A much-discussed senior living community is now open in Great Falls.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held last month to open the Residence at Colvin Run at 1131 Walker Road. In attendance were a few local officials, including Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust.
The 53,000-square-foot facility is being run by IntegraCare, which also operates a senior living facility in Hunters Woods on Colt Neck Road.
The one on Walker Road is on nearly three acres of land near the Colvin Run Mill historic site. It has 62 units in a mix of assisted living apartments and memory care residents for adults 65 and older.
Amenities include a fitness center, an art studio, a theater with an audio system that pairs with hearing aids, an aviary with finches, a rustic-inspired pub, and a trail connecting to neighborhood businesses. It will also bring more than 50 jobs to the community.
The facility fills a need for senior housing in Great Falls, where more than a third of the population is over 55 years old. Residents 65 and older make up about 14% of Fairfax County’s total population.
“In our experiences, we’ve found that seniors want to continue to live in the communities that they raised their families in,” IntegraCare CEO Larry Rouvelas said at the groundbreaking in April 2021. “The need to build senior housing communities in the specific neighborhoods that people grew up in is an important part of their quality of life.”
The project was first proposed more than four years ago and got the county’s approval in early 2019.
Foust has been a supporter of the project since the beginning. He told Reston Now last year that the current demand for senior living communities “far exceeds any supply that we’ve been able to create.”
Having grown up in Great Falls, Rouvelas said in the press release that the Residence at Colvin Run is a community that “will make the parents of my friends proud.”
“The parents of my friends here carpooled me and fed me at their dinner tables,” he said. “Decades later, when the opportunity arose to run a senior housing community in Great Falls, I jumped at the chance. We will run a community that will make the parents of my friends proud.”
After a nearly decade-long effort to redevelop a 1970s-era housing community, the Lake Anne House is finally open.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held last week to open the $86 million redevelopment project at 11444 North Shore Drive in Reston. The Lake Anne House is a 240-apartment complex for low-income seniors that is replacing the five-decade-old Lake Anne Fellowship House.
Conceived by the nonprofits Fellowship Square Foundation and Enterprise Community Development, the new building will house those 65 years or older who are living on incomes 60% and below the area median income.
“This new state-of-the-art building in terms of energy efficiency and accessibility sets a new standard for what affordable housing can be,” Fellowship Square CEO Christy Zeitz said in a press release. “Most importantly, it will enable financially fragile older adults to be able to age in place here in Northern Virginia for many years to come.”
While the official opening was just last Thursday (Sept. 29), residents already relocated from the Lake Anne Fellowship House to the new building over the summer.
Built in 1970, the Lake Anne Fellowship House was the first high-rise and first dedicated affordable apartment complex for seniors in Reston. It was also part of Robert Simon’s original vision for the community.
But after more than 50 years of use, the building is now considered aging, and since its construction predated the Americans with Disabilities Act, accessibility for many residents became an issue.
With the opening of the Lake Anne House, the hope is that those challenges are now solved.
In attendance at the ribbon-cutting ceremony last week were local officials, including Hunter Mill Supervisor Walter Alcorn, as well as the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Adrianne Todman.
“Lake Anne House is an example of the high-quality affordable housing we can build with ingenuity, tenacity, and partnership,” Todman said. “It is what fixing our housing supply looks like — a demonstration of how we can work collaboratively at all levels to build and rehabilitate housing — project by project, block by block, community by community — across the country.”
The idea of building a whole new complex on an underused portion of the site next to the Lake Anne Fellowship House was proposed in 2013. It took five years of design and development before the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved the project in 2018.
Two years after breaking ground in October 2020, the Lake Anne House is now officially open to residents. It has 56 studios, 178 one-bedroom, and six two-bedroom apartments, including 54 fully handicap-accessible units, per a press release.
The building also has a fitness center, arts and crafts room, a social hall, a sunroom, a game room, an outdoor terrace, a wellness clinic, and on-site residents’ services offices.
Lake Anne House was mostly financed by a combination of state and local funds, including $47 million from a tax-exempt bond financing from state-created Virginia Housing.
