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FairfaxTysons to get a new park, temporarily

Tysons to get a new park, temporarily

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Taking advantage of a broad expanse of level land near the McLean Metro station, Cityline Partners LLC on April 27 received the Fairfax County Planning Commission’s approval to offer various amenities at an interim park until its Scotts Run South development reaches completion.

The interim site will be called “The Block at Scotts Run” because it will occupy an entire city block, said David Schneider, the applicant’s representative.

“We think this is an exciting opportunity to bring life to this gateway of Tysons East,” he said.

The Planning Commission unanimously approved a final development plan to allow interim uses on the 3.54-acre site. The property is located along Dolley Madison Boulevard between Anderson Road and South Dartford Drive, and is within one-eighth to one-quarter of a mile from the Metro station.


The plan will allow a quasi-public park, indoor and outdoor commercial recreation, a restaurant and retail at the site for up to two decades.

Possible interim uses include outdoor movies, farmers’ markets, music in the park, miniature golf, seasonal ice- or roller-skating rinks, an “urban beach,” pop-up retail and restaurants, and food trucks, county planning staff said.

Cityline eventually will build an 18-story office building and 21-story residential structure on the site, which now is vacant and recently has been used as a construction-staging area. The future buildings will have a combined gross floor area of about 900,000 square feet.

Cityline sought final-development-plan approval for the park space because the developer’s existing temporary special permit only allowed interim uses for 21 days, Schneider said.

“In the lifespan of this 30-plus-acre urban development, 21 days is but a blip in time and doesn’t allow real activation that lets this site become part of the character and soul of Scotts Run and Tysons East,” he said.

Several additional reviews and approvals will be required for the interim park, and promoters are hoping to get move the process to completion
“This site is uniquely situated,” he said. “We have an entire city block.

It’s level, it’s vacant and there’s an approved streetscape around all four sides that’s existing.”

Cityline already has put in place much of the new street grid that will be implemented there and this in turn will make the interim park space feasible, Schneider said.

“My sense is, depending on if you pick the right uses, this could be a very popular site,” said Planning Commission Vice Chairman John Ulfelder (Dranesville District).

To avoid disappointing patrons when the interim park eventually is removed, Ulfelder recommended the developer install a display showing planned future uses of the site.

Schneider called the display a “great idea” and was receptive to a suggestion by Commission member Timothy Sargeant (At-Large) that a telephone number for complaints also be posted prominently.

Commission member Phillip Niedzielski-Eichner (Providence District) moved for approval and added requirements for the future-use display and contact-number posting.

“Creative interim uses such as proposed here support placemaking and activation goals for the phased development of the Scotts Run South assemblage and Tysons writ large,” he said.

The Planning Commission’s action was the last step for the final development plan; no Board of Supervisors approval will be required.

Niedzielski-Eichner praised Cityline for bringing forth the plan.
“We all know that providing space for people to gather informally not only enhances the desirability of an area, but also promotes a greater collective good,” he said. “In short, I support the applicant’s initiative to create a space for people to gather as a visionary alternative to an empty lot.”

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