Jefferson Apartment Group has filed plans to redevelop the Clarendon Wells Fargo site with offices, retail space and apartments.
The company proposes to build a 128-foot tall, 12-story structure with 238 apartments, nearly 67,000 square feet of office space, about 34,500 square feet of ground-floor retail and 244 parking spaces across a two-level, below-grade garage.
The bank at 3140 Washington Blvd is situated on a parcel bordered by N. Irving Street and N. Hudson Street. Next door is the 97,000-square foot Verizon building at 1025 N. Irving Street.
Jefferson proposes only to redevelop the bank property for now. Wells Fargo — the seller of the property at 3140 Washington Blvd — is requiring the developer to keep the bank open for business during construction.
“The project must take a phased permitting and construction approach, first constructing a new bank branch on the northwest corner of the site, followed by demolishing the existing Wells Fargo building and constructing the new mixed-use building once Wells Fargo is operational in the new bank branch building,” writes Sara Mariska, an attorney for the project.
Including the Verizon site in the overall plan will “facilitate development of the Wells Fargo property, while also facilitating preservation of critical telecommunications infrastructure on the Verizon property,” Mariska continues.
The Verizon site “is not going to redevelop any time soon,” noted Brett Wallace, a county planner, during an Arlington Committee of 100 discussion about Clarendon area development projects on Wednesday.
The new filing comes comes a week before the Arlington County Board is set to consider adopting an update to the 2006 Clarendon Sector Plan, which targets the western portion of the neighborhood. The Committee of 100 panelists discussed the plan and potential changes to the area.
The sector plan update was precipitated by multiple property owners expressing a “strong interest” in redevelopment around the Clarendon Metro station area, Jennifer K. Smith, a county planning supervisor, told attendees.
Forthcoming developments include: the Silver Diner/The Lot, Joyce Motors and Wells Fargo/Verizon sites, as well as projects proposed by the St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, the YMCA and George Mason University.
“The process would provide an opportunity to showcase preliminary proposals that were being contemplated and share them in a broad way with all the civic associations and other stakeholders who may be reviewing those individually over time,” she said. “Some of the developers were seeking alternatives that diverged from sector plan guidance and zoning regulations that apply in this area and [Planning Commissioners] wanted to provide forum for review and consideration of those potential changes or divergences from the sector plan.”
She added that the county felt “it was important that we consult with the community on new ideas to meet public facility and public space needs going into the future.”
Bond Vet, a New York City-based chain of primary and urgent care clinics for cats and dogs, is setting up shop in Clarendon.
Construction in the space at 2871 Clarendon Blvd, in the former Lilly Pulitzer storefront, is underway. Bond Vet aims to open its doors to local dogs and cats and their humans this summer.
The storefront, part of The Crossing Clarendon retail center, has been vacant since the purveyor of preppy pink clothing packed its portmanteau and left last May. Bond Vet signed a deal to take over the space late last year, Director of Real Estate and Development Lauren Heuser tells ARLnow.
“Things are moving forward,” Heuser said. “We’re actually ahead of pace from what we anticipated from a permitting standpoint, which never happens.”
The new location is part of Bond Vet’s first expansion outside of the New York area, where it has opened nearly a dozen locations since 2019. The full-service clinics offer urgent care and routine care, including wellness exams, vaccines and spay and neuter services, as well as surgeries, dental cleanings and international health certificates.
Outside of Clarendon, its foray into the Mid-Atlantic region includes Bethesda, D.C.’s 14th Street NW corridor and the Capitol Hill neighborhood. The company is also headed north into Boston, and will have 25 total locations by the end of 2022.
“[The expansion] was on the horizon ahead of the pandemic,” Heuser said. “During the pandemic, the development pace slowed down a bit, but we picked up again as soon as we felt like we could.”
“We like to be part of a rich context with many different types of tenants, rather than going into an area where you’re only going to find soft goods or medical offices,” Heuser said. “We felt that this was a good opportunity for that.”
