Tysons Corner, Virginia

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Tysons Corner, Virginia
Tysons Corner skyline
Location of Tysons Corner in Fairfax County, Virginia
Boundaries of the Tysons Corner CDP as of 2003
Coordinates: 38°55′7″N 77°13′47″W / 38.91861°N 77.22972°W / 38.91861; -77.22972Coordinates: 38°55′7″N 77°13′47″W / 38.91861°N 77.22972°W / 38.91861; -77.22972
CountryUnited States
 • Total4.27 sq mi (11.1 km2)
 • Land4.26 sq mi (11.0 km2)
 • Water0.01 sq mi (0.026 km2)
Elevation486 ft (148 m)
Population (2010)[1]
 • Total19,627
 • Estimate (2012)21,799
 • Density4,600/sq mi (1,800/km2)
Time zoneEastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST)EDT (UTC-4)
FIPS code51-79952[2]
GNIS feature ID1496341[3]
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Tysons Corner, Virginia
Tysons Corner skyline
Location of Tysons Corner in Fairfax County, Virginia
Boundaries of the Tysons Corner CDP as of 2003
Coordinates: 38°55′7″N 77°13′47″W / 38.91861°N 77.22972°W / 38.91861; -77.22972Coordinates: 38°55′7″N 77°13′47″W / 38.91861°N 77.22972°W / 38.91861; -77.22972
CountryUnited States
 • Total4.27 sq mi (11.1 km2)
 • Land4.26 sq mi (11.0 km2)
 • Water0.01 sq mi (0.026 km2)
Elevation486 ft (148 m)
Population (2010)[1]
 • Total19,627
 • Estimate (2012)21,799
 • Density4,600/sq mi (1,800/km2)
Time zoneEastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST)EDT (UTC-4)
FIPS code51-79952[2]
GNIS feature ID1496341[3]

Tysons Corner, also known simply as Tysons, is an unincorporated census-designated place (CDP) in Fairfax County, Virginia, United States. Part of the Washington Metropolitan Area located in Northern Virginia, Tysons Corner lies between the community of McLean and the town of Vienna along the Capital Beltway (I-495). Companies in the area typically use McLean or Vienna addresses; however, in April 2011, the United States Postal Service approved the use of Tysons Corner as a postal address for the 22102 and 22182 ZIP codes of McLean and Vienna, respectively.[4] The population was 19,627 as of the 2010 census.[1] It is the 12th largest employment center in the United States.[5]

The area is home to Tysons Corner Center – the largest shopping mall in the state and in the Baltimore-Washington area – and two upscale shopping centers, Tysons Galleria and Fairfax Square, which neighbor it to the north and south. Every weekday, Tysons Corner draws 55,000 shoppers from around the region.[6]

Tysons Corner has 46 million square feet (4.3 million m²) of office and retail space, making it an important business district in its own right and the classic example of an edge city.[7]

Tysons Corner was one of the inspirations for, and figures prominently in, Joel Garreau's pioneering study of the edge city phenomenon.[8] Among the reasons for calling Tysons Corner an edge city is that, in contrast to typical "bedroom" suburbs, people commute into it in the morning and away from it at night, with a daytime population greater than 100,000 and a nighttime population of fewer than 20,000.[9] That has created a lot of traffic congestion, which local urban planners hope to mitigate by enticing more people to live there, and thus not have to get in their automobiles to get to work if they also can work there. The planned extension of the Washington Metro via the new Silver Line into Tysons Corner will ease access for residents as well. Planners envision up to 200,000 jobs and 100,000 residents in coming decades.[7]


Known originally as Peach Grove, the area received the designation Tysons Crossroads after the Civil War. William Tyson from Cecil County, Maryland, purchased a tract of land from A. Lawrence Foster. Tyson, a Maryland native, served as postmaster of the now discontinued Peach Grove Post Office 1854-1866. The Peach Grove Post office was established Tuesday, April 22, 1851.[10]

