Arlington Economic Development Update
February 21, 2012
AED: New Development Coming to the R-B Corridor
Arlington County Board Approves Clarendon Block Redevelopment and Mixed-Use, Building, Black Box Theater for Virginia Square
The Board's approval of the plan by Penzance Clarendon Assemblage, LLC, paves the way for redevelopment of the block-long site in the commercial heart of Clarendon with two office buildings and ground floor retail, in a manner consistent with the Clarendon Sector Plan.
"This development accomplishes many of the community's goals for Clarendon," said County Board Chair Mary Hynes. "It provides balance to Clarendon's use mix by providing two new mixed-use buildings with offices built above ground-floor retail. It helps address parking concerns in the area, by providing underground parking that will be available to the public on weeknights and weekends. And it honors our past by fully preserving two key historic buildings and the frontage of a third."
With an eye toward historic preservation, public benefit played a big role in the projects approval. As part of the plan, two other historic buildings within the Clarendon Metro station area. Their density rights will be transferred to the redevelopment site, making it possible for the developer to achieve greater height and density, as envisioned in the Clarendon Sector Plan.
Center for Naval Analysis (CNA) will anchor the $150M Clarendon development project. CNA has signed a 15 year lease to move its headquarters to the 3001 Washington Boulevard project where it will trigger the construction of the office-and-retail development slated to begin sometime in March. CNA will occupy 175,000 square feet (10 floors) of the building's total 300,000 square feet. They plan to move in by January 2014. CNA employees 750 people worldwide, 600 reporting to the headquarters. CNA was previously located in Rosslyn, and then in the early 90s, they moved to Alexandria. According to CNA's top officials, they are looking forward to their move back to Arlington and reported "it's good to be home."
Further up the R-B Corridor, the Board approved a plan to redevelop a Virginia Square site, 3901 Fairfax Drive, that once housed the Arlington Funeral Home with a public plaza and a nine-story mixed-use commercial building that will include offices, ground-floor retail and a black box theater.
Beyond the creation of the public plaza, the developer, BDC Crimson LLC, also will contribute $1 million to the County's Affordable Housing Investment Fund and $1 million to nearby Quincy Park or other open space improvements and park amenities. These and other community benefit contributions earned the developer bonus density of 69,621 square feet for the project.
"This project brings us closer to realizing the community-crafted sector plan's vision of Virginia Square as a center for arts, culture and education," said Arlington County Board Chair Mary Hughes Hynes. "The public plaza will enliven Virginia Square, and the Black Box Theater will add a significant cultural destination to this part of the Metro corridor."
Under the plan, the developer will build a black box theater, at an estimated cost of $3.7 million, and lease it to the County for 30 years for $1 a year. The County will have the option to extend the lease for three consecutive five-year terms. County staff will work with the Arlington Commission for the Arts and others to develop a business plan and economic options for the operations of the theater. These will address a series of cost, use and operational alternatives for review by the County Manager in the preparation of future budgets.
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