The old building next door is now vacant and currently being used as a training location for fire departments. It’s set to be demolished early next year and the land sold to a private developer for new townhomes.
Fellowship Square also completed a renovation of its affordable housing at Hunters Woods this summer.
Construction continues to chug along on Sunrise Senior Living’s upcoming facility in McLean.
Sunrise of McLean Village broke ground at 1515 Chain Bridge Road on June 18, 2021 and is projected to move in its first residents in spring 2023, according to spokesperson John Chibnall.
“Sunrise of McLean Village is in the heart of McLean, which appeals to the growing number of older adults living in the community looking forward to their next step in life and want to remain in McLean proper,” Sunrise Senior Vice President of Design and Construction Andy Coelho told FFXnow.
Replacing the defunct McLean Medical Building, whose original owners included the first doctor to administer a polio vaccine, the senior care facility will have 100 residential units for 122 people, including 61 assisted living residences and 39 memory care residences.
Amenities for residents will include outdoor terraces, a multi-purpose bistro, lounges, a library, a formal dining room, an activity room and a theater room. A “heritage garden” will have a private section for residents and a public section open to the surrounding neighborhood — a unique feature of the McLean location, according to Coelho.
“The latest and safest building codes were taken into account when designing and building this community,” he said.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved the redevelopment in October 2019 after an earlier attempt to build a 73-unit facility on Kirby Road got voted down in May 2017.
After the Kirby Road plan faced opposition over its potential impact on nearby residential neighborhoods, the approved Chain Bridge location puts Sunrise closer to downtown McLean, which is in the midst of a gradual revitalization effort.
The building will be three stories tall and have 89,983 square feet of space, with 88 parking spots, Chibnall told FFXnow.
A sales gallery and model unit are scheduled to be installed this fall. Sunrise did the interior design, while Rust Orling Architecture served as the architect. The building is being constructed by The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company.
“We selected this location because it complements our surrounding communities in the area, filling in the gap where Sunrise hasn’t been able to serve yet,” Coelho said. “We have already seen a great response from the community and have several future residents preparing to call the community home.”
Started in 1981, Sunrise has over 280 senior living communities in the U.S., including an existing Sunrise of McLean just north of the Dulles Toll Road near Tysons.
The company is also working on a facility in Vienna that’s expected to open next year. Coelho says Sunrise will share interior renderings of the building “in the coming weeks,” with a sales gallery opening to potential residents and their families in December.
Fairfax County officials are exploring the possibility of promoting “home sharing” for older adults.
Home sharing lets a homeowner provide accommodation to others in exchange for rent assistance and household tasks or both. The program was discussed at the county board’s older adults committee meeting yesterday (Tuesday).
Staff noted that several complexities must be considered before moving forward with a pilot program. Other options include leaning on the private sector, with no direct involvement from the county, and boosting awareness about homesharing possibilities.
“In the context of Fairfax County, there are complexities that must be considered before going forward,” said Jacquie Woodruff, who works for the Fairfax Area Agency on Aging for the Department of Family Services.
Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay said he would likely lean toward pushing forward a public awareness campaign about the possibility of home sharing, which requires a special permit from the county.
“I do think the private sector clearly, according to these examples, [is] playing pretty heavy in this…but I also think we have a role to play,” McKay said.
Most supervisors leaned toward option two — creating awareness about existing resources and services — and allowing the public to seek resources on their own.
Others like Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik felt more information may be needed to better evaluate how to move forward.
“I’m not even at the point of recommending an option,” Palchik said.
The discussion came following a June motion by Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity that directed staff to examine the feasibility of a pilot program, next steps and possible fiscal impacts.
He says he sees home sharing as potential solution of affordability for seniors to be able to remain in their homes.
The county’s zoning ordinance allows the program if the home is functioning as a single household for up to four people unrelated by blood or marriage, according to Woodruff.
There are varying ways of implementing a home share program. For example, a web-based model allows the owner and home seeker to collaborate through another online platform, limiting local coordination and case management.
Other approaches require more local involvement.
