Crystal City in Arlington County, Virginia met an unfortunate time in the history of the City. Office buildings that were built in the early 1960’s had become obsolete under current Grade A office standards and the recent Federal Government BRAC decisions dictated that over 4,000,000 sf of existing office tenants would be moved to more secure military bases across the country in the coming 10 years. Rather than sit and wait for the impacts to be felt, Arlington County initiated a Master Planning process for Crystal City and hired Torti Gallas to create a mixed-use, pedestrian friendly vision for the future of the City and to generate and facilitate a public process to see this Master Plan through to realization.
Several urban concepts were investigated through a Charrette process. With input from County Staff and the Crystal City Planning Task Force made up of prominent property owners, office tenants, different County Commissions and residents, Torti Gallas explored a variety of opportunities for new public open spaces, new development locations, locations for signature buildings, building heights, Transitway locations, program balancing, and phasing strategies. All concept strategies were generated with the express goal of creating a vital, mixed-use, pedestrian friendly 24 hour atmosphere, which is currently lacking in this location.
The result of the planning process was to create a preferred Concept Plan for Crystal City with strong urban and architectural design guidelines and a policy framework to be used in all future development.
Torti Gallas + Partners is excited that nearly 10 years after this plan was adopted by Arlington County, Amazon announced plans to bring their HQ2 to Crystal City! We are pleased to have played a leadership role in the Master Plan to transform Crystal City and are thrilled that this vision has contributed to attracting Amazon.