Note: This release was posted on the county website Saturday December 8. 2012, but due to a technical error was issued to subscribers on Monday December 10, 2012. An additional correction, of the square feet of office space, was made 12/12.12.
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Arlington County Board today approved a redevelopment plan to construct a sustainable, energy-efficient office building with ground floor retail at 2311 Wilson Boulevard, one block from Courthouse Metro.
The proposed development also includes a childcare facility, conference room, and a fitness center. A separate retail pavilion is also approved should the adjoining property owner decide to redevelop.
“This building will be far more energy efficient and offer significantly more benefits to the community than the building that the Board approved nearly a quarter-century ago,” said Arlington County Board Chair Mary Hynes. “This new plan warrants a carefully considered increase in height and density on the site due to significant community benefits, including a larger on-site daycare center, a fitness center and a conference room available to Arlington civic and not-for-profit groups at least 24 times a year.”
The plan also calls for the rear of the site to have publicly accessible open space available to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The developer will build a pedestrian walkway from Lyon Village to Wilson Blvd., making it easier for commuters to access the Courthouse Metro Station. The plan amends a site plan originally approved by the County Board in 1989.
The Board voted 5 to 0 to approve the planned development.
The eight-story office building will include:
The building will be made up of a glass curtain wall of light blue solar glass on the front facing Wilson Boulevard and the County’s government center. To minimize impact to Lyon Village, located directly behind the proposed development, the building will taper and step up from the top floor to the fifth floor on the side facing the neighborhood.
A stand alone, one-story retail pavilion to be built in a future phase of the project would provide an additional 6,183 of square feet of retail.
The development will offer a daycare center available to those who live and work in the Courthouse Station area as well as the surrounding community. The conference room will be available to civic associations, Arlington-based non-profits, and the County for meetings on a space available basis.
The office building will be LEED GOLD and ENERGY STAR certified under the County’s Green Building Density Incentive program, a policy that encourages projects to have higher levels of energy efficiency and LEED certification by offering more density on a case-by-case basis. The development will achieve 20 percent energy savings by utilizing green design features, energy efficient equipment in the building and a roof with plants and trees that will provide insulation.
The developer plans to contribute $1.6 million toward the cost of improving the Courthouse Station Metro elevators. Both the Courthouse Metro Station and public transit are easily accessible from this proposed development. Parking will be provided in an underground parking garage with 265 spaces and 48 bicycle spaces.
The development was discussed at five meetings with the Planning Commission Site Plan Review Committee (SPRC). County staff and the developer worked with both the Clarendon Courthouse Civic Association and the Lyon Village Civic Association to inform the members about the project and listen to their concerns.
In response to concerns that the building’s design did not include sufficient building taper up from the Lyon Village neighborhood north and west of the site, the developer revised the design and architecture of the building’s north facade. The new design provides more of a tape from the neighborhood and reduces the building’s floor area by about 4,249 sq. ft. The developer also reduced the proposed conference space to a 2,000 sq. ft. room from 5,600 sq. ft center. The developer also agreed that nonprofits will have access to the proposed conference space.
To learn more about this planned project, visit the County website. Scroll down to Item 25 on the County Board Agenda to read the staff report.
The development is an update to a site plan that originally was approved as a redevelopment plan for the Courthouse area in 1989 under the Courthouse Sector Plan. The original site plan consisted of a 10-story residential building with ground floor retail—which was completed in 2000—and an office building with ground floor retail and a childcare facility that was never constructed. The area is currently developed with three two-story commercial and office buildings and surface parking. Under the new plan, two of the three existing commercial and office buildings would be demolished and replaced with an eight-story, 157,395 sq. ft. office building with ground floor retail, a childcare center and conference center.
The two-story commercial office building located at 2305 Wilson Boulevard, currently occupied by Superstar Tickets, would remain as an interim use until it is redeveloped as the stand alone retail pavilion.
The Courthouse Sector Plan (1981) and the Courthouse Sector Plan Addendum (1993) provide guidance for redevelopment in the Courthouse area. The vision articulated by the community in the Courthouse Sector Plan was of a balance of high-density residential and office uses surrounding the central government core. The Board found that this proposed development would fulfill that vision and meet the goals, also articulated in the Sector Plan, of establishing a visual identity for the Courthouse area, preserving the existing residential neighborhoods and a coordinated open space system/network; and a coordinated circulation system.
Type of Project
Arlington, Va., is a world-class residential, business and tourist location that was originally part of the "10 miles square" parcel of land surveyed in 1791 to be the Nation's Capital. It is the geographically smallest self-governing county in the United States, occupying slightly less than 26 square miles. Arlington maintains a rich variety of stable neighborhoods, quality schools and enlightened land use, and received the Environmental Protection Agency's highest award for "Smart Growth" in 2002. Home to some of the most influential organizations in the world - including the Pentagon - Arlington stands out as one of America's preeminent places to live, visit and do business.