Mary-Claire Burick on Rosslyn Business Improvement District and what Nestle means to it and the Region ~
“We’re very fortunate in Rosslyn that the developers are not there to turn a quick buck and move out. They really have invested in the neighborhood. All of that sort of culminates in a thing like Nestle. This is probably a once in a lifetime deal. This is one of those deals that is going to have impacts and reverberations throughout the entire DMV, the region.”
A Ockershausen: This is Our Town. This is Andy Ockershausen. I have such a special guest. I don’t want to call her a guest because she’s a big part of Our Town. Happy to introduce Mary-Claire Burick, President of the Rosslyn Business Improvement District and a very dear friend. We did not meet at a Board of Trade function. We had a conversation at a restaurant in Laurel but we’ll go back to that. I can’t think of the many times that I’ve talked to people about Mary-Claire and what she has done and I’ve seen her development. Mary-Claire Burick is absolutely a legend to me in Our Town for what she’s done. Mary-Claire, welcome to Our Town. I can’t believe why we were in Laurel but you remember.
Mary-Claire Burick and Andy O On First Meeting in Laurel MD
Mary-Claire Burick: I actually was trying to think back on that and I don’t remember why we were in Laurel but I will tell you, I credit you with much of my success because you told me early on, “Girl, you need to get out there. You need to get involved in the board of trade and you need to not just spend your time at work but you need to get involved in the community.” Luckily,
A Ockershausen: Did you do that? Fare thee well.
Mary-Claire Burick: I did.
A Ockershausen: What a role model you are for so many people. We were with a sales person from Comcast SportsNet. I thought we were trying to sell somebody a business. That’s why I can’t remember but I do remember being so impressed by you, and we talked about it for a while after that. I knew you had a broadcast background being in Laurel, there ain’t no TV in Laurel, but there was. What you’d say, UHF56?
A Start in TV Broadcasting – Channel 56 – PBS
Mary-Claire Burick: Yeah. One of my first jobs in broadcasting was at Channel 56, which is PBS. That was actually Merrifield, Virginia so again, I can’t remember why we ended up in Laurel but it was an awesome start.
A Ockershausen: That’s a great turn.
Mary-Claire Burick: Exactly. Hey.
A Ockershausen: It’s a start and that was our start. Then having watched you at certain things, because you did join the Board of Trade. I keep pressing that Mary-Claire because I’m a living example. Man, it made my life and it did and so many people, I think about Catherine Meloy when we brought Catherine to Washington. I told her first thing to do, get involved, and she’s never stopped and neither have you. It is so important, but where were you in school? You’re a Washingtonian?
Mary-Claire Burick: I am. Well, always in the suburbs.
A Ockershausen: Our Town.
Mary-Claire Burick: Yeah. Grew up in Laurel, which maybe that’s why we were ending up there. I don’t know.
A Ockershausen: Could be. Your family might have been there.
A Catholic School Education
Mary-Claire Burick: Exactly. Yeah. I went to private school as a Catholic girl growing up.
A Ockershausen: There’s no Catholic school in Laurel is there?
Mary-Claire Burick: Yeah. St. Vincent Pallotti. Actually through first grade, through high school Catholic school.
A Ockershausen: Is that right? Now, how about college? I know you went to college.
Mary-Claire Burick: Yeah. Fighting Blue Hens. I went to University of Delaware.
A Ockershausen: That is correct. It’s a great school. Incidentally sort of below the horizon but I know some kids that went there, had a great lacrosse program.
Mary-Claire Burick: Yeah.
A Ockershausen: That was my nephew, but you decided to get back in broadcasting with both feet and then you ended up, as I recall, working for Joe Oberon. That was your first trip into Washington? I mean your first job in Washington was –
Mary-Claire Burick On Opportunity at Fox News Channel
Mary-Claire Burick: Actually, that was the second. My broadcasting career started, I was freelancing with NBC news and then doing some producing and technical directing, those types of things. Then I saw an opportunity with the launch of the Fox News Channel. When Roger Ailes was launching that, I was actually the seventh employee hired.
