News and notes from Reston (tm).

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

From Paris to the Emerald City to Asphalt Painted Green: Tysons Just Can't Help Being Tysons

Even in a fawning article praising the reworking of Tysons Corner, it sure sounds like the folks in "Fairfax County's Downtown," the cloverleaf intersection of car dealerships and ugly office buildings, are starting to manage expectations a bit, if by "a bit," you mean "they're going to paint part of a parking lot green to make it look like a park and hope the food trucks show up."


Because the permanent green spaces that Tysons has planned will take time to create, the Meridian Group... will be installing a "pop-up pocket park" in an asphalt lot called Greensboro Green, says Caplin. "Meridian is spending a lot of private money to make this parking lot green and beautiful and pedestrian friendly," says Caplin. They're bringing in potted trees and sod and artificial turf, even painting asphalt green to give workers in the office towers that ring the site a place to convene outdoors and enjoy the wares of the food trucks parked there this summer. The pop-up park is on track for the end of June.
First, we were told the "new Tysons Corner" was going to look like Paris. Then it was going to look like the Emerald City (maybe that's where the idea of green asphalt came from). Now? Sounds like they're settling for Arlington.
Tysons hopes to emulate redevelopment in the Ballston and Clarendon sections of Arlington County (anchored to Metro stops, on the Orange Line in this case), which boast a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly combination of residential buildings, restaurants, and retail shops.
Could do worse, we guess. Besides, lookit these exciting renderings!

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And of course, this is what's there now:

Rt 7Is that Rt. 7, or the car dealerships next to Rt. 7? One can never tell.

Because we love to hate Tysons, here are a few other comments from this article, devoid of all that pesky context:
Amputating "corner" from the Tysons name is an attempt to revise its history as an archipelago of office towers and chain stores surrounded by vast oceans of parking lots — "44 million square feet of unmitigated traffic hell," as Christopher Leinberger, an urban development scholar at the Brookings Institution and George Washington University, puts it.

Jerry Gordon, head of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, says that until a CVS opened on Leesburg Pike just outside the Beltway this year, "You couldn't buy a Band-Aid in Tysons. Or a pencil."

Belmar doesn't look at all like Tysons. (Actually, it looks a lot like Reston Town Center, a 24-year-old mixed-used development not far from where Phase One of the Silver Line will terminate.) But it does look like something that several different patches of Tysons might individually become, huddled around each of those four new Metro stops like campfires.

In mid-May, the county's Board of Supervisors approved a proposal by Capital One, which already has a 26-acre campus in Tysons, to build a new 470-foot-tall office tower. When finished, it will be the second-highest occupied structure in the region, after the Washington Monument.
Wait. Who lives in the Washington Monument?

And finally:
Clearly Tysons is its own beast.
Can't disagree with that.


  1. I think they should build a super-tower 1000 feet high with a spinning restaurant on top! And a platform for bungee jumpers! And fireworks! Tysons needs to liven it up a bit.

  2. How about a contest for the "Best Graffiti" to adorn the pillars supporting the Silver Line? Perhaps we should paint them all green to help make us think that we live in a verdant urban park surrounded by giant redwood trees?

  3. I guess we can laugh at Tysons, but from what I see happening to Reston, it is not far behind.

  4. I think a 1,000 foot high statue of Krystal Koons would be better.

    1. Ouch! Not tall enough ;)

    2. Wow. Can you imagine the size of the booty when you look up underneath that skirt?

  5. The only "green" that counts in Tysons is the color of developers' money.

  6. O, how wondrous that we can now buy Band-Aids for our pencils now in Tyson's! That's PROGRESS!! ♫Follow the green asphalt road...follow the green asphalt road...♫

  7. Now that they've painted the parking lot green, they only need to add some bovine mannequins, and Tyson's will have come full circle to its origins as so much cow pasture.

  8. And they could then put up right next to Ms.Koons a 1,000 foot statue of her sister Krystal Meth.

    1. I'll bet she's smokin' hot.


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