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Brookfield signals renewed intent to redevelop vacant TSA offices in Pentagon City

Developer Brookfield has signaled its plans to redevelop the vacant Transportation Security Administration office buildings in Pentagon City.

Last month, Brookfield filed preliminary plans outlining how it will redevelop the site. The filed documents are not site plans that illustrate the buildings it intends to construct, but rather, a high-level overview of what it intends to do with the property.

The real estate company has long had plans to redevelop the TSA buildings, located at 601 and 701 12th Street S., near the Pentagon City Metro entrance and between the Pentagon City mall and the second phase of Amazon’s HQ2. Those plans are currently paused and the buildings have been empty since the TSA left in March 2021 for Springfield, abandoning its original plans to move to Alexandria.

Brookfield put its redevelopment plans on hold in 2020 at the request of Arlington County planners, who were working on a new sector plan to guide future development in Pentagon City, per the Washington Business Journal.

More than a year after the passage of the Pentagon City Sector Plan, Brookfield is taking its first steps toward redeveloping the property, which it is calling “12th Street Landing.”

Brookfield is dividing the property into three land bays, which it will redevelop one at a time, according to land use attorney Kedrick Whitmore. It will apply for site plans for these land bays “in the future,” he adds.

“The proposed development will result in significant improvements to the Property and benefit the Pentagon City community,” per a letter to the county from Whitmore. “Indeed, to enable the requested density increase, the proposed development will provide community benefits on-site, consistent with the recommendations of the Sector Plan.”

The three land bays comprising the proposed 12th Street Landing redevelopment by Brookfield (via Arlington County)

The number of buildings within each land bay and their uses will be finalized at the site plan stage, wrote Whitmore. Brookfield will provide on-site affordable housing but other community benefits will be worked out during the site plan process.

In the application, Brookfield asks the county to approve the maximum allowable density in for the site, as outlined in the Pentagon City Sector Plan. It also asks for permission to allocate that density among “various buildings and uses” once it files site plans for the site.

A set of design guidelines Brookfield included in its application describes the site as follows:

12th Street Landing is a prominent site within Pentagon City. The development vision for this site incorporates the goals of the Pentagon City Sector Plan and overall Arlington County Policy. These include:

  • Creating placemaking space that emphasizes the vibrant nature of Pentagon City
  • Creating a true, connected urban fabric with active uses complementing the surrounding neighborhood
  • Linking Metro to the network of open spaces and destinations through an inviting green ribbon across the site, with designs that [prioritize pedestrians] and cyclists
  • Delivering community benefits called for in the Pentagon City Sector Plan
  • Delivering sustainable and resilient design throughout the program

The document describes how elements of the new Pentagon City Sector Plan will be incorporated. One hallmark feature is the “green ribbon,” or a pedestrian- and cyclist-friendly planted pathway.

Brookfield proposes a “green ribbon” that will connect a publicly accessible 1/2-acre park at the southwest corner of the site to the northeast corner. This planted pathway will eventually connect the paused second phase of Amazon’s HQ2 and the Pentagon City Metro station.

The green ribbon will have planting zones and “program pockets” to “promote safety for pedestrians and slow multi-modal movement while enhancing connectivity through the site” and will feature small gathering spaces, furnishings, planting, lighting or “other moments of pause,” Brookfield says.

The park will have a plaza bordered by plantings and public seating.

Proposed public spaces in the 12th Street Landing redevelopment from Brookfield (via Arlington County)

The developer also proposes upgrading segments of S. Hayes and S. Fern streets and 12th Street S., in conjunction with changes that Amazon will make through the second phase of its HQ2.

Brookfield will refashion the public right of way along S. Fern Street to have a sidewalk, a tree zone and a 6-foot bike lane separated by a raised median and a parking lane. It would be responsible for a sidewalk and tree zone on 12th Street S.

Existing conditions at, and proposed changes to, 12th Street S. and S. Fern Street (via Arlington County)

During a meeting on Saturday, March 18, the Arlington County Board allowed Avis Car Rental to add rental operations to the underground garages for the buildings while they await redevelopment.

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