News & Politics  |  Real Estate

Crystal City Is About to Get a Whole Lot Bigger

Its boundaries may soon include most of Pentagon City and Potomac Yard

Photograph by Andrew Beaujon

Crystal City may soon encompass most of Pentagon City and Arlington’s portion of Potomac Yard, according to a new strategic plan from the Crystal City Business Improvement District, which it has submitted to the Arlington County Board. The new boundaries of the BID would make Crystal City almost 70 percent larger than it is now, the organization says in a press release.

It’s not just the imminent arrival of Amazon’s HQ2 (the retailing giant just posted its first HQ2-based jobs) along the Route 1 corridor  that’s driving these changes, the BID says in its “Area-Wide Strategic Plan“: It’s part of a vision of the entire “National Landing” area as a “cohesive and reinvigorated downtown community” that’s as big as Austin’s and Indianapolis’s downtowns.

Perhaps the biggest surprise in Crystal City’s annexation plans (besides the fact that arguments over whether the Costco and Whole Foods are in Crystal City or Pentagon City are now OVER) is that the proposal signals no immediate plans to change the BID’s name to reflect National Landing, a somewhat ambient neighborhood that includes anything HQ2-related, including Virginia Tech’s planned innovation campus, wherever that may land. While the BID “sees value in adopting National Landing for the area-wide name for both the expanded BID organization and place branding efforts,” the report says, “more dialogue is needed with area stakeholders and it is important that this name not supplant the existing names of the unique neighborhoods that are ingrained in and valued by the community.”

The report includes six service areas that the BID will pursue to try to knit these areas together, including outdoor-space, arts, and connectivity initiatives. It also says the name National Landing was chosen over “Lower Arlington” and “Penn-Crystal.”

The BID will move its headquarters as well, the Washington Business Journal reports, to accommodate four to six new staffers. Its new office will be at 2011 Crystal Drive.

Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute,, and Washington City Paper. He lives in Del Ray.