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Development Updates

Arlington County Development Tracking Map

Location, data and pictures where available of projects completed, under construction, demolished or approved by the County Board.

“In the Works, 6.3 million Square Feet of Office Space”  ArlNow, December 27, 2012

 PenPlace

Crystal City Citizen’s Review Council

Sign Ordinance

ART bus Facility Redesign

POTOMAC YARD BIG BOX SHOPPING CENTER TO BE REDEVELOPED
Update 3/21/16

Big changes are afoot directly south of us! Alexandria is beginning a year-long effort to plan for the redevelopment of its North Potomac Yard (Target, Best Buy, Shoppers Food Warehouse) “temporary” commercial center. It plans to replace the existing 600,000 sq. ft. shopping center with 7.5 million square feet of mixed use development, including retail, office, residential and hotels rivaling Crystal City. For more information on this and the new Potomac Yard Metro station, go to www.alexandriava.gov/PotomacYard

Update 1/8/2015
PENTAGON CENTRE Slated for Redevelopment – Soon!

Kimco Realty, the owner of Pentagon Centre, the name of the entire mega-block that includes Costco, will begin redevelopment of its block in 2015. While Costco will eventually disappear, its current lease guarantees its presence for at least the next 25 years. First to go, however, will be a portion of its parking lot on which a new, 7-level parking garage will be constructed to replace not only the parking spaces it will displace, but also the spaces on which a new 10-story residential building will be built at the corner of Hayes and 15th Streets.

Also included in Phase 1 of Pentagon Centre’s redevelopment will be a 24-story, 450-unit apartment building over the top of the Metro entrance at the corner of Hayes and 12th Street. While this building will necessitate demolition of a small portion of the enclosed mall, currently anchored by Best Buy, the remainder of the mall will be upgraded and remain for approximately 20 years, until Phase 2 of the Block’s redevelopment will begin.

Phase 3, that will eventually displace Costco is not anticipated for yet another 20 years. Overall, Kimco’s blueprint would bring 714 new resident units to the block, 70 hotel rooms, 730,000 sq. ft. of new office space, and approximately 342,000 sq. ft. of retail along with additional parking.

Update on Development, Nov 13, 2013

*  Fashion Center: 51,000 square foot commercial addition to the front of the  office building near 12th Street:  This site plan amendment will go before the County Board on November 16th.  The addition fits within the basic parameters of the 1976 Phased Development Site Plan for the 116 acre Pentagon City tract, and for this reason the ARCA Executive Board voted to endorse the project. An unused hotel allocation is being converted to commercial use.  The developer has been forthright and helpful in explaining his plans and talking with community members.

* Large Media Screens: The County is considering advertising for a change in the zoning ordinance to permit large outdoor media screens; the ordinance will be considered by the County Board on December 14th. Read the proposal .  It shows a map where this ordinance could apply. (It includes Pentagon City and Crystal City).  Come to the ARCA meeting Nov. 21 for more information.  This is potentially an important ordinance which can impact the metro corridors of Arlington, as it allows large lighted media screens of up to 750 square feet within a quarter of a mile of a metro station.  The proposed ordinance change is too complex to summarize here; so please read it for complete information.

Replacement of Berkeley Apartments at South Glebe Road across from the Giant shopping center:  The basic proposal is to replace the four story Berkeley apartments that now have 137 units, 110 of them affordable housing, with two five story apartment buildings with 287 units, 171 of them affordable units. The review process is in the very early stages. The first Site Plan Review Committee of the Planning Commission is scheduled for November 21 at 2100 Clarendon Boulevard.

* Maria Teresa’s Babies:  A new day care construction proposal at 821 23rd Street next to the current day care facility.  This location is in the Aurora Highlands Civic Association (AHCA) area.  By the time you see this notice, a representative from Maria Teresa’s Day Care will have attended an AHCA meeting. A request for use permits regarding the side yards and back yard setback, and a variance for parking will come before the Board of Zoning Appeals on December 10th.  Later, a use permit for the day care center itself will go before the County Board.

* 400 Army Navy Drive:  This proposal is now before the Planning Commission’s Site Plan Review Committee (SPRC) for two residential buildings at Army Navy Drive and Eads Street. The next tentative SPRC date is in December.  Currently there is a proposal to locate a trolley maintenance facility on a small piece of land in front of the buildings. ARCA, AHCA and Crystal City representatives sent a joint letter to the County asking that another place be found for this facility. Read the letter on our website.

* PenPlace:  Remember PenPlace?!  ARCA thanks all of those who worked and participated on this important issue, and we are grateful for the community support. We thought we had a sensible resolution grounded in compromise and supported by a 73-1 vote at an ARCA meeting; we also endorsed the Planning Commission’s  final recommendations.  Unfortunately, we did not prevail.  Moving forward, there are plans for completing the Urban Design Guidelines and Open Space Planning.  A final draft of the design guidelines must be submitted to the zoning office for review by January 21, 2014 and will be presented to the County Board by the County Manager once they are completed.   The open space process needs to be completed by September 21, 2014. County staff is in the process of working on a scope of work with Vornado and laying out a schedule of two or three public meetings for input to the open space plan.

* MetPark:  MetPark changed with the PenPlace action by the County Board — 930 residential units were transferred from PenPlace to the MetPark parcel, thereby increasing the number of apartment units to be built on MetPark. . As neighbors can see, some of the warehouses are being demolished so MetPark 4 & 5 can begin construction.  The County Board chose not to heed the ARCA MetPark resolution.

* Crystal City:  Plans have been filed to construct a building on 23rd between Route 1 and Crystal Drive (223 23rd Street), across the street from the Buchanan House. Because this is the first building on a new Crystal city “block,” a Long Range Planning Committee (LRPC) process will start the overall process, followed by Site Plan Review Committee meetings.  According to the Crystal City Sector Plan, a building at this location could be 300-330′ feet tall, and, if approved, it could be about twice the height of the building currently at that location.  With this building, the “realignment” of 23rd Street could remove the green park with sycamore trees.

 

EARLIER DEVELOPMENT ISSUES

Metropolitan Park

METPARK RESOLUTION PASSED BY ARCA BOARD, April, 2013

The final phase build-out of apartment buildings on this mega-block in Pentagon City – across Fern Street from Costco that is currently filled with warehouses –  is scheduled for consideration and approval by the Planning Commission and County Board in June.  However, buried in Vornado’s application, that is expected to be supported by County Planning Staff, is approval to build on MetPark an additional 930 apartments originally required to be built on PenPlace.  By transferring this allotment of residential units from PenPlace to MetPark, Vornado will not only increase the density of MetPark, but also pave the way for approval of its application to build four tall and massive office buildings on PenPlace, with commuter parking for an additional 2,235 vehicles traveling to and from Pentagon City along I-395, Jeff-Davis, and through our neighborhoods every day.   ARCA’s Executive Board recently approved a resolution, posted on ARCA’s website and forwarded to the County, opposing transfer of all 930 residential units from PenPlace to MetPark and reaffirming the November resolution adopted by ARCA members calling for construction of at least one residential building on PenPlace in lieu of an office building filled with commuters.  Member support for that resolution at the Planning Commission and Board meetings in the coming month could be absolutely critical if we are going to be successful in persuading the County to downsize, albeit modestly, Vornado’s construction plans for Pentagon City and assuring that its final build-out will be less dense, and include a wholesome mix of uses that will actually conform to SMART GROWTH.  Watch for ARCANeighbor email messages in the coming days to learn more about how you can help!!

ARCA Resolution on MetPark:  http://www.arcaonline.org/?p=1408 


March 14, 2013: Still More High Rise Density Sought in Pentagon City

Vornado, the developer who owns all the remaining undeveloped land in Pentagon City, is seeking County permission not only to turn PenPlace into a mega-block of towering office buildings totaling 1.8+ million square feet, but also to erect equally tall buildings on MetPark, the block across Fern Street from Costco on which two of the eight planned apartment buildings have already been built by Kettler on its half of the block.  Vornado owns the eastern half of MetPark that extends over to Eads Street which contains several old warehouses that it will demolish and replace with new apartment buildings even taller than Kettler’s buildings and twice their density.

The height and density of the buildings Vornado hopes to construct on its half of MetPark would result from density transfer to MetPark of the 930 residential units currently assigned to its PenPlace holding.  In fact, that transfer has been quietly executed by Vornado, thereby increasing MetPark’s density from 2,282 residential units to 3,212 units and creating a residential void on PenPlace that the developer plans to fill instead with towering office buildings.

While ARCA has discovered that any density transfer between PenPlace and MetPark was first required to be the subject of an “extensive public hearing,” none has occurred to date.  Rather, the County staff and its Planning Commission have proceeded to consider Vornado’s detailed plans for developing both PenPlace and MetPark far more densely than originally allowed by the PDSP based on an assumption that this density transfer had already been approved.  Given the investment of time, money and energy expended by the County as well as Vornado these past several years promoting and building momentum behind these development projects, the density transfer has likely become a de facto fait accompli despite the absence of any public hearing to consider any adverse impact it could have on the ARCA and AHCA neighborhoods.

ARCA recently pointed out this “oversight” to the County and asked it to put Vornado’s projects on hold until there had first been a publicly-noticed hearing on whether any or all of PenPlace’s 930 residential units could be unilaterally disgorged from PenPlace and shifted over to MetPark, thereby enabling Vornado to build twice the number of rental units in much taller buildings on its half of that Parcel than permitted by the PDSP.  Unfortunately, at an unusual, joint SPRC hearing on Monday, March 11th, when the subject of building heights on both MetPark and PenPlace was to be considered, County staff and Planning Commissioners prohibited any discussion of the increased density resulting from this transfer that had, until then, been swept under a rug.  While this oversight may once have been considered to have been inadvertent, it would now appear to be deliberate.

