The tennis courts at Rutherford Park in Wakefield area will be closed for about two weeks, starting around Memorial Day.
The park’s three tennis courts are set to undergo resurfacing work from approximately Monday, May 29 until June 12, the Fairfax County Park Authority announced today.
Unfortunately for local pickleball players, no changes will be made to the programming or layout of the facility at 4710 Guinea Road.
“Rutherford Park is not a candidate for pickleball courts and will not receive any pickleball lining,” the FCPA said.
Instead, the project will consist of “pressure washing…cleaning and filling existing cracks, resurfacing, color coating and lining for tennis, and installing new net posts,” according to the news release.
About $38,000 has been allocated to the resurfacing project in the county’s current fiscal year 2023 budget.
(Updated at 11:40 a.m.) IKEA is slated to open a new urban-format concept in Fairfax Corner, according to a report by Washington Business Journal.
The Swedish furniture giant expects to open a “plan-and-order point” with pick-up options in Fairfax Corner, according to the report. The business will replace a nearly 4,458-square-foot location that was the former home of South Moon Under.
A spokesperson for Peterson Companies, which manages Fairfax Corner, confirmed to FFXnow that Ikea will open a store there.
Ikea is also slated to open a store in Rio in Gaithersburg sometime later this year, along with a smaller location this summer in Pentagon City.
According to WBJ, customers will be able to meet employees to consult on furnishing designs and planning. The locations in Fairfax and Gaithersburg will have the option of picking up items in the store. But at the Pentagon City location must be shipped to the customer’s home or business.
Fairfax Corner, owned by Peterson Cos., is currently home to retailers like REI, P.F. Chang’s, Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Cinemark. An apartment building is also slated to open there this summer.
According to the WBJ, Fairfax Corner will also undergo some construction this summer on a new retail building for the home decor store Arhaus, which will be relocating within the shopping center.
Peterson Cos. also announced that it will break ground in June on a 36,000-square-foot, two-story retail building at Fairfax Corner, in an existing surface lot across from Coastal Flats, where Arhaus, an existing tenant, will relocate in the fall of 2024. Arhaus, a higher-end furniture and home decor store, will take 19,000 square feet of that building, including a 4,000-square-foot open-air second floor that will showcase outdoor items…
…”With renewed interest in retail leasing and customers looking for centers that feature quality-of-life amenities, Fairfax Corner and Rio will provide expanded choices with Vista providing more options for convenient, luxury living,” Paul Weinschenk, Peterson’s president of retail, said in a statement.
Correction: This article initially said Ikea would be a tenant in the new retail building with Arhaus, but the Peterson Cos. spokesperson clarified that it’s a separate project. Photo via Jueun Song/Unsplash
A $28 million baseball and softball complex in Fairfax officially opened this past weekend, marking the county’s first foray into sports tourism.
The ribbon-cutting for Patriot Park North was held Saturday morning (April 15) with local officials, a Washington Nationals representative, and Little Leaguers all in attendance.
The new facility features four turf, 90-foot, full-size baseball diamonds, two 60-foot smaller diamonds, an elevated press and scouting box, concession stands, warm-up areas, streaming capabilities, and a baseball-themed playground.
The facility was designed, constructed, and is now run by the Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA).
“This is a state-of-the-art facility for youth and adult sports,” Fairfax County Board Chairman Jeff McKay said in a county-produced video. “It is really rare, one-of-a-kind, to have a turf baseball field and to have this many baseball and softball fields in one location. It will not only help this community but it helps with tournaments and other big events.”
A collaboration with the Southwestern Youth Association, Patriot Park North is the first project to come out of a push by the Sports Tourism Task Force and a number of county agencies to build sports facilities that not only benefit residents, but also bring in tourism revenue by hosting tournaments and events.
Patriot Park North has 26 committed events between April and November, per the office of Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity, who chairs the Sports Tourism Task Force.
Each event is “anticipated to net between $162,000 to more than $1 million” with a projected economic impact of more than $11 million, according to a press release from Herrity’s office.
