Press Club

County Wants to Link Three Major Crystal City Development Projects

A trio of development projects in Crystal City may be linked together in an effort to maximize community benefits.

The Arlington County Board voted 4-0 over the weekend to advertise public hearings on a Phased Development Site Plan for three of JBG Smith’s raft of post-HQ2 proposed projects in the area.

Included in the PDSP are:

Of the three projects, 1900 Crystal Drive is set for County Board consideration in March, while the other two are likely to reach the County Board in 2021.

The phased site plan will help the county better plan and obtain community benefits in exchange for the added density proposed for each project, county staff said.

“This PDSP will bind these three (3) noncontiguous projects together from the perspective of the maximum amount of density achievable with the associated Final Site Plan applications and a community benefits package related to the cumulative amount of additional density,” the county staff report says. “Staff finds this PDSP approach to be an innovative effort to link the delivery of community benefits associated with multiple site plan projects into a common PDSP that establishes a framework for how they will together facilitate the delivery of public improvements and other enhancements to the area.”

Two other JBG development proposals in Crystal City, meanwhile, have hit a snag after county staff balked at proposed building heights. The proposals “were not deemed acceptable as they requested height in addition to that permitted by the ‘C-O-Crystal City’ zoning district,” according to staff.

More from the Washington Business Journal:

County staff are specifically concerned about the proposed apartment towers at 2525 Crystal Drive and 2001 S. Bell St. in Crystal City. Those are set to hit heights of 300 feet in some places, well above the 200-foot limit mandated by the county’s zoning ordinance.

Planners have flagged other issues with the Bethesda developer’s proposals, including how each one will include new road alignments and public open spaces. It’s all enough for staffers to urge delays on those projects, even as several other JBG Smith efforts in the area advance.

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