Courthouse to Gain New Green Space

by Dan Lesniak

Empty_Courthouse_Plaza_parking_lot_(8138299473)Orange Line Living in Courthouse will become greener. The area between Courthouse Plaza and the Arlington County Justice Center will change from a parking lot to open green space with building redevelopment. As of July 24th, the Arlington Community Planning Housing and Development (CPHD) presented three options for revamping the parking lot as a part of the Envision Courthouse Square outreach plan, for which I posted a blog a few months back. Common to each plan, the parking lot will move below ground. The unveiled concepts each include a town green space with bicycle and pedestrian paths, helping Courthouse become more appealing to those who leave the car behind.

This was the last meeting to be held for direct input from the community prior to final proposed plans being presented in the fall as the Courthouse Sector Plan Addendum. The county is encouraging feedback as the ultimate goal of Envision Courthouse is to create an overall plan approved by the community as a shared vision for the neighborhood. If you missed the meeting, the CPHD will be posting an online survey where you can weigh in your opinion.

Concept A includes 3.9 acres of green space with a pedestrian promenade connecting 14th and 15th streets N. It also calls for converting part of 15th Street into a shared corridor for bicyclists, pedestrians and vehicles. Two buildings would be redeveloped under this concept, with new street frontages for the Strayer building, adding up to 180 feet to the height. The Landmark block would see a rise in 300 feet. Concept A also calls for new retail shops in front of the movie theater and a new 180 foot building next to it.

Concept B has the pedestrian promenade being set diagonally across from the Strayer Building. This plan GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAincludes 4.2 acres of green space including a small “pocket” park between Courthouse Plaza and N. Veitch Street. It also switches the new building heights proposed in Concept A and calls for redeveloping the movie theater up to 180 feet tall, and includes a new three to five story “cultural center” at Verizon Plaza.

Concept C includes 3.15 acres of green space and an east-west alignment of the paths and streets in the area. It proposes the addition of an open air market space next to the theater. The plan includes the proposed additional heights to the Strayer building and Landmark Block, but also includes two 10-12 story buildings along 14th Street. There is also an option to keep the original theater or add in a new cultural use building. The Verizon Plaza would be the site for a 300 foot high rise.

Envision Courthouse is on its way from plan to reality. Envisioning a wonderful home buying or selling experience is something that can go from plan to reality also. Myself, and the Orange Line Living team are here to provide you with our unique and specialized services so you can turn your plans 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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