Metro Goes To Dulles, Amazon Fresh Expands: Top VA Business News 2022

VIRGINIA — Many of the biggest business news stories of 2022 in Northern Virginia were related to the potential of things to come, with the completion of phase two of Metro’s Silver Line, new small businesses openings, and major aerospace and defense companies announcing plans to move their corporate headquarters to Northern Virginia.

Political and business leaders called the Dulles Corridor the most important economic corridor in the D.C. area, and that the opening of phase two of the Silver Line in November would make it even greater. While many small businesses shut down operations due to the pandemic, several new businesses opened in 2022 as investing in the region was viewed as safe again.

When Amazon announced it would be bringing its second headquarters to Arlington, local officials saw it as a huge win for jobs and economic growth in the county and across the region. The decision by Boeing in May to move its headquarters from Chicago, on the other hand, was viewed more as a symbolic win for Arlington.

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Terry Clower, a public policy professor at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government and the director of its Center for Regional Analysis, said Boeing’s decision gives National Landing — the Pentagon City and Crystal City area of Arlington — a good set of “bragging rights.”

Boeing’s decision, following Amazon’s HQ2 announcement and the presence of other significant technology sector employers, sends the message that Arlington is great for the tech businesses, Clower told the Washington Post.

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A month after Boeing’s announcement, Raytheon Technologies Corp. said it planned to move its global headquarters from Massachusetts to Arlington. Raytheon’s intelligence and space business is already based in the Rosslyn area of Arlington, where the new corporate headquarters will be located.

2022 also saw major changes to retail centers across Northern Virginia, including the Landmark Mall, whose chapter came to a close in Alexandria to make way for a mixed-use development anchored by Inova Alexandria Hospital. Springfield Town Center saw new businesses commit to the retail center hoping for a revival, while developers and officials in Arlington keep trying to make Ballston Quarter more successful.

Patch has brought together the top business stories in Northern Virginia of 2022:

Top Regional Business Stories of 2022

Dulles Corridor Poised For Economic Growth With Silver Line Completion

In November, local officials gathered for ribbon-cutting ceremonies at stations along Metro’s Silver Line, celebrating a 60-year dream of bringing a rail line out to Washington Dulles International Airport and Loudoun County.

$300M Pledged By Google To Improve Education, Workforce Development Across Virginia

Google will be investing more than $300 million in Virginia, as well as providing a $250,000 grant to promote computer science education and workforce development across the state. The tech giant made the announcement in April during a ceremony at its Reston Station headquarters. Google released its 2021 Economic Impact Report that showed the company had provided more than $8.4 billion in economic activity in the state.

Boeing Moving Corporate Headquarters To Arlington From Chicago

Boeing is moving its corporate headquarters to Arlington from Chicago, with plans to develop a research and technology hub in Northern Virginia, the company announced in May.

Top Retail and Town Center Stories of 2022

Landmark Mall Demolition Starts With New Development Planned

The Landmark Mall chapter is coming to a close in Alexandria. Demolition on the former mall began in May. The 52-acre Landmark Mall site will become a mixed-use development rebranded as the West End Alexandria development. The development will include the Inova Alexandria hospital, residential, retail, commercial and entertainment uses.

Reston Town Center North Task Force To Focus On Future Public Projects

Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn announced in April that he is creating the Reston Town Center Public Facilities Community Task Force to oversee a number of projects taking place near the Reston Town Center.

Arlington Approves 553 New Housing Units, Grocery Store At Macy’s Site

The Arlington County Board in December approved a 16-story glass-walled apartment tower with ground-floor retail on the current site of the Macy’s department store in Ballston. The new building will feature 553 residential units as well as a grocery store on the ground level, replacing the Macy’s and vacant office space above it.

