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And today (Tuesday), the developer is set to cinch two crucial parts of the skeleton. This morning, it announced a partnership with AT&T to install 5G network throughout Crystal City, Pentagon City and Potomac Yard, collectively known as National Landing.
“The goal of this collaboration with AT&T is to further enhance National Landing and create the only neighborhood that provides entrepreneurs, universities, and global technology companies the digital infrastructure necessary to shape the future of their industries,” JBG Smith CEO Matt Kelly said.
The speedy wireless network could draw more innovative companies to the area and help bring futuristic experiences — such as self-driving vehicles, immersive and augmented reality, building automation and environmental sustainability — to fruition, according to their press release.
Parts of the 5G network could be operational in the first half of 2022, JBG Smith Smart Cities Vice President Vardahn Chaudhry tells ARLnow.
“5G is complex in that it requires robust underlying digital infrastructure both underground and across the built environment,” he said. “JBG Smith and AT&T are still working through the details of the infrastructure deployments and will share more in the coming months.”
The real estate company made its ambitions known last August, when it acquired seven blocks of Citizens Broadband Radio Service spectrum spanning Arlington and Alexandria through a national Federal Communications Commission auction.
Still missing the underground network backbone, JBG Smith eyed Arlington County’s unused fiber optic assets in National Landing, from when the county built a ring of dark fiber nearly 10 miles long called ConnectArlington.
The network was designed to support county government and Arlington Public Schools and give local businesses access to cheaper, higher-speed internet, but an ARLnow investigation found legal issues made it difficult for businesses to use it.
County staff recommend the County Board approve the 75-year agreement with JBG Smith, which is planning to market National Landing — home to Amazon’s HQ2 — as an “Innovation District.”
“Consistent with the intent of the original ConnectArlington investment, the primary benefit of this Agreement will be to assist in the creation of an Innovation District that will establish the area as a magnet for human talent and innovation — the key driver of economic prosperity today and moving forward,” according to the report.
JBG Smith said it already possess other things needed for the project: expansive real estate holdings, from existing office space and apartments to developable land, which provides the buildings, street furniture and underground infrastructure needed for the roll-out.
U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) said he is thrilled to see two private-sector organizations leading the 5G charge.
“American competitiveness in the deployment of 5G networks — and innovation in the emerging technologies [that] 5G unlocks — remain key to our national and economic security interest,” he said. “This collaboration can be a blueprint for how digital infrastructure is deployed, and I am heartened by the prospects of the innovation this may unlock to advance our country’s competitiveness globally.”
County staff valued the transfer at $3.5 million after weighing how much it would need to recoup construction costs and advance county goals against how much it would cost JBG Smith to build its own assets.
Fiber rights transferred to JBGS are for 75 years plus a 24-year extension option
Arl staff basically say they have no clue how much this transaction should be valued, but they settled on $3.5mil pic.twitter.com/YIgeW0YR21
— Stephen Repetski (@srepetsk) July 19, 2021
New renderings from JBG Smith envision Crystal City, Pentagon City and Potomac Yard as a lush urban core with glassy high-rises and connected by a surface-level Route 1, along with Metro and commuter rail.
When all of the developer’s projects are delivered, that is.
JBG Smith released an investor relations video explaining its plans for the area — known collectively as National Landing — which include building a number of new apartment and office buildings and partnering with local and state governments to improve transit and technological infrastructure.
“We’ve been incredibly busy during the pandemic, teeing up growth opportunities, delivering new assets, we have a lot of exciting growth in the next 18 months,” JBG Smith CEO Matt Kelly said in the video.
He said about 15 million square feet are under development in National Landing, two-thirds of which are multifamily residential — apartment buildings, mostly. Other big projects include the first phase of Amazon’s HQ2, which the video said is on track to be done in 2023, and the second phase, which includes the proposed Helix building.
“All of these developments are on vacant land or replacing out-of-service buildings,” said Chief Development Officer Kai Reynolds.
JBG Smith views this site, planned for an apartment building, “as one of the best development opportunities in National Landing,” given its proximity to HQ2 and its visibility from Route 1, she said.
