Two Rosslyn Improvement Organizations to Merge

by Katie Pyzyk May 8, 2012 at 11:55 am 3,314 15 Comments

Two organizations designed to improve Rosslyn have decided to merge.

After 21 years in business, Rosslyn Renaissance (RR) will cease to exist and its urban design work will be taken over by the Rosslyn Business Improvement District (BID).

RR was created by the Arlington County Board in 1991, and lists its mission as “to work with residential, commercial, cultural, and government communities to realize Rosslyn’s potential as a distinctive urban environment through a focus on urban design and development.”

“Rosslyn Renaissance has helped to lay the foundation for Rosslyn’s future growth,” said Board President Jeffrey L. Kovach in a press release. “The BID will build upon and continue RR’s work, planning for Rosslyn today and in the future.”

RR’s work has helped with accomplishments such as securing a donated space for Artisphere, adding 98 additional affordable housing units and installing a pedestrian esplanade to Key Bridge.

“RR board members were the drivers to create the BID in 2003, and that is among the greatest of RR’s accomplishments,” said BID Executive Director Cecilia Cassidy. “The new organizational structure will bring us full circle. It is a graduation of sorts for the two groups – to Rosslyn’s benefit.”

The BID board has created an Urban Design Committee, which will incorporate all members of the Rosslyn Renaissance committee.

The two organizations will host a tribute event tonight in the main ballroom of the Key Bridge Marriott. The event is scheduled to include remarks from Rep. Jim Moran, Del. Patrick Hope and County Board Chair Mary Hynes. Board members and founders of Rosslyn Renaissance will also be recognized during the tribute.

  • DeportEmAll

    The Artisphere is an “accomplishment?”

  • Please

    RR/BID: Rosslyn needs a decent grocery store! let’s stop focusing on pole flags, flower displays and solar powered compactors and start focusing on what makes a neighborhood a desirable place to live, i.e. a pleasant, clean, walkable grocery store for example.. That Safeway is a disaster.

    • Thes

      I agree that the lack of a decent grocery store is a big impediment to Rosslyn being a pleasant place to live. What do you think the BID should do to accomplish that?

      • bemused bystander

        Well, since the BID is financed by development, and its board and operations are dominated by the developers and big property owners who dominate just about everything in Rosslyn, maybe the BID could, um, appeal to a Rosslyn developer or big property owner to recruit and find room for a good grocery store?

    • Choogirl

      I wholeheartedly agree. I order groceries from peapod or shop at the Harris Teeter in Ballston when I need groceries b/c the Safeway is so bad. Pleeeaaase give us a grocery store!

  • Please

    Engage Safeway to improve that store, explore a new lessor for that space (assuming there is any possibility of that). Apply pressure to the County/builders to get one of the new high rises to include a grocery store in the first few floors..

  • Agreed!

    That Safeway is a waste! I couldn’t agree more. I don’t know what the optoins are, but agree with keeping that as a focus.

  • ArlRes

    Isn’t the new development, where the london and normandy apartments are, going to have a new grocery store at the ground floor level?

  • Please

    Maybe, maybe not, is what I heard. Plus that is many years away..

    • Grocery Getter

      I bet Safeway would be down for upgrading the Rosslyn store, especially given that they closed their Watergate location of similar vintage, layout and size last December. My understanding is that Safeway wanted to expand and update their Watergate store to compete with the new Whole Foods at Foggy Bottom and the West End Trader Joe’s. I think the Watergate residents put the kibosh on their construction plans, so Safeway decided to pull out. The space remains empty and last time I heard, had no prospects for a new tenant.

      IMHO, the Rosslyn Safeway ain’t that bad. Their produce selection is no better or worse than the Lyon Village Giant’s and the cashiers are really friendly. It’s not spacious or modern, but that’s because it’s underground and there’s nowhere else for a grocery store to be in Rossyln. I realize that people dig the vibrancy of the overcrowded Whole Foods up the street, but not every errand needs to be an “experience,” does it?

      • Please

        Really, you think so? I find the cashiers spaced out and sometimes rude. The lines are almost always long for no apparent reason. Given the quality of stuff, it is also a very expensive store — the produce section is especially sad. There is a fair amount of space, which could be used so much better. I just don’t understand how come Safeway doesn’t make it better so more of the residents shop here, and spend more.. The HHI in Rosslyn is fairly high, and from a commercial perspective that store is a huge waste.

  • Aaron

    What? A redundant government program is voluntarily being eliminated?!? Did the Republicans finally win or something?

  • Ashton Heights

    That Safeway is an icky dungeon. The store is filthy and the prices are ridonkeyless. Giant, Harris Teeter and Whole Foods all the way!

  • karzai

    These organizations have been a dismal failure. They have substituted more office buildings, and flags that say Rosslyn, etc, for a vibrant, walkable neighborhood with after hours street life. Now some street life might pick up with the completion of Slate and Sedona, and the other new building near Ray’s Hellburger. But, overall, this is not Clarendon and will never be Clarendon – which evolved gradually and organically. Rosslyn is always going to shut down at 5PM, no matter what. This is a consequence of allowing too much office construction and not requiring enough street front retail.

  • Michael

    There were talks of a luxury, boutique grocery in the retail space at Turnberry. I don’t know whatever came of that. I also heard a wine/cheese shop as well.

    I would always be down for a Rosslyn Wegmans!


Subscribe to our mailing list