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Arlington Smart Growth-ARTICLE

Arlington Smart Growth-ARTICLE

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Published by Laura Mullane

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Published by: Laura Mullane on Jul 10, 2012
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03/05/2014

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U N I T E D
.
C O M
|
107
106
|
H E M I S P H E R E S M A G A Z I N E
.
C O M
smart
growth
smart
business
 By Laura Mullane  Illustration by Jennifer Renninge
I
NATIMEWHEN
DEVELOPMENT
ISSYNONYMOUS
 with big-box stores, five-acre parking lots, and cookie-cutter subdivisions, Arlington’s expansion and develop-ment is anything but. “One of our biggest contributionsis that we’re growing in a way that is environmentally sensitive,” says Barbara Favola, 2004 chair of the Arlington County Board.Indeed, the County has spent the better part of thelast three decades working to create individualcommunities—“urban villages”—that allow people tolive, work, play, and shop without ever having to get ina car. The nine primary villages are Rosslyn,Courthouse, Clarendon, Ballston, Crystal City, VirginiaSquare, Shirlington, Pentagon City, and Columbia Pike,each with its own unique identity.Rosslyn can be best described as Arlington’s scaled-down version of Midtown Manhattan, offering
 
 
Economic
D e v e l o p m e n t
more than 8 million square feet of office space and 2,200hotel rooms, as well as apartment buildings and condo-miniums that house more than 6,000 units. The closesturban village to Washington, Rosslyn sits just across theKey Bridge from Georgetown. Because of strict heightrestrictions on buildings in Washington, Rosslyn providesthe area’s only skyline and, consequently, spectacularviews of the Potomac and the District. NorthropGrumman Corporation, The Boeing Company,Raytheon, IBM, The Freedom Forum, and the AmericanChemistry Council are some of Rosslyn’s employers.Courthouse is Arlington’s civic center, home to county offices and the civic plaza. It’s also increasingly becomingthe location of choice for dot com and IT groups. The
Washington Post 
’s online operations are headquarteredhere. Sapient, a leading technology consulting andservices firm, also has offices here, as does Verizon, theCounty’s largest private employer.Clarendon is considered Arlington’s original urbanvillage, having first been developed in 1903. Today it isone of the region’s hippest and most desirable neighbor-hoods, comparable to the District’s famed Georgetownand Adams Morgan. Best-known for its wide variety of ethnic restaurants, hopping bars, and clubs featuringsome of the area’s hottest bands, quaint storefronts, andcharming 1930s-era bungalows, Clarendon is quickly becoming home to many businesses, as well, includingthe information technology giant SRA International andComcast Corporation.Ballston is Arlington’s science and technology center.The National Science Foundation is based here, andmany major technology firms have large offices inBallston, including CACI International and SAIC. Severalassociations are also located here, including the NatureConservancy, a nonprofit preservation group, and theNational Rural Electric Cooperative Association. TheBallston Common Mall is not only the neighborhood’sprime shopping location, but will soon be home to thetraining facility and offices of the Washington Capitalshockey team and a community ice rink.Crystal City has Arlington’s largest downtown, with 10million square feet of office space, 5,000 hotel rooms,
Arlington
Where to Work. Whereto Live. Where to Play.
The Arlington Economic Development teamis your inside source on Arlington. Each ofour consultants are experts on Arlington’scommercial real estate, its successfulbusiness sectors and the future growthindustries of the region. Whether to makeyour job easier, help your project run moresmoothly, provide you with information tomake your decisions better or just put youin front of the right people at the right time,Arlington Economic Development ishere to help.To learn more aboutopportunities in Arlington, call
Arlington Economic Development
at
703.228.0878
or visit
 www.arlingtonvirginiausa.org
If a developer wants to buildin Arlington, he or she must makeroom for residences and street-frontretail as well. The result has beenan exceptional quality of life thathas made Arlington a modelfor smart growth.
5,000 residences, and a growing“restaurant row.” It is located justminutes from Reagan National Airport and is home to the officesof Booz Allen Hamilton andLockheed Martin Corporation.Pentagon City is best-known forits Fashion Centre, one of the coun-try’s highest-grossing retail centers, with more than 160 stores, restau-rants, and galleries. But it is alsohome to more than 3,400 residen-tial units and 665 hotel rooms,including the Ritz-Carlton.Columbia Pike is primarily a res-idential and retail district—and amajor thoroughfare for the County.It boasts Arlington’s largest concen-tration of ethnic restaurants, nodoubt attributable to the largeimmigrant population that callsColumbia Pike home.The County board was (and is)adamant about creating mixed-useneighborhoods. If a developer wantsto construct an office building, heor she has to make room forresidences and street-front retail as well. While this might cause somedevelopers to grumble, the resulthas been an exceptional quality of life that has made Arlington amodel for smart growth. Today,35,000 residents (or 17 percent of the population) live within walkingdistance of a Metro stop, 30 percentof residents work in Arlington,nearly 25 percent use publictransportation to get to work, and12 percent of households don’t evenown a car. In fact, Arlingtonians aremore likely to be car-less than any other county in the region.The half-mile-wide corridoralong Wilson Boulevard occupies just 7.6 percent of Arlington’s landbut generates a third of its tax rev-enue. And because neighborhoodsinclude homes, businesses and retail,it means less traffic and publictransportation congestion becausepeople are coming and going onfoot during rush hour.“All of our development isconnected to the transit system,”
Headquarters
www.crystalcitynow.com(703) 769-5000
 
Charles E. Smith Commercial Realty
a division of Vornado Realty Trust
is Here.Your
Extraordinary office space from5,000 to 500,000 square feetall in a vibrantnew neighborhood.Righton the Potomac Riverwith monumental views —5 minutes from Washington, DC.
 