Recent tenant announcements for The Crossing Clarendon include New York-based seafood eatery Seamore’s, fitness center Life Time, and District Dogs, a daycare and overnight boarding facility for pooches.
“We’re certainly not a daycare but we like to create symbiotic relationships with pet care providers within the neighborhood,” Heuser noted.
Bond Vet is the third option for pet owners whose animal companion needs care sooner than what a primary veterinarian could provide but in a different setting than an emergency room, she says.
“We believe it provides enough availability for same day appointments across locations, and it keeps pets that don’t need to be in the emergency room out of the ER,” Heuser said.
(The pet-centric neighborhood will now have all three veterinary options covered, with Arlies award winners Clarendon Animal Care at 3000 10th Street N. and Caring Hands Animal Hospital at 2601-A Wilson Blvd, in addition to the new doggy daycare and a locally-based dog food brand.)
Bond Vet’s expansion comes as veterinary jobs and services have been in high demand over the last two years, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. The association says urgent care clinics appear to be taking on a substantial portion of that demand.
“From a competitive landscape, what we’re seeing all over the country is a high demand for veterinary care,” Heuser said. “So many people got new pets through the pandemic, and that trend has not slowed down.”
Construction has started on major renovations to the Crystal City Water Park, JBG Smith announced Monday.
JBG Smith will update the existing, 1.6-acre park at 1601 Crystal Drive with new restaurant kiosks and seating areas, a full-service restaurant, new water features — including a “water wall” with a bar perched on top — and a stage.
The privately-owned park has long hosted small food and drink vendors. The new kiosks will highlight local, minority- and women-owned businesses, “local favorites” and “renowned names,” JBG Smith says.
“We are particularly excited about the Water Park kiosks, which will serve as incubator spaces where up-and-coming chefs and [restaurateurs] can experiment and grow,” JBG Smith Senior Vice President of Retail Leasing Amy Rice said in a statement.
In addition to decorative water features, the revamped park will also feature public art installations and a building with public restrooms and bike facilities near the entrance to the Mt. Vernon Trail. JBG Smith says it is working with Virginia Railway Express to build an accessible connection to the future entrance of the relocated VRE station.
The Water Park is not the JBG-owned public space getting upgrades. Two blocks south at 2121 Crystal Drive, a lightly used private park space in front of an office building will see renovations and the construction of a 5,587-square-foot restaurant. Work on that project also started recently.
JBG Smith expects to complete both the Crystal City Water Park and Surreal in 2023.
“We see these both as inviting public spaces where families will enjoy a sunny day and colleagues can gather after work for a drink, a bite to eat and live music,” said JBG Smith Executive Vice President Bryan Moll in a statement.
Visitors will be able to keep their drinks in hand as they walk these open spaces. Last year, the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority gave the developer the go-ahead to establish a “sip and stroll” zone within the boundaries of Crystal City Water Park and the courtyard.
These two projects, plus Amazon’s second headquarters and other redevelopment projects by JBG Smith, will triple the number of retail businesses in Crystal City, Pentagon City and Potomac Yard, dubbed National Landing, the developer says.
Tacombi in Crystal City will be opening its doors tomorrow (Wednesday).
The long-awaited New York City-based taqueria chain will be open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. in the revamped Central District Retail shopping plaza, also known as “Crystal Square.”
The taco spot, with indoor and outdoor seating, is the newest retail spot to open within JBG Smith’s recently redone property at 1550 Crystal Drive. It follows on the heels of a CVS, a Mah-Ze-Dahr bakery and a Solidcore gym location. What appears to be an Amazon Fresh grocery store is still under-construction.
Tacombi’s Crystal City menu will reflect its NYC menu, says a spokeswoman. There will be a variety of tacos, including its classic fish tacos, as well as burritos and quesadillas, all of which can also be ordered online via Grubhub.
All will be served on from-scratch corn and flour tortillas shipped from NYC daily until they can be made in Crystal City, Eater DC reports.
To drink, there will be tequila-based cocktails, Mexican beers, sodas and agua frescas. There will not be any opening specials, we’re told.
