The Mosaic District roller skating rink won’t come back this year, but the development is still holding out hope for ice skating in the future.
Rink Management Services Corporation, which operates Mosaic Skateland, has decided it won’t “be doing any roller skating during this warm weather season,” Fairfax County’s planning staff told the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) at a Feb. 1 meeting.
With no roller skating planned for this summer, the company asked the BZA for another continuance of the public hearing on its request for a special permit that would allow roller skating and ice skating on a seasonal basis in the Merrifield neighborhood.
“They’re reevaluating their plans for perhaps next winter,” staff coordinator Brandon McCadden told the BZA. “At this point, they’ve asked to continue later into the spring to give them time to work on their plans for a winter ice event that would occur starting next November, December.”
A decision on the case has now been postponed four times after the board unanimously agreed to grant the continuance.
EDENS, the property owner and developer behind the Mosaic District, didn’t respond to a request for comment by publication time.
Mosaic Skateland was introduced in June 2021 with a launch event tied into LGBTQ Pride Month. The temporary roller rink returned in a different location by Barnes & Noble last year.
The developer and Rink Management Services filed for a special permit from the county last April, proposing that the roller rink become a regular pop-up every spring and that an ice rink be added during the winter months.
However, Mosaic residents took issue with the proposed facilities at a July 13 public hearing, worrying about the potential noise and traffic impacts, and the BZA later criticized the applicant’s public outreach efforts as lacking.
County staff indicated at an Oct. 19 meeting that the rink proposal will likely be “substantially” different when it next goes before the board.
At last month’s meeting, McCadden noted that the county may get updates before June, but for now, the case won’t return to the BZA until June 14.
It could be a little more expensive to visit some Fairfax County parks this upcoming year.
The Fairfax County Park Authority is soliciting public feedback on a proposal to push up fees at local park facilities.
The increase would be, in part, to help pay to keep up with Virginia’s minimum wage increases.
“The FY 2023 budget included a 4.01% market rate adjustment for all employees, in addition to fully funding performance-based and longevity increases,” the proposal said. “The Park Authority Revenue Fund is also significantly impacted by the Minimum Wage increases that continue in 2022 and 2023.”
The park authority said it also had to offer signing and retention bonuses for difficult-to-fill summer positions, like lifeguards and camp counselors, to remain competitive.
“The estimated total for all increases was $1.8 million in FY 2023,” the proposal said. “While the FY 2024 compensation increase is currently unknown, it is anticipated to be similar to FY 2023.”
Retirement contributions and healthcare benefits also rose.
The county’s golf courses and rec centers are funded by user fees, not taxes. In the proposal, the park authority said the fees need to be adjusted to ensure operating costs can be met, as well as repair and replacement needs.
The proposal would increase fees at indoor swimming pools, recreation centers, golf courses and more. Rental of picnic areas, ampitheaters, volleyball courts and more would also get a little more costly.
The proposal also offered some insight into park usage. While the total number of rounds of golf decreased by 7% over the last year, attendance at rec centers increased dramatically over 2021 — though they remain lower than pre-Covid attendance and revenue levels.
If the fee adjustments are approved by the Park Authority Board at a meeting on March 22, it will take effect on April 1.
The park authority started accepting public comments on the proposal today (Wednesday) and will continue to do so through Feb. 2. A community meeting will be held virtually at 7 p.m. on Jan. 18.
Capital One has officially gotten permission to build a temporary baseball diamond and two permanent parks near its headquarters in Tysons.
The Fairfax County Planning Commission approved two separate plans for recreational amenities on Oct. 26, setting the stage for work on the baseball field to potentially finish in time for the upcoming spring season.
Options for sports and recreation at Capital One Center are currently limited, aside from the Perch Putt mini golf course that opened this spring. The campus previously had an interim baseball field that was later replaced by Capital One Hall and other buildings.
