysons will feature new landscaping (via Fairfax County)

Pike 7 Plaza in Tysons is officially getting a drive-thru restaurant.

Without discussion, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted yesterday (Tuesday) to unanimously approve property owner Federal Realty’s proposal for a standalone, one-story restaurant with a drive-thru in the shopping center’s southeast corner.

The new facility will build on Pike 7 Plaza’s efforts to support retail customers’ growing comfort with pick-up options, McGuireWoods land-use planner Michael Van Atta, who represented Federal Realty, said at the public hearing.

Van Atta told the Fairfax County Planning Commission in January that the restaurant’s tenant will be Shake Shack, though the burger chain has not returned FFXnow’s requests for comment.

Expected to be 3,600 square feet in size and 18 feet tall, the building will occupy a portion of the center’s parking lot, reducing it from 738 spaces to 674, according to the special exception application.

“We’ve worked closely with staff on the layout to ensure sufficient vehicular circulation [and] to maximize the pedestrian experience along Route 7, given the close proximity to the Metro as well,” Van Atta told the board.

The drive-thru will accommodate 11 to 12 vehicles at a time. It will be on the opposite side of the building from Route 7, also known as Leesburg Pike.

As part of the project, Federal Realty has committed to constructing a sidewalk from Leesburg Pike to the main shopping center along the restaurant’s entrance. Bicycle racks, stairs, and an accessible ramp leading to the new building will also be added.

The facility will include an outdoor patio with tables and chairs. The county approved a reduction in the setback along Leesburg Pike so that Federal Realty can add landscaping and trees to screen the seating area from the road.

Van Atta told the Board of Supervisors that Federal Realty is pursuing the project as a response to evolving retail trends, not as part of any larger development plans for Pike 7 Plaza.

“Ultimately, Pike 7 Plaza is a successful shopping center, and it’s not likely to pursue greater redevelopment in the near-future,” Van Atta said. “But this proposed restaurant will add another quality asset to the center in the near-term, while not precluding greater redevelopment activities envisioned by the Tysons Plan.”

The Tysons Comprehensive Plan designates Pike 7 Plaza for multifamily residential and office uses with an option to redevelop the site with mixed-use, mid-rise and high-rise buildings, according to a county planning staff report.

The report says the plan discourages freestanding, drive-thru uses like Federal Realty’s proposed restaurant in Tysons, but staff decided the restaurant would “be in harmony with the existing uses at the shopping center because there are existing freestanding restaurant, auto-oriented, and drive-through uses in the parking lot.”

Pike 7 Plaza currently has three freestanding buildings: a BB&T bank, an automobile services shop, and a block with MOD Pizza, Cava Grill, Honeygrow and a Chase bank.

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