Tornado-hit Tysons gas station is about to be approved for a convenience store



The Tysons Mobil gas station on Chain Bridge Road was damaged by a tornado in March (staff photo by David Taube)

Tysons Corner Center Mobil gas station was looking to make some changes before being hit by a tornado this spring, but the resulting damage from that storm has added a new sense of urgency to the project.

When it meets tomorrow (Wednesday), the Fairfax County Planning Commission is set to approve a renovation of the station at 1953 Chain Bridge Road which would replace the existing vehicle service bays with a convenience store.

Car wash and repair bays have not been working since a tornado briefly touched down in Tysons on March 31, damaging adjacent Mobil and Sunoco gas stations, said Wire Gill LLP partner David Gill , to the commission. a public hearing Last week.

“We are very excited to move forward on this so we can begin repairs to the building,” said Gill, who represents PMG in the land use case.

The renovation of the eight-pump gas station, which has been in operation since 1973, would add a convenience store sales floor, a 350-square-foot cold room and a 240-square-foot workroom for employees. The facade of the 2,585 square foot building would be replaced.

Although no new exterior construction or building additions were proposed, PMG agreed to realign the existing sidewalk on Chain Bridge Road (Route 123) and widen it by 4 to 6 feet, including in front of Sunoco Station. to International Drive.

A private road that connects the two service stations will be closed “to reduce vehicle conflict and the risk of collisions”, leaving the site with two entrances off Chain Bridge and a back service road to International Drive, the report said. Staff.

Gill said the closure will also give the site additional open space that will be filled with trees and other landscaping.

However, landscaping along the Chain Bridge will be located between the property and the sidewalk, rather than near the street, a deviation from Tysons’ design guidelines which Gill says will plant more trees and avoid visibility issues for drivers.

“Overall this is a gradual change that reflects wider trends in the petrol station industry, where convenience stores are replacing petrol stations,” said Kevin McMahan of the Department of Planning and of Development. “In the opinion of staff, improvements to the building’s architecture and improvements to the streetscape along Chain Bridge Road will be positive improvements for the area.

The planning commission did not approve PMG’s special exception request last week because a development condition that would require the landlord to install two electric vehicle charging stations was still being finalized.

The staff initially insisted on Level 3 mags required, but the requirement has been revised to less intensive level 2 mags. Gill said the site does not have the space to accommodate the infrastructure needed for Level 3.

Who will be responsible for installing and operating the chargers has yet to be determined, but Gill said PMG has partnered with vendors to install stations at other sites in the past.

“We understood that if the worst should happen, we are ourselves in this game now if we install these chargers,” he said.

Providence District Commissioner Phil Niedzielski-Eichner observed that the growing acceptance and use of electric vehicles presents a potential opportunity for convenience stores and other businesses that could serve drivers waiting for their cars to charge.

He said the commission “should carefully consider our expectations for future developments,” suggesting it push for Tier 3 stations at sites along I-495, I-66 and others. main highways.

“The issue of electric vehicle charging is going to continue to come before us, and I think we have a growing understanding of what this really means for the future of vehicle use in Fairfax County,” said Niedzielski-Eichner.

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