Plans submitted to replace Arlington’s Americana Hotel with residential high-rise

The Americana Hotel first opened in 1963 and closed in 2020 because of the pandemic. (Courtesy Google)

JBG Smith, already the largest landlord in Arlington County’s Crystal City neighborhood, has filed plans with the county to replace the nearly 60-year-old Americana Hotel, a landmark property just off Richmond Highway, with a residential high-rise.

JBG Smith acquired the property last year.

Plans submitted outline a 20-story tower with 650 residential units and 325 parking spaces. It would not require rezoning of the neighborhood, already zoned for high-rise office, apartment and hotel development.

JBG Smith purchased the hotel and its one-acre site, at 1400 Richmond Highway, late last year for $45 million. The site is bordered by Richmond Highway and S. Eads Street, and is sandwiched in between an Embassy Suites Hotel and other apartment high-rises.

Plans submitted are preliminary, but also include space for ground level retail.

JBG Smith is Amazon’s landlord for its first HQ2 office buildings in Crystal City, and the former hotel site is near those, and its Metropolitan Park development, currently under construction for HQ2 expansion.

It fits with growing needs for residential housing for the throngs of Amazon employees coming to the Crystal City and Pentagon City areas in coming years. JBG Smith is currently developing thousands of other residential units at various projects in the area.

The 102-room Americana Hotel first opened in 1963. It was opened by William Green, a former General Electric engineer who designed jet engines during World War II.

The pandemic’s toll on the hotel industry led to Americana’s permanent closure in December 2020.

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Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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