Almost 10 years ago, Fairfax County officials introduced a comprehensive plan to break up Tysons Corner into separate neighborhoods and create what they call “Fairfax County’s downtown.” What once was a hub for car dealerships and other commercial activity is transforming into a metropolitan area outside of Washington. By 2050, the county is promising homes for up to 100,000 residents and access to Silver Line trains half a mile away.
Tysons West is one of those small neighborhoods that is mainly made up of a few high-rise apartments, businesses and car dealerships. People are surprised when Eric Florin tells them he owns a home in the heart of Tysons West.
“We were looking to buy, the market was starting to rebound a little bit, and we just happened to find this community tucked behind a dealership,” said Florin.
When he moved in 2008, Westwood Village was a community of townhouses and condos located behind one of the only high-rises in the area, a Sheraton hotel. Today, this neighborhood is still a pocket of Tysons West that some residents call a hidden gem. Along Route 7, there are high-rise apartment complexes, shopping centers and the Spring Hill Metro station. Florin describes his life in Tysons West as having the best of both worlds.
“There will never be anything like this in Tysons Corner,” he said. “It’s like an oasis in the middle of a city.”
Florin says he is fortunate to have trees, a park and peace in the middle of an expanding metropolitan area. Fairfax County’s goal is to create an urban community designed with a “sense of place.” The plan includes development of eco-friendly buildings, open spaces and restored streams. The already diverse city is looking to not only target millennials but all working professionals by building the city around the now five-year-old Silver Line.
“It’s a transition from older office uses, car dealerships and car repair shops to a more focused development around the Metro stations,” says Chris Caperton, director of the Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning’s Urban Centers Section for Tysons and Reston. “We’re calling for higher densities of both residential and retail uses concentrated around the Spring Hill Metro station in relation to Tysons West.”
In front of the Spring Hill Metro stop is a fairly new apartment complex called the Adaire. Michelle Mohammad just renewed her lease after living there for two years. She says it fits her lifestyle as a young professional looking for convenience and novelty not too far from her work or her family in Chantilly. With nearby bars and Tysons Corner Center nearby, Mohammad doesn’t feel like she has to go too far for a nightlife scene. For Mohammad, leasing in Tysons West is one step closer to owning a home in the area.
“I could really see myself living in Tysons Corner in the long run. It has everything,” Mohammad said.
Destined for more: In the 1950s, Tysons Corner was a rural area of Fairfax County. Then county officials announced plans to make it a commercial and retail destination near the nation’s capital. Because of its access to the Beltway and eventually Routes 7 and 123, the area had promise. Fairfax County has continued to invest in the area because of the various access points to and from the nation’s capital.
According to Fairfax County’s urban center plan, Tysons West will be the optimal location and gateway that draws people off the Metro and into the various districts the city will offer. Along Leesburg Pike, officials are planning on redesigning the major highway with treescapes to make room for more high-rise apartment buildings.
With Amazon’s expected arrival in Crystal City, Malik Anwar, a real estate agent with Partners Real Estate, says this is the time to look at the housing market in Tysons. Tysons West has limited options for homeowners, but more leasing opportunities are opening up with two more high-rises expected. Anwar says prospective buyers should keep a lookout for homes or condos for sale.
Living there: Tysons West is bounded by the Dulles Access Road to the north; Old Courthouse Spring Branch to the southwest; and Spring Hill Road and International Drive to the east.
In the past six months, three townhouses and two condos have sold in Westwood Village, the only housing community in Tysons West. Among them were a two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo for $446,000 and a two-bedroom, two-bathroom townhouse for $470,000.
There is only one property for sale, a two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo for $450,000. The monthly condo fee is $399.
Schools: Westbriar Elementary, Kilmer Middle and Marshall High.
Transit: The Spring Hill station is less than a mile away from most places in Tysons West. Route 7/Leesburg Pike is the main road that connects to Interstate 495 and the Dulles Access Road. The Fairfax Connector’s 424 bus runs to the Spring Hill Station.
Crime: According to Fairfax County Police, in the past six months there have been five assaults, nine thefts and one case of disorderly conduct in the area.