On October 5, the ULI Washington Placemaking Initiative Council met in Rosslyn at The Alcove, an experiential retail space that brought unique activations to Central Place in Downtown Rosslyn for a limited, two-month engagement. The Placemaking Council is one of five Initiative Councils that bring ULI members together to learn about and discuss topics of mutual interest. In addition to learning about and experiencing the Alcove, the BID staff took the Council members on a tour of several other elements of placemaking in Rosslyn, including the Beer Garden, and permanent parklet.
The Alcove was the result of a collaboration between JBG Smith, the developer of the property, the Rosslyn BID, Arlington County and local businesses who donated the space, their expertise, and materials. Partners on the project included Gensler, Davis Construction, Streetsense, and Arlington County, plus others. Capitol Drywall provided services to finish the space and even built two drywall chairs for the entry lobby.
Over 70 events were held in the space over the two-month period ranging from children’s story hours to author book readings to corporate events. The space was activated with shelves full of books placed by Turning the Page, a nonprofit that creates pop-up book sales in D.C. The BID staff managed the space, and in addition to special events, people in Rosslyn could use the space for small meetings, reading, working and hanging out. All of the furniture was moveable, and on any given day, it took a variety of layouts depending on what was happening in the space. The Alcove had its final day on October 6, and created a model for future projects in Rosslyn and beyond.