Open-Air Mall, Interactive Tech Art Coming to Ballston

by Dan Lesniak

Ballsotn Common MallIn recent months there has been a lot of planning for the Rosslyn re-development project, but what of other Orange Line Living neighborhoods? Not to be forgotten, the Ballston Business Improvement District (BID) has announced, at its annual meeting last week, several new projects set to bring new life to the Ballston neighborhood. At the top of the redevelopment plan will be an open-air plaza replacing part of Ballston Common Mall, and high tech, interactive public art projects.

BID is aware that the current Common Mall doesn’t meet the needs of the neighborhood, so the first part of the plan is to demolish the old Macy’s Furniture store and other parts of the mall, allowing for a new 29-story residential apartment tower to be built. The building will have 393 units and is projected to be completed by 2017. There will be four levels of underground parking and two floors of retail space, which will have a restaurant and entertainment focus, aimed at serving those who work and live in the area.

Some current key retail residents will remain in what will be the closed-air section of the mall. Kettler Capitals Iceplex, the main Macy’s store, Sport & Health Club and Regal Cinemas will become the Ballston Center. In addition to the new tower, there will an open-air plaza area. Demolition is expected to begin by the end of 2015. It is also possible the pedestrian bridge from the mall to the National Science Foundation headquarters will be taken down, depending on what the NSF building’s owner and Forest City, owner of the mall, can agree upon for a future plan.

Other plans to improve Ballston were also announced at the BID meeting, including public art works. Welburn Square will have a hands-on light and sound feature for visitors to enjoy, called “The Cloud”. There will also be the “Forest of Knowledge” at the square, with LED powered “eyes” that visitors can interact with via a mobile app. Even the Metro Plaza is slated to get a facelift with an interactive light project, which will use people’s movements to create an entertaining light show. Bus parking will also be redesigned and a small amphitheater added to the Metro Plaza. In total, Ballston is set to have eight new technology-based public art projects installed between July and November of this year.

Ballston is set to become a new livelier center for the Orange Line. Myself, and the Orange Line Living team, are here to provide you with our unique and specialized services so you can turn your dreams into reality. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us directly at 571-969-7653 or at [email protected]

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