Tysons Corner Center can move forward with new plans for its next phase of development.
After a public hearing on Tuesday (Sept. 26), the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved revisions requested by property owner Macerich that will build on the mall’s plaza, shift planned office space closer to Metro and pave the way for more street-level activity.
“A lot of work has gone into this, but we are seeing wonderful improvements and commitments, mainly the park and open spaces that would come with this, the ability to expand a very successful plaza [and] connecting that to the ground level,” Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik said. “…Having more retail and restaurant uses, I think, [is] very much something we and the community are looking forward to.”
Macerich submitted its new development plan for Tysons Corner Center in December 2021 after acquiring the former Lord & Taylor store in 2020. When the master plan was originally adopted in 2007, the clothing retailer had declined to participate, according to DLA Piper land use planner Brian Clifford, the developer’s legal representative at the hearing.
“We had a little bit of a hole in our donut there right next to the Metro,” Clifford told the board. “With the applicant’s acquisition in 2020, we had a chance to fill that hole in the donut and really provide some exciting connective tissue between phase 1, approved phase 2 and the Metro connection.”
The Lord & Taylor building has now been designated “phase 2A” and will be replaced by either a 26-story office building or a 34-story, 292-unit office and residential building. Both options include about 36,000 square feet of retail and a pedestrian connection from the mall’s ground level to the elevated plaza.
Phase 2B consists of a 20-story office building and a 27-story, 320-unit residential building that would be constructed on top of an existing four-level parking garage at the 78-acre property’s northwestern corner. This phase also calls for its own elevated plaza and a street-level, 1.8-acre linear park, featuring a dog park, children’s play areas and a path from International Drive to the Tysons Metro station.
In a change from the plan that Macerich initially filed, One Tysons Place will be relocated to the south side of the block, allowing access to the linear park from the new buildings without the interruption of a street crossing.
Palchik thanked the developer and county staff for working together to address the pedestrian safety concerns raised by the original design.
“I think you really hit it on the nail, and phase 2B cannot come soon enough, at least in my book,” she said.
In a separate project, the county is also working with Macerich and the Virginia Department of Transportation to add a street-level crosswalk on Route 123 (Chain Bridge Road) at the Tysons Blvd intersection.
No phase 3 changes were proposed, but the fourth phase of development has been reduced to two residential buildings and a retail building after its office space got moved to phase 2. Another retail building is planned on Leesburg Pike for the fifth and final phase.
The revisions won’t alter the size or density of the proposed development, which will exceed 6 million square feet when completed.
Clifford and Sharon Williams, a planner for the county, agreed that the application “was a fun one to work on.”
“That’s due in large part to their technical expertise, but [also it was a] very solution-oriented, open, honest, transparent process and conversation we got to have with staff, and the application’s much better for it,” Clifford said.
In recent months, Tysons Corner Center visitors have likely encountered a “coming soon” sign for a store that promises a hodgepodge of toys, games, gifts, slides, “schmutz” and “farts.”
Details about the incoming retailer have at last emerged, though flatulence doesn’t appear to be a planned offering.
Instead, the family-oriented company CAMP will open an interactive, “Encanto”-themed toy and entertainment store next to H&M during the first week of December — just in time for the upcoming winter holidays.
Described as “part toy store, part party venue, part immersive theater space,” the 10,730-square-foot store will feature 5,000 square feet of attractions inspired by the 2021 animated movie from Disney, which collaborated with Camp to create the experience.
“Families will climb up and around Antonio’s rainforest, spin through Isabela’s flower-filled room, slide down into the Courtyard and more,” a press release said. “Live Counselor-led singalongs to the film’s favorite tunes like ‘We Don’t Talk About Bruno’ and ‘Surface Pressure’ happen throughout the show.”
In a replica of the film’s town square, vendors will sell custom-made “Encanto” merchandise that isn’t available anywhere else, according to the website, where tickets are now available for purchase.
Unlike other “experiences” that have visited Tysons Corner Center, Camp will have a permanent presence in the form of a 5,000-square-foot “Canteen” selling toys, clothing and accessories. Also included are a “Schmutz Bar” where visitors can create slime, a “CAMPitheater” for live events and two party rooms available for birthdays.
