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by ARLnow.com — March 18, 2013 at 5:55 pm 2,363 30 Comments

On Friday, 1812 N. Moore Street, a new skyscraper in Rosslyn that will be the tallest building in the D.C. metro area, hosted a ceremony to mark the construction of the structure’s top floor.

Executives and employees from developer Monday Properties, builder Clark Construction and designer Davis Carter Scott donned hard hats and vests to celebrate on an upper floor of the building, which is still under construction. Construction workers joined the guests in enjoying a catered buffet and speeches from company officials.

At 35 stories and 390 feet, the building will be the tallest in the D.C. area. Prefabricated pieces of the decorative “top” of the building are still under construction in Maryland and are expected to be hoisted into place in May.

The gleaming glass-and-steel tower, with 580,000 square feet of total floor space, is being built to LEED Platinum sustainability specifications. It will have a 480-space parking garage and on-site access to the Rosslyn Metro station.

In a statement to ARLnow.com, Monday Properties CEO Anthony Westreich called the topping out a “significant milestone.”

“We have reached a significant milestone in our vision to build the tallest and most efficient building in the region,” Westreich said. “1812 North Moore Street will set the new standard for office development. I thank Arlington County for encouraging the development of Rosslyn into a highly competitive submarket and offer my congratulations to the more than 250 workers from Clark Construction who have given their all to this project.”

Architect Douglas Carter, of Davis Carter Scott, says his firm set out to design the most “the most iconic building that we could create.” He said he hopes the building proves to have a “timeless design,” like that of the main terminal of Dulles International Airport.

So far, no tenants have been announced for the $345 million building, though Monday Properties says they’re in talks with potential “anchor tenants.” Built on “spec,” the building represents a huge bet on Rosslyn as a location for high-end office space.

At least one other company is now getting in on the bet. Monday announced earlier this month that it had closed on a $200 million construction loan from Pacific Life Insurance Company.

Construction is expected to wrap up in September. The building had its groundbreaking ceremony in October 2010.

by ARLnow.com — March 18, 2013 at 3:45 pm 630 0

Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County.

If you’d like to see your event featured, fill out the event submission form. Also, be sure to check out our event calendar.

Tuesday

tuesdayThe 9 Songwriters Series
Iota Club and Cafe (2832 Wilson Blvd)
Time: 8:00 p.m.

Justin Trawick and eight of his singer-songwriter friends perform. The group has toured around Virginia, the D.C. area, and NYC. Tickets are $10.

Wednesday

Trash and debris at the South Four Mile Run community garden (courtesy photo)Turning Trash into Garden Gold
Westover Branch Library (1644 N. McKinley Road)
Time: 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Master Gardeners will speak and answer questions about gardening and composting. You’ll learn how reduce waste and add valuable compounds back to the soil.

Thursday

World of Beer in BallstonNCAA Bracket Challenge
World of Beer (901 N. Glebe Road)
Time: Noon – Midnight (approximate)

In addition to showing March Madness games all day, World of Beer in Ballston is hosting a “Bracket Challenge” for the NCAA tournament.

Friday

fridayLive Music: The Reflex
Clarendon Grill (1101 N. Highland Street)
Time: 10:00 p.m.

The Reflex, a 1980s cover band, performs. Says the band’s website: “Step inside the DeLorean and get ready to go back in time.”

Saturday

saturdayThe Art of the African-American Spiritual*
Artisphere Spectrum Theater (1611 N. Kent Street)
Time: 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.

Soprano Aundi Marie Moore and the National Chamber Ensemble take the listeners on an incredible journey of African-American musical culture.

Sunday

sundayPetTech CPR First Aid Class*
Animal Welfare League of Arlington (2650 S. Arlington Mill Drive)
Time: 5:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Join Safety Furst, A Division of Loyalty Pet Care, for a 4HR Professional Certification Class in CPR, Rescue Breathing, Choking Management, Poisoning, Insect Bites, etc.

sunday-2Annie Sing Along Party
Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike)
Time: 11:45 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Slap on your curly red wig, throw on that red dress with the white collar, brush down that sandy yellow dog- we’re turning the Arlington Drafthouse into the hottest orphanage in town.

