County Board to Consider Selling Public Land to Rosslyn Holiday Inn Redevelopment

The redevelopment of the Rosslyn Holiday Inn into two tall towers could take a big step forward tonight.

At its Tuesday evening meeting, the Arlington County Board is poised to sell a section of land on the north side of the lot to developer Dittmar, helping to transform the property into a massive housing-hotel-conference-retail complex.

Plans submitted in July indicate the hotel company intends to replace the existing hotel at 1900 N. Fort Myer Drive with two towers. One tower will be 25 stories and face N. Nash Street, featuring around 500 housing units. The other tower will be 38 stories, face N. Fort Myer Drive, and contain a new, 344-room, higher-end hotel.

The two towers would be joined at the base by a 10-story building with 47,450 square feet of conference and 14,000 square feet of retail space, as well as a three-story underground parking garage.

The Board is now considering whether to sell a parcel of public land that lies just south of Lee Highway from N. Nash Street to N. Fort Myer Drive to the developer. Selling the land — currently a patch of grass next to a surface parking lot — would allow Dittmar to move the building closer to Lee Highway, according to a staff report to the Board.

Board members are scheduled to vote on the sale during their meeting today, Tuesday, September 24.

If the Board approves the sale, the developer will eventually pay the county around $1.18 million for the land. But first, the county will have to pay the state $1.18 million for the right to sell it for development instead of its intended open space purpose, per the staff report.

The strip of land itself was obtained by the state during construction of I-66, but when crews didn’t end up needing the space, the state ceded the land back to Arlington for free in 1984, with the condition it be used for “park, beautification and open space purposes.” Staff note in the report that using it for development purposes instead has drawn some criticism over the “loss of open space.”

As part of the project, Ditmar has proposed building an east-west pedestrian pathway through the property connecting Fort Myer Drive to N. Nash Street and featuring public plazas with access to the development’s retail space — a recommendation from the 2015 Rosslyn Sector Plan.

Elsewhere in Rosslyn, developers are also working on redeveloping the Art Institute Building (1820 N. Fort Myer Drive), as well as the Key Bridge Marriot (1401 Lee Highway.) Eventually, the old office buildings at 1401 Wilson Blvd and 1400 Key Blvd are also expected to be replaced.

Images via Arlington County, Google Maps