- Six-acre site on N. Quincy Street near I-66
- Zoned largely for light industrial uses
- Option calls for finalizing $30 million purchase by November 2017
The Arlington County Board today approved an option agreement to buy a three-parcel, six-acre site on N. Quincy Street, for $30 million, from three limited liability corporations controlled by Bill Buck and his family. The Board also approved a first payment of $1.2 million on the option. The agreement gives the County until November 20, 2017 to exercise its option to buy the property.
The parcels, mostly zoned for light industrial use, lie between 1-66 and N. 14th Street, directly across the street from Washington-Lee High School.
“This is a rare opportunity for the County to acquire a significant piece of property in North Arlington that is zoned for light industrial use, at a time when our community is struggling to find public land to accommodate our many facilities’ needs,” said County Board Chair Mary Hynes. “We are thrilled that Bill Buck, whose family has played such an important role in the development of Arlington, has agreed to give us this purchase option. Over the next two years, we will be having a conversation with the community about the best uses for this site, using the criterion and process being developed by our Community Facilities Study effort.”
The Board voted 5 to 0 to approve the option agreement and first payment. Read the staff report, which includes the option agreement.
Site mostly zoned for light industrial uses
More than three-quarters of the site — all but about 1.35 acres — is zoned for light industrial uses, and has been used for light industrial purposes for decades. The County has identified some environmental issues on a small portion of the site – these are typical for a site used for light industrial purposes and can be remediated. The remaining 1.35 acres is zoned for residential structures, surface parking, recreational use, roadways, walkways, paths utilities, and landscaping.
Hynes noted that this would be the largest parcel of land the County has purchased since October 2011 when it acquired 7.1 acres in Crystal City in an exchange with a developer – land that eventually became part of Long Bridge Park.
“Although funding for this purchase is not in the current CIP, sometimes you have to act when opportunities arise,” Hynes said. “For many years, community members have suggested that this property should be in the public realm. We are delighted that after complex negotiations, we are able today to achieve that goal.”
Under the option agreement, the County will make another payment of $1.8 million in 2016, and a final payment of $27 million, no later than November 20, 2017 to finalize the $30 million purchase. Funding for the first payment is available from 2008 and 2014 Community Infrastructure Bond balances. The rest of the funding will be determined through the upcoming Capital Improvement Program (CIP) process.
Use of the parcels to be determined
The County does not yet have specific plans for the future use of the parcel. Because most of the site is zoned for light industrial use, it could be appropriate for many of the needs that the Community Facilities Study is examining, including bus and other storage, County or Arlington Public Schools (APS) facilities or open space, – most of which would require additional County Board action. Due to the limited amount of such property within the County, and the even more limited availability of industrially-zoned property for sale, the County has acquired this purchase option to help address these identified needs. The County plans to include APS in a community conversation on best uses of the site following completion of the Community Facilities Study process.