Tysons Corner Center is ready to embark on a new stage of development, but it will look a little different from what was previously envisioned.
Property owner Macerich submitted development plans to Fairfax County on Wednesday (Dec. 22) that expand its anticipated Phase 2 for the mall to include an overhaul of the old Lord & Taylor store, which has been used as a mass COVID-19 vaccination site for much of the past year.
Under the proposal, the department store will be replaced by a either a 330-foot tower with 540,000 square feet of office or a 400-foot tower with a mix of office and residential space. Both options include 50,000 square feet of retail centered around a plaza.
Designated Phase 2A, the redevelopment constitutes the first half of a two-part project that aims to concentrate the site’s office space near the Tysons Metro station, while adding more outdoor gathering spaces akin to the 1.5-acre Plaza that opened in July 2014 and now serves as the mall’s events hub.
“We would like to build on that success,” Macerich Vice President of Development Hillary Zahm said. “We think this is a good location for office, but we would like to maintain flexibility in case we decide that we would like to do a mix of uses.”
As originally approved in 2007 and amended in 2015, the plan for Tysons Corner Center called for four phases of development totaling over 6 million square feet of gross floor space.
Completed in 2015, the first phase introduced The Plaza, the 22-story Tysons Tower office building, the VITA apartments, and the Hyatt Regency, but Macerich decided to rethink its second phase after acquiring the Lord & Taylor building following the store’s unexpected closure in January 2020.
Macerich’s plans to demolish the building first surfaced this summer in a Reston Skylines report, though Zahm characterizes the redevelopment as a complement to the existing Plaza, rather than an expansion.
“We recognize the need to turn the mall, in some ways, inside out and create spaces on the exterior that are really welcoming and warm for our guests,” Zahm said, noting that Tysons Corner Center has seen more people using the plaza during the pandemic.
Surrounded by retail and restaurant offerings, the proposed Phase 2A plaza will tie into the existing one via an elevated walkway, but it’s envisioned as a quieter, more secluded space where office workers could meet during the day and the public can utilize during evenings and weekends.
In addition to redeveloping the Lord & Taylor building, Macerich’s application shuffles around the development planned for Tysons Corner Center, though the overall square footage will remain the same.
The 219,660 square feet of office space currently planned for the western side of the mall in Phase 4 will instead be included in Phase 2B, which will modify the parking garage across the street from the Lord & Taylor building.
For this phase, Macerich proposes constructing:
- A 19-story building with 306,000 square feet of office space and 10,000 square feet of retail
- A 27-story building with up to 286 residential units
- A private elevated plaza connecting the two buildings, reserved for residents and office tenants
- A public, ground-level dog park with trails to the buildings and Metro
- A publicly accessible bridge to the Metro station
Taking over an area next to Bloomingdale’s currently occupied by surface parking, this phase won’t be affected by the revised application. It has been approved for 382 housing units and about 76,625 square feet of retail.
Macerich will replace the office space moving to Phase 2B with an 85,000 square-foot retail building. Plans to build 355 residential units on the site, which is currently taken up by parking, have not changed.
This new phase of development will add a 60,900 square-foot retail building on the south side of the 1861 International Drive parking garage along Leesburg Pike. Zahm says the building was actually included in the original Tysons Corner Center plans in 2007 but subsequently got removed.
“It provides not only a great space for retail right along Route 7 with a great pedestrian environment at the corner and along the street, but also helps to screen the parking deck behind it, so we’re excited to bring this back into our plan,” she said.
With construction of a pedestrian bridge over I-495 underway, the proposed changes for Tysons Corner Center reflect a commitment to the county’s vision of Tysons as a transit-oriented, mixed-use community, says DLA Piper land-use attorney Antonio Calabrese, a legal representative for Macerich.
“This is a natural and exciting evolution in the Center’s long-range development,” Calabrese said.
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