According the real estate information firm RealtyTrac, Arlington’s 22203 ZIP code is the 7th-most “hipster-friendly” area in the United States.
A hipster ZIP code is generally defined by RealtyTrac as an area where residents are young and lots of people rent and take public transportation. The 22203 ZIP code, the second-highest ranking ZIP in the D.C. area next to Alexandria’s 22304 ZIP code, includes the neighborhoods of Ballston, Virginia Square, Bluemont and Buckingham.
Arlington’s 22201 ZIP code, meanwhile, ranked 23rd on the list. That ZIP code includes Courthouse, Clarendon, Lyon Village, Lyon Park, and parts of Ballston and Virginia Square.
No ZIP codes in the District of Columbia made the rankings.
RealtyTrac’s methodology seems questionable at best, ignoring the more nuanced cultural factors that define a “hipster.” That said, which Arlington locale would you consider to be the biggest hipster hotbed?
Looking at Campaign Sign Removal — Arlington County Board members may consider asking state transportation officials for authority to remove improperly placed campaign signs from state roads. Virginia law prohibits campaign signs from being placed on state roads, but it also prohibits anyone besides state officials from removing them unless the jurisdiction has a deal with the state. [Sun Gazette]
McAuliffe Adds to His Cabinet — Virginia Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe (D) made appointments yesterday for several of his key cabinet positions. He named Paul Reagan as chief of staff, Suzette Denslow as deputy chief of staff, Ric Brown as secretary of finance and Levar Stoney as secretary of the commonwealth. Reagan had previously served as chief of staff for Rep. Jim Moran (D) and Sen. Jim Webb (D). [Washington Post]
Library Displays Rare Kennedy Newspapers — The Arlington Central Library has put on a display a number of rare newspapers from when John F. Kennedy was president. Some of the papers highlight Kennedy’s assassination 50 years ago this month. The exhibit also includes papers from Kennedy’s inauguration in 1961 and his burial at Arlington National Cemetery. [Arlington Public Library]
How Ballston was Named — Do you know how the Ballston neighborhood got its name? It goes back to the Ball brothers who owned more than 250 acres of land in the area back in the 1700s. [Ghosts of DC]
Tipsters report the restaurant has looked deserted for several days. ARLnow.com staff stopped by today (Wednesday) and noted that the restaurant is dark, the doors are locked and the tables have been removed from the dining area.
Leek opened one year ago this month in the former Thai Terrace space.
Last week, Eater DC posted an article saying Leek closed briefly for renovations. The article included a photo of a sign in Leek’s window indicating the restaurant would re-open last Friday, November 8. That sign was not in the window, however, when ARLnow.com staff stopped by today. Nobody could be seen inside the restaurant, performing renovations or otherwise.
Leek’s Facebook page has not been updated since August. The restaurant’s owner could not be reached for comment.
(Updated at 10:20 a.m.) Two workers have been taken to the hospital after falling 20 feet at a construction site in Ballston.
The incident happened around 9:30 a.m. at an apartment construction site at 650 N. Glebe Road, across from the mall at the intersection of N. Carlin Springs Road.
Two workers were standing at a wall at the construction site when they somehow fell 20 feet into the construction pit, according to Arlington County Fire Department spokesman Capt. Bill Shelton. One worker was able to walk out and seek medical attention on his own power, while the other had to be lifted out of the site with a crane.
Both workers were taken to local hospitals with non-life threatening injuries, Shelton said.
A Blue Top Cab driver drove his taxi into a light pole this morning (Friday) in Ballston.
The driver struck the concrete pole at about 10:45 a.m. on Fairfax Drive at the intersection with N. Quincy Street. The pole broke in half and shattered onto the street.
There were no passengers in the car, according to police, and the driver was up and talking to the responding officers. The traffic signal at the intersection was still operational and traffic wasn’t impeded.
The proposal involves tearing down the existing 8-story building and replacing it with two new buildings. One would be a 9-story office and educational building, and the other would be a 15-story multi-family residence.
The L-shaped residential building would sit at the north end of the site, and would include 267 units. The ground floor would house about 3,000 square feet of retail space along Glebe Road. A landscaped plaza with specialty paving, lighting and planters would separate that building from the office/educational building at the south end of the site, at the corner of N. Glebe Road and Fairfax Drive. The plaza plan includes outdoor seating for the retail and food vendors. A wall would separate the outdoor retail area from the ground floor residential area.
Both buildings would sit on top of a 3-level underground parking structure, which would include 265 residential spaces. Currently, the Blue Goose has 202 surface parking spaces with an entrance along Glebe Road. The plan for the underground structure involves moving the parking entrance to the lesser traveled N. Wakefield Street.
The redevelopment proposal would keep the street lane configurations the same on Glebe Road and Fairfax Drive, but expand the width of the sidewalks. The developer would also provide a cycle track adjacent to the Fairfax Drive frontage. County staff will look at how best to improve bicycle and trail access with the wider streetscape.
In response to comments about the historic preservation of the existing Blue Goose structure (built in 1962) — which recently made Preservation Arlington’s “Most Endangered Historic Places” list — the developer has agreed to include blue panels on the ground floor retail space’s building facade and on part of the interior.
