Capital One nears zoning approval in Tysons Corner

The Fairfax County Planning Commission approved a massive expansion of Capital One’s corporate headquarters in Tysons Corner last week and the Board of Supervisors is expected to consider the measure Tuesday.

The financial services giant owns 26 acres in Tysons Corner near the McLean station on Metro’s Silver Line, which is to open in late 2013.

To surround its existing corporate headquarters office, the company has proposed building 3.1 million square feet of office space, four high-rise residential buildings with as many as 1,200 units, a hotel and 100,000 square feet of restaurants and retail.

Barry Mark, senior director of design and construction for Capital One, said the company had been working with government officials on its application for 18 months and is optimistic the county board will approve it.

Only one of the buildings Capital One plans is likely to get built in the near future. Mark said the company is working through internal approvals to build a second headquarters office building to accommodate the company’s growth in the area, where it fills the existing Tysons building and leases space nearby at Towers Crescent.

“We are full in this building and we are starting to fill up the other one right now,” Mark said.

Construction could begin on the new building in mid-2013. It would be 20 stories with 519,000 square feet of office space, 7,000 square feet of ground floor retail and possibly a small number of hotel rooms.

Capital One, though still in a legal spat with a neighboring landowner, is one of the first major landowners to near zoning approval under an amended master plan for Tysons that the board approved in 2010. Proposals from other applicants have piled up as county officials work through how best to fund major road and infrastructure upgrades.

With the Washington area in the midst of a boom of apartment construction, other Tysons Corner landowners are looking to sell portions of their sites to apartment builders once they are rezoned. Mark said Capital One has no such plans. “We have no plans to develop past this second building and we have no plans to sell off any parcels,” he said.

To win approval from the planning commission, Capital One agreed to build a 30,000-square-foot community center with an indoor basketball court, community rooms and parking. Mark estimated the cost at $11.5 million.

Jonathan O'Connell has covered land use and development in the Washington area for more than five years.
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