Arlington County Board Approves New Apartment Building, Affordable Housing to Replace Former Crystal City Post Office

  • Sustainable, energy-efficient building to achieve LEED Silver rating
  • First residential building approved under Crystal City Sector Plan
  • 16 affordable housing units on-site

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Arlington County Board today approved the first residential building proposed since the Board adopted the Crystal City Sector Plan.

Developer Kettler is proposing to convert the site of the former Crystal City Post Office, which has been non-operational for many years, to an 11-story apartment building with 198 residential units. Sixteen of the units will be contractually committed to remain affordable for 30 years.

“This project, one of the first approved under the Crystal City plan, fulfills the community's wishes to see homes – including affordable units — built on this site, within walking distance of Metro and other public transit,” said Arlington County Board Chairman J. Walter Tejada. “I believe it will serve as a catalyst for redeveloping Crystal City into the more walkable, vibrant neighborhood that the community envisions.”

The Board voted 4 to 0 to rezone the parcels to “C-O-Crystal City” Commercial Office Building, Retail, Hotel and Multiple-family Dwelling Districts. The Board voted 4 to 0 to approve the site plan.

High-quality living steps from Metro

The proposed development is located on the west side of Jefferson Davis Highway at 1720 S. Eads Street, just steps from the Crystal City Metro station, shops and dining. The new building will offer high-quality living filled with amenities.

Sustainable design, on-site affordable units earn developer density bonuses

The developer is earning additional density for agreeing to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy Efficiency and Design) Silver certification and LEED Existing Buildings Operations and Maintenance (LEED – EBOM). LEED is an internationally recognized green building program. The developer also earned density bonuses for providing 16 on-site affordable units; off-site transportation improvements, and funds to create and improve open space in Crystal City.

Sustainable Design

The residential building will be LEED SILVER certified under the County's Green Building Density Incentive program, a policy that encourages higher levels of energy efficiency and LEED certification by offering more density on a case-by-case basis. The development will achieve 18 percent energy savings by using green design in the building, featuring:

  • landscaped roof with ground covering, shrubs and trees that will provide insulation
  • high efficiency mechanical system
  • water-saving fixtures
  • energy-efficient appliances
  • recharging stations for electric cars

The project also will be the first in Arlington County and the first residential building in Virginia to earn the LEED Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance (LEED EBOM) certification, which measures post-occupancy environmental performance of several factors, including energy and water efficiency, occupant comfort, use of alternative transportation and recycling over a sustained period of time.

Community Outreach

The project was discussed at three Site Plan Review Committee (SPRC) meetings.

To learn more about this planned project, visit the County website. Scroll down to Item 26 on the County Board Agenda to read the staff report.


The proposed redevelopment of the former Crystal City Post Office site would fulfill the vision for this block identified in the Crystal City Sector Plan. The plan is a 40-year, long-range plan that is a shared vision of the residents, businesses, the County and other stakeholders to encourage redevelopment in Crystal City that will make it a more transit-oriented, walkable neighborhood.

The sector plan calls for offering incentives such as additional density to encourage redevelopment. It also calls for improving the streets, sidewalks and other infrastructure, providing more transit options and improving open space. The goal is to make Crystal City more inviting and lively by creating more ground floor retail, better quality office space and more housing.

Responding to BRAC

The County initiated the Crystal City Sector Plan in response to the federal government's Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) decisions, which are having a major impact on Crystal City as various Department of Defense-related agencies move out of the area, leaving millions of square feet of office space vacant and causing the loss of thousands of jobs in Arlington.

The “C-O-Crystal City” zoning district provides the County Board the flexibility to approve additional density above the base density shown in the General Land Use Plan for development projects that help fulfill the vision and goals of the Sector Plan.

Project at a Glance

Project Name

  • 1720 S. Eads Street (former Crystal City Post Office)


  • Kettler


  • KTGY Group, Inc.


  • Stephan Rodiger, Kettler


  • David Tarter, Lawson Tarter Charvet, OC


Type of Project

  • Residential Building


  • 176 spaces, 3 ½ levels below grade

LEED Scorecard:

  • LEED Silver


  • 1720 S. Eads Street

Project Features

  • 11-story apartment building with 198 residential units, a rooftop terrace

Community Benefits

  • Affordable Housing Contribution—$460,233 (consistent with the Ordinance) and 16 committed affordable housing units
  • Public art contribution—$75,000
  • Transportation Demand Management program—$267,888 over a period of 30 years; $98,700 over a period of 30 years in additional/enhanced Transportation Demand Management program; Off-site Transportation Improvements
  • Underground fund contribution—$39,000 Utility; Undergrounding of all on-site utilities
  • On-site streetscape improvements—sidewalks, curb, and gutter on-site along both S. Eads Street and 18th Street, and upgrading half of the traffic signal at the S. Eads St./18th St. South intersection
  • Public open space—$272,273 contribution [GA1] to implementation and improvement of open space in Crystal City
  • Multi-space parking meters

Arlington Va., is a world-class residential, business and tourist location that was originally part of the “10 miles square” parcel of land surveyed in 1791 to be the Nation's Capital. Slightly smaller than 26 square miles, it is the geographically smallest self-governing county in the United States, and one of only a handful with the prized Aaa/AAA/AAA bond rating. Arlington maintains a rich variety of stable neighborhoods and quality schools, and has received numerous awards for Smart Growth and transit-oriented development. Home to some of the most influential organizations in the world — including the Pentagon — Arlington stands out as one of America's preeminent places to live, visit and do business.