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by Ethan Rothstein — October 14, 2014 at 3:30 pm 3,657 0

Aladdin's Eatery closes in Shirlington Aladdin's Eatery closes in Shirlington

Aladdin’s Eatery, the health-conscious, Lebanese restaurant in the Village at Shirlington, has closed.

The restaurant, at 4044 Campbell Ave., is locked and had all of its furniture removed this week. ARLnow.com has been unable to confirm with the company’s corporate office whether the closure is permanent or for a renovation. There is no indication on the exterior of the building of the nature of the shop’s closing.

The location in the Village at Shirlington was Aladdin’s only restaurant in Arlington. It had recently featured belly dancing shows from Saffron Dance in Virginia Square.The closest location is in Burke, almost 10 miles away.

by ARLnow.com — October 14, 2014 at 2:30 pm 1,309 0

Woman walks through the wind and rain caused by Hurricane Irene (file photo)Today’s sunny and unseasonable warm weather will give way to wind, rain and some strong storms Wednesday.

An approaching cold front will bring the potential for flooding and damaging winds, according to forecasters. Some higher-elevation areas to our west are under a wind advisory starting at 6:00 tonight.

This afternoon, the National Weather Service issued the following advisory for the D.C. area.

A STRONG COLD FRONT WILL IMPACT THE REGION WEDNESDAY INTO EARLY THURSDAY. THE POTENTIAL EXISTS FOR HEAVY RAINFALL AND FLOODING ACROSS THE OUTLOOK AREA. IN ADDITION…A FEW STRONG THUNDERSTORMS CAPABLE OF PRODUCING DAMAGING WIND GUSTS WILL BE POSSIBLE WEDNESDAY AND WEDNESDAY NIGHT.

MINOR COASTAL FLOODING IS LIKELY ALONG THE WESTERN SHORE OF THE CHESAPEAKE BAY AND TIDAL POTOMAC RIVER WEDNESDAY INTO THURSDAY. MODERATE COASTAL FLOODING IS ALSO POSSIBLE AT SENSITIVE SITES WEDNESDAY AND WEDNESDAY NIGHT.

A SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IS IN EFFECT FOR THE ENTIRE MARYLAND PORTION OF THE CHESAPEAKE BAY AND TIDAL POTOMAC RIVER WEDNESDAY…AND WILL LIKELY NEED TO BE EXTENDED INTO WEDNESDAY NIGHT. GALES ARE ALSO POSSIBLE WEDNESDAY AND WEDNESDAY NIGHT.

by Ethan Rothstein — October 14, 2014 at 1:30 pm 3,288 0

A house in the Waycroft-Woodlawn neighborhood in North Arlington will be considered for a historic designation by the County Board at its Saturday meeting.

The house, at 5151 14th Street N., just a few blocks south of Virginia Hospital Center, is a Queen Anne-style dwelling and was built, according to county staff, in 1881 and called Broadview. It was constructed by Robert Stinson Lacey, a Civil War veteran who “operated one of the County’s large market farms at and surrounding Broadview, and played an active role in local political and social affairs,” the staff report states.

Currently, the home and property is owned by Alex Deucher and Angela Guzman, who moved in about three years ago. Deucher contacted the county earlier this year to have a “local historic district” designation placed on the house, because the two “just wanted to see it protected.”

“This house is just so cool,” he said this afternoon while giving this reporter a tour of the exterior. “It’s got a lot of neat features that you don’t really see in newer houses. It’s got about 12-foot ceilings on the lower level, big parlors and a big porch. A lot of nights we sit out here and eat dinner.”

The house is painted yellow with blue trim, and many of the original features are still in existence and, according to Deucher, use.

“It represents the evolution of a simple I-house into an ornate Queen Anne-styled dwelling corresponding to the architectural trends of the late-19th century,” the staff report states. “[It] possesses integrity of design, materials, form, plan, and workmanship to convey its various periods of construction; and remains one of the best examples of Queen Anne-styled architecture in Arlington County.”