The video provided updates on the following residential developments, which collectively would add thousands of new apartments to the area:
- 1900 Crystal Drive, two towers with a total of 808 units
- 2000 and 2001 S. Bell Street, 338 and 420 units, respectively
- 2250 Crystal Drive, 825 units
- 223 23rd Street S., 700 units
Construction started on 1900 Crystal Drive in late March and could be completed in 2024, according to the video. Meanwhile, the earliest start date for 2000 and 2001 S. Bell Street, which received County Board approval last month, is later this year.
Both 2250 Crystal Drive and 223 23rd Street S. have a potential start date of 2023, the video said.
The developer also plans to build 750,000 square feet of office space at 2525 Crystal Drive in the form of two V-shaped towers, according to the video.
Reynolds highlighted the pending changes to Route 1, which could result in lowering the highway to grade and transforming it into more of an urban boulevard. The changes are part of an incentive agreement between Amazon and Virginia to invest $5 billion in important infrastructure improvements, he said.
“Amongst the most critical was the lowering of the elevated sections of Route 1, which currently runs north-south within National Landing,” he said. “The new road will feature a modern cross-section that will be pedestrian-friendly to improve walkability within the submarket.”
They show at-grade Route 1 a few times in its 7-lane form. They exclusively use “will” in referring to it. They do not talk about the BID’s Mag Mile vision for the corridor though. pic.twitter.com/MZykKtWQXz
— Car-Free HQ2 (@CarFreeHQ2) May 26, 2021
The long boi in the foreground is the ~550,000 sq ft residential they plan for the defunct Americana Motel site. Note the at-grade Route 1/15th intersection, and HQ2 Part Un looming in the background. pic.twitter.com/8iUu5iTtU5
— Car-Free HQ2 (@CarFreeHQ2) May 26, 2021
As for other transit improvements, Reynolds said the second Crystal City Metro station entrance, a public-private partnership between Arlington County and JBG Smith, could be completed between 2023 and 2024.
Meanwhile, progress could move forward on a new Virginia Railway Express station in National Landing, as the state recently finalized a $3.7 billion plan with CSX, Amtrak and Virginia Railway Express.
The new station will be built on land owned by JBG Smith. It will also serve as a connection point for the planned pedestrian bridge to Reagan National Airport, renderings of which are seen in the video.
The Bethesda-based developer also has plans for increasing technological connectivity, too.
Adam Rashid, the Senior Vice President and Co-Head of Smart Cities for JBG Smith, said the company aims to deploy “ubiquitous 5G in National Landing, with the goal of making National Landing the U.S.’s first 5G Smart City at-scale.”
Photos via JBG Smith/Vimeo
The 2.4-acre site is located at the intersection of Richmond Highway and 20th Street S., just north of the Crystal Plaza Apartments. As part of the project, initially filed in 2019, the Bethesda-based developer proposes demolishing an existing office building and surface parking lot, and shifting S. Clark Street to the east to create a new S. Clark-Bell Street.
It its place will be two towers with more than 750 residential units.
In January, some criticized the width between the two buildings, separated by the new S. Clark-Bell Street, for being narrower than the width called for in the Crystal City Sector Plan. Residents also said a proposed — mostly cement — pedestrian plaza should include more “trees, gardens and benches,” and worried that a proposed underground garage would have interfered with a network of tunnels known as the “Underground.”
Some plans have changed since then.
The pedestrian plaza “took a great step in the right direction to become something much more green, much more biophilic,” said principal planner Adam Watson during a Planning Commission meeting earlier this month.
As for the “Underground,” JBG Smith is now proposing a “fully enclosed, fully undergrounded, climate-controlled connection” from 12th Street S. to 23rd Street S., Watson said. A previous iteration had the tunnel open up when it connected with the garage.
The final proposals for the above-ground plaza and underground tunnel “evolved over the course of the public community engagement process,” Watson said.
The space between the two buildings, separated by the new S. Clark-Bell Street, still falls a few feet short of the Crystal City Sector Plan but the county is giving this deviation a pass.
“Staff finds the proposed street segment will provide sufficient functionality to support all modes of transportation,” according to the county.
JBG Smith is proposing a space of 76.5 feet between the two buildings, compared to the sector plan’s recommendation of 80 feet. Although 3.5 feet narrower, the street will accommodate two travel lanes southbound, one travel lane northbound, and a buffered bicycle lane in each direction.
