News and notes from Reston (tm).

Thursday, February 8, 2018

LOL: Dude Who Singlehandedly Made Tysons The Suburban Hellscape With No Future It Is Today Has A Sad About Tysons Being A Suburban Hellscape With No Future


Northern Virginia real estate legend Til Hazel, who has memories of the Tysons area dating back to World War II and has been instrumental in its development ever since, sees some major challenges facing Tysons' economy and transportation network.

"I wish I could say things about Tysons that were upbeat and optimistic, but I have some serious concerns about the future of Tysons, despite the opportunities that are here and the wonderful things that have happened," said Hazel, speaking Thursday morning at Bisnow's Tysons Takeoff event.

We're assuming the "wonderful things" that have happened include the vaguely dystopian elevated platforms full of cornhole games and half-eaten pancakes, but we digress. Do go on!
"Without adequate transportation, Tysons will stall," Hazel said. "The problem right now is we have a bankrupt Metro system, and the politicians are still kicking the can down the road, which is what they've been doing for 40 years."


In addition to improving its regional transportation, Fuller also discussed the need to make it easier to move around within Tysons. “In order for it to succeed, it has to become a place, and it has to become livable," Fuller said. "It has to be a place that you and I want to spend time in. Right now, it’s still two retail centers and a disconnected office market. It has to come together. There are 1,700 acres, more or less, in the Tysons area and they need to be brought together so that those of you that live here can actually get out of your unit and do something here without getting into a vehicle."

What, has he not seen the sweeeeeeeeeet traffic circle?

So's all we need to fix Tysons is a couple of those, whazzitcalled, "sidewalks," plus a functional Metro system and a bridge (or six) across the Potomac. Right? Hahaha,no, because our region's transition to a race-to-the-bottom, Ford Focus economic hellscape is proceeding apace. Mr. Ford Focus himself, GMU's Stephen Fuller, has stepped up the Cassandra-like predictions of doom of late, including these doozies:

Don’t be fooled, Fuller says, by the trappings of prosperity—the construction cranes cluttering skylines all around the Beltway, the soaring housing prices, the proliferation of pop-up bars and tasting menus. Beneath the surface lie markers of impending decay. Since 2010, when budget cuts ended a 30-year run of explosive federal procurement-spending growth, the area has lost high-paying jobs tied to the government and replaced them with positions in less lucrative fields—exotic-cocktail mixologists, child-care workers—impaling the wealth-creating engine that transformed Washington from a sleepy federal city to a dynamic world capital. Fuller says this structural change in the economy is the most dramatic since the end of World War II. And while in years past the Washington area consistently outpaced national benchmarks, he now sees an economy defined by middle-of-the-road growth and, especially in the era of Donald Trump, troubling risks to the downside. If local leaders can’t find a way to wean the region off its dependence on Uncle Sam, he warns, Washington could begin looking less like the vibrant, cosmopolitan hub it is and more like the provincial administrative outpost its original architects envisioned.

“Boston is almost three times our growth rate. Atlanta, Houston, Seattle around four times. And Dallas more than five times,” Fuller tells the audience. “The reason we have been struggling is obvious: We are a company town, and our company stopped spending more money here.”

Obviously, this has implications for our own plastic fantastic planned community as well as Tysons. Consider this nightmare scenario:
As the dysfunction in Congress drags on, the government eliminates some 30,000 federal employees and contractors. The unemployment rate doubles. Spin studios in Bethesda go under, artisanal grocery stores in Dupont Circle close. New construction grinds to a halt; developers walk away from half-finished projects. Flowers at building entrances shrivel and die.

Judging by this ad that recently replaced the WHO'S YOUR BABY'S DADDY ads that usually pop up on this filthy "web log," we're not sure everyone's getting the net, as the kids used to say about two decades ago:

At least one Til clone is woke semi-aware of the implications of this trend:

Like the rest of the region, Tysons also has to address its housing affordability, Clemente Development CEO Dan Clemente said. Clemente, who has proposed a 2.8M SF Tysons mixed-use development with the region's tallest tower, said Tysons does not have enough workforce housing in the range of 65% to 85% of area median income. "We have issues, because I don't believe we're doing enough about workforce housing," Clemente said. "If those people can't live here — the people who are working in Tysons today, the secretaries, the bartenders, the waiters — if they can't live here in Tysons, you don't have a city."
To be fair, that's a more honest assessment than Reston's current developers appear to be willing to make. But we're sure that if the worst comes to pass, those mixologists, or whatever, will still be happy to drive their Ford Foci all the way from Sterling (which will then be run by Master Blaster) to pay for parking at our elite town center in order to pick up an $11 salad, the end.

1 comment:

  1. The only group less aware than developers about these trends is our local county government. They are still living in the last century!


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