Proposed 24-story building in Crystal City.
Crystal City is like a miniature downtown Washington, in the sense that most of the buildings are mid-rises of the same height. But it won’t be for much longer.
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 they have reevaluated those rules, and are now willing to negotiate building heights on a case-by-case basis.
The first major exception to the height limit came in 2009, when 6 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 at right, 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.