Arlington Named No. 3 Best Place to Live — Arlington has been named the No. 3 “best small to mid-sized city” to live in the U.S. The county scored high marks for civic engagement, education, amenities and diversity. Topping the list were Madison, Wis. and Rochester, Minn. [Livability.com]
County Still Winding Down Streetcar Project — Arlington County still is on the hook for about $60,000 worth of contract work associated with the canceled streetcar project. Most of the county staff members working on the project have been transferred to other departments, County Manager Barbara Donnellan said in an update to the County Board regarding the project wind down. [InsideNova]
Fmr. Rep. Moran to Lobby — Recently retired congressman Jim Moran has been hired by the Washington law firm McDermott Will & Emery. Moran plans to join the firm’s lobbying practice, lobbying primarily for defense contractors. [Washington Post]
Development Tracking Report — Arlington County has released its quarterly development tracking report for the fourth quarter of 2014. Notably, no new office construction was approved or started during the time period, although 761 new residential units were started and another 73 were approved. [Arlington County]
Drone Company Disables Flight in Arlington — Following a recreational drone’s crash landing at the White House, drone manufacturer DJI has pushed out a firmware update for its robotic vehicles that prohibits flight within a 15.5 mile radius of downtown D.C. [Engadget]
Making Business Easier in Arlington — Arlington County is taking some small steps toward making it easier to do business in the county. Arlington recently introduced online business license registration and a streamlined process for paying building permit fees. [Arlington County]
Flickr pool photo by Brian Allen
“This penthouse in Turnberry Tower is in easy commuting distance to D.C. but away from the bustle of the city with views of the Virginia countryside,” CNBC writes in its post. “It has high-end touches like hickory floors, Snaidero cabinetry and electronic shades and draperies. A private elevator and wrap around balcony complete the luxurious picture.”
The penthouse is available for rent for $10,000 a month, according to real estate listing service MRIS Homes. Turnberry Tower is a condominium building, and it’s sold out, according to its website. A penthouse apartment in the building sold for $4.2 million in 2012.
The apartment has two bedrooms, two bathrooms and covers 2,039-square-feet. Whoever rents the apartment also gets access to Turnberry’s rooftop patio, indoor pool, theater and party room.
Clarendon has been ranked among the nine “yuppiest neighborhoods in America” by the website Thrillist.com.
The Orange line neighborhood made the list thanks to young, affluent residents and their standard-issue upscale haunts, like Whole Foods, Pottery Barn and Lululemon. From the website:
This Virginia neighborhood across the river from DC blends the quietude of suburbia with the bustle of city life, which makes it perfect for the professionals who work on K Street. Single and young families alike call this place home, and chain staples like Pottery Barn, Whole Foods, and Lululemon are interspersed with just enough local bars and restaurants to keep the newly minted post-grad yuppie-types from fully realizing the commercial existence they’ve bought into.
The other eight yuppie neighborhoods to make the list are LoDo (Denver), West 6th Street (Austin), Pearl District (Portland), South Lake Union (Seattle), Lincoln Park (Chicago), Back Bay (Boston), Brickell (Miami) and The Marina District (San Francisco).
The study, conducted by financial advice company NerdWallet using data from online event platform EventBrite, says Arlington’s “overall score for Halloween parties,” which is a combination of number of RSVPs and affordability, is 83.79 out of 100.
Arlington registered a seven out of 10 for its “party engagement score” and has an average party cost of $12.15, second-lowest in the top 10, behind No. 8 Nashville, Tenn., at $12.11. Washington, D.C., is the 17th-best city in the country for parties with an overall score of 81.73 and an average cost of $25.64.
The engagement score is on a scale of 1-10, according to NerdWallet, with a 10 meaning more than 20,000 people in one city have RSVP-ed to a Halloween party. The only city in the country to achieve a 10 was San Francisco, the top city on the list. Behind San Francisco, which had an overall score of 96.14, on the list are New York City, San Antonio, Texas, and Phoenix.
