A panel of local officials discussed major changes coming to Tysons Corner at a Greater McLean Chamber of Commerce lunch on Friday, including the Dulles metrorail, the express lanes project and several new developments that will transform the area from a car-centric commuter destination to a multi-use, pedestrian-friendly urban hub.
Sharon Bulova, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, told the crowd gathered at the Capital One headquarters, she was giving them "a drink of water with a firehose," explaining that 17 major re-zoning applications within the Tysons Corner community have been submitted to the board. Six of those applications will come to a vote by the end of the year.
Those applications reflect the changing face of the area, explained Barbara Byron, a Fairfax County land use official.
"We need a more balanced Tysons," Byron said. "This is not going to happen tomorrow."
Virtually all of the new proposals, including an expansion of the Capital One campus, represents mixed-use development, combining office space, with residential and hotel rooms and green parks.
"The whole character of the developments is significantly different than what we have in Tysons today," Byron said.
A major piece of the changing face of Tysons is transportation.
Tim Steinhilber, general manager of the 495 Express Lanes project, told the group that the express lanes are 90 percent finished and will be open for traffic this year.
Marcia McAllister, spokeswoman for the Dulles Metrorail Project, said phase 1 of the Silver Line metro, which will extend out to Wiehle Avenue, is 73 percent complete.
The funding for phase 2, which will transport metro riders out to the airport, has not been finalized, but McAllister was confident an agreement would be reached, especially since a project labor agreement, which would have given preference to labor unions to construct the project, has been eliminated from the plan.
"We're sure we're going to the airport," McAllister said. "We're just not exactly sure how yet."