ZOM Development in Clarendon to Begin Soon

by ARLnow.com June 5, 2012 at 8:49 am 7,909 80 Comments

Construction on a new apartment building at 1200 N. Irving Street in Clarendon is expected to begin soon.

Developers ZOM Inc. and USAA Real Estate are planning to begin work on the 187-unit apartment building within the next 30 to 45 days, according to a letter sent to local residents. The developers will be holding a community meeting next Monday, June 11, to discuss the project. The meeting will be held at the Lyon Village Community House (1920 N. Highland Street) at 7:30 p.m.

Representatives from the Lyon Village, Lyon Park, Ashton Heights, Clarendon Courthouse and Ballston-Virginia Square civic associations have all been invited to the meeting, as have local business owners and property owners.

ZOM first bought the site at the corner of Washington Boulevard and N. Irving Street in 2006, but it has remained fallow as the developer struggled to find financing for the project. USAA bought the property in 2011 and is developing it together with ZOM.

The building has been dubbed “The Waverly at Clarendon Station” — though it’s unclear if that name will stick once the project is complete.

  • Sam

    Wow that is dull. Looks a lot like a smaller squashed version of the Ballston Point building at Glebe and Wilson.

    • Clarendon

      I think this was the building that Shalom Baranes designed. Apparently, some people think he is a good designer. I believe the wavy curtain wall was some kind of signature element. It’s changed ownership sinc then so he may not even be involved any more. I never did think this was a nice looking project but I liked the copper accents on the roof. Then later, I noticed that the documents said they might substitute masonry of a copper color for metal and that went out the window.

      • HFB

        The building was originally designed by Esocoff and Associates although it is unclear if the firm continues to be involved with the project. Esocoff and Associates is one of DCs better design firms (along with Shalom Baranes Associates) and a trip along Mass Avenue between 3rd St and 15th St NW will give you a good idea of the quality of the firm’s distinctive style. As for this design, I cannot think of another similar scale building in the Clarendon area that will come anywhere close to the quality of this design, not that the standard is now set anywhere above cheap developer architecture. It may not communicate clearly in the drawings here, but this firm produces unique, sensitive, and well considered designs. This will not be like the typical Clarendon (Arlington generally) post-toasty brick skins.

        What is unfortunate is that the original developer wasn’t able to to get rid of the corner buildings and allow the project the fill out the corner. It reminds me of the corner where the Three Restaurant stands now. Fortunately the previous “hold-out” structure was removed and Restaurant Three was built (which looks fine), but urban design “mistake” will be there for decades to come, as it will here.

        • Swimmy

          I can’t believe I agree with you–I always want to keep just about every old building left–but this does look ridiculous, with the tiny rundown Sams in front of this completely incongruous new building towering over it. Since everything behind Sam’s was leveled, the damage is done–might as well go all the way.

        • Clarendon

          Thanks, you are correct it was Esocoff. Baranes designed some other building, although what happens a lot is the developer will hire the good architect for the site plan approval and then get a more production architect to do the final plans where they ‘value-engineer’ it. How good these building look end up depending a lot on how they execute the details and how good quality they use in the materials.

          Esocoff is the one that likes the wavey facade gimic – like 400 Mass Ave


    • Mary-Austin

      Looks like a 90’s era Comfort Inn.

      One that charges $2,000+ for a 1 bedroom.

    • IMP

      It is sexy. The architectural visiualization of the built environment represents the metamorphosis of Arlington’s urban fabric. It is the embodyment of dematerialized urbanism. The juxtaposition of the new materiality with the old creates a symbiotic spaciality. The curvilinear nature of the façade defines the space and fulfills the intentionality of the design potentiality.

      • Le Zimmster

        I could have said it better myself !!!

  • sam

    that photo pictures Sams Corner, and thus is out of date.

    • karzai

      Sam’s Corner motto: “Don’t call us, we’ll call you.”