Flickr pool photo by ddimick
Arlington Fighting to Keep, Attract Office Tenants – In the wake of federal cuts and BRAC relocations, Arlington’s office vacancy rate is now as high as 23 percent. Arlington is reportedly fighting to keep the Courthouse-based energy software firm Opower, “which is considering a move to the District to better recruit talent.” Meanwhile, Rosslyn property owner Monday Properties is still searching for a tenant for its new, gleaming 1812 N. Moore Street office tower. [Washington Post]
New Spa Coming to Clarendon — Sterling-based Origins Thai Spa is planning on opening a new location in Arlington. The spa will be located in a 5,000 square foot space next to Sehkraft Beer Garden on the ground floor of the Garfield Park apartment building at 925 N. Garfield Street. [Washington Business Journal]
County Recognizes ‘Outstanding Landscapes’ — The Arlington County Board has recognized four properties “for the quality of their landscaping and the serenity they bring to their neighborhoods.” The properties include Circa restaurant in Clarendon, the Clarendon Square office building, the Avalon Arlington North apartment building on N. Glebe Road, and the Whitmore apartment building on Columbia Pike. [Arlington County]
According to RealtyTrac, a real estate data and information website, Arlington’s millennial population has increased 82 percent from 2007-2013, the highest rate in the country over that timespan. The data comes from an analysis of U.S. Census data from 1,800 counties nationwide.
Alexandria ranks second in the list in millennial growth rate, at 81 percent, ahead of New Orleans and San Francisco.
“Naturally, millennials are attracted to markets with good job prospects and low unemployment but that tend to have high rental rates and high home price appreciation,” RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist said on the company’s website.
RealtyTrac said Arlington’s unemployment rate of 3.2 percent, a little more than half of the national 6.1 percent rate. Arlington also topped the list in terms of percentage of the population made up of millennials, at 39 percent, and its median home price, $505,000, was third behind San Francisco ($950,000) and Manhattan in New York City ($850,000).
This ranking follows two Arlington ZIP codes ranking as the top two for millennials in the country and Clarendon being called the “best neighborhood for millennials” in the D.C. area, both released this year.
File photo courtesy Mary Dominiak/Experimental Aircraft Association
Arlington ranked behind No. 1 Madison, Wis., and No. 2 Rochester, Minn., according to Livability.com, a website that “explores what makes small-to-medium sized cities great places to live.
“Arlington strikes a great middle ground for those who want something less urban than Washington D.C., but more suburban than many of the other towns that ring our nation’s capital,” Livability editor Matt Carmichael wrote. “Arlington’s status on this list can be traced largely to a decision made back in the 1960s.”
“Arlington lobbied to run the Metro underground and planned for high-rise and high-density development nearby,” Carmichael continued. “The result is the Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor that planners imagined as an ‘urban village.’ Each stop has its own function and identity. Together, its mix of retail, residential, government buildings, and offices help draw residents and businesses, but also help support the more traditional suburban parts of Arlington such as the cul-du-sac [sic], single-family-home neighborhoods of Country Club Hills and Columbia Pike.”
Livability scored localities in eight categories: economics, housing, amenities, infrastructure, demographics, social and civic capital, education and health care. Those factors were graded out of 100 and added together. Arlington had a score of 680 (Madison finished at 705, and Rochester and 685). Arlington received 88 points for its school system and 76 for amenities.
County leaders touted the ranking in a press release.
“This is gratifying recognition of decades of long-term thinking, planning and follow-through by many community leaders,” said Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette. “Our outstanding transportation network, strong neighborhoods, welcoming business climate, mixed-use development and great schools were all factors in our ranking.”
Flickr pool photo by @ddimick
(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
The list, published in the latest print edition of the Washington Business Journal, includes the 22207 ZIP code at No. 14, 22213 at No. 21 and 22205 at No. 31. All three encompass parts of north Arlington.
The average household income for each, respectively, is $193,292, $183,484 and $171,153.
The ZIP codes in the top 10, meanwhile, include parts of Vienna, Cabin John, McLean and Potomac, among others. The No. 1 wealthiest ZIP code, according to the list, was the Great Falls ZIP code of 22066, with an average household income of $225,311.
The “wealthiest ZIP code” rankings are determined by factors like home values, net worth and disposable income.
