A dental office at the base of an apartment building owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Potomac Yard is gearing up to start seeing patients next month.
This dentistry practice was one of the half-dozen retail-equivalent conversions in mixed-use apartment buildings that the Arlington County Board approved in 2022. Property Reserve, Inc., which owns The Clark building at 3400 S. Clark Street, received approval for the change in May.
“[The space] has been leased to Riverside Dental, who will start seeing patients in their space in January,” said Property Reserve, Inc. communications director Dale Bills, adding that a Subway is serving sandwiches in another retail space while the third is “currently being marketed.”
A retail slump, combined with high office vacancy rates, has led to more of these conversions in recent months to uses such as medical offices and churches, however, the county has approved similar conversions in 2019 and 2014.
Meanwhile, the property group is also preparing to re-configure the building lobby to improve the separation between one approved use, a meetinghouse for Mormons, and residents accessing elevators to their apartments.
“It takes the present large single foyer and divides it into two ‘lanes,’ one heading to the meetinghouse elevator and one heading to the apartment building elevator,” said Candace Harman, a spokeswoman for congregations in Northern Virginia. “This project has been in planning for some time and hopefully should be completed within the next several months.”
The Clark is a real estate venture for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and doubles as a meetinghouse. The Mormon congregation that uses it was originally set to move into the building in March 2020, but that was delayed until the summer due to the pandemic, Harman says.
The move marks an expansion for the Mormon presence in the greater Crystal City area, as four congregations already meet in two office buildings in the Aurora Highlands neighborhood.
“If you aren’t familiar, our Church organizes based on geography,” Harman explained. “A Ward is a congregation that meets together on Sundays with a Bishop who is the local leader of that congregation. A Stake is a group of Wards within a geographic boundary that fall within the stewardship of a Stake President.”
Wards for young singles — those ages 18-30 — meets at 745 23rd Street S. while wards for older single adults meet next door at 727 23rd Street S. The latter building also houses a resource center that Harman says provides free services for immigrants, refugees and others in need to “build hope, develop life skills, and strengthen families.”
Additionally, the LDS church plans to re-fit the vacant third floor of that building to house an office suite for the D.C. Young Single Adults Ward, a project that is tentatively planned for 2023.
The Clark apartment building opened within the few years along with another nearby — The Sur, at 3400 Potomac Avenue.
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