Capital One Proposes New High-rise Office Buildings, Hotel, Community Center At McLean Station

Proposal is part of transforming Tysons Corner into a city.


High-rise office and apartment buildings, a hotel, community center, stores and new roads could replace the athletic fields that now surround the Capital One headquarters on Dolley Madison Boulevard.

Members of a McLean Citizens Association committee listened for two hours Tuesday night as Capital One representative Antonio Calabrese explained how the 26-acre site could eventually be a city-like mixed-use development that would total more than 4 million square feet of new development at Dolley Madison Boulevard and Old Meadow Road.

"As patrons exit the rail station, they will find themselves here at this expansive, welcoming Metro station gateway park," said Calabrese, Land Use/Zoning Counsel to Capital One, when he presented the same plans to the Fairfax County Planning Commission last week. "This walkway leads to an attractive, generous, green pedestrian network through our residential block and up to our new, major public civic plaza, again landing at the front doorstep to our prominent hotel," he said.

The county planning commission has delayed approval, but the plan is expected to go before the Board of Supervisors in early September.

The Capital One proposal is the to emerge two years after Fairfax County Supervisors adopted a sweeping blueprint to transform Tysons Corner from a car-choked tangle of traffic and office buildings into a a lively urban community of up to 100,000 people built around the four new stations of Metro's Silver Line.

Fairfax County officials are encouraging developers to design neighborhoods containing a mixture of housing, businesses and offices that welcome families, bicycles and people who love to walk.

Tysons Corner is envisioned as a major economic generator for Fairfax County, Northern Virginia and the state of Virginia.

The Capital One site, bounded by Dolley Madison, the Capital Beltway (I-495) and Scott's Crossing, now contains the bank's 14-story headquarters, various athletic fields and parks.

The redevelopment proposal that Calabrese explained to the Planning and Zoning Committee of the McLean Citizens Association includes:

  • Up to 12 new office buildings ranging in height from 21-28 stories. Four high-rise apartment/condominium buildings, neighborhood restaurants, cafes and shops on the ground level of the office and residential buildings, and a new hotel.
  • The plans also include a new road that would cross the Beltway and connect Scott's Crossing Road with Jones Branch Drive. The so-called Jones Branch Connector has long been part of the redevelopment plans for Tysons Corner. That connector road would mean that McLean residents could drive to the  Hilton Hotel and the Gannett building without going through Tysons Corner.
  • Three large parks including a common green that would be built on top of a underground parking desk on site. One park will include an athletic field and a children’s play area.
  • A $12 million, 30,000-square-foot community center that would be on the first floor of one of the office buildings. The community center would include a basketball court and educational facilities, but it may not be built for 15 years, Calabrese said.
  • The first new office building should be complete by 2015. The Silver Line opens next year. The new community would emerge over the next 20 years.

"This has been a great presentation. This has been so enlightening,” Mark Zetts, chair of the Planning and Zoning Committee said. Zetts said he would recommend that the committee approve the plan. 

"We have before you a unique opportunity to accommodate Capital One’s growth, foster a major economic development project that benefits the County, Tysons, Capital One, the existing Rail Tax District, the potential Road Improvement Tax District, the C&I District, help make the absolutely essential Jones Branch Connector a reality, support ridership of the soon-to-be opened Silver Line and concurrently realize the lofty objectives of the 2010-adopted Comprehensive Plan," Calabrese told the Planning Commission. 