“I can’t wait to see the smiles on faces when stepping into our newest CAMP location at the preeminent Tysons Corner,” Camp co-CEO Jenica Myszkowski said in a statement. “Our CAMP Canteen will be the ultimate holiday gifting destination this holiday season with the best selection of toys and books and so many playable moments for kids to enjoy while grown ups shop!”
Co-founded by entrepreneur and former Buzzfeed marketing chief Ben Kaufman, Camp opened its flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City in December 2018. The company will expand to nine stores with its Tysons location, which represents its first foray into the D.C. area.
The stores rotate through different themes, from the popular kids’ TV shows “Bluey” and “Paw Patrol” to “The Little Mermaid” — another Disney partnership. The “Encanto” show is currently at the New York City shop, where it’s scheduled to stay until Oct. 14.
Disney Encanto x CAMP will then stay in Tysons “for a limited time before moving” on to another location, the company says, though an end date hasn’t been announced.
“We love the Camp experience, and we know that our guests who come from all over the country and the world to spend time at Tysons Corner Center will adore this singular retail + theater + entertainment concept,” Doug Healey, senior executive vice president of leasing for mall owner Macerich, said in the press release. “Macerich focuses on bringing exciting, fresh experiences to our top-performing regional town centers, including Tysons Corner Center, and we know that Camp will be huge hit with families here.”
(Updated at 6:20 p.m.) Three people were arrested earlier this week for stealing thousands of dollars in merchandise from Tysons Corner Center businesses, police say.
At 9:09 p.m. on Tuesday (Sept. 19), a worker at Sunglass Hut in the mall reported that the store had just been robbed, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.
Using the mall’s surveillance cameras, detectives with the department’s Tysons Urban Team unit determined that there were three suspects and they were still inside. One man and two women — all New York residents — were located and arrested.
“Approximately $15,000 worth of stolen merchandise was recovered,” the FCPD announced yesterday (Wednesday). “The stolen merchandise was found to belong to several businesses inside Tysons Corner Center to include Express, H&M, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Victoria’s Secret, American Eagle, Guess, and Sunglass Hut.”
The 20-year-old man has been charged with two counts of grand larceny, petit larceny, larceny with intent to sell , and conspiracy to commit larceny, according to the police department. When not committed against a person, Virginia defines grand larceny as thefts of $1,000 or more.
The two women, who are aged 19 and 20, have been been charged with two counts of grand larceny, larceny with intent to sell, and conspiracy to commit larceny.
All three individuals are being held at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center on no bond, police said.
The arrests came just days after the FCPD reported late last week that its detectives had “busted” three other people — also identified as New York residents — for allegedly attempting to use a stolen credit card to buy $21,000 worth of merchandise from Louis Vuitton in Tysons Galleria.
As part of a summer crime prevention initiative, the police department cracked down on retail theft in June, which it said resulted in a drop in cases countywide that month. Incidents at Tysons Corner Center have continued to decline from 103 in May to 62 so far in September, according to FCPD data.
“Since the Summer Crime Prevention Initiative in June, we have seen a decrease in shoplifting incidents at 1961 Chain Bridge Road,” the department told FFXnow. “We recognize that shoplifting tends to increase in the fall toward the holiday season and will take steps to address this trend.”
For its next phase, Tysons Corner Center is keeping its eyes on the ground.
Property owner and developer Macerich secured the Fairfax County Planning Commission’s support last Thursday (Sept. 14) for a proposal that concentrates future development at the D.C. area’s largest mall closer to the Tysons Metro station than previously planned.
By repurposing the building that Lord & Taylor vacated in 2020, Macerich hopes its second phase of development will better integrate the first phase — which was completed in 2015 and centered around an elevated plaza — with the street below, according to DLA Piper land use planner Brian Clifford, who represented the developer at last week’s public hearing.
“Part of the connective tissue we envision here is enhancing this pedestrian ground plane experience,” Clifford said. “Phase 1 and 2 as approved are mostly elevated, and now we have a chance really to fix that.”
Visitors coming to the mall from the Metro station or Route 123 are currently greeted by a blank white wall where Lord & Taylor once stood, Clifford noted, though the building has temporarily hosted a mass COVID-19 vaccination site and a Spirit Halloween store since the retailer closed.
Macerich has proposed revitalizing that portion of the 78-acre property by replacing the retail building with either a 26-story office building or a 34-story, 292-unit office and residential building. Both options would include about 36,000 square feet of retail at the plaza level.
