VIRGINIA

Arlington residents fight Pentagon City development plan

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Some Arlington residents are fighting a proposed mixed-use development in Pentagon City. They're calling on the county board of supervisors to delay and change the project.

The development project is called "Pen Place," and it would be located on a 9.2 acre lot just northeast of the Costco in Pentagon City.

If approved, Pen Place would include nearly two million square feet of office space, which is controversial as current development allows only residential and hotel development.

Along Arlington Ridge Road, residents say traffic flows non-stop, especially at rush hour when drivers try to avoid backups on I-395. 

Lee Geanuleas of Arlington said, "The addition of a large, 300-foot office complex here in Pentagon City will just exacerbate that situation."

Many homeowners have planted green signs in their yards to show their opposition for the proposed developments in nearby Pentagon City.

"Traffic, noise and then the extra people," added Arlington resident Cindy MacIntyre.

Supporters of the project say the office space, plus a hotel and retail space, would generate more tax revenue. Business leaders add the area need new commercial space.

Angela Fox, Crystal City Bid President/CEO, explained, "...having the opportunity to have new class A office space which can attract a various array of tenants - not just tenants looking for older office stock - is very valuable to our community and sort of the turn around of the market as a whole."

Residents say the neighborhood isn't against development.

Geanuleas added, "We think intelligent development of Pentagon City, Crystal City makes sense. It's been going on for decades, and we're not going to stop it. We just want to see it done intelligently."

County leaders say they're listening.

"There will be development that will take place there. And the community by and large knows and accepts that there will be some development," said Arlington County Board Chairman Walter Tejada. "The question is what type of development?...how tall would it be?"

Tejada says there's no action before the board yet. They thought they'd be considering the proposal in March, but with the opposition from residents, it may be a little longer now.

A site plan review committee meeting is schedule for later this month.

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