Advocates Decry Proposed Bike Cut — An optional budget cut floated by Arlington County Manger Barbara Donnellan in her proposed FY 2015-2016 budget is attracting some push back from cyclists. Donnellan said the County Board should consider a $800,000 cut in funds for the county’s BikeArlington program if it wants to make additional cuts beyond her base budget. Bike advocates say the cut “would be a huge mistake.” [Greater Greater Washington]
Condo Fence Mowed Down — A car ran through the fence of a condominium complex next to Long Branch Elementary School Sunday evening. No injuries were reported. [Twitter]
Resident Survey to Be Mailed — Arlington County is planning to mail its fourth resident survey to 3,600 randomly selected residents. “This survey will help us find out how we’re doing across many different service areas – and also pinpoint where we need to improve,” County Manager Barbara Donnellan said in a statement. [Arlington County]
Custis Trail Added to Beer Guide — A guide intended to show D.C. area cyclists where they can grab craft brews near local trails has added Arlington’s Custis Trail to its directory. [Bikeable Brews]
A-SPAN To Help Meet Homeless Goals — Arlington County has signed on to a pair of ambitious goals: to house all homeless veterans in the community by the end of 2015 and end chronic homelessness by 2016. The Arlington Street People’s Network, the nonprofit organization that will be running Arlington’s soon-to-open year-round homeless shelter, is preparing to do its part to help achieve those goals. [InsideNova]
Iwo Jima Anniversary — Today marks the 70th anniversary of the famous photo of Marines raising the flag during on Iwo Jima during World War II. Veterans of the battle gathered at the Marine Corps War Memorial near Rosslyn, which depicts the flag raising, to mark its anniversary last week. [Stars and Stripes]
Impromptu Marriage at Fire Station — A Marine and his fiance got married at Arlington’s Fire Station 5 Saturday night. Firefighters got the call at 6:00 p.m. that the Marine, who was deploying the next day, was in desperate need of a hall after their venue was closed due to broken pipes. Firefighters were able to hastily mop the floor and set up chairs in one of the station’s bays before the bride and groom arrived for the short ceremony. [Facebook]
Man Falls on Tracks at Ballston Metro — Around 8:15 this morning, a man somehow fell onto the outbound tracks at the Ballston Metro station. Bystanders were able to hoist the man back onto the platform. According to scanner traffic, he suffered a head injury.
SUV Rollover Near Columbia Pike — An SUV crashed and rolled onto its side at Walter Reed Drive and 13 Street S., near Columbia Pike, on Friday night. The vehicle’s occupants were unhurt and were able to get out on their own, according to a fire department spokesman. Also Friday night, a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle on N. Glebe Road near Pershing Drive. The victim was transported to Inova Fairfax Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. [Twitter]
Benjamin Banneker Park to Expand — At its Saturday meeting, the Arlington County Board approved the purchase of a 8,375 square foot lot and home adjacent to Benjamin Banneker Park in East Fall Church. The $688,710 purchase will allow the park to expand, following the deconstruction of the house. [Arlington County]
James Hunter Park Cost Infographic — What caused the James Hunter dog park in Clarendon to cost so much? Washingtonian has created an interactive graphic that details some of the park’s features and their price tag. [Washingtonian]
Condo Parking Space Kerfuffle — At Saturday’s County Board meeting, the last item of the day, before the Board adjourned early due to the snowstorm, was a site plan amendment for the Virginia Square Condominiums building. The site plan amendment was proposed by the condo association to try to ameliorate a dispute over the size of two parking spaces. ARLnow.com live tweeted the absurdist theater that followed. [Storify]
Flickr pool photo by J. Peterson
(Update at 6:25 p.m.) A new, mixed-use development is in the works for the western end of Columbia Pike.
Pillars Development Group, which built The Berkeley condominium in Ballston, is planning on constructing 78 condominiums and 8,000-square feet of ground floor retail at 4707 Columbia Pike, next to S. Buchanan Street, in the location of the now-closed El Tutumaso Bolivian restaurant.
That restaurant — previously home to a second location of Bob and Edith’s Diner and Sauca, which closed within a year of opening in 2012 — will be bulldozed for the incoming development. Pillars has applied for its first building permit on the site, and Operations Director Marwan Shahin told ARLnow.com today that the company hopes to start digging in May or June.
“We’re hoping we can start having people living in the building 18 to 24 months after that,” Shahin said.
