(Updated at 4:20 p.m. on 8/4/2022) An international accessory store has officially opened at Springfield Town Center — bringing an assortment of accessories near the grand court of the mall.
The opening of Lovisa, a fashion accessories store — which follows the first location in Australia in 2010 — brings a new brand to the mix of new tenants in the mall.
BoxLunch Gifts is also slated to open soon in the mall, rivaling Lovisa’s accessories’ collection with a curated collection of licensed and non-licensed merchandise.
Shawarma Taco will also serve up a mix of tacos and shawarma in the upper level food court, according to the mall’s website. The company did not immediately indicate when it plans to open.
Elevation Lifestyle, a company that sells all-natural home and body care products, also hosted a grand opening over the weekend. The business is located on the upper level of the mall near JCPenny. Products are reportedly made from natural and organization ingredients.
Highs & Lows also opened on the lower level near Dave & Busters earlier in the year, bringing a mix of exotic snacks, candy and sodas to the town center.
Correction: This article originally reported that the Canadian retailer Showcase is coming to Springfield Town Center. Its new location will actually be at Fair Oaks Mall.
The Fairfax County Police Department released dashboard and body camera footage today (Friday) from the fatal police shooting at Springfield Town Center last month.
An approximately 9-minute and 30-second video shows footage from dash cams and body cameras edited together to show the police response from Thursday, June 30, to the shopping center parking lot.
According to the FCPD, the officers knew Reston resident Christian Parker, 37, was there and was wanted for stealing a gun from a Reston home days before, after he pointed it at a relative and discharged it.
“When we obtain an arrest warrant for someone, particularly someone who’s wanted for a violent crime, a felony, it’s an absolute priority for the department to take them into custody because they’re a danger to themselves, their family,” Police Chief Kevin Davis said at a press conference. “It was a priority to apprehend him.”
After officers blocked Parker’s vehicle in, they demanded multiple times that he show his hands or put down a gun. They then shot him.
“Our officers were faced with a very dangerous situation,” Davis said. “I think they were brave. I think they acted lawfully and in compliance with our policies and community expectations. Watching a use-of-force on a video or seeing it in person, it’s never pretty, especially when someone’s life is lost. We realize that and take it seriously.”
Davis also said a best case scenario would have been to get Parker before he got into the car.
“One of the goals of apprehending him was for him not to go mobile,” he said. “We don’t want to get into a situation where we’re chasing someone in a car, because then, exponentially more people are in danger.”
Note: The following video contains strong language and is not safe for work.
The video shows an officer in a vehicle watching as Parker returns to his car and appears to be checking his back tires. The officer drives straight ahead into a parking spot behind the car and says over the radio to “box him in.”
Parker gets into the car as another police vehicle parks in front of the car, blocking him into the spot. An officer runs to the driver’s side of the car pointing a gun at Parker and shouting “show me your hands.” Another officer in front of the vehicle also points his gun at Parker in the car and says “he’s reaching.” Read More
The Fairfax County Police Department will release video footage this afternoon (Friday) of a recent incident in West Falls Church where officers pointed their guns at a person who was filming them.
Police Chief Kevin Davis will host a press conference at 2:30 p.m. It was announced almost exactly one hour after the Fairfax County NAACP released a statement urging the FCPD to immediately release all body camera and vehicle dashboard camera footage related to the gun-brandishing incident and fatal shootings in Springfield and McLean.
“We are troubled and deeply concerned by what appears to be a shift to a more aggressive style of policing in Fairfax County — a style that time and time again, leads to needless deaths,” the civil rights advocacy organization said. “Calling law enforcement for assistance should not be a death sentence, regardless of race, socioeconomic status, physical or mental ability, age, or gender.”
The FCPD released an audio recording on Wednesday (July 13) with the 911 dispatch call for the West Falls Church incident, which occurred outside an IHOP on Saturday (July 9).
One week earlier, a 37-year-old man later identified as Christian Parker from Reston died at a hospital on June 30 after a confrontation with three police officers at Springfield Town Center. Two of the officers fired their guns, killing Parker, who was wanted by police for allegedly firing a gun in his home four days earlier.
