The store is moving into the former Saah Furniture store at 2330 Columbia Pike, according to permits.
Dinette Design sells custom-designed furniture, including couches, chairs and tables. It’s unclear if the Ballston Common Mall location at 4238 Wilson Blvd is still open; no one answered the phone there earlier today (Thursday) and the store was recently holding a “closing” sale.
No word yet on when Dinette Design will be open on the Pike, but interior construction appears to just be getting underway now.
Wednesday’s “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” brought record nationwide sales to the fast food chicken chain, CNN reported today (Thursday).
The event, organized on Facebook to demonstrate support for the restaurant after its CEO came under fire for remarks critical of same-sex marriage, drew large crowds across the country, including in Arlington.
Natalie Yang, owner of the Crystal City franchise at 2200 Crystal Drive, said her store had one of its busiest days in memory. She added her staff “treated it just like any other busy day.”
A reader sent in the photos above, which show a long lunchtime line stretching down the sidewalk on Crystal Drive.
The Ballston Common Mall Chick-fil-A also reportedly had a larger than normal lunchtime turnout. Franchise owner Andrea Hevia said Wednesday morning that her store hadn’t made any special plans to accommodate the rush, but one tipster said an ‘Appreciation’ crowd showed up anyway.
“This was one of the biggest expressions of support for free speech and free enterprise in recent Arlington memory,” the tipster wrote.
Yang said the line at her store reached Ted’s Montana Grill, about a half-block distance.
“We were too busy to even take pictures,” Yang said.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee promoted “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” on Facebook to counter a boycott of the Atlanta-based chain by same-sex marriage activists. The boycott came after Chick-fil-A President and CEO Dan Cathy spoke publicly about his company’s opposition to gay marriage.
In July, the mayors of Boston, Chicago and San Francisco made clear their distaste with Cathy’s remarks, and discouraged the company from placing franchises in their cities. Huckabee praised the company, which doesn’t operate on Sundays, as a “true American success story.”
“Too often, those on the left make corporate statements to show support for same sex marriage, abortion, or profanity, but if Christians affirm traditional values, we’re considered homophobic, fundamentalists, hate-mongers, and intolerant,” Huckabee wrote on Facebook.
There were reportedly no counter-protests or demonstrations on Wednesday at the Crystal City Chick-fil-A location. Yang said her staff was too wrapped up with serving customers to notice anything past the long line.
“We treat every one here with honor, integrity and respect,” Yang said. “We appreciate their support. And we didn’t run out of food.”
According to police, a juvenile female was using the restroom in a restaurant at the Ballston mall last night (Monday) when she saw an odd shadow on the ground. She reportedly looked up to see a man peeping over her stall. The girl reports the man then ducked into a stall, because she could see his feet as she left.
The girl, who is visiting from Ireland, left the restroom and told the 19-year-old woman and 22-year-old man she was with what had just happened. According to police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck, the woman and man then found the suspect and confronted him. He claimed to have been confused about which restroom he had been in.
Although it’s not certain that this is the same man who has been reported in two other indecent incidents recently, it appears there are similarities. He’s described as a white male in his 50s, with grayish-brownish hair to his shoulders. At the time of last night’s incident, he was described as wearing a light colored button down shirt over a darker colored shirt, with baggy blue jeans and black and white sneakers.
“He does have some similarities to the previous offender,” said Sternbeck. “If this is the same person, he’s been frequently engaging in crimes of this nature, whether exposures or peeping. We want to get him into custody immediately.”
As with the previous incidents, there was a lag between the time of the incident and reporting it to police. Police ask any victims or witnesses of these types of crimes to report them immediately to increase the chances of the suspect being caught. Confronting the suspect is not recommended because it’s unknown if he may try to inflict harm.
The alleged incident happened around 9:00 p.m., in front of a church on the 600 block of N. Vermont Street, in the Bluemont neighborhood near Ballston. Police say a woman noticed a man following her while she was out walking her dog. She tried to alter her route and at one point shouted “stop following me,” but the man then grabbed her from behind, fondled her, and tried to pull down her pants, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
During the attack the woman managed to knee or kick the suspect in the stomach, knocking him to the ground. She ran away and sought help, while the suspect was seen by a witness fleeing in the direction of Ballston Common Mall, according to Sternbeck.
After calling in a K-9 unit and establishing a perimeter, police found a man matching the suspect’s description trying to change his clothes in an alley outside Ballston Common Mall. The man was arrested and was positively identified by the victim, according to Sternbeck. Police also determined that the suspect had stolen the clothes he was trying to change into.
Nathanael Lovett, of no fixed address, has been charged with abduction with intent to defile, grand larceny and trespassing. Lovett, who’s in his late 20s, was also arrested in March after a police officer saw him allegedly masturbating outside the 7-Eleven store at 3510 Wilson Boulevard in Virginia Square.
(Updated at 12:05 a.m.) Police are now clearing the scene at Ballston Common Mall after a phoned-in bomb threat.
Three separate bomb threats were phoned in to authorities: one to Prince George’s County dispatchers, one to Arlington, and one directly to the mall, according to Arlington County police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. It’s not clear if the threats all were made by the same individual.
