Clinton Signs Books at Pentagon City Costco — Former Secretary of State and likely 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton signed books at the Pentagon City Costco store on Saturday. One group of Clinton supporters who lined up outside the store Saturday morning told ARLnow.com that they were in line for more than 4 hours before getting their books signed. The signature: a simple, cursive “Hillary.” Also dropping by on Saturday was Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who was shopping and stumbled upon the event. [Huffington Post, Washington Post]
Board Approves Waycroft-Woodlawn Plan — The County Board on Saturday unanimously approved an updated Neighborhood Conservation Plan for the Waycroft-Woodlawn community, located northwest of Ballston. The plan calls for funding “to address speeding and cut-through traffic, improve pedestrian safety, enhance street conditions and make park improvements.” Waycroft-Woodlawn has 1,600 residents, mostly in single-family homes. [Arlington County]
Healthy Vending Machine Installation Complete — Arlington Public Schools has completed installation of 115 new “FitArlington Healthy Vending Machines” in all 40 APS-owned buildings. The machines offer “bottled water and 100% fruit juice beverages, and a variety of healthy snacks, such as dried fruit, baked chips, and granola bars.” [Arlington Public Schools]
The 17-story building at 901 15th Street S. is now Instrata Pentagon City, a part of the Instrata Lifestyle Residences chain that casts itself as “a lifestyle concept of high-end luxury rental apartments,” according to a press release.
The pet-friendly building will be managed by D.C.-area property manager Bozzuto and, according to Bozzuto spokeswoman Lauren Neuvel, will lease one-bedroom apartments for between $1,969 and $2,519 a month; two-bedrooms for between $3,035 and $6,205; and three-bedrooms from $6,306 to $6,458.
“Instrata Pentagon City apartments feature kitchens with ceramic flooring, custom-crafted cabinetry, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and gas cooking; premium bathrooms with soaking tubs and ceramic tiling… private balconies or sunrooms, and stunning views of Washington, D.C.” according to the press release.
The building’s amenities include jacuzzis and marble fireplaces in penthouse apartments, a yoga room, massage room, personal trainers and a complimentary membership to ClubCorp, which, according to the press release, provides “access to private golf and country clubs, business, sports and alumni clubs throughout North America.”
The apartments were recently renovated as tenants have moved out, Neuvel said. Instrata launched in New York City earlier this year, and Instrata Pentagon City is the company’s first venture outside Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Photo (top) via Google Maps, photo (bottom) via Instrata Pentagon City
A source tells ARLnow.com that the woman was intoxicated and within a restricted portion of the building’s rooftop when she fell through an old incinerator chute to her death. Police investigated the incident but no foul play is suspected and investigators believe it to be a “tragic accident,” we’re told.
No additional information is available about the accident at this time. An Arlington County Police spokesman declined comment.
Hard Choices will go on sale on Tuesday. The book chronicles Clinton’s four years as Secretary of State and the “crises, choices, and challenges she faced.”
Clinton will be signing copies of the book at the Pentagon City Costco store from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on June 14.
Following Hillary to the signing will be a large tour bus paid for by Ready for Hillary, the Arlington-based political action committee that’s supporting Clinton in her expected 2016 presidential run.
Dump Truck Driver Found Guilty in Woman’s Death — The driver of a dump truck that struck and killed a 39-year-old mother of three in February has been found guilty of “failing to pay full time and attention.” Marvin Valladares, 33, was sentenced to 10 days in jail with four suspended. [WTOP, WJLA]
Pentagon Centre Redevelopment Plans Change – A plan to redevelop the Pentagon Centre shopping center is being changed. Owner Kimco Realty Corp. now wants to build two residential buildings on the site before building two office buildings and a hotel. Pentagon Centre is currently home to Best Buy, Costco and other big box retailers. If the plan is approved, it and other Pentagon City development projects could result in “a deluge of roughly 4,000 new residential units in a decade.” [Washington Business Journal]
Lane Closures Planned for Parade — A number of lanes will be closed in the area of Four Mile Run on Saturday for the Corso de Santa Cruz Parade. [Arlington County]
An allegedly gun-toting convicted felon was arrested by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents after a brief car chase and crash in Pentagon City over the weekend.
The ATF says its agents were following D.C. resident Othaniel Gaither, a convicted felon, after he illegally bought two guns and ammunition in Northern Virginia on Sunday. When Gaither took a detour through Pentagon City en route back to D.C., the agents tried to pull him over in the area of 15th Street and S. Fern Street.
