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Courthouse Office Building Poised for Demolition

by ARLnow.com July 12, 2012 at 10:00 am 5,204 48 Comments

It appears that the 1960s-era Arlington Executive Building in Courthouse (2009 N. 14th Street), home to the Arlington Chamber of Commerce and other tenants, is finally set to be demolished.

While there’s no word on exactly when demolition is expected to begin, we’re told a crane has been sitting in the building’s parking lot for the past couple of weeks, while the Chamber just announced that it is in the process of moving to a temporary office in Ballston.

Replacing the office building will be a new 16-story, 254-unit apartment building called the Tellus. The mixed-use building will also include more than 15,000 square feet of office and retail space. Construction had been set to begin in 2010, but financial difficulties forced it to be delayed.

Over the next couple of days, the Chamber will be moving to a new, temporary office at 4600 Fairfax Drive, Suite 804. The Chamber says it will be closed to the public through Monday, July 16, during the move.

The Chamber plans to move back into the first-floor office space of the Tellus, once it’s completed. That could happen as soon as 2014, the Chamber says.

  • Utes

    The Marymount building in Ballston needs to be next.

    • Willy

      The Blue Goose? Nooh! That building is so ugly, its kind of cool looking. It probably should be kept as a testament to bad design.

      • Arlington, Northside

        It was the cool style of the times! Keep it!!

        • Sherriff Gonna Getcha

          “at the time”

      • Id

        The blue comes from the extra lead that they put in the paint.

      • Mary-Austin

        Don’t worry in about 20 years there will be more than enough testaments to bad design in the Ballston area.

        • Observer

          It’s already all over that place.

      • shellshock868

        I thought that building was declared a Historic Landmark at one point and we are stuck with it forever. I have searched a bit on google but can’t find any facts to back up. But I swear I saw a post here on ARLNOW once about it being a Historic Landmark.

    • JamesE

      Looks like this one and that were built by the same people.

    • TJ

      Yes, with fresh development now on the other 3 corners, that building looks sadder by the day…nothing that a few beers from BWW won’t clear up, though.

    • TJLinBallston

      I couldn’t agree more. And there’s no sound reason why the replacement tower there couldn’t be the tallest building in the D.C. area. That corner, across from the future Metro entrance, has a huge footprint, with crumbling parking on three sides! It could support a tall, substantial structure. It would give Ballston much-needed critical mass and not intrude on prickly neighborhoods. Let’s aim for the stars on this one and suggest something north of 35 storeys.

      • Sherriff Gonna Getcha

        if Marymount was smart and assuming they own that land…

        1. rent out space in ballston mall to house classes during construction
        2. raze building, move parking underground
        3. build 20 story tower with retail on ground, classrooms etc on next 5-7 and then apartments on 8-20

    • karzai

      I wholeheartedly second that motion. That building is an eyesore of the highest order.

    • The Bible

      Pretty much everything in Rosslyn needs to be next.

  • Taylor

    Is there any standard to calling a building “mixed use,” or is that just a trendy term that’s used everywhere today, like calling everything “luxury?”

    In this case, there’s a 16-story apartment building that I’m guessing contains at least 300,000 sq. ft. of total space. But because 15,000 sq. ft. will be office and retail (at most, a tiny 5% of total space), it’s being called Mixed Use?

    Is there a reason for calling it Mixed Use besides being just a marketing ploy? Does the County give special favors to developers of mixed use projects? Regardless of whether that mix is actually useful?

    It just seems to me that while there’s some good benefit to the theory of having multiple uses in a single building (like someone living on the 9th floor and working on the 2nd floor), having a huge apartment complex with some token retail space for a deli and a nail salon doesn’t really seem to be much to brag about.

    Just a question for people who know more about this sort of stuff than I do.

    • Faintly Progressive

      I think having the entire first floor be retail adds a lot more to street life than an all residential building. One floor out of 16 is going to be not much over 5% of the square footage. Adding non residential above the first floor may have advantages, but does not have the same impact on street life and walkability.

