With Construction Boom, County Adds Emergency Services in Tysons
As high-rise, high-density residential and commercial development booms in Tysons, fueled in part by the 2014 arrival of the Silver Line, so has the need for the expansion of emergency services.
For proof, just look at The Boro along Route 7 at West Park Drive, the coming expansion by Macerich Corp. at Tysons Corner Center, the Capital One complex and residential projects along Route 123.
Add to that mix the opening of new hotels, expanded construction of housing for seniors such as The Mather on Jones Branch Drive and another on the site of the former National Association of Automobile Dealers, the arrival of entertainment venues such as the Capital One Hall, and roof-top penthouses, eateries, aerial train tracks along Route 123 and 7, and the tunnel beneath the Route 7/Route123 intersection.
Plus, four Metrorail stations: McLean, Tysons Corner Center, Greensboro and Spring Hill.
To meet these needs, Fairfax County continues to focus on improving emergency services.
Plans are underway to relocate Fire Station 29 from its Spring Hill Road location next to a post office and half block from the Spring Hill Metrorail station to a site next to the Dulles Toll Road/International Drive/Jones Branch Drive/Spring Hill Road intersection. There is no room for expansion at the current one-level station, built in 1978. A previous plan to move the station into a proposed multi-story building near the rail station failed.
The proposed station will be larger than the existing one and will permit use of larger fire-fighting equipment necessary for taller buildings. Plans call for a two-story building with five bays, living facilities for firefighters and additional bus bays for transit service.
A one-story bus transit facility now occupies the new fire station location, but bus usage there declined after the Silver Line opened. The new plan calls for a $16 million fire station as well as a new bus transit center. Fairfax must win approval of a change to the agreement made long ago with previous owner West Group (now Cityline Partners) that limits usage of the site.
Last Fall, Fairfax opened Fire Station 44, Scotts Run, near the McLean Station. It was built as a condition for development of nearby mixed-use development under construction by Cityline, at 1766 Old Meadow.
When that station opened Fire Chief John Butler said the facility would help meet demands of the Tysons area which provides unique challenges to responders, according to the Connection Newspapers.
Affordable Housing Project Planned Near Spring Hill Station in Tysons
In recent years developers in Tysons have been contributing to a special fund to help provide affordable housing in the Tysons area through what’s known as the proffer system, a part of the zoning process.
The first project to use these dollars is on the horizon.
More than $33 million from that fund will go toward 175 housing units in the first phase of Dominion Square along Spring Hill Road at Route 7 (Leesburg Pike) near the Spring Hill Metro station.
Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn praised the recent decision by the board to go ahead with the plan, which provided $22 million in the form of a loan to the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing to develop the property. The other $10 million comes from the American Rescue Plan Act.
Phase 1 of Dominion Square will include a nine-story building with 35 one-bedroom apartments, 105 two-bedroom units and 35 three-bedroom units. It will be available to households at or about 30 percent, 50 percent and 60 percent of area median income levels.
The 175-unit Dominion Square West building will be a significant and positive step forward in providing much-needed housing near Metro all along the Silver Line, Alcorn said.
In 2010, Alcorn recalled, the county adopted a comprehensive development plan for Tysons that included a call for developers “commercial properties to make a contribution to affordable housing in Tysons at $3 per square foot. This is the first such housing proposal to use these proffered funds and I look forward to the life-changing impact these new homes will have on working families,” he said.
The canopies over five of the six new Silver Line stations opening later this year will look like this one at Innovation Center Station. Those five stations look like Wiehle-Reston East Station, which will cease to be the end of the line once Phase 2 opens. Dulles Airport Station is the only one of Phase 2 with a different design, one that mimics the Eero Saarinen-designed main terminal at Dulles. Some people see a face in this photo; do you?