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Updated at 5:50 p.m. on 5/12/2022 — The Fairfax County Planning Commission approved the final development plan for The Boro’s Buildings I and K yesterday (Wednesday).

Earlier: With construction underway on one part of The Boro’s expansion in Tysons, plans for three more buildings in the five-block development are about to be finalized.

A centerpiece of the 9.37-acre project to extend the mixed-use community north of Westpark Drive will be a pair of mid-rise residential buildings connected by a glass bridge over Boro Place.

Designated as Block K, the 90-foot-tall, seven-story buildings will have between 350 and 430 housing units — an increase from the 270-unit minimum in the conceptual plan that the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved in November.

In its proposed final plan, which will go before the Fairfax County Planning Commission tonight (Wednesday), developer The Meridian Group also reduces the amount of ground-floor retail in the block to 10,000 square feet each in the north and south complexes. The north building was approved for up to 15,000 square feet.

Some of the residential units will be contained within the bridge, which will be five stories tall with a glass façade, internal hallways, and a “graphic art feature” looking over Boro Place. The plan shows the bridge elevated more than 22 feet in the air by pillars.

The county’s planning staff previously took issue with the bridge’s size as a potential “visual barrier,” according to a staff report. While the design has been refined with the illuminated art, lighting, and recessed balconies, staff still recommends making the inclusion of public art and glare reduction conditions of approval.

“Staff notes that the applicant also has an accepted proffer commitment to provide bird friendly building design, and recommends the applicant commit to a creative design approach by integrating public art with bird friendly features,” the report says. “Having these two design elements work in tandem on the façade will enhance the design outcome for the bridge structure.”

A map of The Meridian Group’s planned extension of The Boro (via Fairfax County)

The third building in the final development plan, dubbed Block I, will be another seven-story residential building with up to 130 units and 25,000 square feet of retail. No changes from Meridian’s original plan are proposed.

All three buildings will have private, elevated courtyards, and a bicycle room and pet spa are planned in Buildings I and K North. Read More

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Morning Notes

Cranes loom behind Wiehle-Reston East Metro station plaza (photo by Marjorie Copson)

Autopsies in Fairfax County Murders Still Pending — “Autopsies have been unable to determine how three victims of suspected ‘shopping cart killer’ Anthony Eugene Robinson died…Robinson is suspected of killing at least four people whose remains were found in Alexandria and Harrisonburg, Virginia, as well as the District.” [WTOP]

Spring Farm Day Canceled at Frying Pan — This year’s Spring Farm Day at Frying Pan Farm Park on Saturday (May 7) has been canceled due to rainy weather in the forecast. Anyone who registered in advance should receive an email with more information. [Fairfax County Park Authority/Twitter]

The Boro Restaurants Aim for July Openings — Despite a broker site plan that lists June 1 opening dates, the restaurants El Bebe, Circa, and Caliburger aren’t expected to be ready until mid-July, a spokesperson for the Tysons development recently told FFXnow. The Boro will, however, bring back its simultaneous chess tournament on May 21. [The Boro, Tysons Today]

Congress Members Urge Action on Ghaisar Case — “Seven members of Congress, including six from the D.C. area, are asking the Justice Department to revisit the case of Bijan Ghaisar, the Virginia motorist who was shot and killed by the U.S. Park Police in 2017.” [WTOP]

Herndon Police Find ATM Skimming Device — “Subjects will install a panel containing a pin-hole camera that records you entering your PIN number while another device reads your card number. Please be diligent when using ATM machines. Always use a hand to cover the pad when entering your PIN number; and if you notice a camera…please contact #HerndonPD immediately” [Herndon Police Department/Facebook]

Maximus Leaves Reston Station for Tysons — “The $4.5 billion federal contractor that specializes in the administration of government programs like Medicaid, Medicare, federal student loans and veterans services said Tuesday it formally made the move to Lerner Enterprises’ 1600 Tysons Blvd. The company said the new space is 90,000 square feet across five floors.” [Washington Business Journal]

Back Away From the Fawn, Police Say — “It is common for people to encounter white-tailed deer fawns motionless and without their mother, then mistakenly assume it is orphaned or abandoned. In almost all cases, fawns are only temporarily left by their mothers for protection and just need to be left alone.” [FCPD]

