Some of New York City’s finest falafels will be available in Pimmit Hills starting this week.
The fast-casual eatery Taim Mediterranean Kitchen will give the community a preview of its first Virginia location at 7502 Leesburg Pike in the Tysons Station shopping center tomorrow (Wednesday), followed by an official grand opening on Thursday (July 27).
The community preview day will kick off at noon and continue to 5 p.m., offering $5 entrees to guests with proceeds going to the Capital Area Food Bank, according to a press release.
The restaurant’s regular hours of 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day will begin Thursday. Plans for the grand opening include a ribbon-cutting ceremony supported by the Tysons Regional Chamber of Commerce, swag bags for the first 50 people in line, and a prize wheel.
“Whether grabbing a bite on a visit to the shopping center or looking for a shareable, family-friendly dinner, taim is as deliciously satisfying as it is convenient,” said Phil Petrilli, founder of Untamed Brands, which owns Taim. “Our friendly team can’t wait to serve the Tysons community and share some of their favorite menu items.”
Taim started as an all-vegetarian shop in the West Village in 2005 before adding more locations both within New York City and out of the state. The company has picked up the pace on its expansion efforts since becoming part of Untamed Brands in 2018.
While most known for its falafels, the restaurant also offers chicken and cauliflower shawarma, meatballs, egg plant and Impossible meat kebabs as options for its build-your-own pitas and bowls.
The 1,849-square-foot Pimmit Hills location is Taim’s 15th, and Fairfax County already has more sites on the way.
“I’ve watched taim’s fan love grow from Dupont Circle to College Park, Maryland and into Virginia,” Petrill said. “We’re constantly asked to bring more of our restaurants to the suburban communities where families and commuters are looking for convenient, flavorful and healthier options on the go.”
A 1,815-square-foot location in Fairfax City’s WestFair shopping center at 11011 Main Street is on track to open in mid- to late August, according to Taim.
The Pimmit Hills neighborhood has officially reached the “let’s put on a show” stage of its battle against a planned Washington Gas pipeline.
Faced with escalating legal fees, residents have banded together to stage a “Protect Pimmit Hills Hoedown” benefit concert from 5-7 p.m. on Saturday (June 3) as a fundraiser for four of their neighbors who were sued by the utility company.
The concert will be held at Pimmit Barn (1845 Cherri Drive) with “limited” food available for sale from the food truck, The Big Cheese. Providing the music will be the Pimmit Hillbillies, a band that neighborhood residents formed for this occasion.
“We hope this concert helps reinforce our community spirit by getting neighbors out and meeting each other to join fight this project that affects us all,” resident guitarist Tom Gillespie said. “We will bond over great tunes, grilled cheese sandwiches, and chocolate chip cookies while we talk about our ongoing pipeline battle.”
Filed by Washington Gas on March 3, 2022, the lawsuit challenges a Fairfax County Board of Zoning Appeals ruling that a special exception permit and 2232 review are required for the natural gas pipeline, the last phase of the Strip 1 Tysons project to upgrade about five miles of pipe from Tyco Road to Pimmit Drive.
A bench trial in Fairfax County Circuit Court had been scheduled for April 25 and 26, but the judge postponed it to the first week of September after the Virginia Supreme Court voided the zoning ordinance that guided the BZA’s decision, according to Christina Chen Zinner, one of the Pimmit Hills residents involved in the case.
Because of the trial delay, Zinner and her fellow defendants shared earlier this month that they need to raise an additional $20,000 to cover their legal costs, which have climbed to $45,000. With the help of a recent neighborhood pizza party, they’ve made progress on that goal, raising $38,700 through Gofundme.
The Pimmit Hillbillies hope to finish the job. The band emerged from a virtual meeting, where residents brainstormed fundraising ideas.
“Knowing that I like to sing and play guitar, and compose my own songs, [my wife Stephanie] challenged me during the meeting to compose a protest song to help us promote our Gofundme drive,” Gillespie recalled. “I feel so passionate about fighting this pipeline that the lyrics and notes just flowed out of me.” Read More
Cheers went up after the Fairfax County Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) ruled last year that a natural gas pipeline planned through the residential neighborhood of Pimmit Hills will need to be reviewed and approved by the county.
