81°Overcast

Board Approves Apartment Complex in Virginia Square

by ARLnow.com September 19, 2011 at 11:01 am 7,945 161 Comments

The Arlington County Board has approved a new two-building, 534-unit apartment complex on the eastern end of Virginia Square.

The board voted unanimously on Saturday to approve the complex, which includes a 13-story building and a 6-story building connected via an elevated glass skywalk. The complex will be located on the block currently bordered by Wilson Boulevard, Fairfax Drive, N. Kansas Street and N. Lincoln Street. The block is currently home to small low-rise office buildings and surface parking lots.

The new complex, tentatively dubbed Virginia Square Towers, will include nearly 13,000 square feet of ground floor retail space, 630 underground parking spaces and a central public plaza with benches and a water feature.

Running through the central plaza will be a new cobblestone street, to be labeled 9th Street N. The street will be narrow, with wide sidewalks, so that bicycles and pedestrians will be “privileged” while cars will only be “tolerated.” One of the project’s designers said he envisioned an “active and friendly” street where people would be comfortable “playing stick ball in the middle of the road.”

Developed by the Dittmar Company, the buildings will include six dedicated affordable housing units and are expected to attain LEED Gold green building certification. The complex will also be “district energy ready,” meaning it could utilize heating and cooling from a central neighborhood source, which is consistent with the goals of Arlington’s new Community Energy Plan.

As part of the conditions for approval, Dittmar agreed to pay up to $36,000 for the installation of multi-space parking meters along the project’s frontage, $75,000 for the installation of a new traffic light at N. Kansas Street and Wilson Boulevard, $75,000 for public art in the Virginia Square Metro station area and $2.2 million to the county’s affordable housing fund.

A few residents of the Virginia Square Condominiums, located across Lincoln Street from the new complex, expressed concern about the new building’s rooftop water tower obstructing their view. Other than that, little concern was raised about the project during the meeting’s public comment period.

  • GreaterClarendon

    Does anyone know what Zone that is for parking? Does that sound like a reasonable amount of parking for such a huge complex? Living a few blocks away, I foresee my tranquil neighborhood being overrun by overflow parking for this building monster, but I guess the ground floor retail may have some benefits to liven up VA Square and hopefully avoid any more 7-Elevens.

    • drax

      630 spaces for 534 units (plus retail?) for a high-rise complex a block from Metro and amenities? Doesn’t sound that bad.

    • ClarendonProper

      Zone 6 is in the surrounding SFH neighborhood (Ashton Heights). Dittmar always provides excessive parking to go with their banal architecture. I’d be less worried about overflow parking than just the sheer number of cars they do park getting out and driving around. They don’t buy into the whole ‘people walking’ concept. They have built the majority of residential in Virginia Square and have protested every attempt to enliven the street presence of their buildings. I think they stuck Matress Discounters in the Amelia just for spite. I haven’t looked at the details of this project, but it’s Dittmar so expectations are low.

      • UnlimitedCustoms

        Ha, I wondered why there was a Mattress store in that building. It doesn’t add anything to the area. Just a way of “sticking” it to the county, I suppose while meeting their retail requirement.

      • Westover

        I would really like to see the business plan for these mattress stores. Seems that there are WAY too many of them around to be turning any sort of profit. Almost like they are a front for something….

        • Fatty Fatty Two by Four

          Like cupcake joints…

          • Westover

            But I see customers at cupcake joints.

          • Eastunder

            Nonetheless, there are WAY too many of them around to be turning any sort of profit.

        • Virginia^2

          And used car lots with twelve units of inventory

      • Loggie

        I didn’t like the mattress store but as it turned out I have purchased two mattresses there for our growing family. I hated the CVS that was put in Clarendon at first too but I end up stopping there at least once a week!

    • Abe Froman

      I think you can count on being inundated with people parking in your neighborhood.

      Arlington is undated with posers who are still going to the extreme to gild the lilly. Given the rent on 2-3 bedroom aparments and townhouses, there is no way these poser can afford to live here at 1 person per bedroom. I live in Ballston, close to Glebe and my parking lot is jammed because there are sever houses where there are more people than bedrooms and often, these inconsiderate kids are moving their cars into the guest spaces and sitting all week so their friends will have place to park when they flop at whomever’s house.

