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Old Posted Jan 3, 2018, 5:11 AM
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Cirrus Cirrus is offline
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 17,851
Originally Posted by CIA and everyone else
Arlington, VA is probably the best bet for future skyscrapers.
Let's do some points about Arlington.

1. Being outside the District of Columbia, Arlington is not subject to DC's height limit. There are already tons of tall buildings in Arlington. It has been home to the DC-region's tallest office and residential buildings for decades. Its tallest buildings are currently about 400 feet tall.

2. Arlington already has about the same amount of office space as La Defense. They both have about 40 million square feet of office space. Arlington has a little more than La Defense if you include the Pentagon; La Defense has a little more if you don't. Arlington's office market is spread out, however, in TODs around 7 different Metro stations, and a bit elsewhere.

3. Arlington is unlikely to have buildings much taller than 400' any time soon. This is because although it's not subject to DC's height limit, it is subject to height limits imposed by the FAA as a result of National Airport, which is in Arlington and has flight paths very close to Arlington's two largest office nodes, Rosslyn and Crystal City. FAA height limits are very apparent looking at Crystal City, which has a midrise canopy skyline much like DC's. Rosslyn is further upstream along the flightpath and isn't as obviously affected (it's where Arlington's 400' buildings are), but it's still limited by the FAA.

4. Silver Spring and all other suburbs of DC have normal local zoning height limits. When I said DC area politicians have been successful in getting high density TODs built, that's true. But it's not unlimitedly true. There are still locally-imposed height limits everywhere, they're just higher. For example, Silver Spring's vary but are in the 200 foot range. These can be changed at any time and they are often changed, to revise the limits upwards, so they're not exactly a hard limit.

5. For the forseeable future, the tallest buildings will be in Tysons. Rosslyn has been the DC region's skyscraper champ for decades, but its crown is right now in the process of being taken away by Tysons. Tysons is further out and more suburban, but was recently upzoned when the Silver Line opened, and is being actively re-planned as a walkable TOD, just like Arlington was 40 years ago. Already a 470' building is topped out, and a 615' building is in the works.

So no, do not look to Arlington. Look to Tysons.

Originally Posted by Eightball
DC loves to pat itself on the back for all the growth but much of it is because the federal government is based there.
Yes, and much of the Silicon Valley's success is because of Stanford's tech school. And much of New York's success is because of finance. I don't know why it's supposed to be some kind of "but" insight that cities have anchor industries. Nobody in DC is under any misconception that the federal government's presence is not highly tied to the city's success.
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