However, even when proposing that decision on Feb. 2, 2022 after a multi-day public hearing, BZA Vice Chairman James Hart acknowedged that the case over the sixth phase of Washington Gas’ Strip 1 Tysons project was likely headed to court.
That court date will arrive this month. The utility company’s lawsuit seeking to vacate the board’s decision will go before a Fairfax County Circuit Court judge for a trial on April 25 and 26, spurring Pimmit Hills residents to rally together once again in opposition to the pipeline.
“We’re concerned citizens, you know. It’s our neighborhoods, our streets, our children, our playgrounds, our schools,” said Kurt Iselt, one of four residents named as defendants in the lawsuit after they brought the case to the BZA.
The challenged pipeline segment is the last stage of a push by Washington Gas to upgrade its natural gas infrastructure in the Tysons area, replacing a 14-inch-wide line with a 2-feet-wide, high-pressure one.
In the works since 2012, the overall project will span approximately five miles from Tyco Road to a regulator station at the Pimmit Drive and Route 7 (Leesburg Pike) intersection.
Phase six will be routed from Peabody Drive to Cherri Drive and Pimmit Drive to Route 7 — right through the heart of Pimmit Hills. Washington Gas had considered an alternate route along Magarity Road and Route 7 but said construction would take longer and bring more disruptions.
After initially denying it twice, the Virginia Department of Transportation approved a permit for the project in 2019, despite opposition from residents and local and state politicians representing the area.
At the request of Islet and fellow residents Christina Chen Zinner, Sarah Ellis and Lillian Whitesell, a county zoning administrator reviewed the project and decided it qualified as a “light utility facility” exempt from local regulation per the county’s zoning ordinance (page 241), which hadn’t yet been struck down.
The lawsuit by Washington Gas argues that the BZA lacked the authority to partially overturn the zoning administrator’s determination and require the project to obtain a special exception permit and undergo a 2232 review.
“Phase 6 is part of [the] Petitioner’s ‘ordinary distribution system’ that delivers natural gas to its customers and located in a VDOT right-of-way. Accordingly, Phase 6 is exempt from the zoning ordinance,” the petition filed on March 3, 2022 states, asserting that the BZA’s decision violated “decades of precedent” and state law. Read More
A Fairfax County Public Schools bus had a tire catch fire while on Route 7 yesterday (Wednesday), causing some alarm in the surrounding Pimmit Hills neighborhood.
The tire fire occurred around 11:42 a.m. on Leesburg Pike in front of the Trader Joe’s shopping center near Pimmit Drive, as first reported by the Falls Church News-Press.
The bus driver noticed smoke coming from the vehicle’s wheel area and evacuated the students who were on board, according to the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department.
“Tire fire was small and did not catch fire until students were off,” FCFRD spokesperson William Delaney said, confirming that there were no injuries to students or staff.
FCPS says the bus was towed by Fairfax County’s Department of Vehicle Services, which manages and maintains the fleets for both the county government and the school system. The department “will conduct a thorough investigation,” an FCPS spokesperson said.
Community members on Nextdoor reported hearing explosions, with one resident saying the “second one” made their house shake. Another person said they could hear and feel the explosions from Idylwood Road.
Delaney told FFXnow that the “explosion” was from the tire “popping.”
H/t to Alan Henney
The groundwork has been laid for a new townhouse development on Leesburg Pike in Pimmit Hills.
Built in 1976, the 150,000-square-foot office building has now been demolished. Fenced off and cleared, the 6.7-acre site is located across the street from Marshall High School and in walking distance of the Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library.
“We are currently projected to open for pre-construction sales around Spring of 2023,” Tara Rosenberg, a new home advisor for EYA, told FFXnow.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved EYA’s proposal last January after the developer agreed to install water treatment facilities and an underground detention system, among other steps, to address stormwater runoff concerns.
Per the site plan, the project will include 38,101 square feet, or 0.87 acres, of parkland, concentrated on the north side of the property. The plan shows fitness and play areas as well as an 11,210-square-foot central courtyard with a pergola and terraces called The Green.