Mozart August 06, 2012 at 02:07 PM
I was in Silver Spring recently where there has been a lot of new, dense development in the downtown area. I'm not a traffic engineer, so I can't say whether it increased vehicular traffic in the area and, if so, by how much. The general impression is that it primarily attracts younger residents or families without children who are looking for a more walkable, transit-oriented lifestyle. Travel a few blocks futher west towards Chevy Chase and the traffic tapers off very quickly as one enters the residential neighborhoods of single-family homes (on arteries, by the way, that have superior bus service to what's available in Fairfax). For those who complain about the potential for any development near McLean to ruin its "family-friendly" lifestyle, I have to say that you're kidding yourselves and/or living in the 1960s. McLean has some great assets - an affluent population, top schools, excellent residential housing and an enviable location. It also faces some major challenges - an aging population, a very ugly downtown, and an image as a place where a small group of long-time, NIMBY residents try to block anything and everything that might make McLean more attractive to younger residents without a very fat bank account. Are you really so terribly afraid of a bit more urbanism - if anything, it seems to me that middle-age and older residents who need the exercise and may not always be able to drive places would welcome it.
Rob Jackson August 06, 2012 at 06:05 PM
No one knowledgeable is arguing an urban Tysons will bring no benefits. To the contrary, we will see many benefits - from more choices in housing to higher, total real estate tax revenues. Similarly, most people, including those in McLean, have no fantasy that Tysons will stay the same. However, it is incontrovertible that an urban Tysons will generate more traffic and, once Tysons hits 84 million square feet, the additional traffic will push the transportation network to failure. The traffic studies demonstrate this. There is no credible evidence to the contrary. The “new urbanists” generally pooh-pooh this, but offer no evidence beyond “stories” and “faith” to rebut existing studies. Even someone as knowledgeable as Stuart Schwartz offered absolutely no analysis to rebut the existing traffic studies when he testified in Fairfax County. He simply argued the traffic won't occur. We are being asked to believe in magic, rather than well-accepted traffic study methodology. It reminds me of a situation where DNA analysis points to X as the murderer, when all X can say is "the DNA analysis must be wrong." You must conduct your own DNA analysis to be credible. To date, only Fairfax County has analyzed the DNA.
Rob Jackson August 06, 2012 at 06:08 PM
The MCA has met with FC DOT recently to discuss the results to-date of the latest traffic studies. The traffic congestion will be even worse than was projected in Fairfax County's 527 study submitted in December 2009 as the County approved 30% more density in June 2010 than was assumed in the 527 analysis. That, in turn, will require even more road improvements. Table 7 will get larger. It is not NIMBYism to insist traffic increases be mitigated. It’s sheer folly to do otherwise. It is not NIMBYism to insist Tysons have adequate parks, libraries, schools, etc., either. Without them, life quality within Tysons and McLean will decline. Finally, in terms of preventing sprawl, I think many people in McLean would prefer sprawl to increased traffic volumes from Tysons’ growth. Sprawl pushes the growth and many of the costs for infrastructure outside McLean and Fairfax County. If your positions are predicated on preventing suburban sprawl, we will not likely find any common ground. The people of McLean, Vienna, Great Falls (or Annandale, Springfield, Mount Vernon, Fairfax, Centreville, etc.) do not have an obligation to see their quality of life decline or taxes increase to protect other's desire to keep growth in Fairfax County.
Navid Roshan August 06, 2012 at 06:42 PM
But you dont see that 65% of the traffic we experience in Fairfax is from that sprawl development model. Its not just HOW many cars, its how long a car stays on the road. This is a HUGE flaw in the california traffic generation model. To discredit me (who has a professional engineering license in civil engineering and who has done traffic analysis before) as not credible is odd. Think logically about this question. Two cars are on the same road. One stays on the road for four times as long as the other vehicle who simply jumps on and then jumps off at the next exit. Wouldnt you think that the traffic impact of the car who stays the entire length of the road is far greater than the impact of the person who yes is a trip generated on the road, but only for a brief moment? Well if you agree that this is logical, then you too agree that the VDOT modelling method is not accurate in its traffic impact estimation. I agree Tysons needs infrastructure improvements. More importantly it needs parks, schools, fire stations. All of these things the developers have agreed to date on and are even providing some in their plans. The issue is with Roads, and more specifically roads that arent even in Tysons Corner. Our roads are covered with people who dont even pay taxes in this county, and yet we have to maintain their roads. That is the real issue.
Rob Jackson August 06, 2012 at 07:36 PM
