Sunday, January 11, 2009

Arlington's Wilson Boulevard Scores, Part II


Call it Revenge of the Nerds Part IX. Science teachers and land developers, in a pointyheaded alliance, are joining forces to take over the cool restaurateurs of Wilson Boulevard in Arlington. The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) has teamed with developer DRI to expand their Arlington headquarters at 1840 Wilson Boulevard, demolishing two neighboring facilities that currently house the Rhodeside Grill and Il Radicchio restaurants, and replacing them with a new 71,840 square foot office and retail complex.

The site - which fronts North Rhodes Street, Clarendon Boulevard and Wilson Boulevard - also adjoins a Hollywood Video surface parking lot (driving out to get videos, that's so 2007) that will also be re-appropriated for NSTA use. Parking, in fact, seems to be one of the main factors propelling the project forward. The development team plans to tunnel under the NSTA’s current building to install a new three-story parking garage, with another two planned for beneath the new structure. The hope of the Arlington County Planning and Transportation Commissions is that such maneuvers will “recapture shared parking for use by the public” in the rapidly growing Rosslyn - Ballston corridor with its two simultaneous projects next door (1716 Wilson and 2000 Wilson).

The building will top out at 6-stories and include a sixth-floor conference center that will host NSTA conferences and local community events. Meanwhile, a free-standing retail component will measure in at 10,160 square feet that will go towards a local restaurant or retailer like the ones it displaces. By doing away with the two diminutive office structures currently at the site, NSTA and the County hope to “create a better urban edge along Clarendon Boulevard” and, according to DRI, craft “a gateway into the downtown Courthouse.” The project is being designed by Davis Carter Scott and is aiming for LEED silver certification.

The NSTA received County Board approval for the project on November 15 and their current site plan – barring any major changes - will remain valid through November 2011. Progress appears to moving along swiftly, and NSTA has retained both construction and traffic engineers for the project. DPR Construction Company will serve as general contractor. Once completed, the new NSTA headquarters will be within an earshot of Elm Street Development's 2000 Wilson project, as well as George Contis' 1716 Wilson Boulevard development.

Arlington Virginia real estate development news

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