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New East Coast Boeing HQ Lands in Crystal City, Near Pentagon

Arlington County Board OKs deal after hours of deliberation.

The Arlington County Board approved a plan early Wednesday morning that would put Boeing's East Coast headquarters across the road from the Pentagon.

The hours of discussion preceding approval focused on the illumination of Boeing's signs -- a hotel and the world's largest office building will be the most affected by the new structure's western sign -- lights along the edge of the property and shared parking for a new park facility. The U.S. National Park Service, which has jurisdiction over the nearby George Washington Parkway, had concerns about the brightness of Boeing's northern sign.

Boeing's proximity to the Pentagon only occasionally came up. It will generally be on the other side of Interstate 395. Specifically, the site is between 6th Street South and 10th Street South, with Old Jefferson Davis Highway running along its western side.

, one of the county's Top 20 employers, will consolidate two facilities into the new Crystal City location, including its current East Coast headquarters in Rosslyn.

The L-shaped building will sit on 4.7 acres and house a six-story, 450,000-square-foot headquarters with a two-floor underground parking garage. The strain on morning and afternoon rush-hour peaks is projected to be fewer than 600 people.

County officials talked about the importance of Boeing's corporate citizenship and stressed that they didn't get all that they wanted from the deal.

County Manager Barbara Donnellan opened the discussion by talking about the county "veering away from our values."

The prospect of a permanent business, rather than one tied to a three- or five-year lease, came up often, usually in the context of the uncertain economy.

Potential Arlington County job losses thanks to BRAC came up often, too.

Donnellan flatly pointed out that current federal lease-holders in the Crystal City area don't pay taxes; Boeing will.

Three percent of the county's lease-holders occupy 50 percent of the leasable space here, Donnellan said.

The strains on the Crystal City transportation system also were a concern.

Under the agreement, Boeing would be required to promote public transit, install a Capital Bikeshare station on-site and issue employees a $60 Metro farecard.

Board Member Walter Tejada acknowledged that Boeing could mean "the maker of weapons of war" to some people; Chairman Chris Zimmerman later stated that aerospace is part of "who we are."

Board Member Barbara Favola said she'd received a single donation to her state Senate campaign from a Boeing employee and returned it because she knew this matter was coming before the board.

Zimmerman told Boeing officials the Arlington Planning Commission -- which recommended denying Boeing's plan -- and others "usually get better stuff" for the county.

He added, "This isn't normal."

Through negotiations with Arlington County, the new Boeing facility will be LEED gold certified.

The public will be provided access to Boeing's lawn area.

The facility will blend in to the soon-to-be-realized Long Bridge Park.

The approval marked a major change to the original Monument View Site Plan the board approved in 2008.

The site in question, which the county will trade for additional park land, currently houses a vacant motel and abandoned warehouses.

To read the county news release on this matter, click here.

This article has been edited for clarification.

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