After Urban Flight, Corporate Campuses Add a Taste of the City
TYSONS, Va. — After World War II, corporations moved to exclusive gated suburban campuses to escape traffic, crowds and big-city clamor. Now companies are designing a little city hubbub back into suburban headquarters by adding shops, restaurants, hotels, residences and public parks.The change in the concept of the corporate campus reflects two related trends that executives say appear to be unaffected by the pandemic.
The first is the public and private investment in communities across the country that is making suburbs more dense, walkable, bike-friendly and less dependent on cars. The second is the competition to attract the brightest young employees who want to live and work in lively places.“It’s urbanization of the suburban experience,” said Alex Krieger, professor of urban design at Harvard and a principal at NBBJ, an architecture and planning firm in Boston. “Companies are bringing some of the characteristics of the city to their suburban campuses.”One prominent example is in Tysons, Va., a Washington suburb where Capital One has expanded its 24-acre campus with a theater, a Wegmans supermarket, a 300-room hotel and a rooftop park, all for corporate and public use. Across the street, a 30-story office building under construction will include ground-floor retail and restaurant space.