NY Times Cites Law School Environs as "Most Sought-After Area" in Northern Virginia

The Rosslyn-Ballston corridor in which the law school is located has been called an "oasis of stability" for its continuing ability to attract tenants, buyers and developers in the midst of the nation's most severe recession since the 1930s.

According to an article in the New York Times, the 3.3-mile stretch in Arlington County, Virginia, shows a vacancy rate for offices and retail space far below the national averages, while rents for Class A offices are up. Rents are still below those of neighboring Washington, D.C., however.

"The Rosslyn-Ballston corridor will continue to be the most sought-after area in Northern Virginia in the foreseeable future," commented global real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield in the article. "It has remained resilient during the worst recession in decades, and should continue to do so, as demand will remain healthy and new supply will be low for the next few years"

The location of five Metro subway stops in the corridor has helped target the region for development, bringing an upscale, mixed-use blend of offices, shops, and housing within the "urban villages" located there.

In addition to George Mason Law, a rich blend of government and private sector employers have a presence in the corridor, including the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Science Foundation, Marymount University's Business School, the Nature Conservancy, the Office of Naval Research, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Army Research Office, the Kettler Capitals Iceplex, Arlington County government, a major shopping mall, and clusters of shops, restaurants, and other commercial ventures.

An Oasis of Stability Amid a Downturn, The New York Times, October 7, 2009. By Eugene L. Meyer.


“'We just consistently have new development in what we call urban villages,' said Terry Holzheimer, Arlington County’s director of economic development, recalling that 'we were a decaying urban corridor in the 1970s.' Since then, he said, 'Arlington has been nothing but consistent in terms of adding buildings over time: 20 million square feet of office space and 20,000-plus housing units over a 25-year period.'

"Government agencies and related contractors account for 60 percent of the leased office space in the corridor, Mr. Holzheimer said.

"Arlington County’s 26 square miles were a part of the original District of Columbia, but were returned to Virginia in 1846. The transit-related development in the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor has won national recognition for smart growth that mixes offices, shops and living quarters close to subway stops. 'We really worked on creating a sense of place, and on what kind of development we wanted near our Metro hubs,' said Barbara A. Favola, chairwoman of the county’s governing board.

"Rosslyn was little more than a collection of pawn shops and auto repair shops until the 1960s, when new office buildings rose to accommodate government agencies forced to relocate after the razing of temporary buildings erected on the Mall during World War I. Those early Rosslyn high-rises are now gradually being replaced by office towers.

“'The Rosslyn-Ballston corridor, with its immediate access to downtown Washington, D.C., is an ideal submarket for transit-oriented, mixed-use development,' said Brian P. Coulter, chief development officer of the JBG Companies, which has been a major developer in Rosslyn and is also active in Ballston."

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