Update at 5:15 p.m. on 2/1/12 — The site plan is no longer expected to come before the County Board in February. It may, however, come before the Board as soon as March or April, according to Leon Vignes of the Arlington County Department of Community Planning, Housing, and Development.
The Arlington County Board is expected to consider a site plan for a new eight-story office building in Courthouse at
its February an upcoming meeting.
The development — dubbed the “Clean Technology Center” — would be located at 2311 Wilson Boulevard and would replace a pair of two-story buildings that house a number of restaurants, including Thai at Corner, Chez Manelle, Listrani’s, and Adams Corner. A short stretch of dead-end road called N. Custis Street would also be replaced.
Two adjacent structures — a 10-story Archstone apartment building and the two-story “Superstar Tickets” office — would not be affected.
The proposed building would contain 166,380 square feet of office space, 8,660 square feet of ground-level retail space, a 5,000 square foot daycare center (plus a fenced-in, outdoor play area), a 9,432 square feet conference center, and a 1,665 square foot fitness center. The plan also includes a 20,000 square foot parcel of publicly-accessible green space to the north of the site, between the new building and the parking lot for Key Elementary School.
The developer is promising LEED Gold green building certification, including solar panels and a partial green roof. A three level garage below the building would include 264 parking spaces and 150 bike spaces.
So far, there’s no indication as to when demolition of the existing buildings would start should the site plan be approved.
Image below via Google Maps
The “I-66 Multimodal Study,” as its called, began in July 2011. Study organizers held public meetings in December 2011, are scheduled to hold additional public meetings in April, and are expected to wrap up in May with a final report.
“This study will identify a range of multimodal and corridor management solutions (operational, transit, bike, pedestrian, and highway) that can be implemented to reduce highway and transit congestion and improve overall mobility within the I-66 corridor, between I-495 and the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge,” VDOT says on its web site.
Currently, I-66 is HOV 2+ in the peak direction during peak hours, with no other restrictions on the reverse peak direction or during off-peak hours. With the exception of the recently “spot improvements,” I-66 consists of two travel lanes in each direction.
Among the theoretical options the study is considering for I-66, as outlined at a recent public meeting:
- A. No new I-66 lanes. Peak direction to be bus/HOV 3+ only during peak hours. Reverse peak direction to be bus/HOV 2+ only during peak hours. No off-peak restrictions.
- B. Convert I-66 into an electronically tolled bus/HOV/high occupancy toll (HOT) highway. Single occupancy vehicles and HOV-2 vehicles would be tolled in both directions, 24/7. Buses and HOV 3+ vehicles would not be tolled. Optionally, a third travel lane may be added to I-66 in each direction.
- C1. Lane added in each direction on I-66. Peak direction to be bus/HOV 3+ only during peak hours. One reverse peak lane to be bus/HOV 2+ only during peak hours. No off-peak restrictions.
- C2. Lane added in each direction on I-66. Peak direction to be bus/HOV 3+ only during peak hours. All reverse peak lanes to be bus/HOV 2+ only during peak hours. No off-peak restrictions.
New renderings of the development planned for the Rosenthal Jeep/Chrysler dealership site on Columbia Pike have been released on the Arlington County web site.
The renderings show the front of the development’s “north block” apartment complex — a six-story, 259-unit building along Columbia Pike with 15,000 square feet of retail space — and views of the “south block” development, which consists of 44 townhouses. The two blocks are separated by a new, to-be-constructed street, which would be dubbed 11th Street South.
The renderings were released following the Jan. 23 meeting of the Columbia Pike Special Revitalization District Form Based Code Advisory Working Group.
Hat tip to @pikespotter. Overhead view of Rosenthal car dealership site via Google Maps.
Startup Virginia, part of the privately-funded Startup America Partnership that President Obama helped to launch last year, promises to “support entrepreneurs and help startups drive job creation” in the Commonwealth. Organizers say Northern Virginia in particular is fertile ground for startups, with the numerous corporate headquarters in the area and with the area’s focus on science and technology.
“It’s about time this region got the recognition it deserves,” said a panelist at this morning’s launch event, which was attended by several hundred business leaders, academics and other attendees. Another panelist suggested that entrepreneurs can help pick up some of the economic slack that will be caused by expected cuts in defense spending.
Among the speakers at the event were Aneesh Chopra, the outgoing Chief Technology Officer for the White House, and Steve Case, co-founder of America Online, Chairman of the Startup America Partnership and a prominent local investor. Chopra cited Courthouse-based Opower as an example of a Virginia startup that’s making it big.
