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
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Arlington County Board today approved a mixed residential-retail redevelopment of the Bergmann’s dry cleaning plant site that will bring a grocery store to the neighborhood and add affordable housing on-site.
The developer plans to lease much of the ground floor retail space to the County’s first Mom’s Organic Market, a specialty grocery store.
“This development will transform an eyesore into neighborhood center,” said Arlington County Board Chair Mary Hynes. “It embodies the goals of Smart Growth by combining new homes, including affordable units, with the neighborhood’s first grocery store and other ground floor retail, all within walking distance of Courthouse Metro.”
The County Board took five votes on this project. The board voted:
Two parcels to be redeveloped
Developer McCaffrey Interests proposes redeveloping two parcels – one that holds the former dry cleaning
plant and another with five single-family homes – on the north side of Lee Highway, between North Veitch Street and Interstate 66, separated by North Uhle Street. The developer earned additional density for agreeing to achieve LEED Gold certification and for providing on-site affordable housing.
The proposed development would provide the first grocery store in the North Highlands Civic Association area, home to more than 3,000 residents.
A total of up to 202 apartments are planned for the two parcels. The east block will feature a 10-story apartment building with 160 rental units. The west block will consist of a two-to-three story building with 13,257-square feet of retail, including a specialty grocery store, apartments above the retail and stacked flats ringing the parking garage.
The developer has agreed to provide significant community benefits, including:
The development is just a few blocks (.43 miles) from the Courthouse Metro station, bringing a specialty grocery store within walking distance of thousands of residents. The plans call for the store to also offer a café to serve the surrounding community. The apartment building planned for the eastern parcel will be surrounded by landscaped green space, with a water fountain and secure bicycle storage.
The site is located in the North Highlands Civic Association area. Representatives from North Highlands and the adjacent Lyon Village Citizens Associations participated in three meetings of the County’s Long Range Planning Committee and five meetings of the Planning Commission Site Plan Review Committee. The North Highlands Civic Association voted to recommend approval of the site plan at their November 2012 meeting.
The parking garage provides about 242 parking spaces -- more than required. Around 49 parking spaces are reserved on the top level of the parking structure for the market’s customers from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Residential parking, “unbundled” from apartment rent, will be in the lower two levels of the garage. “Unbundling” allow tenants the option of paying less if they do not park a car in the garage.
To learn more about this planned project, visit the County website. Scroll down to Item 26 on the County Board Agenda to read the staff report.
As part of the County’s green building initiative, both buildings will be designed to achieve LEED Gold certification, and will commit to the new energy efficiency and energy usage reporting criteria of the recently updated Green Building Density Incentive Policy.
The proposed development is the site of the former Bergmann’s Dry Cleaning plant that has been in operation since the 1950s. The dry cleaning operations have moved out of Arlington and the site now serves only as a dry cleaning pick-up and drop-off. The block to the east is currently developed with five single-family detached homes that were rentals and are currently vacant.
The proposed site plan is consistent with the recommendations of the Special GLUP Study for a mixed-use project that has a placemaking character that can be a center of neighborhood activity for a neighborhood that currently lacks significant retail and an identifiable center.
Placemaking involves providing a vibrant space that meets the needs and desires of a community by providing for a mix of uses, a range of affordability, improved connectivity accommodating the full range of transportation options and gathering spaces.
Learn more about Arlington County’s current planning efforts.
Sara Mariska, Walsh Colucci Lubeley Emrich Walsh PC
Type of Project
Residential—202 apartment units
242 garage parking spaces
LEED Gold (for all buildings)
2145 & 2147 Lee Highway
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.