After Three Years of Community Meetings, Board Green-Lights Design Guidelines for Pentagon City's Largest Undeveloped Parcel
The Arlington County Board has approved plans for PenPlace, a mixed-use redevelopment proposed by Vornado/Charles E. Smith for nearly 2 million square feet of office, ground-floor retail, a hotel and possible residential units to Pentagon City.
Vornado/Charles E. Smith, the Washington division of Vornado Realty Trust (NYSE: VNO
) would build the transit-oriented project in phases over at least 10 years on the largest undeveloped parcel in Pentagon City near downtown Washington, D.C.
Vornado bought the 10 acres bounded by Army Navy Drive, South Fern Street, South Eads and 12th Streets in 2007. The site is just north of the 16-acre Metropolitan Park master-planned project, now in its fifth construction phase.
The series of five votes on the project taken by the county board on Sept. 21 established design guidelines for future proposed site plans, which would each go through a final public review process and require board approval. The board voted unanimously to amend the ordinance to allow up to 1.8 million square feet of office, including one 22-story building; 300 hotel units, an option for 300 residential units and 50,000 square feet of retail space
The amendments also allow for the transfer of higher density allowances and development rights totaling 610,951 square feet from five county-owned properties along Long Bridge Drive to the PenPlace land, and higher density and an additional 60,000 square feet from the so-called teardrop parcel to the PenPlace site.
In return for the additional density, Vornado/Charles E. Smith is contributing $15 million to the county that will be used to help build Long Bridge Park.
The existing superblocks between the PenPlace and Metropolitan Park sites will be opened up with planned new streets and sidewalks, with two new east and west streets, 11th Street South and 10th Street South, and Elm Street, a new north and south street, running through the PenPlace site.
The developer will complete 12th Street South between Fern Street and Eads Street, becoming the main connection between Pentagon City and Crystal City. The street will accommodate the future streetcar station, with dedicated high- frequency transit service between Pentagon City and Potomac Yards and between Columbia Pike and Pentagon City.
The plan, approved Saturday after six hours of hearings, was evaluated over a period of three years at 25 community meetings.
Vornado/Charles E. Smith owns and manages 73 properties totaling 19.1 million square feet primarily in D.C. and Northern Virginia., including 59 office properties totaling 16.1 million square feet and seven residential properties containing 2,424 units. On a third-party basis, the unit also manages an additional 23 buildings totaling 5.4 million square feet of office and commercial properties.