If the historic district status is approved, all renovations and major work on the house will have to be approved by the county. After Deucher called the county to apply for the status, he said the staff was able to pull the history of the house “all the way back to the land grant from King George.”

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — October 14, 2014 at 12:30 pm 1,534 0

Ask Adam header

This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Adam Gallegos of Arlington-based real estate firm Arbour Realty, voted one of Arlington Magazine’s Best Realtors of 2013 & 2014. Please submit your questions via email.

Q. My condo is considering a limit on the number of rentals in the building. We will basically have to get on a waiting list to rent out our condo if the max number of allowable rentals has been reached. Will this hurt our values?

A. I’ve personally been a victim of what can happen if the ratio of owner-occupied units to renter occupied units is not kept in check.  I bought a condo in 2002 that I lived in for a while and eventually decided to rent out. A few years after moving out, mortgage interest rates dropped considerably and I tried to refinance the home. Even with over 30 percent equity and lender connections all over town, I could not find anyone who would refinance this home for me because the percentage of rented units exceeded 50 percent.

I had no choice but to stick with my original (more expensive) mortgage. Fast forward another few years and I decided to put the condo on the market. The first offer I received was from an investor who was planning to finance his purchase with 25 percent down. We quickly found out that he was not going to be able to buy in my building because the percentage of renters was still above 50 percent. This narrowed my pool of buyers to those who could pay cash or those who planned to occupy the unit as their primary residence and had financing that would look past the percentage of rented units.

To help answer your question, I reached out to mortgage expert Paul Nagel at First Home Mortgage.  He had the following to say:

One little known role of the condominium developer and/or manager is to protect and ensure that as many financing options are available to potential buyers of any homes for sale in that condominium complex. More financing options available translates to more available buyers, which most likely translates to selling one’s condominium with less time on the market, and selling the home at a higher price as there will be more competition/buyers for each unit for sale.

Maintaining a proper budget, master insurance policy coverage, and sufficient emergency funds are examples of some of the criteria that Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA, the Veterans Administration, and many other loan programs require to be met as a condition for financing a home purchase in that condominium complex. If one of the criteria is not met, for example, a buyer may not be allowed to use an FHA loan to purchase a home in a given condominium complex.

One such criteria of almost all loan programs is that at least a majority of units must be “owner occupied” or, in other words, not rented to a tenant. Accordingly, a developer or condominium manager often works to limit the number of homes rented to tenants, so that the sales of units in that condominium complex are available to be financed by as many loan options as possible. Conversely, if the number of units rented is not regulated by the condominium manager, sometimes a “downward spiral” occurs, where unit owners cannot sell their units, so they rent the units, making it even harder to get financing for home sales in that unit, resulting in even more units being rented.

Getting back to your question, I think Paul and I agree that proactively limiting the number of rentals in a condominium complex is good for the long-term value of your home. I say this even though it may discourage potential investors from purchasing in your building. You will be protecting mortgage options for those who want to refinance or purchase. You will also be attracting occupants who have a vested interest in maintaining the condominium.

I know there are some people who feel as though their condominium is better off without such limits.  I hope you will share your opinions and reasoning in comments.

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

by Ethan Rothstein — October 14, 2014 at 11:00 am 954 0

Arlington Independent Media logo (image via Facebook)Arlington Independent Media, the Courthouse-based nonprofit organization that encourages average residents to produce and create their own content, plans to launch an FM radio station next year.

AIM announced yesterday that it had been approved by the Federal Communications Commission to construct a “low-power” FM radio station, one with a 3.5-mile broadcasting radius, from its headquarters in Courthouse. While the radius is small, it will cover most of Arlington and reach parts of the National Mall and the White House in D.C.

“Our focus will be on Arlington with the intent to provide hyper-local news, information, and entertainment,” AIM Executive Director Paul LeValley said in a press release.

