47°Mostly Cloudy

by ARLnow.com — July 17, 2014 at 9:30 am 1,686 0

Temporary detour sign in Rosslyn

Pentagon Row Concert Series Starts Tonight — The summer concert series at Pentagon Row starts tonight with Philadelphia-based cover band Kristen and the Noise. The concerts are held every Thursday night from 7:00-9:00 p.m., through Aug. 21. [Pentagon Row]

District Taco Coming to Bethesda — Local, Arlington-based Mexican restaurant chain District Taco plans to open a location in Bethesda in 2016. The Bethesda location is expected to be District Taco’s first in Maryland. [Bethesda Now]

New Homes Coming to Cherrydale — Four new high-end homes are coming to the 4100 block of 18th Street N. in the Cherrydale neighborhood. The list price of the houses, built by Tradition Homes, is around $1.8 million. They’re expected to be ready for move-in by the spring of 2015. [Patch]

by ARLnow.com — July 14, 2014 at 8:35 am 4,643 0

SuperMoon on 7/12/14 (Flickr pool photo by Joseph Gruber)

Arlington Boy Hit and Killed by Car — An 8-year-old Arlington resident was struck and killed by a car while crossing an intersection in Chagrin Falls, Ohio — near Cleveland — on Saturday. Police say Eli Sachar, 8, died at the hospital. His mother and father were also struck by the car and injured. It’s unclear why the 62-year-old driver of the car didn’t stop for pedestrians; she was also transported to a local hospital. [Cleveland Plain Dealer, ABC 5 Cleveland]

Million Dollar Homes Now the Norm in Arlington — Of 222 homes on the market in Arlington late last month, 57 percent were priced above $1 million. Real estate agents say they’re aware of the trend of home prices increasingly exceeding the $1 million mark and “expect it to continue.” [InsideNova]

Dem Delegate Candidate Calls for Streetcar Referendum — Rip Sullivan, the Democratic candidate to replace Del. Bob Brink in the 48th District House of Delegates special election, says if elected he would push for General Assembly approval of an advisory referendum on the Columbia Pike streetcar project. [Washington Post]

Flickr pool photo by Joseph Gruber

by ARLnow.com — June 9, 2014 at 1:35 pm 2,327 0

Bird's eye view of an Arlington neighborhood by Christopher DoorleyIt’s not easy for many people to afford to buy a home in Arlington. It’s obviously a lot harder to afford to buy every home in Arlington — but believe it or not, there are at least two people who could pull it off.

According to a report from real estate website Redfin, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett could individually, with their net worth, buy every single home in Arlington County.

There are 75,317 homes in Arlington with an aggregate value of $43.4 billion, the report says. Warren Buffett, with his $65.5 billion, or Bill Gates, with $78.4 billion, according to Forbes, could theoretically buy all the residential real estate there is to buy in Arlington.

The Koch brothers, with $86 billion in total net worth, could buy the county twice over. The Walton family, of Walmart fame, could buy Arlington more than three times over with their $154.8 billion.

Only the Walton family could buy all of the 209,092 homes in the District of Columbia; the District’s homes are valued in aggregate at $109.2 billion, according to Redfin.

Photo courtesy Christopher Doorley

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — May 29, 2014 at 5:00 am 1,356 0

Come home to The Continental (851 Glebe Road), one of the most amenity-rich condominium buildings in town.

You’ll love living in the heart of Ballston. Walk out the front door to a wide variety of restaurants, shopping and entertainment options. A Harris Teeter store, Kettler Capitals Iceplex and the soon-to-be redesigned Ballston mall and movie theater are all within a few short blocks.

