HQ2 Worries for Fairfax Companies — “Amazon.com Inc.’s move to open a second headquarters in Arlington may prove to be a mixed-bag for Fairfax County. While many HQ2 employees are expected to live in the county, there’s a real chance that Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) will take tech talent from companies based in Fairfax.” [Washington Business Journal]
Does Tysons Need New North-South Transit? — “The Silver Line is good for east-west, but Tysons needs something north-south too. [Twitter]
Silver Line Station Progress — “Work crews in yellow vests and hard hats continue to dot the stations, track, pavilions, pedestrian bridges and tracks along the Phase 2 alignment, but over the next few months, more and more of those workers will be heading to interior work stations to run utility lines, install equipment and test all of the facilities.” [VivaTysons]
Apartment Fire in Falls Church — A fire broke out in the kitchen of an apartment at 450 N. Washington Street in Falls Church on Friday afternoon. [Twitter]
Falls Church PD Seek Info in Dog Bite Case — “City of Falls Church Police and Animal Control are looking for a dog that bit a man on the leg on Wednesday, March 27, around 2:15 p.m. near the Cherry Hill Park tennis courts.” [City of Falls Church]
The following article excerpt is from our content sharing partner, FairfaxNews.com.
Amazon’s pick of Crystal City for part of its HQ2 expansion put a jolt of caffeine in November real estate activity, the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors reports.
“The pleasant surprise from November’s housing market data was a significant pop in new contracts,” said Derrick Swaak, managing broker of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty in McLean. “New under-contract sales jumped nearly 90 percent in the NVAR footprint, which means that a buyer’s offer has been accepted by the seller. Some of that increase was a reaction to an unexpected, but welcome, retreat of mortgage rates in the second half of the month, plus a frenzy of condo buying activity in the areas surrounding Amazon’s new HQ2 location in Crystal City.” […]
“While there is speculation about the real estate market showing signs of softening nationwide, our Northern Virginia data still reflects a promising direction,” said NVAR CEO Ryan Conrad.
Read more at FairfaxNews.com
The following article excerpt is from our content sharing partner, FairfaxNews.com.
Virginia voters are in a positive mood and are feeling good about Amazon HQ2, the Equal Rights Amendment, sports betting and casinos, according to the latest poll by the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University. They also want their share of the state’s windfall from tax reform.
By more than two to one, Virginia voters approve of the deal that will bring part of Amazon’s east coast headquarters to Virginia. Overall, 68% approve and 30% disapprove.
Voters support legalizing sports betting (63%) and casinos (58%) and want any related tax revenue to support education and the general fund. But 43% worry that legalization will promote gambling addiction.
Read more at FairfaxNews.com
The Washington Post reported in May that Apple was considering the Scotts Run development in Tysons. Now, Tysons Reporter hears that the iPhone maker is “seriously” eying a Fairfax County office campus, potentially bringing up to 20,000 jobs to the area.
So what is Scotts Run and what is planned there, exactly?
Scotts Run is a proposed 8 million-square-foot mixed-use development near the McLean Metro station. The development, broken into Scotts Run North and South, straddles Dolley Madison Boulevard (Route 123).
Scotts Run had been mentioned as a potential location for Amazon but passed over by Fairfax County and the Commonwealth of Virginia as an official applicant in favor of the 26-acre CIT site in Loudoun, also Tysons’ competitor for Apple.
Scotts Run South is part of a rapidly growing network of new developments at the eastern end of Tysons spurred by the development of the Capital One headquarters. Approved in 2013, plans call for seven apartments, nine office buildings, an Archer Hotel and retail space. The 425-unit apartment complex The Haden and the 14-story office building Mitre 4 have already been completed.
Two new residential towers were approved in May 2018. The towers will have a maximum of 475 units combined, of which 20 percent will be dedicated to affordable housing.
The proposed Scotts Run North development north of Dolley Madison Boulevard would convert a surface parking lot, which currently serves as parking for the Metro station, into a high-density mix of residential and office buildings.
Whether Apple chooses to go the Amazon route and help inspire a new name for the neighborhood remains to be seen.
There may be even more upside for Fairfax County from Arlington and Alexandria’s Amazon HQ2 win.
With Amazon set to bring tens of thousands of jobs to the Crystal City area, Apple is now looking elsewhere for a large East Coast outpost.
The Washington Post reported in May that Apple was looking at sites in Crystal City, Loudoun County and the planned Scotts Run development in Tysons. The would-be Apple campus would house 20,000 employees, according to the Post.
But Arlington and Crystal City are now out of the running, according to Arlington Economic Development Director Victor Hoskins.
Though the Loudoun option remains, we’re told that Apple is looking “seriously” at Fairfax County.
Gerry Gordon, Fairfax’s top economic development official, declined to comment on the Apple news. Via a spokesman, Gordon told Tysons Reporter that it is his policy not to talk about company moves until it’s made official.
Photo via Cityline Partners
It’s official: half of Amazon’s HQ2 will be coming to Arlington and Alexandria. But while the offices won’t be located in Fairfax County, experts tell Tysons Reporter that the impact will be felt across the region.
Jerry Gordon, President of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, said today that the new headquarters is not only likely to bring 25,000 new jobs to the HQ2 site, but will likely pull 50,000 to 75,000 jobs following Amazon into the region.
“There’s going to be a lot of new jobs, particularly in Tysons because of the Metro connection,” said Gordon. “There’s going to need to be new housing and new office space. The whole region is going to boom.”
Gordon said the first companies to feel the impact of the new headquarters will be regional construction companies, who are likely to see more work as developers scramble to meet the new residential and office space demands.
