Development Update: Garfield Park Apartments

by ARLnow.com February 29, 2012 at 3:58 pm 6,236 61 Comments


Just six months ago, the Garfield Park apartment building in Clarendon was only beginning to take shape at the corner of Washington Boulevard and 10th Street N.

Today, insulation wrap is quickly being replaced with bricks as the project moves closer to completion.

The development will add nearly 150,000 square feet of new residential space to the Clarendon area — 149 luxury apartment units, 20,000 square feet of retail space and nearly 300 underground parking spaces.

The apartment building has a new web site, but so far no word on when exactly construction is expected to wrap up.

  • TJLinBallston

    Man, that is one ugly website!

    • JamesE

      With a “VIP” list haha, could they be any more pretentious.

  • construction question

    I remember driving by this site before the Tyvek was on there, and the pressboard (OSB) sheathing sat there for what must’ve been a good couple of weeks, getting rained on. Will this not present problems down the road? Mold, for one?

    I see this happen with new houses, too.

    • Regular Arlington Girl

      Isn’t it treated? I would think the Tyvek sitting on there would have the same issue seeming it’s insulation that is meant to absorb sound (and thus probably water?)

      • Sam

        Tyvek doesn’t absorb sound at all. It’s a building wrap that allows for moisture to escape while also preventing water from entering the structure.

  • Apt

    I’d like to see what they define as a “luxury apartment.” Somehow I think poorly built apartments of today think they are luxury if they have stainless steel appliances and granite counters, yet you can hear the person next door taking a piss or talking on the phone.

    • John K.

      Sounds like you’ve got a future in this industry!

    • AbeFroman

      Yea, def looking forward to their idea of luxury apartments, when they about 1000 sqft per apt.

    • Apt2

      I agree…luxury these days consist of shotty wall insulation, “high-end” stainless appliances, and tiny living spaces for ridiculous prices.

  • WeiQiang

    OK … math. 149 apts adding 150K sqft. That’s slightly more than 1000 sqft/apt. That doesn’t sound like a lot of luxury going on there.

    • Arlingtonian

      Wait until you see the rent. That’s what defines “luxury” in the real estate business.

      • WeiQiang

        I’m familiar with Hong Kong, Vancouver, NYC & London markets … they don’t offer space either and the prices are higher. They also don’t kid anyone by saying that a small place with new appliances is a luxury offering. I understand the vaguaries of real estate, of course, but it seems laughable.

    • AWalkerInTheCity

      1000 sq ft is very big for a 1br, and pretty normal for a 2BR.

      If you dont think a 1BR or 2BR apt can be luxury, you may not have adjusted to life in an urban area.

      Usually in this area luxury implies quality of appliance and finishings, quality of common areas, amenities, etc.

      It does not mean a palatial villa.

  • DSS10

    I watched this building (and another large apartment building on George Mason and 4th st N) go up and I did not see a single firewall outside of the elevator core. I have to assume that they built it to code but if there is a grease fire in the kitchen downstairs everyone is going to be SOL.

    • Balls Crossing Ouch

      Quit making up terminlogy. Everybody knows “firewall” is just an internet word meaning “no porn at work.”


      • E dawg

        nothing wrong with it

        • Uh…

          It’s called sarcasm. (Dit the smiley face really not give it away?)

    • Undecimo

      Obvious cash grab by the developer with no thought toward durability or the quality of life of the tenants. Can’t believe the county signs off on crap construction like this.

  • novasteve

    We can almost forget it’s made out of particleboard!

  • JimPB

    “… insulation wrap is quickly being replaced with bricks …” Puzzling. Bricks alone are poor insulation. Something more is needed to have fuel economy insulation.

    • bricklayer

      actually, most bricks have holes in them that create air pockets. bricks are also laid with a gap between the structure which creates another air pocket. air is your best insulator. look it up.

