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Major Office Development Coming to Clarendon

by ARLnow.com March 22, 2011 at 4:31 pm 6,331 162 Comments

Next month the Clarendon-Courthouse Civic Association will discuss a planned office development on one of the last parcels of available high density real estate in the area.

The parcel is the block between Highland Street, Garfield Street, Washington Boulevard and 11th Street. It’s currently home to the T.A. Sullivan & Son cemetery monument business, Eleventh Street Lounge, Potomac Crossfit and a car dealership. All will be torn down to make way for a new ten-story office building with ground level retail space, according to a business owner, who did not want to be identified.

Penzance, a District-based developer, has land purchase contracts in place and hopes to start construction in either 2012 or 2013, according to the business owner.

Representatives from the development company are scheduled to discuss their plans on Wed., April 13, between 7:45 and 8:30 p.m., at a meeting of the Clarendon-Courthouse Civic Association. The meeting is being held at the Navy League building at 2300 Wilson Boulevard. Among the planned topics are the building footprint and its height, density and architecture.

  • Andrew

    I’m curious: I wonder how much of the recent development in Arlington has been fueled by the Supreme Court’s “Kelo” decision? I’m trying to think of a mom-and-pop shop that said “no” to developers and won. Or maybe everybody is just cashing out and moving on?

    • From what I understand the contracts have been in place for at least 1-2 years. I think everybody took the money willingly.

    • Anon

      VA eminent domain law is very strict. Has to be for an actual public use, not just something that is ‘good for the community’ or increases the tax break. So Kelo has nothing to do with Arlington development.

      • Anon

        *tax base

    • I haven’t heard of any Kelo (economic-development) condemnation actions in Arlington. The County seems to try its best to avoid threatening even blight-oriented condemnations (Bromptons in Cherrydale).

      Usually Kelo condemnations are used in depressed areas where there’s at least alleged blight, a depressed community, and some larger economic goal that the fair market can’t hit on its own. This doesn’t sound much like Arlington, at least along the Orange Line.

      • borf

        I think Kelo said it doesn’t even have to involve “blight.” The locality can determine what blight is, and they frequently decide that perfectly healthy businesses in perfectly healthy neighborhoods should go, just because they have something better they want there.

        But I don’t think it’s relevant to Arlington. Not happening here.

    • charlie

      Kelo is irrelevant in Virginia and most, but not all, states. Our laws are much better written. The eminent domain that happened would never been allowed here.

    • local

      How many of these projects actually involve the use of eminent domain? I don’t know of any.

  • I remember reading an article how Sullivan would never leave, and that neither would his kids. Wasn’t able to find it though.

    • From an August 30, 2010 article on TBD:
      “I’m kind of obligated to one builder that I would settle with, if they could get the funds,” he says, although he won’t say which company.

      http://www.tbd.com/blogs/tbd-neighborhoods/2010/08/the-holdouts-t-a-sullivan-and-son-memorials-1017.html

      • Dave

        Has T.A. Sullivan & Son been at that location since 1885? Pretty sad if they have been.

        • Virginia^2

          Not according to that article:

          T.A. Sullivan’s moved to the corner of North Highland Street and Washington Boulevard, “must be 50 years ago,” according to owner Joe Poldiak, 71. Before that, it was situated near Arlington Cemetery, but it had to move so Arlington County could put in a ramp for U.S. Route 50. “The county paid Mr. Sullivan a ton of money, and moved the business up here,” Poldiak says. He’s owned the headstone and memorial engraving company since 1968. It’s existed since 1885.

  • CrossCult

    Oh darn…where are all the CrossCulters going to go?

  • Stew Magnuson

    One story buildings around here are going extinct.

    • peachy

      How has Nam Viet managed to hang on?

      • charlie

        Nam Viet owns their building AND chose to NOT sell out. Unlike other businesses that everyone wishes were still here.

  • JamesE

    A 25 story pizza place where each floor has a unique organic ingredient and a cupcake shop on the roof.

    • arlgal

      Don’t forget the Irish pub on the first floor!

    • NPGMBR

      Wow, thats a good one!

  • NorArl Res

    That is a shame. Developers are tearing down all of Arlington’s history in favor of multi-use buildings with the same kind of businesses.

    • Lou

      They need more tax money to keep the libraries open.

    • Thes

      Actually, the developer is proposing to buy the development rights to two historic Arlington properties so they can be preserved indefinitely. So this would potentially be a net-plus for keeping buildings from our history.

    • Vinh An Nguyen

      That is a shame. Developers are tearing down all of Arlington’s history in favor of multi-use buildings with the same kind of businesses.

      It wouldn’t be so bad if everything they built didn’t look the same.

  • Neighbor

    Please stop the high-rise developments. Clarendon is a great community and our idiotic County Board is turning it into another Ballston with high-rise buildings that block the sun and ruin the character of a neighborhood. Worse, there are no additional roads being built to handle additional traffic. Morning traffic is already too dangerous for children trying to cross the street to catch the school bus. Ten stories of people is far too much density for this area.

