The man who built The Galleria mall, the Ritz Carlton Hotel, high-rise office buildings and the Lillian Court condominiums at Tysons Corner is at it again.
Lerner Enterprises, the company Ted Lerner* started 52 years ago and that has grown into one of the most successful development companies in the U.S., broke ground last week for an 18-story office building. It will contain nearly a half-million square feet of space that is within steps of the new Metro station now raising in front of the first Tysons Mall.
The building has no lead tenant. It is a what is called in the development community a "spec" building. No matter that much of Northern Virginia including Fairfax County is awash in empty office space.
"We believe there will be a significant improvement in the commercial real estate market at the time 1775 Tysons Boulevard is ready for occupancy," said Dan Cook, Director/Marketing for Lerner Enterprises.
"Given our location of easy access from the Capital Beltway and one block from the new Tysons I & II Metro Station, this exciting new building offers great possibilities for the business community," Cook said.
Stu Mendelsohn, former chairman of the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce, former Dranesville Supervisor and Tysons Corner development proponent agrees.
"The building will open just after rail service starts. Our economy is not in a recession and is doing pretty well, especially compared with the rest of the country," Mendelsohn said.
"I think Lerner and others believe that the economy will improve further over the next two years and they will be well-positioned to benefit with new rail service. Their location at a Metro stop will be good," he said.
The new Silver Line now under construction runs from Falls Church to Reston, includes four stations in Tysons Corner and is scheduled to open in 2013. 1775 Tysons Boulevard would open in the first quarter in 2014. The proposed office building is located on the Northeast corner of Tysons Boulevard and Galleria Drive.
This is Lerner's fifth office building in its Tysons II mixed-use development that includes The Galleria, one the area's most upscale malls, the Ritz Carlton which is connected to the mall and the other four high-rise office buildings, one of which houses The Palm restaurant.
The proposed building is part of the Tysons II rezoning that was approved by the Board of Supervisors in 2003, explained Matthew Land of the Fairfax County Planning and Zoning Department. That means it is not part of the massive Tysons rezoning approved by the Board of Supervisors in 2010.
A total of eight buildings were approved in that (2003) rezoning, Land said. This would be the second building from that approval to be built.
On June 17, Lerner submitted two applications for building permits for 1775 Tysons Boulevard to Fairfax, said county spokesman Brian Worthy. One permit is for the building itself, and the other is for a 12-story parking garage for the building. Both permit applications are under review, Worthy said.
The new office building will feature: solar panels on the roof, a "fine dining restaurant", stores on the first floor, "a high quality" cafe and "a spa inspire fitness center" for building tenants, according to the press release from the Lerner company.
1775 Tysons Boulevard will be the largest office building built by Lerner so far. The company owns 117 acres of prized land in Tysons II.
*Yes this is the same Theodore "Ted" Lerner who is the principal owner of the Washington Nationals, Washington's major league baseball team. Lerner Enterprises also developed Washington Square, at Connecticut and L in downtown Washington, D.C.., Dulles Town Center and White Flint Mall in Bethesda, Md.