S. Clark Street would shift east and — south of the buildings — tie into the existing S. Clark Street, according to the county report.
“The northern end will align with S. Bell Street, north of 20th Street S. and create a new four-way signal-controlled intersection and remove the existing intersection with 20th Street S.,” the report said.
The density of the towers has also decreased slightly. While they are the same height, both have less ground-floor retail space and fewer residential units.
The West tower (2000 S. Bell Street) now has the following specifications:
- 367,040 sq. ft.
- 338 units
- 12,244 square feet of commercial or retail space
- 250 feet tall
The East tower (2001 S. Bell Street) now has the following specifications:
- 334,061 sq. ft.
- 420 units
- 10,006 square feet of commercial or retail space
- 200 feet tall
There will be 247 parking spaces for residents and 10 visitor spaces, along with 45 spaces for retail users. Additional parking will be available in existing garages.
After nearly 60 years, The Inn of Rosslyn is permanently closed.
The Green family, which owned The Inn of Rosslyn and the Americana Hotel in Crystal City — the sale of which was previously reported — has sold both hotels to developer JBG Smith before the new year, according to one family member. The family also sold two apartment buildings: Fern Gardens and Williamsburg Apartments.
“The whole COVID-19 thing has basically bankrupted our businesses,” Katherine Green, whose father built the hotel in 1957, told ARLnow. “There was no other option. There was no end in sight.”
Business looked good, pre-coronavirus. The hotels were generating income, and the general manager of The Americana told Washington Business Journal that 2017 was its best year. But when the economy crashed, Green said she had no income from April 1 until mid-December. (The County records the sales on Dec. 18.) She said a small business loan covered payroll for a few months, but the siblings still emptied their bank accounts to keep the hotels open for a paltry 10% occupancy.
“We were hemorrhaging money,” said Green, who is 60.
A spokesperson for JBG Smith confirmed the purchase of the 38-key Rosslyn hotel and the two apartment buildings, but declined to comment further. The company has been on something of a buying spree in Arlington; an affiliated nonprofit just bought the Crystal House apartment complex with funding from Amazon, as part of a $2 billion commitment by the tech giant to support affordable housing in Arlington, Nashville and the Seattle area.
The Inn of Rosslyn is assessed at $5,070,900, and the two apartment buildings are together worth $8.7 million, according to county records.
Prior to these sales, JBG Smith’s Arlington properties were cumulatively valued this summer at nearly $4.5 billion, according to Arlington County.
“This is an end of an era,” Green said of her family’s business. “It’s hard for the employees. Some have worked for us for 20-odd years. Many were housed in family property and we don’t know if they’ll find jobs.”
The coronavirus was not Green’s only worry. Some of her siblings are too old to be involved, or have died recently, leaving only Green and her sister, Carole Newman, poised to keep the doors open.
The Green’s story is playing out statewide. COVID-19 has crippled the hotel industry statewide, with hotel revenues down 51% from 2019, and the percentage of rooms booked down 33 percentage points, Virginia Business reports.
Still, Green considers herself lucky.
“My father built his businesses in an area that is so valuable that we could sell,” she said.
William Green Sr. quit his electrical engineering job with General Electric to build the hotels.
“He didn’t want to work for a big corporation — he wanted to give his family financial independence, and give them freedom,” she said.
And her father, a child of the Great Depression, chose the D.C. area, she said.
“He knew that if the economy crashed again, D.C. would be more insulated than anywhere else,” she said. “Arlington is really the center of the universe in some ways.”
Today, Green lives on more than one hundred acres in eastern Oregon, and even mulled investing in hotels two years ago — but is glad she did not.
“What is going down is a travesty unlike anything in my lifetime,” she said.
(Updated at 9:45 a.m.) Developer JBG Smith is making changes to plans it had for two courtyard eateries on Crystal Drive.
In 2018 the County Board approved a plan for two restaurants for the green space at 2121 Crystal Drive, which currently has walking paths, trees, a field, a lighted gazebo and seating. JBG Smith is returning to the County Board with a new plan that would combine the two eateries into one larger restaurant.
The current submission for a 5,640 square-foot space, dubbed “Dining in the Park,” reflects improvements made in response to feedback from potential restaurant operators, Taylor Lawch, Vice President of Development, said in a statement.
