63°Scattered Clouds

by Andrea Swalec — September 19, 2014 at 10:00 am 2,809 0

Joe Tenne packed his black Tundra truck full of camping supplies Wednesday night, said goodbye to his wife and son — and then headed to the Clarendon Apple store.

Tenne, 43, was first in line at the 2700 Clarendon Blvd. shop to buy the new iPhone 6. The Woodbridge resident, who got a tweet of support from William Shatner, arrived Wednesday at 8:00 p.m.

He was followed by hundreds of Apple fans who waited for the phones Friday morning.

“It’s a whole social experience, in addition to getting the phone,” Tenne, who runs an I.T. company, said minutes before the product went on sale.

The line at 8:00 a.m. snaked around the Market Common Clarendon complex, nearly reaching the Crate & Barrel store.

A photo of Tenne with a camp chair and cooler caught the eye of Shatner on Twitter Thursday afternoon.

“If you’re by the Clarendon Apple store & see this guy-bring him a coffee or offer to stand in for a bathroom break,” the actor tweeted.

Tenne said he used the restroom in the Apple store and at the nearby Starbucks, and ordered pizza with the second and third people in line — a couple from Alexandria who arrived at the store on Thursday at 11:00 p.m. Tenne, who has staked out the tech outpost for new products for the past three years, said he appreciated the sense of community.

“I’ve met all the store managers and made a lot of friends.”

Before 8:00 a.m., Apple employees ceremoniously removed black curtains from the shop windows, counted down the remaining seconds and then let a first set of customers rush inside.

Tenne bought the thin, fast iPhone and shook the hand of a staffer as he headed to his truck.

“See you next year,” she said.

Asked how he would spend the rest of the day, Tenne said he was headed back to Woodbridge.

“I’ll probably go home and play with it for 15 minutes and then go sleep for eight hours,” he said.

by ARLnow.com — September 19, 2014 at 9:15 am 1,228 0

Taxis queued up at Reagan National Airport

‘Pups and Pilsners’ Photo Contest — Want to sample some brews and make your pet famous? Head on over to Crystal City’s Pups and Pilsners event from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, snap a photo of your pooch and tweet it to us and our sponsors, @CCBID and @BeckysPetCare. Pups and Pilsners is a free dog-friendly event featuring a massive beer garden and food from local restaurants. [Crystal City BID]

Planners: Bank Shortchanges Courthouse — The office building slated to replace the Wendy’s in Courthouse will have a Wells Fargo bank prominently located on the ground floor, and Arlington planners don’t like it. County staff says the bank use is “not appropriate” and should be at least moved so that a more active retail use can occupy half of the plaza area. Developer Carr Properties says the bank must stay, since Wells Fargo owns the land under the existing bank that will be torn down for the project. [Washington Business Journal]

Vihstadt Out-Raises Howze — Incumbent, independent County Board candidate John Vihstadt is out-raising his Democratic opponent, Alan Howze. Vihstadt raised $31,367 in July and August, compared to $20,607 raised by Howze. Vihstadt recently reported $58,746 cash on hand while Howze reported $16,906. [Washington Post]

Fugazi to Release ‘Lost Album’ — Fugazi is planing to release a “lost album” of 11 songs recorded in 1988. The legendary local rockers recorded the songs on the album, First Demo, at Inner Ear Studio in Arlington. [Spin]

Road Closures for Clarendon Art Fest — Parts of Washington Blvd, Clarendon Blvd, and N. Highland Street will be closed Saturday and Sunday for the 2nd Annual Arlington Festival of the Arts. “Over 100 artists will showcase their works including glass, mixed media, paintings, jewelry, and pottery; providing all sorts of opportunities to appreciate — and purchase — art,” according to the festival’s website. [Arlington County, ArtFestival]

Just Listed in Arlington

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — September 19, 2014 at 5:00 am 413 0

Just Listed banner

Just Listed highlights Arlington properties that just came on the market within the past week. This feature is written and sponsored by Team Cathell, “Your Orange Line Specialists.”

Buyers are back picking off choice properties and ratifying contracts. This week saw 71 homes go under contract making for a busier week than last week.

