(UPDATE: The County Board on 12/13/2016, gave the Manager guidance to pursue negotiations with Arcland Property Company on their proposed exchange of a portion of the Buck property for Shirlington Road land).
- Proposed exchange of portion of Buck property for Shirlington Road land would yield net gain of 1.2 acres of public land
- Would leave 2/3 of Buck property for County, School needs
- Shirlington Road site could be long-term solution for ART bus parking
- Would save County $4 million
- Manager to seek Board support to further explore option
Arcland Property Company has submitted a formal proposal to exchange land it owns on Shirlington Road for part of the North Quincy Street site (the Buck property) that Arlington County has an option to purchase. Both properties currently are zoned for light industrial uses as a matter of right. Development by right does not require County Board review or approval.
“This is a rare opportunity for the County to secure land on Shirlington Road, zoned for light industrial use, that could accommodate our growing bus fleet,” County Manager Mark Schwartz said. “As the Community Facilities Study noted, we have a critical need for support facilities, and must make smart, tough decisions about land to meet those needs. If the Board is interested in pursuing this proposal, I will work to shape an agreement with Arcland. “I am confident,” Schwartz said,”that we can put facilities on these sites that will both serve our community’s needs and allow us to be a good neighbor.”
The proposed exchange, if approved, would take place after Nov. 20, 2017, the date on which the County must exercise its option to purchase the North Quincy Street site. The land exchange would involve no additional cost beyond the $30 million that the County has already agreed to pay for the North Quincy Street site.
The Manager plans to seek the Board’s approval to pursue negotiations with Arcland at the Board’s December meeting. If the Board approves negotiations, any agreement that might be reached would come before the Board for consideration in 2017.
County would gain public land, save money
Arcland is proposing the exchange of 3.5 acres it owns on Shirlington Road for 2.3 acres of the 6.1 acre site on North Quincy Street that the County has an option to purchase. The County currently leases 2.5 acres of the 3.5-acre Shirlington Road site from Arcland, through 2023, and parks buses there.
If it acquired Arcland’s Shirlington Road acreage, the County would be able to terminate its lease there with Arcland, saving about 5.5 years of lease payments, or $4 million. The site could provide a long-term solution to the County’s need for space to park its ART bus fleet, which is expected to grow from 65 to 90 vehicles by 2020.
Arcland proposes self-storage facility on N. Quincy Street site
If the land exchange is completed, Arcland, developer of the self-storage facility at 2631 Shirlington Road, plans to build a six-story, 150,000 sq. ft. self-storage facility on the North Quincy Street site.
The storage facility would occupy 1.2 acres of Arcland’s 2.3-acre parcel at the Buck site. Arcland proposes to provide the County with a long term lease for Arcland’s remaining 1.1 acres on the site at below market rate.
The land exchange agreement, if reached, would require high quality architecture from Arcland compatible with the surrounding neighborhood. The proposed facility must also comply with M-1 (light industrial) zoning regulations including set back and height restrictions, as would any use the County makes of the Shirlington Road site.
County to seek public input
If the County pursues an agreement with Arcland, it will continue to seek community input from many sources, and will consult with both the newly formed Joint Facilities Advisory Commission (JFAC) and the Four Mile Run Valley Study Group on use of the remainder of the North Quincy Street site, and on the Shirlington Road site.
The Arlington County Board and Arlington Public School Board established JFAC to provide input on capital facilities needs assessment, capital improvement plans and long-range facility planning for both the County Government and Schools.
The group also will provide insights and recommendations on how to site essential public services on Arlington’s limited supply of available land.
For more information on the proposed land exchange, visit the County website.