The retail space will likely focus on food and beverage offerings, similar to Barrel & Bushel, Eddie V’s and other tenants that can be found on the Plaza at Tysons Corner Center, Clifford said.
On top of the adjacent four-level parking garage, phase 2B will add a 20-story, 306,600-square-foot office building and 27-story, 320-unit residential building with retail space. This phase also includes a private amenity terrace and a 1.8-acre park connecting International Drive to the Tysons Metro station.
Extending a quarter-mile along Tysons One place, the park will feature a dog park, a 10-foot-wide multi-use trail, a Metro plaza area and active recreation zones, including a children’s play area, according to the application. Read More
(Updated at 2:05 p.m. on 9/13/2023) The Commonwealth of Virginia will take center stage at Tysons Corner Center this Saturday (Sept. 16).
The first annual Celebrate Virginia festival will enliven the Plaza at Tysons Corner Center from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with beer and wine tastings as well as live entertainment, an artisan market and a mural painted in real time.
“We are excited to bring the community together at our inaugural Celebrate Virginia event, which highlights everything that makes our home state special,” said Jesse Benites, the director of property management for the mall’s owner, Macerich. “We will be showcasing small Virginia-based businesses, artists, and talent and are thrilled with the support and collaboration from our public officials and community partners.”
Some of those officials are slated to make appearances, including Rep. Gerry Connolly, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay, and representatives of the county’s police and fire departments and George Mason University.
Organized in partnership with Visit Fairfax — Fairfax County’s official destination marketing agency — and the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC), Celebrate Virginia will be generally open to the public and free to attend.
The only exception is the V.I.P. Wine and Wellness Tent, which requires $40 tickets. The tent will offer tastings from eight different Virginia wineries and access to a pop-up from the five-star resort and spa Salamander Middleburg, where attendees can create a personalized aromatherapy oil.
Proceeds from the ticket sales will go to the Merrifield-based nonprofit Food for Others.
As for the free attractions, there will be beer tastings from five breweries, including Chantilly’s Strange Fruit Brewing, Smartmouth Brewing from Hampton Roads and Brother Craft Brewing from Harrisonburg.
The musical line-up will feature:
- 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. — DanYko (Alexandria)
- 1-2:30 p.m. — Tejas & Felix (Fairfax City)
- 3-4 p.m. — Zac Quintana & Shawn Cody (Manassas)
The Artisan Makers Market will be similarly stacked with vendors based in Virginia, including many in Fairfax County:
- Inner Loop Coffee Roasters (Falls Church)
- Mother Cluster’s (Fairfax)
- Snugabutter (Annandale)
- Nordic Knot (Reston)
- River Sea Chocolates (Chantilly)
- The Humble Hustle Company (Roanoke)
- Trupti’s Craft: Quilling Gifts (Fairfax)
- Alyssa Mae Crafts (Tysons)
Throughout the day, visitors can also help paint a community mural with Loudoun-based artist Kevin Bednarz, whose work mixes street art, graphics and “original styles,” according to Tysons Corner Center.
“The design will be pre-sketched, and event attendees will be able to paint and bring the mural to life throughout the event,” the mall said. “The final product will be a large piece painted by the community to be exhibited within the shopping center.”
There will also be a “Spin the Tysons Wheel” with limited edition “Virginia is for Shopping Lovers” custom shirts, beanie hats, picnic blankets and other merchandise as the prizes.
“Virginia’s artisan, craft beer, and wine industries have become important drivers of Virginia’s tourism economy, making the Commonwealth an ideal destination for travelers who are seeking authentic, experiential attractions,” VTC Director of Communications Andrew Cothern said. “This event will provide an excellent locally made experience of everything Virginia has to offer firsthand.”
Visit Fairfax President and CEO Barry Biggar said in a statement that the agency is “thrilled” to help celebrate “talented artisans, makers and musicians” from Fairfax County and across the state.
Organizers hope Celebrate Virginia will become a recurring occasion. It will likely return annually to Tysons Corner Center, which was the “brainchild behind this event,” according to a Visit Fairfax spokesperson.
“We hope residents and visitors alike will come out to see what this amazing destination is all about and even take home a unique piece of Virginia,” Biggar said.