A Ockershausen: Is that right?
Mary-Claire Burick: Yeah.
A Ockershausen: Wow.
Mary-Claire Burick: I will tell you, it’s funny because a lot of people are adverse to change and are sort of fearful of leaving something like NBC, which was just a storied institution for a start-up –
A Ockershausen: Oh my god. A legend.
Mary-Claire Burick: Which could have been done in six months, but to me that’s how you make your bones is you find those opportunities where you can make an impact and do something other than just sort of staying in your lane. That really sort of was my launchpad.
A Ockershausen: You know one of the things we’ve talked about is not only get up, get dressed. Show up and do things, and you did that, and that is a perfect example. I know that was about the time that Metro Media sold to Fox, was it not right after that? Fox was the forerunner. I mean Metro Media was the forerunner and then Fox came along and exploited it. That was a great opportunity for you, but you didn’t stay there.
On Launching a Consulting Company
Mary-Claire Burick: I didn’t. No. I stayed with the Fox News Channel in their DC office. I was their operations manager. One of the only female managers there in those days but sort of from there, I ended up launching a consulting company. I was looking maybe for something different. I’d been in broadcasting so long I just decided, you know I want to do something different. I want to take my management skills, my people development skills, my ability to navigate change and help to drive towards goals. I wanted to take that and do something different with it so I actually launched a management consulting company. Right, two totally different things but really the skill sets are the same.
A Ockershausen: Oh, absolutely.
Mary-Claire Burick: It’s the ability to be able to work with leaders and to be a leader and sort of envision where are you trying to go and what’s the best way to get there, and how do you get people involved? I believe that you don’t do anything that’s worth doing without other people with you. You’ve got to engage the right people at the right time with the right resources and sort of all pointing towards a common goal. That’s the type of work I did as a management consultant.
A Ockershausen: It paid off for you because you kept your contacts and you kept your feet in broadcasting and you did so much, and you created Women in Technology foundry program. Is that correct?
The Leadership Foundry Committee
Mary-Claire Burick: Yeah, that was called The Leadership Foundry and I was a part of a group of women who were on the committee to help get that launched. Just an amazing group of women who are committed. Really what that’s about is women on corporate boards.
A Ockershausen: Were they in Our Town? The group was an Our Town effort correct? Or you’re National?
Mary-Claire Burick: No, it’s actually a local effort, and it’s really, again, aimed at more women on corporate boards. If you look at the numbers, we are staggeringly underwhelming. Let’s put it that way.
A Ockershausen: Of course. That will change.
Mary-Claire Burick: Yeah. That will change.
A Ockershausen: Time will change that.
On Launching Politico
Mary-Claire Burick: That’s really, to your point Andy about doing things on the side and getting involved, that was just really sort of a passion project outside of work. I was actually recruited to work with Robert Allbritton and Fred Ryan. They were launching Politico at the time so I became the Vice President of Operations for ABC 7 News channel 8, Politico, all of the Allbritton entities. That, again, sort of same theme there is that you go for those opportunities that are a little bit different.
A Ockershausen: Well, your people skills really came in handy with Channel 7 and all those diverse things they were doing well that Robert brought to the table. I know that because Joe used to complain about that he works him too hard, whatever that means. What a great opportunity to work for Allbritton. His thing was timing. He used to explain everything is timing in life. I said, “Well Joe, how do you know what the time is?” He said, “I feel it in the seat of my pants. I’ll know when it’s right.” I said, “That’s why you bought all those mortuaries and everything?” He told us some great stories and we got to know him and eventually became good friends in a lot of ways. I’m so glad for you. We’re talking to Mary-Claire Burick and we’re going to take a break here and I’m going to be right back to talk about your present career.
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Announcer: You’re listening to Our Town.
A Ockershausen: This is Andy Ockershausen. This is Our Town. I’m chatting with a very dear friend Mary-Claire Burick about her impact on Our Town and what she has done in the years that we’ve been friends, probably 15.
Mary-Claire Burick:: At least.