The retail space does not have a prospective occupant yet, but Shahin said the company is looking to sell, not lease, that space to whoever wants to open a business in the first floor. The retail would front onto Columbia Pike and the residential entrance would be off of S. Buchanan Street.
Shahin said there will be a combination of underground and surface parking. The building will be developed (and has been approved) under the Columbia Pike Form-Based Code for commercial districts, which allows some projects to be approved without a hearing before the Arlington County Board.
The AKA Virginia Square extended stay hotel is undergoing a conversion into a condominium building and plans to open this fall.
The building, at 3409 Wilson Blvd, was purchased by Bethesda-based The Goldstar Group. The company has rebranded the building as Arc 3409, saying it will featuer “luxury condos.” The sale went through this spring, and by May the hotel was no longer taking reservations as it prepared to close.
Goldstar Senior Vice President Eric May said the company plans to open the building in mid-September, and to start sending out information about asking prices and individual units later this summer. May said the prices for the 85 units in the building have yet to be determined.
The renovations, May said, include replacing floors, kitchens and re-fitting the units. No structural work needed to be done, he said, because the building, built in 2008, was originally intended to be condominiums before it was sold to become, essentially, a short-term rental apartment building.
“The building itself is very different from Arlington standard,” May said. “It’s not brick box. It’s got angles, curves, glass and it’s a cool building. The units themselves are cool units, some of them have floor-to-ceiling glass and most of them have balconies. It’s more of cutting-edge D.C. design than you typically see in Arlington.”
The building is two blocks from the Virginia Square Metro station, but the location and the appeal of the unusual building were just part of the equation for Goldstar’s purchase.
“There is a huge lack of supply of new or any condos in Arlington right now,” May said. “There’s very little to no new product, so we saw an opportunity to bring to market effectively new condominiums at prices that are going to be competitive.”
The building was sold recently, according to an AKA employee, and the hotel is no longer taking reservations as it prepares to close.
Attempts to reach AKA representatives who could further discuss the sale were unsuccessful. The hotel was constructed within the last 10 years and, we’re told, it was originally intended to be a condominium building. So far, there’s no word on when the building will re-open or start selling units.
Photo via AKA
(Updated at 4:55 p.m.) A construction worker has suffered serious injuries from a four-story fall off a roof in the Buckingham neighborhood.
The incident happened just before 4:00 p.m. on the 400 block of N. George Mason Drive. According to initial reports, the man fell from the roof of an under-construction, four-story condominium building onto a concrete surface below. The construction is for new townhouses in the Ballston Row development.
The victim was at least initially conscious and talking to those who came to his aid, but was bleeding from the head, according to scanner traffic. His injuries are described as life-threatening. He’s being transported via ambulance to the trauma center at George Washington University Hospital.
State occupational safety inspectors are being requested to investigate the incident.
(Updated at 3:10 p.m.) The leasing center at the new Avery Row (1200 N. Rolfe Street) apartment complex opened for business yesterday (December 9).
Potential residents can now tour the four story, 67-unit building in the Radnor/Ft. Myer Heights neighborhood. The “boutique apartment community” features one and two bedroom apartments, balconies, rooftop terraces and an outdoor dining area.
“We give you a lot of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors, a lot of outdoor areas to appreciate nature,” said Shelley Brooks, Regional Portfolio Manager for Bozzuto Management Company. “It’s a very special community. It’s modern, yet elegant. I think they’ll go very quickly.”
The complex had previously been known as “Grayson Flats” and was intended to be marketed as apartment rentals. But Reston-based Silverwood Companies announced its purchase of the property in April and repositioned it as a condominium building, while also changing the name to “The Avery.” The property was recently repositioned again as the Avery Row apartments; it is still owned by Silverwood and Bozzuto Management Company currently oversees the property.
Brooks explained that The Avery opened for condo sales in early June and interest rates increased less than three weeks later, stopping interest in the condos. Silverwood reassessed the market and determined apartments were a better option, especially given what it calls a lack of large, luxury units in the area.
The apartments are ready for immediate move-in. So far, one apartment has been leased and there are 66 others available. Monthly rental prices range from $2,345 for a one bedroom to more than $3,430 for a two bedroom with den.
A high profile property has gone on the market near Rosslyn. Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green has put his condo up for sale.
The loft style condo in the Radnor/Ft. Myer Heights neighborhood is at 1615 Queen Street N. and has a full listing in the ARLnow.com real estate section. The two bedroom, 2.5 bathroom property has 2,041 square feet and lists an asking price of $1,595,000.
