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Dual Employment Centers


skylinefan

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I was inspired to start this discussion because of an article in today's Washington Post about how Fairfax County a substantial suburb of DC has outpaced the area's core and surrounding counties in job growth to the point that Fairfax is the Washington areas second employment center. Here is the article from the Post:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...7012901967.html

The article stated that the DC area is unique in that it has two urban cores. I have traveled all over this country and I have noticed that there are numerous metros with two urban cores. I think Denver is one example, there is Downtown and the Tech Center areas. Let us know if your metro has two cores or is developing two or more cores? How does a metro area develop two employment cores?

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I'd say you'd be hard pressed to find a Major metropolitan area that doesn't have more than on employment centers. Detroit is a glaring one. But that's a socio economic issue that's developed over the past 50 years. You have Detroit, then you have Oakland County. Phoenix is another big one. Except that Phoenix has no identifyable core. There is of course a downtown. But the cities of Mesa, Tempe and Scottsdale, all hold almost as many jobs in their cores as does the center city. Pretty much everyone in Metro Phoenix drives 40 miles one way to work. It's all about the auto.

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I'm not sure if I'd call Tyson's Corner "urban" but its unquestionably an employment center. I think that this edge city phenomenon is becoming more and more common.

Atlanta has several employment centers.... Downtown/Midtown, and Buckhead. They're in the same county, however. Some may call Marietta an employment center too. Maybe Perimeter City as well. But I'm not from there, so I can't say that with certainty.

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I'm not sure if I'd call Tyson's Corner "urban" but its unquestionably an employment center. I think that this edge city phenomenon is becoming more and more common.

Atlanta has several employment centers.... Downtown/Midtown, and Buckhead. They're in the same county, however. Some may call Marietta an employment center too. Maybe Perimeter City as well. But I'm not from there, so I can't say that with certainty.

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In Atlanta, they are discussing commuter rail from Athens into downtown with other spokes to come later.

Within Atlanta, the "emerald necklace" or beltline that you may have heard of is a LRT loop around the center city. But as for the suburbs... they are still pretty disconnected.

MARTA is working on TOD developments around all of its stations, and possibly developing "infill" stations.

GDOT still wants to build more roads though. They see that as the solution to everyone's problems for some reason. But I saw that they are disucssing plans to make Buckhead a more pedestrian friendly place with more sidewalks, streetfront retail, etc. It sounds a lot like the plans for Tysons Corner, except Buckhead is more frequently compared to "Uptown" in New York.

What's interesting about DC/Tysons, then is that Tyson's may outpace the District, but it is still heavily auto oriented. Even with that possible extension of the Metro to Tyson's, it will still be a heavily auto oriented place for years to come.

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Most cities have dual employment centers, or edge cities. Typically the edge cities are very sprawling and auto-oriented, but sometimes with commuter rail connections. Boston has the 128 belt suburbs, namely Burlington, New York has places like Stamford, CT, etc.

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In Atlanta, they are discussing commuter rail from Athens into downtown with other spokes to come later.

Within Atlanta, the "emerald necklace" or beltline that you may have heard of is a LRT loop around the center city. But as for the suburbs... they are still pretty disconnected.

MARTA is working on TOD developments around all of its stations, and possibly developing "infill" stations.

GDOT still wants to build more roads though. They see that as the solution to everyone's problems for some reason. But I saw that they are disucssing plans to make Buckhead a more pedestrian friendly place with more sidewalks, streetfront retail, etc. It sounds a lot like the plans for Tysons Corner, except Buckhead is more frequently compared to "Uptown" in New York.

What's interesting about DC/Tysons, then is that Tyson's may outpace the District, but it is still heavily auto oriented. Even with that possible extension of the Metro to Tyson's, it will still be a heavily auto oriented place for years to come.