It's also how long cars stay on the road. Absolutely! I agree 100% with your statement. And Fairfax County DOT's new traffic studies for Tysons have vehicle counts by road segment. So if A gets on Route 7 at Spring Hill Road and gets off at Tyco Road, A is in the traffic count for the appropriate road segment, but not for the segment between Tyco Road and the Dulles Toll Road. But if B gets on Route 7 at the Beltway and stays on until the DTR, B is counted in every road segment between those two points. This should address your criticism. The three Consolidated Traffic Analyses being conducted by FC DOT are likely the most sophisticated traffic studies ever done in the United States. FC DOT is working with VDOT and the landowners and their consultants. They are modelling all stages of potential growth and all possible steps for mitigation of traffic congestion. Mitigation includes: 1.No right of way impact (traffic reassignment, signal modification, lane restriping); 2.Some right of way impact (turn lanes, additional through lane, additional grid link); and 3.Additional mitigation (big stuff). An example of the latter is the possible use of a "super street" on 123 at Old Meadow Road. Improvements would be phased to match development at Tysons, with consideration of other factors affecting traffic.
Navid Roshan August 06, 2012 at 09:31 PM
I wont hold my breath for a road design department to fully grasp the effects of land use and transit on traffic. Lets just hope they do better than their "study" on route 66, which showed that road widening would provide less efficient improvements than other options... and yet they went with the least efficient and highest cost solution. http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/14805/vdot-ignores-own-data-pushes-widening-i-66/ Segmental analysis requires a fully comprehensive assumption on where people will live etc. At the heart of this model they have not analyzed who will be living in Tysons. When prices are comparable and in some cases more expensive than Arlington almost no one in their right mind will choose to live in Tysons who doesnt work in Tysons. Otherwise they could live in the much more urban friendly Clarendon/Courthouse/Eastern Market/DuPont all of which will have lower rental and purchase rates. The people who will live in Tysons will work in Tysons, otherwise why would they live there? However by 2050 the additional 100,000 population of Tysons is being treated at similar rates as today with the 10:1 commuter to resident population. The new 100,000 employment positions will have significant overlap of who will be new residents as well (additional 90,000 residents) creating a far smaller net than the model suggests.
Navid Roshan August 06, 2012 at 09:39 PM
These are HUGE assumptions being made about things occurring 30 years from now. When you compare the accuracy of these kinds of estimates previously by DOTs they are extremely inaccurate at depicting future conditions. I do agree about one thing, commercial sprawl in the name of density is the enemy here. So a project like the Mitre Expansion, which I oppose vehemently, which proposes more of the same, garages, single use office, reliance on commuters driving in, those should be reviewed for their benefit and rejected if they do not provide community benefit. But a project that proposes so many good things like Capital One, assures that they will increase the job positions they have in this area by increasing the space of their own headquarters, and provides residential units for a future 5000 people who will rely heavily on transit and not vehicles, should not be as vehemently opposed as some have stated in this thread. Density is good when it comes as mixed use and fixes the lack of residential space in this city. The real question becomes the increase in 2010s density, what uses did it go towards. If its office then I am in complete agreement. If it is residential then I could not oppose your points more. I believe you will find much of it occurs along Westpark Drive (slightly off of the metro radials) and proposes significant resident and retail improvements which you should not be against. That development has nothing to do with McLean.
Locally Involved August 06, 2012 at 11:15 PM
To best understand Navid's support of this development, a quick google search shows that he is an employee of Bowman Consulting who has a vested interest in this development. http://www.bowmanconsulting.com/downloads/2009_BCG_AR.pdf Navid's profile on LinkedIn verifies this position. I state this only because it appears the majority of the responses in this discussion thread are not supportive of this project. It is not because we 'fear' urbanization, after all, we do live and work in the DC metro area. We chose not to live in other similar areas such as Bethesda or Arlington and now it appears that we are becoming nothing more than Bethesda or Arlington. Both are nice areas. But we didn't want to live there. We wanted the best of both worlds, the 'town' living that McLean offers without the high rise, congested environs of the other areas. Now it seems we're not having a choice. Personally, I've lived in NYC metro and Boston. I more than understand urbanization. I chose NOT to live there anymore. It's draining. If you've ever tried to navigate Fort Lee or any of the norther NJ areas, you'd understand. I had sorely hoped that this would not occur in McLean. As for Rich driving the area, wrong. He has a personal limo driver (tho' I'm sure on a day or so may drive himself) like most CEOs of his stature. Congestion is a non-issue for him. North Bethesda is looking better and better...
