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The Oakton location is similar to another restaurant in Georgia (via WNB Factory)

WNB Factory, a restaurant that specializes in wings and burgers, is expected to open two Fairfax County locations next month.

The business plans to open at Hunter Mill Plaza (2952 Chain Bridge Road) between Aug. 15 and 30, depending on final permit approvals, according to a company representative.

Joon Kim, a franchisee with the company, says the new location in Oakton fills what he says is a lack of good wing and burger spots in the area.

Our burgers are all never frozen Certified Angus Beef. Our chickens, chicken tenders, and chicken wings (23 flavors) are all natural, hormone free, cage free,” Kim told FFXnow.

The business also plans to open a location in Huntington sometime in the middle of next month. That spot will be located at 5952 Richmond Highway.

WNB has locations across the country.

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Beyond/Hello is opening a new medical cannabis dispensary along Richmond Highway (staff photo by Matt Blitz)

The Fairfax County area’s first medical cannabis dispensaries are almost ready to make their debuts.

Beyond/Hello, one of four companies allowed to sell cannabis in Virginia and owned by Flordia-based Jushi, is opening a location in Huntington along Richmond Highway, as FFXnow reported in April.

That store is set to start serving patients “within two to four weeks,” pending approval from the Virginia Board of Pharmacy, Chief Commercial Director Trent Wolveck told FFXnow.

The new dispensary will be located next to a car dealership at 5902 Richmond Highway. Set back a bit from the road, the building previously housed the Great American Steak & Buffet Company, which appears to have closed in 2020.

“This location was selected due to the proximity to the Old Town Alexandria and the 495 Beltway,” Wolveck said by email. “Also, our preference in Virginia is for stand alone single tenant properties. We get that here, along with over 90 parking spaces for patients.”

Construction on the business appears to be mostly completed, with a glossy black, stylized sign in front.

Beyond/Hello’s Fairfax City dispensary is also on track to open within the next six to 10 weeks, barring state approval, Wolveck says. It will be at 10521 Fairfax Blvd. in a former Rite Aid building.

Wolveck says the location held a similar appeal as the Richmond Highway one, since it’s a standalone building with a large number of parking spots. The proximity to major roads and highways also was attractive.

“The property sits on highly trafficked Leesburg Pike and provides the best signage and branding opportunity of all of our Virginia locations given its position at the intersection of Leesburg Pike and Chain Bridge [Road],” Wolveck noted. “The Fairfax location is also just two minutes from I-66.”

Earlier this month, it became easier for Virginia residents to obtain medical cannabis. A new state law went into effect July 1, removing the need for patients to register with the Commonwealth to make a purchase. Now, patients simply need written certification from a licensed practitioner.

This loosening of regulations is expected to supercharge Virginia’s medical cannabis industry. As of April, only about 0.5% of the Commonwealth’s nearly 9 million residents were registered as medical cannabis patients. That’s far below the national average of 2% and Maryland’s rate of 2.5%.

Medical cannabis sales may catch fire in the coming months, but recreational sales remain banned in Virginia. While it is legal to possess and grow marijuana in the Commonwealth, an effort to create infrastructure for retail sales failed in the Virginia General Assembly earlier this year.

For the moment, cannabis retail sales won’t be allowed in Virginia until Jan. 1, 2024.

Beyond/Hello is continuing its expansion across Northern Virginia. The company is legally allowed to operate six dispensaries in Virginia, with its first two already open in Manassas and Sterling.

An Arlington dispensary is set to open in Clarendon along Wilson Blvd by the end of the year, while a Woodbridge location is aiming for an early 2023 start date.

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The Arden in Huntington, set to be one of the county’s largest affordable housing complexes, is expected to be ready for residents this fall.

Construction work on the seven-story, 126-unit apartment building is expected to finish in late September with a move-in date shortly thereafter, perhaps as soon as October, Wesley Housing President and CEO Shelley Murphy tells FFXnow.

That’s only slightly behind the developer’s initial goal of completing the project by the summer. Murphy attributes the delay to “normal construction stuff,” like supply chain issues, material acquisitions, and permitting.

Wesley Housing is a nonprofit that constructs and manages affordable housing across the D.C. region, including a number in Fairfax County.

