The first pieces of the massive redevelopment of Springfield Town Center have finally come forward, more than 12 years after Fairfax County initially approved a mass of new development for the property.
The hotel would stand alongside a proposed residential building, bringing about the property’s “much-desired rebirth” and acting as a catalyst for the “first free-standing buildings to be built at the property in decades,” according to the application.
The town center is slated for up to 2,736 residential units and 2 million square feet of commercial development, a plan fell into place more than a decade ago, when the complex was still known as Springfield Mall.
While the mall underwent an extensive renovation in 2012, no new development proposals have gained traction since the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors’ preliminary approval in 2009.
“Over the years, a variety of users have tried to introduce both commercial and residential uses to the property, but the significant proffer package and details plans have hamstrung those projects,” the application says.
The developer says the proposal should be able to move forward because it covers a limited application area, fits “seamlessly” within the existing landscape at the mall, and helps establish a new internal street network that will support future development.
The hotel would take up surface parking spaces and sit next to a 460-unit residential building proposed by Hanover to the south of the property. PREIT says it plans to coordinate with Hanover as it moves forward with its application.
A big sell of the project, according to PREIT, is that the building requires minor changes to previously planned access road and uses existing curb cuts from Loisdale Avenue. The latest proposal shifts the hotel from across Village Drive to Loisdale Avenue.
The hotel will also have 140 rooms instead of the 225 proposed in the original redevelopment plan, along with some retail to serve hotel guests. Originally, up to 23,000 square feet of ground-floor retail were planned with the hotel.
PREIT says the plan will bring vitality to an area that has been “overlooked” and will create a “mixed-use center as a community and regional focal point.”
The redevelopment of the Springfield Town Center could be scaled back with fewer residential buildings than originally planned.
Hanover R. S. Limited Partnership is seeking Fairfax County’s permission to consolidate two approved high-rise residential towers into a single 85-foot-tall, mid-rise residential building with up to 460 units.
The proposal, submitted on May 6, also includes changes to the existing parking garage north of the property, upgrades to the planned fitness park on the corner of Spring Mall and Loisdale roads, and a small adjustment to the approved internal street network.
An initial development plan for the town center approved in 2009 envisioned a 275-foot high building and a 152-foot high building, totaling a little over 408,000 square feet.
Big plans are in store for the 68-acre campus. An additional level is proposed to the existing four-story parking garage, which is located to the north of a proposed South Street. Roughly 550 parking spaces in the garage will be allocated for residents and their visitors only.
In a statement of justification to the county, senior land use planner Elizabeth Baker described the change as a “relatively minor adjustment to the original approval.”
Baker wrote that the development of the building “with new streets, new streetscapes, and a community park is an important first step in redeveloping Springfield Mall into a mixed-use town center as envisioned in the Comprehensive Plan.”
Despite the changes, she also said the redevelopment plan continues to envision a “lively mixed-use development consisting of residential, retail, office, hotel and park uses” for the town center.
The application is in the preliminary phases of the planning process and has not yet been accepted for review by the county.
The news comes as the owner of the campus, the Philadelphia-based Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust, makes plans to sell a hotel development parcel at the town center, according to a quarterly earnings call earlier this month.
The overall redevelopment plan was approved in June 2009, but none of the approved 5.7 million square feet of development has been constructed yet.
