Arlington, VA

Newly-revised plans for the redevelopment of the Key Bridge Marriott site in Rosslyn include a new bike path.

Los Angeles-based developers Woodridge Capital Partners and Oaktree Capital Management purchased the hotel at 1401 Lee Highway for $190 million last year. Since then, the developers proposed renovating the 582-room hotel and adding three residential buildings to the site — two with condominiums and one with apartments.

On June 11, Woodridge and Oaktree Capital Management LP submitted plans to build a pedestrian and cyclist “esplanade” on the north side of the site, with a connection to Lee Highway. The county noted earlier this month that the developers need to ensure pedestrians and cyclists weren’t hampered by their plan to demolish the footbridge over Lee Highway, which connects the Custis Trail and Gateway Park.

“This area, which will be fully open to the public, will offer spectacular views of the Potomac River and connect to the bike path leading to the Key Bridge,” the developers wrote in the new plans.

“The esplanade, which will not be open to general vehicle traffic, will be fully open to pedestrians and cyclists and offer a new option for cyclists to access and navigate through the site,” the developers added. “It will also offer greater connectivity to the Custis Trail from the Key Bridge through a new bicycle path connection on the northeastern end of the property.”

A February traffic impact analysis indicates that developers plan to close the hotel’s current connection to N. Fort Myer Drive and keep the two entrances off of Lee Highway. The plans also call for several roadways on the site itself, including:

  • an east-west roadway connecting the buildings to be used for pick-ups and drop-offs
  • two north-south roadways on either side of the hotel
  • an emergency vehicle access road along the backside (northside) of the property

“The new streets, combined with esplanade, will provide much improved bicycle and pedestrian circulation through the site,” the developer’s site plan application says.

Woodridge and Oaktree are requesting the County Board’s permission to build 446 rooms in the renovated hotel along with 151 condominium units, 300 apartments units, and 635 parking spaces. The apartment building will sit on the parking garage on the west side of the lot, bringing its total height to 16 stories.

In exchange for increased density, Woodridge and Oaktree are promising to build LEED-certified energy efficient buildings and a yet-to-be-determined public art project.

The report notes that the development is likely to add around 278 vehicle trips during the morning rush hour and around 313 trips during the evening rush hour.

The county’s analysis concludes this will likely only cause “minor increases in delay” because traffic is predicted to worsen anyway with regional growth and other developments slated in Rosslyn nearby. These include Nestle and Gerber expanding their new headquarters at 1812 N. Moore Street and other companies filling up the CEB tower. In addition, the aging office buildings at 1401 Wilson Blvd and 1400 Key Blvd are due to eventually be demolished and replaced with an office tower.

A transit analysis recommends the project encourage alternative transportation to “minimize the project’s vehicular traffic impacts.”

The developers pledged in the new plans to give public transportation subsidies to employees and new residents, in addition to earlier promises to operate a van-pooling service at the hotel and study the project’s impact on traffic at regular intervals.

No firm timeline is currently in place for the project to finish, and the site plan review process could continue for the rest of the year.

The project is likely to coincide with Rosslyn’s plans for nearby street changes to improve traffic flow and bicycle and pedestrian safety.

The Key Bridge Marriott property was one of Marriott’s first hotels, opening as the Key Bridge Motor Inn in 1959, and is one of the oldest remaining in the chain’s portfolio. Marriott considered the property when scouting for its new headquarters in 2015.

The hotel is slated to remain in the Marriott chain, per the Washington Business Journal.

Image via Arlington County

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