The nearly $60 million Arden is Wesley Housing’s largest housing complex and will be one of the most significant in the county when completed, though Dominion Square West in Tysons will top it for the number of units when finished in several years.

Back in March, Fairfax County revised its goal to have 10,000 affordable housing units by 2034.

Of the 126 apartments in The Arden, more than half will be two bedrooms, and the rest will be a mix of studio, single, and triple bedroom units. Housing will be available for those earning between 40% and 80% of the area median income.

There will only be one market-rate apartment available in the entire building.

The Arden will also house a new headquarters for Wesley Housing, with staff expected to move in by the end of the year, Murphy says.

Located at the intersection of Huntington Avenue and Biscayne Drive, the building is just a block from the Huntington Metro station.

“This is truly a transit-oriented development,” Murphy said. “We are less than 200 yards from the Huntington Metro station. Those are the highest priced [sites] and it’s often hard to do significant affordable housing that close to transit.”

The site previously hosted a 12-unit brick apartment from the 1950s that got demolished after redevelopment was approved in 2014. Initially, the site was zoned as a combination of market-rate apartments and commercial space.

However, when Wesley Housing acquired the property and began its project, the nonprofit committed it to affordable housing and got the site rezoned from commercial to office. It broke ground on The Arden in July 2020.

The eastern end of the county, including Huntington and the Richmond Highway corridor, continues to be targeted for redevelopment. Murphy says The Arden will provide convenient and accessible housing for those most in need in Fairfax County.

“There’s a lot of redevelopment in that area of Huntington. There’s a lot of market-rate apartments going up and it will continue to increase in density going forward,” Murphy said. “This is the one committed, affordable that’s in that part of the Huntington area.”

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Richmond Highway facing south at Huntington Avenue (via Google Maps)

(Updated at 4:25 p.m.) A pedestrian was killed in a crash on Route 1 in Lorton early this morning (Friday), just hours after Fairfax County police announced that a woman had died following a hit-and-run in the corridor.

With those two deaths, Fairfax County has now reported 12 pedestrian fatalities from vehicle crashes this year — nearly doubling the seven deaths recorded at this point in 2021.

The 2022 death toll doesn’t include a man killed on the Dulles Airport Access Highway in the Reston area on Tuesday (July 5), since that incident was handled by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police.

The Lorton crash occurred on Richmond Highway, also known as Route 1, over the northbound I-95 ramp at 1:28 a.m., the Fairfax County Police Department said in a news release this afternoon.

The pedestrian — now identified as 24-year-old Keith Thomas — was walking in the highway’s southbound lanes when he was struck by a 2005 GMC Sierra headed in the same direction.

“While the driver of the GMC called for help, Thomas was subsequently struck by other vehicles,” the FCPD said.

Thomas died at the scene. Police say alcohol and speed don’t appear to have been factors in the crash.

Charges possible in Huntington hit-and-run

Yesterday afternoon (Thursday), the FCPD announced that Doris Anita McPhail, 56, of Alexandria had succumbed to her injuries at a hospital that morning after being hit by a car while crossing Route 1 on Wednesday (July 6).

According to police, McPhail was near the Huntington Avenue intersection when a car traveling south on the highway hit her in the left lane.

Officers responded to the 5600 block of Richmond Highway around 10:20 p.m. The vehicle was originally described as a dark-colored, older SUV, but Crash Reconstruction Unit detectives later identified it as a 2007 dark-green Toyota Camry. Read More

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Morning Notes

Construction continues on a commuter parking garage on Monument Drive in Fair Lakes (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Huntington House Fire Displaces Six — Fairfax County and Alexandria City firefighters responded to a house fire in the 2500 block of Massey Court at 3:45 p.m. on Wednesday (July 6). Started accidentally in “an electrical event involving the attic fan,” the blaze displaced six residents and caused approximately $134,500 in damages, though no injuries were reported. [FCFRD]

Body, Possibly of Missing Man, Found in Newington — “Fairfax County Police say they found a body inside a car thought to belong to a man missing since May. According to officials, 53-year-old Juan Ward from Woodbridge, Virginia, was last seen on May 24…Police said Ward disappeared under unusual circumstances.” [WUSA9]

