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County Board Approves Holiday Inn Redevelopment, With Conditions

The Rosslyn Holiday Inn is one step closer to becoming a two-tower mixed-use development, albeit with some changes ahead.

The Arlington County Board unanimously voted to move the development project at 1900 N. Fort Myer Drive ahead during its meeting Tuesday night, including a proposal to sell a parcel of public land near Lee Highway to developer Dittmar. However, Board members required the developer take several actions related to the parking, traffic, and architectural elements of the plan following complaints from residents.

“This redevelopment of a highly visible site in Rosslyn is an important step toward achieving the community’s vision of a more vibrant and walkable urban village,” said Arlington County Board Chair Christian Dorsey in a press release.

Dittmar first submitted site plans last year, aiming to build a 25-story tower facing N. Nash Street with 500 housing units and a second, 38-story tower facing N. Fort Myer Drive, with a 344-room, higher-end hotel. The pair of towers would be conjoined by a 10-floor building with conference and retail space, as well as a three-level parking garage.

The Board’s latest changes require the developer to:

  • Accommodate buses in the parking plan
  • Develop an option for better vehicle turning on the N. Nash Street side of the lot
  • Share design options for the side of the complex that will face N. Nash Street
  • Share design options for the pedestrian passageway

Dozens of residents took to the podium during last night’s meeting to express concern over parking and traffic congestion from the development. One N. Nash Street resident said the project was “a disaster waiting to happen” if the Board didn’t follow the amendments the Board agreed upon, adding that the original plan would make walking, driving or living on his street “pure hell.”

As part of the development, Dittmar has pledged to fund $4.5 million for several transportation improvements.

Additionally, in exchange for the greater density the developer requested for the plan, Dittmar is offering to make part of its conference center public, contribute $5 million for open space in the neighborhood, and provide $4.5 million to the county’s affordable housing fund — money officials say will have a “Rosslyn-first” preference. Dittmar will also seek to earn a LEED Gold green energy certification for the building.

Dittmar is the same company that originally built the existing Holiday Inn in 1972.

A representative of the company cited a letter of support received from Nestle, which recently relocated to Rosslyn and is now expanding its local presence, arguing that “allowing new top-tier, world-class facilities for conferences at the location of the exiting Holiday Inn would make Rosslyn an even more attractive space both for business and leisure.”

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