Navid Roshan August 06, 2012 at 11:48 PM
Haha, thanks for the creepy google search of me. I should contact Bowman as I havent worked there in 3 years. Not sure why they say I work there anymore. I actually work on federal projects overseas only now and have no financial interest in Tysons other than being a resident of Tysons Corner. I also run a website about Tysons Corner, but that is not for profit (all ad money goes towards operations of the site). I actually quite enjoy working overseas instead of here on land development projects. However yes, that was my former life and I am well versed in the land development process.
Navid Roshan August 06, 2012 at 11:51 PM
Also as far as McLean becoming Bethesda or Arlington. That is ridiculous, this has NOTHING TO DO WITH MCLEAN!!! I dunno how else to say this. 267 and 123 completely isolate this project from mclean. The Tysons boundaries are absolutely clear, and by providing more density around the metro you stop urban creep from invading into McLean. If you dont provide taller buildings in Tysons itself, you almost assure that mid density construction will continue in McLean. I love mclean, one search through my website will show that I support a revitalization plan for McLean that strengthens main street (old dominion and chain bridge) with out density. Making the area profitable and able to fight off sprawl and mcmansion developers. By stagnating development you only assure that mcmansions and poorly planned projects continue to skirt the rules and ruiin the area.
Locally Involved August 07, 2012 at 12:14 AM
Navid - thanks for the clarification! There are obviously limits to a google search :-D. I did see your blog, nice. However, with an obvious interest in redevelopment, I still believe your experience is relevant and informs your perspective in this discussion. I understand you believe this a totally isolate project - please do forgive the skepticism. Creep happens. The increase in density most definitely will impact those of us in McLean simply because of proximity. How much is too much? How much is really needed? And, seriously, this area is not already profitable? Unrestrained growth is a real concern. Being involved in urban development as it appears you've been, surely you understand the concerns not only with the ex-urb sprawl, but with over development. Many families in this area (as recently discussed on the Patch) have grave concerns over open green space and playing fields. Here's another field gone with this plan. This just appears to be more about tax revenue than it is about development. Urbanization is not the answer. Saw the quality of the area I grew up in King of Prussia, PA just drown in congestion, mish mash of so called "planned' development. I've seen in northern NJ. The sprawl is in the ex-urbs (since there's not much room for sprawl within the beltway!). At some point, enough is enough.
Navid Roshan August 07, 2012 at 02:28 AM
Hey and to that point I dont disagree that good urban planning is the key. I dont think you can disregard that good cities can happen just as much as bad cities can happen. Cities are not something to be uniformly hated. It is the center of commerce, it is what society has created and come back to over and over again for 5000 years. It is at its hard the root of the term civilization. Suburbanism is a new phenomena aided by the rapid growth of cheap transportation, a trend we are now seeing ending. There is no reason to believe that cities wont return to being at the forefront of commerce. With that being said, I want to continue to be a northern virginian as I have for all of my life, and I want us to create strong communities with diverse aspects. I believe the best way to do so is to encourage urban planning where it belongs and to retain community identity where it should be (that includes McLean). By providing additional housing where people want to live, we can reduce the exurban phenomena extensively. Will it stop it? No. But if you view proper planning in the context of Charlotte, Arlington, and Pittsburgh you can see that by limiting the incursion of development into rural lands through tougher zoning regulation you can preserve our rural areas and by doing the same around urban zones you can preserve neighborhoods, but the pressure release valve must be allowances of density with the proper urban zones.
Navid Roshan August 07, 2012 at 02:34 AM
Also, I didnt say no one should voice their concerns over a project, all that I ask is that people become educated in what the thing they supposedly hate is first before condemning it. I think some of the comments on this thread show that a couple of people were not aware of what they were suddenly hating. This information is ALL public realm you can find development plans on the counties website as it is the law for them to provide them as well as it is for them to allow public comment at posted meetings. Once that point is complete, they usually use public input to guide the process but if you think that your comments will injudiciously end a project, well that isnt fair either now is it? The point of public input isnt to simply create a one sided conviction against a developer, it is to guide the developer to what will help a community. In that way the community can not simply say "we dont want this" because the county stands no legal ground on denying an application that meets requirements. What you can do is provide constructive discussion on what could help the community, and when you do that you will find that developers dont have to be deemed as enemies and many will actually listen to what the community wants because that is the market they are aiming for with their retail and residential project anyways. Education is paramount to proper procedure, no one wants a muted populous but the responsibility is on the community to provide constructive criticism andopinion
