Yorktown Baseball Sets Record – Yorktown High School’s baseball team has finished the regular reason undefeated in the National District. With 14 victories, the Patriots set a National District record for wins in a single season. [Sun Gazette]
Crystal City BRT Named — The Bus Rapid Transit system that will serve Crystal City and Potomac Yard next year will be named “Metro Way” and will feature a blue bus design. The buses will travel from Pentagon City to Alexandria, and will run every 6 minutes during the rush hour. [Greater Greater Washington]
USS Arlington Fundraising $100K Short of Goal — So far, more than $390,000 has been donated or is expected to be pledged for a 9/11 “tribute room” on the USS Arlington. That leaves the ship’s commissioning committee more than $100,000 short of its $500,000 goal, however. Fundraising is continuing and committee member Frank O’Leary says he is “hoping to crack $400,000 this month.”
The one-year-old Crystal City Wine Shop is expanding to a second location.
Crystal City Wine Shop — a for-profit business owned by the nonprofit Washington Wine Academy – will open a 1,500 square foot store at 220 20th Street S., in the former Revolution Cycles CityHub space. The store will carry 300 different wines and 150 types of beer, according to Washington Wine Academy president Jim Barker.
In addition to selling wine and beer, the store will “focus on educating people through tastings and events,” Barker said. Like the current store at 401 12th Street S., the new location will hold wine and beer tastings on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Barker says he hopes to open the new store at some point this summer, possibly in August.
Even though the two stores will only be a few blocks away from one another, Barker says he believes having a new store “in the heart of Crystal City” will help attract new customers who don’t necessarily want to walk to the existing store, on the north end of Crystal City.
Barker said the Whole Foods Market set to open a block away from the wine shop’s 12th Street location in 3-4 years is “obviously a concern,” but thinks that there’s room for both businesses. He pointed out that the apartment building in which the Whole Foods will be built will add residents to the area, and that the new Boeing headquarters will also add to Crystal City Wine Shop’s base of potential customers.
Photo via Google Maps
WJLA and NewsChannel 8 for Sale — Rosslyn-based TV station WJLA (ABC 7) has been offered for sale by Allbritton Communications. The company is seeking to sell WJLA and its companion cable channel NewsChannel 8 in order to continue investing in new media, like its Politico website and newspaper. Disney, owner of the ABC television network, is thought to be a likely buyer. [WBJ, Washington Post, Politico]
Brink, Lopez Announce Reelection Bids — Dels. Bob Brink and Alfonso Lopez announced their bids for reelection to the Virginia House of Delegates at last night’s Arlington County Democratic Committee meeting. As part of his speech, Lopez made fun of a Republican effort in the state legislature to study the creation of a Virginia-based currency. Lopez joked that he wanted his face on the Virginia $5 bill and Brink’s on the $10 bill, so that “in Virginia it would cost a Brink and a Lopez to buy a pizza.” [Blue Virginia]
‘Over the Edge’ Fundraiser in Crystal City — Today, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., people will be rappelling 15 stories down the Hilton Crystal City at 2399 Jefferson Davis Highway as part of a fundraiser for the Special Olympics. Among those scheduled to go “over the edge” today is Washington Nationals mascot Screech. The fundraiser will also run from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. tomorrow (Friday). [Event Calendar, Special Olympics Virginia]
County Sells $206 Million in Bonds — Arlington County sold $206 million in bonds on Tuesday. The bonds were sold at a low 2.5 percent interest rate. The refunding of older bonds under the low rate will save the county about $5 million. [Arlington County]
Police Looking for Wallet Thief — Arlington police are looking for a man who allegedly stole a victim’s wallet in the Clarendon area last month. [ACPD]
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
The Washington City Paper reports that Post publisher Katharine Weymouth told a real estate conference this morning that the struggling company would like the new office to be “cheap, and near the Capitol, near the courthouses,” in a building “that’s a little bit lighter, a little more air.”