* Denotes featured (sponsored) event

by ARLnow.com — March 18, 2013 at 2:25 pm 30 Comments

Crews on the scene of a possible sewage spill at the Potomac Yard Harris Teeter (photo courtesy Douglas Wendt)(Updated at 5:15 p.m.) The Harris Teeter store at 3600 S. Glebe Road, near Potomac Yard, will reopen later this year, the company announced this afternoon.

The store has been closed since last May, when it was flooded with raw sewage due to a clog at the nearby Arlington County Water Pollution Control Plan.

Over the weekend, residents of the Eclipse condominium building above the store delivered some 400 signed letters from residents to the Arlington County Board, calling for the county to help facilitate the store’s reopening.

Construction will begin “within the next few weeks,” according to a press release from Comstock, owner of the 465-unit Eclipse building.

In a press release, Harris Teeter says the renovated S. Glebe Road store will reopen in “late fall 2013″ — in time for this year’s holiday season. The press release made no reference to the sewage incident.

Harris Teeter is pleased to announce it will open its Potomac Yard location located at 3600 South Glebe Road in Arlington, Va. in fall 2013. The 44,000 square foot store, part of the Comstock Partners residential building, closed in May 2012 and is undergoing complete renovation. The renovation will include all new flooring; new drywall and paint; updated equipment; wooden display cases; new fixtures; an expanded seating area; an expanded floral department; new prepared food stations including pizza, an Asian hot bar, and a made-to-order sandwich bar; and sustainable décor elements. The Company also re-designed its pharmacy to feature an open floor plan that will allow our pharmacists to better serve their customers.

Harris Teeter considered sustainable building design throughout its re-design process. The refrigerated cases will feature motion detection lighting; the company will also install doors with LED lights on the refrigerated cases as well as LED spotlighting throughout the store to reduce energy consumption. Harris Teeter originally installed both an energy management lighting system and a heat reclamation system in this store and will continue to utilize these technologies to reduce energy waste.

Harris Teeter looks forward to opening its Potomac Yard store and being a part of the community once again. We appreciate our customers’ patience while the store has been closed as well as their loyalty. We will continue to post updates on harristeeter.com when new information is available.

Photo courtesy Douglas Wendt

by ARLnow.com — March 18, 2013 at 2:00 pm 12,405 158 Comments

New Super Stop at Columbia Pike and Walter Reed DriveA new bus stop on Columbia Pike cost more than $1 million to build, according to a county spokeswoman.

The new prototype “Super Stop” at the corner of Columbia Pike and Walter Reed Drive cost $575,000 for construction and fabrication and $440,000 for construction management and special inspections, according to Arlington County Department of Environmental Services spokeswoman Shannon Whalen McDaniel.

Of the $1 million cost, just over $200,000 was paid for by the county, with the rest coming from VDOT, Whalen McDaniel said.

Much of the hefty cost can be attributed to the fact that the enhanced bus stop was a prototype for what will eventually be a network of 24 “Super Stops” up and down Columbia Pike, according to Whalen McDaniel. The stops will serve the future Columbia Pike streetcar system.

“Since this stop is the first of its kind, the cost is higher than your typical off-the-shelf bus shelter,” she said. “The costs will be greatly reduced with future stops moving forward, as the construction costs for this prototype included a number of first time design and set-up costs.”

“It’s too early to provide a cost estimate for the future stops, but it will be much less,” Whalen McDaniel said.

The Walter Reed stop features shelter for some 15 passengers, lighting, an electronic display that shows when the next buses are coming, and a number of unbranded newspaper boxes. It opened last week after nearly a year and a half of on-again, off-again construction activity.

Crews are expected to begin work this spring on a “Barton West” Super Stop near Penrose Square, followed by work on new stops at Columbus and Dinwiddie Streets later this summer.

by ARLnow.com — March 18, 2013 at 12:35 pm 1,388 145 Comments

2020 14th St. N. (photo via Google Maps)(Updated at 12:45 p.m.) The Arlington County Board on Saturday voted to approve a controversial use permit for the county’s new year-round Homeless Services Center in Courthouse.

The permit will allow the county and the Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network to run a year-round homeless shelter in the office building at 2020 14th Street N., which the county recently purchased. The building is located across the street from Arlington County Police headquarters and two blocks from the existing Emergency Winter Shelter, which closes from April 1 to Oct. 31.