The station will located at 96.7 on the FM dial and, while “the details are still being worked out” for programming, AIM said the goal is for members of the community to host their own radio shows for news, music, talk and event coverage.

“We’ve been impressed at the high degree of interest within the community,” LeValley said. “Radio programming remains very popular and a lot of people seem to want to participate in creating it.”

The station will be broadcast at 100 watts, and, being a low-power FM station, it can only be used for educational purposes, according to FCC regulations. The station may not be used for commercial means.

AIM’s Board of Directors approved the construction of the new radio station last month after the FCC signed off in June, according to the press release. The Board established a committee to work “alongside staff, AIM members, and the public to plan and implement all the steps required to build and operate a low power FM station.”

Image via Facebook

by Ethan Rothstein — October 14, 2014 at 10:00 am 669 0

Fairlington farmers market location (photo via Arlington County)(Updated at 10:30 a.m.) The proposed Fairlington farmers market could clear its final regulatory hurdle this Saturday, when the Arlington County Board will vote on whether to approve it.

County staff recommends the approval of the farmers market, proposed by the Arlington-based nonprofit Field to Table, citing a positive response from the community. The market would be held in the parking lot and on the pedestrian path of the Fairlington Community Center (3308 S. Stafford Street).

The market, if approved, would be held on Sundays from April to November, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., according to the county’s staff report. The first market would be held in April 2015.

The Fairlington market would be the county’s ninth farmers market. Currently, the closest market for Fairlington and Shirlington residents is the new Arlington Mill farmers market.

Field to Table, in its proposal, anticipates between 15 and 20 vendors for the market, with up to 29 tents under which goods and produce would be sold.

Some in the community expressed concern about the market’s impacts, but county staff said those potential impacts will be mitigated thanks to proper planning.

“Staff received correspondence from area residents who are concerned about impacts to parking, traffic, safety, and trash/environmental impacts related to the proposed use,” according to the report. “The recommended conditions of approval will mitigate any potential adverse impacts to the site.”

Staff said there is ample parking in the community center’s parking lot, but the market is designed with intent of having Fairlington residents walk to the center. The community center, which has been open since 1940 and used to be Fairlington Elementary School, is closed on Sundays, staff said, so the market wouldn’t conflict with any of its regular programming.

If approved, the County Board will review Field to Table’s permit to operate the market next October.

by ARLnow.com — October 14, 2014 at 9:00 am 2,034 0

Roadside campaign signs (Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley)

Seeking Fed Funds for Transportation Projects — Arlington County is seeking $840,000 in federal grant funds for three transportation projects. The projects include: bicycle and pedestrian improvements near McKinley Elementary School, Americans with Disabilities Act improvements along the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor, and an expansion of the Capitol Bikeshare system. [InsideNova]

D.C. More Expensive than NYC, SF? — In terms of housing-related costs, it’s more expensive to live in the D.C. area than New York City or San Francisco. That’s according to a new study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. [Washington Post]

Cyclists Facing ‘Bikelash’ — Bicyclists don’t like being called “bullies” and “terrorists,” but the county’s Mobility Lab blog argues that it’s best not to respond with reason and logic to the increasing amount of “bikelash.” Instead, the blog encourages cyclists to act more strategically by organizing, publishing their own media outlets and engaging in the political process. [Mobility Lab]

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley

by Ethan Rothstein — October 13, 2014 at 2:00 pm 2,024 0

ACPD Chief Doug Scott at the WCA meeting 3/13/14The Arlington County Police Department wants to build its relationship with the community in light of the national unrest surrounding the events in Ferguson, Mo., this summer.

To help strengthen the community’s trust in the ACPD, the department is hosting a forum this Wednesday at the Wakefield High School auditorium (1325 S. Dinwiddie Street) from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

“With recent national media coverage of law enforcement and community relationships, the Arlington County Police Department feels it is imperative to continue to build relationships through open dialogue,” ACPD said in a press release. “The Arlington County Chief of Police, along with Commonwealth Attorney, County Sheriff and other distinguished panel members, will conduct a community forum focusing on the community’s trust and confidence in the criminal justice system.”

