For Immediate Release
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
|Artist rendering of the Clarendon Center|
(click photo for hi-res version)
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Arlington County Board today approved a site plan that will reestablish the true center of Clarendon by redeveloping two of its most important commercial blocks while preserving two historic buildings.
“This is one of the most significant site plans ever approved in Arlington,” said Arlington County Board Chairman Christopher Zimmerman. “We are pleased that negotiations with the developer and the community produced a project that will foster a true sense of place in Clarendon.”
The proposed Clarendon Center, bounded by Wilson Boulevard, North Highland Street, 11th Street North and North Garfield Street, lies within the Clarendon Metro Station Area. The project combines office space, ground-floor retail and a residential tower.
The center’s location, its mix of uses and design ensure that it will help define the area as an “urban village” for the 21sth century. At the same time, the project preserves two significant structures: the Underwood and the Old Dominion Building. It has received an award from the Washington Smart Growth Alliance.
First Project to Comply with Clarendon Sector Plan
The Clarendon Center is the first project to comply with the newly adopted Part I of the Clarendon Sector Plan and associated policies. It is the first Clarendon project to use the new preservation incentives, applying them to keep intact both the Underwood Building, built in1939, and Old Dominion Building, built in Art Deco style in 1941.
The site plan includes preservation of the Underwood Building on the North block, with the addition of a 97,860 square-foot, six story office building and 15,725 square feet of new ground floor retail space. On the South block, the Old Dominion Building will be preserved, and two towers – one a 244-unit, twelve-story residential tower and the other a nine-story, 84,395 square-foot office tower – will be added. They will be separated by a landscaped second-level courtyard. Some 38,333 square-feet of ground floor retail will be added.
The developer, Saul Centers, Inc., expects to break ground late this year on Phase I, the South block, with a completion date of late 2008 or early 2009. Phase II, the North block, is expected to break ground in late 2008 or early 2009, with a completion date of 2010.
The project has been extensively reviewed during a public process that included numerous meetings and hearings with the Planning Commission, the Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board and the Transportation Commission. The process improved the buildings’ designs, improved accessibility and increased parking capacity.
Relocation of retail businesses
Typically in redevelopment proposals, developers commit to working with Arlington Economic Development to resolve business displacement issues. For this project, in addition to this commitment, Saul Centers has proposed a retail tenant relocation program unique to Arlington. To encourage existing tenants to remain within the project, Saul Centers has offered retailers within the current building on the North Block an option to relocate to new space at a subsidized rent in the South Block after its construction.
Redevelopment of these two blocks has been contemplated for some time. The developer had previously submitted a proposal in 2003, containing less commercial space and without inclusion or preservation of the Old Dominion building. ThE County Board ultimately denied that project in July 2004. Since that time, the developer continued to modify the project, work with staff and the community, and follow the guidance from the Clarendon Sector Plan discussions.
Project at a Glance
Clarendon Center Developer
Type of Project
A number of amenities are planned for the project, including:
- 120,907 gross square feet
- Six stories
- 15,725 square feet of new ground floor retail
- Preservation of the Underwood Building, 7,322 square feet
- 400,289 gross square feet
- Two towers: 12-story residential and 9-story office
- 244 residential units
- 84,395 square feet of new office space
- 38,333 square feet of new ground floor retail
- Preservation of the Old Dominion Building, 38,664 square feet
Arlington, Va., is a world-class residential, business and tourist location that was originally part of the "10 miles square" parcel of land surveyed in 1791 to be the Nation's Capital. It is the geographically smallest self-governing county in the United States, occupying slightly less than 26 square miles. Arlington maintains a rich variety of stable neighborhoods, quality schools and enlightened land use, and received the Environmental Protection Agency's highest award for "Smart Growth" in 2002. Home to some of the most influential organizations in the world - including the Pentagon - Arlington stands out as one of America's preeminent places to live, visit and do business.