Tysons, VA

Tysons Partnership will receive up to $1 million from Fairfax County to help rebrand Tysons and rethink the group’s business model.

Tysons Partnership is working with Gensler to rebrand the area to encourage economic growth and is also looking to establish a “sustainable business and funding model” for the nonprofit association.

Currently, the members of Tysons Partnership pay dues, Sol Glasner, the nonprofit’s president, told the board in September.

The Board of Supervisors approved the funding, which comes from Economic Opportunity Reserve, on Tuesday (Dec. 3).

The funding could get allocated toward placemaking events, branding efforts, sponsorship and media outreach Joe LaHait, the debt manager for the Department of Management and Budget, told the county board in September.

Tysons Partnership aims to have the rebranding study done by the end of the year, which it will share with Fairfax County, according to county documents.

As part of the approval of the funding, the county requires that the recommendations from the final report do not overlap with the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority and that Tysons Partnership consider funding options as part of a new business model that provide long term sustainability, according to the county.

More from the county:

EOR funding will result in an equal match from the Tysons Partnership, who are fundraising their allocation from their membership. The county will request from the Tysons Partnership at the end of each financial quarter a summary of their fundraising amounts.

The county will then provide an equivalent EOR allocation to the Tysons Partnership. This process will continue following successive quarterly reviews up to a maximum county contribution of $1,000,000.

Several Fairfax County supervisors, including Providence District Supervisor Linda Smyth, have said that the funding could help revitalize Tysons with a more “sophisticated” branding approach. In the past, branding efforts have included water tank decals and streetlight banners, Smyth said.

0 Comments

A local organization is hosting a charity tailgate to help people who are experiencing homelessness and struggling youths.

The Tysons Partnership event will have live music from the Decades Band, beer and wine tents, a pop-up playground, arcade games, raffles and a speech from Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust, according to the event page.

The event aims to raise funds for Second Story, a non-profit founded in Vienna that works to improve the lives of struggling young adults and people experiencing homelessness.

Tickets are on sale for $30 and include two complimentary drinks. The event will be held outside regardless of the weather.

Drew Sunderland, a spokesperson for Tysons Partnership, said that the organization tries to work with local nonprofits in the regional Tysons area or surrounding communities.

“Second Story was identified as a great partner that was in need,” Sunderland said, adding that their work has a real impact on the Tysons community.

The tailgate is part of the Tysons Partnership’s larger Season of Giving, which raised money for similar organizations, like Food for Others. This year’s other events included a 5k and a happy hour event. In years past, the event has attracted over 1,000 attendees, according to the website.

Second Story supports a variety of people including homeless teens, survivors of domestic abuse and young mothers in northern Virginia, according to their website. The organization matches at-risk youth with counseling, shelter, food or other forms of assistance based on their needs, free of charge.

Teens between the ages of 13 to 17 and young mothers can text TEENHELP to 855-11 if they would like assistance from the program.

The party will last from 5-8 p.m. in Valo park next Wednesday (Sept. 25).

Photo via Valo Park

0 Comments

Tysons is poised to have a revamped brand early next year with a more “sophisticated” approach than water tank decals and streetlight banners.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is considering investing up to $1 million dollars in the Tysons Partnership, which plans to rebrand the area while establishing a “sustainable business and funding model” for the nonprofit association.

The funding could get allocated toward placemaking events, branding efforts, sponsorship and media outreach Joe LaHait, the debt manager for the Department of Management and Budget, said during a Budget Committee meeting Tuesday (Sept. 17).

Any funds granted by the Board of Supervisors would also be matched, LaHait said.

Tysons Partnership is aiming for the rebranding study to be completed by the end of the year or early 2020 and has already brought on a global design firm at a cost up to $250,000 to help develop the place-branding strategy for Tysons, LaHait said.

Several of the board members said that the funding could benefit the county by revitalizing Tysons.

Providence District Supervisor Linda Smyth said she’s hopeful that Tysons Partnership will learn from past mistakes for the new rebranding effort.