Listed at $629,900, this is a corner unit with an open floorplan, high ceilings and extra windows, providing wonderful natural light. You’ll also enjoy abutting only one neighbor. Other features of this spacious 1,172 square foot unit include:

  • Custom hardwood floors
  • Granite counters with island
  • Maple cabinetry
  • Stainless steel appliances
  • Balcony with unobstructed view (on preferred side of building)
  • Dual master bedrooms (both with walk-in closets)
  • Luxury master baths with large linen closets
  • Gas fireplace
  • Computer nook
  • New window blinds
  • Garage parking space
  • Building amenities: 24 hour concierge, rooftop pool, theater room, business center, fitness center, party room and secure entry
  • The concierge is available to help with reservations, appointments, tickets, etc.
  • Rooftop terrace with beautiful views *coming soon*
  • Online package tracking system for residents
  • Condo fee is only $462 / month
  • HVAC service plan in place through May 2015
  • 2 blocks to Ballston Metro

For more information or a private showing at your convenience, please contact Adam Gallegos at Arbour Realty. Adam can be reached at 703-627-1255 or via adam@arbourrealty.com.

by ARLnow.com — May 20, 2014 at 7:00 am 0

Arlington Home Buyer Seminar

Are you considering buying a home in Arlington in 2014?

If so, attend this Arlington home buyer seminar in Courthouse tomorrow Wednesday, May 21st.

Three industry experts – Joe Zamoiski of 1st Portfolio Lending, George Papakostas of Long & Foster, and George Glekas of GPN Title – will give an informative talk about the process of buying a home in Arlington. Joe, George, and George have years of experience between them in the Arlington market, not to mention hundreds of successful transactions.

They’ll cover the home-buying process in detail, including:

  • Identifying a home.
  • The offer, negotiation, and closing process.
  • Financing, including loan approval and figuring out what you can afford.
  • State of the Arlington market.

In addition to the above, the purpose of the seminar is to answer your questions. Attendance is kept low to allow ample attention for all attendees. You’ll have plenty of time to ask questions during the Q&A or afterwards if you’d prefer to ask a question privately.

Click here to register

The speakers will present for 45 minutes or so, after which there will be Q&A for 30 minutes, when the seminar officially ends. But Joe, George, and George will stick around as long as necessary to answer all questions.

More details:

  • Location: In the heart of Courthouse at the Residence Inn Arlington Courthouse, 1401 N Adams St (map).
  • Parking: Yes, free parking.
  • Metro-accessible: Two blocks from the Courthouse station.
  • Cost: $15 per person here, $20 at the door.
  • Food: Snacks and drinks will be provided.
  • Questions: Email seminars2014@urbanturf.com or call 703-842-1391.

Click here to register

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — May 14, 2014 at 7:00 am 1,505 0

With development along Columbia Pike and the growing popularity of Shirlington, the Douglas Park neighborhood is regarded as one of the premiere investments in Arlington real estate. Plus, it’s also being recognized as an ideal place to call home.

If you want a new house to call home in Douglas Park, look no further than 3511 16th Street S. This 4 bedroom, 4.5 bath home features two stories and a basement; an upper level master suite with walk-in closets and a soaking tub; a dream kitchen with a granite island and wine bridge; hardwood floors and new carpet; crown molding; a two-car detached garage; mature dogwood trees; and a stone patio and walkway.

You’ll love the convenience of being located next door to Shirlington and with easy access to Columbia Pike, Clarendon, the Pentagon and D.C., not to mention the W&OD trail, parks, dog parks and community garden.

This is one of the newer homes in Douglas Park, providing all the luxuries and conveniences you deserve. The open floor plan and outdoor space are perfect for enjoying family and friends. The gushing natural light and energy savings features will keep your utility bills low.

Your new home even includes a (maintenance free) white picket fence.

For more information or a private showing at your convenience, please contact Adam Gallegos at Arbour Realty. Adam can be reached at 703-627-1255 or via adam@arbourrealty.com.

by ARLnow.com — April 29, 2014 at 5:00 am 0

arlnow_header_Apr2014_625x218

Are you considering buying a home in Arlington in 2014?

If so, attend this Arlington home buyer seminar in Clarendon tonight, Tuesday, April 29th.

Three industry experts – Joe Zamoiski of 1st Portfolio Lending, George Papakostas of Long & Foster, and George Glekas of GPN Title – will give an informative talk about the process of buying a home in Arlington. Joe, George, and George have years of experience between them in the Arlington market, not to mention hundreds of successful transactions.