      • dss10

        Brick sucks as an insulator. The R values are just for sheathing. What really makes brick a poor insulator is its thermal retention which is why a brick house stays hot all night long in the summer time. Your no bricklayer, I bet you have soft hands too…

        Brick 4″ face R Value 0.44

        Soft Wood Lumber Face R Value 1.25
        2″ nominal (1 1/2″) R Value 1.88
        2×4 (3 1/2″) R Value 4.38
        2×6 (5 1/2″) R Value 6.88

        • Apt

          I can attest to brick houses staying hot all night long. I used to live in a dump of an apartment complex that was all brick. They didn’t turn on the air conditioning until a certain time of year. If it got anywhere over 60 degrees during the day the inside of the apartment would be 25 degrees warmer than the outside temperature. Nothing like sleeping in your own sweat.

          • Mario

            You think the bricks were generating extra heat?

        • bricklayer

          soft hands…you would know, dss10

          • dss10

            When I was 16 I got my union card from BAC Local 5. Thats what paid for my under grad degree. My hands are still rough.

          • but

            that’s from all the wanking 🙂

          • Josh S

            What is this, 10th grade?

      • CW

        People, calm down, this is a case of poor writing, not poor construction techniques. The intent of the statement was to express that, visually, the view of the insulation was disappearing, or being replaced by (to the eyes) bricks. That is all.

  • SarcasticJane

    $2500-$3000 a month or more for 700-900 sq ft is Arlington “Affordable Housing” Is this where they expect all the new teachers that APS is going to have to hire to teach the 870+ increase in enrollment to live? Just because Arlington has a County Board and a School Board that looks like a ” United Colors of Benetton” advertisement does not mean they have any grasp on what people who live in the real world have to deal with!

    • Apt

      Show me one apartment that’s 700 sq feet and $2,500 a month. I don’t believe you.

      • Jon

        There’s a 679 at $2245 a month down the street. Is that close enough?


        • Apt


          And there are more than a few apartments on that site under $2k for a 1 bedroom. I think the BS $2,500-$3,000 for a 700 sq ft apt has been called.

          • Apt

            Although I have to admit that I would like to talk to the idiot that actually ends up paying $2,245 a month for a 679 sq ft apartment.

          • Jon


            They’re advertising the Sensai 1Br/1Ba for $2860 a month for 770 to 890 sq ft (which is unavailable).

            The Palatine is offering a 770 at 2415. The Clarendon is offering a 728 at 2300.

            They may have been exaggerating and selectively thinking about newer buildings, but really, it’s not that far off.

          • Apt

            Ridiculous. I want to punch the people that actually pay these prices in the face. Is there some way we can set up such an activity for me?

          • Pot meet kettle

            So are you retracting your BS call or just calling BS on yourself now?

          • Apt2

            The prices quoted by the person finding 1br at 700sq are completely correct. The prices will only go up from there, considering it is getting into the Leasing Season. So, their comment about $2500-3000 is COMPLETELY correct. People are paying the amounts bc it’s cheaper than buying a house, at least up until recently. Those who are paying these amounts in Arlington, are mostly the people moving out of DC (or the equivalent) due to the rental rates increasing there. It’s a trickle down effect that has been occuring in the apartment industry the past few years since many people can’t afford to buy or continue paying their mortgages and have been selling. The ones moving from DC go to Arlington, those moving from Arlington go towards Alexandria, and etc.

      • Gary

        I am living in a 700 sq ft apt and paying 3500 a month after pet fees, parking fees, etc. Ridiculous but short term. Even if it was long term it would still be over 3k/month.

    • AWalkerInTheCity

      no this is where the aflluent childless people whose taxes are going to pay the salaries of those teachers are going to live. Seems to be that wanting development that can pay property taxes that can FUND education is very much living in the real world, and expecting to pay teachers without such development is not.

  • Carol_R

    This new apartment building will be a blight on the existing neighborhood. There won’t be that many parking spaces there so I expect that the “new” luxury residents will flood the zoned parking – which is already scarce – in the nearby neighborhood.

    This is really nasty for the people who own single family homes nearby. Between the increased traffic in the area and their parking spaces being taken by these new tenants and being dwarfed by a highrise that has no green area but is built up to the sidewalk… very sad what Arlington is coming to.

