NEW: Tysons Partnership will morph into the ‘Tysons Community Alliance’

Welcome to Tysons sign (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Tysons has its new anchor organization.

Tysons Partnership — the nonprofit charged with implementing Fairfax County’s vision for Tysons — will be phased out in favor of a newly created Tysons Community Alliance (TCA) that will advocate for local residents, businesses and nonprofits, the partnership announced today (Monday).

County government officials joined representatives from Tysons businesses, residential neighborhoods and nonprofits to officially create the new organization last week, voting on Thursday (Oct. 13) to elect its first board of directors and appoint Tysons Partnership acting Executive Director Richard Bradley as the acting CEO.

“The extensive coordination and commitment from the County together with the business and residential communities allowed everyone to focus on a vision and mission that would best serve Tysons as a whole. Tysons Community Alliance blends the best of public sector interests and the flexibility of the private sector working together,” said Tysons Partnership Board Chair Josh White, who will serve as the TCA’s first board chair.

As proposed to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors this past spring, the alliance will function as a community improvement district. Like the business improvement districts that support neighborhoods like Rosslyn in Arlington County, it will fund events and projects in Tysons, such as sidewalk improvements, by collecting a special tax imposed on property owners.

The TCA has been in the works for almost two years now, as Tysons Partnership sought a new business model that would be more sustainable than the voluntary donations and county funding it had been relying on since its creation in 2011.

Supported by $1 million in Economic Opportunity Reserve funds from the county, a Tysons Vision Work Group of 31 public and private-sector representatives convened last year to develop a new organization “that would continue to support equitable growth and a thriving Tysons,” according to the partnership.

Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik says the group liked the idea of a community improvement district that it would advance the interests of the overall community, not just businesses, a model that could be replicated elsewhere in the county if the TCA is successful.

“I am very pleased with the results of everyone’s commitment, efforts and belief in the success of Tysons,” Palchik said in the press release. “I am confident Tysons Community Alliance will serve as a model for Fairfax County and the country.”

Funded for its first eight months with $2.5 million from the county’s fiscal year 2022 carryover review, which was approved last Tuesday (Oct. 11), the TCA’s mission consists of four focus areas:

  1. Communications and branding to tell the Tysons’ story
  2. Research and business support to catalyze inclusive economic growth
  3. Placemaking/place management to activate the public realm through events and pop-up spaces
  4. Transportation and mobility to champion livability through walkability and connectivity

At its first meeting last week, the alliance approved its board of directors, officers and an executive committee. It also established bylaws and an administrative structure.

As acting CEO, Bradley has been charged with leading a search for the organization’s permanent leader. An official brand relaunch is expected in January.

“The future growth in Tysons will depend on a blending of residential and business uses and activation of public space,” Gates of McLean Condominium Unit Owners Association Board President Lisa Samuels, a TCA board member, said. “This is the wave of the future for urban centers, as more people look to live and work within their same community and participate in its success. As a local resident, I am extremely pleased with the process and the collaboration in standing up the Tysons Community Alliance.”

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