“I remember the first rebranding exercise in Tysons where we had the banners on the streetlight that faded and fell apart and we had all of those negotiations with Dominion that were very painful,” she said at the meeting.

Smyth said she wants some of the money to go toward looking at the partnership’s business and financial model, along with regular reports on the rebranding progress and how the money is getting spent.

“I would like to see some latitude in this so that it could be used for that exploration of different financial and busines models along the way because that’s actually part of this,” Smyth said. “You can’t just brand. You have to have a body that’s going to maintain it.”

Sol Glasner, the president of Tysons Partnership, agreed with Smyth’s assessment that the partnership needs a new busines model, calling the current members due-based model “not sustainable.”

“It’s gotten us to this point but it will not carry us for the years to come,” Glasner said. “So we are exploring a variety of options and our plan is to transition to a different business and financial model by the middle of 2021.”

Glasner said that Tysons Partnership is working with Gensler.

“This is a one-to-one match from our own membership and the idea is to jumpstart the implementation of a far more sophisticated branding campaign than banners and shrink wrap,” he said. “That was something done in the early stages of the partnership.”

Jeff McKay, the representative for the Lee District, said that the rebranding effort in Tysons can serve as a role model for other areas in the county.

“Not only is this good for Tysons, which is good for the county, but it’s also good for us as other groups pursue similar structures to learn from what you have evaluated, what you’re already doing because there are other parts of the county that are ripe for a partnership-type entity,” McKay said.

The county staff recommends that the Board of Supervisors OK the funds.

“We view this as an opportunity to get them off the ground and provide them with the seed money,” LaHait said.

“It’s a million, which looks like a lot on this chart, but in the context of what our return on our investment is, it’s a very small investment in the future of Tysons,” McKay said.

0 Comments

Tysons may soon get a rebranding to encourage economic growth.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is considering investing up to $1 million dollars in the Tysons Partnership, which plans to rebrand the area while establishing a “sustainable business and funding model” for the nonprofit association.

Providence District Supervisor Linda Smyth introduced the proposal, which also is backed by Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins and Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust, to the board on Tuesday, July 30.

“The Tysons Partnership is implementing a multi-year, place branding strategy and campaign for Tysons. They have engaged with a design firm to develop a place branding strategy to elevate Tysons and create a shared message for the diverse range of stakeholders,” according to the proposal.

Tysons Partnership hopes to have the strategy development done by December, so that it executed next year, according to the proposal.

The board tasked County Executive Bryan Hill to examine the potential use of these funds between $500,000-$1 million before it decides if the investment would be worthwhile.

Any funds granted by the board would also be matched by private donors, according to the proposal.

Image via Fairfax County

0 Comments

Metro recently closed several stations on the Blue and Yellow lines south of Ronald Reagan National Airport for platform reconstruction that will last until September.

The temporary shutdown is a part of Metro’s plan to reconstruct its 20 outdoor concrete platforms.

Ahead of the closures, Metro got the word out about Metrobuses, free shuttles and other bus options — like the Fairfax Connector — for affected riders. (The 494 Fairfax Connector runs from Lorton to Tysons, passing through Springfield.)

Tysons Partnership has information about carpools and vanpools, which travel for free in express lanes.

From social media and news reports, the transition has caused commuting headaches for some people — from getting stuck in traffic to bus drivers getting lost to stranded riders.  Others have reported few or no issues with alternative transportation.

Let us know below if the Metro shutdown will affect you during the summer.

0 Comments

The Tysons Partnership is seeking students or recent graduates for an internship focused on urban development and communications engagement.

Eligible applicants must be rising college seniors, recent graduates or graduate students with a knowledge of fields related to urban studies and communications.

According to the job listing:

You must be a self-starter who will look for opportunities to help us develop, package and promote the Tysons narrative to a regional and national audience. Depending on your particular skills, background and interests, projects may include research and creation of an ‘information toolkit’ containing data that conveys the breadth and scope of Tysons development; creating content that tells the story of Tysons’s past, present and future; and development of eye-catching graphics/designs to populate our website, social media and other communications channels. Strong writing skills are required — you must submit writing samples and/or links to sites where your work has been published.

