Press Club

Crystal City Parking Lot Could Become Apartments or Interim Plaza in Five Years

A potential residential development in Crystal City is being delayed again, thus keeping an otherwise prime property as a parking lot.

Owner Gould Property Co. wants to delay construction at 2661 S. Clark Street a few more years while it waits for different market conditions. Since 1983, when the 70-space parking lot was approved, Gould has been granted extensions to keep it a parking lot. The last extension was in 2016.

The County Board is slated to review Gould’s last possible extension on Saturday.

This time, the County is set to give the company a deadline to start building by Dec. 31, 2025, or turn the parking lot into an interim public plaza by March 31, 2026. The plaza would stay until the property owner is ready to build. Staff said Gould has agreed to the County’s conditions.

With the Board’s approval, the permit will remain until Dec. 31, 2025. Without it, the permit would expire in Feb. 28, 2021. County staff support the move — to a point.

“Staff believes that if the residential building is not under construction by 2025 that the temporary parking lot use should be discontinued and replaced with an interim plaza in this location,” the staff report says.

This lot is currently used for for short term parking for two office buildings in the Airport Plaza, as well as for event parking and staging for the adjacent Hyatt Regency Hotel.

The temporary parking lot has seen plenty of use, thanks to the neighboring hotel and office building.

“The use of the parking lot for the hotel (which is a major facility and has remained opened during the COVID-19 pandemic) has proven to be of particular significance due to recent operational changes,” the staff report said.

Gould officials could not be reached for comment by publication time.

For years, the company has monitored market conditions and development opportunities, but has yet to act, according to staff. In the report, staff acknowledged the rationale behind the developer’s hesitancy.

“Staff recognizes that market demand for some of the envisioned densities or anticipated uses may remain unknown in the near term,” the staff report said.

Image via Google Maps

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