Developers of a new office building in Ballston have added another historical touch to commemorate the old Bob Peck Chevrolet dealership that for decades served as a neighborhood landmark on the same site.
Alexandria-based Bowman Consulting, the landscape architecture firm on developer JBG’s 10-story office building at 800 N. Glebe Road, recently designed and installed a historical marker to honor the dealership’s iconic Googie architecture style.
In January, builders added a diamond-shaped facade to the front of the building to mimic the style. Bob Peck Chevrolet was demolished in 2008.
From the text of the historical marker:
Bob Peck opened his first Chevrolet dealership in 1939 on Wilson Boulevard in Clarendon. In 1964, he moved the dealership west to Ballston to the very prominent corner of North Glebe Road and Wilson Boulevard, 300 feet south of this marker. Taking advantage of the site’s unique location and visibility, local architect Anthony Musolino designed a transparent circular showroom of glass and chrome, with a butterfly roofline whose frieze of diamond-shaped blue panels spelled out “Chevrolet.” The building was an excellent example of Googie architecture, reflecting the era’s prevailing interest in the future — space travel, nuclear energy, rockets — through the use of upward slanting and cantilevered roofs, geometric patterns, acute angles and large sheets of glass.
Musolino’s design evoked thoughts of flight and movement, with its walls of transparent glass and a roof that appeared to float skyward. The transparent showroom was a living billboard. Motorists could see the chrome-trimmed vehicles from the street. Peck Chevrolet became a community icon and a landmark for motorists traveling to and through Arlington. The showroom’s design is represented in the new diamond-shaped frieze of the office building now located at the former Bob Peck site.
Photos courtesy Bowman Consulting
The Georgetown Center for Continuing and Professional Education (CCPE) will be moving from Clarendon to the District.
The campus, part of the Gerogetown School of Continuing Studies (SCS), is recognizable by the “Georgetown University” sign across from the Clarendon Metro station. CCPE, which offers non-credit classes and 25 professional certificate programs, is one of the tenants of an office building at 3101 Wilson Boulevard.
The Center is being consolidated into a newly-announced Georgetown SCS campus in the Chinatown section of D.C., according to a university spokeswoman.
“Right now we’re hoping the new Georgetown downtown space will be ready for fall 2013,” said Stacy Kerr, Georgetown’s Assistant Vice President for Communications. “We would intend to keep our SCS students in Clarendon until the new space is ready.”
Kerr tells ARLnow.com that the university is still deciding what to do with the Clarendon space. Georgetown’s lease runs through fall 2014, she said.
“We certainly have needs and we would like to keep it as a consideration,” said Kerr.
International developer and construction company Skanska is working on the five story building at 1776 Wilson Blvd, which will contain both retail and office space.
To earn LEED certification, a developer must earn credits in six categories called Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy & Atmosphere, Materials & Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, and Innovation in Design & Regionalization. The rating system has a total of 110 points, and 80 are necessary to receive platinum certification.
Some of the green features included in the new building are ultra-efficient plumbing fixtures that offer a 40 percent reduction in the typical amount of water used, and water efficient landscaping that doesn’t require a regular irrigation system. Solar panels will be part of the effort to reduce the building’s annual energy costs by 24 percent, and high performance glass will prevent heat gain in the building.
There will also be a green roof terrace on the fourth floor. The garage will feature preferred parking for fuel efficient vehicles, and will be outfitted with power outlets to accommodate electric cars.
The building is scheduled to be mostly completed by August, and the hope is that tenants can move in this fall. Already, the building is 50 percent pre-leased.
A groundbreaking was held this morning for the new 3001 and 3003 Washington Boulevard office project in Clarendon.
Local officials, including Rep. Jim Moran and County Board Chair Mary Hynes, were joined by officials from Penzance, the project’s developer, at the ceremony.
