BUSINESS

PenPlace project approved by Arlington County Board

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A change in the season also brought with it future changes to Arlington. This weekend, the Arlington County Board approved a massive mixed-use development project known as PenPlace.

It will bring nearly 2-million square feet of commercial space, and one of its buildings could stand 22-stories high.

Crystal City Business Improvement District President and CEO Angela Fox said, "This is a culmination of a three year process vetting a place called PenPlace which is potentially five buildings on almost 10 acres right here in the Pentagon City, Crystal City area."

PenPlace will bring new offices, retail space, a hotel and possibly more residential units to the area, all neighboring another project under construction.

"This is what we call the Mets project and this particular corner is going to be 699 apartments, and a Whole Foods on the bottom level which will open in 2016," said Fox.

Less than three miles away in the Arlington Ridge community, Civic Association Vice President Molly Watson said she's 'disillusioned' about the next phase of PenPlace. This comes after two years of voicing concerns about requiring residential units in the plans, so people would use the space on nights and weekends, plus limits on parking.

Watson said they worry more traffic will extend onto local roads, which are already crowded.

The county held 25 community meetings on the site plan, and while the public was encouraged to weigh in, Watson said the Board only made minor concessions.

"We did come to a plan that the planning commission voted for that included residential, and the County Board threw the whole thing out," said Watson.

Although options to scale back remain limited, she said, "Our biggest concern right now is that the developer doesn't continue with this on other property they own."

PenPlace will sit on one of the few remaining undeveloped spaces left in Arlington. The total build out period is estimated between 15 to 20 years.

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