      And of course my HOA is as lame as they come since there are more houses rented out than occupied by their tennants.

      • CW

        I give you a +1 for placing the blame where it belongs – on your HOA. While you may not like them, can you blame the “kids” for taking advantage of a good deal?

        Regarding your first statement, in my experience, Dittmar rents are pretty darn reasonable, even in brand new buildings. Plus, we’ll see how the supply/demand situation is looking by the time these things open. Could go either way.

      • Language Policeman

        i believe the word you want is “poseur” not poser (sic).

  • Jack

    “The street will be narrow, with wide sidewalks, so that bicycles and pedestrians will be “privileged” while cars will only be “tolerated.” What does that mean?

    • Gridlock.

      • Thes

        This “street” is one block long — a glorified driveway. Making it pedestrian and bicycle friendly won’t cause any gridlock.

    • drax

      It means the humans win and the machines lose.

      • You are still getting on a train, right? That’s a machine. Are you getting on a bike? That’s a machine. A taxi? Machine. Walking? Those shoes were made by machine. Machines win.

        • drax

          No, machines are merely “tolerated.” Remember?

          • That’s not what you said, but we can’t get away from machines anyway. ARLNow wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for machines!

          • drax

            People being people win, people expecting to get their way because they’re in big machines lose. Better?

          • Oh, no. Not better. But physics shows who loses that crash. It isn’t the big machine. It is the person. That’s why I state the road should be closed to through traffic if ball playing in it is going to be allowed. This isn’t going to be some lazy side street on a cul-de-sac.

          • Thes

            Total separation! That’s certainly how we did things when I was a kid in the suburbs: each house’s driveway either had a basketball hoop and cars were blocked off with jersey barriers, or cars were allowed on it and kids were forbidden. Oh, wait, no. Actually, the kids and cars both used the driveway, and got out of each other’s way. And the parents watched the kids to make sure they did that. Not a bad system.

          • drax

            So you want to ban all pedestrians crossing streets too, OB?

            Yes, it’s going to be a lazy side street. You don’t seem to get that.

          • Thes…you are comparing a residential driveway to what is rendered in the image above?

            drax, I never said I wanted to ban pedestrian crossings, YOU did.

            Disagree with me, and you get respect. Sensationalize and you only get a mere smile at your foolishness.

          • Thes

            @OB. Yes, I sure am comparing them. Are they identical? No. Are they extremely similar? Yes. Driveways in our neighborhood weren’t quite as long as this one, and most of them didn’t have fountains in the middle of them. But cars traveled slowly enough for people (even children) to get out of the way if necessary, and sometimes the cars — get this — *stopped* for people (even children) who moving in the way.

            Is it possible for cars and pedestrians (even children) to take turns “nicely” sharing the same space? Yes. How do I know? See above.

          • drax

            No, I didn’t say I want to ban ped crossings. YOU are the one who said humans and cars should never mix, so that would mean no pedestrians, huh? I didn’t sensationalize, I just pointed out the absurdity of your statement when taken to its logical conclusion.

            Yeah, this looks about like a suburban street to me. Why do you think it’s not possible?

          • drax, I NEVER said humans and cars should NEVER mix. Less and less respect….

            Thes, I see your point. However, there will be a 500+ unit complex next to this street while I’m guessing your residential neighborhood had much lower density single-family housing. Likely, the density allowed for safer mixing. I’ll reiterate that if this proposed road has such limited traffic that road play is safe then I’m all for it. I just don’t see how that can happen with the density involved unless the road is closed to through traffic and only open to emergency vehicles.

          • drax

            But you could have said that. It makes just as much sense. See the point?

          • drax, you COULD have said you want children to play in the street so they can get hit by a car. But, you didn’t. Yet, I didn’t take what you said to mean you want kids to be run over. I don’t try to spin.

        • Josh S

          Why do you spend so much time being willfully obtuse?

    • Dan

      I think it is a “street” only out of necessity so they can have fire department access for trucks in the middle of the massive block.

      • Then it won’t have through traffic?

        • Dan

          It does not connect anywhere that a lot of cars need to go. Nobody except the pizza guys will be using it.

          It might be a fun place to blast down at 3:00 AM and rattle some windows, since there will probably never be any cops doing enforcement. I wonder if they will post speed limit signs?