“Having these amenities provides more things to do, reasons to visit, reasons to stay longer, and that dynamic is fantastic from a recruiting and retention standpoint for Capital One,” said McGuireWoods Managing Partner Greg Riegle, who represented the banking company at the public hearing. “It supports the growing retail program, and it’s equally beneficial to the surrounding community around the [McLean Metro] station.”
The first application calls for an urban park on the existing Capital One Center campus near the Metro tracks. Built on an underground parking garage, the park will have a water feature, landscaping, a boardwalk, a playground and an area for food trucks.
A temporary retail building and athletic facilities, including volleyball and pickleball courts, are also planned. They will eventually be replaced by a 33-story residential building and a 20-story office building.
The second approved application details plans for Capital One East, previously known as Scotts Run North until Capital One bought it from developer Cityline Partners in 2019.
Currently occupied by a parking lot used for Capital One Hall, the 6.9-acre property at 1820 Dolley Madison Blvd will host a 33,410-square-foot, publicly accessible park and up to 1.5 million square feet of development when fully built out.
Capital One East Park will include a water feature, landscaping, a play area, a fitness zone, a plaza and seating area, and food truck parking, according to a county staff report.
Before those future buildings come into place, Capital One will provide a baseball field primarily intended to serve travel and college-level summer leagues. While the private facility may be available to other patrons, the schedule is already mostly filled, according to Riegle.
“Demand for the ballfield has been substantial. In fact, we are effectively fully committed with leagues and tournaments and so forth,” he told the planning commission, saying the facility will free up the county’s other fields for schools and community groups. Read More
There will be no ice skating at the Mosaic District this winter.
The Fairfax County Board of Zoning Appeals agreed on Wednesday (Oct. 19) to postpone a decision on Rink Management Services Corporation’s special permit request for a rink in the Merrifield neighborhood that would have roller skating in the spring and ice skating in the winter.
This is the third time that the board has deferred or continued the case after previously chiding the applicant for its public outreach efforts. Residents voiced concerns about the rink’s potential impact on noise, traffic and access to their homes during a public hearing on July 13, the Sun Gazette reported.
“Essentially, what the applicant has decided to do at this point is not pursue an ice skating rink for this winter season,” Department of Planning and Development staff coordinator Brandon McCadden told the board this week. “So, they’re looking for a deferral to Feb. 1, which would give them time to again reevaluate their plans for the roller rink and the ice rink for future seasons.”
Mosaic District owner and developer EDENS introduced its temporary roller rink in 2021. Mosaic Skateland returned this summer but got moved from Strawberry Lane, where it required a closure of one of the district’s main thoroughfares, to Merrifield Center Town Drive near Barnes & Noble.
The rink has now been dismantled after the season wrapped up on Sept. 25.
In a proposal submitted for county review this past spring, EDENS and Rink Management Services, which operates the facility, are seeking to have the roller rink annually from April 1 to June 30 and add ice skating from Nov. 1 to March 15.
They had hoped to start the ice rink this year, but the delays in the permitting process have nixed that.
“[They’re] really looking to target spring and summer 2023 for roller skating and then ice skating the following winter,” McCadden said.
The planned roller rink would be 76 feet long and 36 feet wide with 10-foot-tall poles for lighting and six speakers to play music. The ice rink would be 100 feet long by 50 feet wide with a 3.5-foot-tall enclosure, a 1,000-square-foot admission and rental tent, and space for a portable aircooled chiller and a zamboni.
Both rinks would accommodate up to 50 skaters per session with two to five employees on site, according to the application.
If approved, the roller rink would stay on Merrifield Towne Center Drive, where it takes up two travel lanes and five parallel parking spaces. The ice rink would be on District Avenue next to Penny Lane Park, requiring the closure of that section of the street and 18 parking spaces.
In a staff report dated July 6, the Fairfax County Department of Transportation said that it “has no concerns” related to traffic circulation and parking, noting that the Mosaic District has about 2,500 garage parking spaces and 150 on-street spots.