As matters presently stand, it would appear that the County government is intent upon stoking its “economic [tax] engine” located in Zip Code 22202 to benefit the rest of the County regardless of the adverse impact it could very likely have upon our neighborhood.  Stay tuned.

 

ART Bus Redevelopment and Expansion

 

 Update 3/15/13
The second, and last, Public Facilities Review Committee (PFRC) meeting for the new Eads ART Bus Facility was held March 13. Bernie Wixon and Susan English represented ARCA; Mike Dowell represented AHCA. The facility architect presented some additional plan details in response to previous requests and a revised schedule; Dennis Leach answered further questions. The 32nd St. cut-through is in a group of properties for which the county is negotiating transfer from VDOT ownership, which Dennis said could take another year or more. There is no current plan to close that street, although residents have proposed the possibility. Construction is now scheduled to begin in early 2014, and to take 14-15 months.The 31st St. lot is planned as a temporary bus storage space during the construction. Transit staff responded to several of the questions residents asked Mary Hynes at a March 2 meeting. Staff did pursue other sites for temporary storage, but reported none were available. Site improvements for the temporary use will include minimal grading, a compacted gravel surface, new curb cuts, a 6-8’ chain link fence, lighting and security cameras on poles, and some landscape improvements including tackling invasives and planting some trees and shrubs as buffer. “Staff will continue to work with the community as it does develop designs for [temporary] use of the property.”Long-term use of the 31st St. site was not on the agenda. Residents have clearly expressed concerns about sites for future ART Bus expansion, and the inappropriateness of the 31st St. lot for that purpose. Ms. Hynes’ emailed response simply noted that county staff have looked intensively at all land with appropriate zoning; and have done some preliminary analyses and operating cost estimates. The 10-year CIP reviewed in 2014 will discuss this need.

Background:

At the Nov. 15 Aurora Highlands meeting, Arlington Transit Bureau Chief Steve Del Giudice presented plans for the new ART bus facilities on S. Eads. ART bus currently owns the two lots (formerly Thrifty rental) north of the Metrobus lot. They will be redeveloping the bus yards beginning in July 2013, moving their administrative offices across Eads to space in the old printing building (now owned by the Water Pollution Control Board). They will tear down the unloved green and white building, and build a new 90-ft., two-story bus wash and light maintenance building, with new bus yards to accommodate the current fleet of 30 buses, which will grow to 45; they currently share the Metrobus CNG fueling station. ART bus routes serve the Pentagon, so TSA requires a secure bus yard. The facility is planned to have sustainable/environmentally-better features, such as solar, recycled wash water, down-facing lighting, and fencing other than chain link. Bus operations begin at 4:30 a.m. and continue to 1:00 a.m. The plan includes improvements to Eads—street narrowing, wider sidewalks and planting strips, bike lanes in both directions. There are no plans to move 32nd St. (between Rt. 1 & Eads) north to align with 31st St., an important protection against cut-through traffic going from Rt. 1 to Glebe. The County is currently negotiating with VDOT to take ownership of 32nd St.

As part of this project, the County plans to use an existing large, semi-wooded gravel/grass lot a block west on 31st St., across the street from the treatment plant, for construction staging and temporary bus storage during the redevelopment. This lot, owned by the WPCB, abuts residential property on 29th Rd. S. (loop road off Grant) and close to homes further west on 31st St. Zoned P-S (Public Service), it has been used on and off in the past 30 years for construction staging for the treatment plant, but is currently a fenced, park-like open buffer between the nearest homes and the plant. However, it is of enormous concern to our communities that ART bus is proposing to make this lot a permanent bus facility for up to 24 buses, as it anticipates future expansion from 45 to 60 buses.

A group of AHCA and ARCA representatives are in touch with County board and staff to present our concerns and discuss possible solutions. Arlington has an active policy of acquiring and preserving open space, as well as working to make sure public property has multiple uses. And, Arlington is keenly aware of the need to address transitions into single-family neighborhoods. We feel that paving existing open space as a single-use bus parking lot, in an area which is already industrialized, and which abuts family homes, goes against good planning principles. ART buses serving large portions of Central/North Arlington must deadhead to the Eads facility, so it seems logical to ask whether another location might work better for future expansion.


UPDATE: 1900 CRYSTAL DRIVE
On September 15, the Arlington County Board approved a plan to demolish a block-long vacant office building in the heart of Crystal City and replace it with a 24 story office building with ground floor retail and a half acre interim park. This will be the first major redevelopment project under the Crystal City Sector Plan.
The building will consist of 11,290 sqare feet of retail and 719,704 square feet of office space  plus five levels of underground parking.
More Information.