The Wooster and Mercer Lofts in Clarendon
The corridor in Arlington that runs from Rosslyn to Ballston received some national attention this week thanks in large part to the health of its real estate market. The New York Times yesterday featured the so-called RB Corridor in an article entitled An Oasis of Stability Amid a Downturn.
The article focuses mostly on the strength of commercial real estate along the corridor, but it also cites healthy activity in the residential market as further evidence of the area’s ability to buck the current economic malaise. Developer Jim Abdo, for example, plans to break ground within a year on a 117-unit luxury condo project across the street from his Wooster and Mercer Lofts (map), which delivered in 2007 and is 95 percent sold.
The New York Times points to a handful of reasons for the corridor’s success: thousands of jobs concentrated around endpoints Ballston and Rosslyn, four Metro stations, high population density, and scores of restaurants, bars, and retail to service residents and workers. “We’re just blessed to be in the right place, even at the wrong time,” developer John Shooshan was quoted as saying. Shooshan is responsible for Liberty Center and other developments in Ballston.
Rosslyn skyline by night. Photo courtesy of Kevin Ambrose.
The RB Corridor was one of a few areas within the DC metropolitan region that real estate sales and marketing firm McWilliams|Ballard predicted will bounce back first in terms of residential real estate. In a recent report on the new condo market, McWilliams|Ballard wrote:
The RB Corridor is currently one of the most active development submarkets because of its desirability and limited supply. It has been one of the first submarkets to recover from the recent turmoil and it is highly likely that some of the multifamily units under construction will deliver as for-sale condominiums.
There are just over 350 new condos still for sale in the RB Corridor, according to McWilliams|Ballard, with another 433 under construction. But the projection for new building deliveries in 2011 and 2012 is very strong; a combined 2,500 more residential units are scheduled to start construction in the next 12 to 24 months.
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