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by ARLnow.com — May 20, 2015 at 10:00 am 5,588 0

Former Curves storefront in Cherrydale, possible home to a new gun storeNova Firearms is planning to open in the former Curves storefront in Cherrydale, the company confirmed Tuesday night.

In a statement, the McLean-based company said it will open its new Arlington location this summer. The store will sell firearms to police departments and civilians, and will offer gun safety classes.

Rumors have been flying around neighborhood listservs about the store, which is currently under construction. Some residents have said that such a store raises concerns about safety and even local property values.

The full statement from Nova Firearms is below.

McLean-based Nova Firearms have announced the opening of its new store in Arlington, Virginia scheduled for Summer 2015.

The grand opening of the Arlington location will coincide with the first anniversary of owner James “JB” Gates’ purchase of Nova Firearms. Nova first opened its doors in Falls Church in 2012 under previous ownership, then moved to its current location in McLean where it has enjoyed a warm reception.

“We want to thank the communities of Falls Church and McLean who welcomed Nova Firearms with open arms, and we believe Arlington will be an equally good location for our small, family-run business,” Gates said.

Nova supplies police departments as well as civilians. “Because of our proximity to the nation’s capital, the Pentagon, and CIA Headquarters, our customers understand security on a professional and personal level,” Gates explained.

When Gates isn’t behind the counter serving customers at Nova’s Mclean store, the US Marine Corps veteran provides personal protection and IT security services to a wide clientele, in and around the Metropolitan area.

The customers of Nova Firearms are equally diverse. According to Gates, their clients include many first time gun owners, longtime sportsmen, and the occasional celebrity. “You might be surprised by the number of well-known government leaders who did their Christmas shopping at Nova Firearms,” he remarked.

Gates is a proud sponsor of local charities, including the conservation efforts of local Ducks Unlimited chapters and programs supporting veterans and their families. He plans to offer expanded firearms safety training to the community at the new Arlington location of Nova Firearms.

by ARLnow.com — May 20, 2015 at 9:00 am 1,264 0

View of the Potomac and Roosevelt Island from Rosslyn

Survey Says: Resident Satisfaction High — Resident satisfaction with Arlington County is high, according to Arlington County. The county’s fourth Resident Satisfaction Survey, conducted by an outside research firm, suggested an 89 percent overall satisfaction rate with the quality of county services. “Just two percent of residents were dissatisfied with the overall quality of County services,” said a press release. One notable area for improvement: maintenance of county streets, with a satisfaction level of only 42 percent. [Arlington County]

Peak Memorial Day Traffic Expected Thursday — Contrary to conventional wisdom, the worst Memorial Day holiday traffic in the D.C. area will be Thursday evening, not Friday. According to an analysis of average travel speeds, drivers hoping to escape local holiday traffic should leave at night, around lunchtime Wednesday or Thursday, or Friday morning. [Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments]

Split Board Approves Reeves Farmhouse Sale — The Arlington County Board voted 3-2 last night to sell the historic Reeves farmhouse. “The County worked with the community for six years to find a way to retain public ownership of the house, or to create a public-private partnership to restore the house and open it to the public, but we were unable to achieve such a partnership, and the cost of restoring the property and bringing it up to code for public use was prohibitively expensive,” said County Board Chair Mary Hynes. Much of the land around the house will remain publicly-owned. [Arlington County]

County to Outsource Volunteer Program — The County Board also last night voted 3-2 to outsource Volunteer Arlington, the county’s volunteer management program. The county will now seek a nonprofit with which to form a public-private partnership. [Arlington County]

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — May 20, 2015 at 7:30 am 1,046 0

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by ARLnow.com — May 19, 2015 at 5:55 pm 2,923 0

Washington Redskins HelmetThe Arlington County Board adopted a resolution Tuesday afternoon calling on Washington’s professional football team to change its name.

The resolution was introduced by County Board member Walter Tejada, who said using the name Redskins as a reference to Native Americans is “objectionable to many Americans, Virginians and Arlingtonians.”

In introducing the resolution, Tejada noted that the team is in talks to move from its current home at FedEx Field, perhaps to Virginia. He also said that the issue is “personal for me” as a native of El Salvador with Mayan roots.

The resolution passed with the support of Tejada, Mary Hynes and Jay Fisette. John Vihstadt and Libby Garvey abstained, saying they agreed personally with changing the name but did not think the Board should take a position on the issue.