There are two master suites, a wine room, a two-story veranda and parking for two cars. The seller recently spent $300,000 in upgrades for the condo.
According to the listing, the buyer will “also get bragging rights.” Interested buyers can contact Casey Margenau with Re/max Distinctive Real Estate, Inc. at 703-821-1840.
Anyone thinking they can stop in to try getting a glimpse of Green should think again. According to the Washington Post, Green has already bought another home and moved out.
The site in question currently houses a one-story bank building and a two-story office building with surface parking. There is a request to rezone the land at 3601-3625 N. Fairfax Drive from commercial to residential in order to move ahead with the proposed Latitude Apartments project. The 12-story building would contain 256 residential units and 5,600 square feet of ground floor retail space along Fairfax Drive.
Some Monroe residents believe the plan is progressing without adequate community input. They claim the project directly violates the Virginia Square Sector Plan, which calls for a commercial building on the site. In a written statement, the condo association’s board of directors asked the County Board to reject Latitude’s site plan application.
In response to the association’s complaints and request for county action, Helen Duong with the Arlington County Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development said, “We’re still evaluating the proposal and will be developing a recommendation in the near future.”
The Monroe board’s written statement called the Latitude plan “ill conceived.” It also says the project would “have a disastrous effect on the Virginia Square Community,” by upsetting the desired residential-commercial balance, creating a street parking burden and overwhelming the Virginia Square Metro station.
Monroe board officials will hold a public forum at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 19, in the condo building’s community room. All Virginia Square residents are encouraged to attend the meeting to receive more information about the Latitude Apartments project and to express their views.
A small section of fence is prompting a big stink at the River Place condominium complex (1011 Arlington Blvd) in Rosslyn.
The fence was put in place at some point this spring to block a paved pathway that served as a shortcut for those walking to and from the complex. The pathway leads to a parking lot used by TV station WJLA, which residents use to access a marked crosswalk that leads to the complex.
According to a Facebook page set up by a resident who opposes it, the fence was erected — or, more precisely, an opening in an existing fence was closed — by property owner Monday Properties due to safety concerns.
“An individual listening with headphones was allegedly ‘almost backed over’ by a WJLA news van,” a Facebook post said. “Monday Properties (MP) owns the lot and leases it to WJLA-TV. Obviously with liability in mind, MP closed the opening in the fence and chained the side entrance to the lot.”
Even though residents could just walk five yards out of their way to get around the fence altogether, Omar Baddar, who is helping to organize opposition to the fence, argues that that’s not a viable option.
“It’s not an acceptable alternative because there is no walkway there,” Baddar said in an email. “We’re forced to walk over mulch and then directly in between parked cars, which is an inconvenience, particularly to people with baby strollers or carts of any kind.”
“It is… obviously inconsiderate to block a pedestrian path and tell the hundreds of people who use it ‘why don’t you just walk over the mulch?'” Baddar continued. “Blocking a pedestrian entrance that has existed for decades without consultation with the residents who use it is simply not defensible.”
Baddar says he has collected more than 200 signatures — more than 10 percent of the River Place population — for an anti-fence petition.
Another option for pedestrian access to the apartment complex is walking down the N. Lynn Street sidewalk to the vehicle entrance for River Place. That adds travel time and another resident we talked to said it’s potentially dangerous at night due to poor lighting.
Tim Helmig, Executive Vice President at Monday Properties, says the fence was necessary to keep pedestrians from accessing the parking lot.
“What we have to focus on is keeping pedestrians safe,” he said. “What we noticed is that that parking lot is used by vehicles to pull in and out. It’s just not a safe place for pedestrians to walk.”
Helmig continued: “What we’ve encouraged pedestrians to do is utilize the sidewalk to access River Place. The sidewalk is there to provide a safe passageway, as opposed to cutting through that parking lot, which has a lot of traffic and has the potential to create a dangerous condition.”
No changes to the fence are planned, Helmig said.
Opponents, meanwhile, are not done fighting. Last week, a message on the River Place North building email listserv encouraged residents to call Monday Properties and sign the petition. It also called for those with legal backgrounds to help out with a pending legal challenge to the fence.
The new “Grayson Flats” rental apartment building, at 1200 N. Rolfe Street in Radnor/Fort Myer Heights, has been purchased by a local developer and is being re-positioned as a condominium building called “The Avery.”
