Crystal City Business Improvement District to Expand

Crystal City Business Improvement District to Expand

The Arlington County Board voted to allow the Crystal City Business Improvement District (BID) to expand its boundaries to encompass the interconnected portions of Pentagon City and Potomac Yard.

The BID’s new boundaries, which represent a 76 percent increase in its geographic area, will now cover approximately 12 million square feet of office space, 12,000 residential units, 5,500 hotel rooms and 1.4 million square feet of retail.

By incorporating the majority of Pentagon City to the west and the entire Arlington section of Potomac Yard to the south, the BID will be better positioned to support the district’s transformation and build on the momentum that is already underway.

“We are grateful to the Arlington County Board and local property owners for their support of our longstanding goal of uniting these three vibrant communities,” said Tracy Sayegh Gabriel, President and Executive Director of the Crystal City BID. “This area is in the midst of a remarkable transformation with billions of dollars committed in public and private investment. Through this BID expansion, we will be much better positioned to ensure our downtown’s growth is accomplished in ways that are sustainable and enhance the area’s diversity and livability.”

The expanded BID will be governed by a Board of Directors of up to 26 people from a wide range of perspectives and drawn from each geography of the district. Representation from key stakeholders will be incorporated including from the office, residential, technology, hotel, retail, cultural, non-profit and civic sectors.

Strategic Plan and Community Outreach

In May 2019, the BID released its Strategic Plan, which outlines a series of initiatives designed to foster a more dynamic and cohesive urban district. While the notion of expanding the BID dates back to 2013, the strategic planning process, which engaged about 3,000 stakeholders, reconfirmed the value in seeking BID expansion at this time and developing a plan that encompasses all three distinct, but interconnected neighborhoods.

As part of this endeavor, the BID has also engaged in a place branding effort to help define the area’s identity and elevate it as one of the region’s most convenient, inviting, and evolving urban centers. This branding initiative began last year and has continued into 2019 with an involved committee and robust stakeholder engagement process. A community survey in August generated more than 1,000 responses in which area residents weighed in on matters such as the neighborhood qualities and visual aspects they value most. The BID will also be holding a series of focus groups to further expand the dialogue on these topics, followed by two open houses (see sidebar). The events will allow area residents, workers and stakeholders to hear more about the work of the expanded organization, the status of the place branding effort, and discuss upcoming priorities directly with BID representatives.

“With BID expansion complete and tremendous change underway, now is the perfect time to hear directly from residents about the attributes of the community they value most and their hopes for the future,” added Ms. Gabriel. “Through this endeavor, we will be able to better take action to realize our shared vision for the future of the area."

The Crystal City Business Improvement District (BID) is a public-private partnership established to promote the area’s vibrant business, retail, restaurant and residential community. As Virginia’s largest downtown, the Crystal City, Pentagon City and Potomac Yard – Arlington area is a dynamic mixed-use, walkable urban center that includes more than 32,000 residents, over 5,800 hotel rooms, and over 400 restaurants and shops. More than $342 million in public infrastructure investment and over $4 billion of private projects are in the pipeline over the next five years. The BID is supporting the exciting transformation of the area through placemaking, public art, transportation, economic development, events, and marketing/promotion. For more information,

Get Involved

The Open Houses, scheduled for Oct. 8 and Oct. 15 from 6 pm to 7:30 pm, will include opportunities to meet and discuss the expansion with BID staff and to learn more about how this strategic move affects our area’s priorities and brand story.

Open House Details:

What: Join the Crystal City Business Improvement District and our stakeholders to celebrate the expansion of our organization’s boundaries to include Pentagon City and the Arlington portion of Potomac Yard. Discuss the expansion with BID staff, learn more about how this strategic move affects our area’s priorities, explore a new organizational name, and share your feedback on a brand story. Visit

When: Tuesday, Oct. 8 or Tuesday, Oct. 15

Time: 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm

Location: Main Floor Conference Center, 251 18th Street South, Arlington, Virginia