An article in yesterday's Business section incorrectly reported that Weaver Bros. will not be involved in a big mixed-use development planned for the Ballston Metro stop. Weaver Bros. will be the leasing and management agent for the project.
Metrorail officials and a group of local developers have reached agreement for construction of a giant residential, retail, office and hotel complex on the site of the Ballston Metro Station in Arlington.
The 700,000-square-foot multi-use project, to be known as Ballston Metro Center, will be developed by International Developers Inc. (IDI) and Clarence Dodge Jr. under a lease agreement with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. The site, which is approximately two acres, is above the underground transit facilities and, because of its proximity to the transit line, carries one of the highest potential development densities of any building site in Arlington.
The plans for the project were revealed after developers and transit officials reached what Metro called "an agreement in principle for the development of the Ballston site."
About two-thirds of the site is owned by Metro and will be leased to the developers, who already own the remainder. Officials said the rental terms are not yet worked out.
Ballston Metro Center will occupy "a full city block," according to Giuseppe Cecchi, president of IDI.
The area around the site, which is now the end of the Orange line in Virginia, already is undergoing major revitalization even though residential and commercial development has been slower in coming than Arlington officials had anticipated.
David Dantzler of the county's Economic Development Division said "we are quite excited about the first mixed-use proposal in the central area of Ballston. Details have to be worked out with the county, but we are clearly excited."
"Ballston is clearly on its way to becoming the most active and vital neighborhood in Arlington County, and our project will be the town center of this neighborhood," Cecchi said, adding that the station site is the best development location in the Ballston area.
According to Cecchi, the $75 million development will include a 240-room hotel, 290 condominium units and more than 200,000 square feet of office space. Plans also call for more than 30,000 square feet of retail space, a health spa with an indoor swimming pool, and an 850-car garage.
Metro officials said underground parking can be accommodated on the site without affecting underground transit facilities, which are contained within a vault.
Eventually the project will be linked by an elevated walkway to the new Ballston Shopping Mall, formerly known as Parkington. That mall, which is under construction, will contain three major department stores and more than 125 shops and restaurants around a three-level concourse. The Hecht Co. is renovating its old store on that site.
The plan for Ballston Metro Center will not be filed with Arlington County until later this year, but developers said they hope to begin construction next summer, with completion scheduled for 1988.
Bus shelters at the site will be relocated temporarily to adjacent streets, Metro officials said. However, one of WMATA's major requirements for development at the site calls for a continued "high degree of bus operations," according to Richard Miller, acting director of WMATA's development branch.
For the past five years, the block that will become the base for the new development has served as a transfer base for Metro buses.
Beverly Silverberg of Metro said that, even though the Orange line is scheduled to open to the Vienna station in mid-1986, the Ballston station will remain a heavy bus transfer point. Under an agreement with Metro, IDI will incorporate most of the existing Metro facilities into the development.
"We are attracted by Ballston's imminent evolution into a cohesive 24-hour environment," Cecchi said. "We believe that Ballston Metro Center's primary uses are symbolic of the people-oriented community that Ballston is becoming."
Cecchi has been involved in development in the Washington Metro area in a variety of commercial and residential development. One of his most visible projects is Techworld near the District's Convention Center. This giant $240 million complex contains a 900-room hotel, and a 1-million-square-foot high-technology trade center is awaiting final approval.
Dodge is chairman of the board of Weaver Bros., but the big real estate concern will not be involved in the Ballston project.