Top Hotel Stories of 2022

Hotel Heron, Alexandria Project With Gap Funding, To Open In Late 2023

A new hotel called Hotel Heron will open in the restored building of Old Town Alexandria’s historic George Mason Hotel. The project is being assisted by a gap financing program using state and local tax revenues once open. Located at 699 Prince Street, Hotel Heron will offer 134 guest rooms, a ground-floor restaurant, a rooftop bar, 30,000 square feet of amenities and meeting space. Construction on Hotel Heron has begun, and completion is expected in late 2023.

36-Story Hilton Hotel, With Rooftop Event Space, Planned For Rosslyn

Hilton has signed an agreement to operate a new 36-story, 331-room hotel in Rosslyn that will overlook Key Bridge and Georgetown. Known as Hilton at The Key, the high-rise hotel, which will be located on the former site of a Holiday Inn, will also feature a rooftop event space and 28,000 square feet of meeting space. Dittmar Company, based in Vienna, is leading the development of a bigger project at the site, called The Key, which will include 517 luxury apartments, along with the hotel. The Hilton at The Key is scheduled to open in 2026.

Hilton To Retain Tysons Headquarters, Add Jobs Over 5 Years

Hilton will retain its Tysons-based headquarters and add 350 new jobs over five years. Hilton, a global hospitality company, has been headquartered at 7930 Jones Branch Drive in McLean since 2009. Hilton owns 18 hotel brands, such as Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton, Hampton by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn and Embassy Suites.

Aerial rendering of the new 36-story Hilton hotel planned for Arlington. (Hilton)

Top Restaurant Stories of 2022

Harvey’s Brings American Cuisine With A Twist To Falls Church

Harvey’s, a new restaurant in Falls Church serving American cuisine using locally sourced ingredients, opened for business in March, giving area residents a new option for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The restaurant comes with 48 seats in the main dining room and a 12-seat beer and wine bar. Harvey’s also features a patio that can seat 60 people in all seasons, and lots of free parking behind the restaurant at 513 W. Broad Street.

Conveyor Belt Serves Sushi, Robots Serve Drinks At Tysons Restaurant

A new restaurant serving sushi and other Japenese dishes moved by a conveyor belt and drinks delivered by robots opened in Tysons in September. Kura Revolving Sushi Bar, located at 8461 Leesburg Pike Suite C in Tysons, is a Japanese restaurant concept established in Japan in 1977 and expanded to the U.S. in 2008.

Frank Pepe, Creator Of New Haven-Style Pizza, Opens In Alexandria

In the early 1900s, Frank Pepe emigrated from Italy to the U.S., where he worked on creating his own pizza inspired by his hometown. In New Haven, Connecticut, he established the first New Haven-style pizza, known for being cooked by coal oven and for its thin crust. Fast forward to the present, Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana, led by Pepe’s grandchildren, has expanded to five other states. The first Virginia location opened in July in Alexandria at 3233 Duke Street.

Top Grocery Store Stories of 2022

Hundreds Stand In Rain For Hours Waiting For Amazon Fresh To Open

Hundreds of people stood in the rain in April, waiting for the 7 a.m. grand opening of the new Amazon Fresh store in the Point 50 shopping center in Fairfax City. The store’s Just Walk Out technology allows customers who want to use it to scan the in-store QR code in their Amazon app using Amazon One or by inserting a credit or debit card to open one of the Just Walk Out gates.

Lidl To Celebrate McLean Grocery Store’s Grand Opening On June 1

Lidl celebrated the grand opening of a new grocery store in McLean in June, with local leaders participating in a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The new McLean store was Lidl’s 34th store in Virginia. Lidl, owned by Arlington-based Lidl US, invested $10 million in the McLean site.

New Wegmans Store In Alexandria Partners With ALIVE

A new Wegmans grocery store opened in May in the Carlyle neighborhood of Alexandria, introducing retail to the new Carlyle Crossing development. Located at 1150 Stovall Street, the new 81,300-square-foot store includes a selection of grocery items and prepared foods. There are 450 employees, most of whom were hired locally.