Demolition work on the one block construction site actually got underway while the ceremony was taking place, we’re told. Taking the place of the small buildings that once occupied the block — including those housing a restaurant, a car dealership, a gym and a bank — will be two office buildings. Construction on the 8- and 10-story buildings is expected to wrap up in early 2014, according to Penzance.
Pike Buildings Set for Redevelopment — The buildings along Columbia Pike that house Rappahannock Coffee, L.A. Nails and Saah Furniture are set for redevelopment. A developer has proposed a single seven-story building to replace the aging buildings on the site. [Arlington Mercury]
School Board Approves Sequoia Plaza Lease — The Arlington School Board has approved a lease for office space in Sequoia Plaza, next to the new headquarters of the county’s Department of Human Services. The office space will allow the school system to move out of the Clarendon Education Center building and the Syphax Building on N. Quincy Street. [Sun Gazette]
H-B Student Production Accepted to Capital Fringe — Mindset, an original H-B Woodlawn student production, has been accepted to the 2012 Capital Fringe Festival. Mindset creator and H-B Woodlawn junior Jace Casey says he’s “excited” to be showcasing his production at the annual performing arts festival.
Naked Man on the GW Parkway — A naked man was reportedly taken into police custody this morning after being spotted by drivers on the GW Parkway near Memorial Bridge. [NBC Washington]
About a month from now, in early May, a groundbreaking is expected to be held for a new 280,000 square foot mixed-use office project in Clarendon.
In the meantime, the block on which the project will be built (3001-3003 Washington Boulevard) is looking more and more like a ghost town.
Chains and “no trespassing” have gone up around the block. The former BB&T Bank has been boarded up, as has the former Eleventh Street Lounge and Potomac Crossfit locations. The block’s long-time stalwart, T.A. Sullivan and Son cemetery monuments, now has a sign outside announcing its new location, in Vienna, and thanking the community “for allowing us to serve you for more than 100 years.”
BB&T Bank, meanwhile, also has a new location. The bank branch has moved into the old PNC Bank space at 3033 Wilson Boulevard, near the Clarendon Metro station.
The office project’s developer, Penzance, says it expects to wrap up construction in “early 2014.”
Contractor Chosen for New Ballston Apt. Tower — KBR Building Group has been tapped to build “The Place at Founders Square,” a new 17-story, mixed-use residential tower at 4000 Wilson Boulevard. Construction is expected to wrap up by the end of 2013. [CityBiz Real Estate]
Construction Update on Rosslyn Office Building — Construction on 1812 N. Moore Street, a 35-story behemoth in Rosslyn that will be the region’s tallest building upon completion, has topped the construction pit and reached surface level. [DC Metrocentric]
Multimedia Tools Available at Library ‘Lab’ — Next month Arlington Central Library will be launching a temporary “lab” on the first floor that will provide do-it-yourself multimedia creation tools. The Digital Projects Lab, as it will be called, will be open 20 hours per week and will have digital tools like Photoshop, Flash, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Final Cut Pro, Audacity and iMovie. The lab will be powered by MacBook computers and will also have a video camera, microphone, large color printer, film/photo scanner and Wacom Intuos 3 tablet. [Arlington Public Library]
Arlington GOP Doesn’t Rule Out Nov. Run — Arlington Republicans say they’re trying to recruit a candidate to take on newly-elected Democratic County Board member Libby Garvey in November. A Republican County Board candidate would face very steep odds, as the presidential election is expected to drive Arlington Democrats to the polls in droves. No Democratic candidate filed to challenge Garvey for the nomination before last night’s filing deadline. [Washington Post]
Floors 2 to 14 of the 14-story Class A office building are for rent for an asking price of between $44 and $48 per square foot, according to a real estate website. The building offers tenants “direct access to the Clarendon Metro via a below grade walkway from the lobby,” “panoramic views” and a “great signage opportunity,” according to the commercial real estate firm that’s helping to lease it.
The ground floor of the building has retail tenants like Mister Days and Mad Rose Tavern.
