Rosslyn is booming with new buildings, new amenities, and new infrastructure. But what’s missing? Better restaurants? A more prominent skyline? More lively public spaces? Planners for Arlington’s Realize Rosslyn plan hope you’ll tell them at public events today and on Saturday.

Possible design for Rosslyn’s Gateway Park. Image by Arlington County.

Rosslyn has historically been an office-heavy counterpoint to the cultural and entertainment destinations in nearby Georgetown.  But with strong growth underway, and even more to come, Rosslyn is beginning to come into its own as a cultural destination itself.

In the past 10 years, hundreds of new condos, apartments, and hotel rooms have opened in Rosslyn, plus hundreds of thousands of square feet of new offices.  This coming Monday, the Rosslyn Metro station’s new second entrance will open. Artisphere is a great gallery and program space, and events like the Rosslyn Outdoor Film Festival and the Rosslyn Jazz Festival provide cultural value and entertainment. Once it opens, the views from Rosslyn’s public observation deck will be unmatched in the region.

Yet there is still much to do.  The growing number of Rosslyn residents and workers need more and better public spaces. The transportation network must be reconfigured to better serve internal circulation, rather than merely funnel traffic through. And Rosslyn’s retail and restaurant offerings need to serve sit-down evening and weekend users as well as they serve fast-casual work day ones.

To work all this out, Arlington is updating its 1992 Rosslyn Sector Plan Addendum. The new Realize Rosslyn plan will fine tune the next 25 years of development.

Possible design for Rosslyn’s 17th Street gateway. Image by Arlington County.

Realize Rosslyn kicked off in December 2012. Since then, planners have been working to identify issues and outline future alternatives.

Now they’re ready to hear back. Planners are hoping to gather feedback at events today and tomorrow. Specifically, Arlington is hoping for guidance on:

  • Translating proposed design ideas into an action plan.
  • The potential shape of Rosslyn’s skyline, and preservation of key view corridors
  • Possibilities for a new 18th Street corridor through Rosslyn’s core
  • Transformation of Fort Myer Drive and Lynn Street into more complete streets
  • New destinations for outdoor events, including a re-imagined Gateway Park and an esplanade connecting Rosslyn to the Potomac River

Today’s open house is at the Rosslyn BID offices at 1911 N. Fort Myer Drive, and runs from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Tomorrow there will be a more organized community workshop in the Artisphere ballroom, at 1101 Wilson Blvd, from 8:30 am to 2:00 pm.

To learn more about the Realize Rosslyn planning process, visit the project website, and check out this Arlington TV clip.

Kellie Brown is an Associate Planner in the Arlington County Planning Division. She has been active in the Lee Highway civic engagement effort and lives in Lyon Park. She holds degrees from Georgetown University and the University of Maryland.