A matching service offers limited phone support or in-person case management support. These models would require background checks, social worker support, and rent agreements.
While the county is still deliberating over whether to advance a pilot and, if so, what form it should take, Woodruff said the risks of a program would be “no greater than other resident programs currently provided by the county.”
Man Arrested for Fairfax Church Thefts — “On June 28, our officers responded to the Saint Mary’s of Sorrows Catholic Church in Fairfax for a man who stole a purse from a car in the parking lot. The man used stolen credit cards from the purse at several stores nearby. On July 4, the same suspect returned to the church and stole from two donation boxes. At least one stolen check was cashed from donation box.” [FCPD]
Covid Cases Close Reston Pools — “RA is currently experiencing a lifeguard shortage due an uptick in Aquatics staff testing positive for Covid-19. As a result, the Ridge Heights and Upland pools will be closed for the next five days (Friday through Tuesday).” [Reston Association/Twitter]
Silver Line Delays Not Justified, McKay Says — Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay says any further delays of Metro’s Silver Line Phase 2 project “will be met with a lot of discontent.” He’s hopeful the rail extension will open this fall but wants to be certain that a $250 million budget increase approved earlier this week will be the last needed payment. [WTOP]
Vienna Lodge Seeks Funds for Repairs — “Vienna Moose Lodge, a fraternal organization that does community service work, launched a Save the Lodge fundraising campaign this week to help remain open and continue its mission…One of the major repairs needed is a new HVAC system in the banquet hall that will cost $35,000.” [Patch]
Ribbon Cut on Reston Affordable Senior Housing — “It was warm this morning but still a great turnout for the ribbon cutting for Hunters Woods Fellowship House! Much needed $26 million renovations provide modern & safer home for many older residents.” [Walter Alcorn/Twitter]
Herndon Company Expands HQ — The defense and intelligence contractor Expedition Technology has signed a lease amendment for its corporate headquarters offices “that will support its current and anticipated growth.” Lasting through June 2033, the new agreement doubles its office space from approximately 32,000 to more than 64,000 square feet and can accommodate up to 170 workers. [CityBiz]
GMU Joins Gun Violence Research Effort — “Fifteen members of a consortium of local schools will pool their resources, researchers and faculty experts in areas including maternal and child health, public policy, mental health, criminology and technology, officials said. The goal is to provide lawmakers and the public with steps they can take to drive down gun violence.” [The Washington Post]
Good Pups Visit McLean Nursing Home — “Fairfax County senior residents are getting some furry visitors at their nursing homes thanks to a group of volunteers at Pets on Wheels…The non-profit is run by volunteers that say pets can be therapeutic for senior citizens.” [ABC7]
Cool Off With Dolley Madison Library — “#Fairfax teens can beat the heat Saturday at our Dolley Madison branch. We will meet at the library before heading to McLean Central Park for a sponge war! Sponges provided. Wear clothes that can get wet (minimum shorts & shirts required).” [Fairfax County Public Library/Twitter]
Cirque du Soleil Makes Tysons Return Next Week — “Cirque du Soleil has become the gold standard of 21st century circus productions…The global brand brings ‘KURIOS: Cabinet of Curiosities’ to the Under the Big Top tent at Lerner Town Square in Tysons, Virginia from July 29 to Aug. 27.” [WTOP]
It’s Friday — Clear throughout the day. High of 90 and low of 75. Sunrise at 6:03 am and sunset at 8:30 pm. [Weather.gov]
A nearly $26 million renovation effort at the Hunters Woods Fellowship House in Reston is officially complete, property owner Fellowship Square announced yesterday (Tuesday).
The nonprofit completed its renovation earlier this month. A ribbon cutting is planned for July 21 at the affordable housing community that caters to seniors who wish to live independently and earn roughly a maximum of $10,000 per year.
Fellowship Square CEO Christy Zeitz said the completion of the project modernizes a nearly 50-year-old apartment building and addressed the critical need for affordable housing for seniors in the area. The issue has been complicated by skyrocketing real estate and rental prices as well as an aging population.