Police Chief Doug Scott, Sheriff Beth Arthur, Commonwealth Attorney Theo Stamos, NAACP Arlington President Elmer Lowe, community activist Andres Tobar, who is the director of the Shirlington Employment and Education Center, and ARLnow.com founder and editor Scott Brodbeck.

WJLA’s Jeff Goldberg will moderate the panel, which will hold a discussion with topics including use of force, community policing and the use of police body cameras, according to the police department. After the discussion, the panelists will answer audience questions.

The event is free and open to the public. ACPD will be live-tweeting the event at its Twitter account for those who can’t attend.

File photo

by Ethan Rothstein — October 13, 2014 at 12:30 pm 1,220 0

Falloween Logo (photo via Market Common Clarendon)(Updated at 5:10 p.m.Market Common Clarendon is again hosting its annual “Falloween” family festival, in its cul-de-sac at the intersection of Clarendon Blvd and N. Edgewood Street.

Falloween runs from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 25, with a petting zoo, trick-or-treating and “strolling entertainment” throughout the event. The festival is intended for families to dress up, along with their pets, and all events during the day are free.

In addition to the petting zoo and trick-or-treating at retailers, starting at 10:00 a.m., D.C.-based children’s performer Mr. Knick Knack will bring his guitar and entertain the youngsters for the morning. At 11:45 a.m., Rocknoceros will take the stage with its three-man band of multiple instruments, including the accordion, ukelele and keyboard and continue to play for the little ones.

There will also be a festive photo booth and pumpkin painting. A spokeswoman for Market Common also promised “surprises” throughout the event.

Image via Market Common Clarendon

 

by Ethan Rothstein — October 13, 2014 at 11:00 am 574 0

Gov. Terry McAuliffe met with founders and executives from the Tandem NSI initiative in Rosslyn on Friday, discussing ideas for how the state government can help startups grow.

Six companies from Tandem NSI — a public-private partnership between Arlington Economic Development and investment firm Amplifier Ventures focusing on turning national security innovations into private sector businesses– were on hand to demonstrate their products for McAuliffe.

“There are 31,000 tech jobs open in Northern Virginia that we cannot fill,” McAuliffe told the crowd of a few dozen entrepreneurs and staffers from the county. “We have 840,000 veterans in Virginia. Let’s get them credentialed and trained so they can join the workforce.”

McAuliffe seemed receptive to some new ideas the entrepreneurs had. One said that the Center for Innovative Technology Gap Funding that the state provides to Virginia-based startups isn’t enough.

“CIT gives $50,000 to cybersecurity firms,” said Steven Chen, a board member with Blue Venture Investors. “That doesn’t really move the needle. A company can move to Maryland and get $2 million.”

Another member of the audience said they had a product in testing, but the step from testing to the first client is a source of anxiety. She recommended the state become an early adopter of some startup technologies, both to help the state innovate and give credibility to Virginia startups.

“I think some of the startups that may have applications for us should come to us first,” McAuliffe said, telling his secretary of technology, Karen Jackson, to explore the possibility. “If we could be the first customer for a startup, that would be a great idea.”

McAuliffe pointed out that Virginia will continue to see its jobs from the Department of Defense cut due to sequestration over the next two years, and that the “Virginia economy of old where we relied on the federal government is over.”

by ARLnow.com — October 13, 2014 at 9:30 am 3,232 0

World War II-era aircraft flyover on Sunday (Flickr pool photo by Keith Hall)

Three Arlington Restaurants in ‘Dining Guide’ — Three Arlington restaurants are in Washington Post food critic Tom Sietsema’s annual Fall Dining Guide. The eateries getting the honor: Green Pig BistroThai Square and Water & Wall. [Washington Post]

