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Capital One Tower Updates

It’s been a couple of months since we have talked about Capital One’s future headquarters building, the soon to be tallest occupied building in the Washington metro region. As the building continues to climb, now forming its final mechanical and top floors artifice, it is becoming more apparent that while the building height is a big deal, it could have easily been another 20 stories without sticking out.

At 470′ it is going to be nearly double the height of the old Capital One headquarters, but being next to 495, and setback far from residential buildings, the tower doesn’t seem like the tallest in the region. It seems a bit comical that so many non-Tysons (many from McLean) residents were against the height of the building, given the lack of impacts this tower will make — other than adding thousands of jobs to the region.

If there is any group that has rights to complain, it is the Gates of McLean, which have had to deal with dust, day time noise, and torn up pavement as the project progresses. Of course, once complete, the presence of the growing Fortune 500 company, a soon to begin construction Wegmans, and the overall continued development of the area around McLean Station is going to be an amenity and value boost to many of the properties.

The tower facade looks to be nearing completion, maybe another month or two left before the tower exterior is finished. Then the behind the scenes development of the interior will take over. Look for completion of the tower and occupancy at some point around New Years. No word yet on how and when Capital One plans on consolidating some of its recently expanded footprint in Tysons, but moving its thousands of employees into this building, directly adjacent to metro, will likely help take hundreds of vehicles off the road that would otherwise be driving down Route 7 or Route 123.

  • I so dislike the NIMBYs. I live in McLean about 1.5 miles from the new tower, can just make out the crane lights from my bedroom, can get a clear view of the building from the corner of my street, and absolutely love seeing this. Once Capital One and some of the other developments, such as Scotts Run which is less than a mile from my home, are further along it will be nice to have some modern neighborhoods within walking distance.

    The NIMBYs killed off Main Street McLean, which was going to be a nice little mixed use development replacing a bunch of run down strip malls in the center of McLean (where Chain Bridge and Old Dominion cross). With their intent to keep McLean stuck in the 1950s I’m going to keep looking to Tysons for new shopping and recreational activities.

    Fortunately, the work on the Johnson 1 parcel at Scotts Run is proceeding. The dump trucks are lined up on top of the hill again today and there is a cut at the edge of the work area which may be the start of South Dartford Drive coming off of Dolley Madison. South Dartford is already showing up on the county property map, so I’d say it is coming as part of this first phase of work.

  • Adrian

    How will capital one consolidating into the headquarters affect the vacancy rate for the rest of the offices in tysons considering how much space they currently lease?

    • Big Drop

      Western Fairfax county is partially dependent on intelligence agencies, the State department and the Defense industry. Not a political comment but a sincere question: has a lot of this come to a halt with the Trump administration? I also wonder if any of the companies who may have benefitted from the Saudi Arabian purchases are in western Fairfax?

  • Kent Holland

    Ditto to the comments of StuffOfInterest about the McLean NIMBYs. I’ve lived in McLean, or had houses in McLean, for most of the last 30 years, and get so frustrated by the fact that a few loud mouths seem to prevent McLean from moving into the 20th century let along the 21st century. It is time for the majority to speak up for greater development and taller buildings, that can create enough critical mass in McLean so that we can have nice shops and restaurants and places to walk. My wife and I took a nice walk from our house through almost all the streets of “downtown” McLean, if one can call it a town, and thought it would be nice to sit at an outdoor cafe and have a drink. Sadly, there is no such place in all of McLean, other than sitting on busy streets with cars passing a few feet in front of you. We finally decided to sit on the front deck of our club — the McLean Racquet Club, and decided that is the best place in all of McLean. Sad situation for McLean. I bet the old biddies who oppose all construction in McLean probably opposed the construction of the club when it was built back in the 70s. We need to get some young blood on the McLean Citizens Association to begin pushing for acceptance of great new projects.

    • Ian

      I’m a fellow McLean resident (albeit one who moved here within the last 8 years, and one who’s really more Tyson’s oriented than McLean proper — I live across the street from this new Capital One complex), I’m 100% in agreement with your and StuffofInterest’s comments on “downtown” Mclean. I come from a small affluent city back West and never cease to wonder what McLean leadership is doing. It could/should have a very charming and walkable downtown area. It’s perfectly situated for it, and clearly has the needed $$ consumer base to support it. Perplexing.

      As a minor but relevant aside, the only true outdoor place I’ve found in McLean is Greenberry’s coffee, which has a pleasant patio area that isn’t on a main street. If you haven’t been, it’s worth checking out. (I should note I have no connection whatever to that store; I just was pleased to find it after going on the same search for somewhere to sit outside.)

  • Ian

    I live in the Gates of McLean, so I’ve been closely following this construction. It’s shaping up nicely I think, but I can’t help but feel like you do that this simply doesn’t look like the tallest structure in the area. The Adaire, for example, has a more prominent and impressive appearance of height. I don’t know if that’s because Capital One is kinda situated in a little dell or if it’s because the Adaire garage isn’t measured as part of its height (and so is technically reaching higher?). In either case, I’ve spent most of this construction hoping Capital One will keep rising so it takes on a noticeable and true “skyscraper”-like feel. It never really got there. A nice looking building nonetheless though.

  • Freeway

    It really isn’t tall at all. I thought it would be taller than this. It should have been 700 feet.

    • Big Drop

      With the steel columns of the last two days, finally-after over a year-we can see projected final height. The top vertical steel column (of which there are three thus far up) reaches approximately 70 feet above the 31 story roof (that’s 26 office floors+5 lower floors/garage/etc.). These 70′ columns will surround the structure on the roof and, my expectation, be illuminated at night.

      For myself the last 70′-as shown in the columns of the last two days-are truly impressive. Yes, it now seems tall, yes, it now seems massive. Wait until the 70′ steel columns encircle everything on the roof and, at some point, when it will be illuminated at nighttime.

      That will be the new image of both Capitol One and Tysons, VA.

      • Freeway

        Well I used to have a Chevy Chase Bank account until Capitol One bought them out. They completely ruined the high customer service the former once offered. For that I will always have negative feelings towards Capitol One. Having said that, and to set any bias aside, I think their new tower looks like something from 1995 and frankly didn’t turn out to look as grand as they imagined. I’ll just wait for the next taller tower rises in Tysons.

        • Big Drop

          I once had a tiny savings account at the Chevy Chase Savings and Loan at Chevy Chase Lake. I was driving a cab through college (1960’s) and was proud of the few dollars I had in it. Many, many years later I had several CD’s through Capital One and felt a similar pride to helping support a company that was playing a major role in building up the area near where I lived.

          Now, the tower and the expectant light show. For the $250 I once invested in Chevy Chase Savings and Loan I will have a couple of bricks near the new roof.




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