A More Populated Future for Tysons Corner

Despite a high concentration of shopping, jobs and parking, Tysons Corner does not have a lot of people. Plans are moving forward that will bring more life to this office park, shopping center city.
December 20, 2008, 7am PST | Nate Berg
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"In October, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors accepted the recommendations of a 36-member task force that had labored for three years on a plan to turn this traffic-clogged maze of malls and office parks into an urban center that has more housing and is less dependent on cars. This month, the supervisors said they would move quickly in 2009 to pass regulations allowing for greater density, consistent with the long-range plan for Tysons."

"The plan has been widely applauded as a forward-thinking blueprint to convert this "edge city," 13 miles from downtown Washington, into the epitome of "smart growth" by 2050. The area is ultimately envisioned as having high-rise apartments adjoining four new rail transit stations built along an extension of the Metro system, shuttle buses, a pedestrian-friendly street grid, urban parks and outdoor plazas."

"As it stands, Tysons is the nation's 12th-largest employment center, based on its 26.7 million square feet of office space, according to an analysis by Integra Realty Resources. Altogether, there are 115,000 retail and office workers and 17,000 residents at Tysons. This ratio is "just out of whack," said Stuart Mendelsohn, a land-use lawyer, former county supervisor and task force member. If the plan is carried out, by 2050 Tysons will have an estimated 150,000 full-time residents, who will be able to walk to work, restaurants and shops."

"Today, nearly half of Tysons's 1,700 acres are streets and parking. In all, the area has more than 35 million square feet of commercial space, more than the downtowns of Miami, St. Louis or San Diego."

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Published on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 in The New York Times
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