According to the Tysons Ridge website, the townhomes will start in the $800,000s and come in four floorplans. Prices for units equipped with private elevators will start at $1.1 million, though a “more concrete” pricing list and more detailed floorplans will be available closer to opening, Rosenberg said.
Move-ins are expected to come sometime in 2024.
The brick office complex at 7600 Leesburg Pike is destined to be eventually replaced by housing, but the amount of housing that will be allowed may still be up for negotiation.
Developer Elm Street Communities is seeking to double the residential density currently recommended in the Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan for the 442,718-square-foot property adjacent to the Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library.
In a site-specific plan amendment (SSPA) nomination submitted Oct. 26, the developer proposes replacing the two existing office buildings with townhouses at a density of 12 to 16 dwelling units per acre — twice the 5-8 units per acre shown on the comprehensive plan map.
“The Nominator’s proposal will provide a more compatible transition than the existing office building between the commercial uses to remain to the south of the Property and the Pimmit Hills single-family detached residential neighborhood to the north,” Walsh Colucci Lubeley & Walsh land-use lawyer Lynne Strobel wrote in the application.
Built in 1986, the 230,620-square-foot, four-story office complex is split into east and west buildings. Tenants include the Standard Healthcare Services College of Nursing, Oak Hill Montessori School and the D.C. Legislative Action Committee.
The property’s current owner, an affiliate of the New York-based real estate firm True North Management Group, acquired it for $36 million in 2014, per county land records.
In its SSPA application, Elm Street says its envisioned townhouse community would be similar in size and scale to the Marshall Heights neighborhood to the south and the 104-unit townhome development now under construction at 7700 Leesburg Pike.
A concept plan shows approximately six blocks of townhouses connected by an internal grid of both public and private streets.
If the nomination is accepted for a full county staff review, the developer intends to file a development plan that will include open space, landscaping and buffers “to improve the quality of life for residents of the redeveloped site and for adjacent properties.”
Elm Street says its proposal will “add a housing type that contributes to the diversity of housing and price points in the area.” It also notes that the location provides convenient access to transit, the library, Marshall High School and retail options, like the Idylwood Plaza and Tysons Station shopping centers.
“The proximity of the McLean Community Business Center, the West Falls Church Transit Station Area and Tysons creates employment and entertainment opportunities,” the application said. “In addition, the proposed residential use will support existing retail use along Leesburg Pike.”
Elm Street’s SSPA nomination was one of dozens accepted for screening by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on Dec. 6. The applications are now being more closely reviewed by staff and will be presented at community meetings throughout January and February.
A growing fast-casual, Mediterranean restaurant chain that started in New York City will open a location in Pimmit Hills next year.
Taïm Mediterranean Kitchen will bring its lauded falafels to Virginia for the first time with a 1,849-square-foot restaurant in the Tysons Station shopping center at 7502 Leesburg Pike. The company anticipates opening the new location this coming spring, possibly April.
“People are craving better, more flavorful meal options and we knew this busy area serving residential and office communities would be a perfect fit,” Untamed Brands founder Phil Petrilli said. “…Whether guests are heading out for a quick lunch or looking for a family-friendly dinner option, taïm is versatile and unique.”
A former Chipotle regional manager, Petrilli created Untamed Brands with fellow veterans of the fast-casual scene to support restaurants seeking to grow long term. The company partnered with Taïm in 2018 as the eatery embarked on an expansion.
Run by chef Einat Anthony and her husband, Taïm launched as a modest, all-vegetarian storefront focused on Israeli street food in New York City’s West Village in 2005. It gained a following for its falafel, adding more locations and a food truck in the Big Apple, and was named the eighth best restaurant in the West Village by GrubHub in 2018.
With a New Jersey restaurant that opened in June, Taïm now has a total of eight locations and is planning to double that this year with added sites in New York, New Jersey and Maryland, according to QSR Magazine.
The Pimmit Hills Taïm will be adjacent to China King in a newly subdivided space that once housed Pet Supplies Plus. Two other suites created out of the former pet supply store — one with 1,518 square feet of gross floor area and one that’s 2,130 square feet — are still available, according to property manager Federal Realty’s site plan.