“We are excited about our proposal to further activate Crystal Drive and an adjacent public plaza with full service food and beverage,” Lawch said.
The County Board is expected to review the amended proposal on Dec. 12.
“We look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with the County and the community to advance our collective vision for National Landing as a vibrant 18-hour neighborhood,” he said.
JBG Smith has proposed a slate of new development in the Crystal City area as Amazon settles into its HQ2. Even before the HQ2 announcement, however, the company was looking for a way to activate the 2121 Crystal Drive courtyard, nestled among office buildings and occasionally used for events like Crystal City’s 5K Fridays.
In 2018, the County Board approved a site plan amendment to permit the construction of the two restaurants. In the first draft of the plan, the developer envisioned two restaurants: “one that resembles a greenhouse and one that calls to mind a tree house,” the Washington Business Journal reported.
Changes to the plan were on the the June County Board meeting agenda earlier this year, but staff recommended deferring the approval of the project while JBG Smith worked to amend it.
The Board is now slated to hear the site plan plan amendment at its Saturday meeting next week.
Photos (1-2) via Google Maps
The top property owner in the so-called National Landing area (Crystal City, Pentagon City and Potomac Yard) just revealed plans for a new office building, just down the street from Amazon’s planned HQ2.
The building at 101 12th Street S. will replace a sparsely-used open green space the company owns near Long Bridge Park, on the northern end of Crystal City. The development is expected to include a nine-story “trophy” office building with 5,000 square feet of street-level retail, underground parking and a new “expansive park space.”
In a press release, below, JBG says the plans are part of its “ongoing collaboration with Arlington County and private sector partners to deliver a mix of new housing, retail, office, and public spaces to National Landing – the site of Amazon’s new headquarters.”
The developer envisions the area as a gleaming “18-hour” neighborhood, counter to its former image as a dull concrete canyon of aging offices and apartment buildings, with little nightlife to speak of.
More from the press release:
JBG SMITH (NYSE: JBGS), a leading owner and developer of high-quality, mixed-use properties in the Washington, DC market, today announced that it has submitted plans to Arlington County for the development of approximately 235,000 square feet of trophy office space and approximately 5,000 square feet of street-level retail at 101 12th Street, the proposed new address for the building. The current plan calls for a nine-story building, underground parking, and expansive park space on vacant land that JBG SMITH owns.
The submission is part of JBG SMITH’s ongoing collaboration with Arlington County and private sector partners to deliver a mix of new housing, retail, office, and public spaces to National Landing – the site of Amazon’s new headquarters.
101 12th Street is anticipated to follow 1900 Crystal Drive and RiverHouse Apartments, which are already moving through the entitlement process, and approximately 2.6 million square feet of development, which was submitted last month. In the aggregate, these projects constitute over half of JBG SMITH’s 6.9 million square foot Future Development Pipeline in National Landing. Based on current plans, JBG SMITH expects the 6.9 million square feet to comprise approximately 2.2 million square feet of office and 4.7 million square feet of multifamily, totaling approximately 4,000 to 5,000 units, which will all have ground floor retail.
In addition, 1770 Crystal Drive and Central District Retail are both currently under construction. JBG SMITH is also serving as the fee developer for Amazon’s new headquarters and the master developer for the Virginia Tech Innovation Campus, all located in National Landing.
Designed to serve as a gateway between Long Bridge Park and the north-end of National Landing, 101 12th Street’s prominent eastern façade and ninth-floor terrace are expected to provide dramatic views of the DC skyline, the National Mall and monumental core, and Reagan National Airport.
JBG SMITH’s submission contains several community benefits including open space, a new expansive park, and street-level retail. A fitness center, first floor terrace, and the ninth-floor terrace will serve as amenities for the future tenants of the planned office. Keeping with JBG SMITH’s plan to foster a vibrant, architecturally distinct environment in National Landing, 101 12th will be layered with gleaming stainless-steel shingles on the 12th and 10th Street frontages to present a complementary variation against the design of surrounding buildings.
“The various development opportunities that JBG SMITH has submitted to Arlington County over the last year will work in tandem to create a more robust, 18-hour environment in National Landing,” said Bryan Moll, Executive Vice President at JBG SMITH. “The building at 101 12th Street is an important piece of the larger transformation, and we look forward to working with the County to review and refine our proposal.”