    • South Side Chris

      True, but at least it pictures Sam’s Corner when it’s closed. So so there’s that.

      • karzai

        Any picture ever taken of Sam’s Corner was taken when it is closed.

        • sam

          ain’t that the truth. I don’t understand why it closed down!

          • karzai

            The sad part is that Sam’s is closing and virtually no one in this community is going to notice or care. And that is largely because it is virtually never open and clearly has not one iota of interest in the community where it is located.

    • Ballstonia

      The rendering also features the old Petco on the south side of Washington Boulevard, and the Clarendon Alliance-era Liberty Tavern building.

  • John

    That building is hideous. I had hoped the project was dead.

    • karzai

      What’s hideous is the empty lot with overgrown weeds, uneven concrete pourings, broken bottles, etc… Let’s have some optimism here.

    • Tre

      Agreed. Can we at least get rid of those submarine windows??

      • speonjosh

        I hadn’t even noticed until you mentioned them. Reason enough to torpedo the whole project. Round windows are so 1986.

  • G Clifford Prout (now moderated for extra purity)

    The name should have followed the new convention and been: The Waverly at Clarendon Station Towncenter. (or maybe even Towncentre.

    • JamesE

      The Waverly at the artist formerly known as Sam’s Corner.

  • karzai

    Garfield Park is now anchoring east Clarendon, this Zom project will anchor south Clarendon. The last missing piece is the empty lot across the street from Whole Foods (between Wilson and Clarendon blvds). A development there is needed to anchor north Clarendon, and then we’re just about finished.

    • outoftowner

      “then we’re finished” is very wishful thinking

    • Sam

      Hardly finished. Check out the concept sketches in this sector plan.


    • Clarendon

      Nah, there is the huge Silver Diner block (allows up to 110 feet) and the Wells Fargo lot (that also has the Verizon building) on the east. This is the last lot that allows the county to approve up to 128 feet in height in exchange for community benefits. Being at the end of the metro park also means that it will be very visible from center Clarendon.

  • South Side Chris

    A building so generic should recieve a far more generic title like, “The Building at North County” or “The Thing at The Place.”

    • Terry

      “1200” ??

    • WeiQiang

      1200 #Faile Centre

    • speonjosh

      The Thing at The Place.


      Awesome. I would even forgive the round windows if they’d name it that.

  • abc

    Hideous- Firstly, the cylinder appears to come straight from the Ballston corner @ N Glebe Rd & Wilson Blvd and with yet another confused crown at top. Also, left side of the building has no direct connection to the right side as if two were separate structures. I understand somewhat why the precast concrete are angled on the left side but there are other ways to harness the western sun. I feel the designer(s) were influenced too much by the surrounding area thus no creative or individuality. Thanks for making Arlington dull ZOM and USAA.

  • very clarendon-esque. snore.

  • GreaterClarendon

    Any idea if the taxi location will ever sell its property to develop the area into a fun destination? I like Red Top Cab, just would prefer to see that property used for something more favorable for the community. Could someone please build a retail store that sells prepared foods that you can take home and serve. I know Whole Foods does a little bit, but there were some grocery/restaurant places in Dallas that all they did was sell fresh prepared meals and if an area needs that, it is NoVA (granted, easy parking is needed to succeed).

    • outoftowner

      “Please kick out this company because I would like something else there”

      • Intowner

        I think GreaterClarendon said Sell, not kick out or exercise imminent domain. Sell is an option, and at the right price, it’s a rational decision. No need to get your panties in a bunch outoftowner.

    • bemused bystander

      Isn’t it favorable for a walking-and-transit-oriented community to have a major taxi company so conveniently located? Makes it easier for them to ferry people to and from all those fun destinations. Besides, Red Top’s taxi washing and service installations there would be very hard to relocate in Arlington.

    • Jamail’s.

  • Novanglus

    An early plan included a Harris Teeter — is that still part of it?

  • Vicente Fox

    Ugly building, stupid name.