County Libraries to Resume Standard Hours — Fairfax County Public Library will once again open its eight regional branches seven days a week, and its 14 community branches on Mondays, effective this Sunday (April 3). The system truncated its hours starting in January due to the surge in COVID-19 cases and high staff vacancies. [FCPL]
Omicron Subvariant Identified in Fairfax County Patients — “BA.2 is now estimated to be responsible for about one in three COVID-19 infections in the country and one in five COVID-19 infections in Virginia. While BA.2 appears to be more contagious and can spread faster, it is not known to make people sicker.” [Fairfax County Health Department]
County Commonwealth’s Attorney Responds to Miyares Criticism — “The two powerful men have been in a feud for months. Attorney General Jason Miyares is pushing for tough-on-crime policies, while [Steve] Descano campaigned on ending mass incarceration and reforming the criminal justice system.” [ABC7]
“Coming to America” Restaurant Planned for Springfield — “Starting in May, shoppers at the Springfield Town Center can stride through the golden arcs of McDowell’s and order a Big Mick — a burger that is totally different from that other sandwich, thank you very much, because the buns don’t have seeds.” [Washingtonian]
Falls Church Approves Founders Row Part II — “The Falls Church City Council approved yet another large scale mixed use project for its downtown corridor Monday night, by a 5-2 vote giving a final OK to what has become known as the ‘Founders Row 2‘ project that will fill the space at the now vacant Rite Aid and the carpet store at the corner of W. Broad and S. West St.” [Falls Church News-Press]
Congress Members Concerned about Silver Line Phase 2 Delays — “U.S. Reps. Jennifer Wexton (D), Don Beyer (D) and Gerry Connolly’s letter to MWAA came a day after Paul Wiedefeld, the CEO and general manager of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, said unresolved issues…are preventing a declaration of operational readiness.” [Patch]
Capital One Partners with MLB — “McLean’s Capital One Financial Corp. is Major League Baseball’s new official banking and credit card partner. Capital One announced the multiyear deal Monday…Terms were not disclosed, but reports have pegged it as a $125 million deal for MLB over five years.” [Washington Business Journal]
Reston Library to Host First Responders on Saturday — “Join us as we celebrate the brave men and women who rush to emergency situations every day to take action when disaster strikes. Meet our local firefighters as they showcase the equiptment used for respond to emergencies. 11am-2pm at Reston Library.” [FCPL]
Local Students Compete in Special Olympics — “Congratulations to the Madison Special Olympics Unified Basketball Team who competed in their first Special Olympics this weekend at Marshall HS.” [James Madison High School/Twitter]
It’s Wednesday — Mostly cloudy throughout the day. High of 56 and low of 36. Sunrise at 6:57 a.m. and sunset at 7:31 p.m. [Weather.gov]
The Virginia and Fairfax County health departments are shutting down two COVID-19 vaccination sites that have delivered thousands of shots during the pandemic.
The Tysons Community Vaccination Center will close at 4 p.m. on Friday (March 25) after administering roughly 58,000 doses since it reopened in Tysons Corner Center’s former Lord & Taylor store on Oct. 8, the Fairfax County Health Department announced today (Monday).
With the capacity for 3,000 shots a day, the mass vaccination site was organized by the Virginia Department of Health and operated by contractors AshBritt Inc. and IEM Health. It was first established in April 2021 and provided more than 50,000 doses during Phase 2 of the state’s vaccination campaign before closing in June.
A vaccination site at Springfield Town Center will also wind down operations this week. The facility will open from noon to 4 p.m. for one final weekend before closing at 4 p.m. on Sunday (March 27).
Only open on weekends, the Springfield vaccine site was less extensive than the Tysons one, but it “has been critical in helping to close the equity gap” as part of the FCHD High Risk Communities Task Force’s efforts to address disparities in access for low-income and minority individuals, the county health department says.
“Due to the highly vaccinated population, decreased demand from the community, and ample supply of vaccine widely available at doctor’s offices and pharmacies, there was a diminished need for large-scale public vaccination sites,” an FCHD spokesperson said of the decision to close the site, adding that the department “is grateful” to PREIT for its generosity.
The vaccination rates for the Fairfax Health District, which includes the cities of Fairfax and Falls Church in addition to the county, are roughly in line with those for Virginia as a whole.
According to FCHD data, which is updated at 11:30 a.m. every weekday, 964,980 district residents, or 81.5%, have received at least one vaccine dose, including 90.6% of people 18 and older, as of Friday (March 18).
