This past week the Tysons Partnership announced the selection of their next president, David Diaz. Mr. Diaz comes from a successful tenure as the CEO of the Downtown Raleigh Alliance (North Carolina). The position for the Tysons Partnership president became open after the retirement of long time Tysons spokesman, Michael Caplin, the first president of the Partnership.
What is the Tysons Partnership? It is a collaboration of Tysons stakeholders who have formed an organization with the purpose of transforming Tysons to the urban environment it should be. While the Partnership is not an official government organization, with the ability to make decisions regarding planning, it is a critical voice and partner of Fairfax County’s vision for Tysons, and is often involved in bringing events, new ideas, and plans to fruition.
The next era of Tysons will be guided by an experienced city planner in Diaz, who oversaw a renaissance in downtown Raleigh over the past decade. Of course, it will take time to shift from the historic/college centered city of Raleigh to the challenges facing the prototypical edge city that is Tysons. I am hopeful that a mix of traditional block-by-block urbanism, along side the continuously innovating Tysons mentality, will create some opportunities for experimenting, that are both noteworthy and novel to land development practices.
While Raleigh has a more established and well-regarded downtown, the level of construction activity and development in Tysons is a whole other monster altogether. The millions of square feet coming to town, and the acres of under utilized metro-accessible properties, are obstacles and advantages Diaz will face. I look forward to finding out more about his views of Tysons, where shortcomings remain in town, and his ideas on how to take the nascent city to the next level.