“The opening of this facility is a milestone not just for the Springfield District, but for the county,” Herrity said. “It is one example of the many ways we can partner with great community organizations like SYA, in order to provide top-of-the-line sports facilities for residents and at the same time diversify our revenue and reduce the burden on taxpayers with sports tourism revenues. This is the first of what I hope will be many state-of-the-art athletic facilities we will be opening for our residents.”
It also may be the only completed sports facility of this nature for a while. Back in October, the county delayed plans to seek proposals for new facilities after the Board of Supervisors raised concerns that the task force’s site recommendations didn’t take equity into consideration. Read More
Fairfax County wants your food scraps and yard waste.
The county will officially launch its new compost outpost at the I-66 Transfer Station (4618 West Ox Road) with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11 a.m. tomorrow (Wednesday).
Part of a two-year-long pilot program, the facility consists of two 20-foot-long shipping containers modified so that visitors can drop off organic waste in the dirt-filled receptacles.
“It is designed to create optimal conditions for composting and is a test facility to demonstrate small-scale, decentralized, organics processing,” the Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services (DPWES) said in a media advisory.
The pilot will expand the county’s efforts to promote composting, which makes soil healthier by returning nutrients to the earth, reducing erosion and improving its ability to hold water, according to the Virginia Cooperative Extension.
The county has also been accepting food scraps for composting at the I-95 Landfill Complex (9850 Furnace Road) in Lorton and at some farmers markets, though the 2023 season isn’t set to begin until later this month.
The I-66 outpost will process food scraps and yard waste from residents and county facilities, though residents must drop off their collections directly.
“We will not be picking them up for this program,” DPWES spokesperson Sharon North said.
The resulting compost is expected to be initially used at county parks, according to North.
The pilot will help the county determine the facility’s effectiveness and provide a visible demonstration of “the ability…to take a waste product and turn it into a locally sourced and readily available resource that can be used to enhance the community,” said Matt Adams, director of the Solid Waste Management Program in the DPWES Engineering and Environmental Compliance Division.
“The Compost Outpost pilot demonstrates this by utilizing sustainable materials, such as plant material and food scraps that are currently treated as a waste products to be removed from the community, and transforming them into compost that can be used locally,” Adams said in a statement to FFXnow. “This greatly benefits the environment and the county’s overall sustainability goals by lowering emissions through the reduction [of] transportation/processing practices and adds to the resources available within a community.”
Here’s more on the pilot from DPWES:
The two-year pilot was approved by the Department of Environmental Quality and aligns with the county’s Zero Waste Policy by diverting food waste and other organics from municipal waste streams.
Over the course, the operational impacts, as well as the production of the finished compost will be assessed to determine the project’s feasibility and efficacy.
The Compost Outpost pilot will cost approximately $100,000. It is funded by the county’s Zero Waste Team and hosted by the Solid Waste Management Program and its partner, Compost Crew.
More information on the materials accepted for composting can be found on the DPWES website.
In the future, currently undeveloped land on Route 50 across from Fairfax Towne Center could host housing for adults at the low end of Fairfax County’s income spectrum.
The Reston-based nonprofit Cornerstones Housing Corporation (CHC) has partnered with the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA), which owns the 1.1-acre property, to potentially build a three-story, 34-unit residential building at 12116 Lee Jackson Memorial Highway.
The housing and accompanying supportive services will be specifically designed to serve single adults who have very low or extremely low incomes, which ranges from under 50% of the area median income (AMI) to under 30%, says a rezoning application submitted to the county on Feb. 24.
“The Applicant will provide not only housing, but a comprehensive, holistic program to help low-income individuals regain self-sufficiency,” the developer’s legal agent, Lynn Strobel, wrote in the application, which says the project will help “a demographic not currently served by many affordable housing providers.”
The proposal has been in the works for over a year now, ever since CHC sent the county an unsolicited proposal for a development called Fair Ridge at West Ox.
According to the application, the nonprofit and FCRHA signed an interim agreement for the project on Dec. 22. At a Feb. 22, 2022 board meeting, Sully District Supervisor Kathy Smith, who represents the area, then requested that the county consider amending its comprehensive plan to allow affordable housing on the property.
