Courtesy of Clark Construction
As the opening of Phase 2 of the Silver Line approaches, commuters, business owners, developers and politicians continue to press for a timeline regarding passenger service.
As Fairfax County supervisors Walter Alcorn (Hunter Mill) and John Foust (Dranesville) have recently learned, just about everybody who lives or works along the Dulles Corridor or in the Tysons area is anxious to know when they, their workers or their patrons can ride the extension that will connect Dulles International Airport to the entire region and drive economic growth.
Rail project officials from the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, managers of the project, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), which will operator the expansion, and contractors Capital Rail Constructors and Hensel Phelps, are working to complete the remaining punch-list items, tests and documentation needed before WMATA accepts Phase 2 and begins pre-revenue activities required prior to passenger service.
Business owners are anxious for new clients and shoppers, while developers , many of whom who have new residential and commercial structures ready for new tenants, are pushing counties for changes to pending plans.
Jack Potter, CEO of the Airports Authority, says he understands that the public wants the system to be open as soon as possible.
The project fits well with the Airports Authority’s mission of providing world-class transportation services and facilities, while fostering economic growth in the National Capital Region.
“The completion of this extraordinary transportation infrastructure – stretching from Washington DC through one of the most vibrant regions in the country – is a testament to our federal, state and local leadership,” said Antonio Calabrese, a land use attorney with DLA Piper. Calabrese has represented many of the Silver Line’s most successful projects including Capital One, MITRE and The View in Tysons as well as the proposed Rivana at Innovation Station, which is near one of three sites identified as a possible new home for the Washington Commanders stadium.
Phase 1 of the Silver Line has helped make the Dulles Corridor one of the fastest-growing business areas in Virginia and in the nation. Significant construction and other development that has resulted in new jobs and economic growth around Phase 1 since it opened in 2014,
All one needs to do is to take a look at the transformations that have already occurred near the four Phase 1 stations in Tysons – the massive Capital One project along Route 123 and Scotts Run near McLean Station, and The Boro along Route 7 near Greensboro Station are creating neighborhoods around stations just as early rail proponents had envisioned.
Take a look at Wiehle-Reston East Station, the terminus of Phase 1, where Comstock has created mixed-use development including a hotel, landmark buildings and powerful businesses including Google.
Such changes now can be seen along the path of Phase 2. All along the Phase 2 alignment, construction vehicles can be seen making way for new development near all of the stations. New buildings are up and residential properties have been purchased or leased.
And, chambers of commerce in the Reston, Herndon, Dulles and Ashburn areas are helping existing businesses prepare for the changes yet to come.
At Reston Town Center, Clark Construction has completed stunning high rises on the border of Reston Town Center.
In Ashburn, Comstock will be a major player with its Loudoun Station mixed-use development to the north of Ashburn Station. To the south of that station, pieces of the mixed-use Moorefield development have been steadily coming together in anticipation of Silver Line service.
The Reston skyline has transformed during the past several years, with significant new development popping up and being approved north and south of Reston Town Center Station. In Herndon, the town is planning for big changes near the north side of Herndon Station, while Fairfax has added parking to Herndon-Monroe Park and Ride, which now includes a pavilion to enter the Silver Line.
Between Herndon and Innovation Center stations, Arrowbrook Centre is springing up along the south of the Dulles Toll Road, while farther to the west, Rocks Engineering is completing the Landing at Innovation Center South where it also has built a garage for the Metro station there. To the north of the Toll Road at Innovation is the mixed-use Rivana project by Novais Partners. To the north of Rivana is one of three rumored Virginia locations being touted by the General Assembly for a possible new Washington Commanders Stadium.
Pictured at top: Capital One Hall Interior Tysons. Photos courtesy of Capital One