Tysons Corner redevelopment – and how it will affect Prince William

According to the Washington Business Journal, it will cost $15 billion to redevelop Tysons Corner.  That includes increasing housing from 17,000 to 100,000 people, adding a $5.2 billion Metrorail Silver Line, and a few other “minor” details.

If you think extending Route 234 to create a new commuter road west of Dulles Airport will somehow attract office jobs to Gainesville… you are ignoring reality.  Companies that expand/build along the Silver Line will be connected directly to both DC/Dulles by Metrorail, as well by major highways.

If you think Prince William can pry state/Federal dollars away from the never-ending redevelopment of Tysons Corner in Fairfax, and get other taxpayers to fund a Metro extension to a shopping center near Woodbridge as a national priority… you’re delusional.  We don’t even have a business community that would endorse a tax district to finance the local share of any Metro extension to Prince William.

Prince William will never be closer to Dulles, Tysons, or DC than other jurisdictions competing for government contractors to build satellite office buildings.  Loudoun and Fairfax will always be closer.

How will Prince William compete?  Will we simply tell companies “Land in Prince William costs less – move to a cheap county”?

Our positive advantages include a highly-trained workforce that wants to work in Prince William rather than commute, plus an environment that still offers more “nature” and less “suburb,” plus the expanding job center of Quantico Marine Corps Base (QMCB).

So lets:
– conserve our remaining fields/forests/streams
– make current public land (Lake Manassas, Dove’s Landing, Featherstone National Wildlife Refuge on the Potomac River) accessible for recreation (replace the “Public Land – Keep Out” signs with “Welcome!”)
– invest in new transit services, road/interchange improvements, and pedestrian walkways that facilitate travel between Prince William residences and Prince William job centers, especially around QMCB
– plan to spur growth in Potomac Communities along Route 1, near the beautiful Potomac River, Prince William Forest Park, and QMCB

We need to focus our growth.  Money is tight, and transportation funds to upgrade existing roads/transit is even tighter.  If we scatter development, we spread demand for new public services.  If we create no incentives for housing/jobs near any one “center,” then Fairfax/Loudoun will get most growth – and Stafford will recruit the contractors serving QMCB.

It is counter-productive and flat wrong to scatter development across the county, expand VRE to Haymarket, create a commuter ferry to take workers to jobs outside the county, or extend Route 234 through the Rural Area so Loudoun commuters can get to I-66 (and shop at the Peterson’s develoment in Gainsville).

If you want new office jobs in Prince William, focus on Potomac Communities and QMCB.

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1 comment so far

  1. Andy on

    Prince William will never be in the center of the metro area. While its unfortuante for PW, people are not going to stop doing what needs to be done, and thats expanding public transport. Even if PW put lots of bland suburban office parks all over the county, people would still have to DRIVE. PW county suffers from traffic just as badly, if not worse than most jusisdictions in NOVA. Adding job markets where the only option to get there is to DRIVE is a mistake and an obselete unsustainable concept. It will just add to traffic and sprawl. Realistically, unfortunately for Prince William County, the answer to the regions traffic and sprawl nightmare is to densify in the urban center and also near public transport. Thats the raw fact, even if it doesnt benefit specific people.


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