Press Club

Crystal City Sets the Table for Community

“You are Crystal City. You’re officially our ambassadors. All the work, planning, events. It’s meaningless without you. The community.”

These were the closing remarks made by Tracy Gabriel – President & Executive Director of the Crystal City Business Improvement District – at the recent Harvest Social in Crystal City. Days before Amazon’s selection of National Landing, 40 people gathered in front of the Lovers mural to share a meal and their visions for the future of their community.

“The first rule of Harvest Social is that you don’t talk about HQ2,” joked Tracy at the start of the meal. Held just days before the long-awaited announcement, many in attendance were hoping to get a hint about Amazon’s new headquarters. However, the conversation was centered mainly around what Crystal City is and what it can become.

Hosted by the Crystal City BID, the Harvest Social brought together residents, office workers and stakeholders to break bread and talk about all the exciting things happening in Crystal City.

The guests were selected by lottery and nearly 80 people responded for less than 40 seats. In attendance were longtime residents and new renters; young families and puppy parents; and property owners and employees working for a range of businesses and organizations. There was one thing that everyone had in common: a passion for Crystal City.

“Crystal City is a unique community and there is great desire all around for more connectivity among the residents and employees of the area.” says Irina Karmanova, a longtime resident of Crystal City who approached the BID about hosting a gathering of residents and workers. “Thanks so much to the BID for putting on such an amazing event!”

Most in attendance had never met each other, but you would never have known by the end of the evening. Laura Silliman, a young professional who has worked in Crystal City for two and a half years said “Crystal City is truly a community! It was neat seeing the diversity of residents and workers present, all of whom want Crystal City to thrive and grow.”

The dinner table was set along the insta-famous Lovers mural by No Kings Collective along Crystal Drive. The building at 1851 S. Bell Street, owned by JBG SMITH, is slated for demolition in the coming months to make way for future redevelopment.

About Crystal City and the BID

Located right on the Potomac River five minutes from the center of Washington DC, the greater Crystal City area, which includes Pentagon City and Potomac Yard – Arlington, has emerged as Virginia’s largest walkable downtown.

With a total asset value of over $11 billion, the area includes over 18 million square feet of office, nearly 18,000 residential units, 5,900 hotel rooms and approximately 475 retail storefronts and restaurants. This scale of development makes the greater Crystal City area an economic engine for Arlington County and comparable to other major central business districts around the country including in Austin, Indianapolis, and even Miami.

The Crystal City BID is a non-profit organization established as a public-private partnership with Arlington County in 2006 to promote the Crystal City business, retail, restaurant and residential community. The BID is committed to supporting the exciting transformation of Crystal City into a vibrant urban center and a great, mixed-use urban community.

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