Tysons Corner Mall Makes Plans For Urban Village

With the proposed extension of the DC Metrorail, the largest mall in the Washington area has drawn plans to transform the shopping area into "something like a small city."
February 6, 2005, 1pm PST | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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The Washington area consistently ranks as having some of the worst traffic for metropolitan cities in the country. Tysons Corner, a sprawling commercial area in McLean, Virginia, just outside the I-495 capital beltway and in between I-66 and the Dulles toll road, is partly to blame for this record, with some of the worst traffic congestion in the DC area. At rush-hour and lunch hour, Tysons Corner, undoubtedly, is not the place to be--its streets always at a near grid lock (and its sidewalks always quite empty).Despite the traffic, since Tysons Corner Mall opened in the late 1960s thirteen miles from downtown Washington, the land surrounding the mall (and indeed past the mall towards Dulles airport) has seen enormous growth,; it is now prime commercial real estate for the DC area. Although having virtually no residential housing, the "technoburb" (R. Fishman) is home to many of the region's high-tech companies, contracting firms, headquarters of companies like USA Today (since 2001), and features high end hotels and restaurants, and some of the most desirable shopping--all only linked to each other and only accessible by the automobile."The owners of Tysons Corner Center, already the region's largest mall, are developing a plan that would double its size and move toward transforming the iconic suburban shopping destination into something like a small city. The center's managers describe the proposal as another step in the competitive evolution of the mall, which opened in 1968, was transformed in the mid-'80s by the addition of another floor and new anchor stores, and now seeks to capitalize on opportunities presented by the proposed Metrorail extension at its front door."

Thanks to Andrew Simmons

Full Story:
Published on Friday, February 4, 2005 in The Washington Post


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