The grand opening fell behind schedule, as construction and inspections extended beyond the originally anticipated September debut.
These last few weeks, however, the taqueria has not just been busy finalizing its Crystal City location, but also opening two other locations: a second spot in Queens, New York and a new location in Miami’s Design District.
The openings in Arlington and Miami will mark Tacombi’s first ventures outside of New York City, the spokeswoman said.
She added that a Bethesda outpost — originally anticipated to open in September — will open in the spring of 2022. Another D.C. location is set to come to 14th Street NW, according to Eater.
In mid-December, the County Board is slated to hold a public hearing to consider allowing retail use — and, therefore, fitness activities — inside an office building in The Crossing Clarendon. The Board approved the hearing earlier this month.
Regency Centers, which owns The Crossing (formerly known as “Market Common”), is asking the county to permit retail on the third floor of The Loft office building (1440 N. Edgewood Street) that Life Time is looking to lease. The change would allow the gym to take over the office building and turn it into a 113,000-square foot, multi-story, high-end gym with a host of amenities.
Life Time proposes using all four levels of the newly renovated building. There will be a spa and dressing rooms in the basement, a lobby and small retail space for food and drinks on the first floor, gym space on the second and third floors and a co-working space for gym members and independent users on the fourth floor.
The third floor, set for gym use, comprises more than 18% of The Loft’s total square footage. That is significant enough to require a “major” site plan amendment and Planning Commission and County Board approvals, according to a county report.
Typically, that involves a four-month-long review process, but county staff instead support a one-month hearing schedule, according to the report. It says staff have found no problems with this change, which is supported by planning recommendations for this part of Clarendon.
“Staff finds that a shorter review period is warranted as it does not require any structural additions or significant alterations to the building design as approved under the site plan and community stakeholders have responded to staff outreach to confirm that there are no objections to advertisement of this amendment,” according to the report.
A spokesman for the property owner said there are “no changes to report” on the work done to move the project along.
“The design is being worked on concurrent with the amendment process,” he said. “All permits are on schedule.”
In total, the building has eight retail spaces on the ground floor, of which three are vacant. Tatte Bakery & Cafe opened in September, and dog daycare and boarding facility District Dogs could be coming next spring. Other forthcoming retailers include a a laser skincare facility and an under-construction tattoo parlor.
Running Store Coming to Pentagon City — “Federal Realty Investment Trust has leased the last bit of vacant retail space at Westpost, the 14-acre mixed-use development a short walk from where Amazon.com Inc.’s new headquarters buildings will stand. The leases put the roughly 297,000-square-foot retail center on course to be fully occupied in the first half of 2022 after a handful of notable vacancies, including the nearly 34,000-square-foot former Bed, Bath & Beyond to be replaced by a Target store, and the roughly 4,500-square-foot space where Road Runner Sports will replace a shuttered Unleashed by Petco.” [Washington Business Journal]
Library Seeking Latino History Donations — “Over the last three decades, Arlington’s Latino community has rapidly grown and stockpiled a wealth of history. And this week, librarians and historians at the Center for Local History at Arlington Public Library are asking for donations of documents to archive the county’s Hispanic history. The project is called Re-Encuentro de Arlington Latinos.” [WTOP]
Rock Climbing Gym Goes Green — “Earth Treks Crystal City prides itself as a rock climbing outlet for people living in a metropolitan area and the business in northern Virginia hopes its roots in rock climbing can bring forward better environmental practices… Earth Treks announced recently its partnership with a Virginia company that allows its climbers to bring in old and rundown equipment — shoes, water bottles and harnesses — which will be reused in a variety of ways, including to make dog harnesses.” [WUSA 9]
Synetic Returns to Theater — “Last night night found me in Crystal City, where Synetic Theater was back in its performance venue for the first time since the pandemic, staging a production of ‘The Madness of Poe…’ Performers were not masked, a nice change after recent experiences with a number of troupes who use Arlington Public Schools facilities and are not allowed to let their actors, though all vaccinated, go without masks.” [Sun Gazette]
New Commuter Bus Service Funded — “The Northern Virginia Transportation Commission plans to fund a new express bus service, part of efforts aimed at reducing congestion connected with Interstate 66 and the Beltway. The commission approved a plan yesterday to fund the bus service with over $5.1 million for two years. Routes would run from the Reston South Park and Ride lot to key destinations in Arlington County that include the Pentagon, Pentagon City and Crystal City.” [Reston Now]
More Studies for Route 7 Bus Route — “A regional study of the proposed bus rapid transit (BRT) route from Tysons to Alexandria is moving into a new phase that will assess options through the Seven Corners area. The Northern Virginia Transportation Commission voted last night (Thursday) to approve a contract for the fourth phase of its Envision Route 7 mobility analysis study.” The bus might also make a stop at the East Falls Church Metro station in Arlington. [Tysons Reporter]
Life Time’s opening is currently expected to happen in the first few months of 2023, said Andrew Kabat of Regency Centers, which owns the multi-block development, which mixes retail, residential and office space.
