Discussing the challenges facing Tysons Corner and its quest to become America's Next Great City

The evolution of Tysons Corner, from suburban office park to urban office park to mixed-use mecca, remains in full swing with 25 million square feet of office space and 50 million square feet of mixed-use space in the development pipeline.

Last week, the George Mason Business Roundtable came to Tysons Corner to hear from a panel of experts to ponder whether the expression "Tysons, America's Next Great City" should be viewed as a question or statement of fact.

The Falls Church News-Press ran this photo in 2015 but the sentiment remains the same.

Moderator Jason Howell posed the question to a distinguished panel, including former Congressman Tom Davis, Donna Shafer, developer and founding member of Cityline Partners, Terry Clower, director at GMU's Center for Regional Analysis, and Dr. Jerry Gordon, president and CEO of the FCEDA.

During the discussion, one thing remained clear. Tysons Corner, no matter its future landscape, remains a vital economic driver.

"Fairfax County is responsible for 25 percent of all the income tax collected in Virginia ... and Tysons Corner plays the same role in Fairfax County as the county does in the state of Virginia," Gordon said.

"And it's still a great place to start a business and invest," Davis added.

Shafer observed one significant change in terms of investment. "Equity is coming in from outside the region," she said. "There's no longer that regional network of people that you know and see."

GMU discussion panelists Jerry Gordon, Terry Clower, Donna Shafter and Tom Davis with moderator Jason Howell. (Photo FCEDA)
The addition of the above-ground Silver Line Metro has altered growth, increasing density along the Route 7 corridor. Buildings are growing taller and amenities, such as additional supermarkets, restaurants and entertainment venues are on the way.
Perhaps it is time, as Shafer noted, to "think about Tysons Corner differently and what it can be."

 "We don't know what the future holds," Clower said. "How many people will occupy a building (and at) how many square feet per person? When does that building become obsolete? Can you convert it to another use or do you tear it down and start over? How we respond to new market dynamics may dictate that Tysons will look different in the future."

Panel members suggested that the advent of autonomous vehicles could play a major role -- and not just in terms of relieving traffic congestion. If and when autonomous vehicles become common, new questions will arise about what to do with parking lots and parking garages.

One thing bound to continue driving Tysons Corner is the people. "The good news is that we have a great talent base here," Davis said. And all agreed that retention is important.

While the cost of living is not low in and around Tysons Corner, it's favorable to other locations with which Fairfax County competes for jobs and talent such as New York, Boston and California. "The costs of living are not the same as Northern California," Gordon pointed out. "They're quite a bit lower."

Transurban Challenge: Seeking solutions to improve northern Virginia's roadways and benefit drivers, Transurban, which operates 40 miles of express lanes in the Washington, D.C., area, and startup incubator 1776 are accepting applications for the  Transurban Smart Highways Challenge.

T he competition will focus on vehicle monitoring, smart transportation and road safety. Winning applicants will each receive $25,000 and travel to northern Virginia to spend three months from August to October working with the Transurban Innovation Lab. Applications are being accepted here through July 11.

Award winners and such:
Among Chamber of Excellence Award recipients from the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce on June 23 were (l to r) Janel Giambrone (M&T Bank), Joe Becker (Not Your Average Joe's, Medium Business of the Year), Ginger Bristow (Leidos, Large Business of the Year), Jennifer Rhodes (Tagence, New Member of the Year), JoAnne Adams, Dave Adams (Dave & JoAnne Adams Group -- Coldwell Banker Residential Mortgage, Volunteer of the Year), Mark Ingaro (Reston Chamber, standing), Kevin Taylor (Communication by Design, Member of the Year), Michael Delpierre (Conversion Pipeline, President's Award), Robyn McClure (Pinot's Palette, Small Business of the Year), Tom Madden (Visual Impact Productions, LLC, Angela Inzerillo (Impact Business Solutions, Pinnacle Award). (Photo Chip McCrea Photography)

El Tiempo Latino Powermeter 100: Michel Zajur, president and CEO of  the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (VAHCC) joins the likes of Governor Terry McAuliffe and Senator Tim Kaine on El Teimpo Latino's Powermeter 100. The list of leaders and influencers from the Washington, D.C., area's Latin community also includes Danny Vargas, founder and president of VARCom Solutions, Alfredo Casta, CEO of Herndon-based Cascades Technologies, Monica McManus, vice president of operations at Lockheed Martin, and John E. Potter, president and CEO of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.

Technically honored:  The Northern Virginia Technology Council announced winners of its 21st annual Greater Washington Technology CFO Awards. They included: Cynthia Russo of   Cvent (Private Company CFO of the Year), Paul Saleh of   DXC Technology (Public Company CFO), Jim Murphy of Greensmith Energy Management Systems (Emerging Growth CFO), Melissa Carson of Unisys Federal Systems (Division/Group CFO). Greg Kuykendall and Harry Weller were posthumously honored with the Michael G. Devine Hall of Fame award for contributions to the tech community. 

More corporate honorees: Wayne Rehberger of Engility in Chantilly was named a CFO of the Year award winner by Virginia Business in the Publicly Traded category.

The Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce named Sevatec founder and CEO Sonny Kakar its Executive Leader of the Year for Corporate Citizenship. This award is presented to a D.C. metro region executive for outstanding contributions to their company and above-and-beyond leadership in the community.

Paul Smith of Tysons Corner-based Red Hat  received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Institute for Excellence in Sales . The institute selects an honoree annually from among more than 50 top-level nominees.

Ashish Kachru of Altruista Health in Reston won EY's Entrepreneur of the Year award in the Mid-Atlantic Region.

Glassdoor's  ranking of the top 100 CEOs in the U.S. includes: Richard Fairbank (Capital One), Christopher Nassetta (Hilton), Horacio Rozanski (Booz Allen Hamilton), Wesley Bush (Northrop Grumman), Anthony Moraco (SAIC), Marillyn Hewson (Lockheed Martin).

See what's happening on our social sites, subscribe, or forward to a friend ...
The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) promotes Fairfax County, Virginia, as a business and technology center. The FCEDA offers site location and business development assistance, and connections with county and state government agencies, to help companies locate and expand in Fairfax County. 

Want to know more about the services of the FCEDA, or how economic development helps Fairfax County? Visit the FCEDA website or e-mail us at info@fceda.org.

Media Contact:
Alan Fogg

Vice President, Communications and Research, FCEDA
Office: 703-790-0600
Mobile: 571-213-5065
Offices worldwide:
Bangalore, Berlin, London, Los Angeles, Seoul, Tel Aviv

Fairfax County: "One of the great economic success stories of our time" -- Time magazine