Fresh new inventory brought the buyers out. And this week enjoyed more new inventory with a rush of 73 new listings for buyers to choose from ranging from $169,000 to $2.2 million. Of those, 14 are over $1 million. The exciting news is this was the most ratified contracts in a week since June. Arlington’s real estate market normally gets very busy right after Labor Day and stays busy until Thanksgiving.

Another notable stat: the average sales price of those ratified contracts this week jumped from $657,000 last week to $770,000 this week. It will take another week or two to determine if this jump is a trend, or just an anomaly, but it could indicate the upper price bracket is regaining some strength.

Mortgage interest rates might be a factor. Lenders reported this week that many jumbo loan products were offering better rates than conventional loans. After many months of stagnant mortgage rates and products, there are now more options of products for buyers that should help stimulate our market.

You can access all active listings in Arlington on the Cathell Team website.

by ARLnow.com — September 18, 2014 at 4:30 pm 3,721 0

Arlington DUI checkpoint on St. Patrick's Day 2010 (via ABC7)The Arlington County Police Department is planning to conduct a sobriety checkpoint somewhere in the county Friday night.

The police department does not announce the location of DUI checkpoints in advance, but often targets arterial routes used by those coming from restaurants and bars.

“This enforcement effort is in support of [a] national crackdown program on drunk driving that focuses on combining high-visibility enforcement with heightened public awareness through advertising and publicity,” ACPD said in a press release.

“Officers will stop all vehicles passing through the checkpoint and ask to see the licenses of drivers,” the press release continued. “Any driver suspected of operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol will be directed to a safe area off the roadway for further observation and possible testing for intoxication. The maximum penalty in Virginia for the first conviction for driving under the influence is 12 months in jail, a $2,500 fine and a 12-month suspension of driving privileges.”

The Sheriff’s Office will also participate in the checkpoint.

by ARLnow.com — September 18, 2014 at 3:30 pm 4,261 0

Police car lightsAn early morning birthday party took a turn for the worse Sunday, when a fight broke out and a guy was struck in the head with a bottle.

The fight took place in a hotel in Courthouse, two blocks from Arlington County Police headquarters.

From this week’s Arlington crime report:

MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 140914015, 1200 block of N. Courthouse Road. At 5:30 am on September 14, a physical altercation broke out at a birthday party in a hotel room between intoxicated subjects. The dispute continued outside where police encountered several subjects attempting to flee. A male victim sustained a laceration after being struck in the head with a bottle. Celina Berrios, 21, of Lorton, VA, was arrested and charged with malicious wounding. She was held without bond.

Meanwhile, in the Nauck neighborhood on Saturday, a man suspected of domestic violence bit a police officer several times and tried to disarm another, according to police.

MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 140913040, 2400 block of S. Lowell Street. At 2:30 pm on September 13, officers responded to a residence for a suspect in a domestic assault incident. The subject attempted to flee through a rear door and was confronted by police. The subject struck and bit the officer several times. He also assaulted and attempted to disarm a second officer as he was being taken into custody. Mark Wanzer, 24, of Arlington, VA, was arrested and charged with malicious wounding of a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest, providing false information to avoid prosecution, assault & battery of a law enforcement and attempting to disarm an officer. The suspect also had an outstanding warrant out of Fairfax County. He was held without bond.

The rest of the crime report, after the jump. All named suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty.

(more…)

by Ethan Rothstein — September 18, 2014 at 3:00 pm 2,676 0

Hazmat teams respond to suspicious package in Ballston (photo via @Louis3E)Arlington County emergency personnel are responding to a reported suspicious package at the National Science Foundation’s headquarters in Ballston.

Hazmat teams have closed off 9th Street N. between N. Stuart and Stafford Streets to respond to the situation. The suspicious package was found in the mailroom of one of NSF’s two buildings, according to scanner traffic.

The Arlington Alert system sent out a message advising motorists and others to avoid the area while the Arlington County Fire and Police departments complete their investigation.

Photo via @Louis3E

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — September 18, 2014 at 2:30 pm 448 0

Rental Report header

Editor’s Note: This biweekly sponsored column is written by Rick Gersten, founder and CEO of Urban Igloo, a rental real estate firm that matches up renters with their ideal apartments, condos or houses. Please submit any questions in the comments section or via email.