“It’s really such an exciting, well-rounded lifestyle offering that I think will be a massive statement for this community,” Kabat said. “Being very high-end and luxury focused, it fits in well with the Clarendon community.”
The gym will occupy 113,000 square feet of space at 1440 N. Edgewood Street, where, up until recently, an Equinox gym was expected to move in. In February, Regency Centers sued Equinox, alleging breach of contract.
The Crossing has undergone a recent renovation and rebranding and, starting with Life Time, Regency Centers is on the cusp of announcing several other new retail tenants.
The new gym will take up 5,000 square feet on the ground floor as well as the entire second, third and fourth floors, compared to the nearly 30,000 square feet of space Equinox was set to occupy. Life Time will offer workout spaces, a spa, a co-working space and room for group fitness classes, as well as a food and beverage component and places to drop off kids.
“It’s just that well-thought out,” said Kabat, who helped to land the leasing deal with the company. “Their brand, the way they’ve really integrated themselves into the community — they’re a lifestyle brand. They’ll offer a lot of different amenities.”
Unlike most other Life Time locations, the Clarendon outpost is in more of an urban setting, spanning multiple stories, rather than occupying a freestanding facility in a suburban area, he said. The fitness center will also be “the catalyst” for other exciting announcements, Kabat said.
The building that Life Time will occupy was an vacant office space when Regency Centers acquired it in 2016. It was gutted and a fourth floor was added, and construction was completed last summer. Between Life Time and Tatte Bakery and Cafe, which is also moving in on the ground floor and is expected to open in early September, the building will be 93% leased.
In total, the building has eight retail spaces on the ground floor: Tatte and Life Time are the only two publicly-announced tenants at this time, but Regency Centers is getting ready to announce five more, Kabat said. Each of these deals was agreed to during the pandemic.
“Once we add those other five users, we’ll be at 98-99% leased,” he said. “We feel good that we’ll be 100% leased by end of the year.”
Among the building’s ground floor spaces is the former location of beloved live music venue Iota Club and Cafe, which closed in 2017.
The leasing announcements are in addition to other changes coming to The Crossing Clarendon, including a new pedestrian plaza near Barnes and Noble. Recently, custom framing store Framebridge opened at The Crossing, along Clarendon Blvd.
The “revolution” in urban living set to take place in the Landmark Block in Courthouse is currently being fomented.
Residents who pass the site near the Courthouse Metro station can see preparations underway to tear down some of the low-slung retail buildings along the 2000 block of Wilson Blvd.
Demolition work is starting on the site’s aging brick retail buildings, as Bisnow reported earlier this week. John Clarkson, the managing director Greystar Real Estate Partners, told the site that work began last week, and the developer aims to deliver a 20-story apartment building by the third quarter of 2023.
The Landmark Block site is one of two projects — the other is a 220-unit building on the vacant Wendy’s lot — that Greystar is overseeing in Courthouse. Clarkson said the developer is focused on this neighborhood because it has the demographics, schools and walkability that make Clarendon attractive but less of the growth.
