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Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com | July 17, 2012 at 9:15 am | 2,731 views | 34 Comments

Mystery Surrounds Eden Center Shooting — Questions still surround the murder and suicide that occurred at the Eden Center in Falls Church on Saturday night. The victim, meanwhile, has been identified as 51-year-old Tai Phan, of Annandale, who at the time of the shooting was on his way to a gig as a bass player at a restaurant. [Washington Post]

Board May Drop Retail Requirement for Condo Complex — The Arlington County Board is poised to reverse a requirement it set 9 years ago for the Woodbury Park condo complex to reserve interior space for a convenience store. The store would have been located inside the 364-unit complex, with no outside signage and no easy access for non-residents. Nobody has stepped up to rent the space, so county staff is recommending the Board drop the retail requirement and allow Woodbury Park to build a condo unit in its place. [Sun Gazette]

Library, Bayou Hold Instagram Photo Contests — Arlington Public Library and Bayou Bakery restaurant (1515 N. Courthouse Road) are both holding photo contests aimed at smartphone users. Entrants to both contests are encouraged to enhance — and, in the case of Bayou, submit — their photos via Instagram, the photo sharing and special effect service recently acquired by Facebook. The library’s contest is entitled the “Steve Jobs Memorial Juried Cell Phone Photo Show,” while the Bayou contest is called “Bayou by You.” [Arlington Public Library, Bayou Bakery]

Flickr pool photo by Ddimick

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  • Kim Un Arl

    Even a child running a lemonade stand has a better sense of economics that our dear leaders: “Board May Drop Retail Requirement” — this is a sad example of our dear leaders’ disconnect from reality and our dear leaders’ group-think. It really does not take a genius to figure out that mandating a convenience store with no access and no advertising to attract customers is not a feasible idea.

    • drax

      And that’s why the board changed its mind. It doesn’t always work out. Much like some businesses fail because their ideas weren’t good enough.

      Meanwhile, lots of “lemonade stands” have good access to the street thanks to similar requirements in other buildings.

      • Al Gore

        It only took 9 years…

        • Scott

          Wow 9 years

          • Neutrino

            Arlington is run by aloof Communists. Well, if you don’t like it you can get out.

          • Aloof Communist

            Hey watch it ….. that is an insult to compare us to the Arlington County Board.

            We have standards and some regard for “the people’s” money….they are all decadent running dogs !!

  • CrystalMikey

    nice workout outfit there lady.

    • arl2012

      Ha! I was thinking..wtf?

      She should be glad her face isn’t in the photo.

  • Resident

    I don’t know much about the Woodbury project but I hope the board realizes that it isn’t so much about the instantaneous programming on the ground floor that is the most important in an urban building, but what uses the ground floor can support as demand changes over time. The worst is when you have ground floors that have blank walls to the sidewalk or are otherwise unable to accomodate any use that interacts with the sidewalk. We have many examples of those kind of buildings in this county.

    One of the most successful retail districts in Boston on the Back Bay was built as residential on the ground floor but because these residences had lots and lots of entrances to the sidewalk, at grade and in sidewalk accessible basement apartments, they were able to convert over time into something more vibrant (yes I said it) than anything we have here.

    Conversion of ground floor space between all sorts of uses (retail, residential, service commercial, etc) is not at all unusual and happens in every urban area where buildings stand for more that 30 years (although that may be another of our problems). As long as the ground floors are designed to be adaptable, let them respond to the current market.

    • Thes

      So what you’re saying is that the building should be allowed to convert the space, but not re-construct it to get rid of the door. I wonder if that’s what will happen…

      • Resident

        What door? You mean the door to get outside ? Wouldn’t a retail to condo conversion still require a door to get outside ? Probably a different kind of door (less glass) but still a door. I don’t understand.

  • George

    WTF kind of picture is that and what purpose does it serve?

    • drax

      Welcome to ArlNow. Every Morning Notes comes with a random picture of something around Arlington.

      • Bon Air

        i hope the next picture is of the scene outside Clarendon Ballroom/Spider Kellys/Liberty Tavern at 200 am on saturday.

        Bro overload

        • Neutrino

          Bro Overload – As in every Clarendon bar every night?

  • JimPB

    “The store would have been located inside the 364-unit complex, with no outside signage and no easy access for non-residents.” If this was a ARLCO requirement for the building permit, it should rightly be the tombstone for such government intrusion into development.

