Living in Arlington VA
Posted by Nate Ward on Friday, April 12th, 2019 at 10:00am.
Arlington VA is a richly diverse streetcar suburb that deserves the attention of anyone looking to buy a home. Not only will it host half of Amazon’s incoming east coast headquarters—which will require some 25,000 employees—but its countless offerings and great proximity to DC make it an incredibly attractive place to live. Filling out the space between the Potomac River and the deadly straight, 45-degree line, which was once the District’s southwest border, are an eclectic mix of exciting and characterful neighborhoods. Potential homebuyers should take special note of Courthouse, Clarendon, Ballston-Virginia Square, Rosslyn, Crystal City, and National Landing.
Courthouse (aka Court House)
Is this neighborhood named after the courthouse that stands within its boundaries? Yes? Is that unoriginal? Yes? Does anyone care? No. Why not? Because this neighborhood is awesome! It is something of a downtown that offers Arlingtonians big-city options without having to drive over a bridge into DC. Not only is civic activity alive and well there, but because of the higher daily population, great dining options abound. Among them are Ray’s the Steaks, Brooklyn Bagel, Ragtime and Bayou Bakery. Naturally this neighborhood also has its own Metro station with service on the Orange and Silver lines. As one of the more densely populated neighborhoods, the popular building style is vertical, which means that condos, such as The Williamsburg and The Park at Courthouse dominate the real estate market.
Clarendon is a sort of sister-hood to Courthouse. While they enjoy their individual status, they feature a similar vibe and aesthetic and are both looked after by the Clarendon-Courthouse Civic Association. Metro service is available, dining and retail options are plentiful, and condos reign supreme. A Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe’s stand within Clarendon and on Wednesdays, so does the local Farmers’ Market. Live entertainment can be found at Whitlow’s on Wilson.
Though suburbs are often a bit more sprawling than their urban counterparts, Ballston-Virginia Square is another Arlington neighborhood where residents can meet their daily needs on foot. As the home of Marymount University and GMU’s Arlington Campus, Ballston-Virgina Square sort of needs that walkability. You can also find two metro stations, Ballston-MU and Virginia Square-GMU. Ballston-Virginia Square real estate features many single-family homes, but it comes as no surprise that condos are becoming increasingly popular here, such as The Phoenix and the somewhat on-the-nose Virginia Square condominium.
In the 1800s, Rosslyn was a lawless and filthy pit of a community—as so many waterfront neighborhoods were then—but now Rosslyn is now a glimmering beacon of Arlington that says to DC, “We are also mighty!” The iconic shimmering blue Turnberry Tower, which can be easily seen from Georgetown and Foggy Bottom, is one of Rosslyn’s many thriving condos. Other Rosslyn condos include Key & Nash, Gaslight Square, and Waterview Condos. Not only is there a Rosslyn Metro Station, but the neighborhood is incredibly convenient to National Airport (DCA).
National Landing & Crystal City
Same thing! Not really, but kind of. You know how every square is a rectangle, but not every rectangle is a square? Crystal City has a strong identity of its own and a lot going for it, which is why Amazon ultimately agreed to set up their facilities in this neighborhood. In an effort to nudge them to do so, Arlington County and the city of Alexandria elected to mash up some of their turf into a new neighborhood. It’s being called National Landing and it includes Crystal City and parts of Pentagon City and Potomac Yard. With the airport right across the street, you’d better believe that condos like Crystal Gateway and Waterford House, are a big deal here. It’s worth noting that when condos hit the market here, the first picture you see won’t be of the building. It’ll be of the view. While National Landing will certainly play host to numerous local business in good time, Arlington and Alexandria have wisely offered Amazon a tract that is well furnished with big box stores and national eateries. This will be a veritable hotbed of activity in the years to come, so buyers, the time is now.
Consistently ranking high in polls of the best cities to live in (though technically not a city), Arlington is clearly doing something right. New developments such as 2000 Clarendon, 11th & Vermont, and Arlington Row support this notion. It’s going to be a fascinating transition.
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