Greater density, more public space proposed in Pentagon City redevelopment plan | ARLnow.com

Greater housing density and more public open space are included in a new development proposal for a Pentagon City shopping area.

Proposed changes to the Pentagon Centre Development Site Plan (PDSP), slated for consideration at a Planning Commission meeting on Thursday, call for an additional 1,195 residential units and 333,300 more square feet of office space. A new “pocket park,” expanded recreation areas and an interim public space are also included in possible revisions to the redevelopment plan last modified in 2015.

Kimco Realty‘s proposal for the 17-acre site — which is currently home to Costco, Best Buy, Nordstrom Rack, and apartments, next to the Pentagon City Metro station — also includes less retail space than previously approved: 269,000 square feet compared to 346,600.

Redevelopment would take place in two phases, the second of which would begin after Costco’s lease at 1200 S. Fern Street expires in about 25 years.

“Staff supports the proposed changes to the PDSP phasing,” a county report says. “Phase I will now deliver residential and retail uses as well as the interim public space, rather than mostly office space, as approved with the 2015 amendment. Phase II of the PDSP will provide the expected office uses for the site as well as the majority of the public space, which is in excess of the total amount approved in 2015.”

Overall, the draft plan calls for taller structures than previously approved. It would increase the heights of four buildings, adding between six and 25 stories to each of them. The tallest would now stand at 296 feet.

Taller buildings — along with the removal of surface parking — will allow more density, including more than a million square feet of additional residential space, while adding substantial green space. Earlier plans for the property, which currently consists almost entirely of structures and pavement, also called for new, dedicated green space.

Comparison of approved and proposed building heights (via Arlington County)

“Given the site’s location in the Pentagon City Metro core, the comparable building heights that have been approved for adjacent sites, and the building tapering consistent with the PDSP’s Guiding Principles and Design Guidelines, staff supports the proposed modifications for increases in building height and finds the arrangement of the height more appropriate than previous versions of the PDSP,” the report says.

The latest proposal slightly modifies the earlier plan to build a street grid through the site, improving pedestrian, bicycle and vehicle access. Other streetscape changes are planned, including the construction of protected bicycle lanes on S. Fern Street and a portion of 15th Street S.

In keeping with county goals, at least 40% of the site would have tree canopy coverage and at least 10% of new approved residential units would be guaranteed affordable for people earning up to 60% of the area median income.

Arlington’s Transportation Commission gave its stamp of approval to the plan changes in a 9-0 vote last month.

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