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Sign Proposed for Top of New PBS Headquarters in Crystal City

PBS is asking the Arlington County Board permission to add its logo to the top of its new headquarters in Crystal City.

The public broadcasting network is moving from its current space at 2100 Crystal Drive to the northern corner of the neighborhood, at 1225 S. Clark Street, after signing a 15-year-lease for 120,000 square feet of office space last year.

There’s just one problem: the new headquarters building has a condition placed on it, from its original county approval in 1979, specifying that no rooftop signs be placed. PBS is asking the County Board, at its meeting this Saturday, to scrap the 40-year-old restriction and allow its logo to grace the top of the office tower.

From a county staff report:

The subject site consists of four (4) office buildings on individual parcels of land, and the associated underground parking; the buildings also have a small amount of below grade retail in the Crystal City Underground. The buildings are part of the larger Crystal Gateway mixed-use site plan that was originally approved in its current form by the County Board in 1979, with an additional major amendment approved in 1984. Crystal Gateway has approximately 1,380,000 square feet of office and commercial use and 242 dwelling units in two (2) condominium buildings.

The original approval of the Crystal Gateway site plan in 1979 included a condition (#3) that prohibited the installation of rooftop signs. A comprehensive sign plan for the Crystal Gateway site plan project was initially approved by the County Board in 1983 and was amended several times. Additionally, the site plan has been amended twice to specifically allow rooftop signs on separate office buildings within the project boundaries. The applicant now requests that the restrictive condition prohibiting the installation of rooftop signs be eliminated to allow for sign permits to be obtained for the buildings in a manner consistent with the current provisions of Article 13 of the Arlington County Zoning Ordinance

The new PBS headquarters is located next to the U.S. Marshals Service headquarters and a couple of blocks from Amazon’s under-construction HQ2.

“We are thrilled that PBS will remain in Crystal City, especially during such a transformative and exciting time for this community,” PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger said last year. “Keeping our headquarters in Arlington is great for PBS and our employees, and we’re proud to call ‘National Landing’ our home.”

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