“We really want to establish a sense of place,” Clarkson tells Bisnow. “With some real density, some real scale it will feel like we have filled in that hole in the doughnut between Rosslyn and Clarendon, so we’re very excited about [the] upside of that submarket.”
Seven commercial buildings on the Landmark Block site will be demolished, including the former Summers Restaurant. The façades of the First Federal Savings and Loan Building (2050 Wilson Blvd) and the Investment Building (2049 15th Street N.) will be preserved, according to the county. The buildings, constructed in 1946 and 1948 respectively, are identified as “important” on the county’s Historic Resources Inventory.
The County Board approved the project at 2050 Wilson Blvd, featuring 423 apartment units, ground-floor retail and an underground parking garage, back in March. For proponents, the building and accompanying community benefits will make Courthouse Square “the civic and cultural heart of Arlington,” and will be “where the revolution begins,” as phrased in a county planning document.
One of the features the county said will usher in changes for Courthouse is a pedestrian promenade.
“The promenade was one of the addendum’s top recommendations for the area around Landmark Block,” the county said in March. “The N. Uhle Street promenade…will be lined with trees, and offer retail shops and plenty of space for community gatherings.”
Greystar will provide a portion of the Courthouse Square promenade that is envisioned in the Courthouse Square Addendum to the Courthouse Sector Plan. The full promenade would run between Wilson Blvd and 14th Street N. along N. Uhle Street.
The county said the promenade will be “the main gateway from Clarendon Boulevard into Courthouse Square.”
Meanwhile, the long-vacant Wendy’s site will no longer look on while other sites are developed around it. Greystar’s plans for the triangular site at 2025 Clarendon Blvd are going through entitlements, Clarkson tells Bisnow.
The developer expects to break ground on the 220-unit building by the second quarter of 2022. For the last two years, construction crews have used it as a staging area while building a condo project across the street at 2000 Clarendon.
The old Wendy’s site has sat vacant since it was demolished in 2016 for an office building that never came. Greystar acquired the property from Carr Properties in January, according to real estate firm JLL.
(Updated 10:35 a.m.) Tacombi, a New York City-based taqueria chain, is expected to open in Crystal City in a couple of months.
The new spot will be located in the revamped Central District Retail shopping plaza, also known as “Crystal Square.” This recently redone property at 1550 Crystal Drive, owned by JBG Smith, has attracted a number of other retail options that have opened already or are set to open over the course of the year.
A spokesperson for Tacombi said Thursday that it expects to open its 3,000 square-foot space in Crystal City in September.
“All of our taquerias are bright, open and airy spaces where guests can enjoy warm hospitality and a menu with selections from different regions throughout Mexico,” she said. “We look forward to bringing a little piece of this incredible country to our new friends in Arlington, and to swinging open our taqueria doors this fall.”
Tacombi got its start on the beaches of Yucatan, Mexico. The owner sold tacos from a Volkswagen Bus and eventually opened his first taqueria in the mid-2000s in New York City. Nine other locations have since opened in NYC.
These openings are happening amid a handful of other openings in Miami and Queens, the spokeswoman said. The taqueria will cement its presence in the D.C. area with a Bethesda location also set to open in September.
“We were drawn to Crystal City’s evolving identity and to its own journey from a largely-industrial zone in the sixties to today’s quickly developing community,” she said. “And while National Landing is part of a cosmopolitan world capital, it also maintains the neighborhood quality that best allows us to share authentic Mexican culture.”
The taqueria made headlines this year for its work during the pandemic feeding thousands of food-insecure New Yorkers.
Also coming to Central District Retail will be a thus-far unnamed grocery store, rumored to be a possible Amazon Fresh location. The store will be built in the existing office building at 1550 Crystal Drive, according to Arlington County.
“JBG SMITH declines to comment,” a spokesperson for the property owner said when asked about it yesterday.
Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups, founders, and other local technology news. Monday Properties is proudly featuring 1812 N. Moore Street in Rosslyn.
