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A 93,100-square-foot office building in Fairfax City may soon have a new future on its horizon.

The Fairfax City Council is meeting tonight (Tuesday) to discuss a preliminary proposal to redevelop the office building on 1201 Fairfax Blvd into a six-story residential building with roughly 300 apartment units and about 20,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial retail.

Two levels of underground parking and amenities on the first floor, including a central courtyard, are also planned, according to the preliminary proposal.

Each unit would be “efficiently designed” with space-saving beds that drop down from the ceiling and dining tables that can be folded away for storage, according to the Nov. 17 pre-application.

“The smart home technology includes features such as the ability to control appliances ranging from the washing machine to the dishwasher to the vacuum with a smartphone, dry cleaning system built into closets, the ability to see inside of the refrigerator without opening the refrigerator door and mirrors that display the date, time and temperature,” Odin, Feldman & Pittleman attorney Sara Mariska wrote in a letter to the city’s community planning and development director on the developer’s behalf.

The nearly 3-acre parcel is located in a primarily commercial corridor. Preliminarily, staff noted that residential uses aren’t recommended in commercial corridors.

The city’s planning commission also noted that the “proposed use might not be the best use at the site,” questioned the “need for a well occupied office building to be repurposed,” and raised concerns about the proposed height and distance from single-family homes, according to meeting materials.

Transwestern Investment Group sold off the building in August. At that time, the company reported that the property was 96% occupied.


(Updated at 4:40 p.m.) After almost four years of dreaming, planning and building, the team behind Ometeo is ready to introduce its spin on Tex-Mex cuisine to Tysons.

The new restaurant will open to the public for the first time at 1640 Capital One Drive tomorrow (Wednesday), Long Shot Hospitality Partner Jeremy Carman confirmed to FFXnow.

Ometeo recently announced through Eater DC that it would open this week but hadn’t landed on an exact date yet. At least initially, it will be open at 4-10 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday and 4-11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, according to a public relations representative.

Ometeo will be the first ground-level dining option to arrive at Capital One Center since the pub City Works closed in 2020. Capital One’s headquarters campus is also home to the Japanese restaurant Wren in The Watermark Hotel and Starr Hill Biergarten, which will expand with a new, street-level brewpub next year.

(Correction: This story previously said Starr Hill is relocating to the new space. The existing biergarten in The Perch will still operate after the brewpub opens.)

“With the corporate density of Tysons and how much activity and…opportunity there is there, combined with the fact that there are a lot of residents in McLean and Great Falls that can access that campus pretty easily without even kind of venturing all the way into Tysons, we thought the location was really strong,” Carman said.

Carman says the partners at Long Shot Hospitality, the D.C.-based restaurant group behind The Salt Line and Dauphine’s, wanted to create a Tex-Mex concept that combines the comforts of a chain restaurant with a more “elevated” and “chef-driven” approach.

“We thought that it might be something that the area needed, and it was definitely something that we were passionate and excited about exploring,” Carman said. “So, that was several years ago, almost three or four years ago when we started talking about that…I think that we’re all really glad that we set out to execute it, and we’re pretty excited with how it turned out.”

For the chef who could propel their vision into a reality, the partners turned to El Paso, Texas, native Gabe Erales, who became the first Mexican American winner of the cooking competition TV show “Top Chef” in 2021.

In addition to already being acquainted with Erales on a social basis, the team felt he could bring “a lot of authenticity and a lot of knowledge to the concept” as someone who has built his career on exploring regional Mexican cuisine, Carman says.

Erales’s “Top Chef” victory was overshadowed by an Austin American-Statesman story that alleged he’d been fired from an Austin restaurant for “repeated violations of the company’s ethics policy as it relates to harassment of women,” including cutting a female employee’s hours after they’d ended a sexual relationship.

In that story and a subsequent public apology, Erales said he had a “consensual” relationship with an employee who was affected by “poor decisions” he made as a manager, but he denies that his actions reached the level of sexual harassment, as labeled by news reports.