    • Thes

      What if this developer promised, in exchange for this building, to buy up a block or two of historic properties in Clarendon and give them a historic preservation easement?

      • Lou

        Define “historic”

        • Thes

          See page 49 (pdf). It includes some building frontage on this site, and whole buildings on other sites.

    • Chris

      Yep – what the County needs – another wind tunnel street. So much for low rise and seeing the sunshine. Think I will go to DelRay for some variety in shopping.

      • Skeptical

        Del Ray? A yoga studio in every loft and a chatchka store on every corner?

        Don’t get me wrong, some of those chatchkas and crafts are fine stuff and a few adorn my house, but I challenge you to find anything anyone actually needs in Del Ray.

        • local

          Tacos.

    • Agent Michael Scarn

      The property is a block away from the metro, it was inevitable. It looks the new building will be on par with the heights (maybe even below) of the surrounding buildings. As for “they aren’t building more roads to handle the additional traffic,” — it’s on a city grid. 1) there’s no room for more roads, 2) It’s a block away from the metro and most folks will take that. This development really won’t be a huge change for Clarendon.

    • Overgrown Bush

      +1

    • PigPen

      Really? How do children in Brooklyn manage to cross the streets to get to school? Are they just more highly evolved? Your argument was fine until you played the “what about the children” card…

      • CW

        I’ve been getting a lot of mileage out of this one recently.

        • Thes

          Perhaps we have discovered a corollary to Godwin’s Law? We could call it the ArlNow Conclusion or something.

    • eosacritic

      How exactly is the County Board doing this? Please. Virginia is a property owner’s state, and if a developer makes an agreement with a landower to buy the land, he can build. The Board only has something to do with it if there are exceptions to the zoning limits.
      The Clarendon Sector Plan, approved by residents, allows these buildings to be razed and built higher. Spilled milk, at this point, much as I’m saddened by losting those little buildings there.

  • SoCo Resident

    Where will we buy our tombstones now? The drunks from a certain nearby bar have been pushing them over late at night.

    • LyonSteve

      Where is SoCo? Sounds like the beverage.

      • Jezebel

        He lives West of The Fort (WTF), off Pershing.

  • DT

    I am keeping my fingers crossed for a mixed use condo/retail building with a pizza place, Irish bar and a cupcake bakery supported by the transplant douches who will reside above them. Its a regular suburban oasis!

    • Dbag

      I totally agree, this is a huge opportunity for such establishments to take over the ground level retail space. Definitely a pizza place and cupcake bakery and hopefully even a burger joint.

    • Mike

      Indeed, those sorts of businesses would do little for the neighborhood. Unlike the headstone business, which has always been a place where the community likes to hang out, discussing who died lately and what their epitaph should be.

      Seriously, I hate to see some of the small locally-owned, non-chain businesses disappear, but this particular business (like the car dealers still in the area) has long been a poor fit for the modern character of this neighborhood. A monument-carving business is the sort of thing that really does belong outside the beltway, preferably in an industrial park of some sort.

      • Allan

        Wait until you need one. Now you’ll probably have to drive to Manassas or someething to pick one out.

  • LuvDusty

    This idea that small business owners/mom and pop stores are being pushed out is wrong. Take Member Cleaners as an example..I know the owner, Cathy, as I’ve been taking my clothes there for years now.

    She is THRILLED for the new space in the new building on Fillmore, as it makes her shop more accessible to all the residents in all the new buildings. She expects to see her business double.

    Also, the Clarendon Valet service, just 1 block away, has seen an increase in business as well from all the multi-purpose bldgs w/residences.

    Not all small businesses are hurt by this mixed-use development.

    While I do agree that the height of the buildings needs to be managed, to avoid that “Ballston High Rise” feel–the tallest bldg is still at 10 floors, which is nothing compared to the Va Square and Ballston areas.

    Sure, I sometimes miss the Clarendon of 1998 (when I first moved here), but I don’t miss the old dirty buildings, the dubious restaurants (Cafe Dalat anyone?) and the lack of good options for food/clothing/goods shopping within walking distance.

    The parking/traffic issues should be a non-starter. These buildings are mostly going to be used by people who live within blocks (or feet in some cases) from them. Also, each new bldg has added a full parking garage as well.

    If there are people driving to Clarendon from other places to do their shopping, then they are dumber than I thought. Those people have options in Ballston, Va Square, EFC and further out.

    Just because people are stupid and are driving to Clarendon, when they can go closer to home for their daily necessities, that doesn’t mean that growth should be stifled in my neighborhood.

    I walk everywhere, so the traffic and parking is not an issue for me.

    • Chris

      Clarendon Valet has better parking than the old location. Plus, the owner is brilliant with repairing leather shoes and handbags.

    • Toucan Sam

      +1

    • Agent Michael Scarn

      +1

    • CW

      The Clarendon Center residential building (Lyon Place) is 12 habitable stories plus the equivalent of another for mechanical.

