Join Club

Arlington Working Aggressively to Bring Down Office Vacancy Rate

Aerial view of Rosslyn as seen from a flight arriving at DCAArlington’s office vacancy rate has dropped for the first time in more than five years.

County officials touted the 1.6 percent drop in the vacancy rate in a press release (below), while admitting that the rate — 20.8 percent — is still too high and there’s “much more work to be done.”

The county says recent high-profile victories — bringing the 1776 tech incubator and the new U.S. headquarters of the Lidl grocery chain to Crystal City, for instance — came as Arlington leaders are pursuing “a new strategy of diversification, aggressive marketing and emphasis on fast-growth tech companies.”

High commercial office vacancy has hurt Arlington County’s finances, as commercial buildings make up about half of the county’s tax base. The vacancy rate has been exacerbated by a number of factors, including the Base Realignment and Closure Act (BRAC), federal budget sequestration and the loss of several large government offices to Alexandria, where rents are cheaper.

The county’s press release, after the jump.

Arlington’s office vacancy rate dipped 1.6 percent at the end of the third quarter of 2015, the first time that rate has dropped appreciably in more than five years. The drop, which can be credited to announcements such as incubator 1776’s move to Crystal City and international grocery store chain Lidl’s announcement to bring its U.S. headquarters to Potomac Yards, comes as Arlington is pursuing a new strategy of diversification, aggressive marketing and emphasis on fast-growth tech companies.

“It is encouraging, after five years of a rising office vacancy rate, to see that rate nudge downward,” said Acting County Manager Mark Schwartz. “The improving economy, the Board’s decision to put more funding into Economic Development, and our much more aggressive efforts to attract, retain and grow businesses here in Arlington are all beginning to pay off. We’ve made progress, but there is much more work to be done.”

“We still have a long way to go,” agreed Victor Hoskins, Director of Arlington Economic Development. “This is just the beginning, and there will undoubtedly be more fluctuations as we move forward. However, this is proof that our new Way Forward strategy of diversification is indeed the right direction for us.”

The Countywide vacancy rate was 22.4% as of Jan. 1, 2015, and stood at 20.8% on Sept. 30, 2015.

Arlington closed 30 deals so far in 2015, representing nearly 3,000 new or retained jobs and more than 800,000 square feet of office space. Arlington Economic Development’s new marketing initiatives range from promotion at national and international events to competitions encouraging startups to bring their business to Arlington. Arlington also will be the sole U.S. host location for the international Dongsheng Technology and Science Park entrepreneurship competition later this year.

“Our efforts have generated more than 2,000 leads from 30 states and eight international countries this year alone,” said Hoskins. “We are diligently working now to qualify those leads and follow up with companies who may benefit from bringing their business to Arlington. The key is diversification – bringing new and interesting companies to our area.”

Recent Stories

A Washington-Liberty High School senior was killed in a double homicide yesterday in Fairfax County. Braden Deahl, 18, was a standout soccer player on the W-L varsity team who had…

The saga of slow mail delivery in Arlington continues. Now, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D) is bringing the county’s issues to the federal government. There have been grumblings for years…

The delay in the second phase of Amazon’s HQ2 may not be for all that long, according to Arlington County Board Vice-Chair Libby Garvey. Garvey appeared on WAMU’s The Politics…

Famed chef Peter Chang’s newest restaurant NiHao remains “on track” to open late this year or early next in Crystal City. Earlier this year, it was reported that the 2022…

The 44th Leeway Overlee Community Day and Yard
Sale will be along the John Marshall Drive/Ohio Street greenway on
Saturday, June 3 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. The community will be out in
force to exchange information and greetings, sell unneeded household
items, and pick up a few bargains.

About 100 families set up tables for the festivities, which take
place along the six-block stretch of the greenway from near Langston
Blvd. to Washington Blvd. Attendance is free, but
a $10 fee will be collected from individuals and families selling
household items during the event. Ensure that all goods and rubbish are
removed from the greenway by 1 p.m. Leave dogs at home.

For more info, call 703-532-6101. If planning to sell, start labeling
your items for sale NOW! Event will take place as long as there is not
active rain. Rain date is June 10.

Submit your own Announcement here.



Sat, June 3rd I 3:30 pm / Shows 5:50 pm I Kenmore Auditorium I Glencarlyn

The 36th Festival Argentino USA celebrates Argentine Day and Cultural Freedom. The folkloric group Los 4 de Córdoba and 25 more artists from Argentina, World, and Solidarity Tribute, 200 years of friendship between USA and Argentina!.

Read More

Submit your own Announcement here.

Homebuying 101: Steps to Getting Pre-Approved

Are you ready to jump into homeownership or started considering it but don’t know where to start? Financial preparation is key when thinking about purchasing your first home and the first step to getting pre-approved.

Join ACFCU’s mortgage loan officers

4th of July Celebration & Fireworks

Treat yourself this Independence Day with a world-class, private 4th of July extravaganza at the Military Women’s Memorial – a premier National Capital Region site.

Great food, fun, and the best views of Washington DC’s spectacular fireworks display. Relax, enjoy,


Subscribe to our mailing list