The Arlington County Board this weekend took a series of votes to allow for a massive mixed-use redevelopment of about 10 acres in Pentagon City, projects that will be completed over 15 to 20 years and bring up to 1.8 million square feet of office space, 50,000 square feet of retail and 300 hotel units to the area.
The PenPlace plan also allows for the option of adding 300 residential units and, potentially, a new secure facility. The development ties into the streetcar line planned to connect Pentagon City with the Skyline/Bailey's Crossroads area of Fairfax County.
“We are reinventing Pentagon City," Arlington County Board Chairman Walter Tejada said in a statement. "Pen Place is key to helping us transform this critical area of the County into a more transit-oriented, walkable, vibrant urban village. We believe that this project, coupled with other planned developments, the planned streetcar and other transportation improvements will help keep Pentagon City one of the most desirable areas in the nation to live, work and play."
The 10.2-acre PenPlace site is the largest piece of undeveloped land in Pentagon City, according to an Arlington County news release. Development plans call for four office buildings and one hotel, according to county documents.
PenPlace is bound by Army Navy Drive, South Fern Street, South Eads and 12th streets. It's just north of the even larger Metropolitan Park development, which will bring a new Whole Foods to the area and itself is only about halfway through.
Through negotiations with the county, developer Vornado/Charles E. Smith will receive the rights to develop nearly 611,000 square feet that had been in place on properties along Long Bridge Drive, plus another 60,000 square feet that will be transferred from a parcel of land directly east of the property. The developer, too, will pay $15 million toward the further development of Long Bridge Park.
PenPlace will feature a series of connected open spaces in the form of a central green area and up to 2 acres of open space linking it to Metropolitan Park. Development plans call for three new public plazas.
The so-called "superblocks" between the two sites will be divided by new streets and sidewalks — including two new east-west streets (11th and 10th streets south) and one new north-south street (Elm Street).
Vornado/Charles E. Smith will complete 12th Street South between Fern and Eads, which the county envisions as the primary connector between Pentagon City and Crystal City. It will eventually be home to a streetcar station and feature dedicated rapid transitways that will connect the area to Potomac Yards and connect Columbia Pike to Pentagon City.
The development also will be served by Virginia Rail Express, local and regional buses and Interstate 395 HOV lanes, the news release states.
A maximum of 1,859 parking spaces will be allowed for the site, though the county indicates in its release that demand for parking will shift over time as more people use transit, walk or bike. Already, 1 in 5 people in Pentagon City live car-free.
More than 50 public meetings have been held on the development so far, and final site plans for each building in the new development will be subject to public review and county board approval, the release states.
The developer has committed to LEED Gold certification.
The PenPlace development was guided by the Pentagon City Phased-Development Site Plan, a framework for redeveloping 116 acres of obsolete industrial areas, the news release states.