“At this point, Gaither attempted to evade arrest and rammed into one of the ATF vehicles,” ATF Washington Field Division spokesman Thomas A. Faison told ARLnow.com. “This evasion attempt proved unsuccessful.”
“[Gaither] admitted to being a convicted felon who was transporting the firearms and ammunition from Virginia to D.C.,” Faison said. “He also stated that an associate of his was shot several weeks ago in D.C. and the firearms and ammunition were for retaliation against the individuals responsible for the shooting incident.”
ATF agents recovered an AK-47 rifle, a .38 caliber machine pistol and a flare gun that was modified to fire 12-gauge shotgun shells, according to Faison. Ammunition was also found.
Gaither remains in custody on federal charges.
Photos courtesy @WestwoodKing
Arlington County held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday for its multimodal improvement project in Pentagon City.
The two-year, $9 million project resulted in improved sidewalks, road crossings, bike lanes, street trees, drainage and landscaping along S. Hayes Street in front of Pentagon City mall. The project was completed nearly 6 percent under budget, with the state and federal government paying 80 percent of the final cost, according to the county.
“This project is key to Arlington’s efforts to make it easier to travel to, around or through Pentagon City, whether you are traveling by car, bus, bike or Metro,” Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette said in a statement. “South Hayes is now a more complete, welcoming, accessible and safe corridor.”
Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) and County Board members Walter Tejada and Libby Garvey were on hand for the unveiling on Thursday.
The county’s press release about the project’s completion is below, after the jump.
(Updated at 4:05 p.m.) Arlington police and firefighters are on the scene of a rollover accident at the intersection of Army Navy Drive and S. Hayes Street in Pentagon City.
Initial reports suggest an SUV overturned as a result of a two-vehicle crash. The driver of the overturned SUV was able to get out of the vehicle and did not appear to be seriously hurt.
According to police on scene, the drivers of both cars escaped with minor injuries, but the driver of the car that flipped was transported to Virginia Hospital Center as a precaution.
Motorists should expect delays in the area of the crash.
Arlington County police are looking for three suspects in an early morning brawl at the DoubleTree hotel in Pentagon City (300 Army Navy Drive) Sunday.
“Surveillance video captured the suspects in the lobby area at approximately 3:16 a.m. as they taunt two couples as they entered the hotel,” according to police. “Following the comments, the three suspects charge after the victims and a physical altercation ensues, leaving one of the victim’s unconscious on the floor. The suspects flee the scene after hotel security arrive and are again captured on surveillance video exiting the front door.”
The victim was taken to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Police are asking anyone who might recognize the suspects to contact investigators.
“If anyone has information on the identity and/or whereabouts of these individuals, please contact Detective Paula Brockenborough of the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703.228.4241 or at firstname.lastname@example.org,” said a police press release. “To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).”
A monster pothole has been claiming hubcaps and testing the suspensions of unsuspecting drivers in Pentagon City.
The pothole is located on S. Joyce Street, across from Pentagon Row. As of last night, it measured approximately 4 feet by 4 feet, with a depth of 6 to 9 inches. That makes it even bigger than our previous contender for biggest pothole in Arlington, which was located on N. Fillmore Street in Clarendon.
The pothole was consistently being run over by the right tires of vehicles last night, occasionally producing a loud thud from those with smaller vehicles or tighter suspensions.
The pothole has been there for at least two weeks, and has been growing bigger by the day. Myllisa Kennedy, spokeswoman for Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services, suggested that the maintenance crews responsible for filling potholes have been slowed down by recent snowstorms.
“Crews have had to shift back and forth between pothole/other maintenance work and snow because of all the storms — doing as much as they can when the weather is cooperating,” she said via email.
Kennedy explained that Arlington County prefers to use a more durable method of pothole repair, which requires better weather conditions than the more temporary alternative.
“Crews fix the potholes using a longer lasting ‘hot’ mix – as opposed to a ‘cold’ mix used for temporary repairs in some places — whenever possible to reduce the likelihood we have to come back around and fix the same pothole,” she wrote.
The harsh winter is producing more potholes this year, Kennedy said. Maintenance crews are expected to be back out on the streets today trying to catch up on the pothole backlog.
“The severe weather fluctuations this winter are leading to more potholes earlier in the season and thus there is a need to for crews to start focusing on pothole repairs sooner than they would in milder winters,” said Kennedy. “Our plan is to get back out and continue filling the potholes County-wide. Our streets crews, which total about 35 employees, will be out on the roadways today, throughout this month, and well into the spring working to fix the potholes caused by this year’s extreme freeze and thaw weather. We will also bring in contractors to help with larger potholes and patches.”