“With this completed renovation, we can continue to offer quality apartment living at rental rates they can afford well into the future and enable our residents to live independently in the dynamic Reston community,” Zeitz wrote in a statement.
The project broke ground in mid-February of 2020, but was hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic and related issues.
Although work halted in March 2020 due to the pandemic, Zeitz said Fellowship Square was able to work with its builder and public safety experts to lay out a new timeline for the project.
The project was divided into two phases, focusing first on infrastructure and upgrades to heating and cooling system. The second phase resulted in more publicly visible changes, like upgrades to communal areas, an expanded lobby and entrance, a new media and wellness center, and flex space for activities and functions.
A dozen apartments were also reconfigured so they would be accessible for residents with disabilities.
The project team includes Miner Feinstein Architects and Southway Builders.
Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn lauded the community and its renovation.
“This renovation, including additional accessibility and other modernizations, preserves this landmark and ensures its residents will continue to be able to call it home,” Alcorn said in a statement.
(Updated at 11:55 p.m. on 7/5/2022) A 3.8-acre area in Chantilly previously approved for a hotel could be the site of a new affordable housing building for seniors.
Agape Property Management LLC is seeking Fairfax County’s permission to build Agape House, a 232-unit building with all units reserved for residents who earn 60% of the Area Median Income or below, according to plans submitted on June 29.
(Correction: Wesley Property Management was previously identified as the developer. Wesley manages Agape apartments in Fairfax but isn’t involved with the Chantilly development proposal.)
Located south and west of Thunderbolt Place near Centreville Road, the building will include an adult day care flex space, onsite pharmacy, doctor’s office, physical therapy room, conference rooms, fitness areas, and a common dining and kitchen room.
On-site staff will support residents, providing a range of services like transportation, meals, and medical care.
The applicant says it is looking forward to providing a “fully affordable” senior living project in the Dulles Suburban Center.
“This important project includes high quality building and site design and will serve as a benchmark for the crucial goal of providing new senior and affordable housing options in western Fairfax County,” wrote Mike Van Vatta, the applicant’s representative and a land use planner with McGuireWoods.
Plans say the building would be up to five stories, with open space and amenity areas at the back. The developer also plans to submit an airport noise study because of the project’s close proximity to Dulles International Airport.
According to the plan, up to 20 employees could be on the site at any time. The company has other locations in the D.C. region.
Just like that, Bow Tie Cinemas has left Reston Town Center, leaving Reston Association’s longest running program in limbo.
Reston Town Center owner Boston Properties confirmed last month that the movie theater chain hadn’t renewed its lease, but no firm closure date was given, beyond that it would be sometime in May.
The closure now appears to be official. No show times are listed on its website or the box office marquee, and the doors were locked today (Wednesday).
The company did not return multiple requests for comment on the last day of business. Boston Properties also did not respond to multiple requests for comment on when the company’s lease expired.
RA’s Senior Movie Day, which brings more than 100,000 patrons over the years, will be on pause, as the cinema changes theater companies.
The program begin in 1994 and is expected to resume later this year or in early 2023. RA says that roughly 315 people aged 55 and above attended the shows and enjoyed other Reston Town Center amenities after watching the movies.
Bow Tie Cinemas, which took over the theater in April 2011, will be replaced by LOOK Dine-in Cinemas, which plans to open its first location in Virginia in the last quarter of the year. The business declined to provide additional details about the theater beyond what was reported last month.
LOOK also declined to comment on whether or not it plans to continue the senior movie day tradition once the new theater opens.
