Developer plans pop-up park on parcel in Tysons

The Fairfax County Planning Commission on Dec. 9, 2020, unanimously recommended that the Board of Supervisors approve plans by Tysons Westpark LC to build an interim "pop-up" park along Westpark Drive in Tysons.

Before constructing two high-rise residential buildings and a hotel in central Tysons several years from now, a developer hopes to put that land to productive interim use.

Tysons Westpark LC is seeking the Fairfax County government’s approval to build a 16,500-square foot “pop-up” park and new-vehicle parking at 8401 Westpark Drive, not far east from Route 7.

The Fairfax County Planning Commission on Dec. 9 unanimously recommended that county supervisors approve the proposals. The matter is scheduled to come before the Board of Supervisors Jan. 26.

Supervisors in April 2013 rezoned the 5.32-acre site for the Westpark Plaza development, and the developer subsequently razed the former Best Western Westpark Hotel there. The property later served as a staging area for construction of a nearby development, The Boro, and now is being used for off-street commercial-vehicle parking.

The proposed interim pop-up park, which would run parallel to Westpark Drive, would “activate” the property’s frontage along that street and complement adjacent park spaces at The Boro, county staff said.

Park features would include a bookcase-like vinyl wrapping for an existing utility box and a tiny lending library. The developer worked with the Tysons Partnership to create the book theme, which echoes an earlier proffer to build a community library at the site.

“It’s essentially an outdoor reading room,” said Elizabeth Baker, the applicant’s attorney. “We believe it’s going to be a fine addition to the Tysons park program.”

The park also would have furniture, an area for food trucks, eight parking spaces (including one for those with disabilities) and way-finding signage to the site. Tysons Westpark LC would plant trees every 60 feet along the Westpark Drive frontage and provide additional shrubs along the property’s side facing Route 7, Baker said.

The proposed new parking arrangement would provide 400 spaces for new-vehicle storage and 80 additional ones that could be used for additional off-street commercial parking or more vehicle storage.

Because county regulations usually call for new vehicles to be stored within a parking structure, the developer is seeking a waiver at the site for up to five years until redevelopment begins. The park may remain in use through the first redevelopment phase, officials said.

[Sun Gazette Newspapers provides content to, but otherwise is unaffiliated with, InsideNoVa or Rappahannock Media LLC.]

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