Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Lighting the Way into Crystal City

According to its president and CEO Angela Fox, the Crystal City BID focuses on the "ins and outs of Crystal City" - literally. The BID currently has two projects in the pipeline to revamp primary "gateways" into, and out of, Crystal City. One of those projects is the effort to beautify and "light" the southern vehicle entrance at the intersection of Route 1 and Crystal Drive, which will begin its 6-to-8-week-long period of construction, by Rand, next Monday, October 3rd. The ground breaking ceremony will be supplemented by some detailed renderings of what will be responsible for lighting the project, which Fox described as, "Sixteen LED poles, lit two-thirds of the way up... the poles will follow diagonal [pea gravel] paths through the property" as well as "continue up the fa├žade of the building on site." Although paths are walker accessible, the area is not meant to be a public park. Along with LED poles and pea gravel paths, the 30,000-s.f. parcel will be clad in new turf, and planted with 28 trees. The project was planned and approved almost two years ago, however the land was being used by the county in the interim. When finished, there will be "a lovely gateway experience" said Fox, creating "the aesthetic awareness that you are entering Crystal City." Of the design, Fox said, "It was a very creative process; Gensler held a sort of seminar with their young architects, a design competition over the course of several hours." A few of the resulting designs were then refined into one formal design. Fox added that the goal of the BID has been to "re-brand Crystal City [using] light and illumination" with artistic efforts that exemplify the properties of crystal. The other gateway project currently underway by the BID is the improvement of the Crystal City Metro entrance, a partnership with Vornado that is in the final stage of the permitting process. These two efforts, together with the redevelopment of Long Bridge park at the northern entrance to the city, will offer "three new sparkling entrances," Fox said. "By the end of the year." 

Arlington Virginia real estate development news


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