Q&A With The Georgelas Group's Aaron Georgelas
There is perhaps no one more qualified to weigh in on the evolution of Fairfax County than local developer—and lifetime resident—Aaron Georgelas, who’s funneling $250M into Tysons West. He’s working on a number of projects spanning multiple neighborhoods in Fairfax.
The Georgelas Group managing partner is pictured above with Steve Gichner, late executive director of capital markets at Cushman & Wakefield, after the pair completed the grueling 2012 Leadville 100 bike race. Aaron spoke with Bisnow about the diverse county and some of the communities contained in it.
Bisnow: Since it's difficult to conceive of Fairfax County as a single entity, seeing as its neighborhoods are so varied, could you offer some insight into each? Are there any macro trends you observe?
Aaron: Fairfax enjoys a highly educated, high-income population that’s only recently had the opportunity to grow into true communities as restaurants, retail and entertainment proliferate.
One thing that’s distinct about Fairfax is the cuisine, which is reflective of the demographics and culture of the ethnicities of the residents. There is an especially vibrant Asian concentration, at 17.4%, over three times higher than the national average. You can also now find in Fairfax the sort of high-end restaurants that emphasize quality, artisanal dishes, previously confined to DC.
Bisnow: People talk about the transformation of Fairfax in recent years and explosion of development. What has this looked like? What are some examples of new construction you're particularly excited about?
Aaron: Fairfax is not just bedroom communities anymore, and this can be attributed to the vision and planning of developers and, in particular, great mixed-use projects.
Merrifield's Mosaic District and Reston Town Center are two great examples of transportation-based placemaking efforts. The new bars and coffee shops that draw Millennials give Fairfax a more cosmopolitan vibe.
Growing up, we would always go into DC for our dose of culture and entertainment fix. Now, there’s no need to cross the river—fairs, festivals, art exhibitions, movie theaters (even a resurgence of drive-ins)—it’s all available here.
Bisnow: What are you currently working on?
Aaron: I’m helping legacy property owners and their families determine the best, highest-value use of their land. Land values have been consistently rising with greater investment in infrastructure and enhanced transportation like the Metro’s Silver Line.