Ballston Commons Will Be Turned "Inside Out"
Ballston Common Mall’s redevelopment could start in late 2015, says Forest City COO Tom Henneberry. The firm, which owns, develops, and manages the Arlington mall, is waiting for county approvals for several aspects, including work on the county-owned mall parking lot. The team, which includes architecture and design firms Cooper Carry and RTKL, revealed more details Tuesday morning on its plans for the block where Ballston Mall has sat for 60 years. (Thirty years ago, it was called Parkington.)
Cooper Carry principal David Kitchens tells us the mall will be turned inside out. Retailers will look out and facades will be full of glass, and balconies, and space will be much more open. An urban plaza in the middle will have wide stairs meant as terraces for people to congregate. (Finally a place to discuss which food court spot gives out the best free samples.) The proposal also includes removing the pedestrian walkway that connects the mall to an office building across Wilson Blvd. David says the whole idea is to catch up to the progress made around the mall and connect it to the neighborhood.
RTKL VP Marc Fairbrother says the residential building, seen on the left in this rendering, will be 26 stories and have nearly 400 units and 50k SF of retail. Macy’s, CVS, and some other retailers will stay and the design includes making the Kettler Capitals Iceplex and Regal Cinema more accessible. A critical piece to the project was Forest City's acquiring the Macy’s furniture store building at the corner of Wilson and Randolph last August. (A literal "everything must go" sale.) That’s where a podium of two levels of retail and the residential tower will go.