Renderings courtesy JBG SMITH/TMRW Studios, photo via Google Maps
Amazon and JBG Smith could one day brush off the dust on Arlington’s long-underused dark fiber network.
The Arlington County Board was scheduled to vote on issuing a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) for the tech giant and developer to discuss the “ConnectArtlington” network during its meeting this Saturday, November 16.
The network currently provides internet service to many county buildings, but was once promised to be a way for local businesses and organizations to also access access high-speed internet at faster speeds and cheaper rates than available from larger commercial providers like Verizon.
“The purpose of this item is to discuss the County’s Fiber Optic Network ‘ConnectArlington’,” said Jack Belcher, the county’s chief information officer, when asked for more information about the County Board item.
“An NDA is necessary as the fiber network and its location is considered critical infrastructure of the County,” he added.
Arlington previously spent $4.1 million building the 10-mile underground cable network. But in February, an ARLnow investigation revealed that almost no businesses were able to license the network due to “flawed” legal requirements.
A spokeswoman for Amazon told ARLnow that the county had included the dark fiber network in its pitch for the company’s second headquarters, and that the upcoming County Board vote was “just part of exploring everything that Arlington had included in the original proposal.”
— Chris Slatt (@alongthepike) November 9, 2019
“We don’t have specifics to share about our ongoing discussions but look forward to learning more about the program,” the company spokeswoman told ARLnow, adding that the NDA will allow the county to “fully brief” Amazon about the capabilities of the network.
However, the exact details for how Amazon and JBG Smith could use the network are murky.
“Agenda Item #18 was removed because the County wasn’t able to get feedback yet from the company,” said county spokeswoman Jennifer Smith.
JBG Smith declined to comment when asked for more information about the company’s interest in the network.
And as of today (Wednesday) at 12:30 p.m., the agenda included no staff reports to the Board with more information about the items. Smith said the documents had not been uploaded due to a “technical issue” and were due to be published later today.
As for other organizations looking to “light” the dark fiber network?
“Parties are able to use the fiber network and we are in negotiations with several entities today to also use it,” Belcher said.
Nearby, Alexandria is putting out a bid to build its own dark fiber network as well.
(Updated at 11:45 a.m.) As the development plans stack up for Crystal City and Pentagon City, the need for a new school could be growing.
As plans progress for Amazon’s second headquarters, developer JBG Smith has submitted its own plans to the county proposing to build thousands of additional apartments (and potentially condos) in the area, to help house the tens of thousands expected to one day work at HQ2.
JBG Smith’s plans for Crystal City and the Pentagon City area so far include adding:
- About 1,000 new housing units at the RiverHouse development
- 790 units in two new structures at 1900 Crystal Drive
- 762 units in its towers planned on S. Bell Street
- 752 units at its two connected, V-shaped towers planned for 2525 Crystal Drive
- 645 units along 23rd Street S.
While apartment buildings catering to younger workers are unlikely to generate an abundance of students — in 2015 it was reported that the entire 1,670-unit Riverhouse complex in Pentagon City only housed 30 Oakridge students — the redevelopment plans are still raising an eyebrow among those monitoring school capacity issues.
Local officials tell ARLnow that there are no specific plans in the works for building a new school to accommodate new students in the area. There has been past discussion, however, of Vornado (now JBG Smith) providing a site for a new school.
“As of this moment, [Arlington’s planning department] has not had any discussions with JBG Smith about any of their pending applications regarding providing a school site,” a county spokeswoman when asked whether there are current school-related discussions with the developer.
In an interview with the Washington Business Journal, Arlington County Board Chair Christian Dorsey said that in exchange for approving the massive developments, the county could ask JBG Smith for a package of “truly transformative community benefit improvements.”
Dorsey did not immediately respond to a request by ARLnow to clarify what might be included in such a package.
“APS has discussed an elementary school in that area in the past,” said school spokesman Frank Bellavia, when asked if Arlington Public Schools was considering adding a new school to the area.
“Specifically, the South Arlington Working Group had identified the Aurora Highlands neighborhood,” which is adjacent to Pentagon City and Crystal City, as a potential site, Bellavia said Thursday. “We are in the process of working through our future seat needs and will most likely need elementary seats in that neighborhood.”