  • Southeast Jerome

    On this note, I will be hittin up the 1/2 burgers at 11th street lounge (wed/sat) very frequently until the construction starts.

    And hopefully the building isnt as ugly as the one above Mr Days….

    • Jessie

      Yeah, I’ve always passed Eleventh and thought about going in. I even looked on yelp and read about them. Now I really need to visit before they are gone.

    • LyonSteve

      They any good? Maybe I’ll make a trip down there. All day Wed/Sat?

      • Southeast Jerome

        Yea they are good, plus great draft beer selection, I prefer the Delirium Tremens. But think only open in the evenings and brunch on weekends? Not exactly sure tho.

  • QPGirl

    On a related sad note, I just heard somewhere that Jay’s is closing by the end of the year. The owner of the building (who is not Jay) is finally caving into developers. Not sure where I saw it… Northern Virginia Magazine maybe? ArlNow, maybe you could do a little legwork?

    • FrenchyB

      SULCO Company Inc., owns the Jay’s property, as well as the adjacent three properties to the west. I’ve heard that Jay’s has been on a month-to-month lease for several months now, so it seems that the landlord is just waiting for the leases to expire on the other properties so they can sell.

      Too bad, Jay’s will be missed.

      • Sulco

        Sulco is Buck Real Estate

  • charlie

    as you can see the County Board, and Thes, have already sold out the neighborhood. What about the historic buildings on the site?
    THis building is going to be HUGE because Thes and other muckity mucks have said so. And so it will be.

    • Lou

      Usually when they say the “developer will discuss” it’s really about breaking the news to everyone. So it sounds like TDR #2 for Arlington, trading density from one site to bust the FAR on this site. Who needs zoning? It’s just a piece of paper.

      • cj

        TDR opportunities and limits in Clarendon are spelled out in the sector plan. It’s not “busting” any zoning to propose what the plan invites.

        • Lou

          How would you characterize it then? I may call it one thing, you call it another, we both know what happens here.

          • Toucan Sam

            Called knowing the market, dude, and playing by the rules as they are writ.

          • Lou

            Market? That is part of the problem with Arlington’s implementation of TDR. There is no market or bank for owners to transfer their density in to. You do not get best value for density when you move it in this way. It just covers up zoning deficiencies.

            I am not against development overall, but I would like to see the County get their zoning and FAR updated rather than cheat on the corners like this.

          • Josh S

            Lou, it’s not like we each get to decide our own scheme of logic and they are equal. Some assertions are supported by facts, others are not. You call the sky blue, I call it green – oh well, it’s all just semantics. No. It’s not.
            The plan invites this kind of development.
            To say then, that this kind of development is “busting” the plan or “busting” zoning laws / regulations is not supported by the facts.
            You may DISAGREE and DISLIKE the proposed development, but that’s got nothing to do with whether or not the development is within the rules.

          • Lou

            No, actually it is important to note when selective upzoning happens. In some cases it could be challenged by an owner in an adjacent lot who expected only an 8 story structure to be built there because they did their due diligence and knew what the zoning was.

            The county should be honest about the density they want or are willing to live with and rewrite their zoning to reflect that, so everybody has an even playing field. People talk about Arlington being difficult to deal with from a business standpoint, it’s not just about street signs, it’s about things like this.

  • James

    There is a difference between historic and old. The buildings on that site are old, nothing of historic significance. I can’t believe anyone would think they should be preserved, ha ha ha ha. I don’t understand people who think Arlington should be frozen in time at some arbitrary, bucolic (imaginary) date in the past. No progress!

    • PghBigDog

      ‘PROGRESS’ would be to move the liquor store back where it was on Highland St. where the health club is now (where the post office was before). That’d be REAL PROGRESS. What a frakakta spot it’s in now over on Filmore… no parking, just cars whizzing in from Washington Blvd! A man could get hurt just tryin’ to git him a drink!

  • Sara

    Ugh! I just the other day was thinking how this is one of the few remaining quaint corners of Clarendon that hasn’t been jacked up to the heights of Rosslyn and Ballston with massive unaffordable condos!

    • Toucan Sam

      Quaint? QUAINT??? How about “butt-ugly?” How about, “WTF!!??” How about, “Sweet baby be-jeebus, somebody make that owner an offer he caint refuse?”

    • Agent Michael Scarn

      10 stories (Clarendon) ≠ 25 stories (Rosslyn/Ballston)

    • North Cherrydaler

      I agree. It always made me happy to pass by that odd little cluster of buildings. No, they weren’t beautiful–but they weren’t big, generic condo/office towers, either, and for that I was grateful.

  • Thes

    Because of the number of questions, I’m going to repost this link (pdf) here. See page 49. That map depicts the historic buildings in Clarendon that the Historic Board, local community, landowners, and County Board agreed should be preserved. You will note that it includes some frontage on the block to be developed, as well as other specific buildings and frontages in Clarendon. To get approval for the density they are seeking, the developer will need to preserve everything listed on their block, as well as buying up development rights on some of the other properties.

