The Silver Line extension to Washington’s Metrorail system represents a significant investment in the future development of the region. Priced at USD 3.14 billion, with a significant chunk of that funding coming from the Federal Transit Administration and the Department of Transportation, the new 11.7 miles of Silver Line – an expense of USD 46,943 per foot of new track – can be seen as proof positive of a commitment to the development and expansion of services in the area, and the effects can already be seen.
Tysons Corner, as would be expected of the seat of Fairfax County’s business district, already has the largest concentration of office space in Northern Virginia: as of 2008, it had 46 million square feet of office and retail space. As of 2013, another 14 million square feet of similar office and retail space had been approved for, or was already under construction, with another 31 million such square feet of office and retail space planned in the areas surrounding the four Metrorail Silver Line stations in Tysons Corner.
In the six years immediately preceding the opening of Phase I, 1.5 million square feet of construction has been completed within half a mile of the Metrorail stations in Tysons, in anticipation of the opening of the Silver Line. Within that same area, another 6 million square feet of construction is projected to complete by the opening of Phase II in 2018, along with another 4.2 million square feet in a similar half-mile area around where Phase II will be. This isn’t all office or retail space; in anticipation of an influx of new residents, much of the new construction is dedicated to housing, all of it with what is projected to be reasonably easy access to the Metro.
It’s not just the new that’s getting a boost with the opening of the Silver Line; things like the venerable escalators servicing the Metro stations are all getting a share of the love. Already, jobs and local population are projected to rise over the coming years, due to the development facilitated by the opening of the Silver Line.
Investing in the area as early as now can only be regarded as a smart move that’s bound to bring quick and long-lasting returns for your business. Stay tuned for Part 3 of "Moving with the Times: Railway to Fortune, titled ""Growing Jobs and Businesses."