Ballston Quarter first opened in 1951 as the Parkington Shopping Center in Arlington, Virginia. It was one of the first major suburban shopping centers in the Washington DC metropolitan area and was the first shopping center built around a multi-story parking garage in the US. Brookfield Properties (formerly Forest City Enterprises) and QiC Retail Assets wanted to develop a repositioning strategy to turn the inward-facing, enclosed mall into an urban community with retail facing the street.
The resulting strategy turns the retail out to the street and showcases destination retailers, such as sport and health facilities, through the restyling of the façade. The new open-air, mixed-use development offers a variety of retailers including fashion, food & beverage, specialty, and entertainment. Street-level tenants feature restaurants with outdoor dining, markets, and more. A new open-air garden and gathering plaza connects these retail spaces together and connects to the public along Wilson Boulevard, one of Arlington’s main thoroughfares.
The exterior was redesigned with a large brick facade with multi-paned windows that aligns with other reclaimed and renovated buildings along Wilson Boulevard. The interior renovations emphasized vertical circulation between the market court at the ground level to the fourth floor, connecting all levels with a new atrium space that spills natural light into the walkways. The existing parking garage elevators were supplemented with additional feature stairs and escalators between all levels. The renovated facilities also connect to an existing ice-skating complex that is home to the Washington Capitals hockey team.
Ballston Quarter is a collaboration between international design firms. Cooper Carry is the architect of record for the existing mall and parking garage renovations. CallisonRTKL is the architect of record for the retail and residential that will be located on the east development parcel of the former Macy's department store.