|Barcroft Plaza on a recent Friday afternoon.|
The planned move had generated an enormous amount of opposition from Mason District residents who were concerned that a DMV in Barcroft Plaza on Columbia Pike would create parking and traffic problems. Residents of Arlington has also opposed plans to shut down the DMV at 4150 S. Four Mile Run Drive.
Under an agreement worked out with Del. Kaye Kory, Del. Alfonso Lopez, Sen. Dave Marsden, Sen. Dick Saslaw, and the property owners, the DMV will keep its Arlington center open and has gotten out of its lease with Federal Realty Investment Trust for the Barcroft Plaza site.
“Without the community activism, this would not have happened,” Kory said. “I’m proud of their hard work.” Kory also thanks Gov. Terry McAuliffe and his staff for their support.
A Jan. 15 letter to Northern Virginia members of the General Assembly from VDOT Commissioner Richard Holcomb says, “we have agreed to mutually terminate the lease with Federal Realty in the interest of cooperation.”
Federal Realty asked whether DMV “would be willing to consider a mutual termination of our lease, with respective parties absorbing their out-of-pocket expenses to date,” Holcomb states. “As we understand, our occupancy of space in Barcroft Plaza has reached an anchor tenant and potentially jeopardized their continued presence.” [Holcomb doesn’t identify the tenant, but it would seem to be Harris Teeter.]
The Virginia Department of General Services’ Division of Real Estate Services was than able to negotiate a new 10-year lease term for the Four Mile facility with a substantial rent reduction, a more equitable facility maintenance structure, and parking lot redesign, the letter says.
“This cooperative attitude will allow us to collectively mitigate some concerns that initially compelled us to relocate, such as overall maintenance/upkeep of the facility and interior improvements,” the letter continues. “Other concerns, such as site accessibility, vehicle load at the traffic light, parking encroachment by adjoining tenants, etc., are inherent to the location and the ambitious development surrounding it but, with the renewed spirit of cooperation from the current owners, we will pursue every possible solution.”
It’s not known what will happen to the storefront in Barcroft Plaza that the DMV had already started renovating. The DMV will lose the money it invested in the renovations, but is getting a favorable rent in Arlington, Kory said.
The DMV still plans to open an additional office this spring at 3434 Washington Blvd. in Ballston, one and a-half blocks from the Virginia Square-GMU Metro station.
“This is a big win for the Barcroft community and for Arlington County residents, who will keep their DMV facility,” states a press release from Kory’s office.
“Del. Kaye Kory and Del. Alfonso Lopez have worked diligently to make this happen as have senators Dick Saslaw and Dave Marsden,” the release state. “It was, however, the citizens in the Barcroft community and Arlington residents who truly made this happen. Their emails, phone calls, petitions, and attendance at the forum to discuss the relocation were very effective. The four legislators involved thank them for their efforts, as well as Commissioner Holcomb and the McAuliffe administration for diligently working to explain their position and to work to provide a resolution that satisfied all parties affected.”