On April 23, 2019, the Arlington County Board approved a site plan amendment and General Land Use Plan amendment to permit the redevelopment of the former “Iwo Jima” Best Western hotel property and the neighboring parcel which currently contains the Ellis Arms Apartments located on the southern edge of Rosslyn. Both the existing hotel and multi-family building will be demolished and replaced with a new 12 story, 160 room hotel and a 10 story, 48 unit residential tower.
Led by Nicholas Cumings, a land use attorney with Walsh Colucci, the development team worked with Arlington County Staff to address the County’s priority goals for the property including green building measures, affordable housing, underground parking, and neighborhood park improvements. The 1.88 acre property is located southwest of the Belvedere Condominiums, which were extremely active in the zoning review process. The result of the site plan review process were recommendations for approval by both the Planning Staff and the Planning Commission, with unanimous approval by the County Board.
Mr. Cumings with Walsh, Colucci, Lubeley & Walsh summarized the application in his remarks to the County Board: “The Witness Group is a family-based company that has over 30 years of experience with hotel investment, development, and management. They have owned this property since 2011. They are a preferred developer and operator with all of the major hotel brand companies including Hilton, Marriott and International Hotel Group, and currently own and operate 30 hotels with 9 hotels in the development and construction pipeline. They will own and operate the proposed hotel and are looking forward to continuing to be a part of the neighborhood for many years.” In closing, he noted, “The process was successful and the resulting project is an excellent one that will be a substantial improvement for this neighborhood, replacing 1950s and 1980s era development with modern buildings including a myriad of benefits for the surrounding community.”