Among the excitement for new jobs are concerns that the headquarters will also make Tysons, an area already infamous for traffic congestion and a lack of affordable housing, denser than its supporting infrastructure allows.
“I’m hoping we get just enough of a boost from HQ2 for everyone to get raises or better jobs,” said a commenter on the Tysons Reporter Facebook page, “not so much of a boost that we end up with a housing crisis like what Seattle or [San Francisco] have right now.”
Gordon said there’s legitimacy to these concerns.
“When you bring in all these new people, you’re going to find housing values go up,” said Gordon. “There’s going to be a lot of families and they’re not going to want to live in high rises. If you want to own — or if you do own — property in the area it’s going to go up in value.”
Gordon said apartments will also feel the squeeze as new Tysonians move in, especially in the interim before the residential development market can catch up to the demand.
“Renting apartment space, that’s going to go up too,” said Gordon. “It’s all based on supply and demand. When that demand increases dramatically, the prices go up.”
Unfortunately, Gordon also said that the headquarters will likely impact traffic as well.
“If Arlington creates enough housing to accommodate, or new housing is built in proximity to the Metro, that impact will be relatively small,” said Gordon. “But that won’t be the case. This is 25,000 people… It depends on whose hired, but you’re still adding 25,000 jobs in the primary sector so there’s going to be an impact on transportation.”
But overall, Gordon said Amazon is likely to have a positive impact on the community.
“Everyone’s been focused on the new jobs, but people don’t think about the fact that Amazon is one of those companies that are very good corporate citizens,” said Gordon. “I know in Seattle they’re involved in issues from homelessness to arts to health issues. If that’s any indicator for how they’ll be involved here, the region is about to get a good shot in the arm.”
(Updated at 12:15 p.m.) While Tysons may have been snubbed in the final rundown of Amazon headquarters locations, if the second headquarters (HQ2) opens in Crystal City, Tysons may reap some of the benefits and avoid the pitfalls.
Crystal City is potentially one of two locations selected as Amazon’s second headquarters.
“The Crystal City location for HQ2 would generate new [potential] households for Fairfax County,” said Stephen Fuller, head of George Mason University’s Stephen S. Fuller Institute. “Tysons would be well positioned, given its Silver Line service/connection to Crystal City.”
Fuller also said an influx of new jobs means more demand for residential and commercial space.
“These new households will generate demands for local consumer and retail services that would fit into Tysons,” said Fuller. “HQ2 will also generate other business locations and Tysons is well positioned to attract some of these. So, HQ2 would be good news for Tysons.”
Salah Hassan, Professor of Strategic Brand Management at George Washington University’s School of Business, went one step further and said the HQ2 in Crystal City might even benefit Tysons more than if the headquarters had been located in Fairfax County.
“This is going to be a big plus for Tysons,” said Hassan. “I think Tysons will reap the benefits without having to suffer from the traffic issues that may come as a result.”
Dodging the traffic bullet comes as particularly good news for areas like McLean, which has struggled with commuter traffic going to and from Tysons. Traffic cutting through McLean neighborhoods has gotten so dire the Virginia Department of Transportation is currently considering closing access to the Beltway from one McLean artery.
But in addition to crowding the region’s already strained infrastructure, there are concerns that the new Amazon headquarters could squeeze out smaller tech companies and send area rents skyrocketing. Housing affordability is already strained in Tysons.
While Crystal City might be most poised to reap the immediate benefits of businesses hoping to crowd in close to the new Amazon headquarters, Hassan said Tysons’ proximity to Dulles could make it a valuable alternative for companies looking for international access.
“Tysons is a gateway for international travelers going in and out of Dulles,” said Hassan, noting that Reagan National Airport near Crystal City is domestic-only. “Tysons is ready with a big build up. Tysons is rising, and it will be the international gateway for HQ2.”
Hassan also said it’s likely for those moving to the region for HQ2 to look to Tysons for shopping, with Tysons fitting the sweet spot of not feeling as dense as Arlington or Washington, D.C. while still remaining Metro accessible.
But Hassan added Tysons will need to get moving on plans to build educational facilities if it wants to really capitalize on the new HQ2 talent pool. Hassan said that Tysons will be one of the only American cities of its size without a university.
“Tysons needs more in terms of education and support with professional development programs and training,” said Hassan. “The tech industry is going to start to flourish around Arlington and Tysons corridor to support this big giant moving into our backyard. There is a lot of opportunity for education in addition to residential and commercial.”
At the Tysons 2050 event in October, regional experts agreed that Tysons was going to have to encourage a higher education facility to locate in the area. Rodney Lusk, director of National Marketing for Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, said that by 2050 Tysons would need two performing arts centers and at least one research university if it wanted to become anything more than just a commuter hub.
Photo courtesy Crystal City BID
HQ2 in Fairfax County? — Amid anticipation for Amazon’s announcement as to where it will establish its second headquarters, officials in Fairfax County are not betting the farm on it coming to the county. But even if it goes elsewhere, the local sites identified as a possible HQ2 landing spot stand to benefit from the Amazon attention. [Washington Business Journal]
Tysons People, Projects Awarded — Some Tysons people and projects were award recipients at the annual CREW D.C. awards ceremony last week. Among those honored by the organization, which brings together women in the local commercial real estate industry, were Capital One Mid-Atlantic Market Manager Sadhvi Subramanian and Meridian Group’s massive The Boro project in Tysons. [Bisnow]
Next Week: Open House at Fairfax Fire Stations — “In celebration of Fire Prevention Week, all Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Stations will be hosting an Open House on Saturday, October 13 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Stop by your local station that day to meet your firefighters, see the fire trucks, join in the activities and learn about fire safety.” [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]