(Updated at 7:15 p.m. on 9/13/2023) A Pakistani clothing store is opening what appears to be the international company’s first U.S. location.
The company — which sells traditional and Western attire, including fabrics and ready-to-wear items — currently has locations in the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain.
Weaves Group operates the Khaadi brand. Shamoon Sultan founded the business in 1998 to “revive the ancient craft of the handloom and popularizing the traditional medium in a contemporary manner,” according to the company’s website.
The company has more than 45 brick-and-mortar stores just in Pakistan, along with U.K. and Middle East locations. It also ships around the world through its online store.
Khaadi expects to open the new store by the end of this year, CEO Rehan Syed said in an announcement by Cushman & Wakefield, the real estate firm that represented the retailer in leasing negotiations.
The store will be located in Suite M11U near Barnes & Noble and Urban Outfitters.
The Tysons Corner Center location will mark the launch of ambitious expansion plans for Khaadi, which hopes to open “as many as 30 stores in the U.S. and Canada, as well as distribution and eCommerce centers.”
“Khaadi is one of the world’s most exciting fashion brands, producing unsurpassed quality and a fusion of style to compliment both East and West,” Cushman & Wakefield Managing Director Eric Lestin said in a statement. “Tysons Corner, with its strong demographics and location, offers an excellent launching point for the brand in the U.S., and we look forward to continuing our growth-partnership across North America.”
The food court at Tysons Corner Center has a new dining option for shoppers looking to chow down on some ‘za.
My Own Pizza opened a stall in the mall’s third-floor food court about three weeks ago, filling a vacant space next to California Tortilla. The new location is the first expansion for the business outside of its flagship restaurant at Federal Center Plaza (400 C Street SW) in D.C.
Specializing in New York-style pizza, the restaurant was inspired by the small family pizzerias and Italian cafes that owner Peter Tabibian grew up with, according to My Own Pizza’s website.
When talking about My Own Pizza, Tabibian emphasizes its use of “very high-quality ingredients” and an on-site brick oven, rather than a metal oven with a conveyer belt.
“Business is booming,” Tabibian told FFXnow. “This is as close as you can get to New York pizza. We’ve been getting a really good response.”
The menu includes cheese and pepperoni pizzas, along with specialty options like Hawaiian. Slices can be purchased on their own or in combos with a soft drink.
Tabibian and his business partner, Kevin Ejtemai, also own the Persian restaurant Maman Joon, which opened a Tysons Corner Center location in April.
Still to come for the pair is a Z-Burger in Vienna. The burger and milkshake joint will be located at 541 Maple Avenue West in a former Pizza Hut.
Ejtemai says the team has been “working diligently” to open the new location, which will be Z-Burger’s fourth in Virginia after additions in McLean, Alexandria and Arlington. The permitting process has been a challenge, in part because they need to deal with both Fairfax County and the Town of Vienna, but he estimates the restaurant could be ready to open in about 30 days.
(Updated at 11:20 a.m.) Time is tick-tick-ticking away to catch The Dr. Seuss Experience before it leaves Tysons Corner Center.
The pop-up attraction where kids can interact with characters and worlds out of Theodor Giesel’s classic picture books will conclude a nearly five-month stop at the mall on Labor Day (Monday, Sept. 3), Tysons Corner Center confirmed to FFXnow.
Located on the second floor next to Barnes & Noble, the pop-up launched on April 7 with nine life-sized recreations of scenes from Dr. Seuss books, including “The Cat in the Hat,” “Horton Hears a Who” and the debut of a 1,300-square-foot mirror maze inspired by the short story “The Sneetches.”
Produced by the live entertainment companies Kilburn Live and Fever, The Dr. Seuss Experience was initially slated to continue through Memorial Day, but it has stuck around, along with the “immersive” pop-up Candytopia, which opened in March.
Candytopia will remain “for a couple more months,” a Tysons Corner Center spokesperson said.
Tickets for The Dr. Seuss Experience can still be purchased online. The attraction’s typical operating hours are:
- Wednesday: 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
- Thursday: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
- Friday and Saturday: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
- Sunday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
The pop-ups are part of a shift at shopping centers in Tysons toward “experience-based recreation,” which was identified as a gap in the local retail market by a study that the Tysons Community Alliance released on Aug. 4.
