Crystal City’s height limit is the result of proximity to Reagan National Airport and was imposed by the Federal Aviation Administration, not Arlington County. For decades, the FAA was very strict about its height limit; exceptions were not allowed. However, in recent years it has reevaluated those rules and is now willing to negotiate building heights on a case-by-case basis.
The first major exception to the height limit came in 2009, when six floors were added to 220 20th Street as part of an office-to-residential building renovation.
About that same time, Arlington adopted its new Crystal City Sector Plan, which calls for significantly taller buildings throughout the neighborhood.
And now, the first major new development has been proposed under that plan. Pictured here, the proposal is for a soaring 24-story office tower at 1900 Crystal Drive. It will be Crystal City’s tallest building, at least until something even taller comes along.
In order to build the new tower, developers will have tear down the existing 11-story office building at 1851 S. Bell Street. They’ll also need endorsements from Arlington County and the FAA, obviously.
ARLnow has more details.
Dan Malouff is an Arlington County transportation planner who blogs independently at BeyondDC.com. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.