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Great Clips Reston franchisee Sean Carroll with Cindy’s Legacy founder Stacy Brooks and his daughter
Violet Carroll (courtesy Great Clips)

(Updated at 12:30 p.m.) Cindy’s Legacy — a Reston-based nonprofit organization that helps cancer patients in financial stress — received a lift from a local business last week.

Reston’s Great Clips donated $579 to the nonprofit organization, which was named after its founder’s mother, Cindy Martin, who had been a hairstylist in Reston for more than 30 years. Martin died from brain cancer in 2011.

(Correction: This story initially stated that Martin died in 2021.)

“This event, the vital funds raised, and our ongoing partnership will continue to honor her legacy and help cancer patients in our community,” Cindy’s Legacy founder and president Stacy Brooks said.

The three-day fundraiser also included free haircuts for cancer patients and showcased the business’ hair donation programs.

Cindy’s Legacy has since provided more than $75,000 to at least 400 cancer patients nationwide. Great Clips also offers free haircuts to anyone who wants to donate their hair to Wigs for Kids, an initiative that helps kids and young adults experiencing hair loss.

Clips of Kindness is another program run by Great Clips that provides a free clipper cut to anyone who is losing their hair due to cancer treatment.

The fundraiser for Cindy’s Legacy — titled Shear Love — kicked off on Valentine’s Day and concluded after three days.

Run by franchisee Sean Carroll, Great Clips opened its Reston location at South Lakes Village Center (11130 South Lakes Drive, Suite E) in November 2022. The company was founded in Minneapolis in 1982 and now has over 4,400 salons in the U.S. and Canada.

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The Opportunity Way office buildings in the Reston Town Center expansion (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Global cybersecurity company Palo Alto Networks Inc. will lease one of Boston Properties’ new office towers in Reston Town Center.

The company — which currently leases space at RTC West (12110 Sunset Hills Road) — plans to occupy 58,000 square feet of space at a 20-story office tower in Reston Town Center, the Washington Business Journal reported.

The new lease was signed on Jan. 12 for 58,000 square feet in the tower at 1950 Opportunity Way — one of two office buildings built in Boston Properties’ nearly 5-million-square-foot expansion, just north of the Reston Town Center Metro station.

According to the WBJ, the building at 1950 Opportunity Way will be close to fully leased with the Palo Alto deal. Other tenants of the paired office towers, which total 1.1 million square feet of space, include Volkswagen and Fannie Mae.

In a quarterly earnings call in late January, Boston Properties Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer Michael LaBell noted that Reston Town Center is 94% leased.

“Because it is such high quality kind of a live work play kind of place, and these clients really, really value that,” LaBell said during the call. “So we’re outperforming from a rental rate perspective, and we’re seeing positive absorption there.”

LaBelle told investors that Reston Town Center had signed a “60,000 square foot new lease with a technology company” that’s relocating but didn’t name the tenant.

Originally approved by Fairfax County in 2018, the Reston Town Center expansion is planned for 4.8 million square feet of development on a 33-acre site northwest of the Sunset Hills Road and Reston Parkway intersection. Skymark Reston Town Center, a 40-story residential building, is currently under construction.

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Elden Street Tea Shop is moving from Herndon to Reston in the spring (courtesy Elden Street Tea Shop)

A new future is brewing for Elden Street Tea Shop, as the local business sheds its address of more than six years and moves from Herndon to Reston.

The business expected to open at Lake Anne Plaza in the spring.

Rachel Eisenfeld, co-owner of the business, said the tea shop outgrew its current location, especially for tea party events, with more local tea enthusiasts visiting more regularly after the pandemic.

“We would have liked to stay in our current location and opened a second location,” Eisenfeld said by email. “However, we were not able to come to a resolution on our new lease terms with the landlord. We are excited to bring a little bit of Historic Herndon to Historic Reston!”

The Herndon location at 714 Pine Street is expected to close on Saturday, Jan. 27.

The shop will reopen in Reston by March or April of this year, according to Eisenfeld. During the interim, the tea shop will offer online purchases and pickups at Lake Anne and tea parties in Tysons in February.

The tea parties in Tysons will be hosted at The Tower Club in Towers Crescent (8000 Towers Crescent Drive, Suite 1700), but access is by ticket or appointment only.

The Reston location will feature full tea service options and more themed tea events, such as yoga and tea meditation, paddle board tea time, open mic night and literary tea hours.

