Capital One campus set for major growth

Stephen Gavula, vice president of marketing for Capital One Services LLC, updates the Greater McLean Chamber of Commerce Jan. 11 about the bank's ongoing redevelopment of its Tysons campus. (Photo by Brian Trompeter)

Capital One’s Tysons headquarters site already is abuzz with activity, with the bank’s towering 470-foot world headquarters building entering final phases of construction and work begun on the Jones Branch Connector roadway that will cross over the Beltway.

But what’s coming in the next few years will be even more noteworthy.

Capital One’s plans call for construction of a multi-purpose center with a 1,500-seat venue for performing-arts events and conferences, plus a 250-seat “black-box” theater space and classrooms; a hotel; residential towers; another massive office building; a skypark; copious retail spaces; and an urban-style Wegmans grocery store.

“It’s really developing a city from the ground up,” said Stephen Gavula, vice president of marketing for Capital One Services LLC, who briefed the Greater McLean Chamber of Commerce during a Jan. 11 breakfast meeting in McLean. “To do that within another five years is pretty remarkable.”

Instead of developing the site on a speculative basis, Capital One is creating its own demand for goods and services, he said.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved Capital One’s initial redevelopment plans in 2012 and OK’d the bank’s performing-arts/conference center in July 2017. The bank’s campus, located just northeast of the Route 123/I-495 interchange, formerly was 29 acres, but was reduced to about 25 because of proffer dedications, Gavula said.

About 2,000 employees work in Capital One’s current headquarters building. Another 3,000 workers, who currently occupy leased space around Tysons, by early next year will move into Capital One’s new 31-story headquarters skyscraper, located on Block B.

The curved, gleaming glass building already has reached its full height and the bank has put a logo sign at its top. Retail outlets, including Starbucks and a beer garden, will anchor the building’s base. A surface-parking area just to the east eventually will be the site of a hotel, Gavula said.

Block C in the site’s center will be the focal point of much future development. The performing-arts/conference center there, which should open in June 2021, will be used by Capital One, Fairfax County, arts groups and corporations.

Capital One initially planned to build a $12 million community center on the campus and let Fairfax County operate it for a nominal fee. But Supervisor Linda Smyth (D-Providence) persuaded bank officials to seize the rare opportunity to build a performing-arts facility. In lieu of the community center investment, the bank will dedicate set amounts of time for county programs at the arts/conference center, Gavula said.  

The 83,000-square-foot Wegmans store, about one-third smaller than company’s typical suburban stores, also will be located in that block and is scheduled to open by August 2020. The store’s inclusion allowed Capital One to turn Block C’s orientation outward and make it more of a public attraction, Gavula said.

Block C also will feature a three-level, 800-space parking lot topped by an 11,000-square-foot Italian steakhouse and another 6,000-square-foot restaurant. These would be topped by another 800 parking spaces over six or seven levels with two apartment buildings for Capital One employees and a 300-room hotel.

Nestled in the center of those towers will be a 1.5-acre skypark, including a dog-washing station, located 100 feet in the air.

Another office tower to be built on another block in the site’s center will accommodate 3,000 more employees, bringing the total on campus to about 8,000. That building, which will be finished by early 2022, also will have a 40,000-square-foot fitness club.

Capital One’s leaders are examining employees’ work schedules to see if they can be staggered to avoid massive traffic backups that would occur if they all arrived and departed at the same time daily, Gavula said. A future right-turns-only “super street” on that section of Route 123 might improve traffic flow, he said.

County and state officials broke ground last January on the new Jones Branch Connector, which will provide a way for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians to go between Capital One’s site and Tysons safely. That roadway should be finished in 2019, Gavula said.

Capital One is shifting more of its business to the digital world and considers giants such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google to be its competitors, he said.

Merrily Pierce, who serves on the McLean Citizens Association’s board of directors, asked Gavula about provision of athletic fields on Capital One’s campus. Fields in surrounding areas already are at peak capacity, she said.

Capital One’s plans call for one athletic field to be built on the site’s western end near Route 123. At-grade fields are a tough sell on the campus, given the land’s high value, Gavula said.

Lauren Kivlighan of Northern Virginia Real Estate Inc. in McLean was upbeat about Capital One’s plans.

The site’s massive redevelopment is “architecturally exciting and full of great new possibilities for area residents,” she said.