Officials celebrate the opening of a new Amazon Fresh store in Fairfax City in April. (Michael O’Connell/Patch)

Top Entertainment Center Stories of 2022

Paragon Theaters Will Bring Movie Theater To Falls Church

Paragon Theaters will officially open at Founders Row, developer Mill Creek announced in November. No opening date has been announced for the movie theater. Paragon Theaters will join residential and retail uses at the mixed-use development at W. Broad and N. West Streets.

Lego Center Groundbreaking Marks Springfield’s Ongoing Economic Growth
Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay joined Franconia District Supervisor Rodney Lusk on Dec. 8 for a groundbreaking ceremony celebrating the official start to construction of the Lego Discovery Center at Springfield Town Center. McKay said the new Lego Discovery Center will be part of the remake of the retail attractions at Springfield Town Center.

Flight Adventure Park To Host Relaunch Ceremony In Springfield

Flight Springfield held a grand relaunch party in the summer, where former Navy fighter pilot Tammie Jo Shults and former NASA astronaut and space shuttle veteran Hoot Gibson participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the retrofitted aviation-themed adventure park. Located at 7200 Fullerton Road, Flight Springfield had been closed as it undergoes renovations and upgrades.

Top Medical Business Stories of 2022

Titans Of The Toll Road Discussion Focuses On NoVA Healthcare System

COVID-19 exposed major weaknesses in Northern Virginia’s healthcare system, which have led to many medical professionals leaving the industry and creating a workforce shortage, according to an October panel discussion at the Trajectory Event Center in Herndon. “We are in every aspect short-staffed,” said Dr. Bill Hazel Jr., the former Virginia secretary of health and human services and senior deputy executive director of the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation.

Medical Cannabis Dispensary Opens In Huntington

A new cannabis dispensary serving registered medical cannabis patients in Virginia opened in July in Huntington. Beyond/Hello, a medical cannabis dispensary, is open at 5902 Richmond Hwy, Alexandria, VA just outside Alexandria city limits. This is the first licensed cannabis dispensary in Fairfax County. Beyond/Hello also operates dispensaries in Manassas, Sterling and a future Fairfax City location. The company also plans to add an Arlington store.

Facial Recognition Technology Coming To Virginia Hospital Center

VHC Health will begin using facial biometrics for patient identification at Virginia Hospital Center and its other locations in the D.C. area by the end of 2022, according to the Arlington-based health care provider. The health care provider is partnering with CERTIFY Health, which will provide the biometric authentication technology. CERTIFY’s technology will be integrated into VHC’s existing electronic health record and administrative systems.

Alejandro Buxton, 12, the CEO of Smell of Love Candles, opened his own kiosk inside Tysons Corner Center with a ribbon cutting in September. (Emily Leayman/Patch)

Top Small Business Stories of 2022

Vienna 12-Year-Old’s Candle Business Ramps Up Production In Mall Space

Smell of Love Candles debuted its first brick-and-mortar space with a ribbon cutting in September. The kiosk is located on the mall’s second level in front of Banana Republic. The store is run by 12-year-old Vienna resident Alejandro Buxton, who launched Smell of Love Candles in 2020 as an online store.

Sacred Roller Skate Supply Provides Welcoming Space For All In Herndon

Katie McDonald opened a new store in February in Herndon for anyone else likes to roller skate. Sacred Roller Skate Supply is located at 681 Monroe St., next to American Carpet and Floor. McDonald told Patch said she discovered there weren’t a lot of places locally where people could buy quad roller skates or pick up supplies. Since it was always her dream to open her own boutique or shop, why not open a roller skate shop in Herndon?

Turkish Coffee Lady Brings Turkish Traditions To Alexandria

Turkish coffee became the latest addition to King Street in Alexandria as the Turkish Coffee Lady opens in January 2022. The coffee and culture house will open Saturday at 1001 King Street. Turkish Coffee Lady, a start-up business celebrating the coffee culture that dates back to 1554 in Istanbul, Turkey, was founded by Gizem White, a Turkish American entrepreneur.

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