68°Mostly Cloudy

by ARLnow.com — October 7, 2014 at 9:00 am 1,122 0

Football practice equipment at Washington-Lee HS (Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman)

Buses to Use I-66 Shoulder – Buses will be allowed to use the shoulder lane on I-66 inside the Beltway during heavy traffic, starting next month. VDOT is launching the program as a way to relieve some congestion and improve the on-time performance of bus routes that utilize the traffic-choked corridor. [Washington Post]

Parkmobile Now Available in Courthouse, Rosslyn — Arlington County has completed the implementation of the Parkmobile parking payment system for the Courthouse and Rosslyn neighborhoods, ahead of schedule. [Twitter]

KickStarter Launches for ‘Wearable’ Project — A Kickstarter fundraising campaign has started for a local startup company featured on ARLnow.com last month. OnYou is planning to produce a wearable compression sleeve and carbon case for smartphones. Worn primarily during workouts, the product uses powerful magnets to attach the phone and case to the sleeve. The product was designed by a former professional poker player and prototyped here in Arlington. [Kickstarter]

Elliot in the Morning Halloween Bash Returns — DC 101′s Elliot in the Morning will be back in Arlington for the show’s annual Halloween bash. The costume party will be held starting at 8:00 p.m. on Halloween — Friday, Oct. 31 — at Clarendon Ballroom. A $3,000 grand prize is being offered for best costume. [Clarendon Nights]

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

by ARLnow.com — September 19, 2014 at 9:15 am 1,274 0

Taxis queued up at Reagan National Airport

‘Pups and Pilsners’ Photo Contest — Want to sample some brews and make your pet famous? Head on over to Crystal City’s Pups and Pilsners event from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, snap a photo of your pooch and tweet it to us and our sponsors, @CCBID and @BeckysPetCare. Pups and Pilsners is a free dog-friendly event featuring a massive beer garden and food from local restaurants. [Crystal City BID]

Planners: Bank Shortchanges Courthouse — The office building slated to replace the Wendy’s in Courthouse will have a Wells Fargo bank prominently located on the ground floor, and Arlington planners don’t like it. County staff says the bank use is “not appropriate” and should be at least moved so that a more active retail use can occupy half of the plaza area. Developer Carr Properties says the bank must stay, since Wells Fargo owns the land under the existing bank that will be torn down for the project. [Washington Business Journal]

Vihstadt Out-Raises Howze — Incumbent, independent County Board candidate John Vihstadt is out-raising his Democratic opponent, Alan Howze. Vihstadt raised $31,367 in July and August, compared to $20,607 raised by Howze. Vihstadt recently reported $58,746 cash on hand while Howze reported $16,906. [Washington Post]

Fugazi to Release ‘Lost Album’ — Fugazi is planing to release a “lost album” of 11 songs recorded in 1988. The legendary local rockers recorded the songs on the album, First Demo, at Inner Ear Studio in Arlington. [Spin]

Road Closures for Clarendon Art Fest — Parts of Washington Blvd, Clarendon Blvd, and N. Highland Street will be closed Saturday and Sunday for the 2nd Annual Arlington Festival of the Arts. “Over 100 artists will showcase their works including glass, mixed media, paintings, jewelry, and pottery; providing all sorts of opportunities to appreciate — and purchase — art,” according to the festival’s website. [Arlington County, ArtFestival]

by ARLnow.com — September 18, 2014 at 3:30 pm 4,458 0

Police car lightsAn early morning birthday party took a turn for the worse Sunday, when a fight broke out and a guy was struck in the head with a bottle.

The fight took place in a hotel in Courthouse, two blocks from Arlington County Police headquarters.

From this week’s Arlington crime report:

MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 140914015, 1200 block of N. Courthouse Road. At 5:30 am on September 14, a physical altercation broke out at a birthday party in a hotel room between intoxicated subjects. The dispute continued outside where police encountered several subjects attempting to flee. A male victim sustained a laceration after being struck in the head with a bottle. Celina Berrios, 21, of Lorton, VA, was arrested and charged with malicious wounding. She was held without bond.

