The Pandemic Hasn’t Stopped the Building Boom In Tysons
This year has been a tough one for commercial real estate developments. From New York to California, projects have been stalled as developers grapple with everything from worker safety to uncertainty surrounding the future of the market. But in one Virginia community, development continues to soar.
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, developers in Tysons, Virginia, have moved forward with their plans for massive mixed-use projects. The Fairfax County government has ambitious goals to transform Tysons into a more “walkable, sustainable urban center” that will be able to meet the needs of 100,000 residents and 200,000 employees by the year 2050 — a major undertaking considering that the current population of Tysons is around 23,700.
“Even during the pandemic, Tysons has been dotted with cranes for commercial and residential developments,” said Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority. “This is a concrete testament to the value that developers, businesses and people see in locating in a quickly urbanizing center, and it validates the vision of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to transform this collection of suburban office parks and malls into a walkable, transit-oriented 21st-century city.”
The Fairfax County government has been working hard to support local businesses during this difficult time and help keep Tysons expanding.
Read on to learn about some of the major development projects that have been under development in Tysons over the last several months and the key initiatives that have kept the local economy humming.
Capital One Center
In 2018, Capital One opened up a new headquarters in Tysons. Since then, several new buildings have been developed along what has been dubbed Capital One Center, and many of these projects were still under construction during the pandemic. As of August, offices, a hotel and retail space were all under construction, and a Wegmans grocery store opened in one of these spaces last month.
This past October, real estate development group Kettler announced that it had broken ground on the next phase of its ambitious mixed-use project known as The Mile. Kettler plans to take 45 acres of unused space northwest of Tysons Galleria and turn it into a mix of residential, office, hotel and retail space totaling 2.8M SF.
In October 2019, the first phase of The Boro, a mixed-use development that was cited as one of the first projects in the plan to make Tysons more walkable, was delivered. The development, located at the intersection of Westpark Drive and Greensboro Drive, was designed to feature apartment buildings reaching 32 and 13 floors, a 25-story condo building, a 20-story trophy office tower and a five-story boutique office building.
In May of this year, at the height of the pandemic, The Meridian Group, the lead developer behind The Boro, filed plans for a 1M SF expansion of the project to add additional retail and senior housing to the development.
Tysons Central is a mixed-use office project under development located close to The Boro and Tysons Galleria. Once complete, this 388,206 SF space will feature luxury offices and 18,650 SF of retail space. Developer Foulger-Pratt has yet to announce a signed tenant.
Local Businesses Get The Help They Need
For these new developments to thrive, there needs to be a strong local economy in place to help support them. To keep Tysons local businesses afloat during this difficult time, organizations like the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, the Northern Virginia Pro Bono Law Center and Start Small Think Big have teamed up to create the COVID-19 Pro Bono Collaborative, which is offering free legal assistance to small businesses in Northern Virginia to help them with federal assistance, grant and loan programs, leases and employment issues.
Local businesses have also been encouraged to contact the Community Business Partnership or the George Mason Small Business Development Center for help applying for small-business grants, or for counseling sessions on steps they can take to support their companies.
Planning For The Holiday Season
To help Tysons residents support local businesses this holiday season, malls and outdoor shopping destinations have made modifications to make the shopping experience safer.
Tysons Corner Center’s retailers are offering shopping by appointment, both in-person and virtually, and many are offering curbside pickup, as are some stores at the Tysons Galleria.
Tysons is in the process of transforming itself, and it’s not letting the pandemic get in the way. From new office and retail developments to new fire stations and transit centers, there’s a lot to look forward to in Tysons.