“Right down the street here in Arlington, Opower didn’t exist five years ago,” Chopra said. “[It has] over 300 employees to help compete to bring down your energy bills.”
Chopra made some news at the event when he hinted at a new bipartisan legislative package that’s expected to be announced by the White House later today. According to Chopra, the legislation would cut taxes for small businesses and entrepreneurs, would reduce barriers to accessing capital markets for high-growth companies, and would seek to reduce administrative backlogs for high-skill immigration.
Case said entrepreneurs helped to build the United States into the world power it is today.
“We didn’t become the leading economy by accident,” Case said. “It was the work of entrepreneurs creating companies, and really creating entire industries, that in the last two centuries has propelled us to the position we now have globally.”
Case cautioned, however, that other countries are trying to catch up with America in the realm of entrepreneurship. The U.S. must focus on “winning the global battle on talent,” he said.
From 10:00 p.m. Friday to the end of the day on Sunday, the Blue and Orange Lines will be effectively split in two segments. No trains will run between Foggy Bottom and Arlington to “allow for rail fastener renewal, insulator replacement and sludge removal from the tunnel beneath the Potomac River.”
Shuttle buses will run between the Foggy Bottom, Rosslyn and Courthouse stations and from the Foggy Bottom, Rosslyn, Arlington Cemetery and Pentagon stations.
“Customers traveling through the work zone should allow 20-30 minutes of additional travel time,” Metro said in a press release.
Flickr pool photo by Chris Rief
Arlington Office Vacancies Up — Arlington and Alexandria were the only two D.C. area markets that saw a significant increase in office vacancies in 2011, according to recently-released data. Arlington, which had the lowest office vacancy rate at the end of 2010, ended 2011 with the same vacancy rate as the District of Columbia. The loss of government office tenants as a result of the Base Realignment and Closure Act is said to be to blame for the rise in vacancies. [Washington Post]
Howell Tries to Insert Viagra Provision Into Abortion Bill — State Sen. Janet Howell (D), who represents part of Arlington, tried to insert a bit of “gender equity” into a bill being considered by the Virginia Senate. The bill, SB484, would require that a woman seeking an abortion be offered the opportunity to view an ultrasound image of her fetus. Howell’s amendment, which was narrowly defeated along party lines yesterdsay, would have required men to receive a “digital rectal exam and cardiac stress test” before receiving a prescription for erectile dysfunction medication. [Blue Virginia]
Eleventh Street Lounge Closes — Eleventh Street Lounge in Clarendon closed up shop over the weekend to make way for a new office development. The restaurant’s management is reportedly hoping to relocate to a new space, at least temporarily. [Clarendon Nights]
Marine Beaten in Crystal City — Updated at 9:00 a.m. — NBC4 is revealing new details about a malicious wounding incident reported in last week’s Arlington County crime report. A Marine who lost a leg in Afghanistan and who’s up for a Silver Star medal was severely beaten with a club outside the 7-Eleven on 23rd Street in Crystal City. The attack, which was caught on surveillance video, may have been precipitated by a racial comment. [NBC Washington]
Photo courtesy Dan Gifford
Jackie Carter was charged with disorderly conduct following an incident on April 30, 2011, in which she booed a Bowen McCauley Dance Company performance at Kenmore Middle School. The incident was detailed by the Afro newspaper last week, and then picked up by the Washington City Paper on Friday.
The performance, which featured live music by a Kenmore Middle School band, included a dance number that Carter said she found to be “racist and offensive to African-Americans and African American women especially.”
“The skit involved a white child and her black mamee singing and dancing together to the song ‘Lil Rabbit where’s Ya Mamee,’” Carter wrote in a lengthy blog post. “The Mamee scene was a celebration of the many black women, enslaved and used as wet-nurses and the many other unspeakable crimes committed against their enslaved minds, souls and bodies.”
Carter says she booed a performance of the scene on April 29, 2011, but left peacefully after police showed up. Carter, whose daughter was attending Kenmore, then expressed her disapproval to numerous Arlington Public School officials, who listened but apparently declined to take any definitive action.
As Afro reported, Kenmore’s principal later defended the performance, writing a note to parents explaining: “The word ‘mammy’ used in the song is a colloquial affectionate term for mother or grandmother and was used historically and still today in some areas by both African and White Americans, especially in the south.”