“We are excited to have a space to continue new and unique tea events in and provide the cozy communitea we are known for,” Eisenfeld said.

The tea shop is expected to celebrate its big move at the Northern Virginia Tea Festival on May 4 and 5.

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The inaugural Northern Virginia Space and Satellite Summit will take place at Boro Tower in Tysons on Jan. 18, 2024 (courtesy Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce)

The first-ever Northern Virginia Space and Satellite Summit is about to launch in Tysons.

Organized by the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce, the event will bring space industry leaders and experts to the Womble Bond Dickinson office in Boro Tower (8350 Broad Street, Suite 1500) on Thursday, Jan. 18.

“We are excited to bring together industry leaders, entrepreneurs, and professionals in the field of space and satellite technologies for the first-ever Space and Satellite Summit,” Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce interim president and CEO Mark Ingrao said. “This event is a testament to our commitment to fostering innovation, collaboration, and economic growth in the Dulles region and beyond.”

The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority counts aerospace as one of the county’s key industries when coupled with the plethora of defense contractors in the area.

  • David Bettinger, CEO of Arlington’s Axta Space
  • Dennis Gatens, CEO and founder of LEOCloud in Ashburn
  • George Nield, president of the British consulting firm Commercial Space Technologies
  • Joseph T. Darden, director of aviation business development for Iridium, a satellite communications company headquartered in Tysons
  • Stephen McCall, director of government relations for Texas-based Firefly Aerospace

The chamber says the event will also provide a valuable opportunity for networking. Attendees are required to register for the summit, which costs $45.

The summit comes just a week after NASA announced that its Artemis missions will be delayed in response to technical issues. The launch that the agency hopes will return humans to the Moon for the first time since 1972 isn’t expected now until September 2026.

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The U.S. Capitol Building in D.C. (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce is joining other local chambers and the Northern Virginia Regional Commission to offer help to federal government employees and contractors if the government shuts down.

Local businesses can sign up online to offer a discount in the event Congress fails to pass a budget by this Friday, Nov. 17.

“Northern Virginia’s business community has always been generous in a time of need,” NVRC Chairman and Alexandria Council Member John Chapman said. “This effort is just one way we can let our friends and neighbors know that working together we can help those who are impacted by this unnecessary shutdown.”

Interested businesses can go online to sign up to list a discount. They must provide their location, contact information and a description of the discount offered.

So far, the chambers taking part in the initiative include Arlington, Greater Reston, Loudoun County, Prince William County and Purcellville Business Association.

NVRC is a council of 13 local governments in the Northern Virginia area. According to the organization’s senior regional demographer, Northern Virginia jurisdictions averaged 73,318 federal government jobs, as of the end of 2022, not including the region’s many federal contractors and military workers stationed at Fort Belvoir and other sites.

The federal government was on the verge of shutting down, starting Oct. 1, until lawmakers passed a last-minute, stopgap budget that would keep federal agencies and services like WIC — the program that provides food assistance to women and children — going until Nov. 17.

However, Congress still has not developed a new, longer-term plan to keep the lights on in Washington, as disagreements over emergency aid for Ukraine and Israel, among other issues, have stymied negotiations.

House Republicans unveiled a proposal on Saturday (Nov. 11) that would provide funding in two steps, covering some bills until Jan. 19 and others until Feb. 2, according to NBC News.

“Democrats in both chambers have made it abundantly clear that they hate the idea, as does the White House — all of whom want a simple extension of government funding without any gimmicks,” NBC News said. “Democrats’ unified opposition to the laddered [continuing resolution] could mean the House will ultimately have to swallow whatever clean or relatively clean CR the Senate passes.”

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Sunset Business Park (via Google Maps)

Herndon’s business community expressed overall levels of satisfaction with the town in a recent survey, but some say they want the town to focus more on expanding support for businesses.

Presented at a Herndon Town Council work session on Tuesday (Sept. 19), the results were gathered from a business survey by Priority Metrics Group (PMG), which included 155 respondents, the average of which has been in the town for 17 years.

At the work session, council members emphasized the need for the town to more actively support businesses and expand town events that draw customers — two themes of improvement from the survey.

“They want a more business-friendly government,” Councilmember Donielle Scherff said. “We’ve talked a bit about customer service-centric leadership and staff, and this just sort of buttresses into that.”

Most respondents say they chose Herndon because of its location.

“They like being here. There are amenities and attributes that are here that they like,” said John Barrett, owner of PMG.