Reston-based Silverwood Companies announced today that it has purchased the 67-unit building, which was originally planned as a condominium, before being converted to rentals. Now, the building is back to condos.
“There is considerable demand for new condominiums, and with interest rates at historic lows, we see real opportunity,” said Mark Silverwood of Silverwood Associates, in a press release. “The building was designed as a condominium with large floor plans and an array of impressive amenities.”
“This will be exceptional new offering into a condominium market with virtually no inventory, and — most importantly — will be available for occupancy this summer,” said David Mayhood of The Mayhood Company. “The timing could not be better.”
The Avery features one- and two- and two-bedroom-plus den condos up to 1,750 square feet. Prices start in the mid-$400,000’s.
Building construction was completed in March and sales will start in May, with the first move-ins expected at some point this summer. The condo conversion took place before any of the units were leased, according to a spokeswoman.
More about the building, from the press release:
Situated in a park-like setting adjacent to Fort Myer, The Avery enjoys a highly convenient location just an eight-minute walk to the Courthouse Metro station. Residents will enjoy easy access to Routes 50 and 66, the George Washington Parkway, and to the shops, restaurants, culture and nightlife of both the District and Arlington. Georgetown and the Kennedy Center, just two miles away, can be reached easily by car, public transportation, or on local bicycle trails.
Almost 90 percent of The Avery’s homes have private outdoor spaces – some up to 300 square feet – including large patios, balconies, and individual rooftop terraces. The floor plans feature open entertaining areas, gourmet kitchens with large granite- topped islands, and wide plank flooring. Especially impressive is the abundance of closets, built-in shelving, and in-unit storage space. Individual condominiums, with ceiling heights up to ten feet, range from 750 SF to 1,750 SF, and most feature powder rooms. Some 40 percent of the homes offer private dens that are perfect for home office or guest room use.
The Avery’s stylish amenities include an elegant entrance lobby with a staffed front desk, The Avery Club Room opening onto a large outside terrace with landscaping, seating, and cooking station, and a residents’ rooftop terrace. The fitness center offers both strength training and cardio equipment with IPod docks. Garage parking, bike storage, and individual storage spaces also are available.
Construction is underway on two residential buildings near the Courthouse Metro station.
“19Nineteen Clarendon” is a new 200-unit luxury apartment building that, despite the latter half of its name, will be located at 1900 Wilson Blvd in the Courthouse area. It replaces what was formerly a Hollywood Video store and a small office building.
The new building’s ground floor in now in place and the remainder of the structure’s five stories will soon follow. According to the 19Nineteen Clarendon web site, the building is expected to open this summer.
Just up the street, on the same “superblock,” a construction pit marks the future location of “2001 Clarendon.” Also known as “Washington View,” the project features 154 residential units — planned as condos — and 32,840 square feet of retail space.
As part of the project, the developer will construct an extension of N. Troy Street between Clarendon and Wilson Boulevards, thus breaking up the superblock between Courthouse Road and Rhodes Street.
Question: I would like to buy a new home in Arlington. I’ve seen quite a bit of construction, can you tell me what is going to be available by end of year?
I’m happy to do so. Below are brief introductions to the various new construction projects that currently have homes available for move-in before 2013.
Turnberry Towers is located in Rosslyn at 1881 N. Nash Street. This is the most luxurious addition to the condo market in Arlington. Imagine living in a 5-star hotel with valet service, doorman, a grand lobby, indoor pool and every amenity you can wish for. The homes are larger than your average condo in Arlington and come “decorator ready” so that you can pick out your own flooring and wall coverings. All other premium finishes are included. Turnberry Towers is at the tail end of sales with only 11 homes remaining. Prices range from $825,000 to $4,350,000.
Gaslight Square is located between Rosslyn and Courthouse at 1700 Clarendon Boulevard. Gaslight Square is selling in three phases. The first phase is complete, models are available to see and residents have begun moving in. This is the same builder as Wooster & Mercer Lofts, located next door. Gaslight is a little more refined and includes private elevator access to all upper level units. Every home includes outdoor space ranging from grand rooftop terraces to modest balconies. Prices range from $769,900 to over $1,400,000.
