Believe it or not, this run-down building at 3600 South Four Mile Run Drive has only been vacant for a couple of weeks.
Alberici Constructors, which recently wrapped up its work on the expansion of Arlington’s Water Pollution Control Plant, had occupied the building and the surrounding lot and the for nearly four years. Although the property is now vacant, it’s still leased through early next year, when the plant’s final construction phase is expected to conclude.
The building and a large, adjacent lot have been owned by Arlington County’s Parks Department since July 17, 2002, when it was purchased with bond money for $3.6 million, according to county media relations manager Mary Curtius.
Curtius says a decision has not yet been made on what will happen to the 75,000 square foot property once it’s returned to the Parks Department. The property is across the street from an existing park, the county’s 22.4 acre Jennie Dean Park.
The new Jimmy’s John’s sandwich shop in Crystal City quietly opened its doors to customers for the first time today.
In fact, the opening was so quiet that the Jimmy John’s web site doesn’t even list Arlington as one of the chain’s locations yet (a listing should be added tomorrow, we’re told). Nonetheless, a steady stream of excited customers streamed into the store around lunchtime today.
The restaurant, located at 2450 Crystal Drive, is open from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. seven days a week (except major holidays). It offers corporate catering and delivery service to the Crystal City/Pentagon City area via phone at 571-257-7261.
The Quarterdeck Restaurant is closing after 31 years of serving seafood, beer and American cuisine in the Fort Myer Heights neighborhood, according to an email distributed to the Radnor / Ft. Myer Heights Civic Association.
Last week, it was reported that the restaurant had agreed to a 15-year lease renewal. But now owner Lou Gatti says that has fallen through.
Gatti wrote the following email about the impending closing.
After 31 years, the Quarterdeck Restaurant is closing. I was at the helm for the last 15 years. For the last 2 ½ months, I have been trying to get a new lease that we could live with. On numerous occasions, I understood that we had an agreement only to be surprised later with a lease that said otherwise. It’s a long story, but we are finished. The building, which is almost 70 years old, needs major repairs and updates; the landlord expects us to do them all. Not happening.
We will be closing soon and everything is for sale. We will be giving the food to a shelter of some sort. Might have a few extra key lime pies.
It was a good run, and I will miss all of you. I have a lot to do, so for this week, don’t call me, but send an email if you wish. You can call the restaurant if you wish…
Radnor / Ft. Myer Heights Civic Association President Stan Karson called the closure “sad news,” in an email to residents.
“The Quarterdeck has a long and proud history in our area,” Karson wrote. “We are losing an important neighborhood fixture.”
Update at 2:35 p.m. — Local food blog Capital Spice talked with the restaurant’s landlord, who says that the property will likely remain a restaurant, possibly even retaining the current seafood format.
“The only thing I know for certain is that a restaurant will remain in operation in some form” at the location, the property owner told the blog.
A bicyclist was reportedly struck by a vehicle at the intersection of Wilson Boulevard and North Randolph Street in Ballston around noon today.
Initial reports suggest the cyclist is conscious and will be okay.
The intersection has been cited by ARLnow.com commenters as particularly dangerous for pedestrians. Another pedestrian accident occurred near the intersection three weeks ago.
To help meet demand, Dominion is planning a major project to run a 3.7 mile underground transmission line from Pentagon City to the power substation at 3245 Wilson Boulevard in Clarendon. The project also proposes to construct a new Radnor Heights power substation on the grounds of Ft. Myer.
The project “will support growth in Arlington County,” says Dominion spokesperson Le-Ha Anderson. But progress will come at a cost — burying the line will be an intensive 18 month process that will result in open-cut trenching and street closures along the proposed route.
“Because this is underground, we’re going to have to dig up the roadways,” Anderson said. “We’re going to do everything we can to minimize traffic and community disruption.”
Dominion is holding a public meeting a week from today to provide information about the project. The meeting will take place from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Nov. 29 at the Lyon Park Community Center (414 North Fillmore Street). The company held a public meeting for the Ft. Myer community last week.
If all goes as planned, construction will begin in January and end in June 2012. The end result, Anderson says, will be worth the temporary hassle.
“We’re improving service reliability to our customers in the Arlington area,” she said.
Flickr pool photo by Alykat
The holiday time is a time for many things. It’s a time for family togetherness. It’s a time for eating too much. It’s a time for getting really angry about parking spots. And, of course, it’s a time for giving and helping those less fortunate than you.
If you want to give back on Thanksgiving, there are a number of ways to do so.
Volunteer Arlington has numerous volunteer opportunities listed on its web site, from spending part of a day with residents at a local nursing home to delivering Thanksgiving food baskets to families affected by HIV/AIDS to helping out with the annual Lyon Park/Ashton Heights Turkey Trot 5K.
See more holiday volunteer opportunities here.
Flickr pool photo by Chris Rief
Virginia’s transportation chief is gently nudging the federal government for road money while tweaking Arlington’s HOT Lanes lawsuit.
In an interview with WTOP, Transportation Secretary Sean Connaughton said that the planned shift of 6,400 Department of Defense jobs to Alexandria’s Mark Center is turning I-395 into a “military corridor.” He quickly added that the state does not have money for any major improvements to the highway, despite dire predictions of heavy congestion as a result of the Mark Center move.
Connaughton did, however, think of one possible way to relieve the congestion. He said a ramp to the center would be built as a result of the I-395 HOT Lanes project. A lawsuit filed by Arlington County is currently preventing the project from moving forward.
That’s a 11 percent increase over least year and the highest number of area residents heading out for Thanksgiving since 2007.
“The Washington metro area has one of the strongest economies in the nation, and as evidence of this, we will likely see a double digit up-tick in the number of area residents traveling 50 miles or more from home for the holiday,” AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesperson John B. Townsend II said in a statement.
Also driving Washington area travel is the fact that “only 40 percent of D.C. residents were actually born in D.C.,” according to AAA.
Surprisingly, a whopping 95.4 percent of those leaving town are expected to do so in a car. Only 3.4 percent are flying, and only 1.2 percent are taking a bus, train or boat.
How are you going home this year?
Bayou Bakery Opens, Officially – “Come and get it,” the press release says — Bayou Bakery is “officially” open today, albeit with (unspecified) limited hours and a limited menu. The cafe/restaurant/bakery, in the old Camille’s space at 1515 North Courthouse Road, was unofficially open on Friday and Saturday.
Tejada Expresses Frustration Over Secure Communities Doublespeak — County board member Walter Tejada, who led the charge to opt out of the federal Secure Communities immigration initiative, is not happy about the mixed signals coming out of the Department of Homeland Security. At first the department signaled that localities could opt out of the program, only to later clarify that it was next to impossible to do so. “If that had been the case why didn’t they tell us in May?” Tejada asked. More from the Washington Post.
Lyon Park Has Extra Tulip Bulbs – The Lyon Park Citizens Association is trying to give away extra tulip bulbs to its neighbors. The community received the bulbs from the National Park Service’s Tulip Library and planted most of them earlier this month. The excess bulbs are now up for grabs. Tara-Leeway Heights is among the neighborhoods considering vying for a tulip donation.
Arlington Schools Get More iPads — Arlington Public Schools have received a $70,000 grant that will go toward the purchase of 120 new Apple iPads. The $499 devices will be shared by students at Barrett, Carlin Springs and Randolph elementary schools. The donation will supplement a state education grant of 70 iPads received by Arlington in September.
Flickr pool photo by Reid Kasprowicz