    Would it have been better if (horror, horror) outside signage had been allowed (required?) along with easy access for non-residents? Look to the City of Falls Church for guidance to the right answer. The Little City required developers to build for commercial uses of ground floor space.
    Signage possible. Ready access. But year after year, much of this space appears to continue vacant.

    “Resident” above points to an approach that would let the market work: design ground floor space for easy adaptation in use. But this as a ARLCO requirement to gain a building permit? Might be better to inform about the potential for increased return from a building when the ground floor can be readily adapted to what will provide the best return.

    Note: The City of Falls Church has typically required that developers designate ground floor space for businesses. It appears that much of this space is vacant.

    • Thes

      The purpose of this store was to be convenience retail (7-11 type) for about 1000 residents who live within a block of it. There area fair number of these around Arlington that do almost no walk-in business because they serve, as this one would, only the residents in the surrounding building. A person who moves into the neighborhood discovers it within a week of moving in and never needs a sign afterward. People from farther away never visit it because they have one closer to them. For an example of this, we need look no further than two blocks away from this site, where there are two convenience retail stores in two adjacent apartment buildings — one at Wayne and 13th Street, and another at Vietch and 14th Street. These stores demonstrate that the business model is perfectly reasonable.

      Has anyone asked the 1000 or so low-income residents of Woodbury Park if they want to keep walking 4 blocks up a steep hill (or hop on a bus) to get diapers or aspirin or a extra jug of milk at 9 p.m. (as they do now) or if they’d rather have one closer? I doubt it. This was supposed to be “service retail” to “serve” the low-income residents. It was supposed to be offset by the profits from the rest of the sale of the condo building. However, the building owner wants more money than he gets by serving the residents. All he had to do was keep the proposed rent high enough to make it look like it would “never work” even though it works in plenty of other places nearby.

      • Thes

        By the way the “rent” for this and similar spaces is entirely up to the landlord to set. If a retail establishment promised by the landlord to get the building built can’t “make enough money to pay the rent,” whose fault is that?

        • Observer

          Do you know what they are asking for rent in this space, vs. the two other stores nearby that you mentioned?

          • Thes

            That’s an outstanding question. Do you think anyone in the government has asked this of the developer?

          • Observer

            I guess that means “no”?

      • Kim Un Arl

        Good grief! Glad the voters rejected your attempt at elected office and sorry you have come back from your sabbatical in Havana with Fidel.

      • kevin

        I think lower income people should be encouraged to plan ahead and buy these items at a lower margin grocery or drugstore, not encouraged to pay a mark up for convenience. This demographic in particular can use any extra saving no matter how small.

  • Observer

    That empty retail space must be another example of one of those small businesses that somebody didn’t build all by themselves.

    • Neutrino

      Yup, the developer built the road, the steel, the concrete. Real estate developers are truly the salt of the Earth.

  • E-love

    Ahhh yes! I see the curmudgeons are already up this morning.

    Good morning haters!

    Oh, and for those non-athletes out there, it is most likely the case that the girl in the dress is a physical trainer helping to stretch one of the players…..

    Always a good idea think before you type…..

    • Observer

      Her arms remind me of my six-month-old niece.

    • JamesE

      sure thing

    • Mr. T

      the girl in the dress could be posing that way for any number of reasons.

      maybe she’s annoying and goes around copying people’s actions like children do?

      maybe the man in the photo is the physical trainer and is demonstrating something for her.

      maybe they are both street performers working together?

      its always a good idea to consider the possibilities before you make definitive statements.

      • Bob

        Your post reminds me of Franz Kafka’s “Passers-by”!

        “For it is night, and you can’t help it if the street goes uphill before you in the moonlight, and besides, these two have maybe started that chase to amuse themselves, or perhaps they are both chasing a third, perhaps the first is an innocent man and the second wants to murder him and you would become an accessory, perhaps they don’t know anything about each other and are merely running separately home to bed, perhaps they are night birds, perhaps the first man is armed.”

    • JohnB2

      Green shirt girl is totally checking out the planker too. Hope green hat guy isn’t her BF.

  • YaYa S.H.

    Is that a tail in her dress?

  • E-love

    those replies…….are not funny…or fun.

    • drax

      Let’s refer these comments to the status of women committee.

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