Mall security has informed stores of the threat but decided not to evacuate, Sternbeck said. Police officers and two K-9 units searched inside and outside the building but found nothing.
“We want to be very thorough in our sweep and… in deeming it safe,” said Sternbeck during the search. “If we did find something we deemed legitimate we would have the authority to bring everyone out [of the mall].”
Dozens of shoppers and workers on their lunch break could be seen carrying on normal daily business inside the mall during the incident. One lane of Wilson Boulevard was partially blocked by police vehicles outside the mall. As of 11:50 a.m., most of the police response was packing up and starting to clear the scene.
There’s a lighthouse inside the Ballston mall right now, but it’s probably not what you think. It’s one of the many structures on display made entirely of canned food, all for a good cause.
The American Institute of Architects Northern Virginia Chapter and the Arlington Food Assistance Center have teamed up for the ninth year to present the Canstruction competition. Teams of architects build structures made entirely out of canned food. All the food donations, which typically add up to tens of thousands of pounds, are then donated to AFAC.
Tonight, the winner will be announced at an awards ceremony at Rock Bottom Brewery, starting at 6:00 p.m. The displays will remain intact throughout the mall until 8:00 a.m. on Saturday.
Your days of waiting in long lines to pick up and send packages at the post office could be over. Ballston Common Mall is one of the first commercial locations in the country to debut a new program from the United States Postal Service called gopost.
The service is designed to make sending and receiving packages easier, because they’re delivered just like regular mail. There’s no need to bring a slip to the post office and wait in line to receive the item. Postal carriers pick up and drop off items at the boxes just like a regular mail box. There’s no additional fee to use the service.
Users set up an account online and choose which location they’d like a package sent to. They’ll receive an email or text message that their package has arrived. At the gopost site, customers check in on a computer and receive their items from the designated post office box. If a signature is required, the customer simply signs the computer screen with a finger.
Users who want to send a package will print postage from their home computers, attach it to the package and drop the package off at a gopost site. The onsite computer informs the postal service that a package needs to be picked up.
USPS spokeswoman Laura Dvorak believes the program will be popular because it’s convenient.
“Why do you want to wait for your package, when your package can wait for you?” Dvorak said. “This way, you don’t waste your time.”
Several post offices throughout Northern Virginia, including the Arlington South Post Office (1210 S. Glebe Road), have installed gopost boxes. Ballston mall is the first non-post office site to feature the service. Dvorak says the location was chosen due to its proximity to many businesses and hotels in the area, as well as the mall being open to the public most hours of the day. It has 80 lockers of three different sizes.
“It’s a matter of convenience,” Dvorak said. “Customers would have access nearly around the clock.”
Customers will need to make one trip to a post office while setting up their registration. A USPS employee will validate the person’s identity and give more information about what items are allowed to be shipped. When the user logs in from a personal computer, the postal services knows who’s requesting shipping services.
“We know the account, we know who that person is,” Dvorak said. “It’s a very important security feature for gopost.”
The service kicked off at Ballston mall last week. It will be expanding throughout Northern Virginia this year. Future gopost locations include grocery stores, pharmacies, transportation hubs and other shopping centers.
Editor’s Note: This periodic sponsored Q&A column is written by Adam Gallegos of Arlington-based real estate firm Arbour Realty. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com. Please submit follow-up questions in the comments section or via email.
Lisa says she’d like to know the following about Ballston Mall:
- “Are there plans for renovation? If so, will it be a complete tear down, face lift, efforts to get new stores in etc.?”
- “What stores might be considered? Has there been a reason to date that better stores have stayed away? (I’m assuming there is low rent, based on who has been there.)”
- “If no plans, given the whirlwind of other development of the Ballston area, how do the owners of the mall expect to be taken in a newer and nicer Ballston?”
I wish I could tell you that Ballston Common Mall has definite plans to redevelop itself into a fresh new option that will replace your need to hike over to Pentagon City or fight the traffic surrounding Tysons Corner.
There are three major stakeholders in Ballston Common Mall: Macy’s, Forest City Enterprises and Arlington County. Macy’s owns their respective stores at either end of the mall. Forest City owns the remaining shops and offices. Arlington County owns the parking garage. Substantive changes to the property as a whole will need to involve the consent and participation of the owners of all the various connected parcels.
The Arlington County official I spoke to said that they have not received any formal requests to modify the mall at this point. In fact, he made it seem as though they are content with the current limitations of the mall, which I find hard to believe. I expected that Arlington County would be keen on maximizing the revenue of this prime piece of real estate. More revenue equals more tax dollars coming into Arlington County.
Founders Square, located next door to Ballston Common Mall, is a great example of maximizing revenue while adding value to the community. They displaced a Metro bus garage and are building two office towers, a hotel and an apartment building with a number of new retail options on the ground floor.
The person I spoke with at Arlington County took time to point out how well the food court serves local employees. Seriously? The Arbour Realty office is a block from Ballston mall and I have to say that it is a very rare occasion that you will find me at the food court because there are at least 10 better options on the way over there.
