Columbia Pike Real Estate
Guide to Columbia Pike
Once known mainly as a major commuting pathway from Northern VA to Washington DC, Columbia Pike has developed into one of Arlington’s most vibrant neighborhoods. As commercial space along the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor became more expensive over the past decades, many of the funky businesses that made those neighborhoods so special headed to South Arlington, the Columbia Pike area especially, in search of more space and lower costs. With the plethora of parks, schools, restaurants, nightlife and shops, it’s easy to see why Columbia Pike is attracting so much attention from investors and residents alike.
A South Arlington Staple
The 200-year-old community of Columbia Pike begins just about a mile south of Route 50, bordering Alcova Heights to the Northwest, and Penrose to the Northeast. Columbia Pike is centered on its namesake, also known as Route 244, a major artery of Arlington and Northern VA that runs from Annandale all the way to The Pentagon. Beginning on the west end of the neighborhood, Columbia Pike starts at the intersection of Columbia Pike and S Oakland Street, continues north up S Oakland Street, east on 9th Street S, south on S Wayne Street, down Columbia Pike again to S Cleveland Street, then back west on 12thStreet S at the intersection of Columbia Pike and S Monroe Street.
Dominated by Urban-Style Condos and Townhomes
Similar to many of the urban villages of Arlington, Columbia Pike’s housing stock consists mainly of condominiums and townhomes, with a diverse combination of older homes and brand new developments. The Barkley is one of the older condo buildings in the community, but still has all of the amenities that condo buyers look for, including an outdoor pool. Columbia Place is a new boutique development currently being constructed by Evergreene Homes that will have a mix of 22 stylish townhomes and condominiums. Another development to watch for is the mixed-use development Pike 3400, which has an anticipated opening date in late 2014. Once complete, this community will include 15,000 square feet of retail and 44 luxury 4-level townhomes with tons of outdoor space including private roofdecks.
There are also a couple of single-family homes dotted on the southern edge of what’s considered Columbia Pike. 1940s Cape Cods and mid-2000s to recently built single family style townhomes are the main types of single-family homes in the area.
Moving from Auto-Focused to Transit-Oriented Lifestyle
All of this development stemmed from the longtime efforts of a group of individuals, devoted to making the neighborhood more walkable and pedestrian friendly. The main complaint and lack of interest in Columbia Pike as a residential destination is the fact that there is only one option for public transportation, bus lines. Buses certainly are not the favored mode of transit for Arlingtonians, shown by the dense traffic along Columbia Pike during commuting hours. This not only congests the road and leads to a longer commute for residents and bypassers, but also makes the community less safe for pedestrians. After years of planning efforts, the main solution to the problem, the Columbia Pike Streetcar, has been proposed and approved. This modern streetcar will run along with traffic along this busy road, and will provide service from Skyline Plaza in Fairfax, VA all the way to Pentagon City, and eventually will connect with Crystal City’s streetcar with service to Potomac Yard. Although the Columbia Pike Streetcar will not totally eliminate bus lines, it will provide some relief for the bustling artery. This project is set to break ground in 2016.
Arlington Landmarks Fused with New Developments
Take a stroll down Columbia Pike, and you’ll be able to see how the community has taken shape over the years, with older favorites like the Arlington Drafthouse and Bob and Edith’s mixed in newcomers like Red Rocks and William Jeffries. The Arlington Drafthouse has long been an entertainment spot for residents for the past 50+ years. This historic cinema plays the recent films and the classics, hosts comedian acts (including SNL alums), and provides full restaurant service to its patrons. There are also some great restaurants that contribute to the neighborhood, including Neopolitan Pizzeria Red Rocks, wine bar Twisted Vines, and Lost Dog Café.
Parks, Recreation, and Community Action
Since the area of Columbia Pike is such a small area to begin with, there aren’t any green spaces directly in the community. Just steps outside, there are lots of parks and recreation options. Walter Reed Community Center and Park is just 2 ½ blocks south of the community and has basketball courts, a playground, tennis courts, and a Captial Bikeshare hub. Another huge perk of the community is its proximity to the brand-new Arlington Mill Community & Senior Center, which has basketball courts, a fitness facility, playground, wireless access, and a gameroom.
The community gets residents involved with events and happenings, including a weekly farmers market, summer movie screenings, and live concerts. Events like Restaurant Week, the Columbia Pike Blues festival, and Hike the Pike mean that Columbia Pike Arlingtonians always have something cool to check out.
An Up and Coming Neighborhood with a Bright Future
Columbia Pike is in the midst of an exciting transformation. Pricing is competitive, but with the future Streetcar, housing in this area is sure to be the next popular urban village in Arlington, and has all the makings of a great investment.
LA Bar & Grill
One of the last true dive bars in Arlington. Columbia Pike is adding a numerous amount of bar selections. But for a true neighborhood bar with a relaxed atmosphere, the bar you want to patronize is clear.