Tejada said that Arlington “has often ‘spoken out’ on issues ‘before it became popular, and it is time for us to do it again,'” according to a county press release.

The full text of the resolution, after the jump.

(more…)

by ARLnow.com — May 19, 2015 at 4:45 pm 1,058 0

Players in the Arlington Girls Softball Association (photo via AGSA)James Lander, the Chair of the Arlington School Board, has responded to public concerns about use of school facilities raised by the Arlington Girls Softball Association.

On Monday afternoon Lander wrote to Steve Severn, president of the 30+ year old organization, regarding use of Wakefield High School’s softball field, as well as proposed batting cages and sponsor signage at Arlington Traditional School.

Lander said that the Wakefield softball field is closed to all teams due to safety concerns, that the school system is willing to find a location and design for the ATS batting cage that doesn’t interfere with school operation and that AGSA may put up temporary sponsor signage around school fields but must then take it down after games.

Lander, a Democrat, is currently running for Arlington County Board.

The full letter is below.

Dear Mr. Severn:

I am writing to respond further to concerns that have been expressed about use of Arlington school facilities by the Arlington Girls Softball Association (AGSA).

The Wakefield softball field is not being used by any teams until some improvements have been made. The positioning and safety measures for the softball field at Washington-Lee High School are different and, as a result, decisions are made to meet the unique needs of each space. The safety inspector was concerned about the proximity of Wakefield’s field to the parking lot and walkway through the site, and so APS has agreed to install safety netting. Regarding Wakefield’s use of other fields in the community, today was the last day for practice or play by the Wakefield softball teams, and the Wakefield Varsity Softball tournament will take place at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Fairfax County on Monday, May 18.

The AGSA has proposed building a batting cage at Arlington Traditional School. APS believes that the initially proposed location for the batting cage would be disruptive to the school’s program and that the specific design would not be appropriate on school property. The Assistant Superintendent for Facilities and Operations, Mr. John Chadwick, has spoken to Mr. Severn about this issue and has explained that APS is willing to consider other potential placement of the batting cage at the school and an alternative design. We look forward to working with the County and community representatives on this measure to find a solution that meets the needs of all parties.

We understand the important role that the AGSA sponsors play in supporting this opportunity for young girls in our community.  Regarding the issue of posting banners on the fence at Arlington Traditional, as noted in earlier replies, the School Board policies do not allow outside groups to post and leave signs in schools and on school grounds over an eight-week period.  However, when community groups such as the Babe Ruth and Arlington Little League teams use our fields and local groups like churches and other community organizations use our schools, as part of their community use they regularly post signs and/or distribute flyers during their activity and then the signs and flyers are taken away at the end of the event.  We hope that the Arlington Girls Softball Association will consider this option so that the girls softball sponsors can be recognized during your practices and games.

Finally, the Arlington Department of Parks and Recreation has contacted APS about these and other concerns, and our staffs will be working collaboratively over the coming months to develop a consistent framework for all athletics and community groups to follow when using county and school spaces so that we can avoid any future misunderstandings.

Sincerely,

James Lander, Chair

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — May 19, 2015 at 3:45 pm 1,203 0

Ask Adam Real Living header

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

Q. I’m looking to purchase my next property and am debating about the age of the property and its value. Aside from standard replacement of regular items (roof, appliances, HVAC), how does the year built affect the value of a townhouse or condo? If I buy a townhouse built in the 1980s, it’s fine right now, but when I go to sell it in 30 years, will it be ready to be demolished and rebuilt?

Most of the condos in Arlington are built with cement and steel. I don’t expect them to be ready for demolition in 30 years. The only residential building in Arlington that concerns me is River Place. It has a land lease and is sitting in one of the most prime locations in Arlington. I’m just not sure it has a very long future ahead of it.

There are two things that tend to negatively affect the value of older condos.

  1. The maintenance costs on older buildings is often higher and can push condo fees way above average. If the building has a good long term plan for keeping condo fees low, that is a very good thing.
  2. When finishes of buildings are not kept up-to-date they tend to become less attractive to a large pool of homebuyers. We have all walked into dank smelling condo buildings with gold trim and worn-out carpet. It certainly doesn’t make you want to pay top dollar.

With townhomes you are not subject to all of the shared maintenance costs that go along with condos. It is your responsibility to keep the home in good condition and up-to-date. If you take good care of it, your home should last much longer than 30 years.

D.C. is a great example of an area with plenty of older homes that continue to attract strong interest from home buyers.