However, based on FCPD records, Parker and Lynch were the first people killed by FCPD officers since Herndon resident Mohammad Azim Doudzai was shot in January 2017. A dog was also euthanized after being shot by an officer in July 2019, and in October 2019, a man died after an officer fired his gun during a hostage situation in Burke, but police said the fatal wound appeared to be self-inflicted.
In its statement, the Fairfax County NAACP argued that police should speed up the release of video footage, given “the magnitude” of the recent gun-related incidents and their close proximity to each other. The FCPD’s policy is to make body camera and other videos public within 30 days of a use-of-force incident.
“We have received numerous calls and written communications from Fairfax County community members expressing their concerns, and in some cases, outrage. The community deserves answers,” the NAACP said.
Internal investigations into all three incidents are ongoing. The department recently updated its press release from the Springfield shooting to name the officers who discharged their weapons, Officer First-Class Daniel Houtz and Officer Ryan Sheehan.
“PFC Houtz is an eight-year veteran of the Franconia Police District Station and OFC Sheehan is a two-year veteran of the Mount Vernon Police District Station,” the release said. “Both officers were assigned to the Summer Crime Initiative Team. The department will release body camera footage and audio recordings of the 911 call for service within 30 days or when it no longer jeopardizes the integrity of the investigation.”
In a statement released Tuesday (July 12), Franconia District Supervisor Rodney Lusk, who chairs the county board’s public safety committee, acknowledged the growing community concerns about the “series of high-profile incidents” involving the FCPD. His office will hold a virtual town hall next Thursday (July 21) with police officials, including Chief Davis.
“As community members work to process and understand the events of the past weeks, I remain completely committed to providing the transparency required to ensure trust between our community and FCPD,” Lusk said.
Photo via FCPD/Facebook
Officers were attempting to locate Christian Parker, of Reston, around 4:30 p.m., because he was wanted for possession of a firearm by a felon, larceny of a firearm, brandishing a firearm and discharging a firearm within a home, police said in a news release today (Friday).
“Detectives from our Fugitive Track and Apprehension Unit learned Parker was in the area of the Springfield Town Center,” police said. “Detectives coordinated with the Summer Crime Initiative team to help find Parker. This seasonal team of officers focuses on suppressing crime during the summer months.”
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) July 1, 2022
According to police, Parker was in a parking lot outside of Target when officers at the mall positioned their vehicles to prevent him from escaping. As the police approached, he entered his vehicle, and three officers gave him commands to show his hands, the FCPD said.
Police said it appeared that he reached across the passenger seat and retrieved a firearm, which an officer saw in his hands and told the other officers.
“The officers gave multiple commands to Parker to drop the firearm,” the release said. “Parker disregarded these repeated commands, and two officers discharged their firearms.”
Officers broke the window to his vehicle to enter the locked car and rendered aid until Fairfax County Fire and Rescue personnel arrived, police said. He was taken to a hospital, where he died.
The FCPD says the two officers who fired their weapons were an eight-year veteran of the Franconia Police District Station and a two-year veteran of the Mount Vernon Police District Station.
The department’s policy requires that their names be released within the next 10 days “unless there is a credible threat to the safety of those involved or if additional time is required to thoroughly complete the risk assessment process.”
A criminal investigation by the Major Crimes Bureau is underway. All three officers present at the shooting were wearing body cameras, according to police. The video and audio recordings will be released publicly within 30 days of the shooting.
(Updated at 8 p.m.) A 37-year-old Fairfax County resident has died after he was shot by police at Springfield Town Center this afternoon (Thursday), the Fairfax County Police Department announced.
According to Police Chief Kevin Davis, the department had warrants for the man’s arrest after he reportedly stole a handgun from a family member, fired it inside their home, and fled the scene on foot. The man isn’t being publicly identified yet, pending next-of-kin notification.
The FCPD’s fugitive warrant squad had been tracking the man since that incident on Sunday (June 26) and got “intelligence” that he would be in the Springfield Town Center area today, where patrol officers at the mall located the man in the parking lot.