Prior to its merger with JBG Smith, Vornado had given APS a tour of vacant office space it owned nearby which could be converted into a school.
APS will be updating its facilities plan in early 2020 as part of the county’s 2021-30 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), according to Bellavia.
A spokeswoman for JBG Smith said the developer is “working with the County but it’s too early to discuss the community benefits package.”
Two new, towering buildings have been proposed for the northwest corner of the intersection of Crystal Drive and 23rd Street S.
The pair are part of JBG Smith’s massive mixed-use development in Crystal City, which includes thousands of new apartments across five new buildings, along with a new office building. With Amazon’s HQ2 staffing up, the large-scale redevelopment could help house thousands as new workers flock to the area.
The new plans call for a pair of towers on 2000 and 2001 S. Bell Street with 762 housing units and 54,215 square feet of retail space. And on 2525 Crystal Drive, JBG Smith is planning two connected, V-shaped towers with 752 housing units and 59,000 square feet of retail — an unusual design rolled out months after critics called designs for Amazon’s nearby permanent HQ2 “unambitious.”
Two towers on 23rd Street S.
It calls for JBG Smith to demolish the existing 11-story “Crystal Plaza 5” office building at 223 23rd Street S. and the one-story retail building that currently houses celebrity Chef José Andrés’ award-winning Jaleo restaurant.
One part of the site is reserved for the “West” tower at 223 23rd Street S., which will stand 31 stories tall and house 645 apartment units as well as 20,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor. The majority of units in the building are slated to be smaller-sized one bedroom apartments (215) but plans indicate the West tower will also include 75 two-bedrooms.
On the roof, the development will feature a swimming pool with lounge chairs, some artificial turf, and greenery.
The ground floor will include 1,850 square feet of bike storage with room for 276 bikes.
An office tower along Crystal Drive
A second building on the same site — the “East” office tower at 2300 Crystal Drive — will be 24 stories tall, plus a penthouse space. Instead of residential space, the East tower will feature 520,000 square feet of office space and 15,000 square feet of retail space.
Renderings reviewed by ARLnow indicate the office tower will have floor-to-ceiling glass panels installed from top to bottom, framed with burnished bronze.
The ground floor will include four retail spaces totaling 15,071 square feet, as well as 1,000-square-foot bicycling parking area. In total, the bike facility is slated to include 88 bike parking spaces. Building tenants, including cyclists, can expect to have access to 176 lockers and 12 showers.
The building is also expected to include lounge space on its narrow, step-style roof, with terraces featuring furniture and greenery.
Some Added Green Space
While JBG Smith’s plans paint the picture of a thoroughly urban Crystal City, looking more like the downtown of a major city than a suburban enclave, it also includes at least a bit of extra green space near the 23rd Street towers.
To the west of the 223 23rd Street S. residential tower is a new, tiny strip of parkland, replacing at least a portion of what’s currently a driveway and a planter wall next to the WeWork building at 2221 S. Clark Street.
Diagrams show new trees planted along the green strip, with a walkway down the middle.
Image 9 via Google Maps
A preliminary site plan filing reviewed by ARLnow includes a 688,223 square-foot residential development in Crystal City — a pair of towers at 2000 and 2001 S. Bell Street — replacing an existing building at 2001 Richmond Highway and an adjacent parking lot.
That’s in addition to four other new, planned buildings — at 223 23rd Street S., 2300 Crystal Drive, and two towers at 2525 Crystal Drive — that were announced late Tuesday afternoon. In all, JBG Smith announced five new residential buildings and one office building — “all within a half mile of the Metro and Amazon’s new headquarters.”
The two S. Bell Street towers will be located across the street from one another on a new, re-aligned portion of Clark-Bell Street, bounded by 20th Street to the north and the newly renamed Richmond Highway to the west. The proposed buildings include a combined 762 housing units and 54,215 square feet of retail space.
Attorney Kedrick Whitmore of Venable LLC submitted JBG Smith’s site plans. In a letter, Whitmore wrote that the new development will bring an “infusion of new residents and mixed uses” that will “activate the existing fabric of Crystal City.”