    • That’s how one of the designers described the concept for the street — more pedestrian and bicycle-friendly.

      • But cars being “tolerated” implys there will be regular toleration of traffic. Kids playing stickball in a road where cars are “tolerated”. It should be a road open only to emergency vehicles if children are going to play in the street.

        • Westover

          The “kids” playing stickball will be 25-35 year old hippsters, you make the call if cars should be slowed down or not. 😀

          • drax

            😆

          • OK. Now I see it as a benefit!

          • outoftowner

            Again, ARLnow users completely miss the boat on what a real ‘hipster’ is.

          • Thes

            ArlNow is referring to it’s own kind of hipster — you’ve probably never heard of it.

          • bemused bystander

            It’s “its”. Your spellchecker must have slept in this morning.

          • Thes

            Your rite.

          • Westover

            This local is just no longer hip enough to know what one is I guess.

    • Suburban Not Urban

      Should continue – we will then cede the sidewalks to businesses on the street – leading to constant traffic – ped conflict

    • VASQ

      The original county plan was for 9th Street to be a pedestrian “greenway” linking Ballston to Clarendon. Only one pedestrian-only segment was ever built: at Virginia Square, between Monroe and Lincoln, between the VA SQ condominiums and the apartments.

      The county has apparently abandoned the pedestrian-only concept. The current adaptation with the proposed towers is to make it more pedestrian and less car-oriented.

      • R.Griffon

        Really? I’d never heard of this. That’d be AWESOME!

        Any idea why they stopped?

  • Alison

    SIX dedicated units to affordable housing? A whole 1% of the total units? Wow, really making an effort there, Dittmar. I’m much more familiar with DC’s Inclusionary Zoning, but does Arlington Co have nothing to incentivize or mandate developers to include more affordable housing in these large-scale projects?

    • $$$

      Developers can either provide affordable housing units or pay into the County fund supporting them, from the post:

      “… and $2.2 million to the county’s affordable housing fund.”

      • UnlimitedCustoms

        2.2 million for the CB slush fund. Excellent.

        You know who pays for these concessions? Renters/Condo buyers.

        • CW

          Pick your poison. You either live with subsidized housing in your building or you (the renter) share some of the cost of the concession. It’s not the developer who made these rules; it was the county.

    • Mr. Brown

      It’s 6 more units than are there now. It’s a parking lot now.

    • I got that PMA

      Right! 534-unit boring apartments with 6 dedicated affordable housing units. 6! that’s it??? Come on!

      • Mr. Brown

        If you would like more, feel free to build more. I think dedicating 1% of the units to affordable housing is fine. How many companies give up 1% of thier products to support a charity?

        • Josh S

          A) It’s not charity.
          B) It doesn’t meet the need.
          C) The county could easily have required more before they agreed to the permits, so it’s not the builder (necessarily) who failed here, it’s the county.

          • Carol R

            Subsidized housing means crime ridden housing – at least that what it always ends up as in Maryland. No one wants that in their neighborhood.

          • Josh S

            Carol, the problem with your contribution is that you apparently are unaware of the existing subsidized housing all around you in Arlington. Most of it is unremarkable and not necessarily associated with any greater level of crime than other housing projects.

    • Westover

      They are all affordable to someone, if they are are not affordable to enough, the price will have to come down. Why do we call subsidized housing, “affordable housing”? Is it to not insult those of lesser means by labeling them as poor? Get a job, work hard, commute from where you live to where you work. If the commute is too far for your comfort, build the skills needed to get a job closer to home.

      • Ed

        And that means a million commutes will go on for ten years . . . have a nice drive home, everyone, and I hope you can say goodnight to your kids while they’re still awake.

        • Westover

          If the job is that needed close in, and folks don’t want to commute, eventually the job will bring the salery needed to live closer. Free market is a wonderful thing.

          • Wendy’s Cashier

            Hasn’t happened to me yet.

