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St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Clarendon has filed conceptual designs for a new three-story church and parish center and a 10-story apartment building.

The mid-century church sits on two-and-a-half acres of prime property between the Clarendon and Virginia Square Metro stations, much of it is dedicated to parking.


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A plan to significantly transform the Courthouse neighborhood by guiding new development, turning the county’s large surface parking lot into a public square and park, and improving Metro access and pedestrian facilities, has gotten the green light.

The Arlington County Board on Monday unanimously approved what it’s hailing as a “visionary” new Courthouse Sector Plan.


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The Rosslyn of the future is envisioned to be more walkable, more dynamic and more green with the County Board’s approval of the Rosslyn Sector Plan and Western Rosslyn Area Plan (WRAP). However, with the approval comes the loss of open space from Rosslyn Highlands Park, which left some residents frustrated with the County Board’s process.

The County Board unanimously approved both plans after hearing resident and staff concerns. Residents generally supported the new sector plan, focused primarily on areas around the Rosslyn Metro station. The Western Rosslyn plan focused on the area around Fire Station #10, up the hill on Wilson Blvd.


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The County Board is considering adopting the Rosslyn Sector Plan, but first it is seeking out residents’ opinions.

The Rosslyn Sector Plan is the county’s long-term goal for the neighborhood, including a new Metro entrance, updated parks and a new pedestrian bridge. The County Board authorized two public hearings — one before the Planning Commission on July 6 and the other before the County Board meeting on July 18 — for residents to speak and ask about the new plan.


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The county’s long-term vision for Rosslyn includes an open-air Metro entrance, a pedestrian corridor through the heart of the neighborhood, a new pedestrian bridge over the Potomac River and a massive new park.

The Realize Rosslyn planning process, which begun in October 2012, has culminated in a draft Rosslyn Sector Plan, which lays out the vision for the area until 2040. That vision includes what’s being called the 18th Street Corridor, which would extend 18th Street from N. Oak Street as a pedestrian corridor with a public escalator to N. Lynn Street, and a road from there to N. Arlington Ridge Road.


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The Rosslyn Sector Plan update — the product of the Realize Rosslyn community planning efforts over the past 15 months — is expected to be adopted by the end of this year, but before that the County Board must hold hearings and approve a framework for the plan. That’s expected to happen next month, after the Board voted to advertise the hearings at its meeting on Tuesday.

Among the biggest changes that could be coming in Rosslyn if the plan is approved is extending 18th Street N. as a pedestrian and bike corridor through Rosslyn’s main stretches — with intersections at Nash Street, Fort Myer Drive, Moore Street and Lynn Street before connecting with N. Arlington Ridge Road — making Fort Myer Drive and Lynn Street two-way roads and removing the tunnels underneath Wilson Blvd.


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The state Office of Transportation Public-Private Partnerships (OTP3) announced in July that it was reaching out to developers to gauge interest in leasing VDOT’s air space over I-66, east of N. Lynn Street in Rosslyn, and over the East Falls Church Metro station.

According to county staff, private developers have expressed enough interest that the county wants to further study the plan. An initial study will be rolled into an amended contract with a planning and preservation firm that is already working on the Realize Rosslyn sector plan update. Depending on the outcome of the initial study, the county could fund more study in the future before a decision is reached to lease the air rights.


Around Town

With the stated goal of “a more economically vibrant, walkable, attractive Lee Highway corridor — one that benefits neighborhoods and the business community,” representatives from the civic associations have already met with the Arlington County Planning Commission for guidance, according to representatives of the Waverly Hills Civic Association.

Along with Waverly Hills, East Falls Church, John M. Langston, Glebewood, Yorktown, Leeway Overlee, Old Dominion, Donaldson Run, Cherrydale, Maywood, and Lyon Village have also joined what the group is calling the “Lee Highway Grassroots Re-visioning.”


Around Town

The gleaming 24-story office building, complete with a unique cantilevered roof, would replace what is now an older government office building that’s nearly vacant as a result of the Base Realignment and Closure Act (BRAC). Under the proposal currently under initial consideration, the existing building — 1851 S. Bell Street — would be torn down and the new building would be built and relabeled 1900 Crystal Drive.

At some 730,000 square feet, we’re told that 1900 Crystal Drive would be the largest private office building in Arlington County. Developer Vornado is hoping to achieve LEED Silver or Gold environmental certification for the building.


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The board is scheduled to vote on the Crystal City Sector Plan at its 6:30 p.m. meeting tonight. But Aurora Highlands urban planning committee chairman Ted Saks says the county was unable to deliver an updated version of the plan to the association’s emergency meeting last night, prompting the call for a delay.

Saks says a meeting with County Manager Michael Brown two weeks ago has produced positive changes, including pledges of a traffic monitoring plan, a citizen advisory board, and a study of ways to smooth the transition from the high-density development that will surround Route 1 and the single-family home neighborhood to the west.


Around Town

A thriving “see and be seen” street life and a dedicated cultural district are among the goals of planners who hope to convert Crystal City from the workaday home of monolithic government office buildings to an urban oasis of gleaming trophy office towers, shiny new apartment buildings and busy retail corridors.

To achieve the vision of a pedestrian-oriented urban community, however, major investments will need to be made in Crystal City’s inadequate transportation infrastructure — specifically, the roads.