Tuesday, Mar 12, 2024

Arlington Greenlights Redevelopment of S. Glebe Goodwill Site

Many Northern Virginians have visited Goodwill of Greater Washington’s retail store and donation center at 10. S. Glebe Road in Arlington County. The approximately 1.4-acre site, which features an aging two-story building constructed in 1954 and associated surface parking, experiences the highest volume of donations in Goodwill of Greater Washington’s portfolio, and is one of the most successful Goodwill donation centers nationwide. 

On February 24, 2024, the Arlington County Board approved a rezoning and 4.1 site plan to permit the redevelopment of the site into a new 178,425-square foot mixed-use building.  

The building will include a new Goodwill retail store and enlarged donation processing center, a 3,000-square foot child care facility with capacity for up to 40 children, as well as five floors of all-affordable housing, containing 128 committed affordable housing units (CAFs). With an eye towards serving families and larger households, approximately 73 percent of the CAFs will be two- and three-bedroom units. The building will be served by two levels of below-grade parking. 

The project represents a unique partnership between two non-profit organizations that have long served Arlington County: Goodwill of Greater Washington and Affordable Homes & Communities (AHC).  

Founded in 1935, Goodwill of Greater Washington is a nonprofit organization that provides free job training, education, and supportive services to people faced with disabilities and/or barriers to employment. AHC, established in 1975, is a regional developer of affordable and workforce housing.  

The project represents the first time that Goodwill, anywhere in the country, has partnered with an affordable housing provider to redevelop one of its facilities into a vertically-integrated mixed-use building.  

Planning for the project began more than three years ago when Goodwill of Greater Washington began exploring ideas for upgrading the existing retail store and donation center. After several discussions and design consultations with project architect Michael Foster of MTFA Architecture, PLLC, Goodwill decided to explore the concept of partnering with an affordable housing provider to create a larger mission-driven family-focused mixed-use project. It selected AHC as its joint venture partner.  

Atypical of most Arlington 4.1 site plan applications, a predominant focus of the proposed design is Goodwill’s critical need to accommodate and efficiently process onsite a large volume of community-based donations. Additional considerations include the need to improve the donation and employee experience, bicycle access, and pedestrian safety. 

MTFA’s design, as approved, separates donation, residential, and retail traffic, creates a donation drive aisle, reduces queuing along S. Glebe Road, accommodates loading truck maneuvering, and moves all donation drop-offs and processing within the new building.  

The project will enhance pedestrian safety through the closure of one of the two-existing driveways along S. Glebe Road. It will also deliver an enhanced 10-foot wide clear width sidewalk with plantings, as well as a portion of the planned Arlington Boulevard multi-use trail. An onsite 10-foot wide high visibility raised crosswalk with stop bar and signage will also be provided.  

Environmental sustainability and landscaping figures prominently into the overall design. The mixed-use building will achieve EarthCraft Multifamily Gold certification, and the project nearly doubles the amount of landscaped open space on site, provides an approximately 5,550-square foot outdoor play area, plants additional trees, and features bioretention planters.  

When taken together, the project will provide critical upgrades to an important non-profit facility that is heavily used by Arlington County residents. It also advances goals found in the County’s Affordable Housing Master Plan, Child Care Initiative, Master Transportation Plan, and Community Energy Plan. 

Walsh Colucci shareholder Andrew Painter and associate attorney Lauren Riley represented Goodwill and AHC throughout the process.