Shirlington is an example of planned smart growth development for lower-density suburban communities that lacks the resources or scale to support rail transit. It was originally built as a suburban shopping center, moving through three separate efforts to stimulate sustainable redevelopment.
After suffering decline in the 1970s and realizing Shirlington was not targeted for Metrorail service, Arlington recognized the need to revitalize Shirlington. With a new PDSP adopted in 1982 and several subsequent adjustments, the 2000 amendments brought the area more density and improved amenities so that it’s potential could be achieved and sustained. Today, Shirlington is a successful example of a vibrant, mixed-use core for a lower-density, car-oriented community.
New: Village of Shirlington – History & Density
In Summer 2018, Planning Division staff compiled a document and webpage covering the history of Shirlington, amenities and their outcomes, density calculations and lessons learned throughout the process: