Board Approves Crystal City, Rosslyn Redevelopments

Published on March 24, 2020

The Arlington County Board approved an innovative approach to the redevelopment of three sites in Crystal City and a plan to redevelop the Marriott Hotel in Rosslyn at its March meeting.

The Board also accepted state and federal funding that will expand a regional response program for children in crisis and help fund emergency preparedness planning and received an update on the County's response to the COVID-19 pandemic from the County Manager.

Approves Crystal City Phased Development Site Plan 

Using a holistic approach to the redevelopment of three non-contiguous Crystal City sites, the County Board on Saturday, March 21 approved an innovative Phased Development Site Plan that creates a framework for considering density and community benefits for the sites and the first Site Plan within that framework.

"This ambitious and creative approach to the redevelopment of three key sites in Crystal City moves us closer to achieving the goals of the Crystal City Sector Plan," Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey said. "The PDSP is a framework that allows us to achieve much of the community benefits associated with these three sites upfront, while still allowing for a thorough public review process of each Site Plan as it comes forward."

The Board voted 4 to 0 to approve the PDSP, the Site Plan and several related actions. To view the staff presentation and read the staff report, visit the County website. Scroll to Item No. 38 A on the agenda for the Saturday, March 21, 2020 Regular County Board Meeting.

The innovative planning approach to the three sites, all being redeveloped by JBG Smith, establishes the potential maximum additional density to be earned for each site and provides a holistic framework for achieving the Crystal City Sector Plan goals and community benefits across the three sites. The sites are located at 1900 Crystal Drive, 223 23rd Street South/2300 Crystal Drive and 101 12th Street South. While the PDSP will front-load and link the provision of community benefits during the phased redevelopment, each site's proposed redevelopment will have to complete the standard public and County Board review and approval process.

Collectively, the projects propose one million square feet of additional density.

Residential towers, retail, affordable housing approved for 1900 Crystal Drive

The Board also approved a plan to redevelop 1900 Crystal Drive with two residential towers, offering a total of 811 units.

"This plan will bring mixed-use, more energy-efficient housing and ground-floor retail to the site of a former office building," Board Chair Libby Garvey said. "It also will begin to deliver much-needed community benefits, including on-site affordable housing, Center Park, better street connections, and space for a library or other County facility."

The Board voted 4 to 0 to approved the redevelopment plan. To read the staff report and presentation, visit the County website. Scroll to Item No. 38 B-E on the agenda for the  Saturday, March 21, 2020 Recessed County Board Meeting.

[caption id="attachment_24985" align="alignright" width="150"]Aerial view rendering of approved 1900 Crystal Drive redevelopment. 1900 Crystal Drive rendering.[/caption]

Each residential tower will have ground-floor retail, along with ground-floor retail in single-story "mid-block" structures. New connections will be added to 18th Street South, Crystal Drive, and 20th Street South. A new east-west connection through the site will link an existing plaza to Crystal Drive and dedicate the plaza to the County, creating part of the Center Park envisioned in the Crystal City Sector Plan. The developer also will contribute $300,000 for the Count to start a public park master planning process for the park.

The developer will provide approximately 35 committed affordable units on the site. The units will be contractually committed to remain affordable for 30 years and rent increases for the first five years of occupancy will be limited to no more than five percent. The developer will provide 7,200 square feet of space within the Crystal Mall IV building for community use, such as a library, rent-free for 20 years, with $250,000 a year in operating funds for five years.

Other community benefits include the construction of a grand staircase pedestrian connection to Center Park; and LEED Silver building certification.

Rosslyn Key Bridge Marriott Hotel to be renovated, residential towers added

The aging Key Bridge Marriott hotel at 1401 Lee Highway will be partially demolished and renovated, and three new residential buildings will be added to the site under a plan approved by the County Board.

[caption id="attachment_24984" align="alignright" width="150"]Aerial View of Key Bridge Marriott Hotel Rendering Rendering of planned Key Bridge Marriott redevelopment.[/caption]

"This plan adds much-needed housing in Rosslyn, new public open space and a major renovation of the Marriott Hotel, greatly enhancing the aesthetics and functionality of this highly visible site in Rosslyn," Board Chair Libby Garvey said.

The Board voted 4-0 to approve the redevelopment plan. To read the staff report and presentation, scroll to Item No. 39 on the agenda for the Tuesday, March 24, 2020 Recessed County Board Meeting.

In addition to renovating the hotel's 445 rooms, developer KBLH, LLC, will build three 16-story residential buildings, with a total of 451 units, on the 5.5-acre site on the north side of Lee Highway. One of the new buildings is expected to offer rental apartments and the other two are planned as condominiums. The modernized hotel's new façade will face Lee Highway and Gateway Park.

The plan, which evolved significantly before and during the public review process, also calls for two new streets that will connect with an esplanade open to the public on the north end of the site, accessible to pedestrians and cyclists but not cars. The esplanade will offer views of the Potomac River and Georgetown and connect to the bike path leading to Key Bridge. A crescent-shaped park will be built on the site's Fort Myer Drive frontage and will provide an improved bicycle and pedestrian path to Key Bridge. Most of the park is on National Park Service property and will require federal approval for improvements.

The developer has committed to achieving LEED Gold certification for the residential buildings and LEED Silver for the hotel and will install ENERGY STAR and WaterSense appliances. Among other community benefits, the developer would contribute land for a new public park on the site, fronting on Fort Myer Drive, $870,075 to help plan and build the park, and a contribution of $1.75 million to the County's Affordable Housing Investment Fund. To read the staff report, scroll to Item No. 39 on the agenda for the Tuesday, March 24, 2020, Recessed County Board Meeting.

State funding to expand Children's Regional Crisis Response Program

The Board accepted $1.28 million from the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services for regional mobile children's crisis response services.

The funding will pay for more staffing in the Children's Regional Crisis Response program, allowing the program to provide services to twice as many clients, and to extend the age of the young people served from 17 to 21.

The Crisis Response program is a 24-hour mobile crisis stabilization service for youth up to age 17 in Northern Virginia who face behavioral health crises. The service is operated by the National Counseling Group, and primarily funded by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. Arlington's Department of Human Services and the Northern Virginia Regional Projects Office jointly manage the contract.

The Board voted 4 to 0 to accept the funding. To read the staff report, scroll to Item No. 25 on the agenda for the Saturday, March 21, 2020 Regular County Board Meeting.

Federal Funding for County's Medical Reserve Corps 

The Board accepted $115,000 in federal Urban Area Security Initiative funds for the current fiscal year that will fund a Medical Reserve Corps coordinator position currently funded by the County. The coordinator conducts public health outreach recruitment and training. The County's Medical Reserve Corps is one of the first groups activated in a public health emergency. Their primary mission is to support the response of the County's Emergency Support Function 8: Public Health and Medical Services — which is currently activated to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The coordinator ensures the County has enough pre-credentialed, trained volunteers to deal with pandemics and other health emergencies.

The Board voted 4 to 0 to accept the funding. To read the staff report, scroll to Item No. 25 on the agenda for the Saturday, March 21, 2020, Regular County Board Meeting.