Arlington County Board Approves 819 New Units at Crystal Houses

At its December 14 public hearing, the Arlington County Board approved Roseland Residential Trust’s proposal for six new residential buildings containing 819 new residential units at the Crystal Houses property in Arlington. The applications were shepherded through the zoning review and approval process through a team effort by managing shareholder and land use attorney Nan Walsh and land use attorney Nicholas Cumings.

Led by Nicholas Cumings, the hearing was positive and complimentary, with County Board members remarking that the project delivered a number of important community benefits, including some much-needed additional housing units in a quality development, and sizable new parks. The proposal includes six new multi-family buildings on the Crystal Houses block, adding additional buildings on the property’s frontage as infill development complementing the existing remaining 828 apartments in Crystal Houses I and II. These new buildings include Crystal House III, an eleven story building with 432 units located on S. Eads Street, Crystal House IV, another eleven story building with 222 units located at the corner of 22nd Street and Eads Street, Crystal House V, a seven story, 81 unit building located on the site of the existing commuter lot just to the south of the property, Crystal House VII, a five story, 63 unit building located on 18th street, and Crystal Houses VII and VIII, which are townhouse-style multifamily units located on Fern Street. The project redevelops the entire frontage of the property, upgrading it to the urban design standards in the Crystal City Sector Plan and transforming it into a modern, walkable, pedestrian, and cyclist oriented community.

In his presentation to the County Board, Nicholas noted that the project both meets and exceeds Sector Plan goals, particularly by creating 54,000 square feet of new public parks, just over twice called for in the Sector Plan, and by installing protected bike lanes along the project’s Eads Street frontage and on the block to the north, providing a contiguous corridor of protected bike lanes to the new Metropolitan Park office development. He noted that the project includes a remarkably unique affordable housing plan; Roseland committed to conveying the Crystal House 5 parcel, as approved, to Arlington County for its development as affordable housing. County Board members complimented the creativity and ingenuity of this plan, and voted unanimously to approve the project.

All Images Courtesy of LESSARD DESIGN INC.

Nan Walsh named to Virginia Lawyers Weekly’s Influential Women of Law 2019

Congratulations to our managing shareholder, Nan Walsh, who was named to Virginia Lawyers Weekly‘s Influential Women of Law 2019. Virginia Lawyers Media, the publisher of Virginia Lawyers Weekly, has announced the inaugural class of “Influential Women of Law.” This new awards program honors women attorneys and judges for their excellent work on behalf of their clients, their commitment to their communities, and their service to the profession.


Site Redevelopment Approved for Crystal City’s “Paperclip” Building

Image Courtesy of LCOR
Image Courtesy of LCOR

The next chapter of redevelopment in Arlington County is now set to take place at 400 Army Navy Drive. Shareholders Nan Walsh and Evan Pritchard secured approval from the Arlington County Board for a site plan amendment that will replace the existing 1960s-era office building on the site, known as the “Paperclip Building,” with two new residential towers.

The site plan project advances the vision of the Crystal City Sector Plan with world-class architecture, improved streetscape and public infrastructure, financial contributions toward affordable housing and open space in Crystal City, and many other community benefits. The project’s residential focus will also help balance the predominantly commercial uses in this corner of Arlington County and contribute to Crystal City’s continued revitalization and transformation into a thriving, mixed-use community. The two towers, which will share lobby and courtyard amenities at the ground level, will be LEED Gold certified and include a total of 453 multi-family dwelling units, 15 of which will be affordable.

One-Million Square Feet of Mixed Use Approved in Arlington

On June 14, 2014, Virginia land use attorney, Nan Walsh, presented to the Arlington County Board a project comprised of approximately 1 million square feet located in Rosslyn, on behalf of Monday Properties. Specifically, the County Board approved a major redevelopment plan known as 1401 Wilson Boulevard and 1400 Key Boulevard, located at the prominent intersection of Wilson Boulevard between N. Nash Street and N. Oak Street. Under the C-O-Rosslyn zoning district and site plan approval, Monday Properties will pursue the development of a 28-story, 273-unit, residential building and a 24-story, 524,135 sf office building.