As reported in September 2010, the Defense Intelligence Agency will be moving out of the building by May 2013, in favor of a leafy, tech-oriented office park in Reston. That is leaving nearly 215,000 square feet of prime Clarendon real estate open for new potential office tenants.
The new tenants can move in as early as July 2013, according to the real estate listing.
Flickr pool photo by wfyurasko
The first new building proposed under the Crystal City Sector Plan reached Arlington’s Site Plan Review Committee this week.
The gleaming 24-story office building, complete with a unique cantilevered roof, would replace what is now an older government office building that’s nearly vacant as a result of the Base Realignment and Closure Act (BRAC). Under the proposal currently under initial consideration, the existing building — 1851 S. Bell Street — would be torn down and the new building would be built and relabeled 1900 Crystal Drive.
At some 730,000 square feet, we’re told that 1900 Crystal Drive would be the largest private office building in Arlington County. Developer Vornado is hoping to achieve LEED Silver or Gold environmental certification for the building.
“We’re really excited that such a gorgeous building is [being proposed],” said Crystal City Business Improvement District President and CEO Angela Fox. “It’s a bold statement about where Crystal City is headed.”
(Disclosure: Crystal City BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser.)
Up the road, changes are in the works for another existing office building along Crystal Drive.
The building known as Jefferson Plaza One, which has also been affected by BRAC, is expected to be renovated starting this spring.
The building will be “re-skinned” with a largely glass exterior and will be relabeled 1400 Crystal Drive. Building owner Lowe Enterprises has scheduled a groundbreaking event for the project on March 29.
Update at 5:15 p.m. on 2/1/12 — The site plan is no longer expected to come before the County Board in February. It may, however, come before the Board as soon as March or April, according to Leon Vignes of the Arlington County Department of Community Planning, Housing, and Development.
The Arlington County Board is expected to consider a site plan for a new eight-story office building in Courthouse at
its February an upcoming meeting.
The development — dubbed the “Clean Technology Center” — would be located at 2311 Wilson Boulevard and would replace a pair of two-story buildings that house a number of restaurants, including Thai at Corner, Chez Manelle, Listrani’s, and Adams Corner. A short stretch of dead-end road called N. Custis Street would also be replaced.
Two adjacent structures — a 10-story Archstone apartment building and the two-story “Superstar Tickets” office — would not be affected.
The proposed building would contain 166,380 square feet of office space, 8,660 square feet of ground-level retail space, a 5,000 square foot daycare center (plus a fenced-in, outdoor play area), a 9,432 square feet conference center, and a 1,665 square foot fitness center. The plan also includes a 20,000 square foot parcel of publicly-accessible green space to the north of the site, between the new building and the parking lot for Key Elementary School.
The developer is promising LEED Gold green building certification, including solar panels and a partial green roof. A three level garage below the building would include 264 parking spaces and 150 bike spaces.
So far, there’s no indication as to when demolition of the existing buildings would start should the site plan be approved.
Image below via Google Maps
Arlington Office Vacancies Up — Arlington and Alexandria were the only two D.C. area markets that saw a significant increase in office vacancies in 2011, according to recently-released data. Arlington, which had the lowest office vacancy rate at the end of 2010, ended 2011 with the same vacancy rate as the District of Columbia. The loss of government office tenants as a result of the Base Realignment and Closure Act is said to be to blame for the rise in vacancies. [Washington Post]
Howell Tries to Insert Viagra Provision Into Abortion Bill — State Sen. Janet Howell (D), who represents part of Arlington, tried to insert a bit of “gender equity” into a bill being considered by the Virginia Senate. The bill, SB484, would require that a woman seeking an abortion be offered the opportunity to view an ultrasound image of her fetus. Howell’s amendment, which was narrowly defeated along party lines yesterdsay, would have required men to receive a “digital rectal exam and cardiac stress test” before receiving a prescription for erectile dysfunction medication. [Blue Virginia]
Eleventh Street Lounge Closes — Eleventh Street Lounge in Clarendon closed up shop over the weekend to make way for a new office development. The restaurant’s management is reportedly hoping to relocate to a new space, at least temporarily. [Clarendon Nights]
Marine Beaten in Crystal City — Updated at 9:00 a.m. — NBC4 is revealing new details about a malicious wounding incident reported in last week’s Arlington County crime report. A Marine who lost a leg in Afghanistan and who’s up for a Silver Star medal was severely beaten with a club outside the 7-Eleven on 23rd Street in Crystal City. The attack, which was caught on surveillance video, may have been precipitated by a racial comment. [NBC Washington]
Photo courtesy Dan Gifford
A new office building under construction in Ballston has added an architectural feature that should look familiar to many locals: a triangular awning that pays tribute to the old Bob Peck Chevrolet dealership.
