Board Approves New Ballston Condominium-Townhouse Development

Published on February 24, 2018

  • 72-units approved for south block at 1031 N. Vermont Street, 4400 11th Street N.
  • 12 townhouses approved for adjacent north block
  • Four on-site committed affordable units

The Arlington County Board today approved a plan by developer NVR, Inc. to build a condominium building and townhouses, with underground parking, on parts of two North Ballston blocks.
"The redevelopment of this site will provide much-needed ownership housing in the heart of Ballston, including affordable units, within walking distance of Metro," Arlington County Board Chair Katie Cristol said. "We heard from some in the neighborhood who have had strong differences of opinion about the development's appropriateness, but the Board, in partnership with staff and the Planning and Transportation Commissions, believes that it is consistent with the long-held goals of the Ballston Sector Plan."

Replacing church, former rectory

The new development will replace a church building and former rectory on the south block of the site, bounded by 11th Street North, North Vermont Street and North Utah Street, with a seven-story, 58-unit condominium and a row of 14 adjoining townhouses. An underground parking garage, with 100 spaces, will connect the condominium to the townhouses.

The condominium building will have a step back at the northern façade, to create a taper down to 11th Street North, and the building will be sculpted to address the transitions to neighboring properties.

A surface parking lot and tot lot on the site's north block, bounded by 11th Street North and North Vermont Street, will be replaced with 12 townhouses.

Special planning study

County staff undertook a special planning study to evaluate the requested General Land Use Plan (GLUP) amendment for the site, the only site along 11th Street North in North Ballston to still be zoned "R-5," One-Family and Restricted Two-Family Dwelling District. It is one of the last three sites to not yet redevelop in this area. The study, reviewed with the Long Range Planning Committee, concluded that the proposed amendment could be appropriate for a portion of the site under certain circumstances. The special GLUP study was completed in June 2017, learn more.

The Board voted 4 to 1, with Board Member John Vihstadt voting no, to adopt a General Land Use Plan Amendment, approve rezoning, and approve a site plan for the development. Vihstadt's substitute motion to indefinitely defer the item failed on a 4-1 vote. For more information, visit the project webpage on the County website. To read the staff report, visit the County website. Scroll to Item No. 22 on the agenda for the Saturday, February 24, 2018 Regular County Board Meeting.

Affordable housing, other community benefits

The developer will provide four on-site units that will be contractually committed to remaining affordable in perpetuity, for the life of the project, under the County Zoning Ordinance's affordable housing requirements. All four units will have two bedrooms; one will be fully accessible. The sale price for these units will be affordable to households at or below 80 percent of Area Median Income, and will be established in consultation with County staff.

The developer proposes achieving LEED Silver certification, under the County's program to encourage green building practices. The developer also will install an in-building wireless First Responders Network and provide improvements to the streetscape and landscape, including landscaping improvements to a small area within the North Utah Street right of way, to mitigate the need for green space in the vicinity, and will maintain the landscaping in perpetuity.

Previous study and public engagement

The Site Plan Review Committee reviewed the site plan application at four meetings, conducted a walking tour of the site, and hosted a community open house. The plan was also reviewed by the Housing Commission, Transportation Commission and Planning Commission.