Arlington, VA

The Colony House Furniture store at 1700 Lee Highway is set to be torn down to make way for an extended stay hotel.

The recognizable building has been sold to the B.F. Saul Company, the Bethesda-based developer behind the recent Clarendon Center project. Last week representatives from Saul presented their redevelopment plan to the North Rosslyn Civic Association. Under the plan, an eight story extended stay hotel will be built on the 1.2 acre site at the corner of Lee Highway and N. Quinn Street. The hotel will include eight stories of guest rooms on top of two stories of above-ground parking.

(The parking must be built above ground since the site sits on solid rock. The building will technically be ten stories high from the Lee Highway side, but will only be considered eight stories due to the steep elevation near the rear of the site.)

Saul told residents that they’re in negotiations with two companies to operate the hotel — Marriott’s Residence Inn and Hilton’s Homewood Suites. They’re aiming for a LEED Silver certification for the building.

The company says zoning allows them to build an 88-room hotel on the site by right. Saul, however, will be seeking County Board approval later this year to build a 154-room hotel with 96 parking spaces. After presentations to the Rosslyn Business Improvement District, the North Rosslyn Civic Association, and three Colonial Village associations, Saul’s Mary Beth Avedesian says the company has yet to hear any neighbor opposition to the project.

Avedesian credits the positive reception thus far to the use. An extended stay hotel, with guests that stay for several days or weeks at a time and with a free shuttle to Rosslyn Metro and Reagan National Airport, will presumably result in less traffic and less neighborhood parking than, say, an apartment building. The hotel, meanwhile, will have the same basic footprint as the Colony House building, with much of the greenery preserved on the south side of the site.

The Colony House Furniture store is expected to remain in business at the site through much of the rest of the year, as Saul conducts a land use study and prepares to ask the County Board to approve the project. Colony House owner J.R. Diffee has said that he will try to find a new location in Arlington where he can move the store to before the new owner takes over the property.

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