The building at 800 N. Glebe Road replaced the dealership, which was a neighborhood fixture for several decades. The under-construction awning isn’t the only homage to the dealership, however. The completed building will eventually feature “an artist’s replica of a ’55 Chevrolet tail fin” in an outdoor plaza, according to CityBiz Real Estate.
Construction is expected to wrap up on the 10-story 800 N. Glebe Road building within a few months. The building will house more than 300,000 square feet of office space and some 28,000 square feet of retail space.
Photo via Flickr user aldenjewell
The development will bring more than 300,000 square feet of office and retail space and nearly 450 underground parking spaces to the 1.13 acre block between Washington Boulevard and 11st Street N., one block from the Clarendon Metro station. While the development will replace several existing business on the block — including Eleventh Street Lounge, Potomac Crossfit, T.A. Sullivan & Son cemetery monuments, Atlantic Motors and a BB&T bank branch — it will also result in the preservation of several buildings and facades.
In order to build to the desired density (one 10-story office building and another 8-story office building) developer Penzance arranged to transfer development rights from two designated historic Clarendon properties: the Walgreens/Kenyon Peck building at 2825 Wilson Boulevard and the Boulevard Woodgrill/Faccia Luna building at 2901 Wilson Boulevard. Both buildings, considered “important” commercial structures by Arlington County’s Historic Resources Inventory, will be fully preserved.
The frontage of a historic building on the block to be developed will also be preserved. The former McQuinn’s Sporting Goods store building — now Eleventh Street Lounge and Potomac Crossfit — will be preserved and incorporated into the northwest corner of one of the office buildings.
In addition to preservation efforts, the developer committed to achieving LEED Silver green building certification for the project, will provide public art or contribute to a public art fund, and will provide $150,000 for pedestrian improvements in the area. Penzance also agreed to contribute $1.2 million to the county’s Affordable Housing Investment Fund and $56,500 to the county’s utilities fund.
The project’s valet-operated parking garage will be open to the public on weeknights and on weekends. The project will add 11 on-street parking spots and will fund installation of multi-space parking meters on the block.
The county noted that adding office space to the Clarendon area “will provide daytime support for retail and restaurant establishments while bringing office workers to the area in a reverse commuting pattern.”
“This development accomplishes many of the community’s goals for Clarendon, County Board Chair Mary Hynes said in a statement. “It provides balance to Clarendon’s use mix by providing two new mixed-use buildings with offices built above ground-floor retail. It helps address parking concerns in the area, by providing underground parking that will be available to the public on weeknights and weekends. And it honors our past by fully preserving two key historic buildings and the frontage of a third.”
A plan to revamp part of Virginia Square has been approved by the Arlington County Board. The development is planned for the site that houses the old Arlington Funeral Home (3901 Fairfax Dr) building.
BDC Crimson LLC is the developer for the nine story mixed-use commercial building, which will include offices, ground floor retail and a 12,985 square foot black box theater. The theater will cost $3.7 million to build, and will be leased to the County for 30 years, at $1 per year. It will hold 150 people.