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Detroit has downtown, then in the suburbs it has the cities of Troy, Southfeild(which if im not mistaken has more office space than downtown Detroit), and within Detroit, a lot of people work at the Detroit Medical Center and Wayne State University in the Midtown neighborhood.

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I agree with you even with metro coming to Tyson's so many people who work there come from the exurbs (Loudon, Prince William even Culpepper) where mass transit is pretty much non-existant. Correction on your last point, Fairfax County where Tyson's resides is poised to outpace the District in jobs.
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We are fortunate in Grand Rapids in that downtown contains the greatest bulk of office/service sector jobs. I think even 5x more than its closest competitor in the Southeastern suburbs. The other large employment center is near the airport, but it is mainly manufacturing. It certainly makes it easier to do any kind of transit planning.

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Sounds like most of these second employment centers are suburban. The one I mentioned for Pittsburgh, however, is within the city, a few miles from Downtown. I'm curious now: Are any of these others within city limits or are they all suburbs?
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I've also noticed a trend, especially in smaller, struggling cities, for large office or industrial parks to be built on the fringes of the city limits in classic suburban style. The cities love it because it boosts their tax base and they can say they've increased jobs in the city, and the companies love it cause they can still be suburban. Fall River, MA comes to mind, they have a large sprawling industrial park on formerly rural fringes of the city limits.

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I'm not sure if I'd call Tyson's Corner "urban" but its unquestionably an employment center. I think that this edge city phenomenon is becoming more and more common.

Atlanta has several employment centers.... Downtown/Midtown, and Buckhead. They're in the same county, however. Some may call Marietta an employment center too. Maybe Perimeter City as well. But I'm not from there, so I can't say that with certainty.

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Yes...New Orleans has 2 office clusters. The main area is the Central Business District in New Orleans proper. The other area is the Central Business District in Metairie...a neighboring suburb of New Orleans. It reminds me of the St. Louis area where I grew up. There they have the same set up with downtown St. Louis and Clayton...but it is on a much larger scale than in NO.

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New York has Lower Manhattan and Midtown clusters, as well as sizeable business districts in Downtown Brooklyn and the developing Long Island City (Queens). There are also many urban business centers outside the city limits that are quite urban. Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, Elizabeth, Hackensack, New Brunswick, Yonkers, White Plains, Stamford, and probably some places on Long Island too, are all outside the city but they're not suburban office parks. They're old, urban cities.

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The Seattle area has multiple employment centers. Besides downtown Seattle, there also is Bellevue-Redmond and the Green River Valley.

Here is a breakdown of the lessor known centers.

The Eastside: Bellevue-Redmond and vicinity

High tech dominates Seattle's eastside suburbs and Microsoft is king. It is the video game capital of America and home to non-tech giants such as Costco and PACCAR.

Amaze Entertainment

Bungie Studios

Clearwire

Coinstar

Costco

Drugstore.com

Eddie Bauer

Expedia

Kenworth

Microsoft

Nintendo of America

PACCAR

Symerta Financial

T-Mobile USA

Green River Valley

Stretching from the south end of Lake Washington in Renton to Algona/Pacific on the county line, this former farm land is home to manufacturing, warehouses, and coporate headquarters. Boeing dominates here, with the HQs to its commercial airplanes division and Boeing Capital.

Boeing Capital

Boeing Commercial Airplanes

Boeing Intergrated Defense Systems, Tukwila & Auburn divisions

Boeing Renton plant

Boeing Shared Services Group

Boeing Space and Communication Center

Classmates.com

Flow Intl.

Kenworth manufacturing plant

Mikron Industries

Oberto

R.E.I.

Starbucks roasting plant

Wizards of the Coast

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The Triangle Area has more that two employment centers (which is why we are so spread out, unfortunately). There is Research Triangle Park, in the middle of the region, and Raleigh (downtown and NC State), Durham (downtown and Duke) and Chapel Hill (UNC-CH)... so what you have is essentially 4 major centers. It makes transit panning exceedingly difficult. :wacko:

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