“I’ve grown from it,” Erales told FFXnow. “I’ve taken a lot of steps in the last few years to just become a better leader, a better business owner and a better chef ever since.” Read More

Starbucks coffee shop in Reston Station (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Reston Station area residents and visitors will need an alternative to Starbucks to get their coffee fix this winter.

The Starbucks at 1908 Reston Metro Plaza will be closed through winter 2024 due to ongoing renovations, a company spokesperson told FFXnow.

The location closed on Nov. 26.

“As a standard course of business, we continually evaluate our store portfolio, using various criteria to ensure we are meeting the needs of our customers,” the spokesperson said.

All Starbucks employees that worked at the store got the chance to transfer to nearby locations until the location reopens, the company said.

Hat tip to Adam Rubenstein


Winter Wonderland Fundraiser

Proceeds benefit Fellowship Square, improving the lives of 800+ older adults with very limited income and resources by providing affordable housing and supportive services.

Experience a festive holiday fundraiser complete with savory wines & craft beers, scrumptious hors d’oeuvres, exciting

Kids with sleds cross the street to Cunningham Park Elementary School in Vienna on a snow day in January 2022 (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

A flurry of snow days will be on the table for Fairfax County Public Schools this winter, though it remains to be seen how much the weather will oblige.

FCPS has built 11 snow days into its 2023-2024 calendar, and it will fully close on all of them if needed, ending a recent practice of shifting to virtual learning after five snow days.

“This adjustment aims to maximize in-person learning and to ensure equitable access to instruction and student services for all students,” FCPS said yesterday (Monday) in a press release.

Like other school districts across the country, FCPS experimented with remote and hybrid learning during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the initial rollout was hampered by technology issues, and many students and staff reported experiencing mental health struggles.

Though in-person classes fully resumed in August 2021, FCPS is still grappling with the fallout of the pandemic’s disruptions, from learning losses and a spike in chronic absenteeism to a federal mandate to compensate special education students denied the services they needed during virtual learning.

FCPS revised its snow-day policy starting in the 2021-2022 school year so that virtual learning would kick in after five days of cancellations due to inclement weather. All five days got used up that year, but the D.C. area saw almost no snow last winter, rendering the policy unnecessary.

This winter is expected to be a different story. The Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang is predicting that the region will get the most snow in five years, a forecast echoed by local TV weather teams.

Still, a break from school shouldn’t mean a break from learning, according to FCPS.

Superintendent Michelle Reid is soliciting suggestions for ways to keep students engaged during snow days and over winter break at FCPS says any submitted ideas will be shared on its website as “a valuable resource for students and families.”

More from FCPS:

On snow days, students will still have access to educational resources. They can utilize, complete supplemental learning opportunities recommended by their teachers, and tune in to educational programming available virtually and on public access television channels:

  • Elementary school instruction: Red Apple 21
  • Middle school instruction: Channel 25
  • High school instruction: Channel 99

Dr. Reid expressed enthusiasm for continued learning opportunities outside traditional classroom settings during snow days. Whether exploring the physics of sledding down a hill or experimenting with ratios to create the perfect mug of hot chocolate with whipped cream, students are encouraged to embrace the diverse learning spaces that abound during inclement weather.

The Route 29 and Clifton Road intersection facing 7-Eleven (via Google Maps)

One driver was killed and another hospitalized with serious injuries in a two-car crash on Route 29 in the Clifton area early this morning (Tuesday).

A Fairfax County police officer reported at 12:25 a.m. that he “just had a vehicle roll over in front of me at the Clifton 7-Eleven,” describing an occupant as “trapped and unresponsive,” according to scanner traffic on Open MHz.

Police confirmed to the dispatcher that the crash involved two cars, and both drivers were found unconscious.

“Two four-door vehicles, we have one up in the 7-Eleven parking lot, extensive intrusion, T-bone accident,” a Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department responder reported at 12:30 a.m., per the scanner. “We also have a second vehicle into the traffic pole, on its wheels again, in the intersection.”

