Retail, Street Improvements Coming to Pershing Drive

by ARLnow.com May 4, 2012 at 9:35 am 4,005 34 Comments

(Updated at 9:55 a.m.) A grocery store and as many as four restaurants could be coming to Pershing Drive in Lyon Park over the next year or so.

Construction on the new $62 million apartment project at 2201 Pershing Drive, at the intersection with Route 50, is nearing completion. One of the two buildings is expected to open in mid-July, with the other expected to open in September. The apartments in each feature sound-resistant windows, hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances, and in-unit washer/dryers.

The 188-unit complex is currently leasing for both residents and for retail tenants.

The buildings together have 31,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor. Developers envision up to four restaurants, with outdoor sidewalk seating, and a 12,000 square foot specialty grocery store, like Yes! Organic Market or Balducci’s. One of the retail bays is pre-built for a wood burning oven, with the hopes of attracting a Matchbox-type restaurant.

Though the complex is about a 15 minute walk from Clarendon, most retail customers who do not live in the immediate area are expected to drive. To accommodate them, a 125-space at-grade retail parking lot has been built behind the buildings. That’s in addition to the 270 underground spaces for residents. Both the residential and retail parking areas will have electric car chargers.

While attempting to bring a revamped retail district to Pershing Drive (the apartment complex replaced a former strip mall), developer Equity Residential is also paying for improvements to the streetscape. Company officials expect the road construction currently in progress will be complete by the time the first apartments open in July. Improvements include a complete repaving, planted center medians, trees, brick planters, overhead utility relocations.

  • Lee-n-Glebe

    This is a “locationally-challenged” project. I hope the developers’ gamble pays off – it could create a much-needed revitalization there.

    • Greg

      I actually think there is some upside to the location. It previously supported a commercial strip mall (nothing great, but still). You have Sheffield Court, Fort Myer, the Days Inn and the surrounding homes and other apartments a few blocks away, plus added density from the new apartments.

      Also, you have traffic coming down Route 50. It makes it easy for people to stop at a small grocer while passing by.

      It’s not the slam dunk that Clarendon is, but I think it has more upside then Lee Highway, for example.

      • wat

        As someone who used to live in Sheffield Court, I wished there were decent options rather than the sh–ty old supermarket, paint store, and trophy shop that used to be there. However, I do not envy the inflated price that this once affordable apartment complex in the 22201 will now have due to this and other developments.

  • Southeast Jerome

    finally they are repaving this road. I am tired of having to drive over to Astor in my Humvee.

    And sound resistant windows is a great idea for the apts.

    • CrystalMikey


  • John Fontain

    I hope the developer will not be so short-sighted as to reach for the proverbial stars when setting rental rates for the ground-level retail spaces. Doing so will likely lead to half-occupied retail for years to come. And if the retail spaces are only partially occupied, there will likely be low customer traffic and the half of the retail spaces that are occupied will likely struggle to survive.

    On the other hand, if the developer takes the long view and set reasonable rental rates, they would have a really good chance of filing all spaces and making that area (and the half-used property across the street) a mini-destination for dining (I’m thinking along the lines of the Lee Heights Shops up at Lee Highway and Old Dominion Drive).

    Will the developer take the long view or will it shoot for the stars (and shoot itself in the foot)?

  • bemused bystander

    Seeing this complex go up, and up, confirms that the neighbors were right — it’s a story too tall.

  • LP

    The possibility of a Yes! Organic Market at this location and the Bergmann’s site that is going to be developed seems like optimistic thinking.

    I’m guessing only one will make it.

    • South Awwlington

      You seem to be in the know…

      is there a hierarchy on the Whole Foods, Yes!, MOM world? Is one clearly better than the rest and more affordable?

  • South Awwlington

    I would welcome something like this at Dinwiddie and Columbia Pike. Tear down that eyesore of a strip mall and get us some ground-floor, walk-able retail and restaurants!

    • South Awwlington

      CVS, Popeyes and MCDonald’s don’t count!

      • John K

        So, Danny’s and Oriental Supermarket do? Don’t mess with my Popeye’s! A Popeye’s with parking is a Very Good Thing after a long day at work.

        • Mimi Stratton

          That’s not what your heart muscle is going to tell you when you’re in your early 50’s.

  • Bandersnatch

    If I remember correctly this was the original planned location for Trader Joe’s but the development took so long that it ended up in Clarendon… too bad for the site, a TJ’s would have been a great anchor.

    • True Redneck

      Absolutely! A Trador Joe’s that is easy to get to, just a turn off of Rt. 50. I honestly haven’t even tried to go to the one in Clarendon because of the cluster**** that is traffic in that area.

      • Larchmont

        If my wife can make it in and out of there traffic can’t be that bad. How far down John Mosby Highway do you live?

      • Ballstonian

        I highly doubt that TJ’s would put a store 13 blocks away from another store. Seems to be more of the “I want this because it makes my life moderately easier” without any concern for whether it makes sense for the company.

        • Bandersnatch

          My point was that it WAS planned for that site not that they’d build another one- I think that it was even in the literature for the skinny “Matchbox” house (or “Spite” house, depending on you you ask) right behind the site

          • Blomster

            Trader Joe’s was never planned for the site. People approached them about it, but they said the space was too small.

          • Ballstonian

            my response was to Redneck, who advocated a second TJs in the Pershing location which would be easier for him/her to get to.

      • Ben

        Haven’t tried?

        Maybe you should at least try before knocking something?

  • esmith69

    From a proximity-to-major-roads-and-DC standpoint, this location is excellent. However, those “sound-proof” windows better be truly sound-proof given how close this is to RT-50. And even then, forget sitting outside by a pool or standing out on a balcony and trying to carry on a conversation.

    • Tre

      Sound-proof windows is actually bad news, since the “white noise” from the cars could possibly cover up the noises travelling through the wooden floors from tenants above and below.

      • LP

        Sound-proof windows is actually bad news, since the “white noise” from the cars could possibly cover up the noises travelling through the wooden floors from tenants above and below.

        From their facebook page: “At 2201 Pershing, the walls and ceilings between our units are insulated. Drywall at demising walls and ceilings is hung on resilient channel which reduces sound transfer. Additionally, we’re adding an accoustimat insulation layer under the wood flooring in the residential units to further reduce sound transfer between the units. Long story short, you won’t be hearing your neighbors walking around upstairs.”

  • YTK

    Hopefully, Metro will also extend the #4 bus service to this area as well.

    • Lcm427

      4A and 4H already stop at Rt 50 and Pershing/the Ft Myer entrance, and the 4B stops at Barton and Pershing.

  • Michael

    Rumor has it a smaller Wegmans has been proposed for this site.

    • nom de guerre

      That’s funny, my sources have told me that Sam’s Corner plans to relocate there and expand due to increased business-both walk in traffic and large corporate catering requests.

    • That is exciting about Wegmans. I wonder if there is any further news, but will the doors be wide enough?

  • Mark

    Bring back Armand’s Pizza.

  • MC

    Balducci’s would be excellent, and different from Whole Foods and Trader Joes. No more going to McLean or Old Town.

  • nota gain

    I do hope the traffic signals and the actual intersection of Pershing and Rt 50 will also be enhanced to accommodate any additional traffic using this wonderful traffic addition to the area.

  • left turn sign I meant.


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