Meanwhile, in the Nauck neighborhood on Saturday, a man suspected of domestic violence bit a police officer several times and tried to disarm another, according to police.

MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 140913040, 2400 block of S. Lowell Street. At 2:30 pm on September 13, officers responded to a residence for a suspect in a domestic assault incident. The subject attempted to flee through a rear door and was confronted by police. The subject struck and bit the officer several times. He also assaulted and attempted to disarm a second officer as he was being taken into custody. Mark Wanzer, 24, of Arlington, VA, was arrested and charged with malicious wounding of a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest, providing false information to avoid prosecution, assault & battery of a law enforcement and attempting to disarm an officer. The suspect also had an outstanding warrant out of Fairfax County. He was held without bond.

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

(more…)

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — September 17, 2014 at 2:30 pm 1,174 0

Fire Works 20s Party flyerFire Works Pizza in Courthouse (2350 Clarendon Blvd.) is launching a new cocktail menu, and will hold a “Roaring ’20s” party next week to celebrate.

Perhaps best known for its pizza and beer, Fire Works is tackling what it sees as an underrepresented market — artisanal cocktails. The new cocktail menu (below) offers modern takes on classic cocktails like the sidecar, the old fashioned and the gin and tonic.

“The inspiration for the cocktail menu is simple… classic cocktails that seem familiar but are reimagined for contemporary times,” Fire Works mixologist Jason Silerto said. “Twists on an old favorite that will have you curious enough to want to try something new, yet recognizable enough so you sort of know what’s in store.”

“Seasonal ingredients are always key to a successful menu,” Silerto continued. “Lighter, more quaffable drinks may dominate a summer list, whereas heavier, throat-warming concoctions feel more apropos come the cooler months.”

Fire Works will hold a Roaring ’20s party next Wednesday, Sept. 24, at 6:00 p.m., to celebrate the cocktail menu launch. The restaurant will serve complimentary hors d’oeuvres from 6:00 to 7:30. A special price for the new cocktails will be in effect from 6:00 to 9:00.

The event is open to the public and attendees are encouraged to dress as “flappers and dapper gentlemen.” You’ll know you’re in the right place when you see the red carpet and rope line and hear the live jazz band. You might also see the well-dressed crowd at the photo booth inside.

The new cocktail menu features the following:

  • Peach-Habanero Manhattan (peach-habanero-infused Makers Mark / sweet vermouth / gin barrel-aged orange bitters)
  • Rosewater Negroni (Boodles Gin / Campari / sweet vermouth / rosewater)
  • Watershed G&T (Catoctin Creek Watershed Gin / house-made orange and fennel Tonic / club soda / cucumber slices / celery bitters / fresh-ground pepper garnish)
  • Calm Before the Storm (Goslings Black Seal Rum / Cointreau / fresh lime juice / Maine Ginger Brew)
  • Let it Slidecar (Flor de Cana Rum / Remy VSOP / Cointreau / fresh grapefruit juice / basil leaf / basil sugar rim)
  • Jasmine Tea & Elderflower Gin Rickey (Plymouth Gin / St. Germaine Elderflower Liqueur / jasmine tea simple syrup / fresh lime juice / club soda)
  • Old Sappy Fashioned (Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye Whiskey / maple syrup / Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters / orange slice / cherry)
  • Mediterranean Bloody Mary (Bakon Vodka / Mediterranean Bloody Mary mix)
  • Peruvian 75 (Macchu Pisco / St Germaine Liqueur / blackberry brandy / Brut Champagne)
  • Unprovincial (Ketel One Orange / creme de violette / white cranberry juice / lemon juice / cherry juice)
  • Ward 2.0 (rye whiskey / orange juice / fresh lemon juice / house-made rosewater grenadine)

by ARLnow.com — September 17, 2014 at 10:30 am 1,502 0

Handball at Barcroft Sports Center (Flickr pool photo by Highmuckmuck)