One of the drivers — an adult man — was pronounced dead at the scene, while the other was taken to a hospital with injuries initially considered life-threatening, the Fairfax County Police Department said at 1:16 a.m.

The Route 29 and Clifton Road intersection was closed as the department’s Crash Reconstruction Unit investigated. The hospitalized driver’s condition was later upgraded to non-life-threatening, the FCPD reported in an update at 4 a.m.

The intersection didn’t reopen to traffic until shortly before 8:30 a.m., according to police.

Image via Google Maps


Morning Notes

Sunset over Fair City Mall in Fairfax City (photo by Susan Woolsey)

FCPD Steps Up DUI Enforcement for Holiday Season — “During this campaign, running from December 4 to December 29 the squad will increase their staffing and focus on ensuring our roadways remain safe this holiday season. These initiatives are aimed at promoting sober driving, pinpointing impaired drivers, and increasing officer presence on the roads.” [FCPD]

ICYMI: Pedestrian Hit by Metrobus in Annandale — A woman was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries last night (Monday) from a crash on Little River Turnpike and Hummer Road. First responders found her trapped under the front axle of a Metrobus, shutting down eastbound Little River, per scanner traffic. [FFXnow]

Future Unclear for Hoped-for Springfield FBI Site — “After decades of effort, a much longed-for economic recovery in the Springfield area of Fairfax County is slowly happening…But the future remains uncertain for a 58-acre site owned by the General Service Administration, which has long been a local eyesore.” [Washington Post]

Man Who Shot at Police in West Falls Church Indicted by Arlington Jury — “A grand jury has returned an indictment for a man on felony charges in connection to a wild police chase in October 2022. The indictment against Ricardo Singleton, returned last Monday, included charges for eluding police and shooting a firearm from a vehicle within 1,000 feet of a school.” [ARLnow]

Springfield Town Center Owner Close to Bankruptcy — “Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust is on the verge of its second bankruptcy since 2020, Bloomberg reports, citing anonymous sources close to the matter. The company is also seeking funding to facilitate the process, which would be a Chapter 11 reorganization.” [Bisnow]

Man Arrested After Shoplifting $3,500 Coat in Tysons — A 41-year-old Maryland man was arrested Friday (Dec. 1) after allegedly shoplifting a coat worth over $3,500 from Sak’s Fifth Avenue at Tysons Galleria. Police say he had been stealing from the store for more than a month, recovering over $49,000 in merchandise and “burglarious tools” in a home search. [FCPD]

Reston AI Startup Raises $15M — “Rohirrim, a Reston artificial intelligence company, has raised $15 million to continue working on its ChatGPT-like tool that helps companies speed the process of bidding on jobs…Its software product — dubbed Rohan — uses a customer’s secure data to help proposal writers more efficiently collect internal information to write [request for proposal] responses.” [DC Inno]

Longtime Reston Farmers Market Manager Retires — Saturday (Dec. 2) was the final day of this year’s Reston Farmers Market at Lake Anne Village Center — and the last day managing it for John Lovaas. The retired foreign service worker has been involved in the seasonal event ever since it was proposed to the Reston Association board in 1997. [Patch]

Tysons Company to Provide Airplane WiFi — “Tysons, Virginia-based Intelsat will outfit hundreds of American Airlines regional jets with high-speed Wi-Fi, as part of American’s ongoing in-flight streaming upgrades throughout its fleet. Beginning early next year, Intelsat will begin installing equipment on nearly 500 dual-class regional jets.” [WTOP]

It’s Tuesday — Clouds will increase throughout the day, with temperatures reaching a high of 46. At night, scattered rain and snow showers are possible before 1am, when the weather will shift to rain before returning to a mix of rain and snow after 4am. The night will be mostly cloudy with a low temperature of around 36. There is a 40% chance of precipitation. []

Eastbound Little River Turnpike is closed at Hummer Road after a Metrobus driver reportedly hit a pedestrian (via Google Maps)

A woman suffered serious injuries earlier this evening (Monday) when she was apparently hit by a Metrobus on Little River Turnpike.

