The All New Ballston is coming in 2017
Get excited, people. There are some wonderful projects afoot in the Orange Line Corridor, and they are set in motion for the Ballston area- slated for completion in 2017. After attending the Ballston BID annual meeting on Monday, June 23rd, I should have immediately jumped on the Yahoooo! moment of getting the word out, but you know what, I really needed a second to let all of the wonderful projects that are coming to fruition sink into my head!
Ballston BID calling it like they see it
The whole “innovation” of Ballston and reinvention of the area is to make the area become a destination, or an area that people don’t want to leave. It was apparent in Jay Fisette’s opening remarks, before he handed the reigns over to Tina Leone, the CEO of Ballston BID, that there is so much going on in the area and may people that brought this conceptualization to fruition. Fisette said “There is a lot of talent that contributes to our success…” He was speaking to how Arlingtonians come together to make things happen when they see a need. He was also speaking to how innovative and exceptional the BID plan is to the community. When Tina started speaking, she was preaching to the choir, as she reminded everyone that there are seventy restaurants in a five block radius in Ballston. Awesome…. guess what? Real estate along this part of the orange line is about to get better because we’re coming together, just like Jay Fisette mentioned to make this area where we live, work and play even more dynamic, innovative, and exceptional.
Bringing Ballston All Together
“All Together” is the theme set by the Re-Vamping Committee, Ballston BID and ForestCity. “The all-new Ballston – where life comes together. Completely reimagined from teh ground up, it’s a breath of fresh air inside and out. With exciting, new places to gather, shop, dine and take in the scene, All amidst a walkable neighborhood that feels real because it is. Forget the mall and embrace the street and brand-new world- all that Ballston has to offer. All together.” The Kettler ice rink will remain the same, as will the parking garage, but the mall will come down, to be replaced with an open air shopping space filled with natural light and a new gathering space and 365,000sf of retail shopping, 4040 Wilson will become a new residential tower across from Kettler with 393 new residential units. The Metro space is being re-configured to allow for lovely gathering and community space with a potential for an amphitheater.
What is really in the 2017 plan
One of the most intriguing things about the planning is that art installations that are interactive will be incorporated throughout the Ballston Corridor, including in the re-design of the Metro canopy. The medians will have new, beautiful, drought-tolerant plantings. The streets will be lined with “Ballston” LED signage that will be capable of being interactive art pieces as well as change with the seasons and specific Ballston events such as “Taste of Arlington.”
From Taste of Arlington’s restaurant challenge sprung a new restaurant, currently to be called Casita. Top Chef winner Mike Isabella, also opening a restaurant, Kapnos on Wilson in Ballston, helped to judge the competition for this year’s competitors. Winner, and Casita’s founder/owner, Christiana Campos “won” an opportunity at a ten year lease, with the first year free and should be opening in the Fall. Their theme is traditional Spanish-style food which makes you feel like you are a part of the family eating at home! Not just comfort food, but having dinner with friends and community. Casita will be going into the side of Ballston where the soon to be former Marymount “Blue Goose” Space is – where two other buildings are slated for development by 2017.
Walking over towards the Metro plaza, that new canopy and amphitheater won’t be the only things drawing folks towards the Ballston Corridor! The Welburn Square farmer’s market will continue and thrive, while also getting a facelift with a few more interactive art installations which incorporate a theme of Public Displays of Innovation.
Ballston’s launch into the future has been a long haul, but it is on its way. From the new shops and restaurants we already know and enjoy to the wonderful and award winning buildings that have just seen completion along Quincy, such as the Residence Inn and the DARPA building, Ballston is seeing a Renaissance, and this 2017 plan is bringing us “all together.”
If you ever have any questions, give me a call or shoot me an email! I’m happy to be your Arlington, Viriginia real estate resource.