An exploration of things to do in Arlington

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What's the next hot neighborhood?

Washington Business Journal recently published an article titled "The hunt for the next hot spots" in which Richard Florida identifies trends in DC area development. He highlights Arlington as a place that 20 years ago no one would have predicted as a popular place for young professionals to want to live.

Ballston and Clarendon are highlighted as trendy urban neighborhoods that came as a surprise to demographers.

According to the article, 77% of Gen Y-ers (or Millennials) plan to live in an urban core. This is a dramatic departure from the suburban ideal that was embraced by our parents. Another interesting trend is the end of "White Flight" which had a major effect on housing trends of our parents generation. DC has seen an increase in the white population since 2000.

So what is the future hot spot? In Arlington, this article points to Shirlington and Columbia Pike as examples of areas that are benefiting from an increase in transit options and development.

What do you think?

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Blogger RC said...

I am not a Richard Florida fan, having had him as a professor when he was at CMU and all he could talk about was how the 21st century would be all about Japan and how great the Japanese systems are. Most of his work seems to be stating the obvious while missing larger demographic trends. I am not surprised at all that he did not anticipate Ballston and Clarendon would be the new hot spots.

On the flip side, nobody in Arlington should be surprised. The County has been planning this for a long time. Unlike Fairfax, in the 1970s Arlington saw the potential of Metro and demanded it be built where it is instead of along the I-66 corridor. That is why you have high-value, high-density, desirable areas around Metro stations in Arlington and traffic-clogged roads and parking lots in Fairfax. The County also learned a lesson in how not to do redevelopment on Crystal City.

While Shirlington has had redevelopment, it is still dependent on perma-jammed I-395.

I would look to re-re-development of Crystal City and the area south, through the new Harris Teeter and into Potomac Yard, especially if the light rail system is built or a new Metro station between National Airport and Braddock Road. Plenty of land is available, and the Potomac Yard shopping center could be re-tooled to be less car-centric. Potential problems there are the airport, sewage plant, and power plant. I think lots of available land, good transit access now and better transit planned, proximity to the river and moneyed property owners with a stake in keeping this area hopping are the keys, and they are all there east of US 1.

7:08 PM

Blogger Googla Monster said...

That Commuterpage link for Shirlington is so out of date. What a bunch of dumbasses. I hope Arlington County doesn't pay for such incompetence.

2:45 AM

Blogger Eric said...

FYI - I just sent a message to the folks at Commuter Page and any outdated info should be updated soon.

1:54 PM


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