Fairfax County's plans to transform Tysons Corner from an old suburb to a new city took two steps forward this week.
On Tuesday, the Fairfax Board of Supervisors approved the area's first mixed-use and mixed-income development using the county's new zoning categories. The community, planned by the Georgelas Group, will begin to transform the area around Route 7 and Spring Hill Road into a community of high-rise apartments and condominiums, known as "Tysons West."
On the other side of Route 7, ground was broken for the first Walmart in Tysons Corner, an "urban" Walmart that will be built on the former site of Moore Cadillac and Hummer.
The new city of Tysons Corner built over the next 40 years will become the economic engine of the county. The community of barely 20,000 now will double in size as high-rise office buildings, apartments and condominiums, stores, shops restaurants, sidewalks rise around the four new metro stations of the Silver line. The subway acts as the spine of the new city.
It will be a 21st-century city built around mass transit, a departure from the 20th-century office hub built around the car.
Local developer Aaron Georgelas' project is the test case for whether the new zoning categories that call for creating high-density communities for folks of different incomes would actually work. The Georgelas company controls 32 acres near Route 7 and Spring Hill, but Tuesday's approval was for the redevelopment of the first six acres.
“I’m very proud of these plans," Dranesville Supervisor John Foust said. "As the supervisor who represents many of the communities that surround Tysons Corner, the fact that there were not 50 people at this hearing today suggests we’ve done the right thing.”
Georgelas thanked the county planning commission and the board of supervisors for “having the political courage” to push through the rezoning of Tysons Corner last year.
The supervisors unanimously approved the first two parts of his three part plan, which will bring a total of five residential/retail buildings, one of them at 300 feet and the others falling shortly below it, around the Tysons West station. They will be taller than both the Sheraton Hotel and the Rotunda. Here's a closer look at what the supervisors approved:
- Georgelas Plans By The Numbers:
JBG, a well-known local development company, purchased the old Moore Cadillac site on Route 7 at Westwood Center Drive and the Sheraton Premiere Hotel behind it to develop Walmart.
The site already has a parking garage. The new 80,000-square-foot Wal-Mart, will be built into that existing garage. Overhead will be a gym. The WalMart will carry primarily groceries,
It's within walking distance of a new Metro subway station. Completion is scheduled for 2013, about the same time as the new Metrorail Silver Line subway is due to open. The line is now under construction down the middle of Route 7.