Dulles Airport Lands Funding for New Concourse — “Dulles International Airport will receive $49.6 million to help fund a new regional airline concourse, among 85 airports receiving part of a nearly $1 billion grant stemming from last year’s infrastructure bill approved by Congress…The funding puts Dulles one step closer to construction of a new Concourse A, which serves United Airlines’ regional flights.” [WTOP]

Supervisors Approve Extra Taxi Surcharge — “As fuel prices remain high, the Fairfax Board of Supervisors in late June approved a temporary uncodified ordinance that provides an emergency $2-per-trip taxicab fuel surcharge through Dec. 29.” [Inside NoVA]

Fairfax County to Overhaul Development Process — The Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing on July 19 to consider changes to its site-specific plan amendment (SSPA) process, which is used for development proposals that require altering the county’s Comprehensive Plan. Proposed revisions focus on shortening the timeline and taking a more targeted approach to public engagement. [Annandale Today]

Superintendent Michelle Reid Makes Introduction — “After several months of preparation and a six-day, cross-country drive, I wanted to reach out and share again how excited I am to be here in Fairfax County and to be part of the Fairfax County Public Schools family!” [FCPS]

What to Do in the Town of Vienna — “Vienna sits in the shadow of its bigger neighbor Tysons Corner. But don’t let the town’s low profile fool you: Its cornucopia of shops, events, and restaurants make Vienna a worthwhile day-trip destination.” [Northern Virginia Magazine]

Frying Pan Fair Returns — Fairfax County’s 4-H Fair and Carnival will be back at Frying Pan Farm Park in Herndon on Aug. 7. The event will feature carnival rides, games, food trucks, a Big Truck Night and farm demonstrations. A list of food vendors and other details will be released in the coming weeks. [Fairfax County Park Authority]

It’s Friday — Rain in the evening and overnight. High of 85 and low of 74. Sunrise at 5:52 am and sunset at 8:38 pm. [Weather.gov]

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A map shows where shuttles will transport Metro riders during the Yellow Line construction (via WMATA)

Metro has announced its plan for commuters during its major Blue and Yellow Line construction this fall.

For Fairfax County, the project will primarily affect residents in the south, with the Franconia and Huntington stations among those scheduled to close for a month. Free shuttle buses will be available to and from the affected stations, Metro said in a press release.

Unfolding in two phases over eight months starting Sept. 10, the construction includes connecting the future Potomac Yard station to the main rail system and rehabilitating a Yellow Line tunnel and bridge between Pentagon and L’Enfant Plaza stations.

Fairfax County leaders previously urged the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Agency to accelerate the project timeline and provide more alternatives to limit the impact of the closure.

Phase one

Seven free shuttles will be offered between Sept. 10 and Oct. 22. Virginia will have local and express shuttles as well as three limited-stop shuttles crossing the Potomac River, according to Metro.

During that time there will be no Yellow Line rail service, and no rail service at all south of Reagan National Airport station.

  • Local shuttles will be available during all Metrorail operating hours.
    • Blue Line Local: Between Franconia, Van Dorn Street, King Street, Braddock Road, and Reagan National Airport stations every 10-20 minutes
    • Yellow Line Local: Between Huntington, Eisenhower Avenue, King Street, Braddock Road, and Crystal City stations every 10-15 minutes
  • Express shuttles will be available from 4:30 a.m.-9 p.m. during the week and 6:30 a.m.-9 p.m on weekends.
    • Blue Line Express: Franconia-Pentagon Express service between Franconia and Pentagon stations every six minutes
    • Yellow Line Express: Huntington-Pentagon Express service between Huntington and Pentagon stations every six minutes
  • Limited shuttles will be available during weekday rush hours only.
    • VA-DC Shuttle 1: Between Crystal City, Pentagon City, Smithsonian, and L’Enfant Plaza stations every 12 minutes
    • VA-DC Shuttle 2: Between Pentagon, Smithsonian, and Archives stations every 12 minutes
    • VA-DC Shuttle 3: Between Mt. Vernon, Alexandria, and Potomac Park stations every 20 minutes. Peak direction service only.

Metro will also beef up Blue Line service between Reagan National Airport and New Carrollton, with trains departing every seven to nine minutes. That will change to every 15 minutes after 9:30 p.m.