If the amendment is approved, the site’s permitted density would increase from two to 35 dwelling units per acre. It’s being reviewed by county staff concurrently with the zoning application, which would have a density of about 29 units per acre.
The development arm of Cornerstones, which also provides emergency shelter, basic needs assistance and other services, CHC owns 47 townhouses and 11 condominiums in Reston, Herndon and Centreville, all rented to residents earning 50% or less AMI, per its website.
Totaling 27,000 square feet in size, the 34-foot-tall proposed residential building will have one-bedroom units except for one two-bedroom unit. All units will have a patio or balcony, and amenities will be on the first floor, including an outdoor patio with seats and a grilling station.
CHC is seeking a reduction from the county’s parking requirements to one space per unit. The submitted plan shows a total of 47 surface parking spaces to support the building.
“Based on experience, the Applicant anticipates most of the residents will not have vehicles. In addition, while supportive services will include transportation to doctors, retail and other destinations, a majority of the trips generated…will be during non-peak traffic hours,” Strobel wrote.
The site is adjacent to a medical office building and just southeast of the Fair Oaks police and fire stations. The Harris Teeter-anchored Pender Village Center is also half a mile away.
Fair Ridge at West Ox is the latest residential project to offer mostly or entirely affordable units after the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors pledged to add 10,000 new affordable units by 2034. Developments at Dominion Square West in Tysons and the Fairfax County Government Center got approved just last month.
However, an agreement for affordable apartments at Bowman Towne Court in Reston that would’ve also delivered a new library got scrapped on Feb. 8. The developer cited increased costs in a letter notifying the county of its decision.
CHC’s application hasn’t been officially accepted yet for review by county staff.
Fairfax County officials are guarding their wickets carefully as they size up a recent pitch for a possible cricket and baseball facility at George Mason University.
The Board of Supervisors directed county staff last week to monitor and get involved in a feasibility study that Mason and Major League Cricket (MLC) initiated in November.
Since the study is still in its early stages, major questions remain, including what sites are being considered, but there is definitely demand for a regulation cricket pitch, Franconia District Supervisor Rodney Lusk and Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity said.
“I’m just interested in seeing if we have the opportunity to at least have a conversation and to see if there’s any feasibility on this coming to fruition,” Lusk said during the Feb. 21 meeting. “…There are many in the community who have been asking for this and would really enjoy having this opportunity to play cricket in a facility of this nature.”
GMU announced on Nov. 29 that it’s collaborating with MLC to study the possibility of building a multi-purpose facility that could host international-level cricket games as well as the university’s baseball team.
Funding for the study comes from technology entrepreneur Sanjay Govil, a founding investor in MLC, according to the press release. The group aspires to have an operational facility that would serve as a home for an MLC franchise by summer 2025.
A regulation cricket field is the size of three baseball fields, making it “extremely difficult to assemble” within the Fairfax County Park Authority’s standard field dimensions, Lusk and Herrity said in their joint board matter.
“This innovative approach has the potential to fill a recreational void in our community, provide a multi-use amenity of benefit to the entire county, and generate a meaningful economic impact as the sole facility of its kind in the region,” the board matter said.
In the community immediately surrounding GMU’s Fairfax campus, however, the proposal may face an uphill battle.
Though he expressed support for both GMU and cricket, Braddock District Supervisor James Walkinshaw warned it will be “really important to manage this process” to avoid a repeat of “some decisions that the university made that created some real challenges and animosity in the neighborhoods.”
He didn’t specify which decisions he was referring to, but he noted that the proximity of Mason’s existing athletic facilities on the west campus to residential neighborhoods “has presented a lot of challenges over the years.” In addition, one possible, currently undeveloped site at Braddock and Shirley Gate roads is in the Occoquan Watershed.
The new facility’s potential traffic impact could also be an issue. An extension of Shirley Gate Road from Braddock to Fairfax County Parkway is in the works, but that’s about it for planned road improvements in the area, according to Walkinshaw.
