Ft. Myer Daycare Investigation Widens — What started as allegations of assault against two workers at a daycare center on Ft. Myer has widened into a worldwide probe of military child care hiring practices. At least 31 daycare staffers at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall have been suspended after investigators found “disqualifying factors in their records, including history of drug use and past allegations of assault.” One official called it “a severe lapse in the background checks system.” [Washington Post]
DoD Relaxes Security Standards for Some Buildings — A loosening of the Department of Defense’s security standards for commercial office buildings may make it easier for the DoD to lease office space in Arlington (and elsewhere). Earlier this month, the Pentagon reversed a policy put in place in response to 9/11 that required that leased office space meet stringent anti-terrorism security standards, even for administrative offices within the DoD. [Washington Business Journal]
Marymount Seeking to Redevelop Ballston Property — Marymount University is pushing ahead with a plan to redevelop its 50-year-old “Blue Goose” building at the corner of N. Glebe Road and Fairfax Drive in Ballston. The university has proposed replacing the aging building with an office building and an apartment building. [Sun Gazette]
Science Focus Teacher Wins Recognition — “Arlington Science Focus School Principal Mary Begley was named Administrator of the Year by the Greater Washington Reading Council at its annual conference in Fairfax” on Wednesday, says a school press release. [Arlington Public Schools]
Flickr pool photo by Damiec
Courthouse Office Building Approved — At its meeting on Saturday, the Arlington County Board unanimously approved a redevelopment plan for a new 8-story office building at 2311 Wilson Blvd in Courthouse. [Arlington County]
Goody’s Expansion Plan Foiled by the Fiscal Cliff? — Clarendon pizza restaurant Goody’s was featured on the Friday broadcast of NBC Nightly News. The owners of the restaurant say they’re only making a small profit and they’re worried about having to close due to the impact of the so-called fiscal cliff (primarily the increased taxes that could go into effect if no deal is reached). Goody’s owners were planning to expand next year, but have put those plans on hold, according to the broadcast. [NBC News]
First Streetcars, Then Spaceships — Trying to make the point that the County Board doesn’t have a hidden agenda when considering adoption of the Virginia Public-Private Transportation Act, Board member Walter Tejada said that public-private partnerships could be used for future projects, and not just for streetcars. “It could be used for spaceships down the line in the future,” he said. [Sun Gazette]
Winter Coats and Clothes Collected — The Rosslyn Business Improvement District collected 119 bags of winter clothing from area businesses and residents over the past month. The clothes will be donated to the homeless clients of the Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network. The Nauck Community Service Center, meanwhile, collected more than 500 coats for distribution to Arlington residents in need.
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Friday afternoon for 1776 Wilson Boulevard, one of the county’s newest office buildings.
The $33.5 million office building includes four floors of office space, 30,000 square feet of ground floor retail space, and 231 garage parking spaces. With environmental features like a green vegetated roof, solar panels, electric vehicle chargers and water use reduction systems, developer Skanska USA is seeking LEED Platinum sustainability certification.
The building is located in Rosslyn at the intersection with N. Quinn Street. The project included the construction of a new section of N. Quinn Street to connect Wilson Blvd to Clarendon Blvd.
Attendees at Friday’s ribbon cutting included representatives from Skanska USA, County Board members Jay Fisette and Chris Zimmerman, Rosslyn BID Executive Director Cecilia Cassidy, and George Contis, the doctor who sold the property to Skanska in 2010.
The building still being leased out, but confirmed tenants include CRDF Global and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores. Skanska has also established its new regional headquarters in the building.