The annual Love the Run You’re With 5K will take place Sunday morning (Feb. 9) and will result in some street closures around Pentagon City.
The Valentine’s Day-themed race kicks off at 9:00 a.m. on S. Joyce Street in front of Pentagon Row. Runners then do a loop up Army Navy Drive, as it runs parallel to I-395, before returning to Pentagon Row.
Registration for the race, organized by Pacers Events, is $40. Participants are given different colored race bibs depending on whether their relationship status is “single,” “in a relationship” or “it’s complicated.” A post-run party will be held Champps Restaurant (1201 S. Joyce Street).
To accommodate the race, the Arlington County Police Department is planning on closing the following roads from 7:00 to 11:00 a.m.
- South Joyce Street between South 15th Street and Army Navy Drive
- Army Navy Drive between South Joyce Street and South 25th Street
“Street parking in the area will be restricted,” the police department said in a press release. “Motorists should be on the lookout for temporary ‘No Parking’ signs. Illegally parked vehicles may be ticketed or towed. If your vehicle is towed from a public street, call 703-558-2222.”
“Race attendees are encouraged to use Metro, however, if driving please utilize the parking garage at the Pentagon City Mall,” ACPD advised.
Photo via Pacers Events
The former Department of Defense Inspector General office at 400 Army Navy Drive has submitted a site plan for a 20-story building with two towers — on one, three-story platform — that would have 491,588 square feet of ground floor space and 453 residential units.
The building, also called the “Paperclip Building,” was acquired by Bethesda-based developer LCOR in 2012, according to City Biz List, with the plan to convert it into housing. The site plan is now under consideration with the Site Plan Review Committee (SPRC) and is slated to go before the Planning Commission and the Arlington County Board no earlier than April for approval, we’re told.
The 1.6-acre plot of land is bounded by Army Navy Drive to the north, 11th Street S. to the south, S. Eads Street to the west and the Doubletree hotel to the east. The site is across S. Eads Street from the recently-approved PenPlace commercial development, which calls for four office buildings and a 300-room hotel on 10.2 acres; more than 4 million square feet of floor space.
PenPlace was approved despite heavy opposition from the Arlington Ridge Civic Association (ARCA) and other neighborhood groups, who objected to the height of the buildings (16-21 stories) and the additional traffic expected to be generated.
At the initial SPRC meeting, commissioners expressed concern that the traffic study the developer performed in June, when putting together its site plan, did not include the impact from PenPlace. In addition, a proposed operations and maintenance facility for the Crystal City streetcar line is directly adjacent to the planned apartment site.
“I don’t see how the proposed 400 Army Navy Drive project can be successfully developed if the County proceeds with its plan to build a streetcar operations and maintenance facility a few feet from its front door on the ‘tear drop’ in the middle of Eads Street,” Arthur Fox, who’s representing ARCA on the SPRC for the project, told ARLnow.com.
“Indeed, an O&M facility in that location will likely be the rotten apple that will spoil the barrel the County is seeking to develop across Eads on PenPlace,” Fox continued. “Unfortunately, the county failed to seriously consider a number of alternative sites that would be far better suited for an O&M facility. It needs to take a step backward and reopen that process.”
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]
Construction on the Pentagon City Multimodal Project on S. Hayes Street is expected to wrap up this spring, county officials say.
The project has been under construction since the summer of 2012. It’s expected to bring numerous streetscape improvements to the stretch of Hayes Street between 15th Street and Army Navy Drive. The stretch includes entrances to the Pentagon City Metro station and the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall.
Some residents have been asking ARLnow.com when the project and its associated lane and sidewalk closures would end. Arlington County spokeswoman Jennifer Heilman says the end is near.
“Crews are currently working on traffic signal installation and landscaping in the median, which includes plantings, bioretention areas to manage stormwater runoff, and installation of porous pavement,” she said via email. “We expect construction to conclude by spring 2014.”
That’s within the project’s expected two-year timetable.
The $9 million project was approved by the County Board in April 2012. The features planned as part of the project include:
- Upgraded traffic signals with improved timing at each intersection
- Clearly designated mid-block crossing areas
- New, upgraded street furniture
- New street lighting and accent lighting
- New sidewalks, crosswalks and lane markings
- New ADA ramps and pedestrian crossing equipment at all intersections
- Bioretention and rain garden landscape features to manage stormwater runoff
- Improved landscaping including street trees and ground cover throughout the project area
- Improved amenities for bicyclists, transit riders, pedestrians and visitors to the Pentagon City area
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