A Ockershausen: To watch you and watch what you have done and what you’re doing with the organizational consulting and the leadership from Georgetown University that you’re doing, that’s another one of your bows, correct?
Mary-Claire Burick: Yeah. When I was consulting, I really saw the need for becoming a little more steeped and better versed at how to lead change. This is such an important thing and I think it is something that they should be teaching in business school. Even really as early as high school because that’s, to me, anyone who is successful in this day and age, it is because they are able to navigate and manage change and lead change really.
A Ockershausen: Women are leading the charge. I know that. We all love it of course. One of the things that made our career in broadcasting so great was recognizing the skills of a lot of females that really helped our company get along. It happened way back with Channel 7 before Joe Allbritton and certainly you’re a living example that Allbritton recognized talent and he brought you in to stir the pot as it is, and you did, and you brought the experience you had at Fox and at NBC. You were perfect for Channel 7.
Mary-Claire Burick: Yeah. I really enjoyed that opportunity. That was my first time actually running multiple media properties. I had gone from Fox News Channel, which is one, the operations work in there, and now going to multiple properties. It was a wonderful opportunity. It was also really the first time I had been involved in community initiatives. It was very important to them to do some volunteering types of things so I got my feet wet in doing more community initiatives, which I think really in many ways set me up for the next phase of my life. Sort of the early phase of my life was broadcasting. I always wondered what in the heck am I going to do after broadcasting. What does one do after broadcasting?
A Ockershausen: Still be president of the company.
Mary-Claire Burick: That’s right.
A Ockershausen: I married the producer who’s made my life. We never had a life after broadcasting because we were in it together and Janice and I grew up in the business right here at Channel 7 and WMAL because we’re all the same. You missed the newspaper, correct? When Allbritton owned the paper?
Mary-Claire Burick: I did. I was not … I was involved in the Politico era so as they were launching the paper and the digital platform that was Politico. They actually created the position for me, which was Vice President of Operations.
A Ockershausen: I knew that. You told me at the time. In fact, you helped me do something. I was trying to do something with Channel 7 and you were a great asset to me to introducing me to the right person. It’s all to connecting dots.
Mary-Claire Burick: It is.
A Ockershausen: It’s such an easy thing.
Mary-Claire Burick: This goes back Andy to the first time we met. Again, you had said to me, “It is super important that you get involved in the community.” Really when you think about a very technical field like broadcasting, because I was on the operations side, when you think about that and you think about, well what are the skill sets then that I’m developing that are going to lead me, if I want to, towards another career path. That’s what it’s about. It’s about being able to spot talent, manage people, and get people moving towards common goals.
A Ockershausen: So true, and having that opportunity with representing a very important news media in the Nation’s Capital, gave you high profile. What led you to cross the river, as they say, and go under the trees and end up in Rosslyn? When I grew up Rosslyn was pawn shops, the cleaners, and little factories and nothing.
Mary-Claire Burick: And brothels.
A Ockershausen: Yeah, you had to cross the river then. Now you can do it right here in Washington. Make it easy. What led you across the rive? Did they recruit you? I’m sure.
Mary-Claire Burick: They did.
A Ockershausen: That’s your profile.
Recruited for Rosslyn BID
Mary-Claire Burick: It’s funny. Paul Rothenburg, who you know quite well. Amazing recruiters at McCormick and so when Paul first approached me about the position, which by the way Mary Abbajay said to Paul, you need to talk to Mary-Claire. Again, it’s all connections.
A Ockershausen: Absolutely.
Mary-Claire Burick: It’s all your friends. I said to Paul, I was like, “Paul, I know nothing about commercial development. I don’t do economic development. I haven’t worked in a public/private partnership. I don’t work for Arlington County. Why in the hell do you want me?” He said, “Well, we want a leader who can set a vision, get everyone on board, manage the change, and really bring about a vibrant community, because at the time Rosslyn was a very successful commercial district but it was not pedestrian friendly, bicycle friendly.
A Ockershausen: Oh no, it wasn’t.
