A lot can change in two years.
Two years ago, Virginia state legislature was changed to permit direct-to-customer showrooms in Tysons. The company behind this push? Tesla. Shortly after passage, Tesla opened a showroom along Tyco Road. Since then, Tesla’s showroom is a familiar place within Tysons. The Virginian community is about to get even more familiar with Elon Musk’s companies, with the arrival of sister company, SolarCity.
SolarCity, a residential solar energy leasing company seems to be an outlier to what has been in the past Virginia’s impetus to favor and protect state-owned energy companies from out-of-state competitors. Reason for being? SolarCity may bring an influx of jobs, and during this economy, how can we turn down the out-of-towner and potential employment opportunity to hundreds of Virginian’s?
Speaking of Jobs…
The FCEDA published an annual report for 2016 on how Fairfax county does in terms of attracting new businesses. The verdict? 7,500 new jobs were reflected by the FCEDA in 2016. The biggest fish in this report is Pentagon Federal Credit Union, who brought 500 new jobs to Tysons. In Q4, Fairfax county saw a nice increase of 1100 jobs, of which 438 “for hiring” signs were put up in Tysons. This is quite a nice piece of the pie, as it’s roughly 40% of all jobs that were added in Fairfax.
Another Familiar Face to Tysons’ Residents…
Meridian is a well-known development company in Tysons. With their Boro project at the Greensboro Metro, they have quite a large thumbprint on our little slice of Virginia. News is they plan on doing more development, with an application to purchase a 764,000-square foot office building complex, currently occupied by Fortune 500’s Booz Allen.
No word on the sales price, but it’s safe to say it was in the $200-million ballpark. And if the deal goes through? Well, that means this is yet another property in Tysons selling for $10-million+ per acre.
Low Interest Rates = Walker’s Paradise?
You may have noticed how what was once a very auto-heavy neighborhood has transformed into a walker’s paradise, thanks to booming redevelopment. However, “if traditional economic concepts applied,” says Gerald Gordon, president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, “this rapid redevelopment would not be happening if it weren’t for low interest rates.”
“We have disposed of all the laws of supply and demand in Fairfax County, particularly in Tysons Corner,” said Mr. Gordan at the chamber’s board installation at the Tower Club in Tysons. “We’re playing Whac-a-Mole in Tysons Corner. We fill an office building and another one pops up over here.”
The 17.5-percent office-vacancy rate is high, no doubt, and certainly does not bode well for breaking ground on new buildings. However, while Tysons office vacancy rates are high (largely due to hoteling and modifications to office use), most of these vacant spaces are in soon-to-be demolished properties. As long as these interest rates stay low, Tysons growth prospects are through the roof. With the bulk of the new developments catering more walker-centric lifestyles, Tysons will continue its trajectory as a walker’s paradise.