So far, it’s unclear if this will be the last time the Site Plan Review Committee addresses the Blue Goose development, or if more tweaks to the design are anticipated at future meetings. Once the committee feels a consensus has been reached on any outstanding issues, the project will move on to the Planning Commission, and then on to the County Board for final approval.
County Seeks Federal Funds for Transportation Projects — County officials are expected to apply for three grants for non-vehicular transportation projects. The $1 million in grant money would cover a bicycle and pedestrian connection between Four Mile Run Trail and Potomac Yard, improvements at Ashlawn Elementary School, and street and sidewalk improvements along the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor. [Sun Gazette]
Man Hospitalized After Fall at Airport — A man has been hospitalized after falling from a roadway at Reagan National Airport on Tuesday. He apparently climbed over the protective barrier near the ticketing level roadway and fell to the arrivals roadway below. [Washington Post]
Study: Arlington Could Cut Back on Parking Spaces – Researchers with the Arlington County Commuter Services’ Mobility Lab conducted a study of residents in 16 high rise towers to monitor their commuting habits. One of the significant findings is that residents are often choosing to walk, bike or use public transportation instead of driving, even if they own cars. A land use expert says the findings suggest that Arlington has more parking spaces than it needs, and can cut back on parking requirements for new developments. [WAMU]
No Anchor Tenant Yet for Ballston Development — All the pieces are in place for constructing a new development at 4040 Wilson Blvd in Ballston, except that there still isn’t an anchor tenant for the building. Developer Shooshan is waiting to sign such a tenant before commencing construction. The final building in the Liberty Center complex will have 20 floors and more than 426,000 square feet of space. [GlobeSt]
(Update at 11:25 a.m.) An office worker has been hurt from a fall behind 950 N. Glebe Road in Ballston.
The incident happened just before 10:00 a.m. The worker was walking to a meeting when he stepped on a steel grate, adjacent to the sidewalk, which collapsed. He fell about 15 feet into a ventilation shaft, landing on a concrete ledge. Scanner reports suggest he suffered head and rib injuries.
A technical rescue team from the Arlington County Fire Department used a Stokes basket to lift the man from the shaft. With dried blood visible on his face, he was loaded onto a stretcher and taken to the trauma center at Inova Fairfax Hospital around 11:00 a.m.
The man, a white male in his 50s, was conscious, alert and breathing, fire department spokesman Capt. Bill Shelton said. There’s no official word on the nature of his injuries.
In his experience, Shelton said, incidents like this one, in which a grate collapses under the feet of a pedestrian, are uncommon.
Two lanes of N. Glebe Road were blocked by the emergency response. A county building engineer has responded to the scene to inspect the grate.
Editor’s Note: Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.
When Zack Liscio, the CEO and co-founder of Changecause, moved from his job at Google in July to work in Arlington full-time and help his startup get off the ground, his friends and coworkers in Silicon Valley were confused.
“Everyone assumes that San Francisco is a more fertile group for startups,” he said. “I don’t think that’s true. It’s such a dense marketplace that it’s really hard to stand out. Plus, in the D.C. area, the talent and access to capital and mentors blows that out of the water.”
Liscio, as well as co-founder and COO Edward Ridgely, knew something about Washington, D.C.-based startups before they launched Changecause; they met at perhaps D.C.’s most successful tech startup, LivingSocial. When Ridgely and Liscio met at LivingSocial, they shared with each other their passion for helping nonprofits and donating to charities.
Incorporated last November, Changecause was a side job for Liscio, Ridgely, Chief Technology Officer Michael Seid and Chief Strategy Officer Patrick Costello. They initially set out to build an app designed to be a mobile wallet, where users could pay for goods on their smartphones. After seeing the small fees from each transaction and realizing how much money, on a grand scale, that could add up to, Liscio and Ridgely adjusted course.
Eventually, they landed on the idea that would become Changecause. Users can donate small amounts — typically between $1 and $5 — to a charity of their choice, and brands looking to increase awareness of both themselves and their philanthropy will match the donation.
“Donating to charity can be as effective as advertising for a brand,” Liscio said. “The reasons why brands like Toms are so big is because of cause branding and social responsibility.”
To add to the appeal to brands, Changecause will pair brands with donors whose demographics match a particular brand’s target market; if a 27-year-old donates to charity and lists running as its interest, a brand like Nike would match that donation.
The Changecause team became “active on all the local tech listserves,” Ridgely said, seeking advice, mentors, potential partners; anything really. They applied to the Ballston Business Improvement District Launchpad program, which provides startups with occasional office space, mentorship programs and networking opportunities.
The pond has already begun draining after Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services removed the stop logs on the pond’s weir, after which the county will begin the construction bidding and plant treatments.
Construction to the “new and improved pond design that will provide stormwater treatment benefits, as well as improved habitat for wildlife,” is expected to begin in spring 2014, according to Arlington Stormwater Outreach Specialist Jen McDonnell.
