Originally Posted by Joe H
Tysons does not. It is for me and perhaps others a wasteland. I've read through this thread and driven every block of every planned project, shaking my head at what some think will work there. You cannot walk anywhere. You can't. What will and has worked in Silver Spring and Bethesda and Reston Town Center isn't in place for Tysons. Some want a sixty, eighty story building, others rave in support of the three Macerich buildings going up adjacent to Lord and Taylor-but where will people walk? When you "land" in Tysons on the Metro, if you want to walk to the Ritz or the Marriott, exactly how do you do this? If I have a suitcase how am I going to get from the Metro to either?
Until this question is answered I am a bit dismayed with Fairfax County: nobody has exactly explained the mechanics of living at Tysons. It is NOT Ballston, it's not Clarendon nor Bethesda nor Silver Spring. It's Tysons Corner: a suburban area with islands of office buildings separated by acres of parking that would scare the hell out of my grandmother or grandfather from walking between them.
Until somebody goes into a bit of detail for how this new downtown is going to work, I cannot help but question its future growth. I don't think this has been properly thought through.
Reston Town Center and the others I've mentioned above, yes. But Tysons is a huge, for me, wasteland seemingly intent on a nightmarish next phase that Fairfax is committed to delivering. I am only questioning how people will live and work there? I think not an insignificant question.
Wow, yikes so much aggression. First of all, we need to recognize that cities don't just pop up, each projects weighs the financial benefits of constructing now or later down the line even after a rezoning is completed. 1775 was likely paused to figure out the funding scheme for transportation projects, Lerner likely did not want to start construction with the possibility of having to pay more money than they have available for special taxes for a project that is speculative. The funding scheme appears to be a good compromise and likely we will start seeing MORE construction now not less. Arbor Row is even starting to do demolition, Tysons Tower is in full force, Park Crest Two has cranes up for a 19 story building, Avalon Park Crest is leasing this month, Greystar continues site prep on Spring Hill Tower H.
Firstly, you say you have driven all around Tysons, but from the sounds of it you stayed along Route 7 and 123, which really annoys me. I hate when people come into Tysons, stick on the main thoroughfares like International, and make an opinion based on what they see out of their windshield. The intersection you say you tried to walk across is the middle of ground zero for construction right now, OF COURSE you can't walk across it. When they were digging up half of the lower east side of Manhattan it was impossible to walk around also. To focus on these corridors which by the comp plan are to remain commuter focused pathways is not fully understand where the market is moving. What's happening is the section north and east of Route 7 and 123 is where the real development is occurring. Walk along WestPark and you will construction after construction. And the benefit is that its happening on a pedestrian friendly road which has walks, landscape, and a human scale. The biggest issues with Tysons remains Route 7 and 123, for this reason, and the fact that FFX seems hell bent on continuing to keep them, I believe 4 separate cities are forming in Tysons
Northwest. near Vienna, will remain difficult to develop. This area has always had problems conceptually because it is more connected to Vienna than Tysons, it will likely become the higher density version of Vienna instead of part of Tysons because it will be impossible to cross route 7, and the bridges will do nothing to help this. Then there is South Tysons, the area that has the chillis/tiffanys/and several businesses along 495. No chance any of this really ever improves, because frankly 495 is a noose choking it. We might see some random developments along this section but the mall/495/route 7 pretty much set its boundaries and theres no incentive for improving it.
Then there is East Tysons, which has opposed all growth from Pimmit Hills. This area also has scars such as Mitre/Northrup Grumman which because of their work type can not allow a lack of setback to their buildings, therefore are not good fits. As long as these are the major owners, expect a very disconnected development pattern along 123. Hopefully McLean Commons can make it work and create a little micro town, but unlikely without something next to it to attract people to live there.
Then there is North Tysons, which is actually better connected to Tysons 1 than other parts because of the pedestrian friendly design of Westpark Bridge, Tysons Boulevard, Westpark. This area is BOOMING. Even with Lerner taking a pause, they have done a lot of the expensive earthwork so they will complete this project sometime in the next 2 years. Add in Arbor Row, Park Crest's 2 more towers, Spring Hill Station, SAIC and this area is already starting to become a real city. There are already good grocery options, the retail is plentiful, its extremely walkable, I do so often all over, and there is already a very large resident population between Avalon Crescent, The Post, Park Crest, Rotonda, etc.
The rest of Tysons will falter because of Route 123 and 7, but elements within North Tysons (which by the way is as big as Uptown Charlotte in land size) will have access to 4 metro stations and an already establish beneficial land use that will continue its growth.
I will continue to hammer FFX county for not addressing the gashes in Tysons known as 123 and Route 7 and addressing them in a better way than the completely debunked pedestrian bridge method. Look at the route 50 crossings to see what pedestrian bridges become. They are just unsavory locations, who knows why, there are thousands of ways to explain it as a funneling which creates illegal activity, its a sociological barrier, its a disconnect between businesses and people, its all sorts of things. I continue to say that the best way is to deck 123 as much as possible and sell the air rights to pay for it http://thetysonscorner.com/tysons-co...-so-much-more/
I respect your passion for urbanism, but we are going from the opposite of smart growth, the concept of a office park on steroids, to a city. Its gonna take a while to correct this, but project by project it will. sidewalks, even plazas, are relatively cheap compared to the megaprojects that this area is addicted to. So the change can happen, and pedestrian friendly design can be accomplished, but it will take improvement of traffic by proper land use before people finally say, WOW THIS ACTUALLY WORKS! When that starts happening, we will finally be in the place that Arlington is today, buy in.