Monday, November 12, 2007

"Dulles Slows Down" - but perhaps only from unrealistic expectations

Today's WAPO covers a story on the Dulles Area "slowing" down - primarily reflecting the growing inventory and outstanding balance of commercial real estate along the Dulles Toll Road corridor. While this is true by all metrics, we tend to think that a large portion of the empty space is a result of over-speculation - i.e. getting a head start on the prospect of Metro coming to Loudoun, planning for growth right in the middle of the heaviest growth periods (i.e. 2-5 years ago), along with a bit of knee-jerk reaction to rapidly rising land prices. True, there's a bit of constraint coming in Loudoun from a residential growth perspective, but growth in residential communities and businesses is far from "not growing" - it continues to grow fast, with a lot happening (especially in business) "under the covers" (the proliferation of home-based businesses, expansion of companies and government from Tysons Corner west, etc.).

Dulles may be "slowing down" from the perspective of those traveling the Toll Road in Fairfax, but it's not slowing down in any drastic measure, from the perspective of business owners (except Real Estate!) and advocates actually in Loudoun County. It's simply settling in at a comfortable cruising speed, below the hyper-growth redlines. That's only our opinion, obviously.

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