Local developers say Tysons Corner is likely to be known as the "City of Tysons" within the next five to 10 years, in the perception of the public if not in fact.
"Five years from now, the whole perception of Tysons Corner will be changed. People will recognize Tysons as a city," predicted James Lewis, president of Tytran, a group of Tysons-area business executives, developers and political leaders.
In the wake of this week's approval by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors of the giant 107-acre Tysons II mixed-use hotel, retail and office complex west of Tysons Corner Shopping Center, commercial and residential real estate experts are busy analyzing the project's impact on the future of the entire northern Fairfax area.
H-L Land Improvement Venture, developer of the massive Tysons II site, is a joint venture of Homart Development Co. (affiliated with Coldwell Banker Real Estate, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sears, Roebuck & Co.) and a Bethesda-based company headed by Theodore Lerner, developer of Tysons Corner Shopping Center and other suburban Washington malls.
Prices of existing houses nearby are expected to rise, and observers say there may be a shortage of housing for the support personnel that the project will demand.
"There will be lots of houses for the chiefs, but what about the Indians?" asked Marge Kremides, an agent with Long & Foster Realty.
The Tysons Corner area generally is considered to be three to four blocks deep running along both the north and south sides of the Leesburg Pike between the Beltway and the Dulles toll lanes.
Today, there are more than 10 million square feet of office space within that zone. Although vacancies exist, a Fairfax County Economic Development Authority spokesman said leasing continues "rapidly on a daily basis."
Wayne Angle, the Homart executive in charge of the development of Tysons II, said the Tysons area already has an office base equal to that of many middle-sized American cities. Tytran's Lewis agreed.
Tysons II will add the exciting elements of a city to the Tysons Corner area, Angle said. The galleria-type mall will be patterned after similar developments in Houston and Dallas and will feature restaurants ranging from fast food to more elegant and expensive cuisine.
Over the next 15 years, Tysons II will add 3.1 million square feet of office space to the area. In addition, other major office buildings are planned or under construction. The Economic Development Authority said the market should be able to assimilate the new office space because it won't be hitting the market all at the same time. Tysons II is to be built over a 15-year period.
Tysons developers generally recognize the need to change the area's image as a transportation bottleneck. They are confident that the $14 million in road improvements that Tysons II developers say they will have in place by the end of 1985 will help.
"We plan to build the roads first," Angle explained. He said he thinks area residents will be happier with the entire development once the road network is in place. Developers and county officials met late this week to expedite the state and local permits needed so that bulldozers can begin road work this fall, Angle said.
The developers will fund road work both on and off the Tysons II site. Improvements include the widening of Dolley Madison Boulevard (Route 123) from the Leesburg Pike north to and under the Capital Beltway bridges; construction of International Drive as the connection between Route 123 and roads leading to the Dulles toll lanes; realignment of Westpark Drive, and construction of Tysons Boulevard as the main arterial street within the site. H-L Land also will fund construction of an additional ramp to the Beltway if federal highway officials approve the project. Furthermore, the developers will design and pay half the cost of a two-lane bridge over Route 123 connecting Tysons II and Tysons Corner. Tysons Corner's owners will pay their half.
The first phase of the development will include the 845,000-square-foot galleria-style three-level mall, which will be anchored by Macy's and Saks Fifth Avenue; a high-rise 450-room hotel, and 1.3 million square feet of office space. The hotel developer and a third major department store "anchor" are expected to be announced soon.
Despite the transportation criticisms, Angle and other developers said the Tysons area in general has the best external road system in Northern Virginia. "The problem is that you just cannot get around within the Tysons area," he said. Angle pointed to existing access points to the Beltway, I-66, the Dulles toll lanes, Route 7, the recently improved Gallows Road, and Route 123.
As currently planned, the 15-year building schedule includes:
* Phase I -- the regional mall, the first of two hotels and four office buildings.
*Phase II -- two office buildings and a hotel facing Route 123 near the existing Holiday Inn or two hotels and one office building on the same site.
*Phase III -- 840,000 square feet of office space in three buildings.
*Phase IV -- a final office tower containing 368,000 square feet of space.
"The mall and the hotel alone will create 1,200 to 1,500 jobs," Angle said.
There is concern among the real estate community, residents and developers about the need for adequate housing within what they call "decent commuting distance." Not only are observers worried about executive-type housing (some employes for major tenants will earn more than $60,000 a year), but they also are concerned about housing for workers in support and maintenance positions.
Real estate agents predicted that home values in neighborhoods on both sides of Route 123 in the Vienna area will accelerate as development of Tysons progresses.