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Inside The Twin 300-Foot-Tall Apartment Towers Opening Next To Amazon HQ2

One year after Amazon began moving thousands of employees into its second headquarters in Northern Virginia, the company is welcoming two big new neighbors.

A pair of 300-foot-tall apartment towers, The Grace and Reva, began moving in residents last month. Developed by Amazon partner JBG Smith, the buildings exemplify the real estate investment trust's push to go all-in on Arlington's National Landing neighborhood and double down on its residential portfolio.

The view of The Grace and Reva from the private street between them.

The towers total 808 units with 40K SF of ground-floor retail. A private woonerf-style street connects the buildings, acting as a mechanism to slow traffic and create a more walkable, multimodal pathway between the entrances. A set of stairs at the top creates a throughway between the project and a future public park.

The pair sit on the site of a former 11-story office building from the late 1960s. JBG Smith broke ground on the development in March 2021, part of its larger efforts to overhaul the neighborhood around Amazon's new home. 

The Grace's second-floor coworking space opens up to an outdoor living room and pool deck.

The REIT's total equity investment in the project was $422.2M, according to JBG Smith’s fourth-quarter investor relations packet. CookFox was the interior and exterior architect, and Torti Gallas + Partners served as the architect of record.

The building has landed a series of ground-floor retail tenants: Tatte Bakery & Café, Van Leeuwen, Dry Bar, Nail Saloon, Colada Shop, Bar Chinois and Bar Colline, a 4,800 SF full-service restaurant from the Hilton brothers' H2 Collective.

The lobby of Reva, which, at 27 stories tall, is designed using soft shapes and naturalistic hues.

The towers sit about a three-minute walk from the Crystal City Metro station and a few blocks from JBG Smith’s newly opened Water Park, a public outdoor space with 11 food and drink concepts. 

The Grace and Reva, which rise 26 and 27 stories, respectively, are twins in some respects. They have the same developer and architects and have similar amenities, like coworking spaces and dog washes.

A rooftop view from The Grace, with JBG Smith's Water Park at the center bottom of the frame, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport to the right and the Washington Monument in the distance.

The two started construction and delivered within a month of each other. Move-ins have begun at The Grace, with Reva expected to commence this month.

In JBG Smith’s fourth-quarter investor letter, CEO Matt Kelly wrote that the properties were seeing “healthy levels of interest thus far,” with a leasing pace exceeding all five of the company’s multifamily deliveries since 2007. 

A sample unit kitchen and living room in The Grace. The average unit size in the Grace is 852 SF, and rents start at $2,100.

The buildings have different aesthetic goals. The Grace is cubist, with angular blocks in black, white and gray that jut out at various degrees from the core. Reva is more naturalistic, with curved shapes and earthy tones. 

The buildings have their own amenities, but each has slightly different characteristics, including The Grace's larger pool and Reva's larger gym.

The Grace’s units tend to be larger, averaging 852 SF, while Reva’s average 659 SF. The rents at The Grace start at $2,100, and Reva's start at $1,950. The top five floors of each building are deemed penthouse floors and contain upgraded kitchen amenities.

The lighting decoration on the ceiling at Reva's 4K SF gym.

As part of the project, JBG Smith gave an acre to Arlington County for a public park and $300K in seed funding. 

The private street between the buildings is meant as a calming mechanism, but since it is fully private, it can be closed for events like festivals and street fairs or outdoor dining. 

Some 300 feet up, the buildings lend themselves to views of the entire region. From the rooftop of The Grace, residents can look down on the new Amazon HQ2 buildings as well as the runway at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, the Potomac River and the Washington Monument. 

Reva's second-floor courtyard, next to the gym.

While the Crystal City metro station entrance is about a three-minute walk from the properties, a new entrance is planned across the street, set to deliver in spring 2027.

JBG Smith is also the developer behind the area’s anchor development, the Amazon HQ2 campus. The first phase, two 22-story towers totaling 1.2M SF, delivered last summer. Phase 2, planned for three 22-story towers surrounding The Helixwas paused last March and hasn't begun construction.

Amazon in May began requiring employees to come into the office three days a week, and Vice President of Worldwide Economic Development Holly Sullivan told Bisnow in June the company was scheduled to have 8,000 employees coming into the HQ2 offices by Labor Day.

The Monumental Stairs, designed by Hoerr Schaudt, connect the two towers and a future public park.

JBG Smith has been working to redevelop older office properties into residential and retail amenities across the National Landing neighborhood, where it became the dominant landlord when it merged Vornado's D.C. arm with The JBG Cos. into a new public REIT in 2017.

JBG Smith has completed a 109K SF entertainment and shopping area a few blocks from The Grace and Reva, which includes an Alamo Drafthouse, an Amazon Fresh and a Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery. It is slated to add 1,700 units to the 36-acre RiverHouse community near the Pentagon and replace Crystal City's Americana Hotel with a 19-story, 639-unit residential building. 

Two more buildings at 2000 and 2001 South Bell St. that are planned for 775 units and 27K SF of retail broke ground at the beginning of 2022 and are set to deliver this time next year. 

Two miles away, JBG Smith is building a $1B campus for Virginia Tech in the Potomac Yard neighborhood, where the developer was also chosen to develop Monumental Sports' planned $2B arena-anchored entertainment district.