“The proposed street closures will not impact deliveries to the adjacent mixed-use buildings since the loading spaces are located at the rear of the buildings along Merrifield Cinema Drive,” the report said.
The Office of the Fire Marshal requested some changes to the plan, including requiring that the street closures be marked with signage with caution lights and/or moveable barriers, but staff felt the modifications addressed their concerns about access for fire department personnel, according to the report.
However, some additional revisions to the plan are evidently in the works. McCadden told the zoning appeals board that, when the case returns on Feb. 1, it will “essentially” require a new public hearing “because it’s going to substantially be a new application.”
FFXnow reached out to EDENS and Rink Management Services for comment but didn’t hear back by press time.
Like any cliff worth ascending, bringing the first indoor rock climbing gym to Tysons required perseverance, patience and a little faith in the process.
Once expected to launch in December, Vertical Rock Climbing and Fitness Center had a soft opening this weekend. After 10 months of supply chain and permitting delays, it welcomed founding members only on Saturday and Sunday (Oct. 8-9) before expanding to all patrons yesterday (Monday).
“It’s definitely exciting that we’ve been able to do this,” Ethan Ford, Vertical Rock’s operations director, told FFXnow. “It’s come a long way from the furniture store that used to be here, and we’re hoping it does bring something great to this area.”
A smaller, bouldering-focused expansion of the company’s flagship center in Manassas, Vertical Rock Tysons occupies two floors in the back of a shopping strip at 8461 Leesburg Pike anchored by Best Buy and The Container Store.
Consolidated on the top floor, the gym contains 9,000 square feet of bouldering walls with 14-inch-high safety padding on the floor as well as weights and exercise equipment. A Kilter Board with holds that light up based on a route that users can choose with an app is available for training.
The bottom floor is devoted to Basecamp Coffee Roasters, a 2,000-square-foot cafe open to both gym members and the general public. Unique to the Tysons location, the coffee shop reflects the area’s more urban environment and is intended to foster a sense of community, Vertical Rock co-owner and CEO Ian Colton previously told FFXnow’s sister site Tysons Reporter.
“Hopefully, we’ll be able to make one in Manassas,” Ford said. “Right now, this is the first one, so we are kind of hoping to bring that same community feeling we have at Manassas over here.”
After following truncated hours for its soft opening, Vertical Rock will operate from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays. A grand opening date will likely be set this week, Ford said.
The gym offers individual, family, student and military/police memberships, along with camps and youth teams.
Started in 2012, Vertical Rock is part of a wave of indoor rock climbing gyms that has already taken hold of nearby Arlington County and Alexandria City. However, this is first such facility in Fairfax County, which has been exploring ways to boost sports tourism in recent years.
“There’s gyms popping up everywhere, so being able to bring the first gym to this area is something really special,” Ford said. “I think that it’s going to make a great fit for this area.”
(Updated at 4:50 p.m.) The Audrey Moore Rec Center will be closed longer than usual for its annual summer maintenance to address mounting facility needs.
The closure will begin on Aug. 27 and continue past Labor Day until Sept. 9, the Fairfax County Park Authority announced on Friday (Aug. 5).
During that period, workers will attend to routine maintenance of the swimming pool’s whitecoat plaster as well as other improvements to the Annandale facility, which is the county’s oldest rec center.
“We understand closures can be very disruptive, but Audrey Moore needs some serious attention right now,” Cindy Walsh, director of the FCPA’s Park Services Division, said. “We ask for your patience as we work to make this facility cleaner, healthier and more attractive.”
According to the news release, the extended closure will enable workers to address maintenance “aimed at improving customer service in the short-term” without exposing visitors to paint and other chemicals.
The planned improvements include:
- Carpet replacement on the second level
- Main hallway drywall repair and painting and lighting upgrades.
