Friday, May 9, 2014

Rosslyn is Arlington's world-class downtown

Tonight's annual meeting of the Rosslyn Business Improvement District (BID) at the chic Le Meridien's Amuse Terrace made clear that Rosslyn now ranks among the top urban areas in the world.  The issue is no longer whether Rosslyn is more like Manhattan or more like San Francisco.  Rosslyn has grown up into a distinctive, alluring place.

In his address to the meeting, Arlington County Board member John Vihstadt described Rosslyn as "Arlington's world-class downtown."  Vihstadt fondly reminisced about having cream cheese on celery with raisins on top at Tom Sarris's Orleans House.  Vihstadt is excited about working on connecting Rosslyn with the Potomac.  That involves complicated negotiations about rights to build over the highways ("air rights").

BID President Mary-Claire Burick spoke about Rosslyn's vision for the future.  The BID helps to make Rosslyn a great place with friendly street ambassadors, urban landscaping, and engaging activities.  The first Yappy Happy Hour was a huge success.  It attracted 60 dogs along with their human friends.  The Yappy Happy Hour now occurs every Friday, 6pm - 8pm, at Rosslyn's Amuse Terrace through the end of October.  Another event in the works is Yoga Hikes.  It will involve walks to scenic green spaces in Rosslyn for group yoga exercises.

ASB Real Estate Investments President Robert Bellinger spoke about the re-urbanization of America.  ASB Real Estate recently paid $220 million to acquire Rosslyn's new Sadona Slate apartment complex.  ASB invests in leading urban markets across the U.S.  Rosslyn is now recognized as one of those markets.  Bellinger spoke about the importance of retail, particularly food, in making a great urban place.  Expect to see some fancy restaurants opening in Rosslyn in the near future.

Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette spoke about what helps to make neighborhoods great.  Fisette pointed to three keys:
  1. good urban planning
  2. broad-based community participation
  3. public and private strategic investments
Fisette described Rosslyn as "one of my favorite spots."  Rosslyn is the favorite spot of well-informed persons.

At the conclusion of the meeting, BID Board Chair Peter Greenwald invited attendees to walk up to the Fermata reception at Artisphere.  That reception featured many persons relaxing in the alternate dimensions of leading sound art.

No comments: