The final draft of the Park Master Plan and Design Guidelines for the New Park at Army Navy Drive and South Eads Street has been posted here. Many thanks to the community members who have provided feedback on this project since September 2020. The final draft plan includes many new amenities including a pollinator habitat, a shade structure– and even an outdoor fitness area. The draft final plan for the park will be considered by the County Board as a consent agenda item at the Sat., June 12 regular meeting. Learn about meeting procedures then review the agenda and access the meeting when it starts here.
Well, those who responded to our survey on the Newsletter indicated that they want the Newsletter to be as long as necessary to cover the news—so I guess 14 pages is ok! The highest votes for what to include were the Timeline of Meetings and Development, followed by CCCA, Livability and Surrounding Area News. So we must be doing something right. We may make format changes in the future to liven up the text. Thanks to those who responded.
May 19 CCCA Meeting
Join us from 7-9 pm on Zoom. From 7-8 pm, we will have a presentation by the County on the opening of the Aquatic Center at Long Bridge Park and meet the new facility manager. From 8-9 pm, the National Park Service will make a presentation on upcoming changes in our area and possible projects. Details and a registration link will be sent the week before the meeting. Stay tuned.
See the list of other upcoming meetings in the Newsletter.
1. Survey: We are gradually modernizing our CCCA procedures and media. We will be issuing more frequent emails to keep you up to date on meetings and issues in coming weeks. In this issue, we are including a survey to ask members what you like, dislike, or would like to see in the Newsletter in the future. Please help by by filling out the attached survey.
2. Construction Coming Up:
- 1900 Crystal Drive: Construction to Close Lane and Sidewalk. The general contractor will begin closures associated with 1900 Crystal Drive construction on March 29th and they will continue progressively over the next two weeks.
- 2000/2001 S Bell: Preparation work for demolition of 2001 Richmond Hwy starts April 12 with the Underground passage from 20th to Crystal City Shops closed; when demolition of the tower starts end May, Underground passage will close for about 3 ½ years
3. Earth Day Clean Up – 17 April 2021 (rain date 24 April): Join the National Landing BID and Livability 22202 to clean up the wooded area along the GW Parkway south of the Mount Vernon Trailhead at the Crystal City Water Park to the access road on 26th St South. (And get a look at some what may someday become accessible open space for our 22202 community.) Sign up now to help keep National Landing green and clean!
4. National Cherry Blossom Festival in 22202: See the Newsletter for all of the art work and events from now till April 11.
5. Meetings, Development, and Other Issues: See the Newsletter for a detailed list.
(FYI, this is the first Newsletter going by email only to renewed members for 2021.) Click here to download.
So many issues, so many meetings, so little time! We need members to become and stay engaged.
Highlighting Upcoming Meetings: Please attend the following and lend your ears and voice to ongoing work. These are our most important activities right now.
March 2 Livability Open Space Working Group Meeting (discussed below)
The meeting will be mostly informational. If afterwards, you’d like to stay engaged, great! But join us March 2 to learn what’s happening and where you could join in, if you’d like to. We really want/need to expand the working group membership, to promote diversity (demographics, housing, opinions?).
March 3 VDOT Public Meeting on Route 1 Feasibility Study (discussed below)
Is this what we want for Route 1 in National Landing? Come to the VDOT public meeting on March 3rd and find out!
March 9 Sustainable Mobility for Arlington (SUSMO) meeting at 7:30 (discussed below)
Come learn what is wrong with the proposed Crystal City Bike Network.
March 17 CCCA Meeting
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) has agreed to provide a video and PowerPoint update on all the work that is being done at National Airport and which is expected to be completed by summer 2021. Stay tuned for more details. The Arlington County Police Department will also present on crime statistics and car jackings.
Don’t forget to renew your membership here and stay involved. After February 1, you may not get your Newsletter or email updates if not paid. This is the last Newsletter for those paid only in 2020.
1. January 27 CCCA Meeting: Read the summary of the meeting on COVID and Development and click on the links to see the full meeting and the slide presentations.
2. Development: Each month, a listing of all upcoming development and other major issues will be included i the Newsletter.
3. Upcoming Meetings:
February 2: JBG Pre-Construction Meeting on 1900 Crystal Drive
February 9 Livability22202 Meeting on County Planning and Affordable Housing
February 15 virtual workshop on the Pentagon City Planning Study
February Livability22202 Meeting with VDOT on Route 1 Feasibility Study, Date TBD
March 17 CCCA Meeting with MWAA on Project Journey at the airport
During the first hour, Arlington County Health Director, Dr. Reuben Varghese, and Assistant Director of Public Health, Robert Sharpe, briefed on 1) their COVID vaccination plan (this is the updated slide presentation); 2) what they are doing to help disadvantaged during the crisis (e.g., food/evictions); and 3) the impact COVID has had on the County budget. See the slide presentation on #2 and #3 here.
During the second hour, JBG Senior VP for Development Andy VanHorn provided development updates on: 1) the recent purchase of Crystal Houses by the Washington Housing Conservancy and JBG Smith plans to manage it; 2) the ongoing public engagement about their site plan
for 2000/2001 Clark/Bell; and 3) upcoming construction at 1900 Crystal Drive. This segment ended with a review of the timeline for development and other issues over the next few years. See the slide presentations here.
You can watch the entire meeting here. Apologies for those who wanted to watch on Facebook Live since a technical glitch prevented this from happening.
During the first hour, Arlington County Health Director, Dr. Reuben Varghese, and other public health officials will brief on 1) their COVID vaccination plan, 2) what they are doing to help disadvantaged during the crisis (e.g., food/evictions), and 3)the impact COVID has had on the County budget.
