Crystal City Main Street
Arlington, VA
Vornado / Charles E. Smith
Completed 2000
Architecture, Planning

175,000-sf urban retail redevelopment.


A once sterile row of nondescript office building facades has been transformed into a vibrant, pedestrian-focused streetscape alive with a mix of chic restaurants and retail. Predicated by the imminent departure of government based office tenants through the Base Realignment and Closures (BRAC) program, Crystal City Retail marked the initial phase of the continuing revitalization of Crystal City.

The project began through Arlington County’s entitlement process with the conversion of a fast moving one-way arterial into a two-way, pedestrian friendly main street. An inward oriented underground mall, dated although conveniently accessible to Metro and basement level office building lobbies, suddenly gained new life with clearly demarcated exterior connections, the addition of 45,000 square foot of new retail, and updated interior corridors and lobbies.

The change has been transformative. WDG turned the storefronts around to face the street and instantly established a walkable precinct, a striking urban “center” for a previously faceless strip of Crystal City.

WDG Crystal City Main Crystal City Main WDG Crystal City Main WDG
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