The ideal option for the paper might be right here in Arlington. Thanks to easy access to I-395, Crystal City and Rosslyn are about 10 minutes from the Capitol via cab or personal vehicle, except during rush hour.
Both locations are also Metro accessible. Crystal City is 5 Metro stops away from Capitol South station via the Yellow and Orange/Blue lines, and Rosslyn is 9 stops away, without a transfer, via the Orange/Blue lines. Both are 6 stops away from Judiciary Square, with a transfer to the Red Line.
Office rent in Crystal City and Rosslyn is inexpensive compared to D.C.’s Central Business District (CBD), where the Post is currently located (in an aging, monolithic building at 1150 15th Street NW). The average asking rate for office space in Crystal City is $39.43 per square foot, compared to $50.97 in the Washington CBD. The average asking rate in Rosslyn, which hasn’t been hit as hard by BRAC closures as Crystal City, is $42.32.
Outside of D.C.’s CBD, the NoMa and Capitol Riverfront submarkets might be desirable for the Post, but both are more expensive than Arlington, with average asking rates of $45.27 and $43.15 respectively.
Thanks to a vacancy rate of 21.8 percent in Crystal City and 16.4 percent in Rosslyn, the Post should have plenty of light and airy offices to choose from. Plus, offices that are currently under construction could be customized to the paper’s needs. Such buildings include 1812 N. Moore Street in Rosslyn, soon to be the tallest building in the D.C. area, or the renovated 1400 Crystal Drive in Crystal City.
Construction could begin on Arlington’s largest office building by floor space, 1900 Crystal Drive in Crystal City, should it secure an anchor tenant like the Post.
A spokeswoman for the Rossyln Business Improvement District says the organization does not know if the Post is looking at potential offices in Rosslyn, but says the neighborhood would be a good fit for the 135-year-old institution.
“Rosslyn would a perfect location for The Washington Post, given its close location to Washington, D.C,” said Lisa Rabasca, the BID’s Director of Communications and herself a former newspaper reporter. “It is a quick cab or metro ride to Capitol Hill, the White House, and other major D.C. locations.”
“Rosslyn is already a media hub with three other large media companies — POLITICO, Washington Business Journal, and WJLA/ABC 7 and NewsChannel 8,” Rabasca continued. “We would welcome the addition of The Washington Post.”
“They’re obviously an institution that’s finding ways to reinvent themselves and look at their business… we would love to be a strategic element in such a reinvention,” she said. “They’re really thoughtful about their costs and the environment their employees work in, and Crystal City would have a lot to offer in that regard.”
Fox said she also has not heard anything about the Post looking at Crystal City. A Washington Post spokeswoman declined to comment on the company’s headquarters search.
If the Post were to move to Arlington, it wouldn’t be the paper’s first office here. For about a decade starting in 2000, the company’s internet staff — responsible for washingtonpost.com and other websites — was based in a 80,000 square foot office at 1515 N. Courthouse Road in Courthouse. The staff was later merged into the Post‘s D.C. office.
Disclosure: The Crystal City and Rosslyn BIDs are ARLnow.com advertisers.
If so, Chick-fil-A has just the event for you.
Chick-fil-A’s Ballston mall and Crystal City locations, along with the chain’s 49 other D.C. area restaurants, are hosting a “Date Knight” for mothers and sons from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Monday, May 6.
“During this special medieval-themed evening, moms and their sons are encouraged to spend some time together while they enjoy dinner, great conversation and several special activities,” the company said in a press release. “Every Mother-Son pair will also receive a place mat with fun questions and topics to get the conversation started, and a take-home booklet that provides ideas for future dates and questions that both moms and their sons can ask each other.”
The “special activities” are free, but diners still have to pay for the food.