But Blue Line customers traveling between Pentagon and L’Enfant stations should plan on about 15 minutes of extra travel time, the release said.

Green Line trains will operate every eight minutes, switching to every 10 minutes after 9:30 p.m.

Phase two

Between Oct. 23 and May 2023, all stations will reopen and service will resume south of the National Airport station, as work continues on a portion of the Yellow Line north of the station.

During that time, Blue Line trains will operate every 12 minutes between Largo Town Center and Franconia and every 12 minutes between Huntington and New Carrollton, shifting to every 15 minutes after 9:30 p.m. Green Line trains will operate every eight minutes, but every 10 minutes after 9:30 p.m.

Three limited-stop shuttles crossing the Potomac River will continue during weekday rush hours only, the release said.

  • VA-DC Shuttle 1: Crystal City-L’Enfant: Service between Crystal City, Pentagon City, Smithsonian, and L’Enfant Plaza stations every 12 minutes. Shuttle does not stop at Pentagon Station
  • VA-DC Shuttle 2: Pentagon-Archives: Service between Pentagon, Smithsonian, and Archives stations every 12 minutes
  • VA-DC Shuttle 3: Mt. Vernon-Potomac Park (11Y Route): Service between Mt. Vernon, Alexandria, and Potomac Park every 20 minutes. Peak direction service only

Photo via WMATA/Twitter

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Officials are proposing adding bicycle lanes and crosswalks to Farmington Drive and Fordson Road, which are in two highly trafficked areas south of the Beltway.

On Farmington Drive, the lanes and additional shared street markings would go between Telegraph Road and Edgehill Drive bordering Jefferson Manor Park and near the Huntington Metro.

On Fordson Road, new bike lanes are being proposed for the short segment of the road in Hybla Valley that connects Mount Vernon Plaza to Richmond Highway. The shopping center recently gained a 3,200-square-foot parklet.

New crosswalks across Fordson Road at Cyrene Blvd and near the entrance of the McDonald’s at the shopping plaza are also being suggested.

This would restrict “most” on-street parking south of Cyrene Blvd, the county notes on the project page, though on-street parking will remain intact north of the road.

All of this is set to be discussed with the community at a virtual meeting next week (June 15). A recording of the meeting will be posted afterward, and community feedback will be accepted until June 29.

Fairfax County Department of Transportation spokesperson Robin Geiger says these types of measures are recommended by the Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan and adding bike lanes can help slow down car traffic.

“The [roads are] wide enough to accommodate additional transportation infrastructure,” she wrote to FFXnow in an email. “Wide travel lanes can also lead to higher travel speeds, which is a safety concern for drivers, as well as cyclists and crossing pedestrians.”

The project only needs to be approved by District Supervisor Rodney Lusk, who is expected to make his decision in the coming weeks after the public comment period.

The proposed projects are part of the county’s annual maintenance, repaving, and striping of roads. Every year, FCDOT identifies roads that could be improved by additional safety measures like crosswalks, bicycle lanes, and shared street markings. The county collaborates with VDOT, which does the actual work and funding of the projects. The work begins in April and concludes in November.

However, these two projects were not part of the original collection of roads that were set for new safety measures this year.

The Farmington Drive and Fordson Road projects had originally been slated for consideration next year, but a lower bid on the paving contract allowed them to be possibly moved earlier.

If approved, the roads will be repaved between September 2022 and June 2023, so it still could be a full year before the new bicycle lanes and crosswalks are completed.

VDOT was not able to provide more information by publication on how much street parking would be lost with the addition of bike lanes to Fordson Road as well as the cost of both projects. Geiger did say the addition of bike lanes and crosswalks are just “making minor adjustments to the striping.”