Online secondhand shopping is taking the U.S. fashion market by storm and one Arlington startup is helping traditional retailers adapt.
Recurate — co-founded by CEO Adam Siegel, who lives and works from home in Rosslyn — allows retail brands to host resale platforms where customers can sell their used items directly from their purchase history.
The company manages the shipment from the seller to the buyer, and the seller is compensated with in-store credit or cash once the product is delivered.
“Every brand has lost revenue and customers to the resale market,” CEO Adam Siegel tells ARLnow. “Sites like Poshmark and ThredUp have made it cool to buy pre-owned products, and brands’ customers are flocking to those sites to buy branded pieces.”
The market for used clothing and accessories is projected to more than triple in value in the next decade, from $28 billion in 2019 to $80 billion in 2029, Fast Company reports. In 2019, it expanded 21 times faster than conventional apparel retail.
“We’re confident that branded ‘recommerce’ will become mainstream in the next couple years, and brands realize that they need to sell both new and pre-loved items in order to address their customers’ desires,” Siegel said.
Many consumers are switching to secondhand clothing to avoid supporting “fast fashion,” the moniker encompassing international retailers such as Zara and H&M, which sell trendy, inexpensive clothing made in sometimes unsafe factories by workers earning a few dollars a day.
Siegel said he and his business partner Chief Operating Officer Wilson Griffin founded Recurate by drawing on their long histories in sustainable retailing.
Griffin worked in The Gap’s sustainability team for the last six years, addressing issues like energy reduction, renewable energy generation, and waste reduction.
Siegel said he built and led the sustainability and ethical production programs for the Retail Industry Leaders Association, the trade association that represents the largest retailers.
Those experiences led them to found Recurate and expand resale opportunities to retail outlets.
“It was clear that the secondhand market was growing, and given our collective experience, we knew that buying used is the most sustainable way to shop,” Siegel said.
The company, founded in early 2020, just before the pandemic, announced it recently raised $3.25 million in seed funding. Recurate intends to use the funds to continue to expand operations and its business reach.
This is the second round of funding, following up on a pre-seed round last summer, Siegel said.
“We are fortunate to have so much interest from such wonderful — and industry-leading — brands,” Siegel said.
Photo courtesy Adam Siegel
Big things are afoot at The Crossing Clarendon (2800 Clarendon Blvd) — a stretch of interconnected stores, restaurants, offices and residential space formerly known as Market Common Clarendon — as the center starts to brush off the dust from the past year.
As an overview: The Crossing refers to a multi-block stretch of mixed-use development that includes the Whole Foods, the Cheesecake Factory and the Apple Store. With some recent rebranding, the collection of retail on the opposite side of Clarendon Blvd from the Whole Foods is now known as The Loop.
Also new is the recently expanded and upgraded office space in the center of the development, now dubbed The Loft Office at The Crossing Clarendon. Construction on the project wrapped up last year, bringing with it a floral public art installation.
Jason Yanushonis, manager of investments for The Crossing owner Regency Centers, said retail leasing interest for the shopping center is picking up again as the end of the pandemic seems hopefully in sight.
“The interest has been solid and picking up exponentially,” said Yanushonis. “Tenants are starting to seriously consider the next few years of their operation and what that’s going to look like.”
“We took the roof off and created a two-level space,” Yanushonis said. “We don’t have anything we’re ready to announce yet, but interest for that office and retail space has been going up.”
“As people are starting to have more visibility for when things open up, they’re getting more comfortable with signing deals,” he continued. “Recently, the retail has really picked up, because there’s more visibility for openings. We’ve been happy with the level of activity for both, but the retail is making us specifically excited.”
For The Loop, Regency Centers is aiming to turn the area near the Barnes and Noble into a pedestrian-friendly walking plaza, closing a portion of the existing loop road, Washington Business Journal reported.
“We’re planning to go in front of the [County] Board this summer and start construction in early 2022,” Yanushonis said.
Map via Regency Centers