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What's in a name?: 'National Landing' could become reality in Arlington

Pentagon City (Image: ABC7 File Photo)
Pentagon City (Image: ABC7 File Photo)
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The term 'National Landing' raised eyebrows during Amazon's HQ2 announcement last fall, with some locals wondering what it meant and where that even is. But now, the name could become reality in Arlington.

As first reported by, the Crystal City Business Improvement District is considering changing its name. The organization wants to call itself the 'National Landing' Business Improvement District instead.

"We've been exploring a name or an umbrella term for our downtown since early 2018, pre-dating the Amazon decision. But National Landing was introduced as part of the county and Commonwealth proposal for Amazon, so we think there is value in considering National Landing as the umbrella term to capture our downtown, while at the same time retaining our existing neighborhood names," said Tracy Sayegh Gabriel, the Crystal City Business Improvement District's President and Executive Director.

The push for the name change comes after the BID recently got county approval to expand its boundaries by 76 percent, to include not just Crystal City but parts of Pentagon City and Potomac Yard as well.

"Combined, the three areas represent Virginia's largest walkable downtown and a major urban center. So expanding our BID boundaries makes us better positioned to manage the transformation that's underway here and ensure this area continues to be a diverse, liveable, and vibrant place."

Gabriel says the Crystal City Business Improvement District name change won't happen without public feedback and input from community stakeholders. She says that process is currently underway.

"One of the things we've heard from the community is that there is a lot of pride here in our existing neighborhood names, and those shouldn't go away -but we are interested in figuring out how we talk about the area as a whole," she said. "As a downtown, we can't be downtown Arlington, because there are other downtowns in Arlington. And saying all three neighborhood names is indeed a mouthful. So having an overarching name that can be identified both locally and on a national scale is important."

On October 8, the BID will hold an open house to get community feedback on the potential 'National Landing' name change. If there are other names that residents would like the BID to consider, Gabriel says they want to hear those too.

It was not actually Amazon that came up with the name 'National Landing'.

Stephanie Landrum with the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership and her counterpart in Arlington, Christina Winn, came up with the term as part of the pitch to land Amazon's HQ2. Since the project's footprint runs through three different neighborhoods, they wanted to create a cohesive brand that they hoped would unify planners and developers while creating a sense of community.

"I would actually support keeping the name what it is now," said David Taylor, who works in Crystal City. "Because if someone says Pentagon City I know where they are. And if someone says Crystal City I know where they are."

He was one of several people ABC7 met on Wednesday, who said they didn't love the term 'National Landing'.

"I mean it's kinda catchy, but I don't particularly like it," said Meaghan Eicher.

Others said it's a welcome change.

"I think having one name really simplifies everything," said Kirstie Pomaranski, who grew up in Arlington. "National Landing sounds really uplifting. It's definitely brand recognition and it seems like it would be a good fit for this location."

As for the timeline of the Crystal City Business Improvement District's name change, Gabriel wouldn't get too specific. She said the organization plans to hold a series of focus groups on the rebranding effort and will be meeting with civic association groups throughout the fall.

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"I think in the coming months, we can anticipate a change," she said.

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