2007-01-22, 15:04

Clarendon thinks about mixed use in its future

By: Jonathan Groner
The Clarendon area of Arlington, Va., once a bit down and out and later funky and ethnic, is now chic. It's got more than its share of restaurants and upscale retailers. But it hasn't had much planning.

Now, according to the Washington Business Journal, Jan. 19-25 issue, the director of Arlington's Economic Development office thinks Clarendon needs to keep and add mixed-use projects. The director, Terry Holzheimer, says Clarendon shouldn't try to mimic high-density parts of Arlington like Ballston or Rosslyn but should favor low and mid-rise buildings.

"There's an opportunity in Clarendon to diverge from the traditional office products, the 12-story buildings with the large floor plates," Holzheimer said. "We see a lot of smaller mixed-use buildings. The importance of these smaller tenants can't be understated. That's the core of our job base."

The article goes on to point out that at the corner of Wilson and Clarendon boulevards, which is directly adjacent to a Metro station, developer B.F. Saul plans to redevelop two properties and bring in 185,000 square feet of office space, 50,000 square feet of retail space, and 244 residential units.

This seems like a good move. Anyone who has ever tried to find his or her way among the office canyons of Rosslyn can easily comprehend why smaller-scale development might make sense in other parts of Arlington. The full article is not yet available to nonsubscribers, but I'll try to put it online in a week or so.


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