Overwhelmed by searching for rentals in the DC metro area market? Maybe you should enlist the help of a real estate agent. Here are some of the advantages to working with an agent in your rental search:

Expertise – If you’re new to the area, the expertise of a local agent could save you a lot of headache and stress. A local agent knows the area, knows the properties and can act as a matchmaker to find a great rental in an area you’ll enjoy. You may not have a lot of time to actually spend in the areas you’ve researched. An agent can help steer you to the right neighborhoods based on your wants, needs and hobbies. Your perfect neighborhood may be one you never considered.

More Options – Navigating the rental market alone, your search is limited to apartment websites, Craigslist etc. An agent will have access to the database the Multiple Listing Service, or MLS. Agents can research properties and schedule showings. While you may be able to find properties on the MLS without an agent, you will have to contact the listing agents and arrange the showings on your own. Rental agents may also know about specials coming up at particular buildings before they are made public, helping you score a deal on your apartment.

Representation and Cost – Ask the agent to provide a disclosure that they represent you and will be paid by the landlord. With this, they can help you negotiate and understand the terms of your lease.

Time – A rental agent can save you time. Again, they know the area, they know what buildings meet your criteria and they know the current rates and availability. They make calls and set appointments for you, saving you countless hours.

What else you need to know – Most rental agents don’t work with all properties and landlords in the area, so keep that in mind. That’s why they might tell you they can’t show you a particular property but they should be able to tell you how it compares to what you have seen.

  • Rental prices can change daily in managed apartment buildings. The pricing is based on the vacancy rate, and is often automatically adjusted with rent-optimizer algorithms. Just because you saw something on a website last week at one price does not mean that same price is available now.
  • Most rental agents won’t show you a dozen units. Just as your time is valuable, so is theirs. If they’ve shown you four units within your criteria, you are in pretty good shape. At that point, you should make a decision on the area and building you like best, as many apartments look similar and offer similar features. Seeing 10 more of the same category of units likely won’t make your decision any easier — in fact, it may make you more frustrated.
  • Agents can’t tell you everything. The Fair Housing Act prohibits agents from giving you specifics about demographics of a neighborhood or building. So they can’t answer questions like, “Are there young professionals in this building?” Don’t hold that against them, as they are just trying to keep the playing field fair for all.
  • Give them all the details. If you are going to need a co-signer for your apartment, let the agent know. Not all properties will accept co-signers. You don’t want them to waste your time showing you a unit if it isn’t going to work for you. If you have a dog, be sure to mention that in your first conversation. Many properties don’t allow pets, or they charge a fee or additional rent money. The agent will need to factor that in when selecting units for you. If you need to be close to the Metro, let them know, and let them know what close means to you. Every person is different. Tell them a little about yourself, what you enjoy doing, what type of food you like and where you work. Every little bit of information helps them find you a great place.
  • Not all agents are created equal. It is beneficial to find an agent who is licensed, and who specializes in rentals. This way you are sure to find a professional who understands your needs and is willing to take the time to work with you. You want someone who is going to listen and find you a rental that will make you truly happy.

Have a rental-related question you’d like Rental Report to answer? Email it to info@urbanigloo.com.

by Max Burns — September 18, 2014 at 2:00 pm 926 0

Progressive Voice is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

Max BurnsWhen the 8th Congressional District first sent Alexandria Mayor Jim Moran to Congress in 1990, Arlington could count the population of young people in single-digit percentages. Nearly a quarter century later, nearly half of our population is between the ages of 18 and 36.

That’s the main finding of a study on young professionals in Arlington released by Arlington Economic Development and based on research questions developed by Southeastern Institute of Research.

But there’s much more to the story of Arlington’s young taxpayers — this influx brings a host of opportunities and challenges for defining the Arlington of the future.

It’s no secret that young people come to Arlington because of our low unemployment rate in a competitive job market. We draw some of the most educated, accomplished young professionals in the country into private sector and government service. We also offer a county that prioritizes green space, walkability, safety and ease of transportation in return. It’s a compelling offer, and one of the reasons I chose to pursue my college work in Northern Virginia nearly a decade ago.