As always, you should pay close attention to location. If it is a desirable location for reasons that will last (i.e. walkability or metro), then I expect it will continue to be a desirable home well into the future.

Thank you for this week’s question. Please keep them coming to [email protected]. This is also a great place to reach me for anyone looking to buy or sell a home in the Arlington area.

by ARLnow.com — May 19, 2015 at 2:45 pm 4,678 0

Former Curves storefront in Cherrydale, possible home to a new gun storeUpdate on 5/20/15 — Nova Firearms has confirmed that it is indeed opening a store in Cherrydale.

The Maywood and Cherrydale neighborhood email listservs are abuzz today with talk of a gun store coming to the neighborhood.

The rumors surround the former Curves storefront at 2105 N. Pollard Street, in a small strip mall along Lee Highway. In a widely-circulated email, a neighbor says she’s spoken with the shopping center’s owner and he confirmed that a gun store will open there.

The property owner, Kostas Kapasouris, told ARLnow.com last week that an “expensive sporting goods” store has leased the space. He would not say who owns the store was or whether it would sell guns.

Listserv users have said they believe that the store may be linked with NOVA Firearms, a gun store in McLean. A man who answered the phone this afternoon said the owner of NOVA Firearms would call an ARLnow.com reporter back — but then quickly hung up before asking for a phone number.

Owners and employees of other stores in the shopping center said they heard the same rumors of a gun store or a high-end sporting goods store selling guns, but said they had not heard anything definitive from Kapasouris. Some expressed concerns about a gun store moving in, particularly given that there are several schools in the area.

Residents on the listservs expressed similar concerns.

“Wow! Was hoping for something a bit more family friendly,” one said. “I’m sure ‘walkable to gun shop’ will do wonders for our real estate values.”

“I am adamantly opposed to this!” another said. “If others feel the same way, can we petition the County to prevent this business in our neighborhood?”

It’s unlikely the county government has any legal standing to prevent a gun store that’s otherwise following Virginia law from opening. At least one resident privately told ARLnow.com that he’s not sure why there’s such an uproar.

“Note that the pawnshop on Lee Highway and Kirkwood (which used to go by National Pawnbrokers) also sells firearms, so I’m not sure what the big deal is,” he said.

Interior construction could be heard inside the store last week and workers could be seen coming and going. County officials told ARLnow.com that construction permits were not necessary because the work was minor. Inspectors responded to the location and found no code violations.

As of Tuesday afternoon, opaque plastic sheets covered the store’s windows and no other activity could be seen.

by ARLnow.com — May 19, 2015 at 1:00 pm 9,896 0

Ballston Common Mall, set to undergo a major renovation project next year, will be rebranded as “Ballston Quarter.”

Mall owner Forest City revealed the new name at the International Council of Shopping Centers convention in Las Vegas on Monday, as first reported by Bisnow.

The new mall’s most defining feature will be an open-air plaza running through the middle of what is now enclosed shopping space.

A recently-deployed Ballston Quarter website, which includes the slogan “Life Uncommon” and a slick preview video, lists the features of the airy shopping center:

  • “An open-air, urban environment coupled with a remodeled interior concourse”
  • “An open-air, public plaza gathering space and an intimate mews entrance along Wilson Boulevard”
  • “Activated streetscape to engage the community including street-entry stores and restaurants, some with sidewalk, terrace or rooftop dining options”
  • “A unique and vibrant mix of stores, restaurants, entertainment venues – 365,000 SF in addition to Macy’s”
  • “A residential tower with over 380 apartment homes and stunning amenities will top the new Ballston Quarter”

Macy’s, Rock Bottom Brewery, Panera Bread, Sport & Health, Regis Hair Salon, Regal Cinema, Noodles and Company, CVS, Kettler Capitals Iceplex and Shiki Sushi are all expected to remain open during the renovations. Most other mall retailers are expected to close after the end of the year.

by ARLnow.com — May 19, 2015 at 11:05 am 17,666 0

(Updated at 4:55 p.m.) A man is dead after being shot by Arlington County Police in the Buckingham neighborhood.

Police say officers responded to the 4200 block of 2nd Road N., at the Gates of Ballston apartment complex, just before 11:00 a.m. for an anonymous report of a domestic dispute. Officers arriving on scene heard screaming inside an apartment and entered it.

An officer-involved shooting followed. An adult male suspect was shot fatally — scanner traffic indicates he was shot twice in the chest — by police, according to ACPD spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.