Fmr. Arlington Man Pleads Guilty to Murder — Lamont Deshawn Terry, a 39-year-old former Arlington resident, has pleaded guilty to the 1992 fatal shooting of a D.C. man at Hains Point. Terry had driven from Arlington to D.C. with plans to commit a robbery when he encountered victim Chet Hunter Matthews and his girlfriend in a parked car. [Washington Post]

Heritage Center in Courthouse? – An Arlington Heritage Center, hosting exhibits about Arlington’s history and cultural heritage, could eventually be built in Courthouse. Officials are looking at the redeveloped Courthouse Square area as a potential site for the long-sought center. A heritage center on Columbia Pike, which had been discussed previously, is apparently no longer being considered. [InsideNova]

Crystal City McDonald’s Lease Sells for Millions — A ground lease for the Crystal City McDonald’s, at 2620 Jefferson Davis Highway, has been sold for $7.35 million, a possible record. The McDonald’s, which pays around $300,000 per year to lease the land, is expected to remain there through 2026. [Washington Business Journal]

ACFD’s 9/11 Response — Last Thursday, Arlington County fire chief James Schwartz recounted the department’s response to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the Pentagon. Arlington was uniquely prepared for the unfathomable attack, thanks to its location and response to other major disasters like the 1982 Air Florida crash, Schwartz said. He also lauded Arlington’s role in the evidence gathering effort, which included finding the terrorists’ drivers’ licenses. [Falls Church News-Press]

WJLA Takes Right Turn Under New Ownership — Rosslyn-based WJLA (ABC 7) has taken a rightward turn following its purchase by Sinclair Broadcast Group. The station now airs conservative commentary, critical of President Obama and “government waste,” during its newscasts. It has also fired much of its longtime management team. [Washington Post]

Flickr pool photo by Highmuckmuck

by ARLnow.com — September 16, 2014 at 5:05 pm 11,762 0

Brooke Chrzan (left, via ACPD) and the Meridian apartment complex (right, via Facebook)

The concierge at a Courthouse apartment building has been arrested and charged with stealing booze from residents’ apartments.

The alleged theft happened at the Meridian at Courthouse Commons apartment complex, at 1401 N. Taft Street. Police say the front desk concierge, 27-year-old Brooke Chrzan of Bethesda, admitted to breaking in to numerous apartments and drinking residents’ liquor.

Chrzan was arrested Monday morning after she was allegedly caught on a home security camera using a master key to enter an apartment and have a swig of alcohol inside. The residents of the apartment had purchased and set up the camera after they noticed “quite a bit” of liquor missing when coming home from work one day.

Residents of other apartments had also been complaining about a potential booze thief.

“There were numerous bottles that were mysteriously getting lower and lower in their level of alcohol,” said Arlington County Police Department spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. “[Chrzan] admitted to police to entering multiple residences over a period of time.”

Chrzan has been charged with burglary and released on bond.

It was about a year ago that the Meridian building was in the news for another series of break-ins. In September 2013, a man broke into at least three apartments and rubbed the arms of women at they slept.

by Ethan Rothstein — September 16, 2014 at 11:00 am 3,106 0

Courthouse Arts & Craft Beer Festival flyerA new festival will bring craft beer, art vendors and music to the surface parking lot in Courthouse next month.

The Arts & Craft Beer Festival is planned for Sunday, Oct. 12 from noon to 7:00 p.m. in the lot along N. Courthouse Road, next to the Arlington County Justice Center. The festival will cost $10 for general admission and $35 for admission with 12 tasting tickets and a 5.5-ounce tasting glass. Beer tickets can be purchased online.

The festival will have two beer stations. Six Virginia breweries will serve their suds at the first station, called the Electric Stage Beer Pavilion: Lost Rhino, Williamsburg Alewerks, Wild Wolf, Crooked Run Brewing Company, Port City and Champion Brewing Company. These companies will offer two tastings apiece and compete in four categories. Awards will be given out for most-consumed beer, best dark beer, best “not so dark” beer and people’s choice brewery. The Electric Stage will feature eight musical acts throughout the day, including Derek Every and His Misanthropes, The Caribbean and The Raised By Wolves.

