The underground McDonald’s in Crystal City has closed and will eventually be replaced with art studios.
The restaurant, at 2155 Crystal Square Arcade, was not visible from the outside; it was entirely inside the underground Crystal City Shops, and thus got most of its business from lunch-goers who work in the area. The closure comes as Crystal City faces higher office vacancies and fewer workers as a result of the Base Realignment and Closure Act (BRAC). As of January, almost 20 percent of Crystal City’s 12.5 million square feet of office space was vacant.
The McDonald’s space is expected to be used as art studio space as part of the Crystal City Business Improvement District’s new “Art Underground” initiative. The project, set to launch on March 16, is intended to transform “five blocks of Crystal City’s interior retail space into a vibrant arts and cultural destination with galleries, studios, interactive exhibits and activities, performance and classroom spaces, and a host of special events.”
The space will be run by the Arlington Artists Alliance and will be open to local artists who are looking for a space “to create, practice and showcase their talents.”
“We’re extremely excited to transform the underground in a way that we think is active and fresh, and really activates the retail space and gives people a reason to come to Crystal City,” said BID president Angela Fox.
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