Developer Mohamed Hadid is asking Fairfax County to approve development plans for two 12-story glass towers connected by a central pavilion in the Tysons Corner area.
To be known as Greensboro Financial Center, the buildings will "set the tone for future development in the Tysons area," Hadid said.
Although Hadid has been using Michael as his first name, he has requested that he now be referred to by his legally given name -- Mohamed. Hadid heads the Rosslyn-based Hadid Investment Group.
Hadid must win approval from residents of the luxury high-rise Rotonda condominium complex for construction and utility easements before the county is likely to approve his plans, county officials said. Representatives of the developer have been meeting with Rotonda residents to try to secure those argeements, a spokesman for the development said.
The site is now zoned I-5, industrial, and is considered to be one of the most-densely-zoned pieces of property in the Tysons area.
"I don't believe you could get that density at Tysons today," said architect Tom Georgelas, a consultant for the financial center.
Hadid is building a major road to extend Greensboro Drive from near the Rotonda to Springhill Road. Building that road was a condition for the I-5 rezoning granted to the previous landowner. In Fairfax, such commitments, called proffers, run with the land, not with the landowner.
County transportation officials predict that the new stretch of Greensboro Drive will help to ease traffic tie-ups in the Tysons area because it would provide additional access to the six-lane International Drive being built by developers of the Tysons II regional mall, office and hotel project under construction one-half mile from the Hadid site.
A spokesman for Dranesville Supervisor Nancy Falck's office said she thought arrangements with Rotonda residents could be worked out. Public hearings on the proposals have not been scheduled by the county board of supervisors or the planning commission.
Hadid is asking Fairfax to approve an increase in density so that he can include what he called a "skylit entry pavillion, which would provide a single access to both buildings." The pavillion would provide walkways to individual lobbies for each building so that two major corporate tenants could have their own lobbies, Georgelas said.
Hadid said he designed the basic concept of the building after looking at a variety of office buildings in other parts of the country, and then turned his ideas over to HOK, a Washington-based architectural firm, and Georgelas to refine.
The design features "a mixture of curves and rectangles, with the curves designed to soften the impact of the buildings," Georgelas said. "It will be extremely expensive to build" because of this kind of design, he said. He estimated that the project easily could top the $75 million mark.
Architects and market analysts often have criticized the square-box-style architecture that dominates the Tysons market. According to Fairfax Board Chairman Jack Herrity, that market is larger today than the office bases of Norfolk and Richmond combined.
Hadid also has asked the county to let him move the buildings from sites that were approved earlier. He said he wants to "rotate" the development for residents of the Rotonda so that they will look out on the front of the building, with its landscaped courtyard and fountain, instead of the back of the project, as they would under the existing approved plan.
The development will be Hadid's third in the Tysons area. He is a partner in an office building on Leesburg Pike, and his application for a mixed-use development on the site of the present Koons Pontiac dealership on Leesburg Pike has been put on hold by county officials while a citizens task force completes work on a county staff study of existing and proposed building heights and densities in the entire Tysons Corner area.
Although the heights-study draft was released more than six months ago, the task force was not organized until late summer and is far from making major decisions, according to county officials.