Whitmore also noted new residents will create a stronger market for the retail spaces, which are struggling countywide to attract tenants.
The West tower’s units are a mix of one bedrooms (105), two bedrooms (69), and three bedrooms (39) with the majority being a smaller-sized one bedroom unit (145.)
Next door at 2001 S. Bell Street, JGB Smith is planning a 26-story tower with 403 units and 34,243 square feet of retail. This east tower will feature studio apartments (65), smaller-sized one bedrooms (155), regular one bedroom units (84), and two-bedroom units (99.)
Together the buildings will be served by a two-story underground parking garage with 314 spaces for cars.
JBG Smith’s attorney noted that the developer would be demolishing 185 existing parking spaces on the lot and adding 444 for an overall increase of 259 spaces — and resulting in a final parking ratio for cars of 0.34. The garage is also slated to include 330 bicycle parking spaces.
Coming between the two towers would be a new, merged S. Clark and S. Bell street, which is part of the Crystal City Sector Plan’s goal “to form a new north-south street between Jefferson Davis Boulevard and Crystal Drive.”
Arlington began demolishing the the S. Clark Street bridge over 18th Street S. in June as part of a larger $6 million project to bring Clark Street down to ground level and re-align the two streets together.
JBG Smith is proposing a new pedestrian walkway to the new street which wraps around the east tower.
The developer also submitted plans for an additional pair of buildings on the northwest corner of 23rd Street S. and Crystal Drive.
JBG Smith’s attorney wrote that the plan for the buildings will “include significant site improvements, including (but not limited to) partial implementation of realigned Clark-Bell Street, improved onsite circulation, street and sidewalk improvements along segments of 23rd Street and Crystal Drive, new interim public open space, and new infrastructure.”
Whitmore noted that the developments align with the Sector Plan‘s overall goals of transforming the area into an an “18-hour” neighborhood where people can work, live, and go out.
Also included in the new development plan are two towers at a listed address of 2525 Crystal Drive, which seemingly corresponds to the location of the JBG Smith-owned Crystal City sand volleyball courts and workout park, next to an off-ramp from Reagan National Airport.
Additional details on the new developments, however, including renderings and maps, were not immediately available due to confusion at the permit office caused by the county’s new digital permit submission system.
According to two permit staffers, JBG Smith did not correctly submit the site plans to the online system, resulting in the need for re-submission this (Wednesday) afternoon. Renderings of the new buildings and landscaping maps were also not publicly available by Tuesday afternoon.
JBG Smith’s latest slew of projects are in addition to its other plans in Crystal City and Pentagon City — which include redoing an office building (1770 Crystal Drive), adding new apartments to the Riverhouse complex, and building twin apartment towers at 1900 Crystal Drive.
Street View photo and map via Google Maps. Renderings via JBG Smith.
Property owner JBG Smith announced late Tuesday afternoon a major new redevelopment push in Crystal City in the wake of Amazon’s arrival.
The developer says it is planning to redevelop “approximately 2.6 million square feet of space across five multifamily buildings and one office building.”
“The buildings include 2000 and 2001 South Bell Street (formerly 2001 Richmond Highway), 223 23rd Street, 2300 Crystal Drive, and 2525 Crystal Drive, which are all within a half mile of the Metro and Amazon’s new headquarters,” the company said in a press release.
That’s addition to JBG’s existing plans to renovate an office building at 1770 Crystal Drive, add new apartments to the Riverhouse complex in Pentagon City, and build twin apartment towers at 1900 Crystal Drive.
“The submissions are part of JBG SMITH’s ongoing collaboration with Arlington County and private sector partners to deliver a mix of new housing, retail, office, and public spaces to National Landing,” says the press release. “This is an important step toward delivering additional housing units and retail amenities in National Landing, which will help meet anticipated new housing demand and mitigate upward pressure on rents.”
JBG said it plans to offer a community benefit package to include new open space and infrastructure upgrades as part of the redevelopment.
“While the final benefits will be determined through a collaborative process with Arlington County, the package is anticipated to include the creation of new public open spaces, improved pedestrian circulation, and transportation upgrades,” the press release said.
A map of the redevelopment (above) released by JBG Smith also references planned upgrades to Route 1, which may include removal of overpasses near the Crystal City Metro station.