Citing concerns primarily about crime, residents of the Woodbury Heights Condominium continued to voice opposition to the shelter, which will be located adjacent to their building. With approval of the use permit looking inevitable, condo residents unsuccessfully lobbied for a 24/7 security guard, and a prohibition on housing homeless individuals with a history of violent crime or sex offenses.

The Board agreed to a condition calling for a security guard from 4:00 p.m. to midnight, and agreed to some design changes intended to address neighbor concerns. That wasn’t enough for condo residents.

Sleeping quarters in Arlington County's emergency winter shelter“Why in heaven’s name would you cheap out… and cut way back on the security,” said Ken Robinson, president of the Woodbury Heights Condominium Association, in his remarks to the Board. “They have made some changes here that are very positive, but they have to do more to safeguard the community.”

“I will tell you, if something occurs and people come back and say ‘how did this happen’… and it comes out that the County Board decided to squeeze pennies and not have adequate security, you’re going to have a lot of negative publicity about Arlington County and its social policies,” Robinson added.

Along with speakers who opposed the homeless shelter, the Board also heard from A-SPAN and its supporters, including volunteers, formerly homeless clients of A-SPAN, faith leaders and state Sen. (and former County Board member) Barbara Favola.

“There’s no reason to delay this use permit,” Favola said. She called the proposed year-round shelter a “national model” that is the “economically smart thing to do” since, she said, it will actually save money compared to the societal cost of dealing with and caring for homeless individuals who sleep on the streets.

In a report to the Board, county staff argued that the new shelter is not the dire safety concern that residents make it out to be. The current Emergency Winter Shelter, staff says, has not resulted in any significant safety incidents for residents.

“The EWS does not have security cameras or a security guard,” staff wrote. “The EWS has operated one and a half blocks away from the proposed location for the Homeless Services Center for over 20 years with no significant problems for the surrounding area.”

(more…)

by ARLnow.com — March 18, 2013 at 11:20 am 602 13 Comments

Location of Sports House Grill on Columbia Pike (image via Arlington County)Crime concerns prompted the Arlington County Board on Saturday to deny a live entertainment permit for Sports House Grill at 3249 Columbia Pike.

The establishment, which is located in a strip mall at the corner of Columbia Pike and Glebe Road, was seeking a renewal of its entertainment permit, to allow it to continue to host karaoke nights. Neighboring civic associations, the police department and Virginia ABC all opposed the renewal due to concerns about crime.

In a report to the Board, county staff said Sports House Grill has “had numerous [county] reviews and a consistently high number of police calls.”

“In the last year alone, there were 15 police calls for service for incidents (most resulting in arrests) related to the establishment,” staff wrote. “The consistently high numbers of calls for service at this establishment, along with concerns about over-serving of patrons, litter, various inappropriate activity in the parking lot and surrounding neighborhood, and other issues have adversely affected the health and safety of surrounding businesses and communities by, among other things creating noise and reducing the residential character of the area.”

Neighbors told the Board that Sports House Grill owner Hugo Flores had made “zero effort” to respond to their concerns over the past few months. Concerns cited by neighbors include violence in the parking lot, vandalism and “drug sales.”

The business owner and his attorney told the Board that Sports House Grill has private security inside the restaurant, has had no problems with noise or health code violations, and has just appointed a new community liaison. The liaison appointment, however, seemed to be viewed by the Board and neighbors as too little, too late.

In the end, the Board voted unanimously to deny the live entertainment permit renewal.

“The County goes to great efforts to allow businesses to do this sort of thing,” said County Board member Chris Zimmerman, who lives in nearby Douglas Park, citing the relatively long list of county reviews of the business in the 7 years it has been owned by Flores. Zimmerman said the Board’s vote to deny the permit was “highly unusual.”

Sports House Grill is the second Columbia Pike restaurant with a primarily Hispanic clientele to face questions about its karaoke nights in the past year. In November, the Board deferred a live entertainment permit request for Restaurante El Salvador (4805 Columbia Pike) over crime concerns.

Pines of Italy at 3111 Columbia PikeIn a separate agenda item, the County Board voted to allow a live entertainment and dancing permit for another Columbia Pike restaurant with a history of crime and noise problems.