The County Board deserves credit for the long-term plan that built Arlington into a destination for talented, next-generation employees able to contribute to Arlington’s economic vitality. As the “millennials” study shows, the R-B Corridor is a focal point for young professionals interested in dining and nightlife.

What the report doesn’t say is that public planning decades in the making built the R-B Corridor into a mixed-use, open space that serves as a social hub for our young community and creates a strong tax base that helps protect neighborhoods and social services.

The initial Arlington draw may be about well-paying jobs and a safe, well-planned community, but intangibles keep young people around. Many young people learn the value of Arlington’s neighborhoods and their importance to our future. We see young people hoping to build up the resources to buy a home in Arlington and to consider putting down roots and starting a family.

This does not happen by accident. Arlington County has found ways to involve young professionals meaningfully in the mechanisms of managing a municipal space. Our County boards and commissions are dotted with young faces new to policy alongside those longer-term residents who have helped build Arlington into a modern magnet for growth. Institutional knowledge isn’t hoarded — it’s shared between generations to develop new and capable civic leaders.

That extends to our politics as well. I have the privilege of serving as President of the Arlington Young Democrats and working with some of the most intelligent, focused young people I’ve ever met. They’re interested not just in winning elections, but in doing good for Arlington County and shaping the dialogue around what our home will be in years to come. They hope that the county will not retreat from the sound policies that have made Arlington such an attractive place to live for people of all ages.

It is also a privilege to compete respectfully with my counterpart in the Arlington Falls Church Young Republicans, Matthew Hurtt. While we don’t agree on every policy or proposal, our shared hope for Arlington’s continued success breeds a mutual respect often lacking in other communities. (more…)

by Peter Rousselot — September 18, 2014 at 1:30 pm 0

Peter’s Take is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

Peter RousselotWhile Virginia’s poor continue to get sick and die without access to adequate health care, Virginia’s Republican legislative leaders — unlike Republican leaders in many other states – have not presented a leadership proposal to address this issue.

During Virginia’s 2014 regular legislative session, Virginia’s Democratic governor, Terry McAuliffe, lobbied the legislature for a straightforward Medicaid expansion proposal. He failed. After the legislature turned him down, he ordered his Secretary of Health to present a plan for unilateral Medicaid expansion by the executive branch. Facing the prospect that such large-scale unilateral action would likely be overturned in the courts, Governor McAuliffe backed down.

Instead, he presented a very small unilateral expansion plan. According tot The New York Times, under McAuliffe’s latest plan,:

[O]nly 25,000 uninsured Virginians would be receiving coverage, far fewer than the 400,000 he has said are eligible if the state expands Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. The retreat [signaled] Mr. McAuliffe’s acceptance that he is politically hemmed in, especially after Republicans took control of both houses of the General Assembly following the surprise resignation of a Democratic senator in June.

We get it. Virginia’s Republican legislative leaders have proven they won’t agree to a straightforward Medicaid expansion, while McAuliffe has (tacitly) acknowledged that he lacks the constitutional power to go it alone. Where does that leave the 375,000 poor Virginians who will continue to lack adequate health care even if McAuliffe’s latest plan goes into effect? It leaves them just where they are now. That’s wrong.

The Virginia legislature is scheduled to reconvene in a special session this week — supposedly to consider what to do about this issue. 100 Delegates and 40 Senators are returning to Richmond for a special legislative session at taxpayer expense. But, how can we Virginia taxpayers reasonably expect this to produce a coherent compromise if the leadership on one side — the Democrats — has presented one plan after another for a year, while the leadership on the other side — the Republicans — has presented no plan at all? We can’t.

Virginia’s Republican legislative leaders don’t need to re-invent this wheel. They can pick and choose from a whole host of options pioneered by Republican leaders in many other states like Arkansas and Pennsylvania.

In describing his plan, Pennsylvania’s Republican Gov. Tom Corbett noted:

From the beginning, I said we needed a plan that was created in Pennsylvania for Pennsylvania — a plan that would allow us to reform a financially unsustainable Medicaid program and increase access to health care for eligible individuals through the private market. 

