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Phase two of development at Red Top Cab site could start by end of year

Construction could start on the second phase of the Red Top Cab development in Clarendon within the next month or two.

“We are hoping to start the project before the end of the year. It all lies in the County’s hands as we continue to pursue our permits,” said Kelly Shooshan, CEO of Arlington-based developer Shooshan Company.

This is the second of two phases for the project, dubbed “Clarendon West,” by Shooshan and and partner Trammell Crow Residential. In 2015, the Arlington County Board approved a proposal for a three-building mixed-use development, replacing the old Red Top Cab headquarters and dispatch center, and two small commercial buildings.

The first phase was comprised of two buildings on N. Hudson Street and 13th Street N., with a total of 333 apartment units. Shooshan says construction broke ground on the pair of buildings in March of 2019 and was completed this spring, with leasing having started in February. The complex, dubbed The Earl Apartments, was sold to another property owner in July.

The second phase at the corner of Washington Blvd and 13th Street N. is comprised of one multifamily building with 269 units, according to plans filed in December 2020. Shooshan says will likely be completed by the end of 2023 or in early 2024.

Last Saturday, project representatives — who said construction is expected to start in November — made a pitch for one extra hour of work on Saturdays. They said it would shave up to two months off of the end date. The approved construction hours are 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on weekdays, and 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on weekends and holidays.

“This request has gone through multiple iterations based on outreach with the community,” said attorney Matt Roberts of Bean, Kinney & Korman. “It’s going to improve the construction schedule for the project, which is going to have a direct and immediate benefit to the community by providing less time overall for construction.”

Starting an hour earlier allows workers to get in a full day’s worth of work sooner, said Adam Stone, representing Trammell Crow Residential. Construction sites with earlier start times are more competitive because workers can get done and get home earlier in the day, he said.

Their request differed from what Shooshan had initially requested the Board to consider: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends and holidays.

These hours, which county staff analyzed, drew opposition from the Lyon Village, Ballston-Virginia Square and Clarendon-Courthouse civic associations, and St. Charles Catholic Church, according to a county report. The homeowners association for the Bromptons at Clarendon townhomes and two local residents, however, said the extension was fine.

Roberts said the church reversed its position when Shooshan returned the Sunday construction time to 10 a.m.

Following the recommendation of county staff the County Board denied what Board Member Libby Garvey called an “eleventh-hour” request for extended hours. Members were skeptical that the community would actually benefit from longer work hours and a shortened schedule.

“We’re dealing with a lot of construction in Arlington, it’s really difficult for residents to be going through that,” Garvey said. “I know while an hour on a Saturday might not seem like much to people, that might be a pretty big difference for people who live in the area.”

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