The other beer station, called the Acoustic Stage Beer Gardens, will feature national craft brewers not eligible for the competition, according to event organizer the Clarendon Alliance. The gardens will also be where artists perform on the acoustic and songwriter stages. Nine artists are performing on the acoustic stage, and 11 artists will grace the songwriter stage.

A total of 24 artists and vendors will sell their wares from tents.

These incredible Artist-Makers will create and sell everything from clothing to art, jewelry and items of wood, clay and whimsy. You will find things as yet undiscovered and collectible for the taking,” the event’s website says.

Once expenses for the festival are recouped, the Alliance said, proceeds will benefit Songwriters and Poets, which coordinated the music acts, Arlington Independent Media and the Clarendon Alliance. The Alliance hopes to make the festival an annual event on the Sunday of Columbus Day weekend.

by Ethan Rothstein — September 10, 2014 at 1:35 pm 5,100 0

ZIP code map (image via City-Data)(Updated at 2:25 p.m.) Arlington’s 22201 ZIP code, which contains Clarendon, Courthouse Virginia Square and part of Ballston, is the top area for “educated millennials” in the country, according to a new report.

Redfin, a real estate firm, released a study that found 22201 has the highest percentage educated people between the ages of 25 and 34 in the country, at 44 percent. Just behind 22201 is the 22209 ZIP code, which comprises all of Rosslyn and Ft. Myer Heights, with 43 percent.

In addition to sporting the most millennials per capita of any ZIP code in the country, Arlington also has by far the highest median income of any of the top 25 millennial-dense neighborhoods, according to Redfin’s data. 22201 is first at $110,300, 22203 — 16th in density at 30 percent — is second at $100,900. The 22206 ZIP code, which includes Shirlington, is 14th in density at 32 percent and third in income at $95,000, while 22209 is fourth in income at $94,100.

Two ZIP codes in Chicago trail immediately behind Arlington in terms of millennials per capita, with a Miami ZIP code ranked fifth. Washington, D.C.’s 20009 (Columbia Heights and Adams Morgan) is seventh in the country and 20008 (Woodley Park, Cleveland Park and north of Dupont Circle) is 18th.

Redfin’s report looks at the common attributes of millennial ZIPs,” said Redfin’s Alina Ptaszynski. “Not surprisingly they are diverse, urban areas that are expensive places to live and buy a home.”

In addition to having the highest percentage of — and arguably the richest — millennials in the nation, Clarendon was named the D.C. area’s “best neighborhood for millennials” earlier this year by Niche.com.

Unsurprisingly, Redfin found that millennials across the U.S. have a lower rate of home ownership than the population as a whole — 42 percent for millennials compared to 65 of the overall population.

Image via City-Data

by ARLnow.com — August 29, 2014 at 9:45 am 824 0

Rosslyn as seen from the air, at night (Photo courtesy @kennethpiner)

County Offices Closed for Labor Day – Arlington County government offices will be closed Monday for Labor Day. Pools and ART buses will operate on a holiday schedule. Trash collection will proceed as normal, but mulch delivery will be suspended. Parking meters will not be enforced. [Arlington County]

Last Outdoor Films of the Season – Rosslyn will be hosting its last outdoor film of the summer tonight. “Horrible Bosses” is slated to run from 8:00-10:00 p.m. at Gateway Park (1300 Lee Highway). The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization, meanwhile, gets the honor of hosting Arlington’s last outdoor film of the summer. “Gravity” will be shown at Penrose Square (2503 Columbia Pike) Saturday starting around 7:30 p.m. [Rosslyn BID, CPRO]

Courthouse: ‘A Hot Spot Getting Hotter’ — Courthouse “is on the cusp of being reinvented” says a county planner. Its walkability, abundance of retail and park proximity have all helped to contribute to its increasing desirability among homebuyers. [Washington Post]

