Arlington board OKs major redevelopment

Schematic design shows the proposed redevelopment of the Holiday Inn site in Rosslyn, approved Sept. 24, 2019, by Arlington County Board members.

Arlington County Board members on Sept. 17 will be asked to ratify relatively minor changes to the approved-in-2019 redevelopment of the Rosslyn Holiday Inn site.

The request, if approved, would add residential units and delete hotel units from the project, while keeping the overall density of the project unchanged.

The request from Dittmar Co. comes 13 months after County Board members approved the initial redevelopment plan. But those 13 months have proved a lifetime – perhaps several lifetimes – for developers, especially developers of hotel properties.

As originally envisioned, the project, to be built in two towers of 25 and 38 stories connected by a smaller structure, called for:

• A 375-room hotel.

• 502 residential units.

• A 37,000-square-foot conference center.

• A 14,000-square-foot restaurant.

The revision, which has the support of county staff, would delete 49 hotel rooms and add 21 residential units, while maintaining the overall FAR [floor-area ratio] of the project at 9.94 – meaning the project’s overall square footage is just under 10 times the total lot size. (That figure is in the mid-range of Arlington urban-corridor projects; as a means of visual comparison, the FAR of the Empire State Building is 25.0.)

The developer now plans to build the residential tower first, waiting until it is completed to move forward with the hotel space in hopes that, then, the COVID pandemic will be in the rear-view mirror and both tourism and business travel will have rebounded.

For the county government, the change likely will result in a small decline in tax revenue, as hotels generally bring in more than residential properties.

[Sun Gazette Newspapers provides content to, but otherwise is unaffiliated with, InsideNoVa or Rappahannock Media LLC.]

(1) comment

CJE

If the tourism sector is as vibrant as is claimed, why the rush to convert hotel to residential use?

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