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County seeks input on potential Clarendon parking lot redevelopment

Arlington County is soliciting public input on what the potential redevelopment of a Clarendon parking lot should look like.

The lot at 2636 Wilson Blvd, between the Clarendon Whole Foods and the PNC Bank, is currently occupied by “ghost kitchen” trailers. Property owner Ballston-based CRC Companies envisions rental housing and retail at the site on the Clarendon-Courthouse border.

Currently, the General Land Use Plan (GLUP) for the site only allows “service commercial” uses and buildings up to four stories tall. CRC Companies requested a change to the GLUP to allow for taller apartments and hotels, a change Arlington County is currently studying.

Now, the county is seeking public feedback on the study’s scope and the size of the potential redevelopment, which CRC Companies has named Courthouse West. Planners previously said this work will add clarity where existing Courthouse Sector Plan documents “lack sufficient planning guidance” to inform a County Board decision on the developer’s requested changes.

These documents do identify the lot — bounded by N. Danville Street, Clarendon Blvd, N. Cleveland Street and Wilson Blvd — as a “key redevelopment site,” since it mostly falls within a quarter-mile radius of the Courthouse Metro station, per a recent staff presentation.

Through Sunday, Jan. 9, survey respondents can choose one of three preliminary scenarios for an apartment building:

  • a 6-story, 70-foot tall building with 150 residential units and 11,000 square feet for commercial use
  • a 10-story, 110-foot tall building with 215 residential units and 16,000 square feet for commercial use
  • a 17-story, 180-foot tall building with 300 residential units and 16,000 square feet for commercial use

In all three scenarios, planners say they’re assuming parking would be underground and a tenth of the site would become some type of public space, likely along Clarendon Blvd, according to the staff presentation.

The survey asks participants to consider how the building’s architecture could transition into the shorter shopping areas and houses nearby.

Respondents can also indicate what additional topics the study should address, including:

  • Public space
  • Affordable housing
  • Improvements to vehicle access and loading
  • Parking
  • Streetscape, bicycle, and pedestrian improvements
  • Safety improvements
  • Stormwater improvements
  • Biophilic elements
  • Historic preservation
  • Public art

The Long Range Planning Committee is expected to hold a meeting on the results of the survey in January.

LRPC members are interested in “exploring higher density and height on the site” and seeing “residential uses, appropriate tapering and height, public space and affordable housing, and biking and pedestrian improvements,” county planner Tim Murphy said during the presentation.

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