(Updated at 12:40 p.m.) The National Cherry Blossom Festival is coming to Tysons this year.
Tysons Corner Center will host a family bicycle ride on April 2 as part of D.C.’s annual celebration of its cherry trees at the Tidal Basin, the Tysons Community Alliance (TCA) announced during its official launch event yesterday (Wednesday) at Valo Park.
The alliance — a nonprofit organization replacing the now-defunct Tysons Partnership — has also acquired 20 cherry trees and is now scouting out possible locations around Tysons where they can be planted.
The bicycle ride will last from 8-10 a.m. starting in the Tysons Corner Center Plaza, where there will also be arts and crafts and other family-friendly activities, Karyn Le Blanc, TCA’s acting director of communications and marketing, told FFXnow. More details, including how to register for the ride, are expected in the coming weeks.
Though this year’s ride will stick to the mall’s footprint, future iterations could expand to other parts of Tysons as the area’s network of streets and trails gets built out.
“This will be an annual event, we hope,” Le Blanc said.
The bicycle ride is one of several events that the TCA hopes to bring to Tysons, along with a live music series at The Boro, movie nights and monthly happy hours that will bring “like-minded people together to collaborate on TCA initiatives,” according to the press release.
The alliance offered a preview of upcoming events at yesterday’s launch to highlight its goal of “establishing authentic community connections” in Tysons, a mission that it also hopes to further with a currently open survey on signage and wayfinding.
Initially funded by public investments, the TCA was created in October to promote and advocate for Tysons and help Fairfax County implement its vision for the area, picking up the work started by the Tysons Partnership.
The alliance will operate as a community improvement district (CID), which is like a business improvement district (BID) except it’s supported by both residential and commercial property owners. While BIDs have emerged in D.C. and Arlington County, the only precedent for a CID in the region is Mount Vernon Triangle, according to the TCA.
As part of its official launch, the TCA unveiled a new website at tysonsva.org with an event calendar, news, business resources, development updates and other Tysons-related information. It also shared its social media handles at Twitter and Instagram (@tysons_va), and Facebook and LinkedIn (@TysonsCommunityAlliance).
The TCA’s launch is a “milestone” for Tysons, said Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik, who represents Tysons, and Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn, who helped develop the Tysons Comprehensive Plan in 2010 as a member of the Fairfax County Planning Commission.
“The Tysons Community Alliance really has an opportunity to shape the brand of Tysons, not just for the people who live here, but for the rest of the country and even the world,” Alcorn said, noting that Tysons is about “one generation through a three-generation plan” to have 100,000 residents and 200,000 jobs by 2050.
With 30,124 residents and 107,000 workers, Tysons is making progress toward those goals, according to a presentation shared at the launch event. The presentation noted that, like Fairfax County, Tysons has a “majority-minority” population and the D.C. area’s largest workforce outside the nation’s capital.
TCA leaders acknowledged that much work remains to be done, particularly in terms of housing affordability, accessibility and pedestrian safety. However, the organization wants to stress an overall “spirit of optimism” for Tysons now and into the future, acting CEO Rich Bradley said.
“It’s incredible to witness the momentum at which we’ve already progressed,” Palchik said. “Everyone has been working so diligently to get the TCA to where it is now, and I am confident that we will accomplish a lot in this year alone and into the future.”
Fairfax County is seeking public feedback to reduce the chances of future residents and visitors confusing Tysons Corner Center with Tysons Galleria, among other potential mix-ups.
The county launched a Tysons Wayfinding and Signage Survey on Feb. 14 in partnership with the Tysons Community Alliance, which formed last fall as the next-stage evolution of the nonprofit Tysons Partnership.
“We are excited to be working with the County on this important initiative,” Tysons Community Alliance acting CEO Rich Bradley said. “Wayfinding is the first touch point for many people as they enter and move around a place. It should be welcoming and reflect the area”s sense of community and as such we want people to participate in the survey and provide their ideas.”
Focused on how to “improve the experience” of getting around Tysons, questions in the survey deal with modes of transportation used for traveling, ways people describe Tysons, and the usefulness of digital signage for sharing information.
The survey will be open until Monday, March 6 at 11:59 p.m.
Survey responses will play an important role in informing the development of a Tysons-wide wayfinding strategy. Be sure to submit your feedback before the survey closes on Monday, March 6 at 11:59 p.m.