Reached by phone, a spokeswoman declined to comment further, referring ARLnow to the press release.
The full release is below.
JBG SMITH (NYSE: JBGS), a leading owner and developer of high-quality, mixed-use properties in the Washington, DC market, today announced that it has submitted plans to Arlington County for the redevelopment of approximately 2.6 million square feet of space across five multifamily buildings and one office building. The buildings include 2000 and 2001 South Bell Street (formerly 2001 Richmond Highway), 223 23rd Street, 2300 Crystal Drive, and 2525 Crystal Drive, which are all within a ½ mile of the Metro and Amazon’s new headquarters.
The submissions are part of JBG SMITH’s ongoing collaboration with Arlington County and private sector partners to deliver a mix of new housing, retail, office, and public spaces to National Landing. These projects are anticipated to follow 1900 Crystal Drive and RiverHouse Apartments, which are already moving through the entitlement process. Taken together, these projects constitute over half of JBG SMITH’s 6.9 million square foot Future Development Pipeline in National Landing. Based on current plans, JBG SMITH expects the 6.9 million square feet to comprise approximately 2.2 million square feet of office and 4.7 million square feet of multifamily, totaling approximately 4,000 to 5,000 units, which will all have ground floor retail. This is an important step toward delivering additional housing units and retail amenities in National Landing, which will help meet anticipated new housing demand and mitigate upward pressure on rents.
In addition, JBG SMITH has broken ground on 1770 Crystal Drive and Central District Retail, which are both currently under construction. JBG SMITH is also serving as the fee developer for Amazon’s new headquarters and the master developer for the Virginia Tech Innovation Campus.
JBG SMITH’s submission includes a robust set of community benefits that will achieve several key Sector Plan objectives, including the dedication of open space, upgrades to the streetscape, and infrastructure enhancements. While the final benefits will be determined through a collaborative process with Arlington County, the package is anticipated to include the creation of new public open spaces, improved pedestrian circulation, and transportation upgrades.
“In reimagining this vital stretch along Crystal Drive and 23rd Street, we are focused on the goals of Arlington County’s Sector Plan, as well as our collective desire to foster a vibrant, architecturally distinct 18-hour environment throughout National Landing,” said Bryan Moll, Executive Vice President at JBG SMITH. “We look forward to working with the County to review and refine our proposals, which will significantly enhance the public’s experience at the street level and add a host of new housing and amenities for the community.”
JBG SMITH expects to commence construction on these developments after receipt of final entitlements, subject to preleasing and market conditions.
JBG SMITH and National Landing
National Landing is the newly defined interconnected and walkable neighborhood that encompasses Crystal City, the eastern portion of Pentagon City and the northern portion of Potomac Yard. Situated across the Potomac River from Washington, DC, National Landing is a well-located urban community known for its adjacency to Reagan National Airport and walkable environment featuring offices, apartments and hotels. JBG SMITH currently owns 6.2 million square feet of existing office space, 2,850 units of existing multifamily space, and controls 6.9 million square feet of additional development opportunities in National Landing, excluding Amazon’s land purchase.
In addition to the Amazon project, JBG SMITH has broken ground on Central District Retail, a 109,000 square foot entertainment and shopping destination that will serve as the retail heart of National Landing. JBG SMITH also expects to start construction on 1900 Crystal Drive next year, which currently comprises two residential towers with shops and green spaces at the base. The retail components of these two projects are expected to deliver almost 150,000 square feet of street-level retail featuring an Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, specialty grocer, restaurants, bars, and other experiential offerings.
About JBG SMITH
JBG SMITH is an S&P 400 company that owns, operates, invests in, and develops a dynamic portfolio of high-quality mixed-use properties in and around Washington, DC. Through an intense focus on placemaking, JBG SMITH cultivates vibrant, amenity-rich, walkable neighborhoods throughout the Capital region, including National Landing where it now serves as the exclusive developer for Amazon’s new headquarters. JBG SMITH’s portfolio currently comprises 20.6 million square feet of high-quality office, multifamily and retail assets, 98% at our share of which are Metro-served. It also maintains a robust future pipeline encompassing 18.7 million square feet of mixed-use development opportunities. For more information on JBG SMITH please visit www.jbgsmith.com.