“One of Chick-fil-A’s goals is to promote community connections and enrich the lives of everyone we come in contact with,” Erik Amick, a Chick-fil-A franchise operator, said in a statement. “We understand the importance of mother-son relationships and want to encourage area moms to come to Chick-fil-A, enjoy their son’s company over a meal and have fun!”
Interested customers can make “Date Knight” reservations online. Currently, the Ballston Chick-fil-A has 53 reservations available, while Crystal City has 49 reservations remaining.
Due to the way the street moves drivers onto, off of and around I-395, it’s considered “inhospitable” for pedestrians and cyclists. A plan has been in the works for years to create a separate track for cyclists and to reconfigure the street to improve travel between the Pentagon, Pentagon City and Crystal City.
According to the county staff report, the project would reconfigure 3,300 feet of Army Navy Drive from S. Joyce Street to 12th Street. It would provide shorter and safer pedestrian crossings, improve pedestrian space and construct a separate two-way bicycle track. The redesign is also intended to make room for the future streetcar line.
In Fiscal Year (FY) 2006, Arlington County was granted Public Lands Highway Funds to make trail improvements. In FY 2012, the county was awarded a grant by the Federal Highway Administration to transform Army Navy Drive into a Complete Street. Designing the project is expected use the $706,000 of grants, and the County Board will vote on whether or not to accept and appropriate the funding for the project. It will then require additional funding for construction.
“This project aligns with the goals of Arlington County’s Complete Streets program to expand safe travel options for all modes of transportation along our roadways,” said the county staff report. “The proposed cycle track will be one of the first in the Commonwealth of Virginia.”
County staff did not report any issues with the plan and recommends the County Board approve it on Saturday.
The event, which is new for 2013, will feature a number of unique and notable cars displayed in local courtyards and surface parking lots. “Crystal Car,” as it’s called, will take place between 2:00 and 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 16.
“The festival plans to showcase a variety of automobile categories including innovative electric vehicles, area sports car auto clubs, classic muscle cars, and more,” the Crystal City Business Improvement District said in a press release. “The Washington Wine Academy will host a beer garden to further enhance the experience and celebrate Fathers Day in style.”
Admission is free but cash is required for beer and wine purchases at the beer garden. Cars will be displayed in in three Metro-accessible locations: the courtyard of 2121 Crystal Drive, the parking lot of 220 20th Street S. (site of the Crystal City wine festival) and the parking lot behind Freddie’s Beach Bar (555 23rd Street S.)
“Crystal City is a great place to host a car festival,” said Angela Fox, President and CEO of the Crystal City BID, in a statement. “Though there are other car shows in the Washington Metro area, none are as centrally-located, or as bike/Metro/car accessible, with tons of free parking and the great brunch and dinner options of Crystal City.”
Those with cars they want to showcase can register online.
File photo. Disclosure: Crystal City BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser
Starting tonight and continuing each day this weekend, races will temporarily close down some Arlington roads.
The Arlington County Police Department is assisting with controlling traffic during a 5K and 10K race around Yorktown High School on Sunday, April 14.
The following restrictions will be in effect from 7:30-11:00 a.m.:
- Yorktown Blvd will be closed to westbound and eastbound traffic from N. 30th Street to N. Edison Street
- N. 28th Street will be closed to northbound and southbound traffic from Yorktown Blvd to N. Greenbrier Street
- Yorktown Blvd will be open to eastbound traffic from N. Edison Street to N. 26th Street
Residents are asked to park their vehicles in driveways instead of on the street in order to reduce the congestion in the affected areas. Anyone with questions or concerns regarding the impact to the community can contact Lieutenant Bob Medairos at 703-228-4160.
Roads will also be closed temporarily for the Nottingham Elementary 5K on Saturday (April 13) and the Crystal City 5K Friday tonight. Drivers are advised to find other routes during the affected times.
Woodbridge resident Joshua Terrell Franklin, 24 was charged last week with the December 2012 rape of a prostitute in a Crystal City hotel room.
