The Arlington County Board today approved a purchase agreement to acquire Virginia Hospital Center-owned property at 601 S. Carlin Springs Road. The purchase is part of the option agreement VHC agreed to pay in exchange for the County-owned 1800 N. Edison St. site, which is integral to the hospital’s planned expansion, and provides additional land to address County and Arlington Public Schools‘ needs.
The agreement also provides a lease back to VHC on a portion of the South Carlin Springs Road property through Dec. 31, 2019, to give VHC additional time to relocate facilities it currently operates on the site.
“The Board’s approval of this purchase concludes a land swap that provides much-needed public land and additional cash to the County and gives VHC the room it needs to grow and better serve our community,” Arlington County Board Chair Christian Dorsey said. “I call that a win-win.”
Option Agreement & Funding
In 2015, the Board and VHC entered into an agreement that gave the hospital the option to acquire the Edison Center for the hospital’s planned expansion. The hospital would pay either $12.56 million or, if higher, the fair market value of the property at the time the hospital exercises its option.
VHC exercised the option in February 2019, and the property was appraised at $13.86 million. As part of the agreement, the County required VHC to convey the Carlin Springs property, valued at $9.2 million, as part of the purchase price for the Edison property. VHC is obligated to pay the County the net difference in the sale prices, $4.66 million. As a part of the fiscal year (FY) 2020 budget adoption process, the County Board appropriated $4.0 million from this purchase and sale transactions to be used toward one-time expenditures in FY 2020. In addition, all rent the County receives from the lease back will be deposited into the County’s general fund.
The County Board voted unanimously as part of the consent agenda to approve the purchase agreement. To read the staff report, go to the County website and scroll down to Item No. 19 on the agenda for the May 18 County Board meeting.
In November 2016, the County Board, together with the Arlington Public Schools Board, created the Joint Facilities Advisory Commission as an advisory body to make recommendations to both boards on capital facilities needs assessment, capital improvement plans and long-range facility planning. JFAC’s immediate task was to evaluate potential uses and whether the County should pursue acquiring both the Buck site on North Quincy Street, and the South Carlin Springs Road site.
Through an extensive public process, JFAC determined that the community strongly endorsed the idea of acquiring land for public facilities and, in its Phase 2 Status Report to the County Board, recommended that the County acquire both the South Carlin Springs Road and Buck sites. The Phase 2 Status Report recommended scenarios for potential County and APS use of both the Buck and South Carlin Springs Road sites. Future use of the site will include additional community engagement.