Tysons rose to prominence in the metro-D.C. area as a major retail destination. It continues to be a place that attracts shoppers from across the region and the U.S. However, the nature of retail as a Tysons asset has changed thanks to larger societal shifts and the evolution of Tysons into a dynamic urban enclave.
Online shopping has created convenience. Yet people still crave retail experiences that inspire, excite, and connect with them. For retail centers, this means that success is not just about offering the greatest variety of goods. It’s also about layering a greater variety of experiences among the goods. This means integrating retail into a more activated mix of uses and urban amenities. It’s a trend that aligns perfectly with the long-term vision for Tysons.
One of the most successful examples of this new take on retail development is the expansion of Tysons Corner Center. After opening in 1968, subsequent renovations and expansions doubled the size of the shopping center to 2.4 million square feet. In 2014, the property’s developer and owner, Macerich, added a 1.5-acre plaza that sits 32 feet above street level and connects directly to a new 330-room Hyatt hotel, 430-unit residential complex, 22-story office tower, and the Tysons Corner Metro station.
Complete with public art, landscaped seating areas, and a children’s play area, this new public space has become the go-to spot in Tysons for Friday night concerts, Monday morning play groups, and happy hours or meals any time at one of the shopping center’s new restaurants.
An emphasis on experience and mix of uses also characterizes developments such as the Boro and Scott’s Run, among others, that are integrating retail into large, dynamic lifestyle centers that function as self-contained mini-neighborhoods as well as destinations unto themselves. And even as Tysons evolves its retail base, it continues to see significant retail growth. Between 2010 and 2020, retail inventory grew by 5.5% and rents grew 80%, while vacancy rates remained low. Such is the enduring strength of Tysons as a locale geared for retail success.