“The suspect, in response to an online advertisement, hired a woman to perform sexual acts,” police said in a press release. ”Shortly after arriving at the victim’s hotel room, the suspect forced the victim to perform sexual acts at gunpoint. ”
Franklin has been charged with Rape, Robbery and Forcible Sodomy in connection with that incident. He is currently awaiting trial in Fairfax County for a similar crime, the alleged sexual assault of two women in a Springfield hotel room in January.
Police believe Franklin might have assaulted other women, and are asking for additional victims to come forward.
“Information revealed in the investigation indicates that there are potentially other victims or persons with information regarding this subject,” police said. “Anyone who has information about this suspect is asked to call Detective Angela Comer at 703.228.4243 or email email@example.com. To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).”
Photo courtesy Arlington County Police Department
The Crystal City location of Caribou Coffee (2100 Crystal Drive) will be closing at the end of this week and the coffee shop’s Shirlington location will eventually be converted to a Peet’s Coffee and Tea store, ARLnow.com has learned.
According to employees, the Crystal City location will close its doors after Sunday, April 14. The store is currently offering merchandise like coffee, mugs and coffee makers for 50 percent off, we’re told.
The Shirlington location will remain open for now but will be converted to a Peet’s Coffee and Tea store “at some point this fall,” an employee said.
Peet’s, which opened its first store in Berkeley, Calif. in 1966, is majority owned by a German private equity firm that purchased the Caribou chain last year. Caribou announced on Monday that it’s closing 80 “underperforming” stores and converting another 88 to Peet’s locations.
Today and every Friday in April, roads in Crystal City will close for the annual Crystal City 5K Fridays race series.
The race will kick off at 6:30 p.m. on April 5 (today), 12, 19 and 26. In a press release, Arlington County Police said they will close the following lanes and streets from about 6:15 to 7:45 p.m.
- NB lanes of Crystal Drive between 23rd Street and 15th Street
- NB lanes of Crystal Drive between 26th Street and Route 1
- NB lanes of Potomac Avenue between Crystal Drive and Glebe Road
- 33rd Street between Potomac Avenue and Crystal Drive
- S. Ball Street between 33rd Street and 35th Street
- SB lanes of Potomac Avenue between Crystal Drive and 33rd Street (crossing permitted when deemed safe)
VRE riders are asked to add 5-10 minutes of on-foot travel time to get to the Crystal City station, and those who park in Crystal City parking garages are being warned that they may not be able to get our of their garage during the race.
Street parking along the route, particularly on Crystal Drive and Potomac Avenue, will be restricted. Temporary ‘No Parking’ signs should now be posted.
Photo via Facebook/Crystal City BID. Disclosure: Crystal City BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser
Every Friday in April, roads will close down for the Crystal Run 5K Fridays races, which begin at 6:30 p.m.
“The 5K Fridays Race Series is one of our most popular programs,” said Angela Fox, President/CEO of the Crystal City BID. “People can get their weekend warrior workout done early in a fun and festive way, and then relax and enjoy the rest of the weekend.”
After the race, runners can clean up with a free shower at the local Sport & Health (2231 Crystal Drive), or visit Kora Restaurant (2250 Crystal Drive) for half price pasta. Hamburger Hamlet (1750 Crystal Square Arcade) will host post-race festivities, with food and drink specials for racers, volunteers, friends and family.
This year, 5K Fridays will be part of the Gold’s Gym Get Fit Challenge. Gold’s Gym will select six contestants and provide them with a membership and 12 weeks of free personal training to help them lose weight. The Washington Post Express will track their challenges and successes each week. The April 26 race will serve as the official mid-point challenge. After the race, contestants will go to Kora Restaurant to meet with celebrity chef Morou, who will provide dinner and discuss healthy eating.
Each race has an entry fee of $20, or a bulk rate of $60 for all four races. Registration is available online.
Disclosure: Crystal City BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser
Cucina Vivace, at 509 23rd Street S. in Crystal City, has closed.