“Officers are investigating a bus crash involving a pedestrian that occurred on Little River [Turnpike] and Hummer [Road] in Annandale,” the Fairfax County Police Department said. “The pedestrian, an adult female, was transported in life-threatening condition.”

Eastbound Little River Turnpike was shut down at Hummer.

First responders were dispatched to that intersection for the crash just before 10 p.m., according to scanner traffic on Open MHz. When police and Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units arrived, the woman was found trapped under the front wheels of the bus.

“It does look like we’ve got one patient with severe head wounds. She is alert and conscious right now,” an FCFRD responder said at 10:04 p.m.

The fire department responder in command reported at 10:10 p.m. that the trapped woman was a pedestrian and the vehicle was a Metrobus.

Metro didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The woman was transported to Inova Fairfax Hospital with serious injuries. No passengers were on the bus, per the scanner.

Map via Google Maps


Good Monday evening, Fairfax County. Let’s take a look back at today’s stories and a look forward to tomorrow’s event calendar.

🕗 News recap

The following articles were published earlier today — Dec 4, 2023.

📅 Upcoming events

Here is what’s going on Tuesday throughout the county, from our event calendar.

  • No events today. Have one to promote? Submit it to the calendar.

🌦️ Tuesday’s forecast

Expect partly sunny skies and a high near 47, accompanied by a northwest wind at 3 to 7 mph. As night falls on Tuesday, scattered rain and snow showers may occur, primarily after 1am, with mostly cloudy conditions and a low around 35. Calm wind will shift to north at around 6 mph after midnight, and there will be a 40% chance of precipitation. See more from

🌅 Tonight’s sunset

Thanks for reading! Feel free to discuss the day’s happenings in the comments.

A new report says there are disparities between Fairfax County neighborhoods in health, income and other factors that affect residents’ quality of life (via Northern Virginia Health Foundation)

In between the sprawling lawns of Loudoun County and the riverside lofts of Alexandria lie clusters of struggling, predominantly non-white neighborhoods that are increasingly left out of the success and prosperity experienced by Northern Virginia as a whole, recent research notes.

In fact, conditions in some of those neighborhoods — called “islands of disadvantage” — have been in decline for years.

According to a new report by the Center on Society and Health at Virginia Commonwealth University, poverty, rates of people without health insurance, educational attainment, job opportunities and overcrowding all worsened in those neighborhoods between 2013 and 2021.

At the same time, the report notes the economic progress seen in some areas was also accompanied by gentrification and displacement of people of color.

“What is otherwise a healthy and wealthy area is also home to areas of concentrated disadvantage,” said Dr. Steven Woolf, lead author of the VCU report. “This is not something that is widely known, that people are living in deep poverty just a short distance away from the McMansions and golf courses.”

The report, “Lost Opportunities: The Persistence of Disadvantaged Neighborhoods in Northern Virginia,” compares census data from 2009-13 and 2017-21 for Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties and the city of Alexandria to understand the social and economic changes the region has experienced over time.

The report, commissioned by the Northern Virginia Health Foundation, builds upon previous research led by Woolf that showed the disproportionate amount of non-white residents that make up struggling neighborhoods experience substantially higher rates of premature death compared to Northern Virginia as a whole.

The latest research found that between 2009-13 and 2017-21, 92% of Northern Virginia census tracts saw an increase in median income, 73% had a rise in residents with a bachelor’s degree and 59% experienced gains in the proportion of adults with a high school diploma. Poverty and uninsured rates decreased in 52% and 78% of the region’s census tracts, respectively.

However, some “islands of disadvantage” experienced opposite trends during those time periods. One section of Bailey’s Crossroads in Fairfax County saw median household income decrease by about $10,000, child poverty rates nearly double to 63% and the overall poverty rate climb to 30%. Read More


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