As recently as the 1950s, Tysons Corner was a quiet rural intersection flanked by a few small stores. Big changes came in 1963 when the Tysons area moved from a country crossroads to a giant commercial urban area with the awarding of contracts at the interchange of Route 7 and Route 123.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in 1962 approved the Tysons Corner Shopping Center (now Tysons Corner Center), which was planned to be 88.13 acres (356,600 m2) within a 150 acres (0.61 km2) triangle bordered by Chain Bridge Road, Leesburg Pike, and the Capital Beltway. Developers proclaimed it as the largest enclosed mall in the world when it opened July 25, 1968.[11]

In recent years, the influx of technology companies into Northern Virginia has brought many new office buildings and hotels to the landscape. The rapid growth of Tysons Corner (in comparison to other locations near the Capital Beltway) has been the topic of numerous studies.[12] One factor was the aggressive promotion of Tysons Corner by Earle Williams, for many years the CEO of the defense contracting firm Braddock Dunn & McDonald.[12] Tysons Corner serves as a "downtown" of Fairfax County, with one quarter of all office space and one eighth of all retail in the county. It is an auto-oriented edge city with severe traffic congestion, and it faces competition from the urban areas of Arlington and newer suburban edge cities such as Dulles.

In 2008, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to begin a 40-year plan to urbanize Tysons Corner around the coming four stops of Washington Metro's Silver Line in the vein of neighboring Arlington County's Rosslyn-Ballston corridor.[7] A preliminary estimate from the Fairfax County Department of Transportation suggested that $7.83 billion in transportation infrastructure projects will be necessary to transform Tysons Corner into a high-density urban center from 2010 to 2050, most of which will be allocated to both construction phases of the Silver Line. Existing plans call for construction of a grid layout for streets around the rail stations, projected to cost $742 million. An additional $1 billion will be spent on further transit and street grid projects from 2030 to 2050.[13]

In November 2012, the county approved Arbor Row, a 2,500,000 ft (762,000 m) mixed-used development containing office and residential highrises, ground-floor retail, and underground parking near the pending Tysons Corner Station.[14] In April 2013, the county approved Scotts Run South, a 6,700,000 ft (2,042,160 m) development containing 17 buildings, including six office and residential buildings, one hotel, and ground-floor retail near the pending McLean Station. This development alone will be larger than Reston Town Center.[15][16]

Ahead of the Washington Metro Silver Line opening in late 2013, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and the Tysons Partnership, a nonprofit association that represents the area's stakeholders, began rebranding the area as simply "Tysons", dropping "Corner" from the name. The change started as a matter of convenience, but then later took hold to market the change in the area's character, according to members of the board. The change is unofficial, and either "Tysons" or "Tysons Corner" can be used in addresses.[17]


The current Tysons Corner skyline at night

Tysons Corner is located at 38°55′7″N 77°13′47″W / 38.91861°N 77.22972°W / 38.91861; -77.22972 (38.918485, -77.229833) at an elevation of 486 feet (148 m).[3][18] Located in Northern Virginia at the intersection of Virginia State Route 123 and State Route 7, Tysons Corner is 11 miles (18 km) west of downtown Washington, D.C. and 6 miles (9.7 km) northeast of Fairfax, the county seat.[19]

The community lies in the Piedmont upland approximately 3.7 miles (6.0 km) south-southwest of the Potomac River.[20][21] The highest natural point in Fairfax County, at 520 feet (160 m) above sea level, is located in Tysons Corner.[22] Wolftrap Creek, a tributary of nearby Difficult Run, forms the northwestern border of the community. Two of the creek's tributaries, Moomac Creek and the Old Courthouse Spring Branch, flow north through northwest Tysons Corner. Scott Run, a tributary of the Potomac, flows north through eastern Tysons Corner.[21]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the community has a total area of 4.27 square miles (11.1 km2) of which 4.26 square miles (11.0 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.026 km2) is water.[23]

As a suburb of Washington, D.C., Tysons Corner is a part of both the Washington Metropolitan Area and the larger Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area. It is bordered on all sides by other Washington suburbs, including: McLean to the north, Pimmit Hills to the east, Idylwood to the southeast, Dunn Loring to the south, Vienna to the southwest, and Wolf Trap to the west.[23]


