Arlington County Board Approves Plan to Transform Ballston's Southern Gateway

  • Creating a great urban place
  • Increasing opportunities for affordable housing
  • Encouraging transitions from high-density to surrounding residential neighborhoods

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Arlington County Board today adopted a plan to transform the southern gateway of Ballston from an automobile-oriented area into a more pedestrian-friendly, great urban place.

The addendum to the N. Quincy Street Plan that the Board adopted will apply the County's Smart Growth approach to planning to this key area on Arlington's Rosslyn-Ballston Metro corridor. Among the addendum's key recommendations:

  • Remaking N. Glebe Road into an urban boulevard
  • Providing additional opportunities for increasing the affordable housing stock in the area
  • Transforming the southern gateway of Ballston from an automobile-oriented area into a great urban place with a more pedestrian friendly built environment
  • Allowing established businesses to develop new, improved facilities and remain in the community
  • Achieving a well-balanced mix of commercial and residential uses to provide for a vibrant neighborhood
  • Reinforcing deliberate transitions from high-density to surrounding residential neighborhoods
  • Creating new connections and smaller blocks to improve circulation, access, and mobility in the area
  • Adding variety of open spaces

“This is an exciting plan, four years in the making, that will guide future development of Ballston for years to come,” said Arlington County Board Chairman J. Walter Tejada. “We thank the community and the many stakeholders who contributed their time and creativity to help develop a long-range plan that will help transform Ballston into another great urban village.”

Study area expanded

The plan area includes the southwest quadrant originally addressed by the 1995 North Quincy Street Plan, as well as much of the block bounded by N. Glebe Road, N. Carlin Springs Road, N. Henderson Street and N. Thomas Street. Although at the beginning of the process the study area was limited to the land east of N. Glebe Road, the study was expanded to include the area west of N. Glebe Road to explore what development might be possible through the consolidation of Mercedes Benz of Arlington operations in the area.

The County Board took three votes on this project. The Board voted 4 to 0 with one Board Member absent, to adopt the North Quincy Street Plan Addendum. The Board also voted 4 to 0 to adopt the General Land Use Plan (GLUP) amendments for the North Quincy Street Plan Addendum study area. The Board voted 4 to 0 to adopt amendments for the Master Transportation Plan (MTP) for the Quincy Street Plan Addendum study area.

Plan Addendum Vision

The Plan Addendum sets forth the County's refined vision for future development in the entire study area, in part through a set of overarching planning principles. This overall vision is further articulated through a series of specific planning principles that address transportation, land use, building form, open space, and retail conditions. With this collection of planning principles and concept maps and exhibits, the Plan Addendum will provide the County with a guiding document when making future decisions on specific special exception site plan development proposals in the area.

Community outreach

Over the past four years, County staff worked with the Long Range Planning Committee (LRPC) of the Planning Commission, civic association representatives, property owners and key stakeholders to develop a community vision that would transform the area around the southern gateway to Ballston into a pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use, vibrant neighborhood. Two community open houses were held in November 2012 to solicit broader community input on the draft plan, and the planning document was presented to the Planning, Transportation, and Park and Recreation Commissions in early 2013.

To learn more about the N. Quincy St. Plan Addendum, visit the County website. Scroll down to Item 16 on the County Board Agenda to read the staff report. Additional materials and more history about this planning process are available on the project web page – enter “N. Quincy Street Plan Addendum” in the search box to access a link to the webpage.


The planning process began in 2009 following the approval of the Founders Square site plan and the submission of a new site plan for the American Service Center (now Mercedes Benz of Arlington) property at 585 N. Glebe Road. The scope of the study soon grew to include land on the west side of North Glebe Road, primarily to explore what type of development could be possible through coordinated, joint redevelopment. The resulting North Quincy Street Plan Addendum provides the County with a long range planning guide for future redevelopment in this important area of Ballston and the County.

Learn more about Arlington County's long-range planning efforts.

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.