The internship offers a stipend to pay for living expenses and transportation in the D.C. area, with the amount based on the level of education and experience. Work hours and start/stop dates are negotiable.

The Tysons Partnership is the local association that engages with local government, landowners, employers and other stakeholders to pursue the objectives of the comprehensive plan for Tysons.

Photo via Facebook

0 Comments

The deadline is nearing for the 30-minute Tour de Tysons bike race around Tysons this weekend.

The race is scheduled for Saturday (March 16) and, unlike most races, is ranked by how far the cyclists can ride. Adult races range from 30 minutes to one hour, while the race for children is around 20 minutes.

All of the men’s categories until the 1:45 p.m. time slot are currently filled, but there are still a few spaces at that time and open spaces for women and children throughout the day.

Registration for the race is $35 for adults and $15 for children.

The event is hosted by the Tysons Partnership and the National Capital Velo Club.

Cyclists who are not registered with the Mid-Atlantic Bicycle Racing Association will be required to purchase a one-day license with cash at the race.

The event, featuring 10 races from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., has drawn 300 competitors in previous years.

Photo via Facebook

0 Comments

Tune up the bike and break out the spandex, the Tour de Tysons is returning for its fifth annual competition this March.

On Feb. 20 at 12:15 a.m., registration is scheduled to open for the 2019 race around the Tysons area. The entry fee is $35 for men and women’s races and $15 for younger ages.

The event is hosted by the Tysons Partnership and the National Capital Velo Club.

Races vary from 30 minutes to one hour in length. The race starts on Westpark Drive, then turns onto Jones Branch Drive and Westbranch Drive.

Cyclists who are not registered with the Mid-Atlantic Bicycle Racing Association will be required to purchase a one-day license with cash at the race.

The event, featuring 10 races from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., has drawn 300 competitors in previous years.

Photo via Facebook

0 Comments

(Updated 3:30) There’s lots of new development around Tysons, but one of the more unusual is a series of residential buildings constructed last night inside the Tysons Biergarten, made entirely from gingerbread.

The Tysons Biergarten is normally a pretty adult-oriented place, one of the few hotspots of the local nightlife, but yesterday (Wednesday) evening the Biergarten toned down the “bier” part and hosted its 3rd annual toy drive for local youth shelter Second Story. The event included gingerbread house making with youth involved with Second Story and a visit by Santa.

The event was the culmination of a month of toy collection at the Biergarten, where over fifty toys were collected. An earlier fundraiser for the organization raised $500.

Second Story, formerly known as Alternative House, is a youth services and safe shelter near Tysons that was founded in 1972.

The shelter offers a variety of programs, from caring for infants and young mothers to helping teenagers and young adults in distress, and offers a crisis shelter for teens for up to three weeks at a time. It also provides counseling for anyone in need across any of the shelter’s programsand offers longer-term support programs, like rent assistance and help with applications and training.

Abigail Brougher, a communications specialist for Second Story, said the Tysons Biergarten event, along with toy drives hosted by the Tysons Partnership and Tysons Corner Center, mean the shelter will be able to make sure every child and youth involved with the program is able to get a Christmas present.

“Second Story is so thankful for relationships in Tysons,” said Brougher. “It’s important to us to be able to give out toys at Christmas and they are all donated.”

Brougher said there’s no total tally of toys and funds raised yet, and it won’t be counted until after the holiday season, but roughly speaking the shelter has received hundreds of toys.

“Our two objectives are providing safe havens and opportunities,” said Brougher. “The opportunity to have that Christmas experience is important to us.”

While it’s a little late in the year to still give toys, Brougher said there’s still plenty that Tysonians can do to support the shelter year-round. Tysons Corner Center is also still collecting toys until Monday, Dec. 24, at the Santa HQ outside the Nordstrom.