Petrilli says the menu of build-your-own pita and rice bowls will complement the existing tenants at Tysons Station, which is anchored by Trader Joe’s, and retailers like Whole Foods in Idylwood Plaza across the street.
Outdoor seating will be provided, according to Petrilli.
In addition to falafel, the menu includes chicken and cauliflower shawarma — a fan favorite, Petrilli says — as well as crispy eggplant, roasted meatballs, vegan kebabs, and a variety of sides, such as fries. Dishes come as rice bowls, pitas and salads.
“We introduce new menu items, seasonal dishes, and toppings or sauces around three times per year,” Petrilli said. “We just introduced sweet potato fries with whipped garlic. There are family meal options and menu items for kids.
According to Petrilli, all dishes are made from scratch with ingredients “sourced from the best growing regions in the world,” including 18 herbs and spices that are all imported and pita sourced from a baker.
“There are few options in America like taïm where craveability meets better for you with high quality, scratch-made menu items served quickly at an affordable price,” he said. “We offer the rare intersection of what people want and what’s good for them and the first bite always leaves customers raving about the quality.”
A planned street that will eventually connect Tysons East to Pimmit Hills could bring some major changes to Magarity Road, the border between the two neighborhoods.
The Fairfax County Department of Transportation shared a conceptual design for Lincoln Street last month that proposed adding two mini-roundabouts on Magarity, including one at the Peabody Drive intersection in front of Westgate Elementary School.
The other potential roundabout will be at the Violet Ridge Place intersection.
Each roundabout will have a pedestrian refuge and crosswalks. A raised median down the center of Magarity will require Lincoln Street drivers to turn right and go through the roundabout at Peabody in order to go east into McLean, according to a presentation at a virtual community meeting on May 19.
FCDOT staff said computer simulations have indicated that the roundabouts will be able to accommodate larger vehicles, such as school buses, fire trucks, and snowplows.
“This dual mini roundabout alternative will accommodate all vehicles,” FCDOT project manager Caijun Luo said.
Acknowledging that the roundabouts will create some inconvenience by requiring U-turns for left turns onto Magarity Road, county staff said it emerged as the best option for connecting Lincoln Street from a safety standpoint. It would also maintain access to the single-family homes lining the road’s east side as well as the existing curbside parking.
With more development coming into place in Tysons East, Lincoln Street will connect Magarity and Old Meadow Road with a bridge over Scott’s Run in an effort to divert some neighborhood traffic away from Route 123.
Though FCDOT previously suggested traffic signals were being considered at both intersections, Capital Projects Section Chief Michael Guarino said at the meeting that there will be stop signs instead, since “the volumes projected right now don’t warrant a traffic signal.”
Lincoln Street will consist of two 11-foot-wide lanes — one in each direction — with a 10-foot-wide asphalt sidewalk on the north side and a 6-foot-wide concrete sidewalk on the south side. In the preliminary design, the sidewalks are separated from the road by grass buffers.
The travel lanes will each expand to 13 feet wide at the bridge over Scott’s Run, which will have concrete sidewalks on both sides. Staff said the bridge will have at least a 10-foot clearance for Scott’s Run Trail.
FCDOT confirmed that crosswalks and curb ramps will be added on Old Meadow Road, but many details — such as the possibility of connections from Lincoln Street to Scott’s Run Trail or flashing beacons at the Westgate Elementary crosswalks — will be worked out once the project progresses to the final design stage.
Staff promised to also examine how the new street will affect other intersections on Old Meadow and Magarity outside of the immediate project limits, particularly where Old Meadow meets Chain Bridge Road to the north.
That intersection already experiences traffic and speeding issues, community members said during the virtual meeting.
“That can be kind of busy and kind of hard to see, because…there’s a curve in the road at that point,” an attendee identified as Greg said. “Adding another road coming out there would certainly complicate that intersection further down, so it’s an impact that I’m glad you’re at least starting to think about.”
Following the community meeting, FCDOT is accepting input on the proposed concept through June 6.
Though the project is already fully funded, a final design isn’t scheduled to be completed until 2024. Land acquisitions could start that year, with construction starting in mid-2026 and finishing in late 2027.