Foundation Building Approved for Arlington Campus

Posted: August 29, 2001 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Elena Barbre

The university’s plans for much-needed parking spaces at the Arlington Campus are on the way to becoming reality. At the request of university officials, the George Mason University Foundation drafted a plan for a new building and accompanying parking spaces adjacent to the campus that has recently been given the green light by the Arlington County Board. Excavation of the site is slated to begin in late January 2002.

The five-story, 192,000-square-foot office building, to be located off Washington Boulevard next to Arlington I, will include one level (13,275 square feet) of retail space and 671 parking spots. Of these, 330 daytime spaces and 550 evening spaces will be reserved for the use of George Mason students during the eventual construction of the campus’ Phase II building. The foundation will rent out the office and retail space to cover the cost of construction, and then give the building to the university.

After several months of give and take with county officials, community associations, and Arlington citizens, in which plans were revised three times to meet concerns about the height of the proposed building, David Roe, chief financial officer of the foundation, is satisfied that everyone’s needs have been met. “We ended up with the same configuration and the same number of parking spaces–it just changed shape,” he says. “We have gone the extra mile to listen to what people are saying and to get the community’s support, and the community at large has been very supportive of this project.”

Between now and January, the foundation will be busy obtaining financing, getting building permits, hiring a construction firm, and securing tenants for the office and retail space. A county-imposed site plan condition requires that a minimum of 7,139 square feet of the retail space be dedicated to restaurant use, says Roe. The construction is planned to be complete in June 2003.

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