They’ll cover the home-buying process in detail, including:

  • Identifying a home.
  • The offer, negotiation, and closing process.
  • Financing, including loan approval and figuring out what you can afford.
  • State of the Arlington market.

In addition to the above, the purpose of the seminar is to answer your questions. Attendance is kept low to allow ample attention for all attendees. You’ll have plenty of time to ask questions during the Q&A or afterwards if you’d prefer to ask a question privately.

Register for tonight’s seminar

The speakers will present for 45 minutes or so, after which there will be Q&A for 30 minutes, when the seminar officially ends. But Joe, George, and George will stick around as long as necessary to answer all questions.

More details:

  • Location: In the heart of Clarendon at 3033 Wilson Boulevard, suite 700 (map).
  • Parking: Yes, free parking.
  • Metro-accessible: One block from the Clarendon station.
  • Cost: $15 per person here, $20 at the door.
  • Food: Snacks and drinks will be provided.
  • Questions: Email seminars2014@urbanturf.com or call 703-842-1391.

Register for tonight’s seminar

Editor’s Note: This post was written and sponsored by Urban Turf.

by ARLnow.com — April 24, 2014 at 7:00 am 448 0

arlnow_header_Apr2014_625x218

Are you considering buying a home in Arlington in 2014?

If so, attend this Arlington home buyer seminar in Clarendon next Tuesday, April 29th.

Three industry experts – Joe Zamoiski of 1st Portfolio Lending, George Papakostas of Long & Foster, and George Glekas of GPN Title – will give an informative talk about the process of buying a home in Arlington. Joe, George, and George have years of experience between them in the Arlington market, not to mention hundreds of successful transactions.

They’ll cover the home-buying process in detail, including:

  • Identifying a home.
  • The offer, negotiation, and closing process.
  • Financing, including loan approval and figuring out what you can afford.
  • State of the Arlington market.

In addition to the above, the purpose of the seminar is to answer your questions. Attendance is kept low to allow ample attention for all attendees. You’ll have plenty of time to ask questions during the Q&A or afterwards if you’d prefer to ask a question privately.

Click here to register

The speakers will present for 45 minutes or so, after which there will be Q&A for 30 minutes, when the seminar officially ends. But Joe, George, and George will stick around as long as necessary to answer all questions.

More details:

  • Location: In the heart of Clarendon at 3033 Wilson Boulevard, suite 700 (map).
  • Parking: Yes, free parking.
  • Metro-accessible: One block from the Clarendon station.
  • Cost: $15 per person here, $20 at the door.
  • Food: Snacks and drinks will be provided.
  • Questions: Email seminars2014@urbanturf.com or call 703-842-1391.

Click here to register

Editor’s Note: This post was written and sponsored by Urban Turf.

by ARLnow.com — April 14, 2014 at 9:00 am 2,414 0

"Arlington Blossoms" (Flickr pool photo by J. Sonder)

Lubber Run Neighbors Rally Against Housing Proposal — Those who live around the Lubber Run Community Center showed up to the Saturday Arlington County Board meeting to rally against a proposal to use the public land around the community center for affordable housing or a new school. The residents also asked the Board to approve a renovation to the community center. [Sun Gazette]

Board Approves Expanded ‘Technology Zones’ — The County Board on Saturday approved an expansion of its program of reduced business license taxes for technology businesses in certain “technology zones.” About 5-10 businesses per year are expected to qualify for the tax incentives. [Arlington County]

Avg. Single Family Home Price Tops $900,000 — The average sale price of a single family home in Arlington hit $913,677 in March. That’s up 11.7 percent year-over-year. The average townhouse sale price, meanwhile, was $449,202 and the average condo was $515,000. [Sun Gazette]

Arlington Educators Honored — Two Arlington educators, Glebe Elementary principal Jamie Borg and Kenmore Middle School teacher Cassidy Nolen, are among the recipients of the Washington Post’s annual education awards. [Washington Post]