Mary-Claire Burick: It was a commercial district so the streets rolled up at 5 o clock and after saying no three or four times, he was very persistent and I finally said, “You know what. This sounds cool.”
A Ockershausen: Yeah, but you didn’t have any experience in Rosslyn? You didn’t live there. You didn’t live in Arlington.
Mary-Claire Burick: Well, Allbritton. Channel 7.
A Ockershausen: They moved over there. That is correct.
Mary-Claire Burick: That’s right.
A Ockershausen: Now, I remember.
Mary-Claire Burick: I had worked there.
A Ockershausen: You knew the hood.
Mary-Claire Burick: I knew the hood. It just, again sort of the common thread of my life really and my career I think is about not only embracing change but in some ways kind of almost seeking it out. This was a big change, but for me it was the culmination of everything I had done in broadcasting. Everything I had done as a management consultant, all kind of wrapped up into one role.
A Ockershausen: It was all had to do with how to handle people, how to work with people.
Mary-Claire Burick: That’s right.
A Ockershausen: Well, we know about Paul very well because he also recruited Catherine Meloy for Goodwill. That was one of –
Mary-Claire Burick: Most of the fabulous women that are in positions, McCormick and/or Paul and Lyles probably had something to do with it.
A Ockershausen: Paul and Lyles, big part of our life. Lyles and Paul said, “I want to be on your podcast.” I say, “You’re not important enough. Lyles is.” He’s still mad at me. Now, we’re into Rosslyn so I’m going to take another break here and come back and talk about Rosslyn and talk about Mary-Claire Burick and what she’s done for Our Town.
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Announcer: You’re listening to Our Town with Andy Ockershausen, brought to you by Best Bart Communications.
A Ockershausen: This is Andy Ockershausen. This is Our Town. Talking with Mary-Claire Burick who was named a Women Who Mean Business by the Washington Business Journal, Arlington Counties Woman of Vision, a 2015 recipient of the Smart CEO’s Brava Award, the list goes on and on. She has given so much back to this community. She’s been recognized for it but your charity work is outstanding.
Mary-Claire Burick: Well thank you. It’s something that I really enjoy doing. For me, I love to support work that is empowering women. That sort of manifests itself in a lot of different ways. We talked a little bit about the Leadership Foundry. That work is so important to me because I think it’s important for young women to have mentors and to have people that they can look up to. In fact, I’m going to be looking up to the Washington Business Journals Mentoring Monday. That’s where thousands of women across the country in all of the Washington Business Journal states all come together for one massive mentoring opportunity.
A Ockershausen: Wonderful. Do they use you as an example? Obviously because you’re a beautiful example, besides that, you’re a good looking woman. That is a talent. We all know it. I will tell you this, Leadership Washington, I got in on the front end of that because of Steve Harland and Joe Riley and the people and Barbara Bloom said we need something. I didn’t know what we were going to do but the first class we had trouble recruiting because people didn’t know what it was, but then it grew and grew and grew. I can’t think of anything that’s more important for the city than Leadership, and it’s a whole group of leaders coming along.
Leadership Greater Washington
Mary-Claire Burick: Yeah, Leadership Greater Washington has been amazing. I was in the class of ’15 and it really is just an opportunity for leaders to come together, share their problems, share solutions, and getting involved in each others causes because that’s how you usually learn about things that are then become something important to you as well.
A Ockershausen: To bring in a lot of people, we started this from the first one, brought in people who could not afford the tuition, because it wasn’t free, you paid for it, you better learn it, but to bring in people from non-profits and from neighborhoods and homeless ideas and bring them together with the leadership. The young leadership, I thought, was sensational.
Mary-Claire Burick: Yeah. Leadership Arlington also does a fantastic job with that and they actually have a young professionals program as well, as does Leadership Greater Washington. I think those are so important because that’s where our young people learn. I’m actually putting myself in that older category now but it’s important that we do that.
A Ockershausen: You’ll never be old Mary-Claire. You’ll see to that.
Mary-Claire Burick: I don’t know if I feel as spring chicken as I used to but –
A Ockershausen: None of us do.