    • anonymous coward

      Hey Thes, how about you declare your affiliation with/affinity for the developer and be clear that they’ll do whatever is necessary to get increased “bonus density”/FAR over and above what the GLUP calls for? The “building frontage preservation” for the block to be developed is a joke; I’m the first to admit that none of those buildings are historic – in fact, they range from generic to downright ugly.

      Bonus density is probably appropriate given Arlington’s desire for transit oriented development – i.e. lots of density near metro. However, I’d rather see the developer commit to ground floor retail, a LEED Silver or Gold building (yay environment) and provide funds to buy a couple adjoining crappy buildings in the most dense parts of the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor and turn them into green spaces/”pocket parks”. Alternately, fund improvements to existing (but lame) green space – for example, the park on Wilson b/t Oakland and Nelson whose sole purpose appears to be a place for dogs to crap…how about some nice landscaping, benches, a kid’s play area, anything?

      For others, stop waxing poetic about the purported charm of “old clarendon” that was dingy, less safe, and provided fewer options for convenience and entertainment – that block sucks and should be redeveloped.

      • Thes

        I am not affiliated with the developer. I haven’t even decided if I support the project yet. However, the community was very explicit about its historic preservation goals in Clarendon, and the developers are claiming to meet those goals. When they unveil their project, we will see if that is true, by comparing it to the specific guidance in the plan that’s linked twice, above. The plan also requires ground floor retail (see page 44 of the same document). The plan also explicitly mentions LEED (for example on page 58) although the plan does not require LEED.

  • TuesdaysChild

    We need more low rise building in Clarendon; no more high rise buildings. Starting to feel like Ballston. And no more “bonus density” either.

    • Dan

      +1

    • ballston

      that is retarded. low-rise density?

      riddle me this, you also dont want lanes added to 66 or 395 do you?

      good lord people you cant pretend the region isnt growing. its not 1990. the only direction we can build in arlington is up. get over your low-rise love affair, its not the way the county is choosing to go with this corridor. Nor should it be.

      • Overgrown Bush

        Good luck getting on a train, ballston. More density, same metro service, packed trains. We are overloading the mass transit.

        • CW

          Do keep in mind that this is an OFFICE building – not residential. That actually is somewhat cool in my mind. Now, I realize that the concept of “living where you work” is generally something touted by the rainbow-and-unicorn, glass-is-always-overflowing-with happiness, delusionally optimistic smart growth crowd. And, in a lot of places, it is not practical or desirable. Who wants to live in Tyson’s, anyhow? I’d be fine with Ballston, but a lot of people don’t like ballston. Now clarendon though, you can’t tell me that you wouldn’t want to live and work there. Walk right across the street to work, pop into one of the local places for lunch, then hit up happy hour on the strip right after work. Seems pretty idyllic to me. And, assuming that the building is going to be expensive for tenants, it will probably employ the sorts of people who will be able to live right nearby if they want to.

          So, while I realize that it’s optimistic, a little more office space here could actually be a good thing. Say it comes to house a company that’s currently in Rosslyn, or Tyson’s, where its employees generally live further away. If it moves to someplace like Clarendon, where its employees actually will want to live, it could in theory lighten the load on public transit and the roads. It’d be a drop in the bucket, but…just saying.

      • borf

        Come on, find another word besided “retarded,” it’s disrespectful to real people.

  • ian l

    I think it is great that they will be building on those lots. 10 stories is not enough! Arlington is in a great position to attract high quality residents if it would allow more high rise condos. The reason they are so expensive is that there are so few and such high demand, more condos on the market= lower price. Anything near that metro should have almost no height limit. If you care about the environment you support high density transit oriented development!

    • Skeptical

      Forgive me, but what is your definition of a “high quality resident”?

      If it means someone who wants to live in a high rise condo near the Metro, you are talking about mostly young, single professional people, likely to be living on their credit cards (IMHO), unless of course some of those condos are specifically orchestrated for seniors who feel like it’s time to give up their car keys and live near a Metro.

      Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t see too many of the latter figuring in this density plan.

      Are we really assuming that “high quality” means 20-40 years old and ready to party?

      • Thes

        Whoever they are, they will not be among “the most affluent audience in the Washington D.C. metro area.” As I understand it, that that doesn’t include anyone who whose front door is above ground level.

      • Toucan Sam

        “Living on their credit cards?” As if you know. What’s it to you?

        Got DoD job/contractor envy?

      • ballston

        Skeptical – thats just a very ignorant post. Are you against young people? Do you think that a single 25-year old who spends all their money on partying can really afford a condo in clarendon?

        Clearly, you havent tried to get a mortgage recently, or you just have been living obviously in your Lyon Village home benefiting from the gentrification of the Courthouse-Ballston corridor the last few years as your home value skyrocketed and you’re sitting on 400K in equity and now you look down on “newcomers” because they need somewhere to live?