          • Works 2 jobs

            Me either. :-/

            It sucks when you grew up in an area, lost your parents at a young age, paid your way through college and work a good ol’ 9-5 AND a 6-2 (evening restaurant shift) and still can’t afford your own neighborhood. Westover, in fact… I’m not compaining about my situation, but I bust my tush to stay at least close where I grew up because I love it there. Generalizing what you think everyone else’s situation may be like (or to even imply that people don’t work hard who want to live in/near Arlington) is just ignorant. You can’t deny that our housing costs are totally outrageous in this area. We match up to NYC practically. Don’t defend it by saying folks don’t work hard enough to live here because you may have been one of the lucky few to have been “trickled down” upon.

          • Thomas Rogers
          • Josh S

            What free market?

            How is it a wonderful thing? Look around you – you’re saying that every societal problem we have is caused by the government?

  • Alison

    Also, 630 spaces makes no sense. Isn’t there some kind of parking relief that comes with being so close to a Metro station? In DC, that kind of proximity can take out nearly half of the normally regulated # of spaces, and you certainly don’t need MORE than 1 space per unit in a parking garage. This project doesn’t seem to hold to many of the tenants of smart growth that the R-B corridor is known for.

    • Thes

      One space per unit is usually required by the County in this location. The additional parking is probably for the retail space.

    • VA^2

      Its for those people who will live in 2+ bedroom apartments. Since this is an apt building and not a condo, i would assume there will be a lot of roommates who will each own a car. I’m a fan of more than 1 parking spot per unit so that the streets aren’t constantly full of people circling around trying to find somewhere to park.

      • LyonSteve

        I’m not sure in a 2 bedroom apt, with 2 unknown roommates, that they both would have a car. Many people in this area do not have cars, even those who live with roommates.

        • Carol R

          Almost all people in this area have cars. Only a few don’t. As someone who was born in Arlington in the 50s I don’t want it turning into Manhatten. These highrise buildings are disgusting.

          • Josh S

            Let’s suppose you were born in a small Iowa town in the 50s. Instead of highrises coming to your community, it has shriveled up and blown away. Let’s suppose you were born in Leesburg in the 50s. It was a sleepy town, far removed from the action. There are still no highrises, but the sprawl and traffic has certainly changed your life there, mostly for the worse, unless you like Ruby Tuesdays. The country had 180 million people in 1960. It’s over 300 million people now. Virtually everyplace has changed.
            The growth that Arlington has experienced in the last sixty years has been pretty much inevitable. Complaining about it makes little sense.

  • CW

    In my experience, Dittmar does things right. As developers go, they care about the community. They are a for-profit company, so of course they will follow the money and build while there is demand! So don’t hate them for that. But, from what I’ve seen, what they do build is of good quality, is well-managed, lasts, and fits well into the community.

    The question is – by the time this thing actually gets built, what will the demand really look like? How will job growth in the area have trended over those years? How will renting look compared to buying? Interesting questions with unknown answers.

    Could someone who knows more about zoning and codes than me explain as to what the allowances within the rules are with flipping a place between apartments and condos during or after construction? I know some places have flipped back and forth a couple times in real-time as the market has changed. I wonder, with so many units, if this could be a conceivable possibility here.

  • charlie

    another award winning architectural masterpiece.
    not. by a triple long shot.
    why are our buildings so ugly when we are so wealthy?

    • drax

      Because you can’t buy good taste, or the courage to use it.

  • Remy

    The part about 9th St N seems odd to me. 9th St already dead ends at the VA Square metro stop and now it is going to pick up again for 1 block on the other side? Seems odd.

    • charlie

      9th street starts just west of Glebe Road and winds thru the urban core of Ballston, and Virginia Square ultimately ending up at Clarendon Circle.
      it is a glorious walk along tree lined streets avoiding the fumes of WIlson Blvd or the brown flip flops on Fairfax drive.

      • Richard Cranium

        It’s nice, but “glorious” might be a bit of a stretch . . .

      • Virginia^2

        It’s pretty much all concrete and high rises between Stuart Street and Oakland/Hobo Park – but I’ll have whatever you’re having

  • Paul Samuelson

    These units will probably come on line just about time the current rent bubble pops.

    • CW

      My own sentiment as well – see post regarding apts vs condos. Could they flip the units over if buying becomes the new status quo in the area?

      • Thes

        Yes. Per state law they can do it as condos or apartments. The on-site affordable units would need to be handled in a different way if they did that, however.