Overall, sentiments about the town’s general business environment dipped only slightly since the last survey was conducted in 2018.

Business owners said they were drawn by the access to airports — which expanded last year with the opening of Metro’s Silver Line extension — as well as the overall quality of life and the image of the town. Top concerns included licensing, taxation, regulations, crime rates, traffic and the quality of new development.

Many business owners said they wanted to see more special events in the town — a move that Councilmember Cesar del Aguila said emphasizes the need for the council to focus extra attention on event development.

“What I’m hearing here solidifies my personal belief that we’re on the right track,” del Aguila said, noting a need to focus on branding for the town. He said it was “painful” to hear that some business owners did not feel noticed by the local government.

So far, use of the Mason Enterprise Center — a business accelerator program from George Mason University that launched earlier this year — appears limited, according to the survey. A little over 80% of respondents said they had not heard about the center.

Most respondents — 77% of businesses — said the Metro Silver Line has had no impact or a neutral impact on their businesses.

PMG also recently completed a survey of town residents, who flagged traffic as a top concern.

Photo via Google Maps

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Costco in Fairfax (via Google Maps)

Shoppers at the Route 29-adjacent Costco might notice some major changes soon.

The wholesale company is seeking a special exception from Fairfax County to increase the size of its existing retail warehouse at 4725 West Ox Road by around 8,500 square feet and enhance some of the store’s departments.

The new addition would be located to the eastern side of the building.

“The additional space proposed for the existing warehouse building would be utilized for upgrading and expanding the delicatessen and rotisserie area, increasing the size of the refrigerated meat storage space, constructing a new produce cooler, and expanding sales aisles,” the application said. “There will be slight increase in [floor area ratio].”

The application says Costco’s Fairfax area location is a popular one, with around 5,000 customers per day. The expansion is estimated to bring in another approximately 300 customers.

The company also anticipates hiring another 16 employees if the addition is approved, bringing its total workforce for that location to approximately 286 people.

The expansion is expected to result in dozens more vehicle trips to the already heavily frequented site, according to the application:

  • 26 AM peak hour trips (14 in/12 out)
  • 37 PM peak hour trips (18 in/19 out)
  • 63 Saturday peak hour trips (31 in/32 out)
  • 417 weekday average daily trips (7,453 Weekday average trips total)
  • 753 Saturday average daily trips (8,218 Saturday trips total)

“The proposed expansion of the retail warehouse building will provide a significant improvement to the operation of the facility for Costco’s members,” the application said. “The proposed amendment conforms to the spirit of the Zoning Ordinance and the recommendations of the Comprehensive Plan. Therefore, for the reasons set forth herein, the Applicant respectfully requests approval of this Special Exception Amendment application.”

The county accepted the application for review on Sept. 6, but no hearings have been scheduled yet.

The proposal comes after Costco got the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors’ approval in March to expand the gas station at its West Ox location from 16 to 30 fuel pumps.

Image via Google Maps

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Fairfax County has 120 companies on the 2023 Inc. 5000 ranking of America’s fastest-growing private companies (via Inc. 5000)

The fastest-growing company in Fairfax County is a Tysons-based cybersecurity firm whose stated goal is to “fundamentally change” how organizations get technical expertise.

MOXFIVE claimed the 39th spot overall and the top spot for the security industry on the latest Inc. 5000, an annual ranking of the country’s most successful privately owned companies based on their revenue growth.

This is Moxfive’s first time on the prestigious list, and among the 120 Fairfax County companies that got included this year, it has the highest ranking, according to the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority.

“Our overall and security industry rankings on the Inc. 5000 list are an acknowledgement of our team’s determination and success in maintaining an unwavering commitment to changing an industry by obsessing over delivering a superior customer experience,” MOXFIVE CEO and founder Mike Wager said in a press release. “Appearing on the Inc. 5000 list is also validation that our Platform…is the future of the industry.”

Founded in 2019, Moxfive describes itself as a specialized technical advisory firm that assists other businesses with responding to cyberattacks and bolstering their information technology capabilities.

Headquartered in The Plaza at Tysons Corner Center (1751 Pinnacle Drive, Suite 600), the company has seen its revenue grow 9,622% over the past three years, according to the 2023 Inc. 5000. It was also included on Inc.’s 2022 Best Workplaces list.

In a comment to the FCEDA, Wager lauded Fairfax County as “a fantastic area” to raise a family and start a business.