Historical populations
Est. 201221,79911.1%
* U.S. Decennial Census

As of the 2010 census, there were 19,627 people, 9,481 households, and 4,754 families residing in the community. The population density was 4,607.3 people per square mile (1,784.3/km²). There were 10,637 housing units at an average density of 2,496.9/sq mi (967.0/km²). The racial makeup of the community was 60.9% White, 27.5% Asian, 4.9% African American, 0.2% American Indian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.9% from other races, and 4.5% from two or more races. Hispanics and Latinos of any race were 8.1% of the population.[1]

There were 9,481 households out of which 23.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.8% were married couples living together, 2.9% had a male householder with no wife present, 7.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 49.9% were non-families. 40.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 18.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.07, and the average family size was 2.87.[1]

The age distribution of the community was 18.4% under the age of 18, 6.6% from 18 to 24, 40.4% from 25 to 44, 23.5% from 45 to 64, and 11.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35.8 years. The gender makeup of the community was 47.7% male and 52.3% female.[1]

The median income for a household in the community was $94,083, and the median income for a family was $131,717. Males had a median income of $85,645 versus $66,019 for females. The community's per capita income was $64,294. About 2.8% of families and 4.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.3% of those under age 18 and 14.3% of those age 65 or over.[1]


USA Today and Gannett headquarters in Tysons Corner

Tysons Corner is Fairfax County's central business district with the largest concentration of office space in Northern Virginia. In 2007, the community had 25,599,065 square feet (2,378,231.0 m2) of office space, 1,072,874 square feet (99,673.3 m2) of industrial/flex space, 4,054,096 square feet (376,637.8 m2) of retail space, and 2,551,579 square feet (237,049.4 m2) of hotel space for a total of 33,278,014 square feet (3,091,628.7 m2) of commercial space.[24]

The corporate headquarters of Booz Allen Hamilton, MITRE Corporation, Capital One, Freddie Mac, Gannett Company, Hilton Worldwide, ITT Exelis, MicroStrategy, Primus Telecom, SAIC, Space Adventures, Spacenet, Sunrise Senior Living, and USA Today are located in Tysons Corner, though most use a McLean or Vienna address.[25][26][27] The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority is also headquartered in the CDP.[24] In 1995, AOL was headquartered in the Tysons Corner CDP,[25][28] near the town of Vienna.[29] Qatar Airways operated its North American headquarters office in Tysons Corner,[25][30] although it later moved to Washington, D.C.[31] Other firms with offices in Tysons Corner include BAE Systems,[32] Compuware,[33] Palantir Technologies, Ernst & Young,[34] Northrop Grumman,[35] PricewaterhouseCoopers.[36] Xerox,[37] and Vie de France.[38]

The Tysons II development area, home to Tysons Galleria

The CDP includes a technology industry base and network infrastructure. In 2007, roughly 1,200 technology companies were operating in Tysons Corner. 31.6% of the jobs in the Tysons Corner submarket and 20.2% of the companies in the submarket were in the technology sector.[24]

As of 2012, 75.6% of the population over the age of 16 was in the labor force. 0.6% was in the armed forces, and 75.0% was in the civilian labor force with 70.4% employed and 4.5% unemployed. The occupational composition of the employed civilian labor force was: 66.4% in management, business, science, and arts; 20.3% in sales and office occupations; 10.5% in service occupations; 2.1% in natural resources, construction, and maintenance; 0.7% in production, transportation, and material moving. The three industries employing the largest percentages of the working civilian labor force were: professional, scientific, and management, and administrative and waste management services (28.8%); educational services, health care, and social assistance (13.3%); and public administration (12.8%).[1]

The cost of living in Tysons Corner is very high; compared to a U.S. average of 100, the cost of living index for the community is 140.4.[39] As of 2012, the median home value in the community was $464,000, the median selected monthly owner cost was $2,649 for housing units with a mortgage and $906 for those without, and the median gross rent was $1,734.[1]