Great Falls ArtFest Returns This Weekend — “Great Falls Studios will hold its annual Spring ArtFest May 7 and 8 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at four locations in Great Falls. Venues will include The Grange and Old Schoolhouse at 9818 Georgetown Pike, plus three art studios in the Village Center.” [Sun Gazette]

Tennis Court Repairs Restart Next Month — Contractor ATC will resume resurfacing tennis and pickleball courts at Linway Terrace in McLean and Wakefield Park in Annandale in early June. Work at both sites began in the fall but was suspended due to unfavorable weather conditions. [FCPA]

It’s Thursday — Possible light rain overnight. High of 66 and low of 55. Sunrise at 6:07 am and sunset at 8:06 pm. [Weather.gov]

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The Boro in Tysons (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

D.C.’s Blossom Kite Festival is over, but kite-flying enthusiasts in Fairfax County have a new opportunity to let loose closer to home.

The Boro in Tysons will have various kite-related activities and flying demonstrations for its inaugural “Kite Fest,” set for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 23.

The festivities will include live music from a DJ, super-sized board games, a free kite for the first 100 visitors, and stations where people can decorate kites to be entered into a contest for prizes.

There will also be crafts, children’s book readings, and face painting, courtesy of The Gift of Language, a Tysons-based Spanish immersion school. The D.C. nonprofit Turning the Page will host a pop-up bookstore.

“We wanted to bring all the fun of kite flying to the heart of Northern Virginia!” Tanya Graves, senior vice president of marketing and tenant services at The Boro, said by email. “We were inspired by this wonderful tradition that celebrates and welcomes the spring season and bright, sunny days ahead.”

Kite Fest will unfold at Boro Park (8350 Broad Street) and Sandlot Tysons, an events pop-up that reopened for a second season at the mixed-use development on Saturday (April 9).

Tickets to the festival are free, but advance registration through Eventbrite is required.

Other events coming to the development this spring include a return of its “Gambit” chess tournament, which Graves says was “a crowd favorite” in November. Like last time, The Boro resident and chess grandmaster Rashad Babaev will face off against multiple players of different skill levels at the same time.

The development will also kick off a series of free, outdoor “Honest Soul Yoga” classes on Friday (April 15). The classes will be held in Boro Park at noon every other Friday through May 27.

Anyone planning to chow down after finishing a shavasana, however, will have to make do with The Boro’s existing eateries, as work continues on an upcoming bistro, taco restaurant and burger joint.

Circa, El Bebe and Caliburger are still under construction and are planned for a summer opening,” Graves said.

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Where the National Automobile Dealers Association’s headquarters once stood, there is now only dirt.

Demolition of the former NADA building at 8400 Westpark Drive in Tysons is complete, and construction is underway to expand The Boro to the north side of Westpark Drive near the Greensboro Metro station.

So far, work has concentrated on “Block J” of the mixed-use development’s expansion, according to Tanya Graves, senior vice president of marketing & tenant services at The Boro.

That block consists of The Trillium, the 16-story, 198-room continuing care facility from Silverstone Senior Living. Planned amenities include a cafe, lounge and restaurant and a first-floor wellness center with exercise equipment, yoga studios, a day spa, and salon, according to Silverstone.

A map of The Meridian Group’s planned extension of The Boro (via Fairfax County)

Construction has also commenced on the adjacent portion of Allsboro Park, a publicly accessible park proposed to connect Greensboro Drive with a not-yet-built extension of Broad Street.

Delivery of The Trillium and that portion of Allsboro Park are expected in mid-2024, Graves says.

The former NADA building’s demolition started at the end of August, and The Meridian Group, the developer behind The Boro, obtained the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors’ approval of its expansion plans on Nov. 9.

In addition to the senior living facility, the 1.1 million square feet of approved housing, retail, and other amenities will include:

  • Blocks I and K: residential buildings with 122 and 421 units, respectively, and approximately 34,000 square feet of retail, joined by a glass bridge over Boro Place
  • Block L: a 145,000-square-foot health club or 42 townhouses with a central green space

A plan for the residential buildings have been under review by Fairfax County since early 2021. It’s scheduled to go before the county’s planning commission for a public hearing on May 11.

“The entitlement process for the residential projects on Blocks I and K is ongoing with construction commencement anticipated for later this year,” Graves said.

While no plans have been submitted for Block L yet, leaving open the question of whether it will be a health club or townhouses, Graves says earthwork, utilities, roads and utility infrastructure for the full, 9.37-acre expansion site are set to be completed by mid-2023.

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