New renderings from JBG Smith envision Crystal City, Pentagon City and Potomac Yard as a lush urban core with glassy high-rises and connected by a surface-level Route 1, along with Metro and commuter rail.
When all of the developer’s projects are delivered, that is.
JBG Smith released an investor relations video explaining its plans for the area — known collectively as National Landing — which include building a number of new apartment and office buildings and partnering with local and state governments to improve transit and technological infrastructure.
“We’ve been incredibly busy during the pandemic, teeing up growth opportunities, delivering new assets, we have a lot of exciting growth in the next 18 months,” JBG Smith CEO Matt Kelly said in the video.
He said about 15 million square feet are under development in National Landing, two-thirds of which are multifamily residential — apartment buildings, mostly. Other big projects include the first phase of Amazon’s HQ2, which the video said is on track to be done in 2023, and the second phase, which includes the proposed Helix building.
“All of these developments are on vacant land or replacing out-of-service buildings,” said Chief Development Officer Kai Reynolds.
JBG Smith views this site, planned for an apartment building, “as one of the best development opportunities in National Landing,” given its proximity to HQ2 and its visibility from Route 1, she said.
The video provided updates on the following residential developments, which collectively would add thousands of new apartments to the area:
- 1900 Crystal Drive, two towers with a total of 808 units
- 2000 and 2001 S. Bell Street, 338 and 420 units, respectively
- 2250 Crystal Drive, 825 units
- 223 23rd Street S., 700 units
Construction started on 1900 Crystal Drive in late March and could be completed in 2024, according to the video. Meanwhile, the earliest start date for 2000 and 2001 S. Bell Street, which received County Board approval last month, is later this year.
Both 2250 Crystal Drive and 223 23rd Street S. have a potential start date of 2023, the video said.
The developer also plans to build 750,000 square feet of office space at 2525 Crystal Drive in the form of two V-shaped towers, according to the video.
Reynolds highlighted the pending changes to Route 1, which could result in lowering the highway to grade and transforming it into more of an urban boulevard. The changes are part of an incentive agreement between Amazon and Virginia to invest $5 billion in important infrastructure improvements, he said.
“Amongst the most critical was the lowering of the elevated sections of Route 1, which currently runs north-south within National Landing,” he said. “The new road will feature a modern cross-section that will be pedestrian-friendly to improve walkability within the submarket.”
They show at-grade Route 1 a few times in its 7-lane form. They exclusively use “will” in referring to it. They do not talk about the BID’s Mag Mile vision for the corridor though. pic.twitter.com/MZykKtWQXz
— Car-Free HQ2 (@CarFreeHQ2) May 26, 2021
The long boi in the foreground is the ~550,000 sq ft residential they plan for the defunct Americana Motel site. Note the at-grade Route 1/15th intersection, and HQ2 Part Un looming in the background. pic.twitter.com/8iUu5iTtU5
— Car-Free HQ2 (@CarFreeHQ2) May 26, 2021
As for other transit improvements, Reynolds said the second Crystal City Metro station entrance, a public-private partnership between Arlington County and JBG Smith, could be completed between 2023 and 2024.
Meanwhile, progress could move forward on a new Virginia Railway Express station in National Landing, as the state recently finalized a $3.7 billion plan with CSX, Amtrak and Virginia Railway Express.
The new station will be built on land owned by JBG Smith. It will also serve as a connection point for the planned pedestrian bridge to Reagan National Airport, renderings of which are seen in the video.
The Bethesda-based developer also has plans for increasing technological connectivity, too.
Adam Rashid, the Senior Vice President and Co-Head of Smart Cities for JBG Smith, said the company aims to deploy “ubiquitous 5G in National Landing, with the goal of making National Landing the U.S.’s first 5G Smart City at-scale.”
Photos via JBG Smith/Vimeo