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Former Ruby Tuesday Space in Rosslyn May Become Office

What was once a watering hole and lunch spot for Rosslyn office workers may itself become an office.

The Arlington County Board last weekend approved a Site Plan Amendment for Commonwealth Tower, at 1300 Wilson Blvd, that will allow the building’s street-level restaurant space to instead be used as an office or a “retail-equivalent use,” like a doctor’s office.

The space — which includes a somewhat inconspicuous outdoor plaza — was last used by Ruby Tuesday, which closed two years ago.

“Since the Ruby Tuesday restaurant vacated the space in December 2018, the applicant has unsuccessfully marketed the space for restaurant or retail use,” a county staff report notes. “In addition to the adverse impacts of COVID-19 on retail viability, the subject space’s elevated frontage above street level and the plaza retaining wall pose challenges related to visibility and accessibility from the street.”

The building’s owner has a prospective office tenant that may be interested in the space, the report says.

“The applicant is proposing flexible use of the subject space and upgrades to the plaza and building entrance to increase attractiveness and viability for future tenants and better engage the street,” county staff wrote. “Currently, the applicant is in negotiations with a sizeable office tenant that would occupy space in Commonwealth Tower, including use of the subject space and plaza.”

The amendment, which was approved unanimously as part of the Board, consent agenda, will also allow the building’s entrance and plaza to be renovated, while making it easier to put up a rooftop sign.

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