Tuesday, June 08, 2010

The Arlandrian News Round-up "Checking in with the neighbors" Edition

Now arrived: Del Ray Central
The site formerly known at the "Triangle" and "Mount Vernon Commons" is now opened for occupation as Del Ray Central.  The apartment building is currently renting and it is going strong.  There have been several "Grand Opening" events and we hear that in the first month 30 apartments were already rented.

Loves labor found
Gaver Nichols' The Lofts at Del Ray Village - a three-story, fourteen thousand square foot development that will resuscitate a vacant lot at 2707-2711 Mount Vernon Avenue (at Commonwealth ) is reported back on track according to this story in DCMud.

Green but not growing
Del Ray Greens the project at 2903 Mount Vernon Avenue, nearby to the Lofts, is apparently not blooming as quickly as its neighbors, according to this other story in DCMud.

The Avenue at the new Calvert
Back on track
The renovations for the Calvert, first outlined in the Arlandrian a year ago, are apparently on track for a September hearing.  There was a protest taken to the Board of Zoning Appeals, where a commercial tenant argued that the City wrongly failed to include him as having an "ownership interest" in the property.  It was rejected, since a property owner's planning approvals are generally not beholden to a leaseholder.

Rolling along
Now Arriving: Potomac Yard
In February, the Arlandrian reported "we can see the finish line" on the Potomac Yard Metro and later that the Washington Post's Dr. Gridlock listed adding a Potomac Yard Metro station as one of the most important things that WMATA should do to fix the system. Well, the view is clearer now that the Planning Commission has approved the plan for redevelopment of the Potomac Yard Retail Center. On Saturday, City Council will also review it and will likely be giving it the go ahead.  Last week, the Arlandrian asked Brookings scholar and Potomac Yard expert, Christopher Leinberger, about his views on the plan:
I have been working on Potomac Yards for 20 years...working with the RR which used to own it. I was VERY disappointed with the power center (Target anchored) at first. But then I found out that that is basically an interim land use and those same stores may be the anchors for a huge mixed use walkable urban TOD. Brilliant...so I was wrong.
The developer gets it and is willing to work on paying for the station (a form of value capture) since he sees the power of TOD...he is the same developer who did the retail in Clarendon. The city is quite behind it...the mayor lives within walking distance and is probably looking forward to walking there for lunch some day.
Indeed, the finance folks have corroborated Mr. Leinberger's views: as reported at the Planning Commission hearing, the credit rating agencies have given the City a thumbs up, saying that, unlike stadiums or convention centers, Transit-Oriented Development is the wisest investment a municipality can make. The City's additional debt load would be inconsequential.

Sketch of Renovations
And don't call me Shirley
Another facelift is planned for the Arlington Ridge Shopping Center on South Glebe Road, formerly known as Shirley Plaza. Recent buyers Eden & Avant plan to upgrade the landscaping, alter the facade and activate some of the green space as small park space. According to the Washington Business Journal, the work follows the recent renovation of the center's Giant supermarket.
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