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Does Rosslyn need another high-rise?

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ARLINGTON, Va. (WJLA) - Construction crews started the long work of building a high-rise on Monday in Rosslyn. Central Place is expected to stretch 31 stories into the sky, and will be one of the tallest residential buildings in the immediate D.C. area – as well as the latest in a major building boom in Rosslyn.

When Charles County resident Kevon Smith started visiting the neighborhood two years ago, it was a much different scene:

“It’s certainly a lot more built than what it was -- they've been doing construction right here for longer than I can remember."

The new project is being built by Chevy Chase-based JBG, and it is one of the two new high-rise buildings that will occupy this city block within the next few years.

"Rosslyn is undergoing a transformation," says Rosslyn Business Improvement District Director, Mary-Claire Burick. "This transformation has been coming for a long time, and now we're really starting to see that at the street level."

But many questions arise on whether there is even a demand for these new structures in Rosslyn. Construction of this new building begins roughly five months after another high-rise opened its doors – which to this day remains empty.

The 24-story office tower was completed in October, and while it has spectacular wrap-around views of D.C. and Northern Virginia, as well as fine Italian marble, it still doesn’t have a single tenant.

"It looks nice, but I'm sure it's gonna cost a lot of money to rent that space, so it's going to go empty for a little awhile," says Ashleigh Bouknight, who works in Arlington.

So while there is plenty of excitement about a new building to dot the Rosslyn skyline, there is still some hesitation regarding whether there is even a market for it.

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