Rosslyn Startup to Be Featured on ‘Shark Tank’ — Rosslyn-based startup Zoobean will be featured tonight on ABC’s “Shark Tank.” Zoobean, which describes itself as “a web service that recommends apps and books for children,” will pitch itself to a panel of wealthy investors, including billionaire Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. The show airs at 9:00 p.m. on ABC. The company will also be profiled as part of ARLnow.com’s “Startup Monday” feature next week. [PR Newswire, Des Moines Register]
Pentagon City Mall Expansion Imminent — Work is expected to “begin soon” on a planned 50,000 square foot expansion of the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City. The expansion will add two new levels of retail, restaurants with outdoor seating, new elevators and escalators, and an expanded food court. Mall owner Simon is also expected to announce some of the new restaurants and retailers coming to the mall “shortly.” [Washington Business Journal]
We, The Pizza Eyes ‘Late Spring’ Opening – We, The Pizza, the pizza restaurant helmed by celebrity chef Spike Mendelsohn, will be opening soon in Crystal City. No specific date has been set, but a spokeswoman said the restaurant is expected to open in “late spring.” Mendelsohn also operates burger restaurant Good Stuff Eatery in Crystal City.
‘Miss Gay Arlington’ Pageant Tonight — The Arlington Gay and Lesbian Alliance and Freddy’s Beach Bar in Crystal City (555 23rd Street S.) will host the annual Miss Gay Arlington pageant tonight. Four contestants will compete in four categories: presentation, talent, evening gown, and on-stage question. The event starts at 8:00 p.m. and admission is $10. [AGLA]
Enterprise CarShare Launches in Rosslyn — A car sharing service from Enterprise Rent-A-Car has launched in the D.C. area. Two of its car share parking stations are located in the Rosslyn area. [Enterprise CarShare]
Photo courtesy Rick Shewell
The incident happened around noon. According to witnesses, the man might have suffered a seizure before falling half-way down the escalator near the Haagen Dazs store. He suffered what appeared to be a broken leg and was quickly tended to by security personnel and paramedics.
Mall maintenance workers could be seen cleaning blood off the escalator after the man was transported to the hospital. Witnesses say the man was part of a large group of pro-life activists that were shopping and eating at the mall.
A woman was attacked by two other women at the Victoria’s Secret store in Pentagon City mall Saturday evening.
The incident happened just before 7:00 p.m. Police say the 34-year-old victim confronted the two women after they cut ahead of her in the checkout line at the lingerie store. The suspects paid for their goods and then assaulted the woman, according to police.
The victim was punched multiple times in the face and body, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. The alleged attackers left the store before police could arrive, but were caught on surveillance cameras, Sternbeck said.
“Suspect one is described as a black female in her twenties, approximately 5’7” tall and 200 lbs. She was wearing pink pants and a white shirt at the time of the incident,” police said in the crime report. “Suspect two is described as a black female in her twenties, approximately 5’6” tall and 120 lbs. She was wearing blue jeans and a white sweater.”
Flickr photo by Steve Rhodes
Arlington Photos Highlighted as Example of Why Microsoft CEO is Retiring — Microsoft’s CEO, Steve Ballmer, announced in August that he will be stepping down within a year and two photos taken at the Pentagon City mall are being touted as an example of why. The first photo shows an empty Microsoft Store at the mall this past Sunday (December 8) during prime holiday shopping season. The next photo shows a packed Apple Store at the same mall. [Slate]
Parents Claim Incompatible Programs at Drew Model School — Parents who have students at Drew Model School (3500 23rd Street S.) told the County Board last week that the school’s dual focus — a traditional elementary school program and a separate Montessori program — are becoming incompatible. The parents say having the two different programs operate under the same roof stresses both. [Sun Gazette]
Opening Statements in Arlington Sheriff’s Deputy Murder Trial — The murder trial for Arlington County Sheriff’s Deputy Craig Patterson began on Monday with opening statements from attorneys on both sides. Patterson is accused of shooting and killing Julian Dawkins during a confrontation in May. [Alexandria Times]
Google Doodle Commemorates Former Arlington Resident — Monday’s Google Doodle commemorated Grace Hopper’s 107th birthday. Hopper, who used to live in Pentagon City, was a pioneering computer scientist and United States Navy rear admiral. According to Wikipedia, “Grace Murray Hopper Park, located on South Joyce Street in Arlington, Virginia, is a small memorial park in front of her former residence (River House Apartments) and is now owned by Arlington County, Virginia.” [Google]
The Arlington County Board unanimously approved the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City’s request to expand and offer outdoor restaurant seating at its meeting on Saturday.
The mall, owned by Simon Property Group, will add 51,000 square feet along S. Hayes Street — two stories with space for 5-7 retail tenants whose entrances would be on the street.
The expansion will be built on the east façade of the mall, adjacent to the entrance to the Pentagon City Metro Station. As part of the construction, the mall is expected to make pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements along S. Hayes Street, Army Navy Drive and 15th Street.
