ARLINGTON, Va. — The Department of Defense (DOD) has formally notified Arlington County government of its decision to terminate its 2008 land exchange agreement with the County, Arlington County Manager Barbara Donnellan said today.
In 2008, DOD and the County agreed to a land exchange that would have provided the County with 4.23 acres of land on the Navy Annex Property north of Columbia Pike in exchange for providing DOD with an equivalent acreage of the Southgate Road right-of-way. The land the County was to receive was to be used for an Arlington Heritage Center and Freedman's Village Museum. Due to the desire of Arlington National Cemetery to retain all land north of Columbia Pike for future expansion, DOD has elected to terminate the existing agreement.
“The County understands the Cemetery's desire to maximize contiguous burial space,” Donnellan said. “We also recognize the potential benefits to all parties of a larger, more comprehensive future land exchange, and we are committed to working with Arlington National Cemetery and the United States Army to this end.”
The County's goals, Donnellan said, remain to:
- Provide a location in close proximity to the original site of the Freedman's Village for a future Arlington Heritage Center and Freedman's Village Museum
- Provide additional land south of Columbia Pike
- Provide for a realigned Columbia Pike and an improved intersection with South Joyce Street
- Provide for a new, relocated Southgate Road to provide the necessary level of access to and from Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall.
The County believes these goals can be achieved while at the same time supporting the federal goals to:
- Maximize contiguous space for Arlington Cemetery expansion north of Columbia Pike
- Improve access to the Pentagon Reservation
The original agreement between DOD and Arlington County government, approved by the Arlington County Board on September 16, 2008, called for the County to exchange a strip of land it owns that includes Southgate Road, running parallel to the cemetery's south side, for the western end of a site currently occupied by the soon-to-be-demolished Navy Annex. In April, 2012, the DOD's Washington Headquarters Services notified the County that it was planning to terminate the agreement. The County immediately informed stakeholders of DOD's decision. DOD formally notified the County on October 3, 2012, that the agreement was terminated. DOD has awarded a contract to demolish the Navy Annex buildings in the near future.
For information and updates on the planned demolition of the Navy Annex, visit DOD's Washington Headquarters Services website.