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Supervisors OK redevelopment of former Lord & Taylor site at Tysons

Previous approvals have been consolidated into single plan
This artist's rendering shows a possible plaza layout for a redevelopment, approved by the Board of Supervisors on Sept. 26, 2023, of space at the site of the former Lord & Taylor store at Tysons Corner Center.

Fairfax County supervisors on Sept. 26 unanimously approved a request by Tysons Corner Holdings LLC and Tysons Corner Property Holdings LLC to modify development plans at Tysons Corner Center, which will include new uses for the site formerly occupied by the Lord & Taylor store.

The mall occupies 2.5 million square feet of gross floor area on 77.64 acres in central Tysons, plus nearly 1.4 million square feet of mixed-use space built during Phase 1 of the redevelopment.

The supervisors’ approval combines all previous approvals under one development plan, county staff said.

The developers could not get Lord & Taylor to go along with their 2007 redevelopment application, “so we’ve had a bit of a hole in our doughnut there,” said Brian Clifford, a senior land-use planner representing the applicants.

With the Lord & Taylor building’s purchase in 2020, the applicants “had the chance to fill that hole in the doughnut and really provide some exciting connective tissue between Phase 1 and approved Phase 2 and the Metro connection,” he said.

The applicant has two options for development Phase 2A. Option 1 would build a 664,000-square-foot office building with retail on the plaza level, which would mirror existing plaza space built in the first phase. Option 2 would offer similar retail on the plaza level, but instead feature a 774,000-square-foot mixed-use building with 365,000 square feet of office space and 373,000 square feet of residential space, with up to 292 dwelling units.

Both Phase 2A options will have approximately the same ground-floor layout, county staff said.

Development Phase 2B will feature a 306,600-square-foot office building and a 357,000-square-foot residential building with 320 units and 10,000 square feet of retail. An elevated plaza will connect the buildings and a 74,000-square-foot linear park to provide an uninterrupted pedestrian connection from International Drive to the Tysons Metro station. The linear park, which will replace part of an existing roadway, will have children’s areas and a dog park.

The developer did not propose changes to Phase 3. Regarding Phase 4, the general layout would remain the same.

Supervisors supported allotting Phase 4’s planned office space for Phase 2B, which will result in Phase 4’s development of two residential buildings and a retail structure.

Phase 5 will consist of one retail building along Route 7.

The overall size of the five phases’ worth of development would remain at just over 6 million square feet. In alignment with current county standards, the developer updated its proffers to align with current county policies, provide more affordable housing and build the non-residential buildings to at least LEED Silver standards.

Opened in 1968, Tysons Corner Center has been renovated and reinvented several times, with expansions in 1986, 2005 and 2015, Clifford said. The mall welcomed about 16 million visitors last year, which was more than the Smithsonian Institution did, he said. Tysons Corner Center also is the leading tax generator in Virginia, he added.

The applicants’ new plans concentrate development density near the Metro station and provide parking for electric vehicles, more bike spaces and at-grade streetscaping.

“I’m pretty excited about the outcome, especially Phase 2B, which brings a linear park,” said Supervisor Dalia Palchik (D-Providence), adding it would help the site become more of a pedestrian- and bike-friendly community.

“I think you’ve really hit it on the nail,” Palchick said. “Phase 2B can’t come soon enough, at least in my book.”

The application shows how the mall is adapting to multi-use development and the modern world, she said.

“I really think there’s a lot of excitement here,” Palchik said. “A lot of work has gone into this. We are seeing wonderful improvements and commitments.”