During the second hour, JBG Senior VP for Development Andy VanHorn will return to give brief development updates on: 1) the recent purchase of Crystal Houses by the Washington Housing Conservancy and JBG Smith plans to manage it; 2) the ongoing public engagement about their site plan for 2000/2001 Clark/Bell; and 3) upcoming construction at 1900 Crystal Drive.
You can interact on Zoom or by phone, or watch on Facebook Live.https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84657595914…
Meeting ID: 846 5759 5914
One tap mobile
+13017158592,,84657595914#,,,,*323824# US (Washington D.C)
The County asked for public comment by January 11 on JBG Smith’s site plans for 2000/2001 S Bell Street (the Crystal Plaza Block M). Since this was a public comment period, we focused only on open space and the Underground in our CCCA feedback. We reserved the right to comment on other aspects during the upcoming SPRCs. Read the CCCA letter here. Other comments, along with County staff and JBG responses, will be posted soon on the County project page.
Great News! The Washington Housing Conservancy has bought Crystal Houses on S Eads Street with a major grant from Amazon and JBG Smith will manage it. The conservancy’s mission — and the Crystal House project — aim to create spaces for individuals and families who may make too much money to qualify for government housing assistance but do not earn enough to afford high-demand real estate markets. https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2021/01/06/amazon-arlington-affordable-housing/
With Amazon’s flexible capital, WHC was able to execute the purchase of Crystal House in under two months, an expedited timeline for commercial real estate transactions. WHC’s finance partner, the Washington Housing Initiative, and Impact Pool, created by developer JBG SMITH, provided commercial real estate expertise and an additional loan of $6.7 million.
Amazon announced its Housing Equity Fund, a more than $2 billion initiative to preserve and create more than 20,000 affordable housing units in the Puget Sound region in Washington State, Arlington, Virginia region, and Nashville, Tennessee—three communities Amazon calls home. The first investments include $381.9 million in below-market loans and grants to the Washington Housing Conservancy to preserve and create up to 1,300 affordable homes on the Crystal House property on S. Eads Street. Over the next five years, rent prices for 75 percent of the units at Crystal House will drop to help residents who are making less than 80 percent of the area’s mean income of $126,000. Read the Amazon announcement here: https://www.aboutamazon.com/news/community/amazon-launches-2-billion-housing-equity-fund-to-preserve-and-create-over-20-000-affordable-homes
|Looking forward to a better year than 2020! We’re moving to bimonthly virtual meetings live streamed to Facebook, starting January 27. Let us know if you have suggestions for topics you would like to be covered. Also, we’ve added a timeline of development/construction issues to the Newsletter and each CCCA meeting which explains why we’re all so exhausted. And lots more inside the Newsletter–download it here.|
Above all, don’t forget to renew your membership here and stay involved.
1. SAVE THE DATE: January 27 CCCA Meeting
Our first meeting of the year is scheduled for Wednesday, January 27, from 7-9 pm. We’ve invited Arlington County health officials to talk about their COVID vaccination plan, what they are doing to help disadvantaged during the crisis (e.g., food/evictions), and the impact COVID has had on the County budget. We may also ask JBG to give a brief update on the ongoing public engagement about their site plan for 2000/2001 Clark/Bell and upcoming construction at 1900 Crystal Drive. Stay tuned for the details.
2. Responses Needed : Note that the next 3 items are calling for public feedback by January 11:
Pubic Engagement: 2000/2001 Clark/Bell Site Plan
This is Block M, AKA Crystal Plaza Square that has been through 2 Long Range Planning Committee sessions. This is your last chance to weigh in publicly on any concerns you might have about the site plan for these 2 buildings on 20th Street: e.g., Clark/Bell extension, open space, Underground. Be sure to make your voice heard before the SPRCs in February and March. The comment period has been extended to January 11. See everything on the project page: https://projects.arlingtonva.us/projects/2001-clark-st/
The VDOT Route 1 Multimodal Feasibility Study
VDOT held the first Public Engagement Meeting December 16 for the public to review existing conditions; hear about public survey responses; and ask questions and provide input. The purpose of this feasibility study is to identify enhanced multimodal connectivity and accommodations along Route 1 (between 12th Street to 23rd Streets) to meet the changing transportation needs of the Crystal City and Pentagon City communities. As this area’s commercial and residential densities continue to increase, transportation plans will need to address the wide-ranging needs of pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders, motorists, and other users while maximizing the safety, convenience, and sustainability of the system for decades to come. At this time, no construction funding has been allocated, so this study will not set design or construction dates.
The timeline includes a second public meeting in March for more analysis; presentation of a draft report to the public in May and a final report in June. Access the online comment form and view details on providing feedback through January 11 here.
Note: Participants in the December 16 meeting were surprised that VDOT is missing a lot of essential data and seems to see its charge is to determine if and how Route 1 can be brought down to grade. The Livability22202 working group on Route 1 is providing input. See the Study webpage here.
Here’s your chance to design the new park at South Eads Street and Army Navy Drive
Share Your Feedback on Three Draft Design Concepts that resulted from the first public engagement for the area at South Eads Street With the guidance of the Crystal City Sector Plan and the Public Spaces Master Plan, it was decided that this new park will help meet the county’s goals of increasing public space opportunities. This past fall, community comments shared information about how people currently use the space and what they envision for the future. Those comments helped shape the three draft concepts that the design team present in the video below—The Meander, The Canal Walk, and The Central Hub. We want to know what you think. What are your favorite elements of each concept? What do you feel is missing? Your feedback by January 11 will help inform the design of the Park Master Plan and Design Guidelines for this new public space. Share your feedback here.