Lyon Pointe is located in Lyon Village within walking distance of Clarendon metro station. The address is 2702 Lee Highway. This is a true boutique building with only eight homes total (two per floor). Like Gaslight Square, the building offers private elevator access where the elevator opens directly into your home. The finishes are top notch. The penthouse units come with huge rooftop terraces and the ground floor includes sizable garden patios. Though the building is located on Lee Hwy., the high quality windows buffer most of the noise and there is decent separation between the building and the road. Construction of Lyon Pointe is still underway, but sales have begun. Prices range from $699,900 to $829,900.
Dominion Heights is located in Cherrydale at 2702 Lee Highway. Unlike the others, this is not within what most people would consider walking distance to the Orange Line. Cherrydale does have its own share of shops, restaurants and charm. The building is targeting LEED Gold certification so homeowners can expect low utility bills and improved comfort. Standard finishes include hardwood flooring, gas cooking with stainless steel appliances, and granite counters in the bathrooms & kitchens. Prices range from $312,500 to $716,000.
The Court at Lyon Village is located in Lyon Village at the intersection of Lee Hwy. and Veitch. They are about three blocks north of Courthouse metro station. 13 new townhomes are being constructed. Each townhouse includes outdoor space perfect for entertaining, gardening and grilling; on lots that range up to 3053 square feet. Each home also includes a 2-car garage. Another bonus is the view that comes with some of the homes. The Court at Lyon Village sits on hill with views that reach parts of McLean, Georgetown and the National Cathedral. Currently there are two townhomes left, priced at $950,000 and $1,100,000.
Cathedral View is located adjacent to Washington Golf and Country Club. I have not been in these homes, but the photos are truly extraordinary. They include elevators, four finished levels, three car garages, slate roofs, views of the National Cathedral (hence the name), and size & finishes to rival the premiere single family homes in North Arlington. There are four homes still available starting at $4,295,000.
Arlington Single Family Houses:
The Enclave of Ballston is located on the outskirts of Ballston off of Carlin Springs Road. There are a total of 10 lots. Each home includes three finished levels, two car garage, professionally landscaped and fenced yards, dual zone gas heat and high end finishes. The exteriors are stone and cement composite siding. Depending on the lot you chose, you may be able to select the homestyle and finishes. Only five lots are currently available and prices from $1,300,000 to $1,500,000.
There are a number of custom and spec homes being built throughout Arlington that I’m happy to provide you a list of if you would like. Just send me an email: [email protected]
*All pricing and descriptions are deemed reliable but not guaranteed.
Arlington, Alexandria Compete for Federal Funds — Alexandria’s planned transit corridor along Route 1 is competing with Arlington’s proposed Columbia Pike streetcar for a limited pool of federal transporation funds. Meanwhile, Alexandria officials are still upset that Arlington declined to help pay for a study that could have helped Alexandria obtain federal funding for the Route 1 transit project, which the two jurisdictions have been otherwise cooperating on. [Connection Newspapers]
Democratic School Board Slate Set — Incumbent Emma Violand-Sanchez and political newcomer Noah Simon have received the Democratic endorsement for Arlington County School Board, all but guaranteeing their election in November. [Sun Gazette]
Condo Building Sells Out in Weeks — A new condo building at 1221 N. Quinn Street, in the Radnor/Fort Myer Heights neighborhood, sold out of all 13 units in just a matter of weeks this past winter. [CityBiz List]
It’s National Barbecue Month, and as the weather warms up, more people are firing up the grills. But before getting caught up in grilling, it might be a good idea to make sure you’re familiar with the Arlington County fire code.
According to Arlington County Fire Department spokesman Captain Gregg Karl, problems can arise with people in multi-unit residences, such as condos and high rise apartments, who may not even realize they’re violating the code.
No grills, combustible devices or open flame cooking devices are to be used or stored on balconies and rooftops. Fire pits and similar types of warming devices are also banned. Electric devices without an open flame are acceptable.
Most standalone homes and townhouses with ground level patios are exempted from the rules. However, the fire department still recommends trying to keep the device 15 feet away from the building, or as far as space allows.
“You do still have the potential for a fire if something goes wrong with the grill,” Karl said. “We want people to be aware of where they’re putting the grill and the potential dangers.”
Landlords are supposed to inform tenants, in writing, of all the fire code regulations upon move-in and lease renewal. After that, tenants are responsible for following the regulations.
Those who are found to be in violation of the code will be issued a notice and given the opportunity to remove the offending items. Failure to correct the violation could result in a citation and fine.
Karl encourages people with questions about the rules to call the Arlington County Fire Prevention Office at 703-228-4644.