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Jaleo in Crystal City to Close, Making Way for Residential Development

Spanish tapas outpost Jaleo by José Andrés will be closing its Crystal City location, making way for a future redevelopment.

After more than a decade serving up Spanish small plates, Jaleo will serve its last meal on Sunday, Oct. 3, Eater DC first reported. ThinkFoodGroup, which represents José Andrés and the restaurant, confirmed the report in a statement.

“After 17 years of bringing the spirit and flavors of Spain to Crystal City, Jaleo by José Andrés will be closing its doors on October 3, 2021 in anticipation of the continued transformation of the neighborhood,” ThinkFoodGroup said. “We are incredibly grateful to our dedicated employees and for our friends and neighbors in the area for their support.”

Jaleo (2250 Crystal Drive) is not only set to close — the one-story building in which the restaurant is housed could be demolished as part of a JBG Smith redevelopment. The property owner proposes razing the building and the vacant, 11-story “Crystal Plaza 5” office building at 223 23rd Street S. In its place, it envisions two residential towers.

“We have a preliminary site plan submission on file to redevelop that site with two new 30-story residential towers containing 1,440 units, ground floor retail, and two new public open spaces,” said county planner Matthew Pfeiffer. “We expect that plan to be accepted very soon, after which we will work on scheduling the public review process.”

That is a change from what JBG Smith previously proposed for the site in 2019. At the time, the company had filed plans to replace the two buildings with one residential and one office tower, but that project is now listed as “on hold” while the county’s planning department reviews JBG Smith’s new plans, Pfeiffer said.

More details about the project will be published once the department accepts the plans, he said.

Jaleo may be leaving, but ThinkFoodGroup said it may return to Crystal City in light of this development as well as the ongoing expansion of Amazon’s Arlington presence.

“With Amazon HQ2 and JBG SMITH’s exciting development plans, we look forward to exploring possible new concepts that might be part of National Landing’s dynamic future landscape,” it said.

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