Tuesday, Mar 12, 2024

Arlington County Board Approves Redevelopment Alongside Arlington Boulevard

The Arlington County Board has approved Orr Partners’ proposal to redevelop a 2.2 acre parcel alongside Arlington Boulevard in the Radnor-Fort Myer neighborhood. The proposal includes the demolition of two small apartment complexes, both constructed in the 1950s, and the Red Lion Hotel that currently occupy the land.  In their place, Orr Partners proposes to construct an eight-story multi-family residential building with approximately 445,732 square feet of gross floor area and up to 446 residential units.  The applications were shepherded through the zoning review and approval process by firm Shareholder Nicholas Cumings and Land Use Planner Bernard Suchicital.

The proposed development will renovate and use the existing below-grade parking garage and add additional levels of parking at or above the grade of Arlington Boulevard, but below the grade of nearby sites and the neighboring retaining wall.  Access to the building, including the loading dock, will be located along Arlington Boulevard, which will minimize any impact to neighboring residential buildings (e.g., The Belvedere and Parc Rosslyn).  Community benefits include LEED Gold certified construction, among other green building design features, and the commitment of 22 committed affordable units, including two three bedrooms and 16 two bedroom units, providing much needed family sized committed affordable housing in the Rosslyn neighborhood.

The project continually improved during review by both staff and the site plan review committee as the Orr team was able to develop a positive working relationship with surrounding property owners and civic associations while also addressing important staff comments.  In particular, the team worked prior to and just after initial submission of the project to accommodate a newly planned bike path on Fairfax Drive – which required Orr Partners to shrink the floorplate of the building, but allows the County to construct important infrastructure here that will benefit the entire neighborhood, including future residents.  The team also worked hard to improve the design after receiving some very helpful and constructive feedback during the site plan review committee process, reinforced by comments from County staff.  The team changed façade materials, design, and patterns, and enhanced its commitment to biophilic design with some creative and thoughtful elements including a planted overhang at the building entrance which will serve as an unique, biophilic element that will call attention to the entrance of the project.

This article was jointly written by Shareholder Nicholas Cumings and Land Use Planner Bernard Suchicital.