Projects submitted to replace the Americana hotel in Arlington with a residential skyscraper

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JBG Smith, already the largest landlord in Arlington County’s Crystal City neighborhood, has filed plans with the county to replace the nearly 60-year-old Americana Hotel, a historic property just off the Richmond Freeway , by a residential skyscraper.

The Americana Hotel opened in 1963 and closed in 2020 due to the pandemic. (Courtesy of Google)

JBG Smith, already the largest landlord in Arlington County’s Crystal City neighborhood, has filed plans with the county to replace the nearly 60-year-old Americana Hotel, a historic property just off the Richmond Freeway , by a residential skyscraper.

JBG Smith acquired the property last year.

The submitted plans describe a 20-storey tower with 650 residential units and 325 parking spaces. This would not require rezoning the neighborhood, already zoned for the development of high-rise offices, apartments and hotels.

JBG Smith bought the hotel and its one-acre site at 1400 Richmond Highway late last year for $ 45 million. The site is bordered by Richmond Highway and S. Eads Street, and is sandwiched between an Embassy Suites Hotel and other apartment skyscrapers.

The plans submitted are preliminary, but also include retail space on the ground floor.

JBG Smith is the Amazon owner of its first HQ2 office buildings in Crystal City, and the former hotel site is close to these, as well as its Metropolitan Park development, currently under construction for the expansion of HQ2.

It meets the growing residential housing needs for the crowds of Amazon employees coming to the Crystal City and Pentagon City areas in the years to come. JBG Smith is currently developing thousands of other residential units in various projects in the area.

The 102-room Americana Hotel opened in 1963. It was opened by William Green, a former General Electric engineer who designed jet engines during World War II.

The pandemic’s toll on the hospitality industry led to the definitive closure of Americana in December 2020.

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