Arlington GOP Adopts Local Platform — Billed as its “first local platform,” the Arlington County Republican Committee approved a set of five guiding principles Wednesday. [InsideNova]

Photo courtesy Kenneth Edward Piner

by Ethan Rothstein — August 20, 2014 at 1:15 pm 2,143 0

Arlington County's courthouse and police headquarters

Update at 3:20 p.m. – The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a stay in the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling striking down Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage. Arlington will not be able to grant marriage licenses unless the Supreme Court either declines to take further action or considers and then upholds the ruling.

Update at 4:40 p.m. — Paul Ferguson has issued a statement: “I am disappointed with the Supreme Court’s decision but remain hopeful that the Fourth Circuit’s ruling will ultimately be upheld. Our office will be prepared to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples whenever that time comes.”

Earlier: Arlington officials are preparing to issue what could be the state’s first same sex marriage licenses tomorrow (Thursday).

Unless a stay is issued by the U.S. Supreme Court, Arlington Clerk of the Circuit Court Paul Ferguson says he will start taking applications and issuing licenses to same sex couples at 8:00 a.m.

The applications will be taken on the 6th floor of the Arlington County Courthouse (1425 N. Courthouse Road), but in light of the fact that cameras are not allowed inside the courthouse, Ferguson will also administer oaths outside.

“Since cameras are not allowed, I will administer oaths to those couples who want to be filmed/interviewed outside of the courthouse,” Ferguson told ARLnow.com today. “Also, there will be ministers and civil celebrants outside the courthouse ready to perform marriages for those who would like to get married immediately after receiving the license.”

Arlington County is expecting a large media presence for the event. From 7:30 to 9:00 a.m., the police department is planning to shut down N. Courthouse Road between 14th and 15th Streets to allow for television truck parking.

Arlington will not be joined tomorrow by Arlington’s neighbor Fairfax County, whose clerk, John T. Frey, told RestonNow.com that he would not issue same sex marriage licenses until the court case was “a done deal.” If no stay is ordered, Ferguson said he’s not sure how big of a crowd to expect in his office tomorrow.

“We have redeployed staff from other sections of the office and will do our best to serve people as promptly as possible,” he said. “It is hard to estimate how many couples might request licenses. We have an overflow room for people to wait that is comfortable. I am guessing it will be a festive atmosphere with couples visiting with other couples who are waiting.”

Despite the planning, there’s a chance it could all be for naught, at least for a while.

Following the ruling of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals last week that same sex marriages could begin first thing Thursday morning, state Attorney General Mark Herring requested a stay from the U.S. Supreme Court until it rules fully on the case to strike down the state’s constitutional amendment ban on same sex marriage.

“A stay is warranted,” Herring said in a press release, “in light of the negative impact on Virginia children, families, and businesses if the Supreme Court eventually rules against marriage equality and forces an unwinding of Virginians’ marriages, adoptions, inheritances, or workplace benefits.”

Chief Justice John Roberts has yet to issue a decision.

Arlington County Board Chairman Jay Fisette married his longtime partner, Bob Rosen, last fall, and told ARLnow.com from his office last week that even he was stunned with how quickly the momentum toward legal same sex marriages has grown.

“The pace of this evolution has been remarkable and rewarding,” Fisette said. “In my view, it’s just a matter of time. There’s now an inevitability around marriage equality, as there should be.”

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — August 14, 2014 at 5:00 am 749 0

Tellus Apartments, at 2009 14th Street North in Courthouse, is now open for tours and leasing.

The stylish new apartments were on display for the first time during the grand opening this past Saturday (August 9). The sophisticated and modern units have the finest touches and come in many sizes to suit your needs: studio, 1 bedroom, 1 bedroom with den, 2 bedrooms and 2 bedrooms with den.

