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Proposed Ballston Development Draws Concerns from Residents

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All renderings via David M. Schwarz Architects Inc./WDG Architecture

A proposed mixed-use development on what Washington Business Journal describes as "perhaps Ballston's highest-profile corner" has drawn concern from Arlington residents who belong to a group known as the Bluemont Civic Association (BCA). In the BCA's October 2015 newsletter, they wrote that the current proposal has "exceptionally low traffic assumptions" and limited pedestrian access and circulation. Washington Business Journal reported that the proposed mixed-use development at 750 N. Glebe Road would house 483 apartments (increased from the previously proposed 431), 68,185-square-feet of ground-floor retail and a 48,000-square-foot grocery store. 760 below-grade parking spaces would also be provided. Four connected buildings will make up the entire development and will be managed as one entity. Each building will differ in height, ranging from four stories to 12 stories and from 43 feet to 155 feet.

Because the proposed 550,000-square-foot project is larger than what Zoning Regulations allow, the developer will have to build to a LEED Gold Standard and provide affordable housing in order to gain relief. Other challenges that the development brings is that Arlington staff may struggle with the proposal as the policy guidance for the site is neither detailed nor updated, reported the Washington Business Journal. Additionally, due to the site's close location to single-family homes and neighborhood streets, the BCA wrote in their June 2015 newsletter that they hope the development will "preserve and enhance the single-family townhouse character of the residential neighborhoods."

The developer acquired the 2.79-acre site after multiple transactions that totaled roughly $46 million. Currently, the site houses multiple surface parking lots, a Rosenthal Mazda dealership, and an Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Once the developer's building completes construction, Enterprise will relocate to the ground-floor of the building.

· 750 N. Glebe Road (Mazda Block) []
· B.F. Saul's big pitch for high-profile Ballston block takes shape [Washington Business Journal]
· October 2015 newsletter [The Bluemont Civic Association]
· June 2015 newsletter [The Bluemont Civic Association]