Fairfax County supervisors on July 16 unanimously approved “The Mile,” a mixed-use redevelopment project that will transform a sizable slice of eastern Tysons.
The Mile is a “beautiful application” and its signature park is “really going to be a landmark in Tysons,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova (D).
PS Business Parks LP will build nearly 3.05 million square feet of development on 38.84 acres bounded by Westbranch Drive to the west, Jones Branch Drive to the north and east, and Westpark Drive to the south. The existing parcels now have office buildings and associated parking, all of which will be removed to accommodate the new redevelopment.
Ten new buildings will be constructed on eight new blocks. Blocks A, C, F and G will be residential, as will Block B, which also will have a mini-warehousing option. Blocks D and H will be used for office, hotel or residential space, as will Block I, which also the option for mini-warehousing. Block E will be used for a public park and a retail kiosk of up to 5,000 square feet.
Maximum uses for the site will include 535,000 square feet for office space, nearly 2.82 million square feet for residential space, 300,000 square feet for storage, 340,000 square feet for hotel uses and 120,000 square feet for retail.
The development will provide 10.45 acres of publicly accessible open space, more than the required 8.52 acres. Six new parks will be provided, the largest of which will be a “signature park” on Block E.
The 5-acre signature park will provide options for passive and active recreation and have a common green with an expansive lawn, playground and picnic areas, and a performance stage. The applicant has offered to maintain the park and dedicate the common green to the Board of Supervisors or the Fairfax County Park Authority.
A series of smaller urban and linear parks on Blocks A, F, G and H will connect the signature park with Westpark Drive. An existing dog park on Block A will be relocated to Block G and made available to the public before the current dog park is closed.
The applicant has offered to build an off-site 330-by-180-foot athletic field (equal to a youth-league soccer field) with artificial turf on the south side of Boone Boulevard. The field will include bleachers, lighting and at least 25 parking spaces.
The Mile will feature four new roads plus frontage improvements along Westbranch, Westpark and Jones Branch drives and new traffic signals at the Jones Branch/Westbranch and Westpark/Westbranch intersections.
The development has an unusually large amount of land for a Tysons project and will not be a transit-oriented proposal, said applicant’s attorney Elizabeth Baker.
Baker concentrated her remarks on the development’s open spaces, especially its signature park.
“This is going to be an event lawn, a civic gathering spot, a playground, a lawn-game place,” she said.
An adjacent 3-acre park will have pickleball courts, yoga lawns, gardens, rock-climbing and water-play areas.
“It’s a very activated space. It’s designed to be multicultural for adults and children alike,” Baker said.
The far west portion of the site will feature another active-recreation area with basketball courts and fitness areas. This park will connect with the adjacent Ken Lawrence Park.
Baker also played an animated video offering a stroll through the development’s parks, which featured outlines of people and dogs traversing the area.
The project “will really be a lasting achievement in Tysons,” predicted Supervisor Linda Smyth (D-Providence), who moved for the project’s approval.