Arlington Woman Wins Army Ten-Miler — An Arlington woman was the top female finisher in the 30th annual Army Ten-Miler on Sunday. Kerri Gallagher, 25, won the race with a time of 54:50. Two other Arlington women cracked the top 10: eighth place finisher Samantha Diehl, 26, and tenth place finisher Amy Laskowske, 27. [Stars and Stripes, Army Ten-Miler]

Rare Photo of Arlington House Slave — The National Park Service unveiled a rare photo of Selina Norris Gray, a slave at Robert E. Lee’s Arlington House, over the weekend. The photo was purchased on eBay by a Park Service volunteer, who recognized Gray in the photo. It was sold by a seller in England who had found a box of “unwanted” photos at a yard sale. [Washington Post, WJLA]

Home Sales Up, Prices Down — The average home sale price in Arlington slid 2.8 percent in September, compared to one year prior, but the volume of sales rose by about 10 percent. [InsideNova]

Demolitions in Historic Districts — Since the beginning of the year, applications have been filed to demolish at least 25 homes in historic districts in Arlington. “The looming demolition of these houses and buildings represents an incredible loss of history, architecture, time, energy and materials,” the group Preservation Arlington said in a blog post. As previously reported, home demolitions are on pace for a record pace this year. [Preservation Arlington]

Flickr pool photo by Keith Hall

by Ethan Rothstein — October 13, 2014 at 7:00 am 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.

Wednesday

The view of Wakefield's new building from S. George Mason DriveCollege admission counseling event*
Wakefield High School (1325 S. Dinwiddie Street)
Time: 7:00-9:00 p.m.

A free event for high school students hoping to attend college. Counselors from Purdue University and Virginia Tech will be on hand to answer questions. The event is free to attend.

Equal Rights for All posterThe Future of Marriage Equality
National Rural Electric Cooperative headquarters (4301 Wilson Blvd)
Time: 7:00-9:00 p.m.

After last week’s historic events, the Arlington Young Democrats host openly gay state Sen. Adam Ebbin in a discussion on what’s next for marriage equality.

Thursday

Capital Splendor book coverBook Signing: Capital Splendor
Little Falls Presbyterian Church (6025 Little Falls Road)
Time: 11:00 a.m.-noon

Author Barbara Glickman will be on hand to sign copies of her book, “Capital Splendor: Gardens and Parks of Washington D.C.” Books will be available for purchase. RSVP by calling 703-532-1959.

Friday

Kevin Heffernan and Steve LemmeLive Comedy: Kevin Heffernan and Steve Lemme
Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike)
Time: 10:00 p.m. (also on Saturday at 7:30 and 10:00 p.m.)

Kevin Heffernan and Steve Lemme from “Super Troopers” (Rod Farva and Mac) perform stand-up comedya, with lots of crowd interaction and trivia from Broken Lizard movies. Tickets are $25.

Saturday

The State of Privacy in Virginia*
Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington (4444 Arlington Blvd)
Time: noon-3:30 p.m.

The Northern Virginia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union hosts a free brunch with speakers state Sen. Chap Peterson (D-Fairfax) and Del. Rich Anderson (R-Woodbridge). Guests can register online.

atozA to Z of Wine and Beer*
1500 Wilson Blvd
Time: 3:30-10:30 p.m.

Participants can purchase $36.50 tickets online fo4 samplings of either 26 beer or 26 wine offerings. Hors d’oeuvres will also be served. Sessions are from 3:30-6:30 p.m. and 7:30-10:30 p.m.

2014-gala-inviteArlington Academy of Hope Gala*
National Rural Electric Cooperative headquarters (4301 Wilson Blvd)
Time: 6:00-9:30 p.m.

“AAH will celebrate 10 years of transforming lives in rural Uganda through education, healthcare, and community development.” Tickets are available online.

*Denotes featured (sponsored) event

by ARLnow.com — October 10, 2014 at 6:15 pm 1,798 0

Traffic is a nightmarish in Rosslyn tonight (Friday) — at least for those heading through the intersection of Wilson Blvd and N. Lynn Street.