Navid Roshan August 07, 2012 at 02:38 AM
I would love to discuss further if you would like to contact me, I am very passionate about the subject and I can promise you that I have absolutely no financial gain from any of this discussion. I have an honest disagreement about what direction this specific boundary of Tysons should go through. This is btw the only place in Fairfax I believe that high rise development should be encouraged beyond current FARs (Restons FARs should remain at current levels on projects in my opinion), and I would be vehemently opposed to any urban creep extending beyond 267. Tysons Corner land mass is approximately the same as downtown chicago, there is no reason it has to expand its borders horizontally and development around the metro stations (and along westpark where there is a bus transit center and short walk to 2 stations) is enough space to provide a strong economic and residential downtown to FFX.
Rob Jackson August 07, 2012 at 12:36 PM
30 years & changes. Again, I agree with you. Many changes will occur over the next 30 years and the Comp Plan for Tysons must be revisited over time. The Plan will be modified and the timing of both development and additions to infrastructure will be changed. Perhaps, some of your predictions will come true. There may be a higher match between Tysons workers and residents. If so, there can be adjustments. But the best evidence remains FC DOT's projections. They are conservative and protect the residents and workers in Tysons and the surrounding communities better than just assuming mega-gridlock does not occur.
Navid Roshan August 07, 2012 at 01:00 PM
We are both in agreement on that. I think we both have the interests of our communities in mind and perhaps they are two diverging directions. I dont disregard that while not perfect FCDOT and VDOT are still the only source of information we have for guidance on traffic. I did have a discussion with others in the transportation planning discussions about whether a square foot "trigger" was more appropriate than correcting when conditions warrant. One of my biggest arguments for this is that currently the entire region is being crippled at 60-70% of actual capacity due to all of the construction to increase capacity. If we keep jumping from one road project to another we will never actually see where traffic equilibrium will occur. Which is why I suggest after silver line and HOT is complete we take a moratorium on any more road widenings and only improve road connections (not within existing right of way) to give a year for the area to stabilize. I think some of this construction (road not building) is pushing more people off of main corridors and onto neighborhood roads which should absolutely be discouraged.
Rob Jackson August 07, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Construction moratorium. I understand your logic, but I don't think many stakeholders would support such a moratorium. Like it or not, development levels are tied to transportation improvements; and vice versa. If a road construction moratorium were to apply, there would be extreme pressure to halt re-zonings and, to the extent, possible actual construction & occupancy. No one would be happy. The Comp Plan revisions adopted in June 2010 represent a "grand bargain" among the stakeholders. Altering any significant part of the Plan is likely to create pressure for more things to unravel. I don't see it happening. Perhaps, in 10 or 20 years, the Plan can be re-opened, but nothing more than tweaks and timing adjustments to keep construction and infrastructure in line will occur in the meantime, IMO. We also agree about the importance of keeping commuters outside neighborhood streets if possible. Ensuring timely construction of planned road improvements can help that. We can't affect the traffic from/to NW D.C. and North Arlington traveling through McLean, but we need to work towards moving as much Maryland traffic as possible to the Beltway and to enter/exit within Tysons. Personally, I would like to see the northbound Beltway entrance at G'town Pike metered as it done on I-66 in Arlington.
Navid Roshan August 07, 2012 at 02:41 PM
