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See where property in Tysons grew much more valuable

Between the years 2000 and 2014, assessed land values in Tysons rose from approximately $4.3 billion to over $11.8 billion in value. These maps show you where:

Assessed values in 2000 (left) and 2014 (right) in Tysons Corner.

Much of the change occurred in redeveloped properties and new commercial headquarters such as Capital One, Freddie Mac, Hilton, Gannett, and Northrup Grumman. New residential neighborhoods such as Park Crest, homes along Gosnell, and the Gates of McLean also increased the overall value of the region.

The images above are looking from the south side of Tysons. The Beltway is the large gap to the center right of the image. Route 7 intersects from the lower right and runs to the upper left of the image. Route 123 is farther in the background running near parallel to the horizon.

What do you notice that's interesting?

Navid Roshan is a civil engineer who works and lives in Tysons Corner. He has a degree in civil engineering from Virginia Institute of Technology, has worked in the Northern Virginia land development field for 10 years, and has been a resident of Fairfax County for 27 years. Navid blogs at The Tysons Corner about reforming poor land use and design practices in the Northern Virginia region. 


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This is great. What program did you use?

by Neil Flanagan on Mar 27, 2014 12:48 pm • linkreport

The spikes also mirror the rough path of the Silver Line no? (and the impetus for some of the redevelopment in the first place).

by drumz on Mar 27, 2014 12:59 pm • linkreport

This was using the county's tax records and overlaying the GIS data into Sketchup.

The bar heights represent assessed value per acre where 1 ft = $100,000 in assessed value

by Navid Roshan on Mar 27, 2014 1:09 pm • linkreport

Could you make a graphic mapping change, instead of two separate maps?

by ImThat1Guy on Mar 27, 2014 2:10 pm • linkreport

How do you mean?

by Navid Roshan on Mar 27, 2014 2:12 pm • linkreport

Not a big fan of the visualization here. It's flashy, but it tells me absolutely nothing. Simpler is usually better. Not trying to bash the post, but hopefully the criticism below can be constructive:

1) The visual includes no labels, so aside from the text descriptions of roughly where the beltway / 7 / 123 are, it's really hard to get my bearings straight (at the very least, you should label the two malls and where the Silver Line stations will be).

2) The 3D effect is unnecessary and just makes this impossible to interpret:
2A) For instance, buildings in the foreground overlap buildings in the background.
2B) Additionally, because of the 3D perspective, 1 pixel in the foreground means more than 1 pixel in the background. This means it's pretty much impossible to compare buildings unless they're lateral to one another.
2C) Pretty much the entire lower half of the graphic is wasted space (presumably outside of "Tysons", but I didn't think Tysons was a well-defined area to begin with).

3) The color scale is confusing too:
3A) Why are the bigger buildings rainbow colored rather than just one solid color?
3B) Because of a handful of outlier buildings assessed for huge amounts, nearly every building is blue. The color scale gradient should be selected such you have a uniform proportion of buildings in each bucket, not uniform dollar amounts in each bucket.
3C) Do bar color and bar size say the same thing? Are they both measuring assessed value? If so, it's an unnecessary added dimension that just confuses the point. Pick one or the other. I originally thought color = assessed value, and size = building height, but the biggest building in 2000 grew in 2014. Unless they knocked a huge office tower down and re-built a bigger one on top of it, the size in the visual has nothing to do with the building's height. This needs to be labeled somewhere.

The only real thing I gleaned from this post was from the write-up. The visual doesn't add a thing. A 2D map would be a much better way to convey this information (I like the slider for comparing 2000 with 2014 though).

by Jason on Mar 27, 2014 5:29 pm • linkreport

It appears the post was updated with a slider to compare the images, but it does not allow me to see all of "before."

by selxic on Mar 27, 2014 7:09 pm • linkreport

I must have caught the update in the middle of something. It's working for the most part now.

by selxic on Mar 27, 2014 7:10 pm • linkreport

I mean like you have only one graph, and each data point is modern value minus old value (ie change). Seems like a more efficient visualization of data, IMO, and we can really investigate effects of the Silver Line.

by ImThat1Guy on Mar 27, 2014 8:33 pm • linkreport

Ah @IT1G, that makes sense now. Yes I could create that visualization as well as one image, I think the change between 2000 and 2014 is visible from the above transition as well.

I would hold back on saying any of this is because of the silver line. With the exception of Ascent everything shown is really an increase in value that predates the silver line. The effect of the Silver Line won't be seen until we have data from 2010 to ~2016 and really won't come into focus until 2020.

by Navid Roshan on Mar 28, 2014 8:49 am • linkreport

You don't think any of it is from the Silver Line? A bunch of the growth is centered around future station areas. Land values today are partially about future infrastructure, especially when that infrastructure is imminent.

And I agree about the design of this; these visualizations may look cool but they are very hard to read. Something with a top-down view would be easier to understand.

by MLD on Mar 28, 2014 9:26 am • linkreport

Those developments shown in 2014 represent elements built in 2013, in the case of the Tysons project along Route 123 they represent projects approved prior to a silver line being approved. So I think very little of it has to do with the Silver Line.

by Navid Roshan on Mar 28, 2014 9:44 am • linkreport

But the value isn't simply based on what was built. If I build a building its value doesn't stay the same throughout its life - it can increase based on outside factors like connectivity.

I think you are conflating "increased development" and "increased value." I'm not saying all this development happened because of the Silver Line. I'm saying some of the increase in that development's value is because of the Silver Line. You are assuming the increase in value comes because building A was replaced with building B. But part of the current value of building B is based on the anticipation of increased connectivity from the Silver Line.

by MLD on Mar 28, 2014 10:00 am • linkreport

I think once I have completed the transition from 2000 to 2014 you will see that it has very little to do with the Silver Line. Much of the value increase actually happened between 2000 and 2007, the only jolts have started only because of new construction starting in 2012 with Ascent and Tysons Tower work as well as Park Crest. Those items, with the exception of Ascent, have nothing to do with the Silver Line.

In fact in some parts of the Route 7 and Route 123 corridor where redevelopment didnt occur, values actually went down between 2007 and 2014.

by Navid Roshan on Mar 28, 2014 10:04 am • linkreport

Silver Line aside,, could you track this against job growth numbers? Didn't Virginia boom in that regard and wouldn't that drive up commercial real estate demand

by Jack Jackson on Apr 2, 2014 8:58 am • linkreport

I like the comment of scaling and including the Silver Line with a trend line to 2020. The bar line on the image is intersting if you scale it in years instead of partial screen images. While moving the bar across the screen the whole image changes with years instead of before and after.

by gvercoe on Jun 17, 2015 3:16 pm • linkreport

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