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[Update: Arlington County Board members on March 20 pulled the item from the consent agenda and will hear the matter the evening of March 23.]

Despite concerns from nearby residents, Arlington County Board members on March 20 could give the owner of Pentagon Row the ability to, potentially, significantly downsize grocery-store operations.

A site-plan amendment recommended by staff would allow the Rockville-based Federal Realty Investment Trust out of a 1998 agreement that required the mixed-use development to include a full-service grocery store of 40,000 to 70,000 square feet and a full-service drug store of 8,000 to 20,000 square feet.

The proposed revision requires that Pentagon Row merely include an outlet “offering items that are traditionally found in a grocery store and drug store,” but with the specifics – including the size and location – determined by the developer.

Located on a 15-acre parcel in Pentagon City, the site has long included a Harris-Teeter supermarket. But that initial lease term is expiring, and there is no guarantee the supermarket chain will want to stay in the existing space, county staff said in a report to County Board members.

The proposed site-plan change has been included on the County Board’s March 20 “consent agenda,” which seems unusual given that the Aurora Highlands Civic Association and Crystal City Civic Association have expressed concerns about the potential loss of the full-service supermarket. If pulled off the consent agenda, the matter will be heard the evening of March 23.

The National Landing Business Improvement District leadership is supportive of the proposed amendment.


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