Sunday, September 16, 2012

Arlington Approves Tallest Crystal City Office Building

The Arlington County Board voted yesterday to approve 1900 Crystal Drive, Vornado's enormous office building that will be the tallest in Crystal City.  The county's approval allows the developer to demolish the super-block sized building now on the site and replace it with an even larger, more contemporary building.

The building, designed by New Haven-based Pickard Chilton, will feature a number of impressive vitals, including 720,000 s.f. of office space in 24 stories (297 feet), a 5-story underground parking garage, an expected LEED Gold rating, a raised interim park (until replaced by another building), 32 bicycle parking spaces on the street and in the park.  Pickard Chilton is noted for a number of large office building designs, including a senior role on Malaysia's Petronas Towers.  Cooper Carry is the architect of record. The design employs a "ski jump architectural treatment" as part of its glass facade, and will be a major contributor to the upgrading of Crystal City's outdated architecture and infrastructure.

The plan for the block is to eventually demolish another of the office buildings on the block to create a large "Center Park" - a centerpiece of the Crystal City Sector Plan developed in 2010 - to replace the mid-block, concrete-heavy park that now connects the 3 existing office building.  While the project will have a more appealing street view, especially on Crystal Drive where 11,000 s.f. of retail will face the street, the building will still make large concessions to the automobile along 18th and 20th Streets with wide curb cuts for garage access.

The County approval was expected, especially with Vornado's $3m contribution to the county's affordable housing program and $7m of promised community benefits that that county negotiated for a host of improvements to causes like parking meter improvements, utility improvements, and public art.

Arlington VA real estate development news


Adam L on Sep 16, 2012, 11:51:00 PM said...

Woooo. 32 bicycle parking "spaces". Way to plan big, Crystal City. But seriously does nobody have a problem with the developers paying $10 million in what are essentially bribes to get something built?

Anonymous said...

Bribes? SOP for most major projects, especially in neighborhoods that could really benefit from a good pool of financial resources for public space improvements. At a hypothetical sales cost of $500/sf, the 720,000 sf building might be worth $360m once it's leased-up. The trick is getting financing with that extra $10m, but it's probably not all in one check up front.

Anonymous said...

As ugly and unimaginative as everything else in Crystal City. It will be torn down within fifty years.

Anonymous said...

Ugly! You tea partier! This is cutting edge, of our time, it'll put DC in the big leagues!

Anonymous said...

I do coffee. And you just gave me the biggest laugh of my week!


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