National Gateway Project Moves Forward

National Gateway Project Moves Forward

Potomac Yard development, containing 2.8 million feet of office, residential, commercial and hotel space,will continue unchanged.

Development of the National Gateway site at Potomac Yard will continue unchanged, as planned revisions to the project have been withdrawn, officials from Bethesda-based Meridian Group said.

The original plan called for more than 2.8 million square feet of office, residential, commercial, and hotel buildings on the property, which sits south of Crystal City near the Potomac River.

THE COMPANY considered diminishing the amount of office space, adding residential units and removing the hotel, said Tim Eden, managing director of the National Gateway development project.

But after closer review, the company decided against revising its plans because it would have jeopardized its vision of having an office park, said Frieda Wray, an Arlington planning official.

County officials believe that mixed-use development in Potomac Yard will create a more vibrant community south of Crystal City.

"The spirit of Potomac Yard is very much in keeping with Arlington County," said Eden, adding that the changes to the project were proposed more than a year ago when the market was different.

When the project is complete, it will contain approximately 1.9 million square feet of total office space, with a branch of the Environmental Protection Agency serving as one of the major tenants. Nearly 100,000-square-feet of shops and restaurants will be located on the ground floor.

Two residential buildings are currently under construction, with a total of 88,000 square feet of units, and a hotel will be housed on the property.

Another main feature of the development will be a two-acre linear park, designed to give residents access to outdoor dining and entertainment, complete with sculptures and fountains.

Though the site already possesses a high degree of density, Meridian has proposed adding even more retail.

County officials believe the blend of residential, commercial and retail space will entice a large number of individuals and businesses to relocate to Potomac Yard.

"Everything they need, it will be right there where they need it, said Tom Newman, director of the Real Estate Development, a part of the Arlington Economic Development department. "It’s a very well thought-out plan with money put into every little detail, from transit to landscaping and more."

The project will serve as an anchor for "a whole new neighborhood for Arlington," which will include retail such as a 50,000-square-foot Harris Teeter grocery store, County Board Chairman Chris Zimmerman said.

The county is currently looking into new transit options for the new residents of Potomac Yard, which would carry them to Alexandria and the Crystal City Metro stop, said Terry Holzheimer, director of Arlington Economic Development.