U N I T E D
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 All of this has made Arlington amodel community. A recent
USAToday 
article called Arlington thegold standard among urban plan-ners for residential developmentnear transit stations. In 2002, Arlington won the EnvironmentalProtection Agency’s highest awardfor smart growth. In addition,results of a 2004 survey of residentsranked Arlington among the very best places to live in the nation.Combine Arlington’s proximity to Washington, its smart-growthsuccess, its exceptional transporta-tion system, and its excellent schoolsystem, and you have a community that has become an extremely desirable place to live. Yet with thissuccess has come one of Arlington’sbiggest challenges: affordablehousing. The average home price in Arlington in 2004 was just under$600,000, a 16 percent increasefrom the previous year. While thismay be a boon for realtors, home-buyers can find the Arlingtonmarket inaccessible. The County is working to change this. “Part of oursmart-growth strategy is to grow ina socially responsible way,” saysFavola. Doing this meansnegotiating with developers toinclude more affordable housing indevelopment plans. Of the 1,600housing units approved for develop-ment in 2004, 14 percent weredesignated as affordable. Although home prices may behigh, Arlington’s real estate taxes areamong the lowest in the region. Infact, for three consecutive years theCounty Board has lowered the realestate tax rate, for a total of 6.5cents since 2001. Arlington’s success can be attrib-uted in part to its small size, whichmakes it more manageable thanlarger communities and gives it asmall-town feel despite the fact thatit’s a thriving urban center. “Peopleknow one another and talk to oneanother,” says Ron Carlee, County Manager since 2001.The small size also limits growth
 
www.crystalcitynow.com(703) 769-5000
Charles E. Smith Commercial Realty
a division of Vornado Realty Trust
Crystal City has a whole newflavor. Discover Oyamel, Jaleo,McCormick & Schmick’s, Morton’sThe Steakhouse, King StreetBlues,Legal Sea Foods, and 50 othergreatplaces to eat.All in one place.
Restaurants inWashington
are Here.The Best
Economic
D e v e l o p m e n t
says Jay Fisette, chair of the Arlington County Board. But thetransit system includes more than just the Metro. “When we talk about transit, we’re talking aboutMetro, bus, walking, and biking. Arlington is the most bicycle-friend-ly community in the region.”First included in the County’smaster plan for transportation in1974, the 89-mile system of biketrails has been said to be among thetop five in the nation and the beston the East Coast. At a cost of $16million, the system includes 36miles of paved, off-street trails, 23miles of bike lanes, and 30 miles of on-street connecting bike routes—making it possible to bike to justabout anywhere in the County. “A lot of our employees use the bikepath system to get to work,” saysRay Culter, vice president anddirector of business operations forthe Nature Conservancy. The goal isto have a 111-mile system in place within 20 years.
Georgetown
U N I V E R S I T Y
S
CHOOL
of 
C
ONTINUING
S
TUDIES
Build Your Skillsto Lead and Succeed 
At Georgetown University,we have been educating worldleadersand advancing careers since 1789.The School of Continuing Studies extends this tradition of teachingexcellence to working professionals.Take the first step to your career transformation withprograms designed to meet the educational needs of leaders.Join our learning community and choose frominnovative programs in Management,Financial Planning,Information Technology,and Leadership.
      0      5      M      0      1
T
RANSFORMING
IVES AND
C
AREERSWITH
C
AMPUSES IN
W
ASHINGTON
, DC
AND
A
RLINGTON
,V
IRGINIA
scs.georgetown.edu
202.687.7000
Maryland Virginia
Washington DC Arlington
1
-Rosslyn
2
-Courthouse
3
-Clarendon
4
-Virginia Square
5
-Ballston
6
-Arlington Cemetery
7
-Pentagon
8
-National Airport
9
-Pentagon City
10
-Crystal City
11
-Columbia Pike
12
-Shirlington
2345111298671011
-Rosslyn
2
-Courthouse
3
-Clarendon
4
-Virginia Square
5
-Ballston
6
-Arlington Cemetery
7
-Pentagon
8
-National Airport
9
-Pentagon City
10
-Crystal City
11
-Columbia Pike
12
-Shirlington
 M
 A  P 
 :  C
 O U R  T  E  S  Y 
 A 
 R  L  I   N G T  O N
 E 
 C O N O M I   C
 D
 E  V E  L  O P  M E  N T 

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