Memo to Virginia’s Republican legislative leaders: where is your leadership plan created in Virginia for Virginians?

Peter Rousselot is a former member of the Central Committee of the Democratic Party of Virginia and former chair of the Arlington County Democratic Committee.

by Mark Kelly — September 18, 2014 at 1:00 pm 735 0

The Right Note is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

Mark Kelly

ARLnow reported yesterday that the Arlington County Board will consider a $26 million contract for the planning and construction management of the Columbia Pike streetcar project. It is another sign that the current Board has no intention of changing course unless voters toss them out.

Here are some questions that need to be answered before the Board votes to award this contract:

Why are we sending $26 million to the same company who handled planning and construction management for the D.C. streetcar project? While it may be operational later this fall, the first two and a half miles of a proposed 22-mile system in DC has repeatedly been delayed.

Should we rely on this company to have learned from multiple false starts, broken promises and bad PR? In other words, how do we know they will get it right this time?

What is the proposed timeline for completion? Are there penalties in the contract for failing to meet a timeline or incentives for meeting it? What about incentives for meeting the projected budget?

Is there a way for the County Board to buy out the contract without paying the full $26 million if the Board opts to scrap the project later — say if the 2015 elections produce an anti-trolley majority?

If this $26 million contract is for 30 percent of the design, what does that mean the ultimate design costs will be? Does anyone know or are they willing to tell us?

And a slightly more tongue-in-cheek question may be, should this move by the pro-trolley majority be considered an in-kind contribution to the Vihstadt re-election campaign? Injecting a contract of this size into the public discourse just six weeks from Election Day is certainly curious timing.

Speaking of Vihstadt, one thing is for sure: both he and Libby Garvey will come to Tuesday night’s meeting armed with these and many more serious questions about the contract. If you have questions you believe should be answered about moving forward with this contract, feel free to email your Board members. You can find their email addresses here: http://countyboard.arlingtonva.us/county-board-members/.

Mark Kelly is a former Arlington GOP Chairman and two-time Republican candidate for Arlington County Board.

by Ethan Rothstein — September 18, 2014 at 12:00 pm 961 0

Aerial view of the Pentagon and Pentagon City (photo courtesy Mary Dominiak/Experimental Aircraft Association)Another study has been released showing that Arlington is the top destination for young professionals to live in the country.

According to RealtyTrac, a real estate data and information website, Arlington’s millennial population has increased 82 percent from 2007-2013, the highest rate in the country over that timespan. The data comes from an analysis of U.S. Census data from 1,800 counties nationwide.

Alexandria ranks second in the list in millennial growth rate, at 81 percent, ahead of New Orleans and San Francisco.

“Naturally, millennials are attracted to markets with good job prospects and low unemployment but that tend to have high rental rates and high home price appreciation,” RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist said on the company’s website.

RealtyTrac said Arlington’s unemployment rate of 3.2 percent, a little more than half of the national 6.1 percent rate. Arlington also topped the list in terms of percentage of the population made up of millennials, at 39 percent, and its median home price, $505,000, was third behind San Francisco ($950,000) and Manhattan in New York City ($850,000).

This ranking follows two Arlington ZIP codes ranking as the top two for millennials in the country and Clarendon being called the “best neighborhood for millennials” in the D.C. area, both released this year.

File photo courtesy Mary Dominiak/Experimental Aircraft Association

by Ethan Rothstein — September 18, 2014 at 11:00 am 4,087 0

Bar TNT and Society Fair closing on Columbia Pike Bar TNT and Society Fair closing on Columbia Pike

The cafe Society Fair and the “rock ‘n’ roll bar” Bar TNT are expected to close their shared location on Columbia Pike by the end of the month.

The 2413 Columbia Pike establishment opened in 2012 as Bar TNT and Eamonn’s, a fish and chips restaurant, owned by EatGoodFood Group. The Eamonn’s part of the business turned into a second location of Society Fair earlier this year. The company’s other location is in Old Town Alexandria.

A Society Fair employee told ARLnow.com yesterday that the owners planned to close both parts of the business, facing Penrose Square, by Sept. 30.