        There are jobs in this region. People want to live in Arlington and get to their jobs without sitting in traffic – thus there needs to be DENSITY around metro/live work centers.

        Go knit, pop a bayer and count your blessings that these high quality residents are hard-working enough to pay your social security

        • ballston

          meant to say “obliviously” not obviously. And its no swipe to Lyon Village as a place to live, just an example to get my point across. As you were.

        • CW

          GET EM BOY! Seriously…post of the month. The hypocrisy is staggering from these people.

          “Yeah I used to live in a quiet, car-oriented residential neighborhood when I bought my house for peanuts. Now all these damn kids keep moving in and they’re saying some nonsense about it being ‘the most desirable place to live’ or something. Damn kids, all living off of their credit cards. They must not have real jobs to be able to afford those $500k condos and $2000/mo rents. Must be government handouts they’re living off of. Oh, awesome, new appraisal on my house came in; it’s up to $1.5 mil now. WHAT? I have to pay property taxes on it?! DAMN KIDS!!!”

          • CrankyPants

            Get Off my lawn ! 🙂

            There’s a few in every neighborhood – the burbs and even the countryside. Except here they don’t chase you away with a shotgun on the porch like they did where I grew up!

          • CW

            Yeah, where I grew up they mostly had yards full of nasty junkyard dogs.

            But I’d still take that over the NIMBYs in their multimillion-dollar historical homes who lament the influx of young professionals while simultaneously sending their kids to the best public schools in the nation, courtesy of the tax money taken from the same yuppies they claim to hate.

          • arlgirl

            I got news for you- about 75% of our neighborhood bought their homes in the last 5 years…at the top of the market. The older ppl cashed out. I only know a handful of ppl that fall into the ‘lucky’ category you keep referencing. What do you think the property taxes run on a +million dollar home? Don’t worry they are paying a pretty penny each year in real estate tax to the County..whereas renters- not so much.

          • Josh S

            If I’m renting my property, I’m making sure the property taxes are covered by the rent I’m charging. Can’t see why anyone wouldn’t. So it’s a convenient myth to say renters don’t pay property taxes – it’s just not directly to the county that they pay.

          • Southeast Jerome

            Arlgrl you are wrong again. I rent and I know for a fact that I pay for the mortgage payment, estimated property tax, insurance and the condo/HOA fee.

          • Southeast Jerome

            Arlgrl – even more so…. renters are subsidizing your taxes because they dont get to deduct what they pay per month as you get to with your mortgage interest; lose the elitist viewpoint – it really makes you look like a fool

          • CW

            Yeah, seriously. So now I’m supposed to feel sorry for people who bought their houses for ridiculously large sums? You must really be suffering over there, having barely scraped together enough to buy into that blighted, sweetgreen-lacking slum that is Lyon Village.

        • Southeast Jerome

          well said Ballston

      • ian l

        Skeptical:

        To me a high quality resident is someone who is educated, employed, and spends money in the county.

        When you say 20-40 year olds ready to party, you should realize that they are paying for poor kids to go to school, fill potholes, and paying all the expensive county salaries.

  • When is Public Shoes going to sell out?

    • Josh S

      That’s definitely a head scratcher. I’m assuming they are still selling enough to pay the rent. Also assuming it’s a family business, I’d guess no selling out until mom and pop get too old to run the place. Unless son number one has already decided he kinda likes running a shoe shop. In which case, it’s decades.

  • geebee

    Smart high density is good all around. It benefits the environment, broadens the tax base, and encourages an urban lifestyle. I wouldn’t be happily – and easily – car-less if I didn’t live in a high rise at a Metro stop. I’ve lived in the area for 50 years and so will miss the quirky, familiar neighbor that is TA Sullivan & Son, but time marches on, and a lonely little cemetery monument shop – or a used car lot, for that matter – doesn’t make sense near a Metro stop. Those who want unhindered views of the sun can easily walk a block or two north or south to stroll lovely old neighborhoods that remain relatively unmolested.

    • Urban lifestyle is a good thing?

      Only if you love crime.

      • Toucan Sam

        You wish, little boy. Y’all don’t know what you’re talking about.

      • Flight White

        Yeah, gotta get outta the city. Been to Dupont lately? Downtown? Georgetown? Scary as hell these days. Place is empty after 5.

      • ballston

        yeah especially that big city on an island in the north – what a scary urban area!!!!

        • Overgrown Bush

          When was the last time you were there and looked at the crime stats?

      • borf

        Crime is pretty low in Arlington, TGEoA.

    • arlgirl

      there are no lovely old neighborhoods. They are buying up and knocking down every damn house in Lyon village and putting in its place a brand new construction 5+ bedroom McMansion that barely fits on the lot. This is what needs to be stopped. There is no historic preservation like in Georgetown. F-u BCN!

      • McGibby

        +1

      • Danielle

        Agreed- BCN is single-handedly ruining Lyon Village. It disgusts me when they knock down perfectly nice brick houses to put up their ridiculous craftsman cookie cutter houses.

