Boomers Flocking To Arlington County's Metro Corridor After Life-Changing Events

<p>Major life changes affecting families, such as the death or divorce of a spouse, is often the stimulus needed for boomers to seek a new life in the vibrant Rosslyn-Ballston corridor along the Metro line in Arlington County, Virginia near D.C.</p>
May 26, 2007, 5am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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Clarendon, VA, lies in the "heart of Arlington's bustling Rosslyn-Ballston corridor, a three-mile stretch of dense development concentrated around five Metro stops just across the Potomac River from the District.

Long known as a magnet for young singles just starting out, Arlington's "R-B corridor" is quietly attracting a large number of middle-aged people looking to start over. The rapidly urbanizing stretch of suburbia is becoming the place to move in Northern Virginia after a life-changing event, like divorce, the loss of a spouse, a cross-country move, kids moving out or parents dying."

"These people are looking for a social life outside of their family, because their family may not be local anymore or may not exist in the same way", said Ralph Rosenbaum, a demographer with the city of Alexandria.

"Demographer Roberto Ruiz of Arlington's planning office estimates that Arlington's baby boomer population -- residents ages 45 to 64 -- has increased 34.4 percent to about 54,300 since the 2000 Census. The population of the county is just under 200,000."

"The reasons for the boomers-in-flux become more clear with the opening of each new high-rise: close proximity to the District and jobs, Metro within walking distance, and more and more places to frequent: new restaurants, upscale shops, dance studios, coffee bars, bike trails, dog parks, gyms and live entertainment."

"Arlington planners have been encouraging growth along the Metro corridors for decades, but only in the past few years has it really taken off.

From 2000 through the end of the decade, the fast-developing area will have had more than 8,000 new homes -- mostly apartments in high-rise buildings -- built or in the planning stages, planning officials said. Despite a slower housing market, agents and county officials remain bullish on the area because of its popularity."

Thanks to Martin Dreiling

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Published on Monday, May 21, 2007 in The Washington Post
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