- Remodeling the family changing room, including new tiles.
- Door replacement at pool entrance.
- LED lighting upgrades in some locker rooms and hallways.
- Basketball court flooring repairs.
- Remodeling the pottery studio (painting/drywall repair, sink and counter replacements, floor replacement).
- Fitness center ceiling and lighting upgrades.
Staff will also take care of a number of custodial tasks, such as:
- Cleaning all tables and chairs, mats and other equipment after heavy summer camp use.
- Scrubbing tile grout lines, cleaning heating, ventilation and air conditioning ceiling vents to improve airflow and appearance, etc.
- Replacing stained ceiling tiles in areas that are not scheduled for full replacement.
- Touch up and/or paint door frames.
- Schedule carpet cleaning in office/front desk area that would be difficult to do while open.
- Stain picnic tables on sundeck. Replace boards as necessary.
- Remove mineral deposits and polish metal and chrome fixtures throughout building.
Park authority spokesperson Judith Pedersen confirmed that the upcoming maintenance work is separate from the county’s pending plan to renovate and expand the Audrey Moore Rec Center.
The county was slated to unveil concept design options for that project this spring and hold a community meeting this summer, but the process has been slightly delayed.
“We do not anticipate [the renovation] project to begin until after the next bond cycle — pending passage, of course,” Pedersen said by email. “This is later than expected due to scheduling in coordination with other County capital projects, as well as supply chain and market pressures that have raised the cost of other capital projects and essentially have a ripple effect on the Park Authority’s capital program.”
Pedersen says design work will resume “once our cashflow situation is more clearly defined.”
The county’s last parks bonds were approved by voters in 2020 and included a portion of funding for the Audrey Moore project. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a change during the most recent budget process that shifted most bonds from every four years to a six-year cycle.
As a result, the next parks bond referendum won’t go on the ballot until 2026, according to Pedersen.
The former Bad Axe Throwing spot at the Mosaic District in Merrifield is being wiped clean.
Work to demolish Suite 190 at 2985 District Avenue has been underway for the past month, based on Fairfax County permits, as property owner EDENS prepares the space for a potential new tenant.
For those just itching to toss a hatchet or two, though, Bad Axe Throwing urges patience. The business is “actively pursuing a new location to open in the Fairfax area,” says Skylar Mills, the operations manager for the shuttered Mosaic District site.
“Fairfax is an amazing area and we are fully committed to finding a new, awesome location but it can take some time,” Mills said in an email to FFXnow. “Being an event based business, and axe throwing on top of that, narrows our options so we generally need to remain patient until the right space becomes available.”
Mills said she couldn’t comment further on a possible new location or reopening date but confirmed the company is “looking at any and all options in the broader area,” not just the Mosaic District.
Bad Axe Throwing started in 2014 amid a trend of axe-throwing bars that first took off in Canada before migrating to the U.S. in the late 2010s. After opening its first center in Ontario, it now has eight locations in Canada, dozens in the U.S., and two in the U.K.
The Mosaic District bar opened in September 2019 and reported success with over 600 visitors in its first weekend. However, it closed in the spring of 2020 when then-Gov. Ralph Northam ordered a shutdown of most businesses in Virginia in an effort to limit the coronavirus’ spread.
Bad Axe Throwing founder and CEO Mario Zelaya told FFXnow’s sister site, Tysons Reporter, that May that the company intended to reopen the Mosaic location when possible, though even then, a “long and difficult road to recovery” was expected.
The Mosaic District has added a few, mostly food-related tenants in recent months, including Shake Shack, the pizza eatery Pupatella and Pressed juice bar. The fast-casual Indian restaurant Rasa will open in the mixed-use neighborhood tomorrow (Saturday).
While it won’t be quiet around Fairfax County on Monday with Fourth of July celebrations, many government offices and facilities will be closed.
