County Board Approves Residential Building on Ballston Macy’s Site

Published on December 17, 2022

Residential Building on Ballston Macy’s Site

On Saturday, Dec. 17, the Arlington County Board greenlighted a 16-story mixed-use building on the current site of the Ballston Macy’s, while also approving a residential density transfer that preserves 118 affordable housing units along Columbia Pike.

The new building will feature 553 residential units above ground floor retail uses, including a grocery store, replacing the Macy’s and vacant office space above it. Through related actions, the Board approved 236 of these residential units through a transfer of development rights from The Haven Apartments site at 5100 7th Road S. in the Columbia Pike corridor.

“This project will bring needed new housing and an exciting retail presence to the commercial heart of Ballston, just blocks from the Ballston Metro Station. It demonstrates the adaptability and resilience of our commercial market by re-envisioning an office product as residential,” said County Board Chair, Katie Cristol.  “And by drawing, for the first time, on the transfer of development rights tools envisioned in the Columbia Pike Neighborhoods Form Based Code plan, it will also preserve both the affordability and historic resource of one of the Pike’s signature garden apartment complexes, the Haven Apartments. All together, these actions represent gains for Arlington’s goals in transit-oriented development, historic preservation and retaining our affordable homes for lower-income neighbors.”  

Insight Property Group, which submitted the development proposal for the Ballston site, also owns the Haven site in the Columbia Pike Neighborhoods Form Based Code area. This is the first application of the incentive that permits a property owner to transfer double the number of affordable units they preserve along Columbia Pike to another site. The Haven’s 118 housing units will become committed affordable units (CAFs), and Insight will preserve the apartment community, which is identified as Notable on the County’s Historic Resources Inventory. Of the new CAFs at the Haven, 80 will have two bedrooms, and seven will have three bedrooms.

In response to public feedback during the site plan review process, Insight will also include 12 CAFs within the new building in Ballston, which advances the objectives of the Affordable Housing Master Plan to increase the amount of affordable housing, particularly close to transit.

The new building will achieve LEED Gold certification and comply with the Green Building Incentive Program, thus promoting the sustainability goals of the Community Energy Plan. The inclusion of the grocery store will bring what the County’s Retail Plan identifies as an “important amenity” to Ballston Quarter, where a mix of uses will further economic success.

Learn more about the Ballston Macy’s site plan project.

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