The officers spotted his vehicle based on a photo shared by the fugitive warrant squad. The man saw the police car and got back into his vehicle, prompting officers to approach his vehicle and direct him to show his hands, police said at a press conference.
“They said to him show me your hands and drop the gun at least 20 times. At least one of the officers yelled out that they could see a gun in his hand,” FCPD Lt. Col. Brian Reilly said, citing footage taken by body cameras worn by all three officers.
An anonymous tipster told FFXnow earlier that they saw police with guns drawn and heard someone say “he has a gun.”
Two out of the three present officers fired their guns, hitting the man through his car, Reilly said. Since the vehicle’s doors were locked, a window was smashed so the officers could pull the man out and administer medical aid.
No police were injured in the encounter, police said. The FCPD doesn’t believe there was any larger threat to public safety. A semi-automatic pistol was recovered from the vehicle, according to police.
“I feel very comfortable that these police officers acted appropriately. They acted bravely,” Davis said. “…A man armed with a firearm told 20-plus times to drop the gun and fails to do so, that’s a problem.”
A Springfield Town Center spokesperson confirmed that there is “an ongoing police situation” in the mall’s parking lot but directed FFXnow to the police department for further information.
A Target employee said the store remains open, as of 5:25 p.m.
The FCPD said that the mall remains open, but with a portion of the parking lot closed off while police process the scene, visitors are advised to enter and exit the complex via Loisdale Road. Many shoppers have been waiting by the curb outside Target, frustrated at being unable to get to their vehicles.
What to Know About Covid Vaccines for Young Kids — If recommended by the CDC and Virginia Department of Health, COVID-19 vaccines will be available from the Fairfax County Health Department with no appointments needed. Parents should contact their medical provider to see if they will carry the vaccines, which may be harder to find at pharmacies due to a state law that prohibits pharmacists from giving vaccinations to kids younger than 3. [FCHD]
Friends Stunned by Fair Lakes Shooting Deaths — “Now those who knew them are left to reconcile the image of three bodies with memories of an outwardly cheerful trio…who seemed to be always up for a boisterous evening out, for the karaoke nights they enjoyed at Fairfax bars, at Fat Tuesday’s and the Auld Shebeen.” [The Washington Post]
Mosaic District Restaurant Helps Worker After Crash — The Greek restaurant Our Mom Eugenia is helping share a fundraiser for an employee after her daughter was critically injured in last week’s fatal crash in Oakton. The business operator says Katya is “doing well” after being hit by a car while walking home from Oakton High School with her cousin and friend. [NBC4]
Annandale House Fire Started by Lights — Fairfax County fire investigators have determined that a house fire in the 3900 block of Terrace Drive on Saturday (June 11) was started accidentally “by an electrical event involving outdoor string lights” on the backyard deck. The fire displaced seven people and caused approximately $125,000 in damages. [FCFRD]
Victim Says County Prosecutors “Pressured” Her Into Plea Deal — “Julie, not her real name, said she’s been traumatized. First, by a manipulating online predator. Then, by the Fairfax County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office.” [ABC7]
Prepare for Change at Springfield Town Center — “PREIT CEO Joe Coradino said his eye is on reshaping the property into something that more closely resembles its title as a town center, with a greater mix of uses. The introduction of additional components, including the planned Lego Discovery Center and seven-story hotel will help further that aim, he said.” [Washington Business Journal]
Historic Reston Distillery Gets Spotlight — “Thank you Virginia Department of Heritage Resources for promoting #Reston landmark A. Smith Bowman Distillery on #NationalBourbonDay! Read about the only legal whiskey distillery in Virginia in its day, which operated until the 1950s” [Supervisor Walter Alcorn/Twitter]
Restaurant Crawl Coming to Fairfax City on Saturday — The Old Town Fairfax City Summer Crawl is a timed, self-guided tour through participating restaurants, which will offer exclusive small plates and drinks from their menus. The free event will unfold from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m., letting patrons “support local restaurants…while enjoying a variety of bites and beverages.” [Fairfax City EDA]
It’s Wednesday — Partly cloudy throughout the day. High of 85 and low of 69. Sunrise at 5:44 am and sunset at 8:37 pm. [Weather.gov]
Cravings for every wacky snack-related desire have a high chance of fulfillment at Highs & Lows, a new exotic snack shop in Springfield Town Center.