Election Board Calms Election Fraud Fears — Don’t worry about election shenanigans in Arlington, says the Arlington Electoral Board. The board is made up of two Republicans and one Democrat. At the Arlington County Republican Committee meeting on Oct. 24, Republican board member Scott McGeary said the county’s election staff will “make certain we have the utmost ballot integrity.” Local Republicans have been fearful of a “stolen election” in recent days, given the release of a video depicting Rep. Jim Moran’s son discussing ways to fraudulently cast ballots. [Sun Gazette]
Proposed Courthouse Office Building Still in Limbo — The ‘Clean Technology Center‘ — a new office building proposed for the 2300 block of Wilson Boulevard in Courthouse — had a vote on its site plan postponed by the Arlington County Board on Tuesday. The Board and local residents have been critical of the building’s design and its purported lack of public benefits. [Arlington Mercury]
Zimmerman Joins National Smart Growth Council — From a county press release: “Arlington County Board Member Chris Zimmerman is one of 22 leading local officials from jurisdictions around the country to join the Advisory Board of Smart Growth America’s new Local Leaders Council , a nonpartisan group of local officials.” [Arlington County]
Flickr pool photo by Maryva2
At 24 stories and 719,704 square feet, the building — 1900 Crystal Drive — will be second only to the Pentagon in Arlington in terms of floor space.
(Alhough 1900 Crystal Drive will be the tallest in Crystal City, the 580,000 square foot, 35-story office building currently under construction at 1812 N. Moore Street in Rosslyn is still expected to be the tallest countywide.)
The building includes 11,290 square feet of ground floor retail space, plus a five-level, 732 space parking garage and nearly 150 bicycle parking spaces. Vehicle parking will be available to the public on weekends, holidays and after 6:00 p.m. on weekdays. Some residents expressed concern about extra vehicular traffic as a result of the building, but it won approval from the county’s Transportation Commission by a vote of 9-0.
Vornado, the developer of 1900 Crystal Drive, agreed to a number of community benefits in exchange for the extra zoning density required for the project. Among the benefits:
- $3 million contribution to the county’s Affordable Housing Investment Fund
- $75,000 contribution to the county’s public art fund
- $154,000 for Arlington utility fund, $20,000 for multi-space parking meters
- Various improvements to 18th Street S.
- $1.4 million for Arlington County Commuter Services and $65 Metro SmartTrip cards for building employees (to encourage transit commuting)
- $2.76 million for a temporary half-acre park
- $2.56 million for a four-pipe hydronic heating and cooling system, part of the county’s plan to encourage a district energy system for Crystal City
Though resident concerns about the building were largely assuaged, thanks to the addition of low-reflection glass and a 900 square foot community meeting room, Board member Chris Zimmerman voted against the project. (It passed 4-1.)
Zimmerman said that the community benefits associated with the project were relatively small for a building of its size, but ultimately his ‘no’ vote came down to his view that the building’s site plan does not pave a sure-fire path to the construction of a proposed, adjacent “Center Park.” Instead, the site plan just requires Vornado to work with county staff “to prepare an implementation plan for guiding the achievement of Center Park.”
The building’s current tenant, the Department of Defense, will be moving out in December as a result of the Base Realignment and Closure Act (BRAC). In anticipation, the building’s owner is embarking on a major renovation project to “re-position” the 1960s-era building for occupancy by a new tenant.
“The building… will be fully renovated, with a new lobby, landscaping, façade improvements, fitness center, updated common areas, updated HVAC and fire and life safety systems, and a roof deck with extensive views,” according to a press release. “We see a unique opportunity to deliver a fully refreshed, high quality work environment at a price point substantially lower than the new buildings being delivered in the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor.”
To fund the $5 million renovation project and the leasing efforts, owner RESI Management has raised $21.2 million from Chevy Chase-based Federal Capital Partners, along with a $33.5 million loan from Wells Fargo. The renovations are expected to be complete by mid-2013.
The 184,216 square foot building first opened in 1966. Located two blocks from the Ballston Metro station, the building has been serving as the headquarters for Department of Defense Education Activity, which manages schools for military children.
Man Saves Life of Granddaughter — A grandfather saved the life of his granddaughter on Sunday, after the little girl started choking on fruit inside her family’s Arlington home. The grandfather, Rick Corbett, used his CPR training from the Boy Scouts in order to help save her life. [WUSA 9]
County Still Trying to Buy Courthouse Building — Arlington County is in negotiations to purchase the 1960s-era office building at 2020 14th Street N. The potential purchase sparked controversy among neighbors, largely due to the plan to place a year-round homeless shelter on the building’s lower floors. [Sun Gazette]
Tech Event Tonight at Artisphere — The technology networking organization Tech Cocktail is holding a mixer and startup showcase tonight at Artisphere (1101 Wilson Blvd). Last-minute tickets for the event, which runs from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m., are $20. [Tech Cocktail]
A window washer is clinging to life after plummeting about 7 stories onto the sidewalk while working on a Rosslyn office building.
The incident was detailed in this week’s Arlington County crime report, although it’s not being investigated as a crime. Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck said investigators believe the victim forgot to clip in his safety harness. He stepped over an edge, fell, and landed on the sidewalk near the entrance to the offices of WJLA (ABC 7).
INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENT, 07/27/12, 1000 block of Wilson Boulevard. At 11:10 am on July 27, a worker fell approximately from the 7th floor while cleaning windows. Victim is currently in critical condition.
Also in this week’s crime report, a Nauck resident’s glass door was shattered by an apparently stray bullet.
MISSILE INTO OCCUPIED DWELLING, 07/29/12, 2100 block of S. Oxford Street. At 3:40 am on July 29, victim had the front glass door shattered by a bullet fired by an unknown suspect.
The rest of the crime report, after the jump.
Developers of a new office building in Ballston have added another historical touch to commemorate the old Bob Peck Chevrolet dealership that for decades served as a neighborhood landmark on the same site.
Alexandria-based Bowman Consulting, the landscape architecture firm on developer JBG’s 10-story office building at 800 N. Glebe Road, recently designed and installed a historical marker to honor the dealership’s iconic Googie architecture style.
In January, builders added a diamond-shaped facade to the front of the building to mimic the style. Bob Peck Chevrolet was demolished in 2008.
From the text of the historical marker:
Bob Peck opened his first Chevrolet dealership in 1939 on Wilson Boulevard in Clarendon. In 1964, he moved the dealership west to Ballston to the very prominent corner of North Glebe Road and Wilson Boulevard, 300 feet south of this marker. Taking advantage of the site’s unique location and visibility, local architect Anthony Musolino designed a transparent circular showroom of glass and chrome, with a butterfly roofline whose frieze of diamond-shaped blue panels spelled out “Chevrolet.” The building was an excellent example of Googie architecture, reflecting the era’s prevailing interest in the future — space travel, nuclear energy, rockets — through the use of upward slanting and cantilevered roofs, geometric patterns, acute angles and large sheets of glass.
Musolino’s design evoked thoughts of flight and movement, with its walls of transparent glass and a roof that appeared to float skyward. The transparent showroom was a living billboard. Motorists could see the chrome-trimmed vehicles from the street. Peck Chevrolet became a community icon and a landmark for motorists traveling to and through Arlington. The showroom’s design is represented in the new diamond-shaped frieze of the office building now located at the former Bob Peck site.
Photos courtesy Bowman Consulting
The Georgetown Center for Continuing and Professional Education (CCPE) will be moving from Clarendon to the District.
The campus, part of the Gerogetown School of Continuing Studies (SCS), is recognizable by the “Georgetown University” sign across from the Clarendon Metro station. CCPE, which offers non-credit classes and 25 professional certificate programs, is one of the tenants of an office building at 3101 Wilson Boulevard.
The Center is being consolidated into a newly-announced Georgetown SCS campus in the Chinatown section of D.C., according to a university spokeswoman.
“Right now we’re hoping the new Georgetown downtown space will be ready for fall 2013,” said Stacy Kerr, Georgetown’s Assistant Vice President for Communications. “We would intend to keep our SCS students in Clarendon until the new space is ready.”
Kerr tells ARLnow.com that the university is still deciding what to do with the Clarendon space. Georgetown’s lease runs through fall 2014, she said.
“We certainly have needs and we would like to keep it as a consideration,” said Kerr.
International developer and construction company Skanska is working on the five story building at 1776 Wilson Blvd, which will contain both retail and office space.
To earn LEED certification, a developer must earn credits in six categories called Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy & Atmosphere, Materials & Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, and Innovation in Design & Regionalization. The rating system has a total of 110 points, and 80 are necessary to receive platinum certification.
Some of the green features included in the new building are ultra-efficient plumbing fixtures that offer a 40 percent reduction in the typical amount of water used, and water efficient landscaping that doesn’t require a regular irrigation system. Solar panels will be part of the effort to reduce the building’s annual energy costs by 24 percent, and high performance glass will prevent heat gain in the building.
