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Plans for more apartments and retail on Crystal Towers site enter home stretch

A development proposed for Crystal City is entering the home stretch.

Tonight (Thursday), the Arlington Planning Commission is slated to review and vote on plans from Dweck Properties to add a residential building and a retail building to the existing the Crystal Towers Apartment complex at 1600 S. Eads Street.

The 132-foot, 11-story residential building would have up to 209 units and a penthouse with an amenity space and ground-floor retail, per a Planning Commission report. Dweck proposes 54 studios, 120 1-bedroom and 35 2-bedroom units and is aiming for LEED Gold certification in exchange for extra density.

A single-story, 27,901-square-foot retail building would have building heights ranging from 16 to 22 feet.

If approved, the apartment building would replace an existing surface parking lot between the Crystal Flats building and the existing Crystal Towers buildings fronting S. Eads Street, according to application materials. The new retail building to the north, also fronting South Eads Street, would replace another existing surface parking lot to the north.

As part of the project, dubbed Crystal Towers 3, S. Eads Street will get a median buffer connecting to a buffer built as part of the first phase of Amazon’s second headquarters, north of the site. Dweck proposes adding new sidewalks, street trees and street lights along S. Eads Street as well.

The project would also realize some improvements to an existing open space at the corner of 15th Street S. and S. Eads Street, according to a recent county staff report. Dweck proposes expanding the space by some 700 square feet and adding a boardwalk area with public tables and chairs, bench seating and new pathways, without disturbing a mature oak tree.

Plans call for two green roofs, one over a portion of an existing building and a second over the new retail development fronting S. Eads Street.

Prospective tenants in the new residential building would have access to an existing garage that already serves Crystal Towers residents and the Lofts building nearby. Despite the increased occupancy, the total number of spots is set to drop from 1,152 to 1,061 spots, plus 11 visitor bicycle spots.

The developer intends to make an affordable housing contribution to the Affordable Housing Investment Fund (AHIF) of $1,421,380.

This “could provide gap financing for approximately 18 (committed affordable units) at the nearby Crystal Houses infill development project, a project which is anticipated to request a significant amount of AHIF financing to achieve the County’s stated objective of partnering with the property owner to significantly increase the supply of low and moderate income housing options in Crystal City,” the report says.

The Arlington County Board is slated to review and vote on the project during its meeting on Saturday, June 10.

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