One of Fair Lakes’ first office buildings — Parkway Woods — could flip into a residential development.
TPC Hornbaker LC is seeking the county’s permission to redevelop the three-story office building and parking lot spread across nearly 4.4 acres into an apartment building.
The development application, which targets 12801 Fair Lakes Parkway, argues that higher office vacancies and lower office and retail demand justify the need for redevelopment.
The existing office building was first built in 1987 and is roughly 64,000 square feet in size.
“Many of Fair Lakes’ first generation office buildings, including Parkway Woods, must now compete with newer buildings in transit-served mixed-use submarkets in Northern Virginia which have a strong brand identity, modern infrastructure, floor plates, and amenities, and closer proximity to Metrorail,” the March 17 application says.
The plan lays out two options for redevelopment.
The first option would include two phases with two residential buildings totaling 317 units. The first phase would include a nine-story, 204-unit building, including 16 workforce dwelling units (WDU), and the second phase would include 113 units with nine WDUs across seven stories.
The proposed building heights are around 110 feet and 80 feet, respectively.
The second option stipulates a single 289-unit residential building with 23 WDUs. That building would be roughly 75 feet tall.
Both options will include a fitness center, meeting rooms, outdoor recreation areas and seating areas.
“The proposed residential development has been designed to be cohesive with adjacent parcels and does not increase the overall intensity of Fair Lakes as a whole,” the application says.
Approval of the project would require rezoning. The application is in the early stages of the county’s redevelopment process and has not yet been accepted for review.
Crumbl Cookies officially lands in Fair Lakes Shopping Center on Friday (Feb. 10).
The cookie chain will open at 8 a.m. at 13075 Fair Lakes Shopping Centers. Store owners Natalie and Dovy Paukstys, and Maureen Wolthuis are behind the latest location in Fairfax County.
“As local business owners, we are looking forward to sharing delicious cookies with our neighbors,” the company wrote in a statement.
The store, which offers a weekly rotating menu of freshly baked cookies, will be open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays and 8-12 a.m. on Friday and Saturdays.
Only in-person purchases will be available for the first five business days after the grand opening. Curbside pickup, catering, delivery and nationwide shipping will be available beginning Wednesday, Feb. 15.
The cookie company stated in 2017 in Utah. Since then, it has expanded to more than 500 locations across the country. The business has been rapidly expanding in Fairfax County as well, with locations that recently opened in Reston, Leesburg, Falls Church and Chantilly.
The Taco Bell in the Fair Lakes area could be slated for demolition.
The owner of the restaurant at 12811 Federal Systems Park Drive is seeking Fairfax County’s permission to rebuild the restaurant and drive-thru with a larger and more modern facility, in line with the company’s efforts to modernize franchises across the country.
The application requests permission to add another drive-thru lane as part of the redevelopment effort.
“This redevelopment will bring a modern Taco Bell restaurant to the site, where the application will continue to serve its neighbors and the residents of Fair Lakes,” the Jan. 30 application says.
The building would stand in roughly the same orientation as the current restaurant, but with a slightly larger footprint of 2,710 square feet. Thirty-three parking spaces are also planned as part of the project.
Taco Bell’s modern branding includes gray scale fiber cement siding and metal panels with colored accents. The company also plans to scale back interior seating.
“Due to decreased customer usage of interior seating, the applicant only intends to include 52 interior seats for customers,” the application says.
The application is in the preliminary phases of the county’s planning and approvals process.
Taco Bell has another Fairfax location on Lee Jackson Memorial Highway.
Fairfax County police are investigating a threat of violence against the Blue Iguana in Fair Lakes and a local drag performer partnered with the restaurant and bar.
The anonymous email sent Saturday morning (Dec. 10) said that “several bombs” had been placed inside the restaurant in the Shops at Fair Lakes (12727 Shoppes Lane) as well as the home of a drag queen who hosts a “Sassy Saturdays Drag Brunch” on the second Saturday of each month, starting Nov. 12.
The email, which got sent to FFXnow, also threatened to “shoot up any drag performers we see there.”
The Fairfax County Police Department confirmed that it was alerted to the threat and had officers on the scene that day.
“Officers searched the building and did not find anything suspicious. Officers remained in the area throughout the day,” the FCPD said. “Detectives are continuing to investigate the threat.”