There will also be a green roof terrace on the fourth floor. The garage will feature preferred parking for fuel efficient vehicles, and will be outfitted with power outlets to accommodate electric cars.
The building is scheduled to be mostly completed by August, and the hope is that tenants can move in this fall. Already, the building is 50 percent pre-leased.
A groundbreaking was held this morning for the new 3001 and 3003 Washington Boulevard office project in Clarendon.
Local officials, including Rep. Jim Moran and County Board Chair Mary Hynes, were joined by officials from Penzance, the project’s developer, at the ceremony.
Demolition work on the one block construction site actually got underway while the ceremony was taking place, we’re told. Taking the place of the small buildings that once occupied the block — including those housing a restaurant, a car dealership, a gym and a bank — will be two office buildings. Construction on the 8- and 10-story buildings is expected to wrap up in early 2014, according to Penzance.
Pike Buildings Set for Redevelopment — The buildings along Columbia Pike that house Rappahannock Coffee, L.A. Nails and Saah Furniture are set for redevelopment. A developer has proposed a single seven-story building to replace the aging buildings on the site. [Arlington Mercury]
School Board Approves Sequoia Plaza Lease — The Arlington School Board has approved a lease for office space in Sequoia Plaza, next to the new headquarters of the county’s Department of Human Services. The office space will allow the school system to move out of the Clarendon Education Center building and the Syphax Building on N. Quincy Street. [Sun Gazette]
H-B Student Production Accepted to Capital Fringe — Mindset, an original H-B Woodlawn student production, has been accepted to the 2012 Capital Fringe Festival. Mindset creator and H-B Woodlawn junior Jace Casey says he’s “excited” to be showcasing his production at the annual performing arts festival.
Naked Man on the GW Parkway — A naked man was reportedly taken into police custody this morning after being spotted by drivers on the GW Parkway near Memorial Bridge. [NBC Washington]
About a month from now, in early May, a groundbreaking is expected to be held for a new 280,000 square foot mixed-use office project in Clarendon.
In the meantime, the block on which the project will be built (3001-3003 Washington Boulevard) is looking more and more like a ghost town.
Chains and “no trespassing” have gone up around the block. The former BB&T Bank has been boarded up, as has the former Eleventh Street Lounge and Potomac Crossfit locations. The block’s long-time stalwart, T.A. Sullivan and Son cemetery monuments, now has a sign outside announcing its new location, in Vienna, and thanking the community “for allowing us to serve you for more than 100 years.”
BB&T Bank, meanwhile, also has a new location. The bank branch has moved into the old PNC Bank space at 3033 Wilson Boulevard, near the Clarendon Metro station.
The office project’s developer, Penzance, says it expects to wrap up construction in “early 2014.”
Contractor Chosen for New Ballston Apt. Tower — KBR Building Group has been tapped to build “The Place at Founders Square,” a new 17-story, mixed-use residential tower at 4000 Wilson Boulevard. Construction is expected to wrap up by the end of 2013. [CityBiz Real Estate]
Construction Update on Rosslyn Office Building — Construction on 1812 N. Moore Street, a 35-story behemoth in Rosslyn that will be the region’s tallest building upon completion, has topped the construction pit and reached surface level. [DC Metrocentric]
Multimedia Tools Available at Library ‘Lab’ — Next month Arlington Central Library will be launching a temporary “lab” on the first floor that will provide do-it-yourself multimedia creation tools. The Digital Projects Lab, as it will be called, will be open 20 hours per week and will have digital tools like Photoshop, Flash, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Final Cut Pro, Audacity and iMovie. The lab will be powered by MacBook computers and will also have a video camera, microphone, large color printer, film/photo scanner and Wacom Intuos 3 tablet. [Arlington Public Library]
Arlington GOP Doesn’t Rule Out Nov. Run — Arlington Republicans say they’re trying to recruit a candidate to take on newly-elected Democratic County Board member Libby Garvey in November. A Republican County Board candidate would face very steep odds, as the presidential election is expected to drive Arlington Democrats to the polls in droves. No Democratic candidate filed to challenge Garvey for the nomination before last night’s filing deadline. [Washington Post]