On April 30, Carter again showed up to Kenmore to protest the performance. Carter says she handed out letters of protest to members of the audience before the show. During the scene, she started booing. That’s when she says she was assaulted by several people associated with the dance company, including current Arlington County Board Chair Mary Hynes, who’s also an honorary Bowen McCauley board member.
“Mary Hynes and 4 additional Bowen-McCauley staff members began hitting me and pulling my arms in many different directions,” Carter alleged. “I yelled out ‘get off of me’ … a man, representing Bowen McCauley put me in a head lock and squeezed my neck.”
“I attempted to return to my seat when another man also Bowen-McCauley staff member began pushing me in my chest and blocking my forward movements,” she continued. “I was able to get around him, I return to my set and continued booing the ‘Mamee’ scene.”
Carter says she left the theater after the scene, but was then confronted by police. She was ultimately detained and charged with disorderly conduct, a Class 1 misdemeanor that carries a penalty of up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine.
“We had to arrest Ms. Carter at the school on 4/30/11 because she caused quite a disturbance,” Arlington County Police spokeswoman Det. Crystal Nosal told ARLnow.com in May 2011. The incident did not make the department’s weekly crime report at the time.
“It didn’t make the Crime Report because it was just a disorderly conduct charge released on summons,” Nosal explained.
According to court records, the next hearing in Carter’s case is scheduled to be held in Arlington County General District Court on April 23.
Update at 5:45 p.m. — Hynes declined to comment, citing the pending criminal charge against Carter.
Earlier this month Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli publicly spoke out about the law, which is intended to ensure the humane treatment of wildlife by animal control personnel. Cuccinelli told WMAL radio that the law prevents the use of lethal traps against certain pests, while increasing the likelihood that trapped animals — which may carry diseases or parasites — will be illegally brought into Virginia and released. The attorney general called the law “a triumph of animal rights over human health.”
Conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh later picked up on Cuccinelli’s complaint and blasted D.C. officials on his radio show.
Despite the heated rhetoric, Cuccinelli’s office announced today that D.C., Virginia and Maryland officials have begun a dialogue regarding the Wildlife Protection Act. Cuccinelli issued the following statement this morning:
I have recently expressed concerns publicly that the D.C. Wildlife Act of 2010 could potentially lead to nuisance wildlife being dropped off across the Potomac River into Virginia. Nuisance wildlife includes certain rodents, raccoons, and other animals known to carry rabies, Lyme Disease, and other diseases which can potentially infect humans. These concerns are shared by such organizations as the bipartisan Maryland and Virginia State Sportsmen’s Caucuses, the National Wildlife Control Operators Association, the Wildlife Society, and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.
Like others, I want to ensure the humane treatment of animals, but when it comes to rodents and other animals that often carry diseases, human health must come first.
While I expressed these concerns publicly only recently, I had tried to get the attention of District officials for the last 10 months. After we brought this issue to the public’s attention last week, my staff had a conference call with Mayor Vincent Gray’s office, Councilmember Mary Cheh’s office, Virginia Congressman Frank Wolf’s office, and other D.C. officials. As a result of that call, Mayor Gray has agreed to convene a meeting within the next three months among representatives from the District, Virginia, Maryland, and Congressman Wolf’s office. I want to thank the mayor for his willingness to discuss the concerns his neighbors have.
I am hoping that we can also convene a panel of scientific and wildlife experts, as well as officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to discuss how to best deal with the public health ramifications of this act for our jurisdictions. The alarming increase in vector-transmitted diseases in the metropolitan area is not just a D.C. problem. That is why a regional approach is needed.
The lounge has been renovated over the past week and will reopen tomorrow (Tuesday) night as “Odd Bar.” The name pays homage to the restaurant’s historic building, which housed the Independent Order of Odd Fellows after being built in 1925.
Odd Bar aims to attract a bit broader of a clientele than the old Eventide lounge, which tended to skew older and more upscale. Changes to the lounge’s interior are minor, but include repainted walls (now blue), high top tables instead of booths and a couple of new flat screen televisions.
Odd Bar will have an extended beer menu, with Miller Lite, Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA, Blue Moon and Starr Hill JoMo Lager on draft. There will also be 17 bottled beers on the menu, ranging in price from $4 to $18. A selection of bottled and by-the-glass wine is on the menu, with by-he-glass prices starting at $7. Cocktails will also be available.
There are “snacks” like chicken wings (marinated in a “slightly south of Buffalo sauce” with blue cheese fondue), salt cod fritters and steamed blue bay mussels. Sandwiches include a “Pineland Farms cheeseburger,” an oyster po’ boy and roasted Shiitake mushroom sliders. Cheese and charcuterie plates are also featured on the menu, along with “bistro plates” like steak frites, potato gnocchi and Virginia sea bream.
