(Updated at 6:20 p.m.) Arlington’s Long Range Planning Committee (LRPC) is considering a plan to build a collection of tall office buildings and hotels on a large, vacant parcel of land in Pentagon City.
The “PenPlace” site, as it’s called, is a 12-acre parcel owned by Vornado/Charles E. Smith. Its only inhabitants over the past decade have been a Marriott Residence Inn, Nell’s Carryout and the occasional traveling circus. Once considered as a possible location for the new Nationals stadium or an “Arlington County Conference Center,” the site has laid fallow for years.
Last month the LRPC considered a number of possible uses for the site (all of which preserve the existing Marriott hotel and add new streets to break up the large “superblock”):
- A “baseline” project featuring a collection of low-to-mid rise hotels
- A “low density” project featuring a collection of 5- to 12-story apartment buildings and an office building
- A “medium density” plan featuring five 8- to 12-story residential buildings and two 15- to 16-story office buildings
- A “high density” scenario featuring four 15- to 22-story office buildings and a 7- to 12-story hotel.
In the end,
the committee at least one member of the committee concluded that the “high density” plan — which includes nearly 1.9 million square feet of office space and a centrally-located open space — “seem[ed] to be most appropriate.”
Only the baseline project, however, would be acceptable under the current Pentagon City Phased Development Site Plan (PDSP), which was first approved in 1976. The others would require the County Board to revise the PDSP before it could approve a site plan for the overall complex.
The nearby Aurora Highlands and Arlington Ridge civic associations, however, are both on record supporting the existing PDSP, which “does not allow for any more additional office development,” according to the latest Aurora Highlands Civic Association newsletter.
“Approving additional office buildings would severely change the planned vision for the Pentagon City Metro Station Concept Plan,” civic association officials wrote. “Because office buildings generate the most traffic and air pollution, impacts that would affect the health, safety, and general welfare of the public, this Metro station was planned for a Pentagon City with an emphasis on residential development and specifically limited office development as compared to the intense office development in Crystal City and Rosslyn.”
A new American gastropub called The Green Pig Bistro is coming to the former American Flatbread space in Clarendon.
Located at 1025 N. Fillmore Street, the restaurant is off the main Clarendon drag and will be limited in terms of outdoor seating, but chef/owner M. Scot Harlan says he’s confident he’ll be able to draw in customers with quality food.
Describing the planned cuisine as “sustainable American comfort food with high-quality ingredients and reasonable prices,” Harlan says he’s investing in the food, not the marketing.
“I’m trying to put all my extra money in ingredients and staff, and not put it into things like marketing, glassware and advertising,” he said. Harlan, a fourth-generation Arlingtonian, has spent the past 10 years working in restaurants, from Bouchon in Las Vegas to 2941 in Falls Church and Inox Restaurant in Tysons Corner.
Residents of the Zoso Flats apartment building, above the restaurant, were notified yesterday about the restaurant’s planned construction, which is expected to begin next week. Harlan says the Green Pig will likely open in either November or January.
Hat tips to anonymous and Nicole & Dan O.
Two injuries were reported after a pickup truck rear-ended at least one of two cars that had stopped at the crossing. According to a video posted on Facebook by a witness, the female cyclist hesitated before crossing in front of the two cars. That act of vigilance may have saved her life.
“This right here is the worst bike crossing in the entire city,” said a man narrating the video from behind the camera. “The speed limit here is 45 miles per hour, and you have to come to a complete stop for the bike crossing. There should probably be a tunnel here, or something like that, instead.”
“I wonder when or if the NPS will figure out how to reduce accidents there,” another witness told ARLnow.com, in an email.
The two injuries reported by medics on the scene were both said to be vehicle occupants. U.S. Park Police and Arlington County Fire Department spokesmen did not have any additional information about the accident.
During his seven years in the position, Johnston has overseen an increase in test scores and a decrease in the achievement gap between white and minority students. He also worked to create the school system’s career advancement program for teachers, which rewarded high-quality teaching.
Johnston will officially retire on Sept. 1. No successor has been chosen, and a national search process is being planned.
In addition to Johnston, the school system is seeking a replacement for Mary Beth Chambers, who is retiring in September as the Assistant Superintendent of Finance.
Photo via AGI
The tipster who in March spotted Top Chef contestant Spike Mendelsohn chatting up the manager of the Chick-fil-A in Crystal City was apparently on to something.
Washingtonian Magazine’s Best Bites Blog reports that Mendelsohn’s Good Stuff Eatery is expanding to Crystal City. The burger joint will be located in the middle of the Crystal Drive restaurant row and will include a special “milkshake station” where “customers can watch the custard-spinning process up close.”
The restaurant is aiming for a January opening.
Last Wednesday, according to the latest Arlington County crime report, a bus driver assaulted two women after one of the women tossed a drink at him.
ASSAULT AND BATTERY-ARREST, 07/13/10, 800 block of N. Randolph Street. On July 13 at 1:15 pm, a bus driver assaulted two women after one of the women threw a soda at him. Joseph Milliner, 40, of Temple Hills, MD, was charged with two counts of Assault and Battery. He was released on his own recognizance.
See the rest of this week’s crime report, after the jump.
The political blog Blue Virginia points out that a $2,500 donation to County Board member Barbara Favola’s state Senate campaign from Advanced Towing owner John O’Neill, reported here last week, came just five days before a Board vote on increasing the county’s towing fee.
On April 26, the Board voted 3-2 to increase the trespass towing fee — collected by companies like Advanced Towing — from $115 to $125. Favola was one of the three to vote in favor of the fee increase.
“I do believe towing services are a necessary part of urban living,” she said at the time. “I feel that I also have to be fair to the towing operators.”
While the vote’s timing raises questions, it is consistent with the last vote Favola cast on towing. On May 16, 2009, she voted to increase the towing fee by $15.
Update at 1:10 p.m. — Favola’s Democratic primary opponent, Jaime Areizaga-Soto, has released a statement that renews his call for Favola to resign from the Board.
Barbara Favola has violated the Arlington County Code of Ethics. It is time for Barbara Favola to resign from the County Board and quit using her public position for political gain, this is the worst of politics and shows disrespect for the values that Democrats believe in and fight for.
Lime Fresh Signs Clarendon Lease — Lime Fresh Mexican Grill, from the company that brought you Ruby Tuesday, is officially coming to Clarendon. The restaurant is opening one of the first locations outside of Florida in the Clarendon Market Common storefront once occupied by Comfort One Shoes. [Washington Business Journal, Clarendon Culture]
Same-Sex Couples in Arlington — According to the latest U.S. Census numbers, Arlington is home to about 6 percent of Virginia’s same-sex households. There are 1,165 same-sex partner households in Arlington — 835 male and 333 female. The number of same-sex male households has grown 3 percent since 2000, while the number of same-sex female households has grown 16 percent. [Associated Press]
Revamped Playground for Ft. Myer Heights — Kids in Ft. Myer Heights will be getting a renovated playground at Ft. Myer Heights Park. A public meeting is planned next month to discuss the planned renovations. [Ode Street Tribune]
Flickr pool photo by BrianMKA