— Dalia Palchik (@SupvPalchik) February 14, 2023
Officially created on Oct. 13, 2022, the Tysons Community Alliance serves as an advocacy organization for residents, businesses and other stakeholders in the area, overseeing the implementation of the county’s comprehensive plan.
The group has been tasked with developing branding for Tysons, supporting its economic growth, placemaking, and improving mobility. Its funding comes from the county budget and an economic opportunity grant, though it will likely be supported by a special tax in the long term.
In addition to conducting the wayfinding survey, the alliance is getting ready to launch an updated logo, website and social media accounts, all of which will be formally unveiled tomorrow (Wednesday), per a media alert.
“Bookmark this page to discover why the time is right to join the vanguard of stakeholders who are committed to the ongoing evolution of Tysons, a thriving 21st century destination for business, retail and families,” the page at tysonsva.org says. “Our new website is launching soon!”
(Updated at 4:10 p.m.) Tysons has its new anchor organization.
Tysons Partnership — the nonprofit charged with implementing Fairfax County’s vision for Tysons — will be phased out in favor of a newly created Tysons Community Alliance (TCA) that will advocate for local residents, businesses and nonprofits, the partnership announced today (Monday).
County government officials joined representatives from Tysons businesses, residential neighborhoods and nonprofits to officially create the new organization last week, voting on Thursday (Oct. 13) to elect its first board of directors and appoint Tysons Partnership acting Executive Director Richard Bradley as the acting CEO.
“The extensive coordination and commitment from the County together with the business and residential communities allowed everyone to focus on a vision and mission that would best serve Tysons as a whole. Tysons Community Alliance blends the best of public sector interests and the flexibility of the private sector working together,” said Tysons Partnership Board Chair Josh White, who will serve as the TCA’s first board chair.
As proposed to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors this past spring, the alliance will function as a community improvement district. Like the business improvement districts that support neighborhoods like Rosslyn in Arlington County, it will manage events and projects in Tysons, such as sidewalk improvements.
A historic morning as Josh White chairs the 1st meeting of the Tysons Community Alliance. After a year of prep work, we are launching a unique private, public, and civic organization—a catalyst for the future transformation of Tysons. @tysonspartners @JeffreyCMcKay pic.twitter.com/9juFvAezow
— Dalia Palchik (@SupvPalchik) October 13, 2022
The TCA has been in the works for almost two years now, as Tysons Partnership sought a new business model that would be more sustainable than the voluntary donations and county funding it had been relying on since its creation in 2011.
Supported by $1 million in Economic Opportunity Reserve funds from the county, a Tysons Vision Work Group of 31 public and private-sector representatives convened last year to develop a new organization “that would continue to support equitable growth and a thriving Tysons,” according to the partnership.
Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik says the group liked the idea of a community improvement district that would advance the interests of the overall community, not just businesses, a model that could be replicated elsewhere in the county if the TCA is successful.
“The Tysons Partnership served as the implementation entity in the first ten years of the new Tysons plan,” Palchik said in a statement to FFXnow. “As we look to the future of Tysons, it is important that the Tysons Community Alliance bring a new model of governance and investment to include community, businesses, county agencies, and nonprofits.”
Funded for its first eight months with $2.5 million from the county’s fiscal year 2022 carryover review, which was approved last Tuesday (Oct. 11), the TCA’s mission consists of four focus areas:
- Communications and branding to tell the Tysons’ story
- Research and business support to catalyze inclusive economic growth
- Placemaking/place management to activate the public realm through events and pop-up spaces
- Transportation and mobility to champion livability through walkability and connectivity
At its first meeting last week, the alliance approved its board of directors, officers and an executive committee. It also established bylaws and an administrative structure.
As acting CEO, Bradley has been charged with leading a search for the organization’s permanent leader. An official brand relaunch is expected in January.
“The future growth in Tysons will depend on a blending of residential and business uses and activation of public space,” Gates of McLean Condominium Unit Owners Association Board President Lisa Samuels, a TCA board member, said. “This is the wave of the future for urban centers, as more people look to live and work within their same community and participate in its success. As a local resident, I am extremely pleased with the process and the collaboration in standing up the Tysons Community Alliance.”