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Tysons Developments At Greensboro, McLean Metros Hoping For Leases To Break Ground Soon

Tysons has had no shortage of cranes in the sky, with The Boro and the Capital One headquarters under construction at the Greensboro and McLean Metro stops. Two other developments at those stations could add millions of additional square feet in the coming years. All they need to do first is sign an office tenant. 

A rendering of Foulger-Pratt's planned Tysons Central office building near the Greensboro Metro

At Tysons Central, a planned, 1.5M SF development near the Greensboro Metro station, master developer NV Commercial has partnered with Foulger-Pratt to build the 27-story, 365K SF office building with 25K SF of retail. The developers began infrastructure work on the office site Monday, but are waiting to pre-lease at least 100K SF of the building before going vertical, Avison Young principal David Millard said. 

Millard, who is leasing the building on behalf of the development team, said he is in discussions with three groups that could each take enough of the building to break ground. 

"We've been very gratified to date in the amount of interest there has been on the part of the brokerage community," Millard said. 

The site is just steps from where The Meridian Group and Kettler are building the first phase of The Boro, a 3.5M SF mixed-use development anchored by a Whole Foods and a Showplace Icon Theatre. Millard said those amenities have helped gin up interest for the office building. 

"We have a mutual interest in seeing The Boro be successful," Millard said. "I would describe us as friendly competitors. We have the benefit of being 50 steps from the Metro. We're the closest office building to the Greensboro Metro stop. We'll be able to draft off all the amenities that are planned or under construction for The Boro, whether it's residential, entertainment or retail." 

The first piece of the development, a 32-story, 398-unit apartment building with 17K SF of retail, is already under construction. Lennar acquired the parcel from NV Commercial and broke ground in October 2016, with an expected Q1 2019 delivery. 

NV Commercial is seeking another developer to partner on the third phase, a vertical mixed-use building with about 250 hotel rooms and 90 condos. It has reached a tentative agreement with a hospitality company for the hotel's flag, but needs to secure a development partner before moving forward.

For the fourth phase, NV Commercial is planning a 350-unit apartment building. Additionally, an adjacent site owned by Clyde's Restaurant Group, where its 36-year-old restaurant closed last year, was included in NV Commercial's approved master plan and could support another half-million SF of development. 

Once Tysons Central and The Boro are completed, NV Commercial CEO Stephen Cumbie expects the Greensboro station will be part of the a vibrant, mixed-use corridor. 

"I think the two interior Metro stations, Tysons Corner and Greensboro, will be the heart of Tysons," Cumbie said. "I think there will be a lot of development at Spring Hill and McLean, but I really think that from the Greensboro station over to the mills are where the strongest demand will be generated for housing and other uses. We feel very sanguine about the location of our property, and what The Boro is doing, and what we're doing to create a very desirable part of Tysons."   

A rendering of the Scotts Run development in Tysons

At the McLean Metro station, CityLine Partners has been working through the entitlement process for the planned 8M SF Scotts Run mixed-use development. The developer is working with Cushman & Wakefield to find an anchor tenant that would allow it to break ground on the first office building, which has received county approval. 

For the second phase, a roughly 200-room hotel, CityLine has reached a deal with hospitality company Lodgeworks to use its boutique brand Archer as the flag. It is still working to get its final approval but aims to break ground next year. 

"I think having a boutique hotel will help with the placemaking," CityLine Partners Managing Director Donna Shafer said. "It helps with the effort to establish something that's unique and different." 

While it has planned to gradually build the development at the pace the market will allow, CityLine does have some grand ambitions for the site. It submitted its development to Amazon to compete for the tech giant's $5B second headquarters.

Amazon included Northern Virginia on its list of 20 finalists earlier this month, but did not specify which specific NoVa sites it preferred. Fairfax County, in conjunction with the commonwealth, put forward the 26-acre CIT site as its official proposal, leaving out Scotts Run and The Boro, which also submitted a proposal of its own. Shafer said she has had recent discussions with the county but still does not have clarity on whether CityLine's site is included on the shortlist.

The site plan for the 8M SF Scotts Run development at the McLean Metro station.

Shafer said Scotts Run would be ideal for Amazon because it is approved for 8M SF, the exact amount of office space the company seeks. Plus, the entire site is owned by one company, rather than being a collection of multiple development sites with separate owners, as some of D.C.'s proposed sites were. 

"Ours is all under one umbrella," Shafer said. "We think the location is superior. We have access to Dulles and Reagan. We're at a crossroads to all major highways. We're on top of the Metro station. It's sort of the perfect storm for something like Amazon." 

Tysons Partnership Interim President Sol Glasner said he thinks Scotts Run and The Boro would be perfect sites for Amazon, and he does not understand why Fairfax County did not include them in its official proposal.

"My opinion is that it was very short-sighted," Glasner said. "The political system made a decision I think was a mistake from the perspective of the commonwealth. Why would you not put it into the hopper? You don't have to favor it, but at least put it into the hopper."

Still, Glasner believes Amazon is considering both Tysons sites and sees them as serious competitors for the $5B Amazon campus. 

"I have every expectation that, even though for whatever reason, Tysons was not included as part of the commonwealth's official presentation to Amazon, I have total confidence that Amazon will not overlook Tysons," Glasner said. "To ignore it would be ignoring a dynamite location for Amazon's project." 

Millard, Cumbie, Shafer and Glasner will all speak at Bisnow's Tysons Takeoff event Feb. 8 at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner.