Public Art & the Western Gateway

April 14, 2017
Western Gateway: Arlington Mill (formerly Columbia Heights West) and Columbia Forest

Public Art

Public Art will be installed on the corner of South Jefferson after the streetscaping and realignment of sidewalks and roads are complete.

Corner of Jefferson / Pike

Donald Lipski

Donald Lipski

Donald Lip ski is creating a work of public art for Arlington which is expected to be installed in 2018. He was selected in 2013 to create a statue which will be erected within the Western Gateway section of Columbia Pike on the corner of South Jefferson Street, shown in the drawing above.
In June 2013 Lipski met with community members and project stakeholders at the Lost Dog Cafe to help him get to know Arlington as he began to develop the concept for the work. 

Corner of Jefferson & Columbia Pike

Lipski is creating a Brancusi-like sculpture from the blade of a wind turbine.  The base will be studded with thousands of coins from the more than 200 countries represented by the citizens of what is perhaps the most diverse population of any city in the country.

Corner of Jefferson / Pike
Donald Lipski
Blade of Wind Turbine

Western Gateway

The Western Gateway begins at the line between Fairfax and Arlington on the Pike, just a little to the west of South Jefferson Street and ends at South Greenbrier Street on the north side of the Pike, after the 55 Hundred building on the south side.

The Shell Building on Columbia Pike

Streetscape Improvements

The county plans to make streetscape improvements from the county line to Four Mile Run. Before work can begin they will replace aging and leak-prone water and sewer pipes and bury existing overhead utilities underground.

The streetscape (streetscape standards) improvements portion of the project includes the following enhancements and amenities:

Western Gateway Map
Wider sidewalks, New street lights, Upgraded traffic signals, Street trees,
Reconfiguring the Jefferson Street and Columbia Pike intersection.
Adjustments to the required building lines at the Wildwood Park property between S. Jefferson and S. Greenbrier Street. (report)
And at some point new transit stations.
Pre-construction work should begin Monday, April 10 2017. Construction of the streetscaping is expected to start in summer 2017.


- Form Base Code

55 Hundred Columbia Pike

55 Hundred

The 55 Hundred building was the second development to receive approval under the Columbia Pike Form Based Code which was in 2005. It opened between 2010-2011. It is located on the southern side of the Pike and is the first building to the east within the Western Gateway.
55 hundred Columbia Pike

The complex is 10 stories, with 235 residential units and 7,544.325 sq ft of retail space. Some of the amenities include:

Rooftop Swimming Pool
Game Lounge
Club Room
Athletic Center
On the ground floor there are two dentist's offices Fidel Dental Group and Arlington Pediatric Dentistry. Future of Fitness a fitness training facility also operates in this building.

55 hundred Columbia Pike
55 hundred Columbia Pike

Petros Site

55 Hundred was build on the old Petros Site 5510 Columbia Pike ( The only photo I could find of the old site is below and it is difficult to read the names of the stores, if anyone has more information about this site (please let me know)
Petros Site Western Gate Columbia Pike
Petros Site

Petros - Comments

Mark Wigfield

There used to be an amazing plumbing supply store there where you could get any type of faucet, washer, part, etc., plus a staff who could explain how to install it. That store disappeared several years before the shopping strip was torn down. I don't remember what the name of the shop was.

Gary Mason

I recall that one of the storefronts at the former single-story Petros Building was something like "Women in the Military Memorial Association."

The Shell

The Shell Building Columbia Pike
The Shell building (intital plans and drawings) was built on the lot of an old shell gas station. The the main part of the building faces Columbia Pike but the address is 870 South Greenbrier Street. It was build by a non-profit affordable housing developer Arlington Housing Corp AHC received approval March 2012 along with financial assistance:
The Arlington County Board today approved lending the non-profit AHC Inc., up to $6 million for the purchase of a Columbia Pike site and construction of an 83-unit affordable apartment building that is compliant with all Form Based Code requirements. arlington county

Affordable Apartments

Funding for the project came from a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG).Affordable apartments are available to individuals earning between 50% and 60%. of the Area Median Income (AMI). AHC
Leasing for the building began in 2015. The building has efficiencies, and one, two and three bedroom apartments. The first floor also includes a 789-square-foot community center, a management office, and 6,600 square feet of retail space. Additionally the building has a fitness room for resident use. AHC.


The retail space has been vacant since the opening of the building, now the county has approved the space to be used by a school. The Full Circle Montessori School will be using the entire retail space and will move in September 2017. The school has at least three other locations in Arlington.

55 hundred Columbia Pike
55 hundred Columbia Pike

55 hundred Columbia Pike
Shell Gas Station 2009
55 hundred Columbia Pike

Other Housing

Wildwood Park

Wildwood Park is an apartment community which was built in 1963, it has 10 stories with 404 units of one, two, and three bedrooms. Some of the amenities include a pool, playground and sports court along with a gym, game room and community room.
Part of the new streetscaping around this building will required new building lines to accommodate realigned sidewalks and a widening of S. Greenbrier Street on the east side (see map above).

Wildwood Park, Columbia Pike
Wildwood Park
Wildwood Park

Serrano Apartments

Next Door to the Shell Building is the sign for the Serrano Apartments a two building complex at 5535 Columbia Pike but only the sign is actually next to the Pike the buildings are setback almost a block and you can barely see them from the street.
These buildings became the Serrano about 2010 before that they were Windham Towers. AHC request for a loan of $16.5 million to purchase the buildings was approved in april, 2014 AHC kept the name Serrano. There are 280 apartments, 84 are market-rate and 196 are Committed Affordable Units. The amenities include a pool and BBQ picnic area and an exercise room.

 Serrano Appartments,Columbia Pike
Columbia Pike
Serrano Apartments

Barrton Place

Barrton Place at 5551 Columbia Pike has one and two bedroom apartments. It is facing the Pike but set back from it. It's behind a small building see retail below.

Barrton Place Columbia Pike
Bartton Place, Columbia Pike
Bartton Place

Retail Etc

In front of Bartton Place is a small building that has an assortment of businesses which include: Sacoto Pediatrics, Columbia Pike Chiropractic, Nationwide Insurance, Live Massage and Spa, and a Family Quick Mart. Fidel Dental Group was in this building before they moved to 55 Hundred.

Columbia Pike
Columbia Pike

Columbia Pike at Western Gateway