An officer sustained what is described as a serious facial laceration. He’s currently undergoing surgery at Virginia Hospital Center but is expected to survive, according to Sternbeck.

Additionally, another officer suffered an injury after being tased, and a woman who was in the apartment suffered minor injuries, Sternbeck said.

Police and medics administered aid to the wounded suspect on scene but he was subsequently pronounced dead at Virginia Hospital Center. Neighbors say the man who was shot was a middle-aged Ecuadorian man who lived with his mother and was known for occasional angry outbursts.

Late Tuesday afternoon, police identified the deceased suspect as 54-year-old Alfredo Rials-Torres.

Police are conducting an investigation on scene, photographing and processing evidence. Second Road North is closed to traffic and is expected to remain closed for an extended period of time, but police are allowing residents back into their apartments.

After the shooting the female occupant of the apartment was brought to police headquarters and was being interviewed by investigators.

This was the second shooting on the 4200 block of 2nd Road N. in the past three years. In March 2012 a man was shot twice and seriously injured by a ski-mask-wearing assailant.

by ARLnow.com — May 19, 2015 at 10:00 am 2,862 0

Reeves farmhouse (image courtesy Arlington County)Three years after unsuccessfully seeking proposals for use of the historic, county-owned Reeves Farmhouse, the Arlington County Board tonight will consider a proposal to sell it.

County Manager Barbara Donnellan is recommending that the Board approve putting the house and a portion of the surrounding property, adjacent to Bluemont Park, on the market for sale to a private buyer. The proposal was added to today’s County Board agenda on Monday.

Even after being sold to a private party, the house — which dates back to 1899 — would remain a local historic district and would be protected from changes that would hurt its historical integrity.

The Reevesland property was the last operating dairy farm in Arlington County. The county purchased the house and its 2.5 acres of land from the Reeves family in 2001 for $1.8 million.

The county has been struggling to find an entity with a viable proposal for an “adaptive reuse” of the farmhouse. Cost has been a factor. In 2012 it was said that the house needed more than $1 million in work. Now, the county says it would cost $2.5 million to bring the house “up to code for public use,” not including ongoing maintenance costs.

County officials have been in touch with the Reevesland Learning Center, a group interested in using the farmhouse for educational purposes, but staff says the group doesn’t have the money needed to restore the house.

“The County has attempted several different ways to seek a partner for the adaptive reuse of the Reeves Farmhouse, but have not received responses from partners with the necessary financial resources to bridge the $2 – $2.5 million gap,” according to the staff report.

Under Donnellan’s proposal, the land around the farmhouse will be subdivided and the county will retain ownership of much of the property, including portions currently being used by the Reevesland Learning Center.

“The County will continue to own the rest of Reevesland, including the much-loved sledding slope and the historic milking shed, and will continue to maintain the recently expanded raised planting beds there,” according to a press release.

by ARLnow.com — May 19, 2015 at 9:00 am 2,284 0

Rainbow over D.C. on 5/18/15 as seen from Rosslyn

Taste of Arlington Winners — The judges at Sunday’s Taste of Arlington event in Ballston selected four winners among the dozens of restaurants that participated. Il Forno won for Best Appetizers, Liberty Tavern won for Best Fast Casual, Water and Wall won for Best Fine Dining and Northside Social won for Best Dessert.

Real Estate Prices Rise — Real estate prices in Arlington continue to rise. The median home sale in Arlington between January and April was $545,000. That’s up 9 percent year-over-year. [InsideNova]

Clarendon Real Estate Was a Bargain in 1900 — Clarendon is full of nice restaurants, luxury condos and million dollar homes now, but in 1900 it was an emerging suburban community with vacant land for sale. How much were plots of land going for? Between $90 and $140. [Ghosts of DC]

Presidential Candidate in Arlington TodayMark Everson, a former IRS commissioner and a candidate for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, will speak and greet supporters at a $100-a-head reception in Courthouse today. The event is being held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Courthaus Social, 2300 Clarendon Blvd. [Mark Everson for President]

APS Educator Named Top Hispanic Teacher — Arlington Traditional School art teacher Veronica Perez has received the Victoria D. de Sanchez Northern Virginia Hispanic Teacher of the Year Award. [InsideNova]

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — May 19, 2015 at 7:30 am 419 0

Editor’s Note: This post is authored and sponsored by United Social Sports.

Summer 2015 is here, and USS is set to kick off its summer season in Arlington!