      • UnlimitedCustoms

        Sure they can. Many buildings in Clarendon that have come online in the past few years were originally supposed to be one or the other, and the developers switched to the other if it made their plan more profitable.

        • R.Griffon

          I’m not sure that there’s any rent bubble happening, but you’ll almost certainly see a dip in real estate prices once interest rates start climbing again.

          Practically the lowest cost of borrowing money in recent history has removed a lot of downward pressure on prices. A lot of people paying $1M for a property at 4% wouldn’t dream of doing so at 8 or 10%.

          • Arlington, Northside

            Rates will eventually have to rise, but it will not be for years.

  • Yawn.

    Dittmar-shmittmar. Another box of blah. Congrats on another mediocre project.

  • “….comfortable “playing stick ball in the middle of the road.””

    You have got to be kidding me.

    • drax

      Why?

      • I’d not let my kids play in the road. It is difficult to cross a road around here near any high-rise safely much less play in one.

        • CW

          Yes, but that’s the point. He might be using a bit of hyperbole, but they’re trying to make the road more of a shared space than a highway.

          • If it is closed to through traffic, then I retract my statement. If it is “shared” space with automobile traffic then I stand by it.

          • CW

            I think what they are going for is “technically open to traffic but prohibitive enough that most traffic won’t use it”. Whether they can actually attain that is anyone’s guess.

          • Opie

            All they are trying to do with that “….comfortable “playing stick ball in the middle of the road.”” comment is heavy-handedly evoke a Norman Rockwell / Mayberry sense of small town Americana, so they don’t seem like the rapacious capitalistic imperialist running dogs they really are.

          • drax

            It was probably just an off-hand comment to describe the level of car traffic. Don’t read too much into it.

          • drax

            You never played in the street, OB? Your childhood must have sucked.

            It’s possible to have a street that is safe enough to have kids in. Lots of those in Arlington, look around.

          • I did. I just didn’t do it in front of a high-rise, in Arlington, in 2011+. I did it in the late-1960s and early 1970s when there were less people, less cars, and careful courteous drivers. In fact, I played stick-ball in the street.

          • AH

            Kids should and do (somewhat) play in the streets that are not the main thoroghfares. But, stickball ? My Dad played stickball in the Bronx, but that was 1930.

          • They will be playing soccer now. I can see a full-sided match going on in that rendering. Let’s hope someone’s not late to work and decided to take a shortcut at speed in their SUV.

          • drax

            Well, someone is going to do it in front of a high-rise, in Arlington, in 2011+. New things happen all the time.

          • Dan

            The only way people are going to play stickball anywhere near there is if somebody invents an app for it.

          • Westover

            What happaned to the resurgence of Wiffle Ball back in the late 90’s early 00’s?

          • R.Griffon

            Gotta say I’m with OG on this one. Close it off altogether and keep the traffic out.

            And no, as a father of 2 small children, I would NEVER let them play in the street. Doubly so in ARL. I grew up in the 70s and 80s, and can honestly say we never played in the street (unless you count riding your bike from points A to B). We had open green spaces for that. It would be easy to say that ARL doesn’t and therefore our poor street urchins have no choice, but that’s BS. One of the great things about the R-B corridor is that even amongst all these amenities, you’re still almost never more than a few blocks from some green space. And VA Square is no different.

          • drax

            Thousands of kids in Arlington play in streets. They do on my street.

            Some streets, like cul-de-sacs, are perfectly safe for playing in.

            This one could be one of them. We won’t know for sure until it’s built.

            Pretty simple concept.

        • drax

          Yet it will be easy near this one, because the road will be designed differently.

    • Non-Breeder

      I suspect children will be few and far between in this building (except perhaps in the subsidized units).

      • Virginia^2

        Honestly, I don’t think I’ve seen a child (outside of a stroller) for two or three months

    • LyonSteve

      Maybe kickball.

  • BC

    Please – no mattress stores. Please. As someone who lives right there in a single-family a block away, I would love to see decent retail or restaurant. There were rumors of the AKA finally attracting a restaurant tenant (it was originally supposed to be a wine bar in the Ed Peete days) – this might help.

    • CW

      Given the number of parking spots, I would be curious as to if they’ve got their eyes set on a big retail tenant. The area seems to be saturated pretty well with grocery stores – though most of them are crap. Maybe shut down one of the useless safeway locations nearby and put in one of the more “urban” safeway designs, or something similar?

