Neighborhood In A Nutshell: Tysons Corner
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The evolution of Tysons has been rapid and dramatic. In just half a century, the spark generated by the 88-acre Tysons Corner Shopping Center’s approval in 1962 ignited a frenzy of development activity, rendering Tysons unrecognizable to William Tyson. At the time of the awarding of contracts, he was operating a fruit stand selling apples and cider in the region that one day would bear his name.
Tysons, where Bisnow will host its annual neighborhood-centric event March 9, grew to epitomize the “edge city.” It was a thriving business hub with abundant office space, but many found it a bit sterile and dead after working hours. Tysons still primarily conjures images of malls, offices (the highest concentration in northern Virginia) and cars; not the live/work/play environment it is looking to become.
In a 2015 article about Tysons' impending transformation, the Washingtonian depicted it as a “a 4.3-square-mile tangle of parking lots and office parks that’s long been considered one of the least habitable parts of Washington.”
But ambitious and creative mixed-use projects are changing that, and public perception is catching up, albeit slowly. Will potential residents welcome this change and flock to Tysons to take space in its shiny new condo complexes?
Yes, according to Gary Block, chief information officer and partner at The Merodian Group, which has one of Tysons' most expansive projects, The Boro, in its pipeline.
“There is pent-up demand for this," he said. "They are so ready for an urban core.”
This shift has been enabled by, and largely centers around, the Silver Line Metro expansion. Block said that $5B of federal, state and local funding have been funneled into Tysons.
“We're literally in the first or second inning of the perception change,” he said. County officials agree, and project that the population, currently around 20,000, will quintuple to 100,000 by 2050.