We also have some good news: Social Sports of Arlington is now powered by United Social Sports. This means more awesome leagues to share with the Arlington community that come with all the perks of being a USS Player! Act fast as registration is open and some leagues have already sold out (no joke).

Use promo code ARLSM15 and save on your registration!

Don’t miss out on our upcoming events:

Bubble Soccer Series  June 14th   |   September 12th   |   October 17th

Below is a list of some Arlington area leagues. For a full listing of all of our leagues visit us at www.UnitedSocialSports.com

Bar Sports: Full Lineup

Bocce: Full Lineup

Cornhole: Full Lineup

Touch Football: Full Lineup

Kickball: Full Lineup

Skeeball: Full Lineup

Soccer: Full Lineup

Softball: Full Lineup

Volleyball: Full Lineup

United Social Sports caters to a growing population in Arlington who love to stay active and have a focus on having fun and being social over hardcore victories.

Registration closes for most Summer Team Sports on Tuesday, June 30th (or when leagues fill out) and for Spring Bar Sports on Tuesday, July 7th.

by ARLnow.com — May 18, 2015 at 5:30 pm 2,989 0

A motorcyclist was seriously injured in a crash in front of the Lee-Harrison Shopping Center over the weekend.

The incident happened just before 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, on Harrison Street. There’s no official word yet on the exact circumstances of the crash, but police say a blue SUV was involved.

The man riding the motorcycle could not get up and remained down in the middle of the roadway following the wreck. A nurse who was in the area rendered aid before police and medics arrived on scene, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.

The man suffered significant but non-life-threatening injuries, Sternbeck said, and was transported to the Level 1 trauma center at Inova Fairfax Hospital.

by ARLnow.com — May 18, 2015 at 4:05 pm 1,858 0

Pacers Pentagon Row store (photo via Google Maps)Pacers will close its running store on Pentagon Row next month, the company announced this afternoon.

The store, at 1101 S. Joyce Street, is being moved to a new Pacers location at 300 Tingey Street SE, in the District’s Navy Yard community.

The Pentagon Row store will close its doors on June 28, while the Navy Yard location is expected to open in late August. The Pacers location at 3100 Clarendon Blvd in Clarendon will remain open and will be the local chain’s only Arlington location.

The Pentagon Row Pacers opened in spring 2009, after the company bought and took over the storefront of the Gotta Run Running Shop, which originally opened in 2004, according to Pacers CEO Kathy Dalby.

Dalby said that the popular Pacers races in Pentagon City and the Pentagon Row store’s active running club will continue even after the store closes. She said the decision to close the store was mostly about its small size.

“Pacers Pentagon Row has a great following, especially the groups that run with us weekly out of the shop,” Dalby said. “However, the size of the store — our smallest at 1,200 square feet and 60% smaller than our average location — limited our ability to provide the full breadth of product our customers have come to expect from Pacers Running.”

“We look forward to still supporting runs and races from Pentagon Row and [continuing] to be an integral part of the South Arlington fitness community,” Dalby continued.

Separately, Pacers also announced that it will be moving its existing location near Logan Circle in D.C. to a larger storefront at 14th and S Streets NW. That move will take place around the Fourth of July holiday.

Photo via Google Maps

by ARLnow.com — May 18, 2015 at 3:35 pm 825 0

Republican Party logoTonight (Monday) the Arlington Falls Church Young Republicans will host a presentation of “the conservative case against the death penalty.”

The discussion will be held at the AFCYR’s monthly meeting, starting at 7:30 p.m. at Hard Time Cafe in Clarendon (3028 Washington Blvd).

The group Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty will tell young Republicans why they’re “questioning the alignment of capital punishment with their principles.” The organization notes that 152 individuals, to date, have been released from death row after it was determined that they were wrongfully convicted.

“I will make the case why capital punishment violates many of the conservative values that we hold dear,” said Marc Hyden, a former National Rifle Association field representative who’s now a national coordinator for CCATDP. “For example, as conservatives, we want to limit the power of government, including a broken government program like the death penalty, which has the real potential of killing innocent Americans.”

“The Arlington Falls Church Young Republicans are excited to continue our discussion about the criminal justice system,” AFCYR Chair Matthew Hurtt said in a statement. “Many prominent conservatives have questioned the death penalty as another costly, inefficient, bureaucratic, government-run operation. Our members are interested in hearing CCATDP’s argument behind raising the red flag about the death penalty in the U.S.”

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