      • Southeast Jerome

        what is BCN?

        • arlgirl

          the bain of our existence in Lyon Village. A housing developer that swoops in–purchases a historic house and then knocks it down the next day. They then erect a god-awful 5-6 bedroom McMansion that towers over the surrounding houses and try to sell it for 1.8-2.5 million. THEY NEED TO BE STOPPED!

          • Historic? Really? Just because it was built 60 years ago doesn’t make it historic.
            One of the things I love about Lyon Village (as a person who grew up here and has lived here the past ~30 years) is that there isn’t that stupifying sense of conformity that you find out in the planned burbs. Do you honestly expect them to get all the buildings in LV? And sure, maybe they aren’t the best looking houses and probably won’t age well, but that is part of the game. Someone is buying them because they like them…. I kind of find it refreshing that LV is like a living creature, changing as it ages, not some crazy thing where people try to lock into a specific shape or style.

          • arlgirl

            Every Mickey Simpson, American Realty and BCN house is the same generic piece of crap. They are doing exactly what you don’t want..turning Lyon Village into one of those crappy-looking outer suburban cookie-cutter neighborhoods. Plus the houses are mammoth and look ridiculous on the teeny, tiny lots. Unlike the nice solid brick houses built in the 1920’s these pieces of crap aren’t going to age well and are going to look terribly dated in a horrible way.

        • charlie

          BCN is a contractor who has never hired an architect in his life and is proud of it. The houses are ugly and poorly designed with mismatched and disproportionate architectural features. They get sold because the meet the “checklist” of today’s greedy and uneducated desperate buyer. I heard that one of their houses somewhere in Cherrydale even collapsed while under construction.

          • R.Griffon

            At $1M+? I guess the desperate and uneducated are doing pretty well for themselves these days…

      • shirley

        if you don’t like BCN, you should also STOP going to Liberty Tavern and Lyon Hall and Northside Social — all business Owned and supported by BCN and their ugly construction. And whatever they put in where the Alpine Restaurant was located. ALL FUNDED BY BCN.

        • Puppy Owner

          Huh…didn’t know BCN owned those places. Now that I know I’m going to have to think twice about supporting those restaurants. When BCN tore down the brick house near Walgreens that was it for me. I’m thrilled that it looks like they haven’t been able to sell whatever ridiculous house they want to build there because they haven’t started on it yet. I agree, one day people are going to look at the crap houses they’re putting up and say those houses are so 2010 and laugh while tearing them down.

      • cj

        If you really want historic preservation, where’s your advocacy for a local historic district for Lyon Village, with county review of every exterior change to every house? That’s what protects Georgetown, but even the Villagers haven’t so far been willing to accept that.

        • arlgirl

          I’m all for it.

  • LG

    Should be nice and loud for all the residents. I know I was woken up daily by the construction on the corner of Washington and 10th. Who lets them start hammering at 7AM?

    • anonymous coward

      Get involved in the planning process – you can lobby for restrictions on when construction starts/stops, ask for pilings to be screwed instead of hammered (less pounding), ask for more green space on the lot as a tradeoff for greater height/density, review the design if you don’t want Ballston beige, etc.

    • LyonSteve

      County ordinance allows.

    • clarendude

      I think the residents in Lyon Place will not hear much. I toured the apartments there and the windows and balcony doors are very high quality and seal real tight. Everyone around there will feel the pile hammers though (not much you can do about that) – unless they use the drill instead of the hammer…

  • arlgirl

    though I will say…I am glad it is an office building and not another condo/apt building….at least these ppl won’t be around on the weekends. The population density of residents is getting ridiculous.

    Can we please have a ‘Sweetgreen’ or other healthy restaurant at lobby level and not another frickin’ burger or cupcake joint.

    • ballston

      arlgirl: where would you prefer the people that will work in this office building live? If you are like some on this board, you seem to have conflicting views on the future of Arlington.

      Employers wont come here if their employees have to live in gainesville because there is no density close in to live. And nobody wants to live in gainesville and sit in traffic for 3 hours because the NIMBYs dont want to expand 66. Seriously – get over yourself. I hope start building 40 story condos in Arlington, we need the housing, especially if the county wont allow the roads to be expanded to allow people to get to their jobs in the county.

      • madisonmanor

        And where do you propose the employers to go? The biggest one is the federal government, and they can barely afford Chantilly anymore. Unfortunately, our federal, state & local governments are creating a cluster f*ck because they have to continue spreading out, which is counter-intuitive to the public transportation infrastructure. What happens when (not if) all these people move to the newly Ballson-ized Clarendon and their walk-to employers move out to Manassas because they can’t afford to do business otherwise?

        • Overgrown Bush

          It is already happening. Tysons Corner.

          • South Arlington

            Commercial A class real estate costs about the same in Tysons as it does here. Try again.