The department said anyone with information about the incident can contact its detectives at 703-691-2131. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through Crime Solvers by phone (1-866-411-TIPS) and online.
“Anonymous tipsters are eligible for cash rewards of $100 to $1,000 dollars. Please leave contact information if you wish for a detective to follow up with you,” the FCPD said.
Blue Iguana and the company that organized the brunch didn’t return requests for comment by press time.
While no violence occurred in this instance, drag performers and the LGBTQ community have been subjected to a surge in threats, harassment and hate crimes both locally and nationally over the past year.
GLAAD identified 124 incidents in 2022 of protests and threats specifically directed at drag events, a trend that the advocacy group links to a rise in anti-LGBTQ legislation and rhetoric from right-wing politicians, pundits and social media.
Released on Nov. 22, the report didn’t include the Nov. 19 shooting at Club Q in Colorado, since police hadn’t officially declared a motive at that point. The gunman was charged with hate crimes last week for shooting 22 people, killing five of them, during a drag queen’s birthday celebration.
In Fairfax County, police have recorded an escalation of anti-LGBTQ bias incidents and crimes in recent years, with cases jumping from seven in 2017 and five in 2018 to the double digits every year since 2019:
- 2019 — 10
- 2020 — 10
- 2021 — 11
- 2022 — 14
The department says the threat against Blue Iguana would be classified as a bias crime, which is defined as an unlawful action against a person or property due to their race, religion, ethnic or national origin, disability or sexual orientation.
Earlier this year, a Starbucks in Clifton was vandalized twice and had its Pride flag stolen, and Fairfax County Public Schools had to shut down an Instagram account that targeted LGBTQ students.
Though not a criminal incident, the McLean Community Center drew criticism last year for supporting a “Drag Queen Storytime” event at Dolley Madison Library in June 2021. Opponents equated the event — where drag queens read picture books to kids — to porn or “adult entertainment.”
Drawing on familiar homophobic stereotypes and obscuring drag’s history as a form of personal expression, arguments that drag is inherently sexual and dangerous to kids have taken hold among protestors — including in the threat against Blue Iguana, which accuses the targets of “grooming our children” — and legislators looking to ban minors from events.
Photo via Google Maps
County planners need more time to work through an application for a new Popeyes in Fair Lakes Shopping Center (13060 Fair Lakes Shopping Center).
At a meeting on Oct. 19, the Fairfax County Planning Commission voted unanimously to defer a decision on the application to Nov. 16.
Popeyes is seeking the county’s permission to build a 2,265-square-foot restaurant to the shopping center in space that was previously home to United Bank.
The motion was made with little to no discussion.
At-large member Timothy Sergeant said the decision would “allow more time for the applicant to improve their application.”
Since a fire broke out in the single-story bank in 2018, the site has remained undeveloped with pavement and some trees. The company plans to install a one-lane drive-thru at the 42-seat restaurant.
UNIQLO opened its first location in an open-air mall at Fair Lakes Shopping Center today (Friday).
The Japanese brand will open a 9,000-square-foot store at 13041 Fair Lakes Shopping Center. The company has other locations at Tysons Corner Center, Union Station in D.C., and Pike & Rose in Bethesda, Maryland.
“Fair Lakes is a great location to help extend this mission to new customers, while building on the success we’ve seen in the region, with three other existing stores in the D.C. metro area,” said Nakasuji Masahiko, Uniqlo’s North American marketing director.
Masahiko said the Fair Lakes location offers conveniences similar to Uniqlo’s original location in Japan, where it was built as a roadside store.
“Fair Lakes Center offers a similar convenience, as well as a real sense of community where people can live, work, and gather,” Masahiko said. “As our first store opening following the pandemic, we’re proud to be bringing people back together again at a location that resonates so well with the brand.”
The Fair Lakes location is the company’s 44th store. In celebration of its grand opening, the store will offer special offers and giveaways through Sept. 29.
(Updated at 3:25 p.m.) Another Amazon Fresh is coming soon to Fairfax County, according to a report.
The Washington Business Journal reports that Amazon.com Inc. is seeking subcontractors to renovate space within the shopping center.
