County Board Approves Acquisition of Lee Highway Property along Potomac River

  • Preserves monumental views, open space along Potomac River
  • Enables exploration of future options, including ancillary boathouse
  • Purchase contract of $2.4 million

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Arlington County Board today approved the County's acquisition of 1101 Lee Highway for future open space or recreational use. The area is located south of Key Bridge in Rosslyn. The land was purchased from a private owner for a contract of $2.4 million.

“This purchase preserves a strategic parcel of land in Rosslyn that serves as a gateway to Arlington along the Potomac River,” said Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette. “Our intent today is to ensure that the land is used to enhance recreation for our region and to do it in a way that meets the needs and goals of our community.”

Acquiring the property enables the County to preserve Rosslyn's monumental views, and to explore and pursue future options for the land. Under consideration for the site are: an ancillary boathouse that would offer educational and recreation facilities to complement a potential lower boathouse site now under review by the National Park Service; possible realignment of a bicycle trail to improve safety and access; and an open space for passive recreation use.

The County Board voted 5 to 0 to approve the acquisition.

Future planning for the site will be shaped by several factors, including vehicular access to the site and traffic conditions of the area, which will be determined by County staff and Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). Any planning efforts will include a comprehensive public process.

The National Park Service will also conduct an analysis to determine the feasibility of a boathouse facility, taking into consideration factors such as environmental impact, access, and more. Over the years, community members have voiced strong support for a boathouse in the County along the Potomac River to create public access, establish a home for high school rowing programs and to offer educational opportunities related to life along the Potomac.

Funding for a potential boathouse facility is not included in the County's 10-Year Capital Improvement Program (CIP).

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.