          • Southeast Jerome

            I would much rather work in Tysons than DC b/c then I could drive to work and park for free rather than have to rely on the Orange Crush.

          • Overgrown Bush

            You will be stuck in traffic on I66. It is horrid in both directions.

      • local

        If you widen 66, you’ll still sit in taffic. It will solve nothing. The employers will just go out to Gainesville and fill the hole.

        • Southeast Jerome

          I doubt that many major employers would move to Gainesville – especially not the type that Arlington tries to court like DOD/Contractor types

          • Overgrown Bush

            In 25 years you may see big employers in Gainesville. Fairfax, Tysons, and maybe a few parts of closer-in Prince William. Dulles area too, Reston. That is where they are going now.

  • Pedro

    A bit of history–the Eleventh Street Lounge building was once home to McQuinn’s Sporting Goods. McQuinn’s co-owner was Washington-Lee standout athlete George McQuinn, who went on to a very good baseball career, hitting in 34 straight games for the 1938 St. Louis Browns, blasting the only Browns home run in World Series history (1944) and having the second highest batting average for the 1947 World Champion New York Yankees, behind only a guy named DiMaggio.

    That stinks about Jay’s, the last real bar in Clarendon and probably all of Arlington.

  • yrb

    10 stories buildings are great, exactly how I like it: 5-10 story buildings, no skyscrapers and no one story strip mall-like crap either. Clarendon is getting better and I love it, I hope there will a be a good mix or residential and commercial coming forward, we don’t need too many office buildings but we need more amenities.

    What is there now at that corner is an ugly crap. It’s not historic in any way.

    NIMBYs go away!!!

  • arlgirl

    we have enough damn new condos/apts coming on the strip in the next year..in ballston and in clarendon to house these ppl. Give me a break. Besides—how many of these ‘family workers’ are going to want to live in a one-bedroom apt/condo. They are looking for a TH or SFH.

    • CW

      We get it. You live in Lyon Village in a historic brick home. Probably worth 1 mil or so. You want your little neighborhood for yourself and no one else. But all that tax money flowing in sure is nice.

      Oh, and like, SweetGreen! Ohmygosh, can we like have a sweetgreen, because that would like be so rad for like after my Zumba classes lollolol kthxbai!

      • arlgirl

        ummm..no. Zumba is for P**sies…and yoga is for stinky f*cks with nasty bare feet.

        • CW

          Ok, we agree on something – I hate Pansies and ficks too!!!

        • Arlanon

          NIMBY = loser

  • Josh

    Damn, there goes my apt view… I use to be able to see all the way to wilson blvd.

    • LyonSteve

      Sell now then. Or take a picture, have it printed large and replace your window with it.

      It could be worse, have you seen some of the other condos in Clarendon? They are mere feet from other buildings — zero sunlight.

      • Josh

        “take a picture, have it printed large and replace your window with it.”

        haha nice, not a bad idea.

    • CW

      I take it you are in the garfield/11th/washington building there?

      • Josh

        Right around there yea

  • Eleventh Street Lounge may close? I’m very upset by this, I love their ‘secret’ basement dance floor. I might protest outside on Highland street once construction begins.

    Also dismayed by the talk of Jay’s closing. Clarendon needs diversity in its nightlife scene, from ‘dive’ bars like Jay’s to sports bars like Whitlows/Spider Kellys to sticky-floored dance mess like Ballroom, to stay interesting.

    • clarendude

      It is a bad thing to lose the interesting bars. One problem is new developments use the underground for parking which means none of the new places have interesting multi-floor arrangements like basements. I do like the fact that the older buildings that remain are all starting to use their rooftops.

    • JamesE

      the dive bars don’t fit in with the whole foods and cheesecake factory culture.

      • Josh S

        Ah, but this is what density and urbanization is supposed to promote. Diversity. Now, Galaxy Hut is freaking teeny so maybe not the best example, but it IS always packed. I think there is room for dive bars in the R-B corridor just as there, sigh, must be room for the occasional *shudder* Cheesecake Factory.
        Now, if we could only get the 4chan people to figure out how to tap into the outdoor speakers at Clarendon Commons and play some ICP……

  • Christina

    It’s getting harder and harder to squeeze onto Metro in the mornings, and the condo buildings going up on every corner are only contributing to the crunch. What I’d like to know it – do the developers have to do some sort of “impact analysis” that considers the extra strain placed on metro by all the new condos/retail space? I know they have to do some sort of traffic analysis – but what about mass transit??

    • local

      If you don’t put the condos here, they’ll go up in Fairfax County and further out, and those people will crowd the highways and Metro anyway. At least putting them here gives some of those people other transportation options and shorter commutes.

    • CW

      At some point, I wish metro and its governing entities would wake up and start treating it like a business. What other business is there where too much demand is really that much of a problem? Especially when there’s capacity to be had, e.g. by going to 8-car trains after the requisite electrical system upgrades. The only industry I can think of that works in a similar manner is the electric utility industry. I realize that metro, similarly, is regulated, but they’ve got to wake up and either get prices in line with the value of the service they’re providing, or make the capital investments needed to accomodate the demand. Just because it’s a public entity doesn’t mean that it needs to be operating at a loss AND underserving its customer base. I don’t want to price people out of riding the metro, but we need to get real here.

