Regions Northern Virginia

Report says Silver Line metro extension will spark population increase.

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The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s Dulles Metrorail extension (Silver Line) will cause a dramatic population increase and create a 24/7 live-work-play environment in Tysons over the coming decades, according to a research report published Monday by real estate services firm, Cushman & Wakefield.

The report explores the extension in Fairfax County and its effect on demographics, development and the overall real estate market.

“The trend towards 24/7 live-work-play environments is playing out in office markets globally, and the Silver Line will stimulate it in our region,” Paula Munger, C&W’s research managing director in the mid-Atlantic and Southeast, said in a statement.

Phase 1 of the Silver Line includes a $3.2 billion project and an 11.7-mile extension from East Falls Church to Wiehle Avenue in Reston.

The four stations into Fairfax County through Tysons and one in Reston during Phase I mark the first new Metro stations in Northern Virginia since the Blue Line was expanded to Van Dorn Street and Franconia-Springfield in 1997 and 1991, respectively.

Phase 2 will extend the railway 11.4 miles northwest from Wiehle Avenue to Washington Dulles International Airport out to Route 772.

“The opening of the Silver Line Metro extension will be a major step in the vision of the continued transformation of Tysons from a suburb to a more urban and transit-oriented environment,” said Moe Hamilton, executive director of C&W’s Investor Services and long-time broker in the region. “This, in conjunction with the recent opening of the HOT Lanes, will help greatly to enhance the accessibility of the Tysons area.”

The population of Fairfax County has some of the highest educational attainment in the country, with nearly 60 percent of those 25 years or older having a college degree or higher. The report says that enhanced public transportation to the suburbs will allow them to work in employment hubs like Tysons Corner, but still live in downtown Washington, D.C., or Arlington.

Despite an overall slowdown in investment sales for Northern Virginia, the Silver Line expansion has drawn investor notice. Since 2010, $1.2 billion in investor office transactions have been executed within the vicinity of Phase I.

If the Orange Line extension in the Rosslyn-Ballston (RB) corridor is an example, the Metro followed the path of Wilson Boulevard and Fairfax Drive in Arlington and revived the aging commercial center. While the Tysons Corner area is at a different starting point with a large concentration of office and retail space, the report says the RB Corridor’s experience provides a glimpse into what might be expected in Tysons in years to come.

Rental rates near RB corridor Metro stations command a premium. Rental rates for office buildings beyond a quarter mile from a Metro stop experience as much as a 30 percent discount.


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