As a neighborhood in Arlington County, VA, Ballston is served by the Silver Line of the metro system, the Orange Line and Ballston-MU station. The community was named for the Ball Family in 1740, early landowners in the area. During 1912, an interurban electric trolley service, the Washington and Old Dominion Railway, built a line in Ballston near the railyard. Today, Route I-66 and the Bluemont Junction Trail follow this same route as major transportation links to DC and many of its other suburbs and neighborhoods. These routes all serve to feed the area's flourishing businesses with a steady supply of highly skilled workers from nearby areas.
In 1951, the Parkington Shopping Center was opened at the Balls Crossroads intersection on the location of what is today the Ballston Common Mall. As home of the Hecht Company headquarters, the shopping center was said to have the largest parking garage in the entire country at the time it opened. Following the opening of the Orange Line's Ballston Metrorail station by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority in 1979, Ballston began the early stages of redevelopment. This project was expanded after a local entrance to Route I-66 was opened in 1982.
Today, Ballston is completely urbanized. It is home to attractive high-rise apartment buildings, condominium complexes, commercial buildings and many bars and restaurants. Ballston is also home to such federal government agencies and offices as the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency, the Office of Naval Research and the DHS National Protection and Programs Directorate. Numerous non-profit groups also have offices in Ballston, including The Nature Conservancy, the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). Tech companies and government contractors also located in Ballston like Leidos, ESI International and Accenture.
This community is also home to a Marymount University satellite campus, a Virginia Tech research center and a George Washington University graduate education center. Constructed at the top of the Ballston Common Mall parking garage is the Kettler Capitals Iceplex, which hosts an office and training facility of the Washington Capitals National Hockey League (NHL). Popular restaurants in Ballston include the Grand Cru Wine Bar and Bistro, Rustico Restaurant & Bar and Slapfish. Nightclubs in the area are Clarendon Ballroom and and Darna. Ballston is within easy commuting distance to both Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport.
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