“We don’t get as much business as the manager would like,” the employee said. “The owner thought this would do as good as Society Fair in Old Town. It’s a little more expensive than I guess the community would like. I guess a lot of people also don’t know that we’re here.”

The owners were traveling and could not immediately be reached, a spokeswoman said.

The news of the closing came the same day Bar TNT was nominated for “The People’s Best New Bars” of the Southeast by Food & Wine magazine. The pub that serves rock ‘n’ roll-inspired drinks like the Cocktail Left on the Nightstand (flat Coke and smoked Jack Daniel’s whiskey) was the only bar nominated in Virginia.

by Andrea Swalec — September 18, 2014 at 10:00 am 3,002 0

About a dozen commuters were trapped in a Rosslyn Metro station elevator for about 20 minutes on Sept. 18, 2014.(Updated at 1:50 p.m.) About a dozen commuters were trapped in an elevator for 20 minutes at the Rosslyn Metro station during rush hour Thursday morning.

One of the three high-speed elevators on N. Moore Street — which are less than a year old — broke down about 8:15 a.m., according to scanner traffic.

A commuter who was rushing to work after being freed from the elevator said the group remained calm as they waited for help.

The entrapment was caused by a power surge that is under investigation, WMATA spokeswoman Caroline Laurin said.

The elevators, designed and built by the Arlington Department of Environmental Services as part of a $50 million project, went into use in October 2013, when the new station entrance opened.

The elevators went out of service in December 2013 because of an electricity-related glitch.

All three of the elevators on N. Moore Street were taken out of service after the incident and had resumed operation by 11:15 a.m., the WMATA representative said.

DES spokesman Eric Balliet said authority over the Rosslyn station elevators was transferred from the county to WMATA about a month ago.

by ARLnow.com — September 18, 2014 at 9:20 am 1,183 0

Helicopter over the Key Bridge

Metro Work This Weekend — Arlington’s Metro lines will be impacted by significant maintenance work this weekend. Riders on the Orange Line should expect trains to run every 24 minutes, while trains on the Blue Line will run every 20 minutes. The Yellow Line, meanwhile, will only run between Huntington and Mt. Vernon Square. [WMATA]

Bracket Room Expanding to DCA — Bracket Room, the upscale sports bar in Clarendon that opened last summer, is expanding with locations in Reagan National Airport and Dulles International Airport. “The two new restaurants will mirror the Arlington location’s upscale, stylish environment complete with infinity-edge televisions making it the ideal spot to grab a meal and watch a game while waiting for a flight,” according to a press release. No word on an opening date. [PRWeb]

Library Lit Ball Will Have 007 Theme — Library boosters Friends of the Arlington Public Library are planning a James Bond theme for the group’s second annual “Lit Up Ball” fundraiser. The event will take place Saturday, Oct. 18 at Artisphere and will benefit the library’s early literacy initiatives. Tickets are $30. [Friends of the Arlington Public Library]

Clarendon Apple Store Camper — Someone is already camping in front of the Clarendon Apple Store, in anticipation of tomorrow morning’s launch of the iPhone 6. [Twitter]

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — September 18, 2014 at 5:00 am 611 0

Call this classic 1930s Lee Heights colonial at 2540 Military Road your own!

Nestled on a quarter acre lot near shops, restaurants, parks and library, the 3 BR / 3 BA home has a garage and plenty of space for rest and relaxation. Features include:

  • Three bedrooms and two updated bathrooms upstairs
  • An architecturally distinctive fireplace in the living room
  • Wood cabinets
  • Granite countertops in the kitchen
  • A huge sunroom opening to yard with level play area
  • Space for gardens, patio and a shady spot for a hammock
  • Lower level den, full bathroom with whimsical clawfoot bathtub
  • Playroom with cozy spot for princess play and entry to garage
  • Within the boundaries of three sought-after public schools: Taylor Elementary, Williamsburg Middle and Yorktown High

The listing price on this gem is $799,000. Contact Betsy Twigg of McEnearney Associates for more information: 703-717-6352 or btwigg@mcenearney.com.

An open house will be held on Sunday, Sept. 21 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Additional details about 2540 Military Road are available at betsytwigg.com.

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