Capital One has entered the skyline of Tysons, at least if you are riding the Silver Line or driving around the Beltway. The massive undertaking at Colshire Drive will eventually be the tallest non-monument building in the Washington, D.C. area — at 470 feet in height. Today, it is barely past 100 feet and just finishing up its fourth story.
The Capital One headquarters is part of the Fortune 500 financial giant’s plans to expand employment and operations in Tysons and Northern Virginia overall. When complete, the building will pair with the existing 226 foot Capital One headquarters next door to provide a business campus for the exponentially growing company. Considering the current headquarters was built in 2002, and the financial corporation has already outgrown it, exponential might be putting it lightly.
Unlike other areas in the Northern Virginia commercial real estate market, Tysons is booming, specifically in areas of metro accessible walksheds. What is happening, albeit not on an instantaneously measurable scale, is price filtering. Older, less accessible properties are having to drop prices in order to adjust for the new paradigm of Class A commercial construction directly adjacent to metro. That is healthy; it means that the mega-corporations like Capital One who can build or lease prime space will do so, leaving prior spaces available for smaller businesses to grow. This can be seen already in the growing small business tech boom happening along Greensboro Boulevard, directly adjacent to the SAIC and Booz Allen headquarters. This will also be seen soon — I predict — at the Tegna (former Gannett) property on Jones Branch Drive.
Beyond the effect that the massive Capital One building will have on the ability for small businesses to find affordable homes, the building itself signals the true birth of Tysons 2.0, a mixed use campus at a TOD location which will house thousands of residents, a community grocery in Wegmans, and a flagship true skyscraper that will put Tysons on the map.