“This project brings us closer to realizing the community-crafted sector plan’s vision of Virginia Square as a center for arts, culture and education,” said Arlington County Board Chair Mary Hynes. “The public plaza will enliven Virginia Square, and the Black Box Theater will add a significant cultural destination to this part of the Metro corridor.”
The County will collaborate with groups like the Arlington Commission for the Arts to devise a business plan for operating the theater. They’ll look at cost, use and operational alternatives for review by the County Manager in the preparation of future budgets.
The new plan also includes a 12,325 square foot public plaza along North Quincy Street. The County will hold a workshop so stakeholders and the public can give input on some components of the final plaza design, such as pattern and asphalt color.
The office building will have 250 parking spaces that will be available to the public on nights and weekends. Six additional spaces will be provided for retail customers and 17 for the theater. The developer will provide free four hour parking to theater patrons.
BDC Crimson LLC will seek LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, and will contribute $1 million to the County’s Affordable Housing Investment Fund, plus $1 million to nearby Quincy Park or other open space improvements and park amenities. These contributions let the developer have nearly 70,000 square feet of additional space for the project.
This plan has been in the works in various forms since 2004, with some major revisions in 2007. Previously, the facility was designed to include residences and a new funeral home. The County Board voted unanimously to approve the current plan.
It was 12:50 a.m. by the time the Arlington County Board adjourned last night, having spent three hours debating a proposal for aerospace and defense giant Boeing to build a new regional headquarters complex near Crystal City.
After a lengthy back-and-forth discussion, the Board voted unanimously to approve the project, which won high marks for its economic benefits to the county but which was strongly opposed by the county’s own citizen-led transportation and planning commissions.
Opponents of the Boeing plan argued that allowing six-story, single-tenant office buildings on the 4.7 acre property — located between Crystal City and the county’s new Long Bridge Park — ran counter to Arlington’s original “smart growth” goal for a mixed-use office, residential and retail development there.
The Boeing complex, which the company will own instead of lease, won’t provide the kind of active streetscape befitting a property so close to a multi-million dollar county park and recreation center, opponents said. Instead, the property will be largely closed off to the public; buildings will be set back from the sidewalk with no ground floor retail and no public-use parking spaces (which could have been utilized during special events at the park). Transportation Commission Chair Bill Gearhart called the complex, which will have 555 underground parking spaces, “auto-oriented” as opposed to transit-oriented. The Planning Commission called the architecture of the proposed buildings “mediocre.”
“If this project is approved, the County would be setting a precedent that it is okay to shred everything in order to keep a company that is not working, living or playing well with its neighbors,” the Planning Commission wrote.
But Boeing supporters — including county staff, Arlington Economic Development, and the Crystal City Business Improvement District — argued that the hundreds of jobs and millions in annual tax revenue that will be generated by the new Boeing complex represents significant a benefit to the county that more than justifies the shift in land use goals required to approve the project.
“I think tonight presents us a unique opportunity in recruiting and retaining a major employer,” said County Manager Barbara Donnellan. “At a time of increased economic uncertainty, this level of commitment to a major employer is critical to the county’s future economic sustainability, especially in Crystal City, where the future impacts of BRAC are yet to be seen.”
In pushing for the proposal’s approval, however, even Donnellan admitted that it “was not without controversy.”
“I acknowlege that my recommending steers slightly away from some of our urban planning ideals,” she said. “But I believe we’re facing a set of extraordinary circumstances.”
Supporters made the case that the plan for mixed-use development on the proposed site — two run-down square blocks of abandoned industrial buildings and a shuttered, deteriorating hotel — was unrealistic in the near-term. Waiting years for market conditions to be right for a high-density mixed-use development, some said, could jeopardize the county’s plan to build an aquatics center as part of the second phase of the Long Bridge Park project. As part of the agreed-to Boeing proposal, financially-challenged developer Monument Realty will engage in a land swap with the county that will allow the aquatics center to be built.