Tysons, VA

The Mile, a proposed mixed-use development, is looking to make Tysons North greener.

The development aims to transform 38 acres of office park east of Tysons Galleria into 10 mixed-use buildings with residential, retail, office, hotel and storage locations.

But unlike some developments proposed and built in Tysons, The Mile is planning on adding six new parks totaling more than 10 acres.

The largest one — Signature Park — would encompass an entire block in the development, the Fairfax County Planning Commission’s staff report said, adding:

The Signature Park includes 216,200 square feet (approximately five acres) and encompasses the entire land area of Block E. The Signature Park is intended as a regional facility intended by the Plan to serve the greater Tysons area and will include a large open lawn area, a performance stage, gaming areas, picnic areas, a children’s play area, walking/jogging trails, and a water feature. The proffers provide for the possible dedication of this Signature Park to the Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA).

The development also includes a dog park, linear park, recreation park and two urban parks.

At the Planning Commission’s hearing on the project last night (June 19), the commissioners debated whether or not private ownership of Signature Park would open up the possibility of the developers trying to build on that land later on.

Vice Chairman James Hart said that he doesn’t want Signature Park to be privately owned — like most parks are in Tysons, according to Planning Commission staff — saying, “It could become something else five years later.”

Commissioner John Carter, who oversees the Hunter Mill District, said that any changes to the park would put the project over the density limits.

The developer’s representative reaffirmed to the Planning Commission that the developers plan to offer Signature Park to the Fairfax County Park Authority.

John Ulfelder, the planning commissioner for the Dranesville District, raised a concern that was unrelated to the parks: the project’s uniform rooflines.

“In 2010 when we adopted the Tysons Plan, the expectation was we would get a variety of creative and innovative and attractive architecture throughout Tysons,” he said. “As it got developed, I’ve been a little disappointed with what we’ve seen thus far.”

Ulfelder asked to defer the decision on the project to give Phillip Niedzielski-Eichner, the commissioner for the Providence District who was absent, time to review the project.

The Planning Commission decided to defer the decision on the development to July 10.

Images via Fairfax County Planning Commission

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