Re-Planning Crystal City as a 21st Century Urban Village
April 26, 2011
The 2006 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) action hit Arlington, Virginia, hard. The loss of 17,000 Department of Defense employees and 4.2 million square feet of leased space was the equivalent of losing five military bases, and most of the impact was in the Crystal City neighborhood. Developed largely in the 1960s and 1970s, Crystal City contained approximately 30 buildings aged 30 years or more, originally built to GSA specifications that no longer reflected the needs of the market. Arlington developed a plan to remove the older office buildings, add more than 30 new buildings, increase density by more than 60 percent, and substantially improve transportation and the entire urban environment.
This discussion addressed the planning process, the economic and transportation analyses that served as the basis of the plan, and the innovative financing plan developed to pay for the necessary infrastructure to make the plan a reality.
Terry Holzheimer, FAICP, is the Director of Arlington Economic Development in Arlington, Virginia where he has worked since 1996. Prior to joining Arlington County, he served as Director of Economic Development for Loudoun County, Virginia. Holzheimer has also served as the Washington Regional Manager for Legg Mason Real Estate Research, Inc. and Field Director for the National League of Cities. He is currently a member of the adjunct faculty at Virginia Tech in the Urban Affairs and Planning program. Holzheimer has a Ph.D. in Public Policy from George Mason University. He studied Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Miami and has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Florida.
Alex Iams is a Commercial Development Planner at Arlington Economic Development (AED). At AED Iams prepares the economic components of Arlington County sector plans. Prior to joining AED, he held positions at the Council of Development Finance Agencies, the International Economic Development Council, and the City of Dublin, Ohio. Throughout his career Iams has written and presented on the topics of planning, public finance, and economic development. He has a Master of City and Regional Planning degree from the Ohio State University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Washington.