About 871,643 residents, or 73.6% of the population, are fully vaccinated, including 82.4% of adults.
Vaccines remain available at numerous sites throughout the county, including from pharmacies, private health care providers, and mass vaccination sites at the Fairfax County Government Center and Hyland South County Center.
“The Health Department is also continuing its outreach and collaborative work, with multiple community partners, to provide vaccinations clinics at sites across the county, including houses of worship, daycares, schools, businesses, and special events,” the FCHD spokesperson said.
The festivities will last from noon to 5 p.m. in the parking lot nearest Frontier Drive (near the Target and Nordstrom Rack). In addition to food vendors and exhibitors, the event boasts a beer garden, live bands, and local youth entertainment.
Tickets are on sale to use toward $1 tastings and full menu items. Food vendors will provide a menu selection based on the $1 tasting tickets, according to the EventBrite.
The event, organized by Alexandria-based KOJAM Productions in collaboration with the town center, has brought together more than 75 vendors in the past. Registration is still open for interested vendors at www.kojamproductions.com.
“We are excited to be back for our 5th year to provide the local Community with a chance to network with businesses in the area and show support of the wonderful food establishments in the area,” KOJAM Productions President Karen Joyner said. “It’s a chance for families to come out and enjoy this free event as there is something for everyone. Food, entertainment, shopping and more!”
While the event was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it returned for its fourth year in 2021.
Photo courtesy KOJAM Productions
Suspect in Attacks on Unhoused People Previously Jailed in Fairfax County — “Gerald Brevard III, 30, had been in and out of jail in D.C., Virginia and Maryland on varying charges including assaulting a police officer and shoplifting, court records show. Most recently he served several months in Fairfax County jail after he was arrested on an abduction charge that was reduced to misdemeanor assault in a plea agreement.” [The Washington Post]
Man Arrested for Herndon Sexual Assault — “Andy Josue Calix Mejia, 23, of Sterling was arrested for sexually assaulting a juvenile last year in the Town of Herndon, according police…The incident happened March 25, 2021, in the 500 block of Florida Avenue.” [Patch]
Part of Springfield Town Center for Sale — Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust disclosed in an earnings release Monday (March 14) that it is selling a hotel development parcel at Springfield Town Center for $2.5 million. Roughly 3 million square feet of new development are planned at the 78-acre mall campus, which will host the D.C. area’s first LEGO Discovery Center next year. [Washington Business Journal]
Local Kid Designs App to Improve Virtual Learning — “Kingsley Thach, a third-grader at Willow Springs Elementary off Braddock Road in western Fairfax, said the app, inspired by the pandemic and launched in January, helps to bridge the communication gap between students, teachers and parents.” [Inside NoVA]
Scottish Police Tour FCPD Facilities — “Police officials from Scotland visited the Fairfax County Police Department last week to tour the department’s facilities and learn the latest policing techniques and strategies from the largest jurisdiction in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.” [Patch]
Annandale Karaoke Bar Plans Opening — “Glam Karaoke could have a soft opening as early as this Friday, reports manager Chris Cho. It’s located in the former Kmart auto shop on 6369 John Marr Drive in what’s now called the East Gate Shopping Center.” [Annandale Today]
Vienna Prepares to Replace Invasive Trees — “The view will soon change along the Nutley Street median. Work is expected to begin next week to replace invasive Callery pear trees with native species. To learn more about the project, click here.” [Town of Vienna/Facebook]
McLean High School Runners Win State Titles — “In his final attempt to win the boys 1,000-meter race at the Virginia High School League’s Class 6 indoor track and field state championships, the McLean High School senior closed the deal. Running with a sore right hip, [Xavier] Jemison won in a personal-best time of 2:26.45 seconds, with that his race strategy working as planned.” [Sun Gazette/Inside NoVA]
It’s Wednesday — Rain overnight. High of 66 and low of 45. Sunrise at 7:20 a.m. and sunset at 7:18 p.m. [Weather.gov]