Arlington, VA

Two new, towering buildings have been proposed for the northwest corner of the intersection of Crystal Drive and 23rd Street S.

The pair are part of JBG Smith’s massive mixed-use development in Crystal City, which includes thousands of new apartments across five new buildings, along with a new office building. With Amazon’s HQ2 staffing up, the large-scale redevelopment could help house thousands as new workers flock to the area.

The new plans call for a pair of towers on 2000 and 2001 S. Bell Street with 762 housing units and 54,215 square feet of retail space. And on 2525 Crystal Drive, JBG Smith is planning two connected, V-shaped towers with 752 housing units and 59,000 square feet of retail — an unusual design rolled out months after critics called designs for Amazon’s nearby permanent HQ2 “unambitious.”

Two towers on 23rd Street S.

The towers proposed near 23rd and Crystal echo six-year-old plans by Vornado, which was merged with JBG Smith in 2017.

It calls for JBG Smith to demolish the existing 11-story “Crystal Plaza 5” office building at 223 23rd Street S. and the one-story retail building that currently houses celebrity Chef José Andrés’ award-winning Jaleo restaurant.

One part of the site is reserved for the “West” tower at 223 23rd Street S., which will stand 31 stories tall and house 645 apartment units as well as 20,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor. The majority of units in the building are slated to be smaller-sized one bedroom apartments (215) but plans indicate the West tower will also include 75 two-bedrooms.

On the roof, the development will feature a swimming pool with lounge chairs, some artificial turf, and greenery.

The ground floor will include 1,850 square feet of bike storage with room for 276 bikes.

An office tower along Crystal Drive

A second building on the same site — the “East” office tower at 2300 Crystal Drive — will be 24 stories tall, plus a penthouse space. Instead of residential space, the East tower will feature 520,000 square feet of office space and 15,000 square feet of retail space.

Renderings reviewed by ARLnow indicate the office tower will have floor-to-ceiling glass panels installed from top to bottom, framed with burnished bronze.

The ground floor will include four retail spaces totaling 15,071 square feet, as well as 1,000-square-foot bicycling parking area. In total, the bike facility is slated to include 88 bike parking spaces. Building tenants, including cyclists, can expect to have access to 176 lockers and 12 showers.

The building is also expected to include lounge space on its narrow, step-style roof, with terraces featuring furniture and greenery.

Some Added Green Space

While JBG Smith’s plans paint the picture of a thoroughly urban Crystal City, looking more like the downtown of a major city than a suburban enclave, it also includes at least a bit of extra green space near the 23rd Street towers.

To the west of the 223 23rd Street S. residential tower is a new, tiny strip of parkland, replacing at least a portion of what’s currently a driveway and a planter wall next to the WeWork building at 2221 S. Clark Street.

Diagrams show new trees planted along the green strip, with a walkway down the middle.

Image 9 via Google Maps

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