    • dss10

      Tyson’s Corners is the only development model the planning commission knows……

      • Josh S

        Jeez, I think the contrast between Tyson’s and the Orange line corridor would be pretty obvious. The two are pretty far apart in appearance and operation.

        In fact, Tyson’s is now attempting to replicate Clarendon. Not the other way around.

        • Southeast Jerome

          Carol- without more density, rents will only soar higher and Arlington’s growth will choke itself.

          At least they are building this near the metro and not along Route 50 or on Columbia Pike.

          Why do you hate density so much?

          • CW

            Unfortunately, I think Arlington’s growth will still choke itself. The developers will never allow build-out to expand to the level where prices go back down. They could normalize…maybe…but we’re never going to see Arlington become affordable again without some major economic event occurring. I am really curious to see where the younger generation that has moved in in the last 5 years is going to end up in the next 5-10 years when they realize that a 1 bedroom isn’t going to do it for life.

          • OldTimer

            “I am really curious to see where the younger generation that has moved in in the last 5 years is going to end up in the next 5-10 years when they realize that a 1 bedroom isn’t going to do it for life.”

            Well, it appears the youngins are into “grouphomery” these days and think nothing of sharing close quarters with other folks. But, yes, would be interesting to track where all these peeps wind up.

          • South Arlington

            Down south county will get more gentrified. It’s not that hard to find a house in the $500-$600K range in the areas between Columbia Pike and 50. North Arlington is not coming down in price, and I assume will just be entirely overrun by nothing but big law attorneys as homeowners.

    • Plunkitt of Clarendon Blvd

      “This is really nasty for the people who own single family homes nearby. ”

      But think of how much more money the county board will have to fritter away from the increased tax revenue !!

    • Apt

      As I recall there was no real green area there before this thing was built. It was a Thai restaurant and a CVS with a paved parking lot. I agree though they should have maybe done a green rooftop or something more. Is the courtyard in the middle grassy? It looks like it’ll have some trees in there at least.

    • WeiQiang

      You think the county is going to give the renters a neighborhood parking sticker? Not likely.

    • Apt2

      You can’t get zoned parking if your apartment community building has parking in it’s building.

    • AWalkerInTheCity

      then that means there should be cheap SFHs nearby.

      can you point me to any?

    • esmith69

      The article does specifically state that there will be 149 apartments and about 300 UNDERGROUND parking spaces. That’s 2 spaces per apartment.

      Yes, I know there’s retail space there as well, but to account for that you can consider that most apartments will probably only need a single parking space.

  • Arlingtron

    Tenants will get a good show from their apartments when they watch pedestrians get run over by cars at this intersection. This deathtrap needs serious traffic reengineering.

  • nota gain

    I can only imagine what the traffic will be like in a few months around this area. If someone can afford $2,500 per month they could buy a house and dent the mortgage with $30K per year.

    • rob

      Have you seen the home prices in Clarendon lately? Min. $600k for a shack that needs to be condemned, and pushing $1mm or more anything liveable. A townhome in courthouse is up right now for $900k.

      • OldTimer

        I was at a townhouse open house at 9th and Garfield a few months ago. Asking $824,900 for 3BR 3.5BA 3 level TH. Realtor sign is still up, but the “For Sale” add-on is gone. WTF, I say!

  • karzai

    More importantly, when are we going to see actual construction at the Waverly at Clarendon? the building expected to tower over Sam’s Corner and O’Sullivan’s? That developer should be made to either s…t or get off the pot, so to speak. Either start building, as you have not done for almost four years since project approval, or get lost…. Don’t tie up our community with a weed-infested lot for years and years….

    • CW

      Yeah. Of all the regulations the county has, you think they could have something about not sitting on an empty lot after the approval of a site plan. Or something.

      • Thes

        I thought there was a three-year limit on site plan approvals. Isn’t their time up?

  • Apt

    I’m not retracting anything. There still has been not a single example for an actually 700 sq ft apt at $2,500. If you notice, Jon wrote “$2860 a month for 770 to 890 sq ft.” Thus that’s larger than 700 sq ft. So I’m calling BS on the person that said you can’t get a 700 sq ft apartment for under $2,500.


Subscribe to our mailing list