There were two incidents of men arrested for downright creepy behavior at Ballston Common Mall on Monday.
First, a man was arrested for allegedly masturbating while watching women work out at the Ballston Sport & Health Club in the mall.
INDECENT EXPOSURE, 03/05/12, 4200 block of Wilson Boulevard. At 6:20 am on March 5, a subject was seen masturbating in a public area of the mall while he was watching women exercise through a gym window. Alexei Rodriguez, 37, of no fixed address, was charged with indecent exposure and trespassing. He is being held without bond.
Just three hours later, a man was arrested for allegedly hiding inside a stall in the women’s bathroom.
PEEPING TOM, 03/05/12, 4200 block of Wilson Boulevard. On March 5 at 9:40 am, a male subject was found in a female bathroom stall peeping into the remaining area by Mall Security. Jacques Toube, 50, of Riverdale, MD, was charged with peeping and was held on a secured bond.
The rest of this week’s crime report, after the jump.
Workers have been there all day clearing out the restaurant and taking down signs and lights. A long table now blocks the mall entrance, and the name has already been removed from the outside facade.
Two employees say the Ballston location is just one of the several closing across the country as part of the restaurant chain’s restructuring plan. Real Mex Restaurants Inc. owns the chain and filed for Chapter 11 in October, due to what it called high debt, high rents and a weak economy. A bankruptcy court approved the sale of the company last week.
The Chevy’s location at Pentagon City will remain open and an employee there said they’re still “going strong.”
Ballston BID to Support Mall Redevelopment — The head of the newly-formed Ballston Business Improvement District says one of her first goals will be “redeveloping” Ballston Common Mall. The BID is trying to get people to think of Ballston as a science and technology hub, rather than a place best known for its “down-on-its-heels” mall. [Connection Newspapers]
‘Winter Wonderland’ Coming to Clarendon — On Saturday, Dec. 10, a family-friendly ‘Winter Wonderland’ event will be held at the Market Common Clarendon shopping center. Santa Claus is expected to arrive at the event by hitching a ride on a fire truck, according to an event flyer. [Market Common Clarendon]
County Announces Human Right Award Winners — From a press release: “A community group and three outstanding individuals are Arlington’s 2011 James B. Hunter Human Rights Award winners.” [Arlington County]
The Pentagon City mall has its Christmas tree up, and Santa will arrive next Saturday, November 12, to pose for pictures with customers.
Ballston Common Mall is waiting until after Thanksgiving to bring in Santa. He’ll arrive there on Black Friday, November 25. There will also be special hours on December 4 and December 11 for people to bring their pets for photos with Santa.
Power is out in parts of Ballston this afternoon.
Ballston Common Mall is currently without power and several traffic lights in the area are dark. Police are directing traffic at some of the intersections.
Nearly 1,700 Dominion customers in the area are reported to be without power.
Police say the thefts started in March 2011. Used cooking oil that was awaiting collection was stolen from at least four restaurants, police say.
“The waste cooking oil from restaurants is converted into clean burning biodiesel fuel,” police sad in a statement. “Biodiesel is an alternative to petroleum diesel that can be used in any diesel engine. Typically these oil thieves steal from restaurants and no one notices until the normal collection company arrives to pick up the product.”
“Theft has become a major issue in the restaurant cooking oil collections industry, due to the increase of its value from the evolving biodiesel market,” the statement continued. “Police departments in the region are becoming more involved to remedy this problem.”
Police say they arrested 36-year-old Fa De Zheng of Oxon Hill, Md. and 38-year-old Ming Gang Lu of New York City on Friday, Oct. 7, as they were attempting to siphon oil from a deposit at Ballston Common Mall. The pair is charged with Grand Larceny, Grand Larceny with the Intent to Sell, Possession of Burglarious Tools and Destruction of Property.
Anyone with additional information about the case is asked to call Det. Paul Marseilles at 703-228-4237 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
It may be the most exciting thing to happen outside Ballston Common Mall since this happened last year. The Virginia Sierra Club is planning a made-for-TV rally tomorrow at the corner of Wilson Boulevard and Stuart Street.
With the help of some interesting visuals, environmental activists will be calling for policies that support cleaner air in Virginia. Specifically, the Sierra Club is asking for public hearings regarding Dominion Virginia Power’s long-term energy plan. They’re also asking for the State Corporation Commission to approve Dominion’s plan to retire two coal-fired power plants in Virginia.
To help put an exclamation point on their message, demonstrators will be bringing along “a 6-foot cardboard asthma inhaler… 6-foot tall mock wind turbines…. pinwheels symbolizing desire for wind energy… and posters and signs calling for a transition from dirty coal to clean energy.” In addition, rally bystanders will be encouraged to place phone calls to the State Corporation Commission requesting public hearings about Dominion.
“Switching to cleaner energy sources can not only reduce dangerous air pollution, but also create high-skill, high-wage jobs for Virginians,” the Sierra Club said in a press advisory. “Activists seek public hearings so citizens may voice their strong support for clean energy and clean air in person”
Flickr pool photo by Tim Kelley