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The Boro is bringing back its annual Oktoberfest celebration (courtesy The Boro Tysons/Lancer Photography)

October will come a couple of weeks early to The Boro in Tysons.

With fall on the horizon, the mixed-use neighborhood near the Greensboro Metro station announced earlier this month will host an Oktoberfest celebration at 8350 Broad Street on Sept. 17.

Here’s more from the news alert on what to expect from the event, which will take place from 2 to 5 p.m. at Boro Park with a biergarten from The Sandlot Tysons:

Sip a stein and join friends and family for an afternoon of fall-themed festivities including outdoor games, crafts and a special Polka concert by The TKO Band (dirndls and lederhosen optional!).

The day will be packed with fun activities and giveaways, with special Oktoberfest embroidered pins, a glitter tattoo station, pretzel necklace making and plenty of IG-worthy photo ops in front of marquee letters that spell out “Prost!”. The first 150 guests to arrive at Boro Park will receive their very own branded mug from The Boro!

Oktoberfest at The Boro will be free and open to the general public, but advance registration is encouraged, the alert said.

In the meantime, the wait for The Boro’s newest restaurants will drag on into the autumn, despite previously expressed hopes for summer openings.

The Mexican restaurant El Bebe and Circa bistro don’t have set opening dates “but hope to open sometime in October,” says a spokesperson for Metropolitan Hospitality Group, which owns both brands.

“There have been a few delays,” the spokesperson said in an email. “I am not aware of all of the details, but I know that (as is the case with most projects) construction is taking longer than we thought it would.”

Caliburger didn’t immediately return FFXnow’s request for comment, but broker H&R Retail’s site plan for The Boro suggests the California-based burger chain will open later than El Bebe and Circa.

News that Caliburger was bringing a restaurant to the neighborhood first came out in November 2019, while El Bebe was once expected to open in late 2020 or early 2021. It was initially paired with Open Road Grill, another concept from MHG, but the restaurant group later switched to Circa.

The last retail tenant to open at The Boro was Bluestone Lane in October.

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Community members have criticized the placement of tree planters by curbside parking spaces in The Boro (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

The accessibility of Tysons is under a microscope after community members pointed out oversights at The Boro that make the development challenging to navigate for people with disabilities.

In a presentation to the Fairfax County Planning Commission’s Tysons Committee last week, county staff said they’re looking more closely at how developments are designed — from the availability of drop-off zones to the slope of a sidewalk — and flagging potential issues earlier when reviewing new proposals.

“We’re going to continue to raise these concerns with applicants during the review and working toward continual improvement as the development of Tysons builds out, so we’re keeping a really close eye on these and trying to get better and better as we go,” Suzie Battista, the Department of Planning and Development’s (DPD) urban centers section chief, said at the July 14 meeting.

Accessibility Issues Found at The Boro

Since its first phase came online in 2019 and 2020, The Boro has exemplified both the promise of Tysons and the obstacles facing the county’s vision of a walkable, inclusive urban center.

Built by The Meridian Group, The Boro brought 1.7 million square feet of development to two blocks near Leesburg Pike and the Greensboro Metro station, including 677 housing units, 500,000 square feet of office space, and retail anchored by Whole Foods and the ShowPlace ICON Theater.

After all that construction, the new neighborhood failed to consider the needs of people with mobility issues, says retired architect and The Boro resident John Colby, who shared his concerns in a Washington Post op-ed last year.

None of the 34 street parking spaces were reserved for people with disabilities, as all 31 Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant spaces are inside garages. There are no drop-off or loading zones, and the button for the entrance to the Verse condominiums, where Colby lives, is frequently broken, he told the Tysons Committee.

“ADA-compliant entry doors are minimally required at public-to-private interfaces, such as entry doors from the street, but not private-to-private internal doors,” he said. “Contrary to the spirit, if not the letter, of the ADA law, those dependent on a wheelchair are thus denied unaccompanied access to our building’s fitness and meeting rooms, the half-acre skypark, and similar amenities.”

Other issues are more subtle, such as a garage entrance and utility manhole cover on Silver Hill Drive that make those areas of the sidewalk steeper than the adjacent street — putting it out of compliance with the ADA, according to Fairfax County Tysons Urban Center Coordinator William Marsh. Read More

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The Sandlot pop-up bar at The Boro in Tysons (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

The Boro in Tysons is going to the dogs this weekend, hosting a pair of canine-friendly events that will also benefit a local LGBTQ youth advocacy group.

The mixed-use development near the Greensboro Metro station is inviting pups and their humans alike to a “Yappy Hour” at 5-7 p.m. tomorrow (Friday).

The Sandlot Tysons (1640 Boro Place) will feature a Bone Bar with dog treats and branded bag holder giveaways and a photo opportunity in front of the word “bark” spelled out in “jumbo light-up letters,” according to a news release.

