This rendering imagines what the corner of Spring Hill Road and Route 7, the current location of Cherner Lincoln Mercury, might look like if several property owners join forces to build a grid of streets, a plaza and a pedestrian link to the Tysons West Metro station in the median of Route 7. (DAVIS CARTER SCOTT)

But Fairfax County wants to transform Tysons into a place where 100,000 people live and play. And this superb piece by Capital Business’s Jonathan O’Connell examines how we got here, and why it looks like Tysons Corner City is actually going to happen.

Obviously, the key component is the forthcoming Metro line. But O’Connell points out that five Fortune 500 companies are based there (and new arrival Northrop Grumman is a short hop away). Tysons’s 26.7 million square feet of office space is more than the metropolitan areas of San Antonio, Tex., or Jacksonville, Fla., and it has chi-chi shops, eateries and hotels. It just needs stuff like many new apartment buildings (coming), a Wal-Mart (coming), a grocery store or two (coming) and a new street grid (coming).

To know all you need to know about Tysons Corner City, from dusty crossroads to metropolitan monolith, read O’Connell’s story here.

Wal-Mart is planned as part of a new development in Tysons Corner at Route 7 and Westwood Center Drive. The complex could include apartments, restaurants, a fitness center, offices and the discount store. (Courtesy of MV+A Architects)