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Arlington Board OKs Improvements at Pentagon Row Ice Skating Rink

Rink, surrounding plaza expected to be upgraded by fall 2013.

The Arlington County Board unanimously approved a plan Saturday that will expand the ice skating rink at Pentagon Row, add one month to its operating season, and allow for several upgrades to the surrounding 1-acre plaza.

The rink is owned and managed by Rockville, Md.-based Federal Realty Investment Trust, and hosts about 35,000 skaters each season. It will be made 40 feet longer, according to an Arlington County news release.

Several dead or dying trees will be replaced and the plaza's water fountain will be upgraded. New amenities include a fire pit, outdoor seating and two 800-square-foot free-standing retail structures, the news release states.

Improvements are expected to be finished by fall 2013.

“This project will make an already popular public space even better,” Arlington County Board Chairwoman Mary Hynes said in a statement. “The bigger rink, operating a month longer each season, will be able to serve more neighbors and visitors looking for a low-cost, fun way to get some exercise in the late fall and winter.”

No public dollars will be used for the improvements, according to an email from county spokeswoman Helen Duong.

Through working with the surrounding community -- including the Aurora Highlands Civic Association -- the investment trust agreed to slightly decrease the size of the retail structures, according to Duong.

The mixed-use development at Pentagon Row includes 830 residential units and 300,000 square feet of commercial space.

The rink opens seasonally from October to March.

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