Everybody knows that parking enforcement is strict in Arlington. So strict, apparently, that even this Crown Vic with an Arlington Police vest inside got ticketed on Clarendon Boulevard, near the Whole Foods.
We’ve also heard of federal government vehicles getting ticketed.
Unanswered question: If it was indeed a police vehicle, will Arlington use tax dollars to pay the fine to themselves?
It used to be a sleepy street full of warehouses and warehouse stores. Now the three blocks of Fern Street between 12th and 15th Streets are starting to come to life thanks to high-end apartments and a growing roster of ground-level retailers.
The block’s main attractions at this point are the Costco on the north side of the street and the Gramercy and Millennium at Metropolitan Park luxury apartment buildings on the south side. The relatively recent addition of a Dunkin’ Donuts has helped the block attract some more lunch and breakfast foot traffic — adding to the brave souls who patronize an old greasy spoon called Nell’s Carry Out, which resides in a trailer across from the old DHL warehouse.
Slowly but surely, though, more retail is arriving. A dry cleaner and a bank moved into retail bays at the Gramercy around the same time as Dunkin’ Donuts. A UPS Store is under construction down the block. And the U.S. Post Office that’s currently on Eads Street will eventually be moving to the ground floor of the Millennium.
There’s plenty more space to fill. One retail bay of special interest is a specially-designated restaurant space in the Millennium. The building’s leasing agent has been entertaining nibbles from some restaurateurs. We hear that Lost Dog Cafe has expressed interest, as has an Italian restaurant, identity unknown.
A half block off Fern Street is a privately-constructed park with lots of potential. The neatly-landscaped open space — courtesy of Kettler, the developer behind the Gramercy and the Millennium — is big enough to be much more than the defacto dog toilet that it currently serves as. In June, Kettler used it for a party that included “live music, local vendors, a tricycle race, food, drink and a variety of fun activities.” Next summer, management tells us, it will host a series of outdoor concerts.
Relocatable classrooms – superintendent Dr. Patrick Murphy prefers the term “learning cottages” — are here to stay in Arlington County. The school system, having determined that the portable units are ten times more cost-effective than physically building a new classroom, has started buying rather than leasing the “relocatables,” and has started buying them four at a time for a further cost savings.
This summer APS added four relocatables each to Glebe, Carlin Springs, and Barrett elementary schools. One relocatable was installed at Nottingham Elementary and H-B Woodlawn, according to APS spokesperson Frank Bellavia.
The school system also likes relocatables because of the flexibility they provide. They can be moved from school to school, can be put into reserve in case of a sudden influx of students, and can be removed if the student population enters a cyclical downturn, as it did in the 1990s.
Indeed, although student enrollment is projected to increase through 2020 (see chart below), school board member Sally Baird says the increase is as much a “generational spike” in certain areas of the county as it is a result of Arlington’s steadily growing population. That growth, she says, is only temporary.
In addition to the “relocatables” — APS is also implementing a number of strategies specifically intended to allow then to squeeze in more students without laying a single brick.
Class sizes have increased by one student across the board, with the exception of the fourth and fifth grade classes. At high schools, classrooms are being utilized six out of seven periods, up from five. And Washington-Lee High School is offering “zero period” classes before the start of school, a strategy that may spread to other high schools.
One thing that the school system is no longer considering is redrawing school boundaries. Although the idea was under consideration, it was panned by parents when polled for an APS survey.
Signs for the new Crumbs Bake Shop are up next to Lululemon and Red Mango on Clarendon Boulevard. Clarendon Culture reports the store is expected to open in December.
The storefront has nearly 900 square feet of space for the popular New York-based cupcakery. According to county records, the store’s initial floorplan calls for 10 indoor seats and no sidewalk cafe.
The new location still hasn’t been listed on the Crumbs web site.
Update at 10:00 a.m. — A Crumbs rep confirms: Opening “by the end of the year.” It seems plausible that the store could open sooner — the company started applying for permits in July.
Update at 2:30 p.m. — Added photos of the exterior and interior. I’m becoming more and more convinced that we’ll see a pre-Thanksgiving opening date.
Update at 2:50 p.m. — Contrary to what Clarendon Culture and ARLnow.com is being told by the company, a Crumbs spokesperson is telling TBD that the Clarendon Crumbs is hoping for a late September or early October opening. This morning, a rep at Crumbs HQ told us it “definitely” would not be open within a month. Sigh.
Update on 9/22 — Crumbs just emailed ARLnow.com to let us know that they’re planning on a mid-November opening.
Unemployment Steady in Va., Down in Arlington — Arlington has kept its crown as the locality with the lowest unemployment in Virginia. The unemployment rate in Arlington fell slightly in July, from 4.3 percent to 4.2 percent. Unemployment remained steady statewide, while rising in 8 out of 14 of the state’s metro areas.
Few Foreclosures For Sale in Arlington — Local Realtor Laura Rubinchuk reports that there are only 17 foreclosed homes for sale, out of the hundreds of homes on the market in Arlington. She compiled a list of the foreclosures here.
Half of Planned Park on Hold – A delay in the redevelopment of a small shopping area next to the new Penrose Square on Columbia Pike is forcing Arlington County to consider building only half of a planned 3/4 acre public park. Construction of the park is still a ways away, though. It’s not expected to start until mid-2011. Much, much more (1,000+ words worth) from TBD.