Government offices, and some businesses, are closed for the Independence Day holiday. Public transportation schedules may be lighter and public services, like trash collection, may be changed. See our listing below to get details on what will be open and closed.
Fairfax County government offices will be closed Monday (July 4) in recognition of the Fourth of July holiday, but some facilities are open and schedules vary.
The library system’s branches will be closed on Monday. Animal Control is closed, as it normally is, on Mondays.
The Circuit and District courts will be closed Monday.
The Town of Herndon offices will be closed Monday.
All Park Authority rec centers and golf centers and will be open Monday. Historic sites, nature centers and Green Spring Gardens will be closed. Frying Pan Farm Park Farm and indoor arena will be open while its visitor center will be closed. The River Bend Park Visitor Center will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
All Neighborhood and Community Service facilities will be closed Saturday (July 2) through Monday. Reston Community Center Hunter Woods will be open Monday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Lake Anne will be closed on Monday.
The McLean Community Center will be closed.
Herndon Community Center will be closed Monday. But Herndon Centennial Golf Course will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., weather permitting.
Fairfax Connector will operate on a Saturday service schedule on Monday. Human Services Transportation (FASTRAN) will not operate on Monday.
On Monday, Metrorail will open at 7 a.m. and close at midnight but last train times vary by station. The Orange Line trains will operate between Vienna and Stadium-Armory only, according to Metro, but free express and local shuttle buses will be provided.
The county advises residents to contact their trash and recycling collector directly for service schedule changes due to the holiday.
The I-66 Transfer Station and I-95 Landfill Complex will be closed Monday.
Town of Herndon recycling will be collected Tuesday (July 5) since it is normally collected Monday.
Lace up the skates and practice popping those wheelies, because the Mosaic District’s popular outdoor roller skating rink is returning later this month.
Mosaic Skateland is set to open on June 25 on Merrifield Center Town Drive, between the Barnes & Noble and Mexican restaurant Urbano and across from Bloomie’s. It will run through the entire summer, until September 25.
Back by popular demand, Mosaic Skateland will return this summer, alongside our first annual Pride Celebration on Saturday, June 25th from 11am-7pm!
For more info: https://t.co/1temmwKgdC pic.twitter.com/I8shRxZ76l
— Mosaic (@mosaicdistrict) June 9, 2022
The “80’s retro style roller rink” will be open seven days a week and at least 11 hours a day. On Friday and Saturday nights, the rink will be open for more than 12 hours, from 11 a.m. to 11:15 p.m. Purchasing tickets in advance is recommended, and attendees can bring their own skates, though pairs will be available for rent.
Opening night will also be accompanied by a “Pride Celebration” with musical performances.
- 11:45 am – 12:45 pm: George Mason University’s “Green and Gold Soul“
- 1:30 pm – 2:45 pm: Dance performance by KAZAXE
- 3:30 pm – 6:30 pm: Groovalicious
Additionally, all roller rink ticket sales during the Pride Celebration will be donated to the advocacy group FCPS Pride to help “ensure that all students, including trans and gender-expansive students are welcome, safe and respected in schools,” according to the event page.
A spokesperson from EDENS, the owner and developer of the Mosaic District, told FFXnow by email that it sees the partnership with FCPS Pride as “a terrific way” to support LGBT youth and “educate our community.”
“The Gay-Straight Alliance student groups have moved more to a Gender and Sexuality Alliance as being more inclusive of the whole community of LGBTQI+ and allies,” the spokesperson wrote. “Skateland brings the community together as one to celebrate Pride month representing the importance of total inclusion.”
EDENS is partnering with operator Rink Management Services Corporation (RMS), which claims it is the largest operator of ice skating facilities in the country.
RMS applied for a special permit to construct the rink on an annual basis back in April, as FFXnow reported. The zoning hearing isn’t scheduled until July, but it appears the rink will be allowed to operate earlier than that.
