June 17, 2007

Preservationists vs. The Feds at St. Elizabeth's

The Story:
--- It will cost $3 billion to properly restore the St. Elizabeth's site. Some say the Dept. of Homeland Security, which is looking at moving its headquarters to the site, will not create enough spin-off development because DHS will be so isolated due to security at the campus.
--- "The area is sorely in need of economic development," said Rebecca A. Miller, executive director of the D.C. Preservation League. "A walled-off citadel on the site is not going to help."

Bubble View:
--- Wishing for better development won't make it so. Only the federal government has the money to restore the property -- either it does the work for its own tenant or someone convinces the feds to pony up the dough.
--- The impact of DHS is being undersold. The Pentagon sure transformed Arlington and it has tight security too. DHS workers will have to live somewhere.

Link: WaPo

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"The Pentagon sure transformed Arlington and it has tight security too."

That makes no sense. The Pentagon was there through Arlington's tough period in the 60s and 70s. It was and is the mixed use development along the Metro corridors that has made Arlington happening in the 90s and 00s. Plus you are overlooking the fact that the Pentagon is very cut off from the rest of Arlington by highways and a sea of parking lots. "Pentagon City" may be just a metro stop away, but the growth in that area was originally driven by the mall and MCI.

The Pentagon does drive growth in Arlington indirectly through the various Beltway bandits that set up shop there. For instance, the floor of the building where I worked in Rosslyn was taken over by BAE after the contract I was on ended.

Looking at the sat photo, it would take plowing most of the part of St. E's east of Nichols under to make it a real mixed-use development. The current proposal is probably the most realistic.


It looks like there is some development going on just to the east of the station.