Police Make Progress on Hannah Choi Murder Case — Fairfax County detectives believe they know the location of the man suspected of killing his ex-girlfriend and dumping her body in a Maryland park, according to Police Chief Kevin Davis. He says the department anticipates apprehending Joel Mosso Merino, who has been on the run since March, “in the very near future.” [WTOP]
Circuit Court Officially Adds First Female Judge of Color — “Tania M.L. Saylor, the first woman of color to serve as a Fairfax County Circuity [sic] Court Judge will be presented her official commission on Friday, May 6, at 4 p.m. in Courtroom 5J of the Fairfax County Courthouse. The public is invited to attend the investiture ceremony.” [Fairfax County Government]
Key FCPS Official Named Fairfax City Superintendent — “The City of Fairfax School Board didn’t look far when picking its next superintendent. The board on Monday offered Jeff Platenberg the role. Platenberg currently works for Fairfax County Public Schools as the assistant superintendent for facilities and transportation services.” [WTOP]
Locally Owned Coffee Shop Opens in Newington — “Two neighbors who live close to the Landsdowne shopping center are now the owners of a new coffee shop. The locally owned Coffee In opened a few weeks ago and will celebrate its grand opening this Saturday at 6432 Landsdowne Centre Drive.” [Patch]
Herndon Foster Mother Starts Nonprofit — The nonprofit Foster the Family “will show up to a foster home, within the first 24 hours, with dinner, clothes, PJ’s, hygiene products and all the supplies a child needs, saving the parents an emergency trip to the store, and helping the child feel comfortable in what can be a scary transition.” [ABC7]
McLean Church Builds Labyrinth — “Trinity United Methodist Church dedicated a labyrinth as its new Prayer Garden on Easter morning between worship services…The labyrinth is surrounded by plantings and benches with lighting to facilitate an atmosphere worthy of spiritual reflection and meditation. It is the most significant labyrinth in scope and size in the McLean area.” [Sun Gazette]
South County Students Send Letters to Seniors — “In Lorton, Virginia, 92-year-old Bernice Alexander reads from just one of the dozens of letters received at her senior living community. They were written by teenagers at South County High School, and some come with artwork, paintings and cheery posters, too.” [NBC4]
County Adopts Bill of Rights for Kids’ Sports — “The Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood & Community Services (NCS), along with the Fairfax County Athletic Council, is pleased to adopt the Children’s Bill of Rights in Sports. Developed by the Aspen Institute Sports and Society Program, this is a new resource designed to ensure that all children have a right to a quality sports experience.” [NCS]
It’s Wednesday — Mostly cloudy throughout the day. High of 75 and low of 61. Sunrise at 6:08 am and sunset at 8:05 pm. [Weather.gov]
When The Mather Tysons opens in 2024, the senior living facility might employ some workers of the artificial intelligence variety.
Rest assured, these robots won’t be capable of planning a HAL 9000-style takeover. Instead, they will perform simple, repetitive tasks, such as delivering food to tables and apartments and cleaning hallways.
“Our hope is that it helps us retain team members, that they’ll recognize that we’ve gone kind of the extra step to provide them a level of assistance they may not get elsewhere in similar roles,” Mather Director of Culinary Operations Thad Parton told FFXnow.
Inspired by its founder’s work as an inventor, Mather’s plans to introduce robots to its senior living residences precede the pandemic.
According to Parton, Mather CEO and President Mary Leary asked him to explore robotics a couple of years ago as a potential way to boost service levels. After some research and conversations with vendors, he had identified a unit that would deliver food to residents’ apartments autonomously when COVID-19 arrived.
Once the worst of the pandemic’s initial surge dissipated, the nonprofit launched a pilot of the delivery robot at its life plan community in Evanston, Illinois, but as more people started eating in the dining room instead of taking food out, Parton realized his team’s needs had changed.
“The delivery robot was not as important to us as providing additional support to our dining services team, so we pivoted to testing a food-running robot,” he said, noting that the machines have become increasingly popular throughout the food service industry as restaurants adjust to an exodus of workers.
Earlier this spring, Mather deployed a food-running bot from Bear Robotics at its Splendido community in Tucson, Arizona, for a four-week pilot.
Capable of carrying 66 pounds with three trays and a built-in bussing pan, the robot transports plates of food from the facility’s kitchen to the dining room and then brings the empty dishes back to the kitchen.
“Human servers unload and serve the meals delivered by the robot, and load it up for return to kitchen,” Mather said. “This saves time for servers, who can now spend more time in the restaurant with residents.”
Mather explained exactly how the robot works: Read More