The Board of Supervisors agreed in March to grant RMS a 75% reduction in zoning fees as part of last summer’s emergency measure that lowered or waived some fees to help the hospitality industry during the pandemic. RMS paid a $4,093.75 fee paid back in March, rather than the $16,375 fee that the permit typically would’ve carried.
EDENS is asking that the permit be approved “for future years as well,” turning the roller skating rink — as well as an ice skating rink in the winter months — into a permanent fixture at the Mosaic District.
If approved, the roller rink will run for about three months each year, starting in the spring as opposed to summer, according to an April statement from RMS. The operator also hopes to run an ice rink during the winter, starting in early November and closing in late February.
The Mosaic District has seen plenty of activity in recent weeks, with the opening of Shake Shack and last week’s launch of its summer movie series “Films in the Park,” which has screenings every Thursday through the end of August.
Still to come this summer is the Middle Eastern restaurant Tawle, which will move into the former Jinya space as the ramen bar relocates to a bigger suite.
Fairfax County Rescue Dog Dies — “We regret to announce the passing of #canine Phayu after a long illness. An 8-year veteran, he deployed worldwide including to quakes in Haiti & Nepal, and hurricanes in the Bahamas & USA. We thank Phayu for his service and extend condolences to his family and our #K9 section.” [Fairfax County Urban Search and Rescue Team/Twitter]
County Firefighters Deliver Free Shoes to Kids — “The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department along with Firefighters and Friends to the Rescue on Thursday gave away more than 300 pairs of new shoes to children and families in need. The giveaways were held at Gum Springs and Lee District community centers in Alexandria.” [ABC7]
Route 28 Lanes Closed for Skewed Sign — A Route 28 sign for the Willard Road exit in Chantilly got knocked out of place during the morning rush hour yesterday (Thursday). Crews had to block off two southbound lanes for almost five hours while they addressed the situation, which required a removal of the sign pole. [VDOT/Twitter]
Free School Meals to End This Fall — “For the past two years, the federal government has provided no-cost meals to all public school students without the need to complete the annual Free and Reduced-Price Meal application. The extension of the no-cost meals benefit to all students is expected to expire at the end of this school year, meaning families must submit an application and be approved to be eligible for free and reduced price meals for the 2022-23 school year.” [FCPS]
McLean Rec Center to Close Tomorrow — “Spring Hill Rec Center will close June 4 through 7 to address electrical maintenance issues. This project was planned for August but has been moved up to ensure continuous site operation and safety.” [Supervisor John Foust/Twitter]
Herndon Man Charged With Assault — A 43-year-old man faces aggravated assault and burglary charges after Herndon police say he allegedly “entered a home in the 600 block of Center Street without permission on May 23 and assaulted one of it occupants.” The man is currently being held without bond at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center. [Patch]
Asian Fusion Eatery Joins Tysons Biergarten — “RollBär, an Asian fusion restaurant, opens TODAY at @shipgarten! Shipgarten, a new pop-up located at the future site of Scotts Run’s ‘Taylor’ block, launched last Thursday with the reopening of #TysonsBiergarten.” [Tysons Partnership/Twitter]
The St. James Plans Maryland Expansion — After unveiling a performance club at Reston Town Center in April, the Springfield-based sports complex announced yesterday (Thursday) that it will bring a similar facility to downtown Bethesda this winter. The new club will be smaller than The St. James’ flagship site, which is the largest athletic facility in the region, but it will include a Vim & Victor Café. [Washingtonian]
Charcoal Chicken Restaurant Coming to West Falls Church — “Super Pollo Charcoal Chicken is moving into the spot vacated by DC Steakholders at 6641 Arlington Blvd…Juan Carlos Hernandez, manager of the Barcroft Plaza Super Pollo expects the new place will open in two to three months.” [Annandale Today]
It’s Friday — Mostly cloudy throughout the day. High of 75 and low of 63. Sunrise at 5:46 am and sunset at 8:31 pm. [Weather.gov]