      • Thes

        If this building is like others in the courthouse area, the developer promise retail on the ground floor, but offer it at such high rent that they never get a tenant, and then go back to the County a few years later and get permission to turn it into a dentist office or more apartments.

        • Mario

          Why does the county let them get away with that?

          • Suburban Not Urban

            Because they can’t admit that the new urban nonsense they claim doesn’t work the way they say it does and that they are knowingly mis-representing the facts.

    • rowdyINdowdy

      Mixed use is typically just used within the industry to describe a type of project. It is not really used as a term used to market a property. Luxury on the other hand is an entirely different story!

    • Clarendon

      I don’t think 15K of retail in a building is insignificant. But as for the need for the terminology “mixed-use”, yes its a little gimmicky. For thousands of years we built cities and towns with different uses in convienent walkable proximity just because it made common sense and didn’t need some term for it. Nowadays, though common sense isn’t enough I guess.

      • Faintly Progressive

        possibly because for decades we seperated uses, and some people still support keeping uses seperated.

        • Clarendon

          And about 90% of the places in the US still have seperated uses that require you to travel long distances for basic needs of daily life so if that is what you want, you are lucky as there is much to choose from. And, as a bonus, you can pick up a house in those places really cheap because of all the forclosures.

          • Faintly Progressive

            I’m all for new urbanism.

            Just saying why I think the terminology is needed, and not really that gimmicky.

    • JohnB

      In traditional (1950-2000) zoning codes specific uses are e.g. Hotel or Office or Industrial or Commercial or Residential. This type of zoning specifically excludes more than one use type on a parcel. Mixed use describes a zoning that allows more than one use type on a single parcel. In this case it seems that you have office, commercial, and residential uses all on the same parcel. I don’t believe there is any minimum percentage of sq ft that a use type must occupy in order to be considered “mixed use.”

      • JohnB

        …specific uses are specified e.g…..

  • BallstontoRosslyn

    keep it delayed a while! it will be sooo loud over there 🙁

  • novasteve

    Remember when these idiots knocked down the historical courthouse and replaced with with a “modern” heinous beast? Why not knock down Arlington House since it’s old?

  • CW

    Interesting, Tellus more…

    • drax

      I considered, and then rejected, that joke.

      Glad it worked for you!

    • Mike

      Darn, beat me to it!


  • Karen Pena

    I met my husband of 26 years in that building!

    • Hank

      I conceived a child in that building. Sorry to one-up you.

      • Tre

        I ate dinner, watched TV and slept for a year and a half across the street from that building. (Yes inside a building, and no not the office-building turned homeless shelter).

        • drax

          You got the short end of the stick, Tre.

          • Hank

            Yeah, you should’ve been bumping uglies with me and Karen.

  • DarkHeart

    No Morning Notes today?

  • Suburban Not Urban

    7 to 16 – and the canyons grow darker

    • TJLinBallston

      …and deeper and richer in an architectural urban environment, appropriately located near an underground subway station. DO not lament the future when it’s going in the right direction.

  • novasteve

    You’ll pay for handouts and like it! Or else to the GULAG with you!

    Now let’s all sing the Internationale!!

  • movin on up…

    Great, another section 8 shelt… err apartment building in that corner…

  • Chris B

    ArlNow? This is exactly the type of articles we need. Much better than the big boobs story.

    • Thes

      Page views for this story: less than 1000 (probably will be more later today). Page views for the boobs: 10,000. Looks like one of these may pay for the other…

      • Id

        It is the duty of Arlington Now to keep us informed of the existence of unusually large boobs in the area.

        • Tre

          I think we have belabored this enough, everyone needs to just quit tit.

          • HugeCupSize

            I love to buy frozen yogurt in Arlington

      • Chris B

        You have a point — I didn’t see those page view statistics before.

        I guess I was overestimating the quality of the readership here 🙂


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