Crystal City

History

Located on the banks of the Potomac River with dramatic views of Washington DC and Reagan National Airport, the ultimate location has now become the ultimate destination. Crystal City is centered along a stretch of Jefferson Davis Highway (US1), just south of the Pentagon, just east of Pentagon City, and within walking distance to the west of National Airport. Already an award-winning, mixed-use development with stunning views of the Washington monuments, Crystal City boasts more than 4,600 hotel rooms and 170,000 square feet of meeting space, as much office space as many medium-sized cities, plus access to the heart of the U.S. defense industry, the Pentagon. There is also an extensive network of underground shopping areas and connecting corridors beneath Crystal City. Crystal City's Crystal Underground shopping mall opened in September 1976.

Though it is not actually a planned community, it unfolded in much that fashion after construction began on the first few condominiums and office buildings in 1963. The name "Crystal City" came from the first building, which was called Crystal House and had an elaborate crystal chandelier in the lobby. Every subsequent building took on the Crystal name (i.e., Crystal Gateway, Crystal Towers), and eventually the whole neighborhood. The layout of Crystal City was considered avant-garde back when it was built, with superblocks bounded by arterial and circulating roads, and with pedestrian traffic and the businesses serving it relocated from the streets to the pedestrian tunnels.

BRAC Impact

As a result of the 2005 BRAC recommendations, Arlington is losing over 4.2 million square feet of leased space. Crystal City is most affected with approximately 3 million square feet. Under previous BRAC recommendations, Crystal City lost mostly Naval leased space; now, under the 2005 BRAC, all branches are affected, especially Army. Arlington County Government is working with GSA and WHS to bring attention to this matter. It continues to work with DoD in hopes to mitigate the effects to Crystal City.

Sources: Crystal City BID and Arlington County Government

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