The pond will be drained to encourage the wildlife to find new homes during the construction. When construction is complete, stop logs will be placed back in a new weir, and the pond will refill naturally from Lubber Run, McDonnell said. The pond will still receive water flow from Lubber Run until the construction begins.
“Draining the pond will not have any long-term impact on the animal habitat,” McDonnell wrote in an email. “The construction and subsequent addition of native plants will result in a ‘new’ pond that will provide a better variety of wildlife habitats and improved stormwater treatment.”
(Updated at 9:45 p.m.) The long-stalled plan to build a western entrance to the Ballston Metro station is taking a small step forward thanks to new transportation funding.
On Tuesday, the Arlington County Board approved a funding plan for the county’s share of revenue generated by Virginia’s new transportation legislation. The plan, which will be submitted to the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA), calls for $500,000 to be allocated to planning for the new Metro entrance during the current fiscal year.
The entrance is already partially designed. As proposed, it will be located at the intersection of N. Fairfax and Vermont Streets, allowing easier access to the new developments along Glebe Road in Ballston, the Bluemont neighborhood and other points west. The station will feature two street-level elevators and escalators, connecting to an underground passageway and mezzanine (with an attended kiosk) that will lead to the train platform.
“The County’s goal with the new funding is to advance the design of the West Entrance and proceed to construction,” said Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services spokeswoman Laura G. Smith. “In the next few months, the County will assemble [stakeholders] and reexamine the previous preliminary design.”
In another set of funding priorities submitted to NVTA, for fiscal years 2015-2017, the Board requested $56 million over those three years to cover 75 percent of the estimated $75 million cost of constructing the new entrance. Additional funds for the project are expected to come in the form of a $11 million developer contribution — tied to an approved but thus far unbuilt redevelopment project — and from other local and state sources.
The funding request would suggest that the entrance could be built by 2018, but the construction timeline does not appear to be set in stone.
“The Ballston Metro West Entrance Project has a lot of moving parts,” Smith noted.
Also included in the FY 2015-2017 priority list is $10 million for the planned realignment of the eastern end of Columbia Pike, between the Air Force Memorial and the Pentagon. Arlington is hoping to reach an agreement with the military on the realignment plan and a related land exchange “within the next six months,” said Smith.
Four Arlington transportation projects were approved by NVTA this summer. Other transportation funding requests made by the County Board on Tuesday include:
- Clarendon Circle pedestrian safety improvements ($2 million)
- Crystal City street improvements ($2 million)
- New Arlington Transit bus maintenance facility ($2.25 million)
- Streetcar project management ($2.5 million)
- New traffic cameras and signals ($1 million)
- Design of improvements to Glebe Road ($2 million)
(Updated at 4:30 p.m.) A space that sat vacant for years near the Ballston Metro station is about to get a new tenant.
According to permits filed with the county, Bank of America plans to open a branch in the former Ruby Tuesday space. The new bank will occupy one of the first floor commercial spaces in the building at 901 N. Stuart Street, just feet away from an existing Presidential Bank.
A representative for Bank of America said it is relocating its branch at 3625 N. Fairfax Drive to the new space. Extensive construction has been underway at the new site for several weeks, and it is expected to open sometime in December.
A spinoff of the recently opened Kapnos will occupy a space at 4000 Wilson Blvd in Ballston, which is the Liberty Center South development. That’s the development where Taylor Gourmet will go in as well, as announced earlier this summer.
Kapnos Taverna will feature the same types of Northern Greek inspired fare found at Kapnos. Unlike the D.C. location, the Ballston restaurant will offer weekday lunch, weekend brunch and a happy hour menu.
“Guests have been asking me to build a restaurant in Virginia or Maryland since we opened Graffiato in 2011. Kapnos has been wildly popular in its first few months, and we think this sister concept will be a great addition to the booming neighborhoods in Arlington,” said Isabella in a press release. “Next spring, our team will travel to Greece, and we plan to build the menu around reinterpretations of regional cuisine.”
The 4,700 square foot space will have seating for 185 guests inside, and 40 on the outdoor seasonal patio.
If all goes according to plan, the restaurant is expected to open in summer of 2014.
The Ballston-area house, a duplex on the 4200 block of Washington Blvd near Washington-Lee High School, was built between 1895 and 1910, according to county documents. Its owners have submitted a site plan proposal for two semi-detached townhouses to take its place.
The proposal calls for the building to be demolished and replaced with a 4,707-square-foot, 43-foot-tall brick structure. The home’s solid-paneled doors, metal gutters, downspouts and other interior and exterior elements will be preserved as part of the redevelopment, according to the proposal.
The proposal is scheduled to go before the Planning Commission and County Board no later than November, according to county documents.
Starting at 10:00 p.m. Friday and continuing until closing Sunday, East Falls Church and points west will not have Metrorail service.
An express bus will travel from Ballston to Vienna and add approximately 25 minutes of travel time. Local buses will stop at East Falls Church, West Falls Church, Dunn Loring and Vienna, taking approximately 15 minutes between each stop.
The station closures will allow track maintenance and signal system testing in preparation for the opening of the Silver Line.