Arlington County, Virginia, Arlington, VA
Realize Rosslyn: Transforming an undistinguished office district into a dynamic urban community
Originally designed and built in the 1960s and 70s, the Rosslyn district of Arlington, Virginia, is a major employment center near the heart of Washington, D.C. Despite excellent transit access, hotels and tourist sites, and large parks along the Potomac riverfront, the Rosslyn experience has lagged well behind its potential. Offering few restaurants or entertainment offerings, the district is cut off from the riverfront by highways and can be an uninviting place for its many pedestrians to walk.
Goody Clancy and an interdisciplinary planning team worked closely with Arlington County and the Rosslyn community on practical strategies to transform Rosslyn into a vibrant, people-friendly mixed-use district through coordinated redevelopment and public realm improvements. The plan guides potential development that would double Rosslyn’s previous gross floor area of about 10 million SF. Since plan adoption in 2015, more than 4 million SF of proposed redevelopment has already been approved in accordance with plan principles, and another 1.5 million SF of proposed development in or adjacent to the study area is under review.
An extensive community engagement process shaped the Realize Rosslyn vision. The plan incorporates measures that encourage new development projects to contribute directly or indirectly to significant community benefits, including affordable housing and new public spaces. The plan illustrates priority public realm initiatives to convert traffic-dominated streets into beautiful places to walk and gather, including improvements to walking, biking, and transit conditions. In doing so, the plan helps reposition Rosslyn to capture real estate market potential for state-of-the-art office, hotel, housing, and retail development. The associated Western Rosslyn Area Plan further leverages market-driven development opportunity to enable development of 249 mixed-income housing units, a 180,000sf public school, and a fire station.
Link to online documentation and news: https://projects.arlingtonva.us/projects/rosslyn/