Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Developer Submits for 500-Apartment Virginia Square Project


The Dittmar Company is preparing for another large residential project in Virginia Square. TBD reports that the Vienna based developer has plans to build about 500 apartments in two buildings next to the Amelia, a 102-unit building it completed in 2009. The site is one block from the Virginia Square Metro, and largely unoccupied, one of the last sizable empty lots along Wilson Boulevard.
The site plan submitted by Dittmar requests two buildings, a 12-story building along Fairfax and a 6-story building fronting Wilson, divided by an extended 9th Street, the street extension is a concept called for in Arlington's Virginia Square Sector Plan. Arlington planners say the initial concept shows two U-shaped buildings facing outward, with a shared interior courtyard divided by 9th Street with pavers connecting the courtyard halves, a concept that would imply a slower, pedestrian-favoring 9th Street. The buildings would share an underground parking garage connecting the two buildings beneath the street, which would likely require a developer-owned street with city right-of-way.As with past projects, Dittmar has chosen SBE Associates for design of the building. Developers would not comment on the project, at all. "We normally don't talk to anyone from the press, ever, so there's no one to speak with" informed a receptionist, but planners say the untalkative developers plan for retail on the first floor, but that the "swing space" retail might yield to apartments. Planners called the site plan submittal "the very beginning" of the process; the next step is review by the Site Plan Review Committee, which could happen over the next several months.

Arlington, Virginia real estate development news

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is the architect SBA Associates (as in Shalom Baranes) or is it SBE and Associates, Inc.?

Ken on Jan 11, 2011, 10:19:00 PM said...

Its SBE - not Shalom Baranes - in initial typographical error said SBA, but the link to their website is correct. Thanks

Anonymous said...

The development would be next to Virginia Square Plaza, not The Amelia.

Anonymous said...

Wow, they must have spent hours designing this, maybe a whole day.
Sad that such souless "construction" can occur.

Anonymous said...

That will be a nice addition to the apartment ghetto that Ditmar has created.

Anonymous said...

where is this?? please don't take away the little park and church site that make it somehow still feel like some semblance of a neighborhood!

Anonymous said...

what dismal architecture, honestly you would think one of the richest neighborhoods in th country could afford to do better!

BrettT said...

After diving into it...I want to say this is where they are looking to build & extend 9th street.. can anyone confirm if my guess is correct?

http://img691.imageshack.us/img691/7740/25150482.png

Anonymous said...

It's not where the church & park - it's on the other side of Virginia Square, across Lincoln Street (where there's currently a parking lot, a used car lot, and 60s professional building). If I recall correctly that would put the other side across from the VFW & the Cat Clinic

Anonymous said...

Nowadays the "Ballston Bland" is a recognizable style, the result of decades of decent architectural aspirations colliding with of Arlington County's approvals process, which, in addition to "dumbing down" most everything, transfers all excess wealth of the project to the County in the form of "public amenities." This keeps taxes low in Arlington, but it sure creates lousy buildings.

In that respect, let's just say that this proposal is certainly contextual!

Anonymous said...

The "Ballston Bland" writer is correct in most everything he writes but I disagree with the blame he places on the process taking away from the architectural quality of construction in Arlington. Granted the "extortion" process may take away some edge from some projects, it is not the main reason the design here is so poor. If you look at the architect's projects in other communities, the design quality doesn't really vary. SBE design work anywhere is going to be just as pathetic as their Arlington buildings. SBA, Stern, and Esocoff have produced designs that have survived the Arlington process and look similar to their other design work.
Let's place the blame for this where it belongs, on the developers who choose to build uninspired designs thinking that they will save on initial costs. The blame should also go to the architects who do their "dirty work".
What should happen during the "Arlington Process" is that designs as poor as Dittmar's should be rejected. Limit their damage to "by right development" until they get serious about their obligations to the community.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it looks bad, but it looks like pretty much everything else on the R-B corridor. Heck, maybe that's not such a bad thing, architectural uniformity is what helps define a community.

Anonymous said...

As for uniformity, the Beatles said it best...

Back in the USSR

 

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