Well in our concept for McLeans revitalization on our website we talked about the concession of Route 123 as a means for travelers to get to GW, and then the modifications that could be made to Chain Bridge Road and Old Dominion to avoid people using them as through routes including rumble strips, reduction in lane sizes, traffic circles, and other traffic calming which deters the benefit of cutting through. This can be done without public funds if we remove minimum parking requirements and open up already developed strip malls and parking lots to increase density by reduction of pavement (not by going vertical). Think old town or original main street america. It would be a vehicle deterrent zone, and reclaimed by the community as their own. By creating the VDOT super intersection it will just encourage MORE people to use great falls, old dominion and chain bridge as cut throughs. The reason that intersection fails is because it has people coming from all sides instead of staying on Route 123. If anything that intersection should be made less available (keep it green on 123 longer) so that people wont cut through neighborhoods and make a left turn there to get on 267. Again these are concepts that VDOT doesnt understand because all they see is a bad intersection so they want to fix that intersection but the dont understand the implications of that "improvement" and its detriment to the rest of the community.
alex August 12, 2012 at 09:34 PM
go jump off a bridge
Bendy Viragh August 13, 2012 at 11:21 AM
Alex, I looked at your recent comments to recent articles and comments and am inspired by your incisive and intelligent comments (see below). What an intellect! Capital One Proposes New .. ."go jump off a bridge" -by Alex -by alex "shut up richie" Poll: Should Obama Propose ... -by alex "McDonnell is a class-A moron" Gov. Bob McDonnell Passed ... -by alex
Judith Levy August 20, 2012 at 03:54 AM
Who are all you people who have inordinate amounts of tiime to continue to post on this subject? As to Mr. Roshan, in response to your comment re: the Gannett debacle and the Hamlet, it is obvious to me that you live nowhere near there, and thankfully, neither do I anymore! The signage and height of the building do indeed "loom" over many a home in the development.... their presence is just another reminder of the lack of a strict master plan... at the time of Gannett's original proposal, there were height retstrictions in that part of Tysons...the so-called "gateway of Tysons" concept....but we all know that money talks, and that will be the case again with the Capital One project. And, BTW, how is it that all these people working retail and admin jobs at Tyson's Corner are going to afford to live there? Am I going to be subsidizing their rent in exchange for them not driving to work? And if they do live there, do you really think they won't have a ca and drive everywhere elser?? Excuse me if I sound cynical., but let's get real... As for McLean remaining a quiet suburan town, let's have a reality check here as well....Anyone who lives here and reads knows that one key person has bought up tons of property in the downtown area and that it's just a matter of time before he gets his way, too, and transforms McLean into a Bethesda with highrises over grocery stores and paid underground parking garages and the need to park in them even to go to the grocery store. Just beware!
Judith Levy August 20, 2012 at 03:57 AM
Sorry for the typos...rushing!
Navid Roshan August 20, 2012 at 01:22 PM
Excuse me Judith, but I actually live next to the building on Jones Branch (actually in Tysons unlike you), and it is separated by the Toll Road from your "hamlet". Again there is not a single picture you can show me that has it "looming over you". The toll road is the monstrosity that you should be worried about, not a building that hosts a fortune 500 company which pays far more to taxes than you ever will. No you will not have to pay for anyones "subsidized house" because most of the people that live in Tysons have higher paying jobs than yourself most likely. I live in Tysons and have a 6 figure job for instance. Either way, what Tysons planning does is none of your concern, go work on making McLean a better area and leave a region that has nothing to do with you alone please because you are ruining the lives of people who live in that town. BEWARE! Deal with McLean if you are afraid of that happening, Tysons is not for your overlord dictation.
Judith Levy August 20, 2012 at 02:27 PM
You can't possibly believe that all the newcomers to Tysons are going to be making six figure salaries... and that the few who do will actually choose to live there....and not own cars....and where do you think all the retail clerks; admin staff; dishwashers; waiters; etc etc are gong to live? They will continue to come from the far outer suburbs in search of jobs and while some may arrive and leave by train, you are naive to think that McLean will not be impacted by greater traffic congestion. Tysons development has everything to do with those of us living in the abutting towns of Falls Church, McLean and Vienna.....we have already been intruded by the increased noise and congestion and it's only going to get worse. Good for you if you want to live in congestion on your six figure salary...some of us prefer to escape it.
Locally Involved August 20, 2012 at 03:47 PM
