The current Harris Teeter supermarket and Mercedes-Benz dealership near Ballston could eventually be replaced with high-rise buildings under a new land use plan that’s up for County Board consideration this weekend.
On Saturday, the Board will consider an addendum to its 1995 North Quincy Street Plan. The amendment modifies the plan for the area around the Mercedes dealership and adds a plan for a parcel of land bounded by Carlin Springs Road, Glebe Road, N. Thomas Street and the Hyde Park Condominiums. The latter parcel includes the Harris Teeter store and its surface parking lot.
The plan “includes a series of overarching planning principles aimed at transforming this predominantly auto-oriented area into a more vibrant, mixed-use urban neighborhood at Ballston’s southern gateway, with a much more pedestrian-friendly built environment,” according to the staff report. It calls for 12-14 story mixed-use buildings along Glebe Road, tapered down to 5-story buildings on the edges of the parcels closer to lower-density residential neighborhoods.
The plan also calls for ground floor retail space along Glebe Road, improvements to the Glebe Road intersections with N. Randoph and Quincy Streets, extensions of N. Tazewell Street and Randolph Street, a portion of open green space between N. Thomas Street and the new Tazewell Street extension, a landscaped plaza at the corner of Glebe and Quincy, and a series of “distinctive” architectural features.
No immediate changes would be mandated under the plan; instead, it would encourage gradual redevelopment through zoning modifications. Should a mixed-use building replace the existing Harris Teeter, the store may opt to move in to the ground floor of the new building once it’s built.
Work on the addendum started in 2009 as a joint project between county staff and Arlington’s Long Range Planning Committee. It incorporates feedback from the county’s Planning and Transportation commissions.
Some nearby residents, particularly residents of the Hyde Park Condominiums, have expressed objections to the plan. Among other objections, Hyde Park residents said that the maximum building height along Glebe Road should be 12 stories — the same height as their building — instead of 14 stories.