Press Club

Apartments proposed for vacant Wendy’s lot near finish line

Final approvals could be imminent for a high-rise apartment building proposed for the long-vacant Wendy’s lot.

Plans to redevelop 2025 Clarendon Blvd are set for Planning Commission and County Board votes next month, beginning with the Planning Commission on March 7. The County Board is expected to review the plans during its Saturday meeting on March 19.

Greystar Real Estate Partners is proposing to turn the 0.57-acre lot about a block from the Courthouse Metro station into a 16-story apartment building, with 231 residential units and 4,000 square feet of ground-floor retail. Residents will have 75 vehicle parking spaces and one bike parking spot for every unit.

As part of the project, Greystar is adding a public plaza at the tip of western edge of the site — where N. Courthouse Road and Wilson and Clarendon Blvd intersect — and an alley along the eastern edge.

The site languished for years after the Wendy’s and a bank were torn down to make room for a 12-story office building proposed by Carr Properties — which was never built because Carr couldn’t secure a tenant.

The lot has been used as a staging area for 2000 Clarendon, a condo project across the street, as the site changed hands and Greystar drafted new plans for apartments.

Last fall, most residents who participated in a public engagement process seemed to welcome the switch from office to residential use, although they were divided on the low parking ratio and the height, given the one-story retail and low-rise brick apartment buildings nearby.

The proposal is much taller than the recommended maximum of 10 stories in the Rosslyn to Courthouse Urban Design Study.

But Greystar was able to nearly double the number of units it could pack onto the site and increase the building height by six stories through a 104,789 square foot transfer of development rights from Wakefield Manor, a small garden-apartment complex deemed to be historic, located less than a half-mile from the proposed development.

Before and after Greystar removed patios to decrease the massing proposed for 2025 Clarendon Blvd (via Arlington County)

Greystar did adjust the project a bit in response to community and staff feedback.

To make the building feel less bulky, it removed columns running along the ground of the public plaza as well as some patios on the upper stories, Walsh Colucci land use attorney Nick Cummings said during a November presentation.

During the same meeting, county planner Adam Watson said Arlington continues to work with Greystar to make the plaza more vibrant than a concrete slab, with more plantings, movable seating and diverse building materials.

“There’s a number of things we’re working on to get there,” he said.

Greystar removed columns on the ground to open up the plaza proposed for 2025 Clarendon Blvd (via Arlington County)

Greystar, meanwhile, is currently building new apartments a stone’s throw away in Courthouse on the “Landmark Block” (2050 Wilson Blvd). This project is poised to realize a significant portion of a 2015 vision to transform the neighborhood.

A few more county projects and private developments have to get underway, however, for the vision to be fully realized.

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