Map via unitedstateszipcodes.org
Arlington is the 7th most-generous locality (with a population over 100,000) in the U.S. according to new rankings from Blackbaud, a software company dealing in fundraising solutions for nonprofits.
Arlington residents made 72,031 chartitable online donations that were tracked by Blackbaud, for a total of $7.3 million. That’s $33,671 per 1,000 residents.
Washington, D.C. ranked as the fourth most generous city and Alexandria ranked second. In Alexandria, $47,192 was donated online per 1,000 residents D.C. averaged $38,172 donated per 1,000 residents.
The nation’s “most generous city” was Seattle, with $53,542 in donations per 1,000 residents.
Arlington ranked fourth on Blackbaud’s list last year. But Blackbaud spokeswoman Nicole McGougan said the company increased the survey size for its most recent rankings, which makes a direct comparison to last year’s rankings impossible.
“Comparing the data is like comparing apples and oranges,” McGougan said.
The top 10 “most generous online cities” on this year’s list are:
- Seattle, Wash.
- Alexandria, Va.
- Atlanta, Ga.
- Washington, D.C.
- Cambridge, Ma.
- Ann Arbor, Mich.
- Arlington, Va.
- Cincinnati, Ohio
- Bellevue, Wash.
- San Francisco, Calif.
The rankings were published by Niche.com, a website that provides information and analysis about colleges, K-12 schools and places. The website looked at factors like median rent, median income, the percentage of the population between 25 and 34 years old, and the percentage of the population with a bachelor’s degree or higher.
The D.C. area itself was named the third-best city for millennials, after New York City and Austin, Texas. Chicago and San Francisco followed, ranked fourth and fifth respectively.
Flickr pool photo by Ddimick
Arlington’s El Chilango food truck has made Yelp’s list of the “Top 100 Places to Eat” in the United States.
The list seeks to identify “the spots Yelpers have deemed the ultimate, try-before-you-die, food-coma-inducing, so-good-it-makes-you-want-to-slap-your-momma places to eat.” El Chilango was ranked No. 58, was the only eatery from Virginia on the list and one of only two from the D.C. area.
El Chilango serves tacos from a semi-permanent parking spot in the residential neighborhood of Radnor-Fort Myer Heights, in the area of 14th Street N. and N. Queen Street, near Route 50.
Washington, D.C., comparatively, was named the second-happiest city to work in the country. Each city was evaluated by 10 factors, including “one’s relationship with the boss and co-workers, work environment, job resources, compensation, growth opportunities, company culture, company reputation, daily tasks, and control over the work done does on a daily basis,” according to Forbes.
Each factor was rated on a five-point scale by a survey of more than 20,000 employees. Washington D.C.’s 10 factors averaged to a score of 3.925, behind only San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif., which came in with a score of 3.93.
Arlington’s score was not listed — the list only gave scores of the top and bottom 5 cities — but the supposed unhappiest city to work in America, Cincinnati, Ohio, came in with 3.32. Pittsburgh, Pa., the fifth-unhappiest city, had a score of 3.58.
Flickr pool photo by @ddimick
According to Travel + Leisure magazine, Washington, D.C. is the least attractive city in the country.
Slipping four places from last year, D.C. was judged to be the capital of ugly people.
“The locals came off as both unfriendly and not so stylish,” the magazine said. (San Francisco was ranked the most attractive city.)
The company released its annual America’s Best Drivers Report this week and once again, Arlington is near the bottom. The county ranked 10th worst, with drivers going an average of 6.7 years between accidents. That means drivers here are 50 percent more likely to get in an accident than the national average.
Bad driving in the D.C. area isn’t just confined to Arlington, however. Alexandria ranked below Arlington as the 7th worst while Baltimore and the District ranked as No. 2 and 1 worst, respectively.
Arlington’s drivers seem to be getting worse over time, at least according to Allstate’s statistics. Last year, Arlington was ranked as 12th worst, and in 2011 the county was ranked 14th worst. In 2011, Arlington drivers went an average of 6.8 years between accidents.
The safest drivers in the country, meanwhile, reside in Fort Collins, Colo., where motorists go nearly 14 years between accidents on average. The national average is 10 years between accidents, according to Allstate.