Due to lane closures from utility work and the on-going Central Place construction project, Lynn Street — which is often traffic-clogged even without construction – is down to one lane just before 19th Street. That led to major backups on Lynn Street, which led to backups on Wilson Blvd due to cars repeatedly “blocking the bock” in the intersection.

There was at least one minor accident at the intersection, reports of drivers getting in fights and frequent sounds of horns blaring.

At one point, a Arlington County police officer showed up and parked in the intersection, stopping traffic from blocking the box. However, the officer left after less than 15 minutes, allowing the bad driver behavior to continue unabated. Police were dispatched again to the intersection a half hour later, after receiving “multiple calls” from citizens.

Though especially bad tonight, the traffic problems in the intersection are frequent. Central Place construction has had Lynn Street traffic down to two lanes during most rush hours the past couple of weeks, leading to frequent backups and flared tempers.

by ARLnow.com — October 10, 2014 at 4:30 pm 2,475 0

The 7-Eleven store at 3600 Columbia Pike was robbed at gunpoint in the early morning hours last Saturday.

The suspect, who was wearing a surgical mask, made off with an undisclosed amount of cash. From this week’s Arlington County crime report:

ARMED ROBBERY, 141004019, 3600 block of S. Columbia Pike. At 3:18 am on October 4, an unknown male subject brandished a firearm and robbed the cashier at 7-11. The suspect fled on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash. The suspect is described as a Hispanic male in his thirties, approximately 5’6″ tall with an average build. He was wearing a white hooded sweatshirt, black pants and had a white surgical mask covering his face.

Last Friday, a teen stole beer from the Giant supermarket at Penrose Square. He allegedly assaulted a security guard who tried to stop him as he fled the scene.

ROBBERY BY FORCE, 141003057, 2500 block of S. 9th Street. At 7:30 pm on October 3, a male subject concealed beer in a backpack at a grocery store and assaulted a security guard when he was confronted. The suspect fled the scene on foot. He is described as a teenage Hispanic male and approximately 5’6″ tall. He was wearing a white shirt with gray stripes.

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

(more…)

by Ethan Rothstein — October 10, 2014 at 3:30 pm 1,235 0

Poster for the Afghan Festival in RosslynThe 5th annual Afghan Arts and Culture Festival will take over Gateway Park in Rosslyn all day this Sunday.

Running from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., the festival features live music from Afghan artists, traditional Afghan food and a bazaar featuring vendors plying wares that you might find in one of the street markets in Afghanistan.

The festival is hosted by Afghan Education for a Better Tomorrow (AEBT), a California-based nonprofit focused on promoting Afghan culture in the U.S. and raising awareness of the rebuilding efforts in Afghanistan.

“It is an opportunity for the Afghan diaspora to share their rich culture and history that is not often portrayed in the western media,” Maryam Rashid of AEBT said in a press release. “As the largest Afghan-American event in the D.C. region, this festival provides an opportunity for positive cultural exchange, and embracement of ethnic and cultural diversity.”

The Afghan Festival in 2013 (photo via Afghan Festival)The event includes kite-making workshops for children, a “nomad tent” where visitors can try on Afghan clothing and jewelry, a fashion show and a Mr. and Miss Afghan contest open to boys and girls in two age groups: age 2-4 and 5-7. There will also be several Afghan artists displaying their paintings and sculptures.

According to the event website, there will also be an eating contest, but not of hot dogs: contestants will wolf down some mantu, which are dumplings filled with beef and onions.

There will also be live music throughout the day with performances by Afghani artists Mahroof, Abdul Faqiri, the Nawaz Brothers, Larmal Wasiq, Nived Sultan, Ebadullah Ebadi, Zia Beghoman, Nomad Dancers, an Afghan dance troupe, with hosts Qias Omar and Harris Khattak, according to the press release.

Photos via Afghan Festival

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