There are countless perks to living at Tellus Apartments. Some of the amenities include:

  • Top-of-the-line rooftop pool
  • Lush roof terraces
  • Fitness center with yoga studio
  • Expansive park with fire pit
  • High-tech business center

Sustainability is at the forefront of operations at the apartment building. It is LEED Gold certified and features energy efficient heating and cooling systems, water conserving faucets and fixtures, rainwater recycling and Energy Star rated in-unit appliances. Even the name is inspired by a green theme — Tellus is the ancient Roman earth goddess.  

All of these amenities are available within easy walking distance of some of Arlington’s best shops, restaurants and bars. In keeping with the Tellus Apartments goal of environmental friendliness, the prime location is just steps from Metro’s Orange and Silver lines in Courthouse.

Stop by for a look at what Tellus Apartments can offer. Through this weekend, if you decide Tellus Apartments is where you want to call home, you can get 1.5 months free rent.

For more information, call 866-311-0350 or go online to request more information. You also can follow Tellus on Facebook and on Twitter.

by Ethan Rothstein — July 31, 2014 at 3:30 pm 1,493 0

The site of a possible new ABC store in Courthouse The site of a possible new ABC store in Courthouse

A Virginia ABC store may be coming to the Courthouse area.

The state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control is negotiating a lease for a liquor store in the new 1919 Clarendon Blvd building, an ABC official confirmed. That’s a block away from the Colonial Village Shopping Center, where another ABC store closed last year.

ABC has applied for a construction permit for the space, but it has yet to be approved.

The store, if it does finalize its lease, would move into the new building alongside Lucky Pot Asian restaurant, Oasis Nail salon — both under construction — and European Wax Center, which is already open. Also moving into the building, according to Elevation DC, is a location of H Street NE Lebanese eatery Shawafel, which also has a booth at Nationals Park.

Shawafel, owner Alberto Sissi told Elevation, plans to have two counters — one for its savory food items and one for sweets — along with a fresh juice station.

by Ethan Rothstein — July 30, 2014 at 1:15 pm 3,338 0

Tupelo Honey Cafe, a North Carolina-based restaurant chain, is looking to move into the new apartment building at 2001 Clarendon Blvd in the Courthouse area.

Representatives from the restaurant and the building’s retail office have confirmed the two sides are finalizing negotiations, but aren’t prepared to announce a deal. The restaurant has locations in North Carolina and Tennessee, but an Arlington location would be its first in Virginia.

According to officials with the building’s retail and residential leasing firms, exterior construction is expected to be finished in mid-August, after which build-out for the retail properties will begin and take “about three to six months.” Apartment tenants are expected to begin moving in by September.

If Tupelo signs, it would join 7-Eleven, Hair Cuttery, Olive Oil Boom and a nail salon as retail spaces moving into the ground floor of the 154-unit apartment building.

Tupelo’s website says it cooks “just about everything Southern – from fried chicken to sweet potatoes to catfish.” It says its menu items are “scratch-made” with “farm-fresh produce.”

Updated at 11:50 a.m., 8/5/14: Tupelo Honey Cafe officials have confirmed that it is moving into the space in Courthouse.

by ARLnow.com — July 30, 2014 at 9:30 am 2,011 0

Il Radicchio on Clarendon Blvd

‘Republican’ Not Found on GOP Candidate’s Signs — Republican candidate Dave Foster, who’s running to represent the 48th District in the Virginia House of Delegates, has a notable addition and omission on his campaign signs. Foster’s signs include a union label, but do not include the word “Republican.” Foster will face Democrat Rip Sullivan in a special election on Aug. 19. [InsideNova]

Arlington Transportation ‘What Ifs’ — Three shelved transportation proposals could have had a big impact on Arlington over the past 50 years. One would have seen a new 22-mile Blue Line built through Arlington, under the Potomac via a new tunnel, to Georgetown and eventually to RFK stadium. Another would have converted Route 1 through Crystal City to “Interstate 595.” A third would have built a new bridge from Spout Run Parkway to Georgetown. [Washington Post]

