Tysons alliance replaces biz partnership
It’s been a decade since Tysons unofficially dropped “corner” from its name amid plans by Fairfax County to transform the area into an urban live-work-play mecca anchored by four Metro Silver Line stations.
As Tysons marches toward the county’s goal — laid out in its 2010 comprehensive plan — to grow to 100,000 residents and 200,000 workers by 2050, a new nonprofit community improvement district is taking the place of the business-oriented nonprofit booster group that helped spur the region’s earlier growth.
Announced in October, the Tysons Community Alliance has replaced the Tysons Partnership. The shift is part of a yearlong review to develop an organization more reflective of the community and its needs as it grows, says Fairfax County Supervisor Dalia Palchik, whose district includes Tysons. While the partnership’s board structure was largely business-oriented, the alliance’s board includes representation from Fairfax residents, the county and community organizations.
“It’s a forum for collaboration and working together to get to the future,” says Richard Bradley, the alliance’s acting CEO. “I think they’ve recognized that it’s time to bring everybody together.”
According to a 2021 economic report released by the partnership, Tysons’ residential population is about 28,000; a number that grew 39% between 2010 and 2018. Total households are projected to reach 36,000 to 57,000 by 2050.
Another reason for the shift was funding. The partnership was funded by member dues and had a budget of about $500,000, which limited its activities, says the alliance’s board chair, Josh White, who also chaired the partnership’s board. On Oct. 11,
Fairfax supervisors approved an initial $2.5 million budget for the alliance for the remainder of the fiscal year. White anticipates a $4 million budget for the alliance’s first full operating year.
As it gears up, the alliance will hire a permanent CEO to replace Bradley, who served as acting executive director for the partnership, in early 2023. It will also grow to 12 to 14 staffers — the partnership had five full-time staffers pre-pandemic — who will focus on initiatives including transportation, communication and placemaking. Chief among the alliance’s first priorities will be to develop a comprehensive strategic plan for Tysons, White says.
“There’s so many varying interests in Tysons, as there should be, [so] there’s a lot of different stakeholders,” he says. “How can we structure a strategic plan that helps us move forward, helps this organization and Tysons move forward?”