      • Southeast Jerome

        You’ve got a good point here but keep in mind, many people are close to giving up Metro at the current price point due to reliability issues. Any higher pricing and more people will just get into their cars. They’ve had 2 fare hikes in the last 3 years and service has gotten incrementally worse…. I think, long term, revenue needs to come from local jurisdictions & the federal government if we want a sustainable system to handle the growing needs of the region.

        • CW

          I agree with everything that you said, but unfortunately it still reflects the metro mentality, which is the cart leading the horse. The service has gotten incrementally worse because the prices used to be WAY too low and they had to raise them just to keep the system from melting down. Well, that’s not enough. The pricing is from the bottom up right now, with everyone thinking, my god, we can’t change the prices. Well, sadly, it needs to be from the top down. They need to start from scratch. What does it cost to run the system? What capital improvements are needed to make it a good system? How much will that cost? What kind of interest rate can we secure? Who are we going to subsidize – federal workers, poor people, other specific classes that we need to take care of. Then run the numbers. Yes, there have been fare hikes recently, and yes it makes people unhappy. People get used to something and don’t like it to change. But the fact of the matter is that metro is still highly underpriced for the service it offers.

          • Southeast Jerome

            I think the only feasible way to charge more on Metro and still have the ridership without totally blowing up the roads is too charge a congestion tax type feature where it doesnt financially make sense to drive.

            For example, on Monday when I was an hour late to work and could do nothing about it b/c I was trapped at the clarendon station – if I was in my car at least I could have driven a different way. I havent been on the metro since Monday. And it only costs me $3.50 more a day to drive into the city instead of Metro…

          • CW

            You’re telling me! On monday I left the clarendon station, walked back, got my car from my apartment, and DID drive into the city!! And to add insult to injury, I got charged the fare for going down into the station and coming back out too, because I couldn’t see the mess from the mezzanine level.

            That said, we’re still missing the point here – if metro was funded properly and thus taken care of properly, there wouldn’t be as many days like Monday.

      • Juanita de Talmas

        Metro claims it is the bottleneck of the Rosslyn/Foggy Bottom tunnel that prevents them from expanding capacity.

        • CW

          1) If that is indeed so, then they’re gonna be in trouble when it comes to be silver line time!

          2) To address some of that, they’re going to divert some blue line trains over the yellow line bridge.

          3) I’m referring explicitly to a switch to 8-car trains. They’re ordering more cars for the Silver anyhow. Yes, I realize that they need to upgrade the power supplies to accomodate that, but, again, they’ll need to do it to run the Silver Line anyhow.

    • Arlwhenever

      Much maligned Loudoun County charges impacts fees for new housing units, as mcuh as $47,000. Arlington County gives bonus density to developers for doing what they ought to be doing in the first place. Bottom line, the County Board is in the pocket of developers. If you think crowding on Metro is bad now, just wait until the Silver line opens.

      • Southeast Jerome

        Silver Line will have a negligible impact on Arlington commuters…. it goes all the way to Stadium Armory. Its not going to be full when it gets to Ballston. No one lives in Tysons…. Orange line is full at ballston b/c of all the people from Vienna and the bus loads of people that get on at West Falls. It’ll just be balanced out. And with all 8 cars (only way the Silver LIne trains can be arranged), it’ll be about the same as it is now.

    • Josh S

      It’s a bit of apples and oranges. Loudon County (and other jurisdictions) charge impact fees to use on things they have direct control over – sewer, local roads, fire, police, schools. Arlington has no direct control over Metro, a regional entity. I guess they could voluntarily increase their contribution to Metro via any additional funds that might be gathered from an impact fee. But there would be no guarantee that that would result in increased service along the Orange line.
      However, this is not to say that the county hasn’t taken steps to improve the transportation system. The ART buses didn’t exist ten years ago. (Or has it been ten years already?) Zip cars have been promoted by the county. Working with Fairfax County, Arlington is attempting to get light rail on Columbia Pike. These additions help to mitigate pressures on the Orange line.

      • Southeast Jerome

        I wonder what kind of research has been done regarding a Rosslyn-Ballston ART shuttle, running every 5 minutes between 7:30AM and 9:30AM. It could run pretty much down Fairfax–>Wilson then loop back. Similar to the 38B WMATA bus but not cross the river. I’d jump on this thing then just hop a blue line into downtown than trying to jam onto an orange crush.

  • Kathy

    Hummm – not sure Arlingtonions want or
    need another high rise – how much vacant office
    Space is current available???? Coundnt we fill the vacant ones first. Why do we need er 10 story building???
    Another 10 story building?

    • Office

      7% vacancy… lowest vacancy in Northern Virginia

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