  • Barf

    Looks like a prison built around a nuclear reactor. Or a mall.

    Name it The Douchebagium at Clarendon.

  • TGEo^

    Architecture. Where everyone can pretend the are a snob.

    • Juanita de Talmas

      You don’t have to pretend the building is as lackluster as this one.

    • Justice

      This is a high end design with non-functional design elements you usually don’t see. There was a lot of revenue generating floor space sacrficed for this design and I respect that. Gotta laugh at the commentators who said it looked to structures not directly connected….I think that’s the point.

      • Vinh An Nguyen

        “High end design”? Hardly. It looks like everything else built between Rosslyn and Ballston over the last decade or so.

        • Justice

          Only if you lack attention to details both big and small.

          • Vinh An Nguyen

            Yes, using yellow bricks on one side is oh-so creative and high-end.

  • Corey


  • Blomster

    Leonora’s not going anywhere, is it?!

  • Lee-n-Glebe

    I actually like it.

    There. I said it.

    • LuvDusty


      People need to get over themselves on this thread.

      It’s actually nicer than most of the old falling apart nasty storefronts that are still lined up Wilson/Clarendon….I can’t wait for those things to get torn down..ugh.

      I mean really? People are complaining that a new bldg is being erected when there are like 10 nasty/empty in some cases, storefronts along that same area?

      Noboby is complaining about the gross “incense”selling “business”on that same corner that looks like a front for a hashish pusher, or the nasty Kabob or Thai places that look absolutely decrepit from the outside?


      • Condosleaza Race

        I can’t wait for this generic building with a generic name that will house more generic froyo\cupcake\burger\pizza joints to add to the diversity that is Clarendon.

        • DCBuff

          ++1. Generic rules!

        • Arlie

          Generic? What are you talking about? We have only “branded” froyo/cupcake/burger/pizza joints.

  • Hokie

    The way it looms over the existing ground level facades is terrible. I know I know- “keep historical appearance”- but do so when it doesn’t look fugly.

  • KalashniKEV

    Will there be taxpayer-funded, or neighbor-subsidized units for poor people?

    • novasteve

      No, but there will be far too few parking spots to help save the environment.

  • SoMuchForSubtlety

    All typical ARLNow comments, which could frankly apply to just about any blog entry here… yawn. At least try to say something new for goodness sakes!

    • Tre


  • (another) Greg

    Kneel before ZOM!

  • South Awwlington

    affordable unit count please?

    • KalashniKEV

      All units are affordable… to those that can afford them.

      Are you talking about Section 8 Housing?

      • South Awwlington

        No, I’m asking about affordable housing contributions from new developments countywide. No harm in revealing what the contribution is and which developer (affordable or not) benefits the most from it.

        Also, it will further the discussion about where these units are located.

      • Arlie


  • LuvDusty

    Oh and while you folks are complaining about the new ZOM bldg, let me also remind you of the nasty “shoe store” (if you can call it that) or the old falling apart clothing store just a few spaces down from the CVS? WTF?

    I’m all for preserving old buildings and Mom and Pop shops IF they can at least look like it hasn’t been 40 years since they were frequented/cleaned.

    • Ben

      I believe the shoe store is closing soon. There was a Arlnow article about it a few weeks ago.

      • karzai

        That was referring to Shoefly, which has closed, not the Public Shoe Store. The Public Shoe Store guy said in 2011 he still has a few years before he folds his tent. Shoefly has indeed closed and is being replaced by a wine store.

    • Condosleaza Race

      They need to be replaced by the Cupcake Tavern.

      • marie antoinette

        Egads! Just another set of rabbit hutches in Clarendon adding to more congestion. The Ballstonization of Clarendon nearing completion.

    • LuvDusty

      FYI, the store in question that is pretty gross in my view is called Fragrance World. How anyone could look at that and say it’s better than say, the ZOM project, no matter how bland, is insane in my view.

