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ArlingtonUniversity seeks to convert apartments into hotel space

University seeks to convert apartments into hotel space

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Marymount University is seeking government approval to allow conversion of up to 133 units (49 percent of the total) in its 15-story “Rixey Building” on North Glebe Road.

The units currently are operated as self-contained student apartments.

The building was constructed by the Shooshan Co. as part of redevelopment of the Marymount parcel that formerly had contained an eight-story, early-1960s-era building known as “the Blue Goose.” Opened in 2017, the apartment building was sold to Marymount in 2019.

County staff are supporting the proposal, saying it would counterbalance the loss of other hotel rooms across the community over the pandemic period and would support Marymount’s graduate-degree program in hospitality.


“The proposal is not expected to create any undue adverse impacts on the surrounding neighborhoods and does not require any [exterior] structural alterations or additions,” staff said.

While the apartment building (located adjacent to a building hosting Marymount classrooms and offices) provides housing for graduate students, it is not considered a dormitory use under the county’s zoning code, because it does not have communal kitchen and living areas.

In recent years, a number of owners of apartment properties in Arlington have sought, and received, county-government approval to temporarily convert apartment units for hotel use as their properties initially begin to get leased up. It is seen as a win-win: The county government gets the additional tax revenue that a hotel brings in, and the developer receives steady cash flow once construction is complete, rather than having to wait for all units to be rented to tenants.

But most of those approvals are for limited periods, usually a few months, while Marymount’s proposal is to convert the space permanently to hotel use.

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