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A Sculptural Entrance and a Shared Street: The Plans for Shirlington’s Public Space

by Nena Perry-Brown

Approaching Great Room East. Click to enlarge.

A proposal to re-imagine the streets of Shirlington is being put forward. 

Last July, the Arlington County Board approved mixed-use rezoning for nearly ten acres of the Village at Shirlington (map). Now, Federal Realty Investment Trust (FRIT) is putting forth a vision to transform the streetscape throughout the area, including public sites and sites the firm does not own.

"Over the years, retail tenants have struggled to compete with regional retail destination assets benefiting from large-scale developments, access to transit, and well-thought-out locations," documents filed with Arlington County stated. "The Applicant proposes investment in a bold package of community benefits to ensure Shirlington continues as one of Arlington's best main streets, destinations, and a true community asset in south Arlington for the next several decades."

Great Room East site plan. Click to enlarge.

Campbell Avenue will be the focal point for these improvements, updated with patterned pavers and interactive sculptures. The sidewalk will be widened on the corners at intersections, shortening the crosswalks between.

Great Room East. Click to enlarge.

A "Great Room East" in front of the Mexican restaurant Guapo's (map) will feature multi-colored concrete pavers that will level the entire area to the building façades on either side, creating a shared street between the Taco & Piña (map) and One Two Kangaroo storefronts. Great Room East will also have a sculptural gateway element, seating areas with fire tables, and huge metal planters with wooden bench/berm seating.

There will also be additional outdoor dining space and a "Great Room West" with a lawn mound, seating, and a pavilion where Campbell Avenue bends. Up to 6,800 square feet of brick pavers will also be relocated to Campbell Avenue from the "North Court" behind a portion of the retail.

In the second phase of the proposal, a variety of outdoor seating and "sip & stroll nooks" would be added along Campbell Avenue, as would a "grove room" with tree canopy. LandDesign and 505Design are the architects.

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/a-sculptural-entrance-and-a-shared-street-the-plans-for-shirlingtons-public/18403

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