“The biggest thing is to get involved,” said Brougher. “We have tours once a month. That is a really important way to learn about Second Story. We hold them on the second Tuesday of the month and you can sign up online. You get to tour our teen shelter, see where young people are staying, and learn more.”

For those looking to learn more about the shelter but can’t make it out for a tour, Brougher said Second Story also recently finished the first season of its podcast, which interviews people who went through the program.

“We have so much support from the Tysons community,” said Brougher. “They’re a huge part of us being able to do what we do.”

3rd annual gingerbread house making with Second Story!!

Posted by Tysons Biergarten on Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Photo courtesy Matt Rofougaran

0 Comments

Much like “The Facebook” became just “Facebook,” what was founded as Tysons Corner is now just Tysons — at least, according to the federal government.

Compared to issues like traffic or a lack of affordable housing, it can seem like a small or pedantic difference, but Drew Sunderland, Director of Communications at the Tysons Partnership, said the effort to rebrand the rapidly urbanizing area between McLean and Vienna as “Tysons” — to “drop the Corner,” so to speak — is part of working towards building a cohesive identity.

“Rebranding Tysons is a core element of our charter,” said Sunderland. “Historically, Tysons Corner is synonymous with the [Tysons Corner Center] mall. It’s a vital anchor, but in terms of the greater community, the mall is a component but it’s not limited to the mall… it’s surrounded by millions of square feet of new development. It’s vital to understand that Tysons is more diverse than just a suburban mall.”

It’s an issue that’s even drawn heated feelings. There is at least one anonymous Twitter account waging a one-user-war on the “Corner” using the hashtag #dropthecorner.

Virginia Case, Chair of the Board for the Tysons Chamber of Commerce, said the change from Tysons Corner to Tysons is part of the area shedding its image as a small suburban community.

“[We tend] to think of it in the way you think of one named people being celebrities,” said Case. “Cher. Madonna. Kesha. It works well for us to be Tysons.”

For advocates of the change, there’s been progress. In 2015, the U.S. Census Bureau, with some urging from the Tysons Partnership and Rep. Gerry Connolly (D),  changed the designation of Tysons Corner to Tysons. Sunderland said the census, labeling Tysons a place identifiable as a settled concentration of population but not incorporated under state laws, is the most official recognition in existence.

The change has had a ripple effect, altering the names on federal mapping agencies and, by extension, its designation on mapping services that use that data like Google Maps. New developments, like The Boro, almost exclusively refer to the area as Tysons.

While many prominent voices in the Tysons area, like the Tysons Chamber of Commerce, are all on board with “Tysons,” at least one local group said they still believe there’s value in the “Tysons Corner” name. Though the group would only speak off the record, a representative said Tysons Corner still has brand recognition.

Other news outlets, for instance, often use Tysons Corner when referring to the area. Some online sites like Twitter, when asking for your address, autofill “Tysons” to “Tysons Corner.”

There’s also the issue of Tysons sharing the name with other established brands. When looking up information on Tysons the news is often saturated with scandals involving Tysons chicken or former boxer Mike Tysons’ ongoing efforts to start a marijuana farm.

“People are always going to mistake your brand,” said Case. “Even my grandmother, whenever she was taking a plane, would take ‘a bluejet.’ We really do look at this place being a landmark.”

Case pointed to Paris as a somewhat bold comparison to Tysons, noting that there is a Paris, New York and a Paris Hilton, but the Paris that claims the landmark status is the one in France.

“Tysons Corner sounds sleepy,” said Case, “not like a prominent urban center.”

Case and Sunderland both noted that the name change can sometimes be an uphill battle. Case said most often the confusion comes from people who were from the area when it was still called Tysons Corner and are returning. But when they actually see how the area has changed, Case said most people she talks to understand that the area has outgrown the old name.

“You’re always going to have pushback when you embark,” said Sunderland. “People won’t necessarily understand the purpose behind the change. But if you look out the window, Tysons is a city. There are major high rises. There’s incredible density. We’re a city.”

Photo (top) via Fairfax County Fire and Rescue/Twitter

2 Comments
×

Subscribe to our mailing list