Not much has been publicly disclosed about the project. WBJ discovered a permit under the name L.F. Jennings for 12993 Fair Lakes Shopping Center, a code used by the company for Amazon Fresh stores.
Work on the project won’t be underway until the second quarter of next year, according to the general contractor’s website.
It’s unclear if and how Amazon Fresh will consolidate nearby spaces for a larger store that is more in-line with its other locations. Next door, the former
World Market Saks off 5th location reopened as a Spirit Halloween. (h/t to Rocket for the correction)
Fairfax County has other Amazon Fresh stores in Franconia and Lorton. Another location is underway in Baileys Crossroads.
Amazon Fresh is a grocery service and store that allows shoppers to buy items without having to individually scan items. Customers simply scan an app or credit card when the enter and exist the store.
Amazon also has a Whole Foods Market in the works at Springfield Plaza.
A Greenbriar East Elementary School health aide has been indicted on charges for stealing students’ medication, according to the Fairfax County police.
Former Fairfax County Health Department employee Jennifer Carpenter, 45, of Fairfax falsified documentation on prescription medication she gave students, according to a press release. Carpenter dispensed sugar placebo pills and over-the-counter medicine in place of narcotics — including Ritalin, Adderall, and Focalin — that police believe she was keeping for personal use.
During the investigation, detectives identified seven students at the Fair Lakes area school whose medicine was being abused, police said.
Detectives began investigating on May 27 after a health department supervisor noticed a discrepancy in the amount of medication several students maintained at the school, the release said.
Carpenter was indicted on seven counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor; two separate counts of unlawful possession of controlled substances; one count of obtaining drugs by fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, embezzlement, or subterfuge; and one count of unlawful dispension of a drug in place of another without permission of the person ordering/prescribing.
In a statement, FCPD Criminal Investigations Division Commander Captain Frederick Chambers said:
As parents, we have an expectation that a person in a position of trust will care for our children. When that trust is broken, we can feel betrayed. Thanks to the swift notification of the health department and schools, our detectives were able to immediately begin their investigation when the discrepancy was noticed. We will continue to hold anyone who abuses their position of power accountable for their actions.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Steven Descano called Carpenter’s actions a “gross breach of trust” in a statement.
“This situation could have easily evolved into a medical emergency for any of the children affected,” the statement reads.
This morning, CA Descano announced the indictment of Jennifer Carpenter on two counts of possession of schedule I or II drugs, one count of adulterated or misbranded drugs, and seven counts of contributing to the delinquency or abuse of a child. pic.twitter.com/YHiaBp9vb2
— Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney Descano (@FairfaxCountyCA) July 21, 2022
If convicted, Carpenter faces a sentence of three to 32.5 years in prison, and up to $25,000 in fines, Descano said.
Police ask anyone with information about the case to call 703-591-0966. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through Crime Solvers by phone – 1-866-411-TIPS (866-411-8477), and by web.
Photo via Greenbriar East/Facebook
Another Fairfax County location for Crumbl Cookies is baking in the oven.
Crumbl Cookies is opening at Fair Lakes Shopping Center in the third quarter of this year, which runs through Sept. 30, according to a company spokesperson.
The shop will be located at 13075 Fair Lakes Shopping Center, according to county permits.
Crumbl has been rapidly expanding in Virginia. Local locations include Reston, Vienna, Chantilly and Ashburn.
The company was started by two cousins — Jason McGowan and Sawyer Hemsley in 2017. Crumbl offers a weekly rotating menu, which features a weekly chilled pink sugar cookie and its chocolate chip cookie. New flavors are added frequently.
A high-end hair salon is uprooting its current location in Fairfax this fall.
Ash + Willow Hair Co plans to relocate from its current space at 10560 Main Street in Fairfax to the Pender Village Center in Fair Lakes.
Owner and founder Tanya Ko says the new location is larger than the previous space.
“I decided to move to expand my salon from a 5 chair studio in an office space to 8 chairs retail location. I am bringing a luxury hair salon to Pender Village that will offer luxury hair extensions and coloring,” Ko told FFXnow by email.
The company expects to open this fall.
The salon offers hand tied extensions, foils and balayage, hair color, hair cuts, toner and other services.
The village center is home to other retailers, like Bruster’s Ice Cream, Golftec, Corner Bakery and Harris Teeter.