Arlington County, Virginia News

For Immediate Release

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Contact:Karen Vasquez 703-228-0896 (voice) 703-228-4743(TTY)

Arlington County Board Approves Ballston Business Improvement District

  • Public/private partnership to promote Ballston as science, technology hub
  • Property, business owners contribute to district
  • BID to boost Ballston’s competitiveness

ARLINGTON, Va. -- The Arlington County Board today approved the establishment of the Ballston Business Improvement District (BID) effective January 1, 2011. The BID is a public/private partnership in which property and business owners contribute to the maintenance, development and promotion of a commercial district. Other BIDs in Arlington include the Crystal City BID and the Rosslyn BID.

Since the mid 1980’s, Ballston has evolved from a suburban commercial crossroads to a dynamic, high-density, mixed-use urban village. Arlington’s commitment to developing the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor and the leadership of the Ballston-Virginia Square Partnership has transformed Ballston into a commercial hub with an emphasis on science and technology organizations. The BID will ensure that Ballston property owners have additional resources to keep Ballston competitive, attractive and sustainable in an increasingly competitive commercial real estate environment.

“A Business Improvement District for Ballston is the best vehicle for building on Ballston’s already considerable assets and positioning it for the future,” said Arlington County Board Chairman Jay Fisette. “With the success of our BIDs in Crystal City and Rosslyn, we know that this new BID will contribute greatly to the future success of Ballston.”

The Board voted 5-0 to approve establishment of the BID.

Support from the Ballston community

Major property owners in Ballston, including The JBG Companies, The Shooshan Company and Gates, Hudson & Associates (representing Dweck Properties Inc.) supported the formation of the BID. In addition, the Ballston BID has the support of the owners or managers of approximately 50 percent of the total property value in Ballston and 51 percent of the square footage used for office, retail or hotel purposes or projects under construction. Forest City, representing the major retail owner, also supported the formation of a BID.

“The time has come for a BID in Ballston,” said John Shooshan, Founder and Chairman of The Shooshan Company. “We’ve all seen Ballston evolve and grow over the years, and I’m looking forward to this next phase of our journey as Ballston’s corporate interests take ownership of their home.”

BID focus

The Ballston BID’s primary focus will be:

  • Move the perception of Ballston from a “good place” to a “great place.”
  • Enhance and communicate Ballston’s commercial advantages in an increasingly competitive County and region.
  • Increase and protect private and public investment in Ballston’s commercial properties.
  • Create, manage and sustain Ballston as the premier mixed-use urban environment in the County.
  • Promote Ballston’s brand as an internationally recognized hub for science and technology.

Activities will include marketing, branding and promotion, community events, minor physical enhancements such as banners and wayfinding and beautification and transportation enhancements including bike racks, shelters and more.

Participants, boundaries

The Ballston BID will be comprised of:

  • 119 commercial properties;
  • Approximately 8.3 million square feet of development; and
  • More than 118 acres.

The boundaries for the Ballston BID are:

  • Mid block area on North Glebe Road just south of the intersection of North Glebe Road and Washington Boulevard -- the area’s northernmost point.
  • Intersection of North Glebe, Henderson and North Quincy – southern boundary.
  • Portions of North Pollard, connecting back to the north via Fairfax Drive – eastern boundary.
  • Properties fronting North Glebe and North Wakefield Street – western boundary.

The BID only includes commercial properties.

Governance, funding

An initial Fiscal Year 2012 budget of $1,092,499 has been proposed, which is based on a supplemental tax rate of $.045 per $100 of assessed value of taxable real property. The budget will be administered by a private, non-profit corporation with a board of directors comprised of representative landowners in the district. The “Ballston Business Improvement Corporation,” a 501(c)6, will be established and will present an annual work plan and a proposed tax rate to the Arlington County Board for approval each year.

To learn more, see the Agenda for the Dec. 11, 2010 County Board Meeting; scroll down to Item #32.

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.

Last Modified: December 11, 2010
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