While DC developers boast of the number of cranes in their neighborhood, Arlington residents are becoming more Metropolitan by far. At least in name, anyway, as Kettler moves into the next phase of its mega real estate project that borders Crystal City, Pentagon City, and Pentagon Row. The behemoth project has already delivered two 300-plus unit residential buildings, The Metropolitan at Pentagon City and The Metropolitan at Pentagon Row, in 2002 and 2005, a feat that would have earned satisfaction enough for many serious developers. But now Kettler continues to work on the remaining eight phases - 10 buildings - on 19.6 acres of real estate within eyesight of the District.
The whole site is bounded by 12th, 15th, Eads, and South Fern Streets. The next of the remaining eight phases, The Millennium at Metropolitan Park, will include 300 rental apartments and 8,100 s.f. of retail, potentially with a restaurant. The goal of the project was to contribute to the "vertical communities" in the area, a response to the demand for luxury apartment housing in transit-friendly areas and a contribution to the towering architecture of Crystal and Pentagon City residential developments - a Virginia-style Co-Op City.
Kettler had been leasing the land from Vornado, and purchased the first eleven acres in Pentagon City in May 2007 for $104.4 million. Kettler will eventually pay $220.4 million for the entire soon-to-be shadow-casting site. Currently on the lot is The Gramercy (Phase I), six warehouses for demolition, and a lot of empty space.
"With the projected job growth in Arlington, there is current and future demand for housing in communities with high-end finishes and amenities as well as existing neighborhood-serving retail projects,” said Cassie Cataline, Vice President of Communications for Kettler.
The nineteen-story "luxury" building referred to as a "signature project" for the developer was designed by HOK architects and Cleveland-based Dorsky Hodgson Parrish Yue and will deliver in winter 2009, bringing with it the majority of a 2.5 acre park the eight buildings will eventually surround.
The 300 foot long Millennium building will face the park and have a three-story glass lobby to allow those on the other side of the building to glimpse the park.
"The goal for the second phase was to make it compatible, but distinct and more contemporary. It has a unique position because it faces the park directly rather than being perpendicular to it like the other buildings," said Sandy Silverman, Partner for the project at Dorsky Hodgson Parrish Yue.
"Met Two fits in in the sense that it has similar masonry materials and color pallet, but it's cleaner, simpler. The development is like the Battery Park City complex, it's a community but it has a large-scale guideline to bring it together," Silverman said.
The name of phase three has yet to be determined - long shot, but we're guessing it will be "The Metropolitan" - it will also reach nineteen stories with rental apartments and retail, this time 410 units and 16,000 s.f., respectively. Also designed by Dorsky Hodgson Parrish Yue, delivery is scheduled for spring 2011.
Phases four through eight will bring an additional 1,000-2,000 residential units, but because their delivery is so far in the future, the developers will let the market determine the unit types, whether they be apartments, condominiums, or hotels. Design on phase four will begin next year and it will be another ten to fifteen years before we see the final phase.
What's with the repetitive names?
"It’s about branding and marketing and building a strong identity for our high-end urban apartment series," Cataline said.
The Gramercy at Metropolitan Park, part one of the eight, is a retail and residential eighteen- story building that opened in October 2007. The building included 399 rental apartments as well as 11,000 s.f. of retail space.
“This location is served by two metro stations (Crystal City and Pentagon City), VRE and National airport as well as potential ferry service; it is at the convergence of virtually every major commuter route into Washington, DC.,” said Cataline.