Board Approves Ballston-Virginia Square Area Redevelopment
Published on June 15, 2019
- Apartment building will include 16 affordable units, 8 family-size
- Building to achieve LEED Silver status energy efficiency
The Arlington County Board today approved a plan to replace aging commercial buildings on the northwest corner of Washington Boulevard and Kirkwood Road, in the Ballston-Virginia Square neighborhood, with a seven-story apartment building that will include 16 affordable units and achieve LEED Silver energy efficiency.
"This redevelopment achieves many of the goals of the 2017 Special General Land Use Study Plan for this area by replacing obsolete structures and surface parking with a new, energy-efficient residential building and underground parking garage," County Board Chair Christian Dorsey said. "It will bring 16 much-needed affordable rental units, half of them family-size, to the Ballston-Virginia Square neighborhood, units that will remain affordable to families earning at or below 60 percent of the Area Median Income, for decades. it will also significantly improve Washington Boulevard, an important east-west arterial, for both vehicles and pedestrians."
The Board voted unanimously to approve a GLUP amendment, re-zoning, site plan and vacation related to the project.
The site is home to the former Sport & Health Club fitness center, two single-story commercial office buildings and the Specialty Services auto service building. All those buildings will be demolished and replaced by a new apartment building with 255 units, with an entry lobby on Washington Boulevard, a tree-shaded interior courtyard and an underground 198-space parking garage. The Board approved additional density on the site for green building certification, on-site affordable housing, and off-site utility underground and infrastructure improvements.
One-and-two-bedroom affordable units
Developer Eleventh Street Development, LLC, will be contractually committed to keep the 16 affordable units — eight one-bedroom and eight two-bedrooms -- affordable for 30 years. One affordable two-bedroom unit will be fully accessible.
Street, traffic signal, and utility improvements
The developer will make improvements along Washington Boulevard and North Kirkwood Road, and provide new vehicle and pedestrian connections across the site to support the creation of new mid-block connections between Washington Boulevard, Kirkwood Road, and the Ball Family Burial Grounds, one of the County's older burial grounds, along the western property line, near 3427 Washington Blvd. (In voting to approve the project, the Board also approved direction to the County Manager to report to the Board by Dec. 31, 2019 on options for acquiring, stabilizing, preserving, maintaining or providing access to the burial grounds, and cost estimates for identifying Ball family heirs and addressing issues of ownership.
Washington Boulevard will be widened to add a parking lane along the north side of the street, and the sidewalk along the north side of Washington Boulevard will be widened to make room for a 10-foot clear sidewalk and a six-foot planting strip with street trees. A new north/south alley will be built along the site's western edge, extending from Washington Boulevard to the northern property line. The developer will fully reconstruct the traffic signal at Washington Boulevard and North Kirkwood Road.
The project will include the relocation of an existing 84-inch storm sewer. The relocation will prevent flooding along Washington Boulevard, adjacent to the site, and improve stormwater management for the Ballston-Virginia Square neighborhood.
The developer will make a public art contribution, underground existing on-site overhead utilities, install an in-building wireless first responders network, and put in place an enhanced transportation demand management program.
The County followed a communicate, consult and involve level of engagement for the proposed site plan, rezoning and GLUP Map amendment. Representatives from Ballston-Virginia Square, Lyon Village, and the adjacent Bromptons at Clarendon and Lynnbrook townhomes participated in the Site Plan Review Committee meetings. The SPRC reviewed the proposal at three meetings. The project was also reviewed by the Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board, and the Transportation, Housing and Planning Commissions.
The Special GLUP Study Plan approved by the County Board in 2017 set the stage for redevelopment of these and other sites along Washington Boulevard and Kirkwood Road. The study provided a set of planning concepts and recommendations to guide coordinated redevelopment across the entire block. It identifies and outlines guiding principles and other elements to be incorporated into site plan applications for the area. The Board approved the redevelopment of the American Legion site, at 3445 Washington Blvd., in February 2019.