Clarendon ‘Good Morning Guy’ Profiled — Robert Gordon, the Express newspaper distributor who excitedly wishes Metrorail commuters in Clarendon a good morning on weekdays, says his is “the best job I can ever have in the world.” [WJLA]

Blues and Brews in Crystal City TonightClarence “Bluesman” Turner is scheduled to perform in Crystal City tonight for the monthly summer “Blues and Brews” concert. The event, in the courtyard of 2121 Crystal Drive, also features a craft beer garden. [Crystal City]

Courthouse Square Survey — Arlington County is inviting the public to weigh in on the latest design concepts for the Envision Courthouse Square project. [Arlington County]

Flickr pool photo by Jason OX4

by Ethan Rothstein — July 24, 2014 at 12:15 pm 3,063 0

Courthouse Square Concept A Courthouse Square Concept B Courthouse Square Concept C

(Updated at 2:10 p.m.) The large surface parking lot between the Arlington County Justice Center and Courthouse Plaza appears destined to become open, green space at some point in the future.

Last night, county planners presented three concepts to the community as part of the Envision Courthouse Square outreach process. All of the concepts included using the space the surface parking lot occupies as a sort of town green, with pedestrian and bicycle paths crisscrossing the area in different patterns.

The workshop last night was the last in-person chance the community will have for significant input before staff from Arlington’s Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development drafts a Courthouse Sector Plan Addendum, to be brought before the community in the fall and presented to the Arlington County Board this winter.

Moving forward, the county will plan on placing parking underground while “retaining minimal surface parking,” according to CPHD Principal Urban Designer and Planner Jason Beske. There are no plans for buildings on the north edge of the current parking lot to preserve the square, and 14th Street and 15th Street between Courthouse Road and N. Uhle Street will both remain open to vehicular traffic.

Three “big ideas” were brought before those in attendance, which included the Envision Courthouse Square Working Group and county staff. The first, Concept A, calls for 3.9 acres of open space, a pedestrian promenade connecting 15th and 14th Streets N. in front of the AMC Courthouse movie theater and converts 15th Street between N. Courthouse Road and Clarendon Blvd into a shared pedestrian, bike and vehicle corridor.

Concept B, pictured above in the center, calls for the pedestrian promenade to be diagonal from the current Strayer Building — viewed as a target for high-rise redevelopment — to the Verizon Plaza building adjacent to the building that contains the Gold’s Gym. This plan calls for 4.2 acres of open space and includes a pocket park between Courthouse Plaza and N. Veitch Street.

Concept C, pictured above on the right, calls for 3.15 acres of open space and a more east-west alignment of paths and streets in the design area.

The plans for building redevelopment vary significantly among the three plans. Concept A calls for the two buildings with 15th Street frontages to be redeveloped at heights of 153-180 feet for the Strayer building — at the intersection with Clarendon Blvd — and 300 feet for the Landmark Block, at the intersection of with Courthouse Road. It also calls for retail in front of the AMC theater and a new building up to 180 feet tall next to it.

Concept B flips the proposed heights for the Strayer and Landmark blocks from Concept A, calls for the redevelopment of the AMC theater into a county or private building up to 180 feet tall and a three-to-five story “cultural building” at the Verizon Plaza site.

Concept C includes the most significant redevelopment: a “market shed” next to the AMC theater, the same proposed heights for the Strayer and Landmark block and two, 10-12 story buildings along 14th Street N., with the option to preserve the current theater or include a separate cultural use. The Verizon Plaza would be the site for a new, 300-foot high-rise building.

“Think of these plans as a kit-of-parts,” CPHD staff wrote in its presentation last night. “All of the big ideas are open for your feedback. Feedback results will inform us of the community’s preferences as we take the next steps to combine ideas and test their feasibility. The goal is to create a single, preferred plan that carries our shared vision forward.”

CPHD officials said an online survey will be posted shortly for community members unable to attend last night to weigh in on the three concepts.

Images via Arlington CPHD

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