In the news....Kettler, PS Business Parks bid to redevelop Tysons Corner's West-Park

Published Feb 14, 2014
Feb 14, 2014

Design Collective is working with Kettler and PS Business Parks for the design of 7915 Jones Branch Drive as featured in the Washington Business Journal on Friday, February 14, 2014.

By: Michael Neibauer

Kettler Inc. and PS Business Parks have formed a joint venture to redevelop a 5.75-acre Tysons Corner office property into a single multifamily building.

And it may only be the beginning of another massive Tysons overhaul.

The Glendale, Calif.-based PS Business Parks (NYSE: PSB) acquired 7915 Jones Branch Dr., known as the Amherst, from DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners in December 2010, part of an all-cash $140 million deal that included six other Tysons office buildings — located in the West-Park Business Park — spanning 40 acres in the area of Jones Branch, Westbranch and Westpark Drives.

The 135,000-square-foot, six-story Amherst, across the street from the McLean Hilton, was vacant when PS bought it. In May 2013, PS revealed in its quarterly financial report that it had reclassified the property to “land and building held for development,” a signal of impending redevelopment.

In its October filing with the SEC, PS announced that it had entered into a joint venture three months earlier with an unnamed real estate development company “to pursue multifamily development of the property.” Then, on Feb. 5, Fairfax County accepted a rezoning and final development plan for a mixed-use project from an LLC with the same address as Kettler. The property is currently zoned for office.

The new building, located within a half-mile of the McLean and Tysons Corner Silver Line Metro stations, will be six-to-eight stories, and include as many as 400 units, structured parking not visible from the street, and the option for some ground floor retail along Jones Branch Drive. The application also proposes a 1.39-acre public park, an off-site linear park and two outdoor amenity spaces, including a swimming pool.

“Tysons Corner is undergoing an exciting transformation into a vibrant urban center with the arrival of Metro,” Graham Tyrrell, vice president of multifamily for Kettler, said in a statement. “As part of this, 7915 Jones Branch Drive, will start the process of redefining the neighborhood within the Jones Branch/West Branch loop.”

It is the first bid, and certainly not the last, to redevelop PS Business Park’s Tysons inventory.

“It is envisioned that development of the Application Property will be the first phase in a multi-phased redevelopment of the area bounded by Jones Branch Drive, Westpark Drive and Westbranch Drive,” according to the statement of justification accompanying the rezoning. “When complete, redevelopment of this area will transform this suburban style office park into a new residential community with services and parking in keeping with the vision of the Comprehensive Plan for Tysons.”

In addition to the Amherst, PS also owns within West-Park:

  • Culpeper, 7923 Jones Branch Drive, 79,976 square feet
  • Gloucester, 1517 West Branch Drive, 123,383 square feet
  • Brunswick, 7921 Jones Branch Drive, 77,106 square feet
  • Dickenson, 1521 West Branch Drive, 57,384 square feet
  • Lancaster, 7927 Jones Branch Drive, 123,131 square feet
  • Northampton, 7925 Jones Branch Drive, 151,483 square feet

Prior to DLJ, the Amherst and a host of other office properties were in the West-Group portfolio.

Having already sold three of its Tysons buildings earlier in 2010 to a collection of REITs and developers, West-Group sold what remained of its Tysons inventory to DLJ, a subsidiary of Credit Suisse Group, in July 2010. Five months later, DLJ flipped seven of those buildings to PS Business Parks.

Those series of deals will ultimately reshape Tysons.

DLJ opted to retain eight buildings closer to Tysons’ planned Metro stations, and then created a subsidiary, Cityline Partners, to redevelop those properties under the revised Tysons master plan. Arbor Row, approved in November 2012, and Scotts Run Station South, approved in April 2013, are the result of that decision. A third Cityline rezoning, Scotts Run Station North, has been deferred.

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