“We have been fortunate to achieve a great deal of success and I attribute much of that to the business environment in Fairfax County, which includes a tremendous amount of cybersecurity talent,” he said. “This has allowed us to find the people we need more easily and scale more quickly.”

Per the economic development authority, Fairfax County had 15 companies in the top 500 of this year’s Inc. 5000 and accounted for 44% of the 274 Virginia companies to make an appearance. The top 500 companies were featured in Inc. Magazine’s September issue, which hit newsstands on Aug. 23.

Last year, the county had 113 companies make the rankings, led by Integrated Managment Strategies — a Springfield-based small business consulting firm — at no. 76.

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Self Storage Plus in Tysons (via Google Maps)

The storage functions offered by Self Storage Plus in Tysons weren’t meant to extend to the parking lot, the Fairfax County Department of Code Compliance (DCC) says.

The self-storage facility at 1764 Old Meadow Lane faces potentially hundreds of dollars in fines for keeping mobile storage units and other commercial vehicles in its parking lot, according to a notice of violation issued by a code compliance investigator for the county on July 26.

Self Storage Plus is seeking to fight or at least postpone the notice, stating that it opened the facility in 2020 “in good faith” under the assumption that commercial vehicle parking was permitted on the site.

“They were unaware that the storage of exterior storage units and the commercial parking of vehicles and trailers on the parking lot of the Subject Property was not in conformance with the approved proffers that govern the site,” Walsh, Colucci, Lubeley & Walsh partner Lynne Strobel wrote in an Aug. 23 appeal statement on behalf of Self Storage Plus.

According to the county’s notice, investigator Matthew Stengel found during a July 19 inspection that “exterior storage units, vehicles, and trailers [were] being stored in the parking lot” in violation of the site’s development conditions, which were approved in 2016.

The county’s Zoning Evaluation Division issued a letter on Jan. 24, 2018 confirming that the plan requires “that loading areas be fully enclosed…with no outward signs of storage bay doors, storage items or lighted hallways.”

“The use limitations further state there shall be amble [sic] circulation and parking on-site and that there must be no incidental parking and storage of trucks, trailers and/or moving vans,” the letter said.

Self Storage Plus was hit with a notice of violation for the same issue on Feb. 18, 2022. The county imposes a $200 fine for a first zoning proffer violation and $500 for each subsequent violation.

The notice directs the company to remove the vehicles from the parking lot or amend its development plan to allow the “incidental parking,” which requires the approval of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

Noting that the property was previously used for self-storage by CubeSmart, Strobel says Self Storage Plus believed, based on feedback from industry consultants, that a portion could be used for off-street commercial parking, and the portable storage units were allowed as an accessory use, since they support the main storage establishment.

“Therefore, the Owners reasonably believed it was lawfully permitted to park commercial vehicles and trailers…as well as maintain exterior storage units,” Strobel wrote, arguing that the company would be unable to “effectively operate” its facility without the vehicles.

According to the appeal statement, the 2022 violation was also appealed and later voided by the Virginia Supreme Court’s strikedown of the county’s updated zoning ordinance, which got re-approved by the Board of Supervisors without significant changes on May 9.

The new appeal is intended to protect Self Storage Plus’ rights and stop any enforcement of the violation while the company conducts “additional research, investigation, and discussions with County staff.”

The company also plans to “explore possible legislative land use solutions,” such as an amendment, to legally allow the commercial vehicle and storage unit parking.

If accepted for review by the county, the appeal will go to the Board of Zoning Appeals, followed by the Board of Supervisors.

Image via Google Maps

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Several local employers were honored for their participation in Bike to Work Day (via DATA)

More than two dozen local businesses were honored last month for their commitment to “green commuting.”

Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn honored the 29 businesses for taking part in this year’s Bike to Work Day employer challenge, which rewarded companies that encouraged their employees to commute via bicycle.

Alcorn said the new Silver Line stations from Reston to Ashburn mean more employees than ever have the option for cycling to and from a bus or train stop.

“Employers who encourage a healthy and green commute, and employees who enjoy our scenic trails on the way to work all contribute to Fairfax County’s sustainability efforts and quality of life,” Alcorn said.

The challenge by the Dulles Area Transport Association (DATA) recognizes local medium and large companies with five or more employees for participating in Bike to Work Day. DATA is a nonprofit public-private partnership between businesses, government, and the community in the greater Dulles area.

The July 28 ceremony also recognized participating small businesses with two or more employees.

A list of this year’s participants is below.

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