Located on the lower level near JCPenney, Highs & Lows sells a mix of foreign snacks, sodas and treats.
Items at the store include Choco Banana KitKat, cucumber-flavored lays potato chips, Japanese steak Cheetos, and ocean bomb sparkling water.
The business launched in 2020 at 6436 Richmond Highway in Groveton. Customers can also purchase snacks online. Other items for sale include music, toys and pop culture-related merchandise.
The Springfield Town Center location opened late last month. The mall also recently welcomed Caragari, a boutique that offers Pakistani, Afghani, Bangladeshi and Indian clothing, jewelry and shoes. Pink & Blue, a store that sells baby and kids’ clothes also relocated on the lower level near the kids’ play area.
Photo via Springfield Town Center/Facebook
Baby Born at Reston Fire Station Makes Visit — “Today, Station 25, Reston, B-Shift hosted Baby Ivy, who made her entrance into the world in Station 25 parking lot recently, and her big brother, mom and dad. 25-B were thrilled and presented the family w/station shirt/patch. Baby Ivy brought some goodies for the shift!” [FCFRD/Twitter]
TJ Students Reflect on First Year Under New Admissions System — “As the adults did battle in courtrooms, students such as Sarah Castillo were reconsidering their options. Hundreds of students who had neither thought of applying to TJ, nor felt they had a chance of acceptance under the old admissions system, now took the plunge — and some of them, including Sarah, got in.” [The Washington Post]
Burke House Fire Leads to Over $500K in Damages — Smoldering embers dropped in a pile of sawdust ignited a house fire in the 8900 block of Arley Drive on Thursday (May 26) that displaced two people and resulted in $516,075 in damages. Firefighters at the scene saw “heavy fire” through the two-story house’s roof, and one resident got minor injuries. [FCFRD]
Over a Quarter of Primary Mail Ballots Returned — “We’ve had about 28% of #votebymail ballots returned so far in the Democratic primary for the 8th Congressional District. Return your ballot now or #voteearly in person at the Fairfax County Govt. Center” [Fairfax County Office of Elections/Twitter]
West Falls Church Restaurant Closed Permanently — DC Steakholders owners Usman and Lilly Bhatti said in a May 4 message that “inflation, staffing shortages, and rising food costs have taken a toll on our business,” noting that their food trucks and catering business will continue. The restaurant first opened on Arlington Blvd. in April 2019 and served burgers and frozen custard. [Annandale Today]
Reston Food Delivery Business Plans Expansion — “Frolick is a fresh take on food delivery, offering a rotating menu of chef-prepared meals — delivered for now only in Northern Virginia but soon expanding to D.C. and then, perhaps, well beyond…Frolick was born in the summer of 2021 with a big assist from GateGroup, the Swiss-based airline catering giant whose North American headquarters is in Reston.” [DC Inno]
Future Springfield Town Center Hotel Site Sold — “PREIT…announced execution of a purchase and sale agreement for 11 outparcels that will generate gross proceeds in excess of $32 million. The Company also executed an agreement of sale for a vacant parcel at Springfield Town Center set to be developed into a hotel site for $2.5 million as the Company executes on its vision of delivering one-stop destinations for the communities it serves.” [PREIT]
Jefferson Manor Kids Start Pet Directory — “Two sisters in Alexandria, Virginia, created a directory of all the neighborhood pets to raise money for good causes and bring the community together.” There have been 144 different pets submitted to the directory so far. [NBC4]
Free Fishing Day This Weekend — The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources is helping people learn how to fish with an event from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. this Saturday (June 4) at Burke Lake. Equipment and bait are provided, and attendees don’t need to purchase a fishing license. [DWR]
It’s Wednesday — Partly cloudy throughout the day. High of 87 and low of 73. Sunrise at 5:47 am and sunset at 8:30 pm. [Weather.gov]
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.