An early proponent of the potential for dramatic transformation that could occur in conjunction with the extension of Metrorail through Tysons Corner, KGP was the founder of Taming Tysons Collaborative, an independent group of architects, developers, and economists with the common goal of promoting discussion on how Tysons Corner might become a pedestrian-oriented community. With 35 million square feet of commercial space and 90,000 employees sprawled over 3 square miles, Tysons Corner is one of the nation’s largest suburban office complexes. The density of residential development, however, is very low (approximately 3 du/acre). The streets are too wide for pedestrians to be comfortable, auto drivers and parking lots dominate the landscape, and rush hour traffic is horrendous.
The Taming Tysons Collaborative endorsed a four-principle approach to capitalize on the introduction of Metro to Tysons Corner as a means to create a truly walkable mixed-use community. The four principles encompass: 1) running the transit through Tysons Corner by way of a tunnel to enhance a walking environment; 2) creating a framework of parks, plazas, streets, and cultural facilities; 3) overlaying a grid of streets; 4) increasing housing density, particularly around the new transit stations. The implementation of these principles results in a community with increased vehicular traffic distribution, pedestrian options, and the opportunity to access and develop marginally used and disconnected land; creating a very pedestrian-friendly, tightly interconnected, and lively 24-hour community with easy access to regional transit and all local needs without having to use a car. The KGP-designed master plan explores a framework for finding a workable solution to the existing congestion and traffic imbalance at Tysons Corner that generates added revenue through increased land values and land recapture sufficient to offset the costs of the upgraded infrastructure and community amenities.