Land Revitalization Summer '05 Newsletter – Prime D.C. Suburban Property Back on the Map
It is hard to imagine a prime piece of land in Arlington, Virginia, just outside our nation's capital, sitting vacant for very long. But, that was the case with the Clarendon Triangle, a 1 ½-acre plot fouled by petroleum and largely ignored since the 1980s. The site is now back on the map, as home to Jefferson at Clarendon Centre, a planned community that houses 257 residential units with 14,000 square feet of retail space.
Since the early 1920s, Clarendon Triangle had been the site of both residential and commercial usage, previously occupied by gas stations, a car wash, an automobile dealership, and an office building. However, by the 1980s, the contaminated site was shunned by developers and deplored by nearby residents.
Starting in the late 1990s, the surrounding Arlington area began to experience significant revitalization due to market forces and "smart growth" initiatives. The Virginia DEQ Northern Virginia Regional Office (NVRO) was notified of redevelopment plans for the Clarendon Triangle property. As with most urban redevelopment, environmental issues were a major obstacle.
To resolve these issues, the property owner (JPI Apartment Development, LP), their consultants ( Environmental Consultants and Contractors) , and their lending institution (First Union ), worked extensively with the Virginia DEQ NVRO on a variety of environmental, regulatory, and financial concerns prior to the start of redevelopment.
Before construction began, a plan to address petroleum contamination and worker safety was formulated and approved, discharge permits were issued to handle treated excavation water, and reimbursement from the Virginia Petroleum Storage Tank Fund was approved for certain cleanup activities. Even when unexpected areas of petroleum contamination were found, the changes were successfully incorporated into the existing work plan. By working closely with the DEQ, the problem was properly addressed, and no additional construction time was lost.
By late April 2002, the foundation and subsurface structure of the residential and commercial building had been completed, and the environmental issues were successfully resolved. Construction was completed in the fall of 2003.
The redevelopment came with a $47 million price tag, however, the owners recently sold the property to a group of limited partnerships for $63 million, turning a substantial profit in less than two years. Clarendon Centre also has created a number of temporary and full time jobs, while providing a long-term, improved tax base for the community.
Return to Summer 2005 Newsletter