“If we’re going to be building a facility here that will bring large groups of people, the university’s got to take some responsibility for how people are going to get to and from the campus, because the existing transportation network doesn’t support it,” he said.
Board Chairman Jeff McKay concurred that the county needs to approach the proposal “with our eyes wide open,” noting that GMU-owned properties aren’t subject to local land use review processes like private or county developments.
The One University and Capstone housing projects near the university campus, for instance, may have ruffled feathers, but the public was still guaranteed opportunities to provide input.
“Unlike the county, [GMU doesn’t] go through our regular land use process,” McKay said. “That’s one of the reasons you’re hearing some of the caution flags about making sure this process works right and the board is informed of what’s going on.”
Photo via michael weir/Unsplash
(Updated at 2:05 p.m. on 2/28/2023) The contents of a truck that appears to have been carrying trash to the I-66 Transfer Station (4618 West Ox Road) included a dead body, police say.
The Fairfax County Police Department has opened an investigation into the body, which it says was found this afternoon “in a trailer used for transporting trash” in the 4600 block of West Ox Road.
A preliminary investigation found “no significant trauma” on the body, an FCPD spokesperson said.
“More details will be provided as the investigation continues,” police said.
Detectives from our Major Crimes Bureau are conducting a death investigation in the 4600 blk of West Ox Rd after a body was found in a trailer used for transporting trash. More details will be provided as the investigation continues. #FCPD pic.twitter.com/YKe87jr0uZ
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) February 27, 2023
A driver died after crashing their vehicle west of George Mason University’s Fairfax campus shortly after midnight on Saturday (Feb. 25).
The crash occurred at the Braddock Road and Fairfax County Parkway intersection, the Fairfax County Police Department reported at 12:11 a.m. that day.
The vehicle was driven into a traffic signal pole, according to a police spokesperson.
The driver, who was the only person in the vehicle, died at the scene. Westbound Braddock Road was closed at the intersection until around 3:30 a.m. as detectives investigated the crash.
Detectives from our Crash Reconstruction Unit continue to investigate. Braddock Rd is now open. Follow our blog, https://t.co/XTgRJykwD5, for updates when available.
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) February 25, 2023
It was the third fatal crash not involving pedestrians on county roads so far in 2023 after the FCPD announced on Friday (Feb. 24) that the passenger on a one-vehicle crash in Annandale on Jan. 27 has died from his injuries.
The year’s first non-pedestrian fatal crash came on Jan. 10, when a Lexus drove off Lee Chapel Road in Fairfax Station, killing two teens and hospitalizing a third. A driver also died after crashing into a jersey wall on the I-495 Express Lanes last week.
There had been no non-pedestrian fatalities at this point in the year in 2022, according to the FCPD. No pedestrian fatalities have been reported so far this year, as indicated by state data.
Image via Google Maps
Several Bed Bath & Beyond locations in Fairfax County will officially be put to bed before the summer.
The company’s locations in Mount Vernon, Fairfax, and Springfield are slated to close before the summer, according to store representatives.
Earlier this month, the company revealed a list of the 149 locations it plans close.
“We have been conducting a comprehensive, store-by-store analysis of our portfolio to ensure we can grow profitably while best serving our customers,” a company representative told FFXnow.
The locations in Mount Vernon (7690 Richmond Highway) and Fairfax (12100 Fairfax Towne Center) will close at the end of March, according to store representatives. Liquidation sales offering discounts of 10 to 30% off on all items in the stores are now underway.
A date for closing the Springfield location (6642 Loisdale Road) has not been determined yet.
The store in Bailey’s Crossroads will remain open. The home decor company also used to have a store in Tysons until it closed last February after just over a decade on Chain Bridge Road.
Overall, the company will slash the number of Bed Bath & Beyond stores by around 400. Other locations that are slated to close include Harrisonburg and Roanoke.
In an attempt to avert bankruptcy, Bed Bath and Beyond has reportedly raised $1 billion through offerings of preferred stocks and warrants to buy the company’s common stock, according to the Associated Press.
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.