Tuesday, August 22, 2006
In early August, JBG Companies announced that it has decided to put "on hold" its plan to build a 23-story building on top of the metro’s Ballston-Marymount University Station, and is actively considering alternate possibilities for the site. The Spire project (formerly known as the Fairmont) was to replace the soon-to-be-torn-down INS building at the corner of N. Fairfax Drive and N. Vermont Street, and was supposed to be the last piece of JBG’s Arlington Gateway project, which also contains a office/retail building (completed in 2005), the 411-condo unit Continental (2003), and the Westin Hotel (2006). The Spire was to contain 237 condo units and 9,200 sf of first floor retail. As part of JBG’s deal with the county, the company agreed to pay $11 million towards the estimated $50 million cost for construction of an underground passageway for the new western entrance to the metro station – what effect this delay will have on construction of the entrance is not yet known, though the county has indicated it has no plans to renegotiate with JBG on this point. In the meantime, JBG officials are contemplating turning the Spire into apartment rentals, and saving the option of converting them to condos at a future date.