    • drax

      Here’s the retail lineup:

      Bank, bank, froyo, cupcakes, bank, pizza, BRGR, froyo, bank, pizza, BGR, froyo, froyo, overpriced yoga outfits, cupcakes, bank.

      • CW

        You forgot BR:GR

        • Richard Cranium

          And BRRRRRRRRRRRGRRRRRRRRRRRRR

      • what??

        No starbucks? I’m moving there… not convenient at all! 😉

    • MC

      I fear another 7-11: they seem to love Virginia Square especially.

  • BC

    Anyone have a guess regarding the orientation of the renderings? Is that theoretically Wilson Blvd in front on the first rendering?

    • GreaterClarendon

      I’m guessing the short building side will be facaing GMU on Fairfax drive.

      • bemused bystander

        Nope — the short building faces Wilson, per the adopted sector plan. The greater height is along Fairfax Drive.

        • Virginia^2

          I assume that the County didn’t want to suffer the NIMBY wrath of the Virginia Square penthousers, who would otherwise lose their DC view – not that I blame them (although, they purchased knowing that the block would be developed at some point).

      • GreaterClarendon

        Also, if the street through the complex is labled 9th St., then 8th Street is south, and 10th Street would be north – so the short side will face the FDIC and GMU on FFax Drive. And since the diagram of the short and tall buildings does not show a glass walkthrough between buildings (but the overhead view does), that means the short side is oriented on Fairfax Drive. But my logic may be faulty.

        • VASQ

          You have it backwards. The taller building is on the FDIC side (Fairfax Drive), with the shorter building on the Wilson Blvd. side.

          The first rendering in the article shows the buildings from the corner of Wilson and Kansas. In the second one (the overhead shot), you see Monroe Street in the background, just beyond the elevated skywalk.

  • HUH

    This whole thread is inane. The stickball discussion … truly insightful.

  • Tre

    Based on the shadows of the second picture, the shorter building is on the south side which implies Wilson.

  • Lou

    What’s the feature(s) that needed board approval for the project? Over density? The cut-through road? Over the height limits?

    • Thes

      Height, density and parking were probably the main ones. Very few districts in Arlington allow more than 35 feet in height without County Board approval.

  • Steve

    Wow, think of all the froyo and cupcake places that can open up in the retail part.

  • UnlimitedCustoms

    Whatever happened to the Z Burger that was supposed to open this summer?

    • CW

      Still a pile of bricks and rubble with not much visible progress being made. From the way they’re going at it, you’d think they are trying to preserve some ancient archaeological site or something.

      • Westover

        It looks like they have made some real progress in the last few weeks if I am looking where I think it is going.

        • John Fontain

          Yes, lots of work recently with more of original building demo’d and roof trusses being put on. Still can’t figure out what form the building will take on when finished. Looks like some funky kind of architecture at this point.

      • Ballstonia

        Work on the building has actually picked up again over the past week or so. Workers were framing the new roof yesterday.

  • Ugh

    Sweet. I can’t wait to hear the pile drivers at 8 am every morning building this dump. And more traffic! Awesome!!

    • UnlimitedCustoms

      They can start at 7 on weekdays, I believe.

      • Ugh

        Even better!

        • UnlimitedCustoms

          I double checked, because I wasn’t sure about that 7am number.

          Weekdays it is 7am – 9pm and weekends 10am-9pm.

  • UnlimitedCustoms

    Also, that’s a small pool for that many units. And it’s not going to have much sunlight either with the western part of the upside down U blocking most afternoon sun.

    • Westover

      Afternoon sun is harmful anyhow. Get that early morning sun, and enjoy the cooler shade later. The architect seemed to know what to do.

    • charlie

      in most places you would look for the pool to be on the sunnyside. somehow are architects don’t know that.

      • Westover

        It will get sun from dawn until early afternoon. After that spaces like that get too hot in the middle of summer if they are not shaded. Additionally, the U shape provides privacy for the tenants, which is more than can be said at a few of the R-B Corridor building pools. Again, good move on the planners part.

        • UnlimitedCustoms

          How about the size of the pool/patio for the # of units? It seems really small for 534 units.

          • H1N1

            But its going to be really, really deep.

        • Peek

          Privacy, except for the creepers that live in the building that will stare at all the girls in the pool from their window with their pants around their ankles.

          • Westover

            They paid for the view, they are not free loading creeps.

      • AH

        In a building like this, I would expect the pool to be on the roof. Many of the buildings in the area have those. Dittmar can’t seem to figure out how to do it though.

        • Westover

          Engineering for the weight is extremly expensive.

          • drax

            There’s got to be SOME way that Dittmar is dumb! Don’t worry, we’ll find it.

        • CW

          Would you want to live below a pool? Better stock up on oddball calamity insurance!

          • UnlimitedCustoms

            Quite a few buildings have pools on the roof in Arlington. Even more in DC. I can’t imagine the insurance requirements are much greater than a pool in the ground, or say, a pool above a garage (which many are as well in Arlington.)

          • CW

            I meant for the apartment tenants or condo owners. If an earthquake cracks the pool or its outlet piping and it floods your unit, that’s earthquake damage and you’d better have earthquake insurance, as I understand it.

          • LyonSteve

            That’s what the .gov bailout is for.

          • Benny

            Hey, nobody mentioned bankers.

          • Josh S

            One significant earthquake and now all of a sudden we’re on the San Andreas fault.

            I think the earthquake, pool cracks, water leaks into your apartment risk is fairly low.

          • Arlington, Northside

            Still an expensive proposition that developers might not be willing to take on in this economy. Non-enclosed roof top pools also are harder to maintain decent temperatures. In the middle of the summer they absorb a lot of heat from the sun, this makes it tough to keep the top floors cool, while in the early spring and fall, the water loses the heat quickly. Roof tops pools are cool ideas, but not as great in practice. Also, DC has a lot higher cost of land than we have here in Virginia Square(not that our land is cheap by any means).

  • AH

    You sound like you may have a future as an engineer for Dittmar! I neva heard of no pool on no roof !

    • drax

      Nevertheless, there are pools on roofs. There’s one on the apartment building attached to the Fashion Square mall in Pentagon City for instance.

      • Clarendon

        Yeah, I think that was a joke. I can point to two in Ballston that I have been to (can’t remember the name but one is on Stuart Park and the other is an Avalon owned), the Gallery in Virginia Square on the metro, and the 1021 Condo in Clarendon etc etc. It’s not all that diffcult and it frees up valuable street-level space for other stuff.

  • John

    Who is the mysterious architect for the Dittmar projects (the single family homes and the high rises)? I wish they’d hire some younger design talent to help their creative design team, or team up with an wel-respected DC architecture firm. Dittmar’s best looking building is the white Randolph towers, if only because it is a very simple, unadorned building. Banal, but not offensive with gratuitous decoration. Let’s keep it simple. This Va Square project is massive and derivative. I think Dittmar also built that “high tech” looking low rise glass building on Fairfax Dr accross from GMU Law. That’s actually a really good project.

    I hope the planned all glass luxury condo tower next to the Arlington Gateway site gets built. It’s on hold indefinitely, but that building, defined by its expressive, faceted facade is the type of compelling architecture this county needs.

    • Developed

      Ask CW, S/he seems to be shilling for them.

      • CW

        I’m not doing any shilling. I just had a good experience with Dittmar as a tenant of theirs in what I found to be a well-though-out, well-constructed, and well-managed building that lacked the problems that I hear my friends encountering in buildings designed and managed by other companies. That’s all. I give credit where credit is due. I am no longer a customer of theirs but I had a positive experience.

  • MC

    I would have preferred Dittmar to have contributed funds to improve Quincy Park, especially given how many building they own within walking distance of it.

  • nota gain

    When will the county allow high rises on Wilson blvd to equal those on Fairfax. The real estate from Gold’s Gym to the 7/11 on Wilson/Lincoln need to be replaced with high rises for more county income, traffic and odd retail merchants. Those ugly apartments between Oakland and Nelson as well as many duplexes on those streets need to be replaced.

    • KikA

      Not in your lifetime. Go back to NY if you like high rises so much. Go back anyway.

  • BallstonDweller

    More soul-less apartments and stores with nothing to sell. I can’t wait.

×

Subscribe to our mailing list