As it is unincorporated, Tysons Corner has no municipal government. The Fairfax County Government provides local government services directly.[40] For the purposes of representation on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Tysons is located in the Board's Hunter Mill and Providence Districts.[41]

Tysons Corner lies within Virginia's 8th and 11th U.S. Congressional Districts. For the purposes of representation in the Virginia General Assembly, the community is located in the 32nd district of the Virginia Senate and the 34th and 35th districts of the Virginia House of Delegates.[42]


Primary and secondary education[edit]

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) provides public primary and secondary education to county residents. Four FCPS schools are located in Tysons Corner: Freedom Hill Elementary School, Joyce Kilmer Middle School, Westbriar Elementary School, and Westgate Elementary School.[43][44] Resident high school students attend nearby George C. Marshall High School, James Madison High School, or McLean High School.[43][45]


Fairfax County Public Library operates the Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library in nearby Pimmit Hills.[46][47]



Interstate 495, the Capital Beltway, runs generally north-south through eastern Tysons Corner. Virginia State Route 267, the east-west Dulles Toll Road, runs along the community's northern border. The I-495/Route 267 interchange is located in the northeastern part of the community. Virginia State Route 7 runs southeast-northwest through Tysons Corner, intersecting Virginia State Route 123, which runs northeast-southwest, in the community's center.[44]

Beginning in 2014, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) will offer rapid transit rail service in Tysons Corner via its Silver Line.[48][49] WMATA will operate four stations on the line in Tysons; from east to west, these are: McLean, Tysons Corner, Greensboro, and Spring Hill. The Silver Line will connect Tysons by rail with Reston to the west and Arlington and Washington, D.C. to the east. Further extension of the line west to Washington Dulles International Airport is projected for completion in 2018.[48]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "American FactFinder 2". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-07-23. 
  2. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ a b "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ http://www.washingtonpost.com/tysons-corner-gets-its-own-postal-address/2010/07/28/AFH9gSJC_story.html Washington Post: Tysons Corner gets its own postal address. Retrieved on April 19, 2011
  5. ^ A Shopping Nexus Outside Washington Plots a Future as an Urban Center
  6. ^ Virginia Business Online: Virginia’s 800-pound gorilla
  7. ^ a b c Tysons plan looks at success, pitfalls of Rosslyn, Ballston
  8. ^ Joel Garreau, Edge City: Life on the New Frontier, (New York: Random House 1992)
  9. ^ Estimated Daytime Population and Employment-Residence Ratios 2000
  10. ^ Timeline of Fairfax County History
  11. ^ Historians Tackled History of Tysons Corner Great Falls Historical Society
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  13. ^ Tysons will need $15 billion -- 'with a B' The Washington Post
  14. ^ Arbor Row
  15. ^ Fairfax County board approves Scotts Run development in Tysons
  16. ^ Scotts Run Station
  17. ^ Reilly, Corinne; Victor Zapana (October 4 2012). "Tysons Corner is unofficially dropping the ‘corner’ from its name". The Washington Post. 
  18. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  19. ^ "Virginia Official State Transportation Map - Cities in Detail". Virginia Department of Transportation. Retrieved 2011-07-23. 
  20. ^ "Piedmont province". The Geology of Virginia. The College of William & Mary Department of Geology. Retrieved 2011-07-23. 
  21. ^ a b "Fairfax County Transportation Plan". Fairfax County Department of Transportation. Oct. 2006. Retrieved 2011-07-23. 
  22. ^ "Water Quality Factors". Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan, 2011 edition. County of Fairfax, Virginia. p. 23. Retrieved 2011-07-23. 
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  38. ^ "Contact Vie de France." Vie de France. Retrieved on May 12, 2009.
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  40. ^ "Our Government". County of Fairfax, Virginia. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
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  42. ^ "Redistricting Plans - Map". Redistricting 2010. Commonwealth of Virginia Division of Legislative Services. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
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  49. ^ Gibson, Kendis (2013-12-03). "Metro Silver line opening pushed back again, likely to March". Associated Press. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 

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