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What community benefits would you like to see?
NRCA Director
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I think that it important in the development of the plaza at 1401 that children be taken into the design. It could become a gathering place for mothers with small children, a play area for tots and even teens. This could enliven the plaza, even if the grocery restaurant did not go in. There are several examples of this happening within the county currently. I think too often Rosslyn is not seen as a community with people of all ages. Planners need to think more community and less business oriented if this place is to be lively and vibrant. Terri Prell
Posts: 75 | Registered: March 31, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Another community benefit suggestion:
Use of part of West Gateway Park as a dog run.

I've heard that the area is too small to be the kind of premium dog-run that Arlingtonians deserve. That's hardly compelling. Better something than nothing to meet an obvious community need.

Mark Antell
Posts: 319 | Registered: December 08, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
NRCA First Vice-President
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I agree with Terri on designing with children and teens in mind. It would be great to have a public gathering space that attracts kids.
Posts: 60 | Registered: June 17, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
NRCA First Vice-President
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Please post any more ideas, objections or agreements for community benefits from the development project for 1400 Key Blvd. and 1401 Wilson. We will bring ideas to the county planning committee this month, so it's very important you provide your opinion now.
Posts: 60 | Registered: June 17, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I am a new member of Rosslyn and the NRCA and it has been interesting to read about ideas for the Rosslyn community. With respect to the question What community benefits do you want to see? for the 1400 Key/Wilson/Oak property I thought I'd offer some, as well.

While I am not fully clear how "community benefit" is defined, I think it could be mean offering both public assets like a public park and underground utilities as well as the things that make neighborhood life feel vibrant and interesting and that build community like a great grocery store and coffee shop (America's version of the traditional market).

I agree with really all of the ideas presented for a green space/park, underground utilities, and a market as well as more retail/restaurant space. My experience in city planning indicates that a very well-designed "Plaza" would incorporate attractive greenery, benches for sitting, a water feature - which is always attractive to children, adequate lighting, space for temporary entertainment like music and public art, and thus creates an overall great experience for pedestrians. Given the art-related businesses in Rosslyn, a place for public art seems like an easy amenity to incorporate.

Now the other issue that should be required of this project and all new building developments in Rosslyn is for street level retail/professional office space on all streets. I am surprised that this is not already a County code requirement, as seems evident by the new building 1812 N Moore St. Maybe the code has changed since that project was approved - that I don't know. Large blank walls and deep building set-backs really hurt the pedestrian experience, significantly inhibit movement and thus activity. Rosslyn has too many blank walls. Even where they may be necessary, breaks in the architecture at pedestrian scale make the experience more pleasurable. Big, blank walls could be a upgraded with public mural art or green walls w/plantings, etc. Again, more art opportunity.

This great experience for pedestrians is something that I feel is really missing in Rosslyn as a whole. When I walk the streets I don't get a "stay and linger feel," but that I must get to my destination as quickly as possible. The streets tend to feel cold and uninteresting. There isn't enough energy at the street level to create the vibrancy I think most people enjoy. That is generally created by tenant space w/doors and windows at the street level. The best area I walk to regularly is Wilson Blvd due to the activity at the street level on those few blocks. (This area could be further enhanced by special landscaping/greenery like hanging flower baskets as in Georgetown and better more elegant street lighting. It's always easier to build on something good.)

One of the best new examples of a successful mixed-use development on a single block in the metro area is the Wisconsin Place development in Chevy Chase, MD. It incorporates all of the ideas mentioned by you (incl a Whole Foods Market) and could be a great model for 1400 Oak St., though on a smaller scale. Two requirements made by Montgomery County were 1) a public park (located in front of Archstone Apt and is dog-friendly though not off-leash) and 2) a community recreation center. Site-specific exactions do work and should be used by Arlington Co. to get good design and amenities if the developer is not willing to offer them on its own. Wisc. Place is at the Friendship Heights Metro Stop.
Posts: 2 | Registered: November 02, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
NRCA First Vice-President
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Thanks to everyone who contributed to this discussion. Based upon feedback in this forum and input at the November 14, 2013 NRCA member meeting, I will propose the following community benefits from the 1401 Wilson Boulevard/1400 Key Blvd site redevelopment. The benefits that received 6 or more votes at the Nov. 14 member meeting are listed as "first priority" while benefits that received 5 or fewer (but more than 1) are listed as "second priority."

First priority benefits:
1) Upgrade Gateway Park.
2) Make pedestrian improvements to the crossing of Fort Myer Drive to the West Rosslyn Metro Station entrance to include a signalized mid-block crossing.
3) Make the 1400 Key Blvd plaza child and teen friendly (i.e. include a playground or tot lot).
4) Underground utilities of adjacent neighborhood: from 1601-1663 Colonial Terrace continuing to 1541 N 19th Street and the power “leg” from N 19th Street to Key Blvd through the community garden.
5) Maintain or improve the sky walk over Fort Myer Drive and N Nash Street, connecting NRCA residents with the Rosslyn Metro Station.
6) Add a small branch library at the site.

Second priority benefits:
7) Add an urgent care facility at the site.
8) Improve lighting on the western end of N 19th Street near the intersection of N 19th Street and Key Blvd and add camera surveillance.
9) Fund an ART bus route to circulate serving the Rosslyn Metro Station and the NRCA neighborhood.
10) Remove the Ft. Myer Drive tunnel.
Posts: 60 | Registered: June 17, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
NRCA First Vice-President
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REMINDER: Please post any additional ideas regarding community benefits or send them to They are being provided to the county this week. Thank you!
Posts: 60 | Registered: June 17, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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