- Board approves including office space in residential building
- Creative reuse of an old building
- Revitalizing Crystal City as tech hub
The Arlington County Board today took another step toward revitalizing Crystal City as a technology hub with the approval of a plan to include two floors of office space as part of the conversion of the former Crystal Plaza 6 into a residential building.
The Board approved an amendment to the site plan it approved in July 2014 that allowed Vornado to convert the obsolete, vacant office building into apartments for a period of 20 years that will offer shared amenities and a unique floor-by-floor “neighborhood” culture.
Vornado created the project in partnership with WeWork, a national company with co-working offices in major metropolitan areas across the country. The company currently has three offices in the Washington, D.C. area that provide co-working office space, benefits and support.
The Crystal City project is WeWork’s first residential building, bringing the same benefits of co-working – shared amenities, a sense of community and opportunities for collaboration – to a residential building. With the Board’s approval of the site plan amendment, the building now will also incorporate flexible shared work spaces.
The project offers an entirely new type of apartment living within walking distance of the Crystal City Metro Station, several bus stops and Capital Bikeshare stations, and serves as a model for adaptive reuse of an outdated building.
“This innovative project highlights the continuing evolution of Crystal City as a hub for entrepreneurs and tech workers,” said Arlington County Board Chair Mary Hynes. “The live-work culture that this project promotes is a new and exciting approach to redevelopment. The Board welcomes these creative approaches to development, especially in these areas with high office vacancies that our community is working so hard to revitalize.”
The County Board unanimously approved the site plan amendment, which was included in the Consent Agenda.
The WeWork project joins other innovative initiatives, such as TechShop, 1776, and Crystal City Design Lab, that are transforming Crystal City into a community for growth tech companies, small businesses and entrepreneurs.
WeWork has a 20-year lease on the building, which is ultimately envisioned by the Crystal City Sector Plan to be redeveloped. The Sector Plan anticipates future development on the site that will advance the plan’s vision by achieving a new public plaza along 23rd Street S. and the realignment of S. Clark/Bell Street.
The site plan amendment was reviewed at the Site Plan Review Committee (SPRC) meeting on March 23, 2014.
To read the staff report on this item, visit the County website. Scroll down to Item #1 on the Agenda for the May 16 Regular County Board Meeting.