“This expansion plan for one of the region’s most popular malls fits perfectly with the County’s goal of making Pentagon City a more lively, walkable area,” County Board Chairman Walter Tejada said in a press release. “Bringing new shops and restaurants to S. Hayes Street will be good for the mall and good for the neighborhood.”
Image via Arlington County
Board to Consider Mall Expansion Plan — The Arlington County Board is expected to vote on the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City’s expansion plans at its Saturday meeting. County staff is recommending approval of the plan, which would about 50,000 square feet of space for 5-7 new retail tenants to the front of the mall.
Shopping Center Cost $250k in 1940 — The strip mall at the northeast corner of Columbia Pike and Glebe Road represented an investment of $250,000 in 1940. At the time, traffic volume on Columbia Pike was about 12,000 cars per day and traffic volume on Glebe Road was about 600 cars per day. [Ghosts of DC]
Reminder: Yellow Line Closed This Weekend — The Yellow Line will be shut down this weekend for the annual safety inspection of the Yellow Line bridge over the Potomac River. The closure will begin at about 10:00 tonight (Friday).
Optimist Club Christmas Tree Sale Two Weeks Away — The Optimist Club of Arlington will kick off its annual Christmas tree sale on Saturday, Nov. 30. The sale will be held in the Wells Fargo parking lot at the corner of Lee Highway and Glebe Road. [Sun Gazette]
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
The leader of a smash-and-grab robbery crew that committed more than 20 robberies around the D.C. area, including one at the Tourneau store in the Pentagon City mall, has received a lengthy jail sentence.
District resident Walter Douglas, 34, was sentenced to 20 years in prison and, along with his co-defendants, ordered to pay $1.25 million in restitution. From the U.S. Attorney’s office:
Walter Douglas, 34, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to 240 months in prison for his role in a series of smash-and-grab robberies. Douglas and his co-defendants were also ordered to pay $1,251,978.75 in restitution to the victims of these robberies.
Dana J. Boente, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Valerie Parlave, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; Colonel Edwin C. Roessler Jr., Fairfax County Chief of Police; M. Douglas Scott, Arlington County Chief of Police; and J. Thomas Manger, Montgomery County Chief of Police, made the announcement after sentencing by United States District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema.
Douglas pleaded guilty on August 8, 2013. According to court documents, Douglas was a leader of a smash-and-grab robbery crew that committed over twenty robberies in the Washington, D.C. area and elsewhere. The crew entered various high-end retail establishments as a group, and through force and intimidation, stole merchandise from the stores. Douglas and his crew stole over $1,000,000 in merchandise during the robbery spree from retailers such as Tourneau, Cartier, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Neiman Marcus.
This case was investigated by the FBI and the Fairfax County, Arlington County, and Montgomery County Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan Fahey and Special Assistant United States Attorney Edward Reilly prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.
The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City is planning a 50,000 square foot expansion that will add new street-facing retail space to the front of the mall.
The plan is being presented to Arlington’s Site Plan Review Committee tonight (Wednesday). The meeting is scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m. at the Walter Reed Community Center (2909 16th Street S.)
The expansion would eliminate some of the driveway in front of the mall, facing S. Hayes Street, and replace it with a two-level addition featuring 46,000 square feet of lease-able space for 5-7 tenants. In a presentation, mall owner Simon Property Group says it plans to market the outward-facing retail bays to “fashion retail, fast casual dining and restaurants.”
As proposed, the facade of the addition will be largely curved, featuring glass, tapered metal panels and limestone. Along the outside of the curved portion of the addition will be outdoor cafe-style seating.
No word yet on when the site plan amendment required for the project to proceed will reach the Arlington County Board for consideration.
On the first stop of her nationwide personal appearance tour, Cole will take part in a meet and greet from 5:00-6:30 p.m. at the Steve Madden store in the Pentagon City mall. She’s promoting her partnership with the shoe designer, which has resulted in the new shoe line.
Cole will be on hand to autograph free branded tote bags while a DJ provides music. Guests can meet and take photos with Cole. Anyone who purchases a product from the new shoe line during Cole’s appearance will get a free compact mirror and access to special surprise gifts.
C. Wonder, which sells women’s clothing, jewelry, home décor and personal electronics, will be opening on the ground floor of the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, occupying half of the space formerly occupied by Sephora.
The Pentagon City location is C. Wonder’s second in Virginia after its Tysons Corner location. The New York City-based brand launched in 2011.
C. Wonder’s store will be separated into what it calls “an emporium of themed rooms” – American Dream, Jewelry, English Garden and Contemporary Prep — and allows for mobile checkout throughout the store.
On Thursday, Sept. 12, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., the mall will offer several activities geared toward women, including makeovers and food tastings. The event is free and attendees are encouraged to bring friends “to relax, unwind, socialize, shop be pampered and get reacquainted.”