The development includes a number of community-serving elements including a 44,409 sf full-service grocery store, 11,000 sf of street-fronting retail along Wilson Boulevard wrapping onto N. Oak Street (with 100 dedicated parking spaces for the retail uses), and over one acre of open space that includes public plazas and multi-use spaces. This project is the first in Arlington to incorporate the concept of an “18th Street Corridor” in the form of a pedestrian through-block connection from N. Nash to N. Oak Streets as called for in Arlington County’s “Realize Rosslyn” Plan, a long range planning document for the future of Rosslyn that is still a work-in-progress.

The application of the 18th Street Corridor concept, which is an east/west pedestrian and vehicular connection through Rosslyn, to the Monday project, takes the form of a 30-foot wide public pedestrian thoroughfare that will be open to the public 24/7 and will be surrounded by public gardens with a variety of active and passive design elements. Both the residential and office buildings include high-quality architectural design and materials that are contemporary and yet reminiscent of an earlier design era in Rosslyn’s development history. An interesting feature of the redevelopment includes a commemorative element memorializing the iconic Watergate scandal that began with Bob Woodward’s encounter with the informant known as “Deep Throat” in the parking garage of the existing building at 1401 Wilson Boulevard.

Mixed Use Approval

Amendment Allows New Hotel in Arlington

On March 15, 2014, the Arlington County Board unanimously approved a General Land Use Plan Amendment, rezoning, and site plan to allow an 161-unit hotel at 2401 Wilson Boulevard in the Courthouse area of Arlington, VA. The Arlington County Board also approved a use permit to allow a Unified Residential Development to permit four (4) single family homes to provide a transition from the hotel to the Lyon Village neighborhood. The hotel will feature a hotel-branded bar as well as an approximately 1,300 square foot restaurant.

2401 Wilson Blvd 448x336

Representing Schupp Companies, Nan Walsh worked closely over the last several years with the Lyon Village Civic Association to ensure that the hotel provided an attractive and appropriate transition from the high-density Rosslyn-Ballston corridor to the low-density single family neighborhood. The new Arlington hotel is planned to be a Hyatt Place and Schupp Companies hopes to break ground this summer.

Virginia Square/Latitude

Our client, The Penrose Group, a Tysons-based developer, sought to redevelop a block in the Virginia Square section of Arlington for a primarily residential use.

Based on Walsh Colucci partner Nan Walsh’s knowledge of the Arlington County process, her creative solutions within that process, and her successful track record obtaining approvals of difficult applications, The Penrose Group retained Nan to obtain the entitlements necessary for their redevelopment project.

The project required approval of a Site Plan by the Arlington County Board. The project, called “The Latitude” was not deemed to be fully compliant with the guidance in the 2002 Virginia Square Sector Plan, which recommend mixed-use with office for this site. Nan Walsh, assisted by Land Use Planners Megan Rappolt and Elizabeth Nicholson, worked through this process, which included a deferral and review by an Ad-Hoc Committee to determine if residential use was in compliance with the Sector Plan.

Given that the case would rise and fall on a policy question, the outcome of the case was uncertain until the County Board took their final vote. Nan Walsh’s presentation to the County Board, which pointed out that the proposed residential use provided more open space, more interesting architecture and tapering, greater building setbacks, better and more inviting pedestrian connectivity around and through the site, 630 less daily automobile trips and a variety of housing types and affordability than its office counterpart was crucial to the approval. Success was achieved with approval of a twelve story, 265 unit residential building with ground floor retail, a cultural space, two connected public plazas and 262 below-grade parking spaces. The building will be LEED Gold and LEED EBOM certified and includes a kinetic art sculpture in the Fairfax Drive plaza. The site plan received bonus density for the LEED certifications and the provision of 14 on-site affordable housing units, 11 of which are two-bedroom units.


Virginia Square Arlington VA