The proposal to permit a casino in Fairfax County has honed in on one specific site: a former Aston Martin and Bentley dealership in Tysons.
Site criteria for the potential gaming establishment emerged yesterday (Wednesday), when state Sen. Dave Marsden’s long-awaited/dreaded bill was officially published online, just two days before the Virginia General Assembly’s filing deadline for the 2024 session.
As first reported by NBC4, the legislation would add Fairfax County to the list of localities eligible for a casino as long as the facility is:
- Located within one-quarter of a mile of an existing station on the Metro Silver Line
- Part of a coordinated mixed-use project development
- Outside of the Dulles International Airport flight path
- Within two miles of a major shopping destination with at least 1.5 million square feet of gross building area
- Outside of the Capital Beltway (I-495)
Those conditions limit possible sites to Tysons, dropping Reston from consideration after residents there prepared to fight the incoming legislation.
However, Marsden confirmed to FFXnow that he plans to amend the bill, titled Senate Bill 675, to further narrow the proposed scope to the abandoned Exclusive Automotive Group lot at 8546 Leesburg Pike near the Spring Hill Metro station.
Marsden didn’t specify what criteria will come with the amendment, but he says it will be added before the bill is presented to a committee. The legislation was referred yesterday to the Senate Committee on General Laws and Technology, which hasn’t scheduled a meeting on it yet.
The property was sold by the Cherner Development Group to Tysons Development LLC — a joint venture of the Clemente Development Company and Khaled Juffali Co. — for over $57 million on Feb. 4, 2020, per Fairfax County records. The sale involved multiple parcels totaling about 7.5 acres — all part of the planned View at Tysons development.
Approved by the county in 2019, The View at Tysons would transform the Route 7 and Tyco Road intersection with over 3 million square feet of mixed-use development, including the D.C. area’s tallest office tower and a performing arts center.
Marsden has said the casino could be part of an entertainment district that may also include an arts venue. He confirmed the project was proposed by Reston Station developer Comstock, which was previously reported to be pushing for a casino near the Wiehle Metro station.
“In my view, this casino is needed to ensure further revenue for Fairfax County to fund schools and other vital services due to the decline in commercial real estate revenue and increases in costs for Metro and other county obligations,” Marsden said, adding that broadening the commercial tax base would “take pressure off” of residential real estate and car taxes.
Local reactions to the possibility of a casino have generally ranged from skeptical to hostile. The McLean Citizens Association, which includes Tysons in its coverage area, sent a letter to state legislators last week opposing the impending bill, while Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik told FFXnow yesterday that there are still too many questions around where revenue would go and how the operator and site will be selected.
In addition to providing location criteria, SB 675 would require Fairfax County to consider a prospective operator’s labor practices, including payment of prevailing wages to construction contractors and hospitality workers and labor peace agreements with any unions. The operator would need to enter into an agreement with employee labor groups before it’s submitted to Virginia Lottery for approval.
If the bill passes the General Assembly and gets signed into law by Gov. Glenn Youngkin, Fairfax County voters would still have to approve a referendum to allow a casino. Virginia currently has five localities eligible for a casino, but Richmond may be removed from that list after voters rejected a referendum two times.
Image via Google Maps
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Great Clips at South Lakes Village Center (Reston, Virginia) is seeking hair donors to participate in the Wigs for Kids program this Valentines Week. If you meet the minimum requirements and would like to donate your hair for children fighting cancer, we would love to host you in our salon this Valentine’s Week for a free haircut.
Hair donations must be a minimum of 12 inches
Hair donations must be clean and stored/packaged completely dry.
Hair donations cannot be permed, color-treated, or highlighted.
Temporary coloring or highlights that wash out are acceptable but must be completely washed out before cutting. Gray hair is accepted.
Peace in Gaza: Prayer Liturgy and Community Discussion for Peace in Arlington VA, Sunday, Feb. 11, 10:15 AM
Prayer, liturgy, and community discussion for peace in Gaza, an immediate cease fire and resumption of humanitarian aid will be hosted by Nova Catholic Community. The focus will be Pope Francis’ call for an immediate ceasefire, the release of all hostages, resumption of humanitarian aid for Palestinians in Gaza, and peace talks for a lasting and just peace for all people in the region.
Discussion will follow at Noon on US military role in the conflict and appropriate steps the US should take to foster peace and rebuilding. Light lunch served.
The Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC) Active Bystander Certification course, also known as Active Bystander, is the premier training program to prepare civilians for how to respond during an intentional violent event and to address life-threatening emergencies.
Similar to FEMA’s