The restaurant closed last month, to the disappointment of regular customers. Chef/owner Gordon Vivace suggested that the restaurant row on 23rd Street was no longer drawing in the customers he needed in order to stay open.
“That strip is not in good shape and is simply no longer a location where an upscale restaurant can survive,” Vivace told ARLnow.com. “I was presented with an opportunity to leave on short notice, and chose to take it.”
Vivace said he does not plan to reopen.
“I’m going to stick to catering and personal chef services where my food can be my food without compromise to the price people are willing to pay to walk in the door,” he said.
Metro is planning to launch a new bus line, the 9X line, to run in dedicated transit lanes between parts of south Arlington and Alexandria. The Alexandria portion — to run from the Braddock Road Metro station to Potomac Yard via Route 1 — is expected to open in spring 2014. The Arlington portion — from the Pentagon City Metro station to the Crystal City Metro station to Potomac Yard — is expected to open in summer or fall 2014, according to Arlington County Senior Transit Engineer Matthew Huston.
At first, the line will travel in mixed traffic on 15th Street Pentagon City and Crystal City. Eventually it will utilize the extended and contiguous 12th Street. The line will travel south in new dedicated bus lanes along S. Clark and S. Bell Street, and north along Crystal Drive.
The bus lanes will take the place of an existing, standard travel lane. They will be reserved for buses and emergency vehicles only during the morning and evening rush hours, but will be open to mixed traffic during all other times. Street parking will not be impacted by the changes.
As part of the still-evolving plan for what’s called the Crystal City-Potomac Yard Transitway, the existing 9S bus line will be extended to Potomac Yard and will run along the new dedicated lanes. The 9X and 9S will provide frequent service — every 6 minutes — and will serve a consolidated list of stops.
There will be seven new stops built in Arlington between Crystal City and Potomac Yard. Those stops will feature electronic information displays and other enhanced features. The buses will still serve on-street stops between the Crystal City and Pentagon City Metro stations.
The dedicated bus lanes will eventually be used as the right-of-way for the new Crystal City streetcar, though so far county officials aren’t providing a timeline for its eventual construction.
Planning, design and construction of Arlington’s portion of the transitway, which will also include the construction of new dedicated lanes between 26th Street and Glebe Road, is expected to cost the county about $17.5 million. Metro will pick up the tab for 13 new BRT-style buses, at a cost of about $650,000 apiece.
Metro is currently conducting an online survey about the design and branding of the buses. Possible names for the bus service include “Metro Beat” and “Metro Way.” It also asks about possible nicknames for the bus line, with options like: Crystal to Brad Line, Power House Corridor, City to the Yard Corridor, Potomac Yard Corridor, Tower Corridor, and Jeff Davis Corridor.
In an introduction, the survey emphasized that this would be Metro’s first BRT service.
Metro, in conjunction with Arlington County and the City of Alexandria will be introducing a new unique bus service to the region. Special stops and bus-only lanes will be introduced that will allow the bus to run on a very tight schedule. This corridor will be the first such service in the Washington region. Below is a map that shows the new route. The new service (sometimes called Bus Rapid Transit) will be different than anything the Washington region has seen before.
Police were at the LA Fitness club on the 3500 block of S. Clark Street in Crystal City Thursday morning, investigating a separate incident, when a gym user approached officers to tell them about a man he saw masturbating in the public sauna, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
Police subsequently arrested 65-year-old Morris Umansky. Officers didn’t actually witness the act and Umansky, the owner of a local hair salon, claimed that he was grooming himself, not pleasuring himself, according to police.
Umansky was charged with indecent exposure and released on an unsecured bond. The Arlington resident was also arrested in late December and accused of masturbating in the same sauna.
The gym had not yet revoked his membership because they were awaiting a verdict in Umansky’s original case, Sternbeck said.
Photo courtesy Arlington County Police Department