Mary-Claire Burick: With the gray hairs I think does come an experience and a wisdom that enables you to know where to turn and how to get things done.
A Ockershausen: Well, everything that you have done so far in your life has been fabulous but what really rocked the city and Our Town was the event to get the Nestle corporation to move their headquarters to you, to Rosslyn.
Nestle Comes to Arlington
Mary-Claire Burick: Yeah. I think really all the work we’ve been doing in Rosslyn, the business improvement district, Arlington County, Arlington Economic Development AED, the developers. We’re very fortunate in Rosslyn that the developers are not there to turn a quick buck and move out. They really have invested in the neighborhood. All of that sort of culminates in a thing like Nestle. This is probably a once in a lifetime deal. This is one of those deals that is going to have impacts and reverberations throughout the entire DMV, the region.
A Ockershausen: For many years to come.
Mary-Claire Burick: For many years. It’s not just the amount of employees. It’s when you bring a global brand like Nestle to a place. I think it really does speak to the fact that there’s something going on here that we need to pay attention to.
A Ockershausen: Arlington has arrived.
Mary-Claire Burick: Yeah. You know, Arlington has long been successful because they are transit oriented. They developed the Metro lines before anyone else did. Really some smart planning decisions, but I think it takes organizations like the business improvement districts, to really at a grass roots level be able to look at, what does this place need in order to thrive? In Rosslyn’s case, what it needed was residential because when you have strictly commercial properties –
A Ockershausen: Everybody goes home at night.
On Bringing Residential to Rosslyn
Mary-Claire Burick: Everyone goes home at night and once you –
A Ockershausen: And home’s away.
Mary-Claire Burick: Exactly. Once you get the residents moving in, which we’ve had like a 20% increase. We now have over 11,000 residents in Rosslyn.
A Ockershausen: That’s huge.
Mary-Claire Burick: Yeah, and that’s what brings the retail. You’ve got to have the retail to attract a corporation like Nestle. Grant Thorton just moved it’s global, actually I think maybe it’s their America headquarters, reconsolidated that.
A Ockershausen: The big accounting.
Mary-Claire Burick: The big accounting firm, they moved that to Rosslyn. Just in the last two months alone we’ve had probably six major lease announcements. I think that momentum that we’re seeing is as result of really saying, okay the strategy for this place is to move from a commercial district, which is auto centric, towards a pedestrian walkable, bike-able –
A Ockershausen: Livable.
Mary-Claire Burick: Livable place with amenities that people want, and it’s sort of like an ecosystem. It all feeds on itself.
A Ockershausen: The apartments and the rentals you have there now, condos and so forth, I can see it and feel it, but the site is gorgeous. Whoever the architect that controlled Arlington, made everybody build a good looking building that I can see, my eyes looking across the river riding through it. That must have been important to Nestle to come in to be part of a little town almost.
New Restaurants in Rosslyn
Mary-Claire Burick: It is. That’s the thing that I think puts Rosslyn ahead of many of our competitors, even with Tysons and DC and other places, is that you’ve got a preeminent skyline where global brands like Nestle want that prominence. When you’re flying into Reagan, what do you see? You see what’s on the side of those buildings. We have the beautiful views of the entire region but really I think what’s happening on the street level is what’s so important. We’ve had 20 new restaurants open in the last two years. I think a lot of people don’t know that. They think, “Oh yeah. I knew Rosslyn back when it was -”
A Ockershausen: Tom Sarris’ Steakhouse.
Mary-Claire Burick: Exactly. Right? New Orleans Steakhouse. Exactly.
A Ockershausen: I know Tom Sarris. I think he died recently, but that was it. That was the only place. The problem was you had to bring your own bottle with you.
Mary-Claire Burick: Remember the long salad boat. It was a big boat in the center with the salad, but that’s what people –
A Ockershausen: But that’s what it was.
Mary-Claire Burick: But that’s what it was and if people haven’t been back … That’s what I always encourage people to do.
A Ockershausen: Come see Arlington.