Can't believe I"m being drawn back into this discussion. I may need saving. But here it goes. Judith, in agreement with you. Navid, believe it or not, as posters against this project, we do believe you are putting forth a valid perspective. WE are educated on this subject - and in general. We simply do not agree with the same outcomes. Again, those of us that moved to the McLean / Tysons area did so because we chose not to live in the high rise 'downtown' environs of Bethesda, Silver Spring, and Arlington. That's NOT the community we chose. We instead were drawn by the downtown environs of McLean, where we could escape to a more relaxed, less congested community. We've seen development like Tysons before, it consumes everything. As much as we all would wish for less traffic congestion and minimal impact to the area, we know that is sooooo not reality. We understand what the Cap One proposal's vision is. Very simply, it's not our vision for our community. We know what will happen. We have lived it. We understand your perspective and we we do not share that vision. Very simply, All development is not Good development. We see this as a 'greed' play for more tax revenues at the expense of a quality of life. We're not uneducated on the subject. We simply do not want any further development at this time.
Judith Levy August 20, 2012 at 10:12 PM
Well said, Locally Involved!!
Locally Involved August 20, 2012 at 11:55 PM
Thank you, Judith! I suspect that the powers that be wish to expedite the Cap One project for the simple reason that once the Tyson's Redevelopment is done, there will be considerably more opposition to any more development. Guess they feel move now before anyone really comprehends the impact.
Navid Roshan August 21, 2012 at 01:02 PM
And again, Capital One falls with an urban district, outside of McLean, that has been planned and discussed over the past 20 years. Comprehensive plans previously showed high density development in Tysons, so if you chose to live here because of its "lack of highrises" you must have misread those plans. Also Capital One is well within the boundary of Tysons, its not like the Commons of McLean which is directly adjacent to that boundary. Secondly to blame congestion in McLean on Tysons development is devoid of reality. The reason why Old Dominion, 123, Lewinsville, and Chain bridge have become thoroughfares has EVERYTHING to do with 66 HOV avoiders who jump off before the beltway because they have to get to Arlington or DC. Who is going through McLean to get to Tysons? Are there a couple of people that might be doing so from Arlington? Sure, but these are not the majority of that traffic pattern seeing as 66 west bound is NOT HOV controlled. You guys are scapegoating the WRONG thing for your congestion and sprawl problems. By creating proper growth boundaries in line with good urban planning you set WHERE you will allow density and where you absolutely will not. The problem with those other areas you lived in was likely a lack of definition on where that boundary exists and holding true to that. Either way, you live in McLean, not Tysons, and there is a 1/4 mile buffer as well as stepped down density proposed.
Rob Jackson August 21, 2012 at 02:07 PM
Mr Roshan. I agree with your comment the Comp Plan for Tysons contemplates urban density at the four rail stations, including at the Cap One site. In order to prevent the building of urban density there, an amendment of the Comp Plan is required. However, people may still attempt to show the Cap One proposal is inconsistent with the Plan or otherwise violates county ordinance or policy. (Personally, I think the proposal is consistent with the Plan and most, but not all, county policies. But others are free to disagree.) But, IMO, your view an urban Tysons will not have negative impacts on McLean is wrong. First, all of Tysons north of Route 7 is located within the McLean Planning District. Next, there will be much more traffic that is Tysons-generated traversing McLean streets, according to existing and ongoing traffic studies. In fact, traffic volumes in McLean may well prohibit substantial redevelopment in downtown McLean. There are huge volumes, which will increase as Tysons grows, using 123, Old Dominion, Georgetown Pike, Great Falls-Lewinsville, Westmoreland) to get to and from Tysons. You may not like the FC DOT studies, but they are the ones being used to guide community advocacy and county and state decision-making. McLean residents need to insist the county adhere to the Comp Plan and aggressive Traffic Demand Management (TDM) methods. Laxity could degrade life in McLean further.
Navid Roshan August 21, 2012 at 02:38 PM
And I dont disagree with that. There shouldnt be any creep of the design that is in place. Most importantly horizontally there should be no creep, but I also think that if higher densities are wanted then it should have to wait until the next time the comp plan is up for revisiting. So we are in agreement there. But in this particular case, I think the argument is not looking at what is already allowed, what is healthy growth, and what will improve the economy for all of Fairfax. To say that this is blind siding, or was a surprise is simply not true. The urbanization of Tysons has been a work in progress for longer than most people have lived here (average residency time in Fairfax county is less than a decade). The capital one project is a good project. They have built their density appropriately, they have a very high mix of residents to office compared to other projects, and they are going to provide a lot of much needed beautification to the 123 corridor via plazas, parks, and landscaping. If they were violating something with the comp plan then it might have some grounds for objection, as is everyone has agreed that this is the way forward and at this point it would be unfair to land owners and residents who do want this kind of growth to halt it after 2 decades of compromise and discussion.


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