NTCA’s headquarter offices are in Arlington, Va., a thriving DC suburb. We’ve been in this location for a number of years and it has been a good fit for us – relatively reasonable rent, access to a mall across the street, close to a metro stop and with enough parking for us to fulfill our commitment to our team to do our best to keep commutes as reasonable (tough though when it comes to commuting in DC – between metro repairs and growing traffic but…) as possible. However, that has all changed in the last few months as Ballston undergoes a Renaissance and we all just hope to be able to survive it!
The mall closed over a year ago as they began a transformation to redo the entire facility and bring it into the 21st century. There have been many times when I have pondered that simply tearing the mall down and starting from scratch would have been easier, however, the developer seemed committed to using the existing framework as much as possible. Couple that with the two new buildings being built across the street from us at the same time and huge renovations to the National Science Foundation building (or at least what used to be) next door to our office that have forced the use of construction walkways, closed off sidewalks and limited access at times to our path to the metro. Then add in the two condo buildings directly behind and next to us also going through massive transformations and you have…a mess!!
Our team has been trying to see things through the prism of better days and a really cool neighborhood when the work is completed but for now, at least a few of us have had popped tires from construction debris, our elevators broke down twice this past week and let me share that marching down 10 flights of stairs is NOT NEARLY as painful as walking back up them. We have also lost access to the front entrance of our building for the past six weeks (so far) that has ride-sharing drivers and taxis baffled when they come for pickups.
However, as hard as I am trying to embrace the change and the chaos in the duration, I finally had to drop a note to two of our Arlington County board members who I know, to share that it would be really nice to see Arlington finish the construction at hand in the neighborhood before beginning yet another project since I think the traffic, our building and our team have run out of latitude. My fingers are crossed!