Mary-Claire Burick: Come see it, because you see the skyline and that’s very notable. People know it, but they don’t realize what’s happening on the ground plane and that’s where the BID really takes an active role. We do things like turning a dumpster alley way into a beer garden through paint and tables and chairs. It’s all about the public realm. How do we make this a great place for people who want to hang out. I’ve learned that you serve alcohol at almost everything you do. We do beer gardens and wine bars and it’s just a lot of fun.
A Ockershausen: The way it is.
Geographic Boundaries – Arlington and Rosslyn
Janice Iacona Ockershausen: Mary-Claire, what’s the definition or what are the boundaries or the defining lines between Rosslyn and Arlington?
Mary-Claire Burick: Arlington has several commercial districts in it. Rosslyn is one of them. The way business improvement district works is you have a boundary. Ours is a 17 block boundary. The commercial property owners and any residents pay an additional assessment which then goes to Arlington County, which then comes back to us. We have about a 4 million dollar budget and we have a Board of Directors that represents all the stakeholders. As you can imagine, it’s herding cats and trying to really say, “Okay, how do we work with Arlington County, the developers, the retailers, the residents?” It’s what is the most challenging about the job but it’s also what I enjoy the most about the job. Andy it goes back to what we talked about, sort of the thread of this interview is it’s all about the people.
A Ockershausen: Oh sure, absolutely. Our Town, that’s what makes Our Town. Buildings are buildings of stone but the people make Arlington what it is now. I have seen it by driving through it and knowing what the one gas station in Arlington, I don’t know if it’s still there or not.
Mary-Claire Burick: The Church gas station? Yeah. Bizarre. Totally bizarre. That’s the thing that’s sort of interesting about Rosslyn and that’s why it’s so important to make it walkable. There’s so many interesting things that you wouldn’t see if you’re just shooting through in a car.
A Ockershausen: Or Metro through it.
Mary-Claire Burick: And Metro is our jewel. If you look at trends, all developers are now developing within a half mile radius of a Metro station. That’s where it becomes particularly important for us to make sure that we are walkable and we’re well on our way.
On the Growth of Rosslyn
A Ockershausen: You’ve done a fabulous job. All the builders who’ve contributed, they’ve built beautiful buildings. The Board of Trade, way back before there was Mary-Claire, probably before there was Andy O, got very much involved with Metro in designing and helping Arlington and everybody to design those stops, that they meant something, and certainly made Our Town. It’s just a great thing to tie it all together, but particularly now when you go through Arlington and you’re below ground, you don’t see what’s up top. You’ve got to get up top. You’ve got to get out of the train. Come look at Arlington.
Mary-Claire Burick: The Nestle executives and employees have been coming from Glenndale to take a look at Arlington and decide if they’re going to make the move, and the BID along with economic development have been supporting that work. We’ve been doing resource fairs, bus tours, all these things. What’s interesting is the executives say that the reason that they chose Arlington over other cities in the nation as well as other areas here was because of the walkability, the transit, the access to transit. They talk about Glendale and how really the only way to get around is in your car. That really was important to those employees was to be able to get on Metro and have an accessible –
A Ockershausen: And enjoy it so much.
Mary-Claire Burick: Yeah.
A Ockershausen: One of the things that shot themselves in the foot was the people of Georgetown many years ago, when they were designing Metro, they didn’t want the Metro.
Mary-Claire Burick: You know that’s why I’ve been working with Joe Sternlieb on trying to get a gondola.
A Ockershausen: I know you’ve been doing that.
Mary-Claire Burick: Yeah. Well, it’s at a little bit of a stall point at the moment. Arlington County government I think really, as any government, has tough choices that they have to make about where to spend their resources, their time, their energy, and their money. I think at this point with where Metro is, I think all the jurisdictions are going to have to start doing a little bit more financial support to make sure that Metro climbs out of this hole and is viable.
A Ockershausen: You’re so, so right.
Mary-Claire Burick: That’s what makes Our Town is Metro and if that things fails, it is not good. Anyway, the gondola is on hold for now.
A Ockershausen: What a great … There was a time they were going to run boats back and forth. I didn’t think that was going to work, but the gondola, god bless you for that one.
