Ballston: A Vibrant Community with a Unique History
The Ballston Business Improvement District (BID) in Arlington, Virginia is a collection of commercial and residential properties in a 25-block neighborhood. Our vision for Ballston is to create leading business district that attracts, supports, and connects the most creative, compelling, and ambitious minds in the region.
The Ball Family
The neighborhood of Ballston was first established in the early 1700’s. Back then, Ballston was located at a major intersection named Ball’s Crossroads to honor the Ball family. John Ball and his brother Moses were cousins to George Washington and owned 257 acres of land in the area. Nearing the 1800’s, one of the Ball descendants built a two-story tavern to aid farmers taking their goods to the market. The tavern became a central hub of the community- sometimes even serving as the local voting precinct. In 1895, Ball’s Crossroad became Ballston, maintaining a permanent link to the Ball family. By this time, Ballston was now established as a major transportation hub due to its central location—much like it still is today.
Expansion and Growth in the Community
During the early 1900’s, subdivisions and garden apartments were added to meet the rising housing demand. Significant development began in 1951 when the Parkington Shopping Center (now named Ballston Common Mall and soon to be reinvented as Ballston Quarter) was built. The center attracted shoppers from all over and helped commercial development prosper in Ballston. After a slight decline in development in the 1960’s and 1970’s, Ballston started to grow and diversify through the expansion of new businesses and commercial office space in the 1980’s.
Ballston Today and Beyond
Today Ballston has continued to develop as a vibrant community that has much to offer those who choose to work, visit here, or call it home. There are numerous community events and entertainment that everyone can enjoy; from visiting the local farmer’s market, enjoying some of the finest restaurants, or watching a Washington Capitals practice at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex. We will soon see Ballston reinvent itself again with the redevelopment of Ballston Quarter over the next few years.
The neighborhood of Ballston offers a balance between the city life of Washington D.C and the suburban life of Northern Virginia. It is a community that has a unique history and a future driven by innovation, discovery, and creativity.
As Ballston continues to develop and evolve, the future of our community will also continue to be a destination of choice for business and living. It will remain a place that is pedestrian-friendly with a mix of business and pleasure while embracing its strong sense of community. Not only is Ballston a place where great minds meet, it’s also a place that everyone can enjoy and be a part of a connected, caring community.