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New Hotel Breaks Ground in Ballston

by ARLnow.com — October 19, 2011 at 9:15 am 3,994 41 Comments

A new Residence Inn by Marriott extended stay hotel is being built in Ballston, across the street from Ballston Common Mall.

The project held its official groundbreaking ceremony yesterday. The hotel, which is expected to open mid-2013, will feature 11 floors and 183 all-suite rooms.

The Residence Inn is part of the Founders Square development, which by fall 2014 is expected to consist of two high-rise office buildings, one high-rise 257-unit apartment building, and a smaller building reserved for retailers — in addition to the hotel. All told, the complex will feature 775,000 square feet of office space and 28,000 square feet of retail space.

  • UnlimitedCustoms

    How about a real Marriott? Clarendon already has a new Residence Inn.

    • CW

      Residence Inn isn’t a real hotel. It’s a place for out-of-town contractors working in Ballston to live for months on end on someone else’s dime. Basically very expensive corporate apartments.

      • JamesE

        And it is right between Darpa and ONR so it makes perfect sense.

      • AllenB

        Not true. I’ve stayed in them many times while on vacation. The larger room and free breakfast are great.

        • drunk contractor

          Not to forget the free happy hour!!!

        • CW

          Allen – that might have been the case where you went, sure. But in this area, I think it’s the aforementioned that dominates their business.

          • AllenB

            Not on weekends.

  • CW

    Does anyone understand why they’re building this development in such a linear, sequential manner? One building is more or less done and then they decide to start on the next. Is there a technical reason why they could not have done all at the same time? It’s a big piece of land just sitting there for years.

    • Vik

      I think the DARPA building was built first because there was funding and also to keep them in this area of Arlington. Not sure about the rest of the development. I’ve heard that there’s been complaints of not enough hotels in Ballston for the contractors. The tallest of the buildings set to go up probably needs tenants.

    • Lou

      It was reported elsewhere that the construction loan for the hotel was just closed on this week.

    • Rick

      If you had a guaranteed, very liquid lessee why wouldn’t you want to build their building first? If we all want to get technical, the 515 quincy parcel was finished first.

      The housing market probably can’t support more $2000 1BR apartments for awhile longer

  • John

    Cool. Not a bad looking building by Arlington standards.

    • JamesE

      I like the look of most of the new buildings in Ballston, the VT one is at least mostly glass and not boring concrete and the one going up right next to it has that nice curved glass look. Now just demolish the mall.

      • UnlimitedCustoms

        20 years from now we will be complaining of all the boring glass buildings in and around Ballston.

      • mitzy

        The new all-glass buildings will keep the maintenance staffs busy picking up all the dead bird carcasses off the sidewalks.

        • JamesE

          Free food, just install a grill below

        • Andy

          It’s a conspiracy involving Super Pollo.

      • HaulinOats

        The glass exterior of the VT building is nice to look at while not operating a motor vehicle. Heading up Glebe from Fairfax toward the Harris Teeter the other day I was blinded by morning glare off the entire VT building.

      • Arlington County Gubmint

        JamesE – sorry, we are backlogged at least a year for permits for such vendors. We also don’t have a designated lead for de-feathering inspections.

        HaulinOats – glad to see we are having some success in any and all attempts to stop you entitled people from driving cars in our County (yes, it’s OUR county, not yours). Please refrain from driving in the county and you won’t have a problem with the sun glare.

      • Walker

        What is “VT” building?

        • Brian

          Virginia Tech building … on Glebe, just north of Wilson

  • John

    Yeah. The VT building is the best of the new/current Arlington projects. I agree that the mall needs to go. And I have no idea why the huge, odd-looking blank signboard is still up on the old Hecht Co./Macy’s building.

    • Rick

      Because it’s still a Macy’s?

      • John

        It’s the strange looking signboard that covers the front facade that hasn’t been used since the 80s. It’s now partially blocked from view by the office building. It serves no purpose and hasn’t for years. When Macy’s moved in they were probably too preoccupied to care to take it down/or restore it. But it’s odd that it’s still there. The bland stucco facade and obsolete signboard are not a pretty sight. That whole block is a mess.

        • Brian

          While we’re at it, the pedestrian bridge/walkway thing to the mall could really use a redesign. So god awful to look at.

    • Lloyd

      If you are talking about the curved glass building at Wilson and Glebe, that is not the VPI building. VPI’s building is next to that.

  • VaSqGuy

    Yahtzee! I, personally, can’t wait to see the axes come out to the DoD budgets, and watch all of the contractors shrivel up around here.

    • RCW

      So you want to see the total collapse of the local economy for your petty amusement? Cool…

    • JamesE

      Most of the cuts are going to be at bases or in the fleets, large cuts. The work the contractors do around here won’t be affected too much, it will be, but not a doomsday scenario.

      • Clarendon

        I think that is correct and is historically the case as well. Just from the jobs perspective, a dollar spent on ‘think-tanks’, simulation capability, analysis etc employs more people in the US than a dollar spent on deployments or even on manufacturing weapons systems. Politically at this time, it would be less desireable to cut those things that unemploy more people.

    • Rick

      I can’t wait to see the axes come out on your comma key, sheesh

  • UnlimitedCustoms

    Is this on the former site of the Shell station and one of the few car washes in Arlington?

    • JamesE

      correct

      • CW

        I miss hitting the shell conveniently on the way back from Harris Teeter. The washington blvd location is only a block from me and the owner is really nice, but sometime I’m going to get totalled trying to get in or out of that place. I wonder if that is the smallest standalone commercial lot in Arlington?

        • UnlimitedCustoms

          I miss the car wash.

  • Baja

    You can thank Bluemont Civic Association members for their major influence to the design of the VT and wavy 800 N. Glebe buildings. While neither is amazing, 800 N. Glebe is at least interesting and I would argue that they’re both better than “Ballston Beige” of years past.

    The step-down of height and massing from Glebe toward more appropriate neighborhood proportions on the West side of the development and other factors including the integrated garages between VT, 800 N. Glebe and AHC’s The Jordan affordable housing development are also the direct result of BCA advocacy.

    • zzzzz

      Now if they would just fix the new block of 9th St to make it possible to drive on it without destroying your car. It’s the only access route to the garages for the VT building and the Jordan, but you have to drive down the wrong side of the road to avoid scraping the bottom of your car on the raised metal plate that runs up the middle. Add in the raised manhole covers and the parked trucks and it’s quite the obstacle course.

  • bred

    I thought, looking at the marketing signage, this was going to be a 20 story building. Is there another, 3rd, building planned which would be taller than the hotel?

    • John

      Yes. And it will be the tallest office building in the history of Ballston.

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