Mary-Claire Burick: I tell you, “boats” is on my agenda. I’m looking to try to get a boathouse in Arlington.
A Ockershausen: I knew that.
Mary-Claire Burick: I paddle board so I want to have access to that water.
A Ockershausen: Wow. The water is gorgeous too.
Mary-Claire Burick: Yeah.
A Ockershausen: Mary-Claire, what you have done is incredible and what you continue to do, have you had the opportunity to go to Switzerland and meet the owners yet?
Mary-Claire Burick: Oh, I wish. Not yet.
A Ockershausen: Its’ a Swiss company correct?
Mary-Claire Burick: It is.
A Ockershausen: Nestle?
Mary-Claire Burick: It is. Actually the worldwide CEO was just in town yesterday from Switzerland.
A Ockershausen: Is he from Switzerland? He’s a Swiss?
Mary-Claire Burick: He is.
A Ockershausen: Very good. It’s German. They make good chocolate too. I know that.
Mary-Claire Burick: They do.
A Ockershausen: Mary-Claire you’re just terrific. Thank you so much for spending this time with us. We’re here in Our Town and we hope we’re going to be here for a long time but you made a big impact in Our Town and I would hope you continue to do so. With all the good things you’ve done, what have you got on the horizon? What is happening that we’re looking forward to in Rosslyn?
Central Place and The View
Mary-Claire Burick: Probably the most exciting thing is Central Place finally coming online. That is a mixed use development. You’ve got two towers. One residential. One commercial. That’s actually going to be CEB’s corporate headquarters and there is a public plaza. That’s where we’re going to do the Farmer’s Markets, the concerts, but what’s most interesting is the public observation deck. It is going to be the tallest observation deck in the region. You will have 360 degree panoramic views of the entire region.
A Ockershausen: I love the look of the National Airport from over there.
Mary-Claire Burick: Exactly. You get an outdoor deck so you can actually step out and look at this. What has often been just the lucky few who have office or residential there, now it’s going to be actually the public who can actually come up and see the incredible views.
A Ockershausen: Everybody is going to enjoy this new structure.
Mary-Claire Burick: Yeah.
A Ockershausen: That’s wonderful.
Janice Iacona Ockershausen: Do you want to tell us what’s on the lineup for summer?
Mary-Claire Burick: Yeah. Rosslyn is a rocking place in summer. We’ve got a movie festival that happens every Friday in the summer. We bring a mobile bar into Gateway Park, which is Arlington’s largest park. We get about, oh gosh, it’s probably anywhere from 500 to 1200 people every Friday in the park. We had a record attendance of 26,000 people attended our events last year.
A Ockershausen: Wow. Okay. First run movies?
Mary-Claire Burick: No. Nope. We usually pick a theme and pick stuff we know people would be interested in. We have so many events and I encourage people just to go to our website, which is RosslynVA.org. You can see all the lineup there. We do concerts, Farmer’s Market, Central Place is coming online, which is our new Town Square. That’s going to have brand new retail and restaurants. We’ll be doing exercise classes and food, fitness, farmer’s markets, all sorts of fun things.
A Ockershausen: Well, the whole town has gotten to be fun. It’s part of Our Town. Even though it’s Arlington, Virginia, it’s Our Town and we love it and we love you and thank you for all you’ve done and please continue to do it. This community needs you.
Mary-Claire Burick: Thank you Andy. It’s been so great to reminisce with you.
A Ockershausen: It’s been great. This is Our Town. I’m Andy Ockershausen and I’ll see you next time.
Announcer: You’ve been listening to Our Town, Season Two. Presented by GEICO, our hometown favorite, with your host Andy Ockershausen. New Our Town episodes are released each Tuesday and Thursday. Drop us a lien with your comments or suggestions. See us on Facebook or visit our website at OurtownDC.com. Our special thanks to Ken Hunter, our technical director, and WMAL Radio in Washington DC for hosting our podcast, and thanks to GEICO. 15 minutes can save you 15% or more on car insurance.
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