There will also be live music and cocktails, and the local nonprofit Wolf Trap Animal Rescue will be present to share information about fostering a dog. A portion of all beverage proceeds will go to Safe Space NOVA, an Alexandria-based nonprofit that provides support and resources to LGBTQ teens.

In addition to offering a support group, educational programs, and social activities, the organization will host its annual Pride Prom for high school students at The St. James in Springfield tomorrow. Designed to be inclusive of all genders and sexual orientations, the event had been on a two-year break due to the pandemic.

“In celebration of Pride Month, The Boro is excited to partner with one of the great local organizations aiming to help members of the LGBTQ+ community,” The Boro said in a statement. “Safe Space NOVA is dedicated to providing a safe, accepting and supporting environment to combat social stigmas, bullying and other challenges faced by LGBTQ+ youth.”

“Yappy Hour” is free and open to the general public, but the development encourages registering in advance through Eventbrite.

The following morning will bring a less-boozy affair with a “Camp Bark” training session at Boro Park.

A local trainer will lead the class for beginners from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday (June 25). Free coffee and treats will be available, and a portion of sales from the tickets, which cost $10 per dog, will be donated to Safe Space NOVA.

Registration on Eventbrite is required for participants.

Additional Pride Month events coming to the Tysons area this June include the Mosaic District’s first-ever Pride Celebration on Saturday and a concert by the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington at Capital One Hall on Sunday (June 26).

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Morning Notes

Light peeks through the trees on a path in Franconia (staff photo by Brandi Bottalico)

Fairfax County Jury Sides with Johnny Depp — After a weeks-long trial, actor Johnny Depp was awarded more than $10 million in his defamation lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard, a verdict that has already taken a toll on domestic violence survivors. Heard was also awarded $2 million for a countersuit over comments by Depp’s lawyer. [Associated Press/WTOP]

Calm Returns to Fairfax County Courthouse After High-Profile Trial — “Two hours after the verdict in the Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard defamation trial was announced, the grounds outside the Fairfax County Courthouse had the aura of a field where a circus had just packed up its tent and moved on.” [Patch]

Woodson HS Apologizes for Teacher’s Use of Slur — “An official at W.T. Woodson High School in Fairfax has apologized for a substitute teacher uttering a racial slur during an in-class reading of John Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men’ last month…A student notified [assistant principal Amanda] Burke that a classmate had recorded a video of the substitute saying the racial slur and shared it on social media.” [Patch]

Firefighters and Police Rescue Red-Tailed Hawk — “#FCFRD & @FairfaxCountyPD Animal Protection, rescued a Red-Tailed Hawk during special ops training. Crews worked together to disentangled it with special equipment. He appears healthy but will get a check-up. Retrieve kite strings & fishing line! Birds can’t see them.” [FCFRD/Twitter]

Popular Lincolnia Pet Store to Downsize — “Chico’s Natural Pet Market invites the community to a fun event Sunday, June 5, featuring an animal communicator and an auction…Owner Danielle Areco will update customers on the store’s pending move to a new location and will describe the store’s new focus on healthy pet food.” [Annandale Today]

Tysons Real Estate Company Plans Move — “Real estate giant CBRE Group Inc. (NYSE: CBRE) will move its Tysons office, which houses its Northern Virginia operation, a stone’s throw up the road in early 2023, having already inked a new lease. CBRE will occupy a little over 24,000 square feet, or the whole 11th floor, of Boro Tower, a 20-story office building located at 8350 Broad St.” [Washington Business Journal]

General Assembly Passes State Budget — “The Virginia General Assembly passed a two-year state budget Wednesday that both cuts taxes and increases spending, a rare combination that drew extensive bipartisan support in both the Democratic-controlled Senate and Republican-controlled House of Delegates.” [The Washington Post]

Former Vienna Town Manager Dies — “John Schoeberlein, who served as Vienna’s steady-as-you-go town manager for 26 years before retiring in May 2011, died May 30 at age 74…Schoeberlein was a respected leader and well-liked by town residents and staff, said Bill Murray, a retired master police officer with the Vienna Police Department.” [Sun Gazette/Inside NoVA]

Local Farmers Markets Accept Food Benefits — “Four Fairfax County Farmers Markets offer a [Supplemental Nutrition Assistance] Matching Program where you can double your SNAP Benefits…You can use your EBT card in the McCutcheon/Mount Vernon, Annandale, Reston and Lorton Farmers Markets.” [Fairfax County Park Authority]

Park Authority Supports Annandale Vandal — “A bit of mischief was celebrated at Hidden Oaks Nature Center as a clever vandal slipped into the Annandale Community Park playground area and switched a couple of letters on the fencing spelling ‘I [heart] Mom.’ This sweet sign is a salute to all the moms who take their kids to our parks!” [FCPA/Facebook]

It’s Thursday — Rain starting in the afternoon. High of 82 and low of 73. Sunrise at 5:46 am and sunset at 8:31 pm. [Weather.gov]

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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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