I'm in DC this week for a business meeting. Our meetings are in an office complex called Dulles Station (see here). I ended up arriving a day early, so I had some time to find the office and look around a bit. What I saw was an urban community much like ones I've seen in Richmond, Bethesda, and to a lesser degree even Charleston and Greenville, SC. These communities pop up in most cities (I know Charlotte was headed towards one when I left) and combine office, retail and housing (typically apartments/condos).
So why am I blogging about it? It's the economic statement. No, this isn't a sign of a turn-around or the stimulus package. I'm trying to keep this a-political and besides, Dulles Station first opened in April 2007 (according to their sign). Instead, I'm making a comment about the long term economic impact. I believe this country is basically strong and will continue to be that way in spite of the actions of the previous president and the current one. Dulles Station has some big names in the area. Strayer University has a big office there (not sure how many offices they use, but it's a big building). And there are others in the general area: BAE systems (air defense), XO Communications (telecom), DLT Solutions (hardware reseller for Oracle) and GTSI (Government IT) were just some of the names I saw.
There's lots of small business in the area too. Several fast food restaurants as well as some nicer places. A near-by strip mall boasts two Chinese restaurants and a Sushi place (seems like redundant repetition). What strip mall wouldn't be complete without a dentist's office, an animal hospital, a rug/floor center and a Staples. And of course, the area has at least 3 or 4 Starbucks.
As mentioned, there are lots of apartments in the area. The ones at Dulles Station seem to cater to those who work in the community itself, but then there are several more apartments in the general vicinity. While I would have thought these were mainly for young singles, I did see a couple of kids that had made a nice snow fort (I wish I could have gotten a picture). And their are lots of schools in the area, one on a road named EDS Road (HP - the new "owner" of EDS has at least two facilities on that road).
As I mentioned earlier, I've seen these kinds of places before in other locations. It makes me feel good to see the growth. I'm sure some of it (in this area a lot of it) is related to government spending. Some of it is related to "green" spending (green as in $$) and some of it is likely related to companies trying to cash in on the stimulus money. But it means jobs and hopefully a brighter tomorrow.