Eugene Meyer | The New York Times

TYSONS CORNER, VIRGINIA – It was known as Tysons Corner, a rural crossroads 13 miles from downtown Washington.

Rebranded now, it’s just Tysons, a complex of malls, hotels and office towers that will soon be part of an 11.7-mile extension of the region’s Metro rail system — further accelerating growth.

Though the extension is called the Silver Line, planners and developers see it as golden for Fairfax County, Virginia.

Silver Line service is now scheduled to begin July 26.

After a long recession-induced lull, construction in Tysons has picked up, too, and four empty stations are waiting for trains to fill them with passengers.

If the timetable holds, as early as this summer the nighttime population of just 17,000, with 105,000 daytime workers, may begin to transform into a livable, walkable city, predicted to have 100,000 residents and 200,000 workers by 2050. Three-fourths of this growth is projected to happen within a half-mile of Silver Line stations.

“The Silver Line is going to be a major driver, a game changer, because it opens up the Tysons market for easy access from the entire D.C. metro region,” said Michael Caplin, director of the Tysons Partnership, a consortium of developers, planners and other groups.

Tysons ranks eighth in retail square footage among the nation’s shopping hubs, with nearly 4.8 million square feet, according to the CoStar Group, a Washington-based marketing research firm. That figure is likely to grow with increased offices and residential buildings. There is currently 26 million square feet of office space. Read more