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County plans to buy dog-boarding facility in Green Valley for park expansion, boxing out brewery

Arlington is poised to buy two warehouses used by a dog-boarding facility in order to expand Jennie Dean Park.

On Saturday, the Arlington County Board is set to approve an agreement to buy the properties housing The Board Hound, at 3520 and 3522 S. Four Mile Run Drive in the Green Valley neighborhood, for $2 million.

The decision leaves New District Brewery to lick its wounds.

Co-owner Mike Katrivanos told ARLnow the brewery bid on the property as a “last shot” to staying open after its nearby 2709 S. Oakland Street location closes at the end of this month, due to a rent hike and lease disagreement. An indoor dog park and bar is set to take the brewery’s place.

Arlington County says it has been eyeing the Board Hound property since it adopted a master plan for Green Valley and Shirlington, dubbed Four Mile Run Valley, in 2018. The plan “identified for inclusion in the full buildout of Jennie Dean Park,” per a county report.

So when a real estate agent for The Board Hound, which operated in the area for some 10 years, asked the county if it was interested, the county pounced on the opportunity.

“The current owner has… has decided to close this location to consolidate its business at the main location in Alexandria on South Peyton Street,” the county says.

Arlington County says buying these properties helps to meet the goals of the 2019 Public Spaces Master Plan.

The plan calls for the addition of at least 30 acres of new public space over the next 10 years “to help address the challenge of meeting public spaces needs for a growing community.”

For park users, it may have a side benefit of reducing dog barking, which some have found to be a nuisance.

One Planning Commissioner at the start of this year referenced his experience at Jennie Dean Park in a conversation about how Arlington County should use zoning to regulate nuisances, such as dog barking, rather than entire businesses.

“I thought of Jennie Dean Park as I enjoyed it the other day with my children and the incessant barking that was continual and constant, and thought, those poor general neighbors across the street are enduring the constant barking of dogs but it’s next to an industrial zone,” said Stephen Hughes.

Industry is part of the area’s identity, as evidenced by several auto body shops, warehouses and Inner Ear Studios, which moved out of the neighborhood last year after the county bought the building it called home for decades.

Industrial use is also central to planning documents envisioning Green Valley as an “arts and industry district.”

Exactly what that will look like, however, depends on who is asked. The Green Valley Civic Association has previously said it takes a broader view of arts and industry than the county.

“From furniture-making to metal-working, from technological innovation to maker-spaces, from recording studios to culinary arts, in Green Valley we view the arts broadly,” civic association Vice-Chair Robin Stombler previously said.

As those uses materialize, the county continues its work to expand Jennie Dean Park.

In 2018, the County purchased the warehouse property located at 3514 S. Four Mile Run Drive and later demolished the building. WETA uses the property for parking.

On January 13, 2021, the County purchased 3620 27th St. S., which WETA is leasing for up to five years, or until January 2026. The public radio station will be able to move out of the building once new studios open at its renovated headquarters in Shirlington.

The county says it “could later vacate a significant portion of South 27th Street between the warehouse properties and the WETA property for incorporation into Jennie Dean Park.”

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