The upstairs of the restaurant will continue to be known as “Eventide.” The full Eventide dining room menu, meanwhile, will be available in the lounge from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
“Our lounge has always been a favorite hang out for many customers,” said Eventide co-owner Nick Freshman. “With the new menu, an expanded beer list and the renovations, we hope to create a more fun, comfortable atmosphere for our customers.”
Update at 1:00 p.m. — Metro says via Twitter that crews have completed repair work on the cracked rail.
Blue and Orange Line Metro trains are single-tracking through parts of Arlington due to a cracked rail at Rosslyn. As of 11:55 a.m., Metro crews were reported to have repaired 50 percent of the crack.
Blue and Orange line trains are experiencing delays due to a cracked rail at Rosslyn. At this time, Orange Line trains are single tracking between Ballston and Foggy Bottom, and Blue Line trains are single tracking between Arlington Cemetery and Foggy Bottom.
An estimated time of repair will be provided when known.
Customers traveling on the Blue or Orange line during today’s midday hours should allow 15 minutes of additional travel time.
WMATA also said via the agency’s Twitter account that every other Orange Line train heading toward Arlington from D.C. will “turn at Foggy Bottom back to New Carrollton.”
This is the third cracked rail that Metro has reported in as many weeks.
A new office building under construction in Ballston has added an architectural feature that should look familiar to many locals: a triangular awning that pays tribute to the old Bob Peck Chevrolet dealership.
The building at 800 N. Glebe Road replaced the dealership, which was a neighborhood fixture for several decades. The under-construction awning isn’t the only homage to the dealership, however. The completed building will eventually feature “an artist’s replica of a ’55 Chevrolet tail fin” in an outdoor plaza, according to CityBiz Real Estate.
Construction is expected to wrap up on the 10-story 800 N. Glebe Road building within a few months. The building will house more than 300,000 square feet of office space and some 28,000 square feet of retail space.
Photo via Flickr user aldenjewell
Earlier this month Arlington County held its 43rd annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day tribute event.
The commemoration featured a variety of performances, including a keynote address from Howard University’s Dr. Wilmer Leon, gospel music from Larry Bland and the Volunteer Choir, and a dance tribute by Urban Artistry. The county-run Arlington Virginia Network filmed the event and recently posted a brief recap on YouTube.
Of those who live in Arlington, how many are native Arlingtonians? And how many people came here from outside the D.C. area, for work, school or otherwise?
This morning’s poll seeks to find that out.
Please choose the answer that best describes where you grew up, relative to Arlington.
Metro Apologizes for Thursday Night Delays — WMATA has apologized for leaving riders stranded for up to an hour on Thursday night. A power failure at Metro’s command center in Landover, Md. caused a communications breakdown that disrupted service between 11:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m. late Thursday night/early Friday morning. [TBD]
Arlington Student Honored for Essay — An Arlington high school student has won an essay contest sponsored by Dominion. Sam Bosley, of the Langston High School Continuation Program, wrote an essay for Dominion’s Strong Men Strong Women program — which seeks “essays about African American leaders who make an impact on students today.” Bosley’s essay on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was named the winner for Northern Virginia. As a winner, Bosley will receive a laptop computer from Dominion and Langston will receive a grant for $1,000. [Dominion]
W-L Gymnastics Champs Chow Down on Donuts — After winning a third straight National District championship, the Washington-Lee High School girls gymnastics team indulged in a bit of a tradition for Arlington’s gymnastics squads: stopping for donuts at a Krispy Kreme store on Route 1 south of Alexandria. [Sun Gazette]
Work on the new Arlington Mill Community Center in South Arlington is progressing.
Crews are currently in the process of installing sewer and water lines, along with other infrastructure along Columbia Pike, South Dinwiddie Street and Arlington Mill Drive. Excavation has begun on the area that will be the garage; work on the garage foundation and walls will start soon. A new traffic light also will be installed at the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. Dinwiddie Street.
Although 9th Street has been reopened for residents of Park Glen Condominiums and to access the nearby trail, Arlington Mill Drive will be closed for the remainder of the project.
The five-story community center is still on track to open next year, along with the 122-unit affordable housing complex being built on the site. Together, the buildings will form one of four mixed use “Neighborhood Centers” developed within the Columbia Pike Special Revitalization District.