A different kind of pop-up will move into Tysons Corner Center on Sept. 1, when the online fashion store Rent the Runway will host a 25-day sample sale with clothing, bags and other items from designer brands.
The largest Vietnamese heritage festival on the East Coast is elebrating its 10th anniversary this weekend.
The Plaza at Tysons Corner Center (7901 Tysons One Place) will be alight with the lively VietFest cultural celebration from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 12 and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 13. Vietfest is organized by the National Organization for Vietnamese American Leadership of Greater Washington, D.C. (NOVAL-DC).
Celebrated yearly, VietFest returned last year to its largest turnout of over 30,000 attendees after taking a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, its Facebook event page says.
The free, outdoor extravaganza includes cultural performances, a lion dance, a martial arts presentation, a traditional áo dài fashion show, crawfish and pho eating competitions, local food vendors, and beauty pageants. VietFest will also host its fifth annual talent show at 2 p.m. on Saturday, where participants will showcase their talents in hopes of winning a grand prize of $1,000.
To commemorate 10 years of VietFest — from its humble origins in a George Mason University parking lot to a sprawling two-day festival in one of Virginia’s largest shopping malls — the festival will have increased programming and “more food vendors than ever before,” says Bobby Ly, director of VietFest and co-president of NOVAL-DC.
Ly noted that this year’s celebration will feature a new heritage wall filled with photos of VietFest throughout the last 10 years.
“We usually have a heritage wall that’s like 30 feet long with pictures of the Vietnamese community from 1975 to now and all their contributions to the United States,” Ly said. “But this year, our heritage wall is different. It’s going to be…all pictures of Vietfest through all the 10 years that we’ve been doing it. And for me, I’m very proud of that and I think that’s going to be the highlight.”
Ly attributes VietFest’s smashing success over the last decade to its inclusivity, saying that it “stands out” from other festivals in the area because it’s “open to all communities” to participate, even if it’s primarily known as a Vietnamese festival.
“Now going into our 10th year, it’s going very strong,” Ly said. “The whole reason why VietFest was started was to help bring the community together, not just the Vietnamese community, but all other communities…Because every time we have the festival, not only Vietnamese show up, it’s all Asians, all other communities coming out.”
Looking ahead to the weekend, Ly optimistically predicts clear skies and high turnout, reminding visitors that they can always cool off from the heat inside the mall, where VietFest-affiliated vendors will be selling snacks like popcorn.
“The weather looks like it’s going to be nice, no rain,” Ly said. “It’s going to be a little bit hot, but the area where Tysons is, the buildings give us a lot of shade, and we have a little wind, so perfect weather. I have no doubt that we’re going to have a lot of people.”
Though last year set a high bar with its record attendance, Ly is determined to surpass those numbers and continue the momentum built up from 2022.
“I’m hoping that we could do much better this year, but last year, all our vendors, they made enough food for two days, but on the first day they sold everything,” Ly said. “Because of last year, I think this year will be even better because now everybody’s hyped up, and everybody knows that there’s gonna be a lot of people, and most importantly, all of these different organizations, all of these communities are promoting VietFest as though it was their own community.”
“So, you know, I think that this year will be phenomenal, and hopefully it will be the best year ever,” Ly continued. “I mean, that would be fitting since it’s our 10-year anniversary.”
It’s time to start practicing your best modeling poses.
Set to run from Sept. 1-25, the pop-up will have “pre-loved” designer clothing, handbags and other items from dozens of top brands — all for sale at a 90% discount from their original retail prices.
“With hundreds of styles to choose from, there’s something for everyone & every occasion,” Tysons Corner Center said in a media alert.
The pop-up will be located next to Windsor on the mall’s first floor near Fashion Court, between Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom.
Launched in 2009, Rent the Runway aimed to offer a more affordable and sustainable approach to fashion with a “Closet in the Cloud” that provides designer brands for rent and resale.
The upcoming pop-up in Tysons will have more than 50 brands represented, including:
For Love and Lemons
Kate Spade New York
Show Me Your Mumu
Diane von Furstenberg
Scotch & Soda
Victoria Victoria Beckham
Interested customers can sign up for alerts and reminders about the sale through Eventbrite, though a ticket won’t guarantee admission.
The pop-up sample sale will be open during Tysons Corner Center’s retail operating hours of 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday.