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New Office Buildings Approved for Clarendon

With an eye to historic preservation, the Arlington County Board last night approved a massive new office development on the 3000 block of Washington Boulevard in Clarendon.

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.”

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