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Morning Notes

Caliburger is among the retailers coming to The Boro in Tysons (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Filler-Corn Ousted as House Minority Leader — Tasked with trying to retake a majority in 2023 — or this year, pending the outcome of a court case — the Virginia House Democratic Caucus removed former Speaker of the House Eileen Filler-Corn as their leader in a secret ballot vote yesterday (Wednesday). Filler-Corn, who represents part of Fairfax County as the 41st District delegate, was the first woman and first Jewish person to serve as speaker in the chamber’s 400-year history. [Richmond Times-Dispatch]

Tysons Housing Project Lands Big Bucks — On Tuesday (May 3), officials from Fairfax County, the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing, and more will announce a $55 million investment in the Dominion Square West project. The county says the funds will allow APAH to construct two planned buildings, instead of just the one that has been approved, accelerating the delivery of over 500 units of affordable housing. [Fairfax County HCD]

Herndon Police on Lookout for Missing Teen — “Town of Herndon Police are asking the public’s help in locating a runaway teenager, according to a post on the department’s office Twitter account. Bryan Escalante Gomez, 17, was last seen by his family at 7:45 p.m., on Sunday.” [Patch]

FCPS Updates Covid Isolation Policy — “In a message to families Wednesday, Fairfax County Public Schools said that starting May 1, students who test positive can return to in-person classes, activities and sporting events after at least five days of isolation. Previously, 10 days of isolation were required.” [WTOP]

Vienna Lowers Tax Rate — “The Vienna Town Council voted [on Monday, April 25] to reduce the Town’s property tax rate by 1.75 cents to 20.5 cents per $100 of assessed value. The new rate is .75 cents lower than the one cent reduction in the proposed FY2023 budget presented by the Town Manager in March.” [Town of Vienna]

Huntington Gets New Latino Supermarket — “There’s a new grocery store in the area. Juana Supermarket officially opened its doors on Saturday (April 23). The new store replaced the La Latina Market at 5838 N. King’s Highway in the Huntington Station Shopping Center.” [ALXnow]

Summer Music Series Schedule Announced — “Fairfax County Park Authority’s Summer Entertainment Series is back! This year the Summer Entertainment Series features more shows at 18 locations, a new global dance and music series Wednesday evenings in Falls Church, Starlight drive-in movies in Centreville Saturday evenings in August, plus 180 live performances to choose from.” [FCPA]

Peloton Instructor Plans Tysons Book Talk — “Beloved Peloton instructor Tunde Oyeneyin is launching a debut book titled Speak, and on May 3 — the day the book comes out — she’ll be hosting the first stop on her book tour at Tysons Galleria…Seats for the event are already sold out, but the event remains open to the public, and additional guests are welcome to join for standing room.” [Washingtonian]

It’s Thursday — Clear throughout the day. High of 56 and low of 33. Sunrise at 6:16 am and sunset at 8:00 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Person weighs medical marijuana (via Add Weed/Unsplash)

(Updated at 8:50 a.m. on 4/20/2022) A provider of medical marijuana will open two dispensary locations in the Fairfax County area this summer.

Beyond/Hello plans to open new dispensaries in Fairfax (10521 Fairfax Blvd.) and Huntington (5902 Richmond Highway) that will provide medical-grade cannabis to local patients.

Beyond Hello is owned by Jushi, a Florida-based cannabusiness that provides legal cannabis for both medical and recreational use.

According to Sarah Proctor, Beyond/Hello’s public outreach and education specialist, the new locations will offer patient consultations, express pickup, over 20 point of sale registers, and free on-site parking for their customers.

The supply for the dispensaries will come from Beyond/Hello’s grow house, a two-story, 45,000-square-foot building based in Manassas. Opened in December 2020, the Manassas location was the company’s first dispensary in Virginia and will act as a hub for all of its satellite stores.

“Products that are dispensed will come from our vertically integrated facility in Manassas, which is a full seed-to-sale facility where we cultivate, manufacture and process products for registered patients,” Proctor said.

The new dispensaries will not be able to offer recreational cannabis. While adults 21 and older can now legally possess up to an ounce of pot in Virginia, recreational sales remain illegal, though that hasn’t stopped some products from hitting the market.

Regulations for the substance are being hammered out by the Virginia General Assembly and the newly created Cannabis Control Authority, which could operate similarly to the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority if sales are allowed to begin as scheduled in 2024.

An effort to move up the timeline for legalizing retail sales died in the House of Delegates in February.

Gov. Glenn Youngkin recently signed a bill that eliminated the requirement that patients register with the Virginia Board of Pharmacy to be eligible for medical cannabis after receiving a written certification from a licensed practitioner. The new law will go into effect on July 1.

Photo via Add Weed/Unsplash

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