      Also, that Taste of Morocco restaurant next to O’Sullivan’s? Pretty gross as well.

      And honestly, not thrilled about O’Sullivan’s either…in my view they could take all of those store fronts and make one big mixed-use development building with new retail (and parking) and I’d be fine.

  • Southeast Jerome

    That shite is ug-ly.

  • Alex

    The cylinder looks like glass block. What’s the plan with that? The heavy Deco tilt for that area seems odd and unembracing. Is that the plan? If not then where are the trees? The trees are what make Connecticut Avenue’s Deco blocks seem so lush and welcoming. Clarendon needs a lot more trees.

  • CC

    How many weeks will it take for new residents to have the Liberty Tavern patio shut down due to noise? Their next line of attack will be the Clarendon Ballroom rooftop.

    • arl2012

      My kid’s preschool playground is right next to it! This sucks! I was hoping we’d get one more year before this started.

  • Hasdrupal

    USAA is a good company. How could they get involved with this ugly, mismash of a building? The spot is eye catching at the intersection of a series of roads and deserves more respect.Yellow brick is so 50s and the glare from those windows will likely result in more than a few accidents at a cross roads which is now risky. Like the Eisenhower Memorial downtown, the whole thing should be reworked. Why can’t they incorporate the Irish bar and accomplish two goals -street friendly business and a one focus building on that desirable space?

  • LuvDusty

    And I would also like to point out to those who call this change the “Ballston”ization of Clarendon, that Ballston is very different in terms of retail and restaurant options than Clarendon.

    Anyone who has spent any amount of time in both neighborhoods (clearly most of the posters here have not), will tell you that Clarendon has a much more “vibrant” and busy nightlife than Ballston. Ballston is much more of a lunchtime area, because of the high number of offices located in the area, so sandwich shops and daytime retail are most busy.

    Clarendon has much more of a residential feel to it, and a much busier night life, mostly due to the several restaurants and bars that have popped up in the last 10 years along the Wilson/Clarendon Blvd area.

    90% of the retail business in the Ballston area close by 8, 9 or 10pm. Making it a virtual mid-rise ghost town after 8. This is not the case at all w.Clarendon and I suspect never will be.

    So what is happening to Clarendon is smart, mixed-use urban development—it’s nothing like what happened to Ballston, which by the way, has been that way for 20 years already,…it did not happen recently.

    • karzai

      Very well put. However, I concur with alot of the criticisms of many posters who say that the food options have all merged into similarity, that the retail is virtually all food and drink catering to a young and sometimes rowdy crowd, and that we need more non-food/non-drink retail options.

      • CW1

        I generally concur, but there are a few non-food and non-drink retail spots popping up. About a block away, there is a relatively new AT&T store and an optometry place. Slowly but surely…

    • TJLinBallston

      With the opening of Rustico and the much-anticipated Leek American Bistro, the “Clarendonation” of Ballston has begun. The adjoining neighborhoods have filled their respective footprints well. Villagey Clarendon lent itself to the development of cozy dining and nightlife spots. Ballston grows from old car dealers, used car lots, busyards and aging strip mall blight. Ballston has not yet snapped to attention. It’s a dozen major towers away from a solid wow factor. But it’s growing in that direction rapidly. Fortunately, Clarendon is finally get a few grow-up developments and not just Disneyesque awnings and flowers.

  • karzai

    Come on, people… Let’s wait until this building is built before rushing to judgment on its architecture and appearance based on a tiny photo that may or may not fully represent what it will look like in the end…

  • TJLinBallston

    I just cannot make myself like this building. The rendering doesn’t show a building I’m eager to see go up, and I love seeing buildings go up!

  • arlre

    I have seen more detailed renderings and elevations of the building and its definitely more interesting than this. I think once its up most people will be pleased with it. It is also a pretty high end/high quality facade (thanks to Arlington County) and will show that way once its up. No AC units or dryer vents on the outside like other Rosslyn-Ballston corridor apartments.


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