Among the activities offered at the event are makeup tutorials and advice from professionals; food samplings; special one-night-only deals from retailers; a swag bag with free samples and coupons for the first 100 registrants; two raffles at 7:00 and 8:00 p.m., with prizes including $500 in mall gift cards.
The event is co-sponsored by Diet Coke and the British Virgin Islands.
Fish and Wildlife Service Nears Lease Deal in Falls Church — Vornado Realty Trust is reportedly close to securing a lease deal that would move the Fish and Wildlife Service out of Ballston and into Falls Church. The deal would send the agency’s 2,100 employees to 5275 Leesburg Pike in the Skyline area. [Washington Business Journal]
Man Pleads Guilty in Pentagon City Robbery – Walter Douglas, who was arrested in June, has pleaded guilty to a string of smash and grab robberies, including the March 19 Tourneau store robbery at the Pentagon City mall. Douglas admitted he was an organizer of the group that allegedly carried out the robberies, and he pleaded guilty to a federal robbery charge and a robbery-conspiracy charge. He reports the group stole between $800,000 and $1.5 million in high end goods. Douglas will be sentenced on November 8. [Washington Post]
Police Seek Assistance Identifying Thieves — The Arlington County Police Department is requesting the public’s help with identifying two people accused of entering office buildings and stealing wallets. The two are believed to have taken part in a wallet theft in the 4600 block of N. Fairfax Drive on June 25, and another on the 1600 block of N. Wilson Blvd on July 8. They were caught on surveillance video using the stolen credit cards at a CVS store. Surveillance photos of the suspects and police contact information can be found on the press release. [Arlington County Police Department]
Arlington Band Makes Fortune Magazine’s Finals — An in-house rock band at Excella Consulting, a technology consulting firm based in Courthouse, is a finalist in Fortune magazine’s 13th annual Battle of the Corporate Bands. The band, Detached Retina, will compete at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on September 28, along with seven other finalists. The contest’s proceeds benefit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. [Excella Consulting]
On the eve of the Fourth of July, police say a man snatched a ring and a number of loose diamonds from a clerk at the Helzberg Diamonds store in Pentagon City Mall.
From this week’s Arlington County crime report:
ROBBERY, 07/03/13, 1400 block of S. Hayes St. At 7:45 pm on July 3 an unknown suspect grabbed a ring and loose diamonds from a clerk at the Helzberg Diamonds store. Suspect is described as a black male, 5’8, 170 lbs. wearing a long sleeved blue shirt and khaki pants.
The rest of the crime report, after the jump.
A man has been arrested and charged in connection with the March 19 smash and grab robbery at Pentagon City mall.
As seen in the above surveillance video released by the Arlington County Police Department, four suspects entered the Torneau store and broke the jewelry case with Rolex watches. The FBI has since taken over the case, and said the suspects got away with 22 watches worth more than $500,000 before fleeing to a getaway car with a fifth suspect.
Last week, Walter A. Douglas was arrested in connection with the robbery, claiming he “did knowingly and unlawfully, conspire, confederate, and agree to delay and affect commerce and the movement of articles and commodities in such commerce, by robbery.” According to the FBI affidavit, Douglas has a history of robbery, grand theft and grand larceny in the D.C. metro area. The document connects him to seven other high profile robberies in the region between December 3, 2012, and April 30, 2013, for which he has also been charged.
The affidavit states that an informant contacted the ACPD on April 10 and claimed Douglas was responsible for the Pentagon City robbery, and possibly for others. The informant reported hearing Douglas speaking with another man, the recently arrested Floyd Davis, about high end watches and rings.
Davis was reportedly arrested early last month, but the list of alleged crimes in his affidavit did not directly name the Pentagon City incident. Davis was, however, mentioned in the Douglas affidavit for having been in the immediate area and in contact with Douglas around the time of the Torneau robbery.
Evidence against the men includes cell phone records showing Douglas and Davis in frequent contact with each other on or around the days of the robberies. Cell phone records also place one or both men near the locations of several of the robberies at the times they occurred.
Additionally, the FBI matched cars spotted at a couple of the robberies with those Douglas apparently rented around the time of each incident. Records show he rented a grey Dodge Charger — like the one investigators saw in the Pentagon City surveillance video — four days before the robbery. The vehicle was returned the day of the robbery.
An FBI spokesperson would not comment on the possibility of other arrests in the case because the investigation is still active.
The eatery opened this morning and attracted a long line during today’s lunchtime rush. Like Panera’s sit-down stores, the food court location offers artisan breads, salads, soups, sandwiches, pastas, bagels, smoothies, coffee, tea, espresso drinks and baked goods.
Panera is open from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Sundays. For local office workers and residents, the restaurant accepts phone-in orders at 703-412-5080 or fax orders at 703-412-5082.
This is the second Panera Bread location in Arlington. An existing Panera is located at Ballston Common Mall (4238 Wilson Boulevard).
Had tip to Peter Brooks