In the heart of Tysons Corner, at the intersection of Routes 123 and 7, is an aging retail strip best known for the presence of a Clyde’s restaurant — a landmark in Tysons.
It is one of the more challenging pieces of land to redevelop in Tysons, according to Elizabeth Baker, a land use planner with Walsh Colucci Lubeley Emerich and Walsh who is representing developer NV Commercial and Clyde’s Real Estate Group.
The redevelopment proposal involves consolidating eight different parcels of land with multiple owners and deals with challenging, sloped topography.
It is also one of the most essential pieces of the vision for the new Tysons, said Fairfax County Planning Commissioner Ken Lawrence (Providence District) because of its central location and proximity to the Greensboro Metro Station on the Silver Line, expected to open early next year.
“This is the downtown of the county’s downtown,” Lawrence said. “We’ve got to get this one right.”
NV Commercial and Clyde’s are proposing six new high-rise buildings for the site, a mix of residential, office and hotel. The ground floors of the buildings will have retail space, including a planned space for a small grocery store.
Baker said the grocery store would be the size of a specialty market like Trader Joe’s or MOM’s Organic, not a full-size grocery store.
If the application is ultimately approved, the first thing that would be overhauled is the plaza where Metro riders will exit the station.
“Right now there is no ‘there’ there,” Baker said. “We want to make it something special.”
In addition to making the station area more attractive looking, the plan proposes bringing in pop-up retail near the station as the bulk of the site is still being redeveloped.
Speaking to the Planning Commission Wednesday, Baker showed examples of pop-up shops inside repurposed shipping containers, a technique that has been used in Washington, D.C., at the Fairgrounds next to Nationals Park and in major cities like London and San Francisco.
The plan also includes the now standard features of Tysons applications, including adding new streets for the street grid there, environmentally sensitive building design, the allocation of income-restricted housing and a network of small parks throughout the new neighborhood.
The Planning Commission deferred its recommendation on the redevelopment plan until Nov. 6. After that, the proposal will go to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors for public hearing and final approval.