Arlington, VA

An entire block of Rosslyn is going to be redeveloped, now that the County Board has approved the rezoning and phased development site plan for the 1 million square foot Rosslyn Gateway project.

The mixed-use project covers the 2.2 acres of land bounded by N. 20th Street on the north, N. Moore Street on the east, N. 19th Street on the south, and Fort Myer Drive on the west. The existing two office buildings will be replaced with three buildings — an office building, a residential tower and a hotel/residential building.

The County Board voted 4-1 to approve the project at its meeting last night (Tuesday).

“Rosslyn Gateway is a turning point for the County’s efforts to transform Rosslyn into a more welcoming neighborhood for the people who live, work or visit there,’’ said Arlington County Board Chair Mary Hynes. ‘’This is exactly the sort of high quality, beautifully designed, mixed use development we hoped that the rezoning of Rosslyn would encourage.”

The project will be constructed in three phases:

  • Phase 1 — 25-story, 490,056 square-foot office building with 8,688 square feet of ground-floor retail.
  • Phase 2 — 25-story building with 133 residential units, 148 hotel rooms and 10,001 square feet of retail.
  • Phase 3 — 20-story residential tower with 140 residential units and 7,687 square feet of ground-floor retail.

Under an agreement with developer JBG, the county will vacate certain easements and public rights-of-way it owns, including the service road that loops around part of the block. JBG would pay compensation to the county for the vacated areas, listed at about $7.5 million.

In addition to removing the service road, three sky bridges will also be removed to accommodate the new development. The sky bridges will be replaced with 12 foot wide clear sidewalks, crossings and street trees to improve pedestrian safety and encourage connections between the buildings. Parking will be located beneath the buildings.

Businesses on the block, such as Continental (1911 Fort Myer Drive), will be affected by the redevelopment. However, it’s unclear if they will relocate or if they will negotiate with JBG to take up some of the ground floor space in the new development.

JBG also agreed to provide $30 million worth of public benefits as a condition of site plan approval. The benefits include contributions to the county’s affordable housing fund, Gateway Park planning efforts, off-site transportation improvements and the Corridor of Light public art project.

A county staff member says the timeline for the project is still up in the air, although JBG’s current work on Central Place will likely take precedence over beginning construction on Rosslyn Gateway. However, due to county guidelines approved in the agreement, work would have to begin sometime in the next five years.

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