After numerous deferrals, the Board voted unanimously on Saturday to grant Pines of Italy (3111 Columbia Pike) a live entertainment permit. The vote had the blessing of the president of the Arlington Heights Civic Association, a major reversal of the association’s outspoken opposition to the permit last year.

At the request of the restaurant’s owner, who said a county staff recommendation to require a midnight closing time would scuttle its nightclub-oriented business plan, the Board also voted to allow Pines of Italy to stay open until 2:00 a.m., on the condition of quarterly staff reviews and a County Board review in one year.

The Board was told that the owner had conducted sufficient neighborhood outreach and had agreed to various measures to address problems that had previously plagued the location, which borders a residential neighborhood and which has seen a succession of owners over the past few years.

by ARLnow.com — March 18, 2013 at 10:00 am 18 Comments

Rosslyn Outdoor Film Festival (file photo)Rosslyn’s annual outdoor film festival starts in two months. This year’s theme: “Summer School.”

The movies will run on Friday nights from May 17 to August 30, in Rosslyn’s Gateway Park (1300 Lee Highway). This summer’s festival features 16 well-known high school movies, starting with the 1985 classic The Breakfast Club.

This year’s scheduled is as follows.

  • May 17: The Breakfast Club (1985)
  • May 24: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
  • May 31: Clueless (1995)
  • June 7: Risky Business (1983)
  • June 14: Can’t Buy Me Love (1987)
  • June 21: Easy A (2010)
  • June 28: 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
  • July 5: Bring It On (2000)
  • July 12: Pretty in Pink (1986)
  • July 19: She’s All That (1999)
  • July 26: Fame (1980)
  • August 2: Can’t Hardly Wait (1998)
  • August 9: Sixteen Candles (1984)
  • August 16: High School Musical 3 (2006)
  • August 23: American Graffiti (1973)
  • August 30: Grease (1978)

While most movie-goers walk or take Metro, parking is available in the nearby Atlantic Parking Garage, next to the Continental on N. Moore Street, for $3.

The theme of last year’s Rosslyn film fest was “Election Night.”

by ARLnow.com — March 18, 2013 at 9:05 am 3,398 90 Comments

Memorial Bridge by JD Moore

BMW in Fatal Crash Was Symbol of Father’s Success — The 2008 BMW M5 that 22-year-old Sami Ullah was driving the night of the crash in Rosslyn that killed him was a gift from his father, who had emigrated from Pakistan and worked as a dishwasher before eventually amassing a fortune from real estate investment. Police said Ullah was driving 90 miles per hour over the Key Bridge before the crash, something his family can’t quite comprehend. “He’d only drive fast on straightaways,” Ullah’s 27-year-old brother said. [Washington Post]

Board Reaffirms Plan for Long Bridge Park — The Arlington County Board reaffirmed its plan for Long Bridge Park, near Crystal City, at its meeting on Saturday. The plan includes the new Long Bridge Park Aquatics, Health & Fitness Facility, the construction of which is expected to begin late this year. “Our actions today move us closer to realizing the dream of transforming a former brown field into one of the region’s most dynamic parks, recreation and athletic facilities in one of its most beautiful natural settings,” said County Board Chairman Walter Tejada. [Arlington County]

Win for Wakefield ‘It’s Academic’ Team – Wakefield High School’s “It’s Academic” team picked up and will advance to a playoff match. The televised academic competition aired this past Saturday, March 16. [Sun Gazette]

Front Page Under New Management – The Front Page restaurant in Ballston is under new management. “We have been working hard to get the FPA back to the glory it’s longstanding tradition deserves,” the restaurant said on Facebook. “Please don’t judge us on past performance. Except for the loyal and exceptional bar and service staff all management is new.” [Facebook]

County: We’re Not Stopping Harris Teeter — Arlington County officials acknowledged on Saturday that they’ve been in private settlement talks with Harris Teeter over the incident that resulted in raw sewage flooding the S. Glebe Road store last year, forcing it to close indefinitely. Responding to a letters from residents, the county says they’re not preventing the still-closed store from reopening and are willing to help expedite the regulatory process, if Harris Teeter decides to reopen. [Sun Gazette]

Flickr pool photo by J.D. Moore

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