Air Force Research Office to Remain in Arlington — After considering a move to Dayton, Ohio, the Air Force has decided to keep its Office of Scientific Research in Arlington. The decision was made after Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, and Rep. Jim Moran, pressed the Air Force to abandon the relocation proposal. The office employs about 170 people. [PR Newswire, Dayton Business Journal]

Arlington Runner Wins Marine Corp 17.75K – Arlington’s Kelly Swain was the top female finisher at the Marine Corps 17.75K race in Prince William County over the weekend. Swain, 28, finished the 11.03 mile event in 1:14:02. The 17.75K is a precursor to the Marine Corps Marathon, which starts and ends in Arlington. The sold-out race will take place this year on Oct. 26. [Army Times]

Flickr pool photo by J. Sonderman

by ARLnow.com — April 1, 2014 at 8:45 am 1,160 0

View of the Jefferson Memorial from Arlington (Flickr pool photo by Joseph Gruber)

False Alarm at Arlington National Cemetery — The Arlington County Fire Department responded to Arlington National Cemetery yesterday afternoon for a fire alarm. Once on scene, firefighters determined that the alarm was set off by the tomb guards steam pressing their uniforms. [Twitter]

Arlington Real Estate Market Profiled — CNBC’s “Power Lunch” program profiled the real estate market in Arlington last week. The program took a look at three properties in the county, from a $364,900 condo in Ballston to a $1,275,000 luxury townhouse in Rosslyn. [CNBC]

Arlington Dems Have Plenty of Beads — Arlington Democrats are trying to figure out what to do with more than 200 pounds of Mardi Gras beads. The party purchased the beads for the annual Clarendon Mardi Gras parade, which was rescheduled and then canceled due to snow this year. [InsideNoVa]

Doorways Fundraiser Planned — Rocklands Barbeque (3471 Washington Blvd) will open its patio for the season on Thursday, April 17, with its annual “Shed Your Coat” fundraiser. The event, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., will benefit Doorways for Women and Families. [Doorways]

Flickr pool photo by Joseph Gruber

by ARLnow.com — March 3, 2014 at 1:30 pm 1,670 0

Restaurants on Wilson Blvd in ClarendonArlington County will review the big jump in commercial real estate assessments in Clarendon first reported by ARLnow.com last week.

The county said Friday evening that it will take a look at “all commercial real property assessments with a 50% or greater increase from calendar year 2013.”

There are nearly 90 such properties, including Rien Tong restaurant (3131 Wilson Blvd), which saw its assessment increase 197 percent, and Spider Kelly’s (3171 Wilson Blvd), which saw its property valuation increase 83 percent.

The assessments are updated annually and used to calculate county property taxes.

“A small number of commercial property owners did see substantially increased assessments, and this review is meant to correct any mistakes that may have been made,” said county finance director Michelle Cowan, in a press release, below.

Arlington County has begun a review of all commercial real property assessments with a 50% or greater increase from calendar year 2013, including several parcels in the Clarendon area that saw significant increases.

The review will affect fewer than 90 properties, of approximately 3,300 total commercial parcels.  Both the original assessments, and the underlying data for each of the affected properties, will be re-examined to determine whether the assessment should be sustained or changed.

“A small number of commercial property owners did see substantially increased assessments, and this review is meant to correct any mistakes that may have been made,” said Dept. of Management and Finance Director Michelle Cowan. “We want to ensure fair and equitable assessments for all property owners.”

Arlington’s Real Estate Assessment office is mailing letters to property owners of all properties whose assessments increased 50% or more. Upon conclusion of the administrative review by the County, property owners will still have the ability to appeal their assessment through the Board of Equalization. It is anticipated that the County’s administrative review will take 30-45 days. 

Overall, commercial assessments, which include office buildings, apartments, hotels and retail, grew 5.4 percent over CY 2013, primarily fueled by new construction and strength in apartment properties due to rising rents. The specific parcels that were questioned in the Clarendon area fall into the general commercial category class, which includes retail and other types of properties, excluding office buildings and apartments. The general commercial assessment category increased by 12.4 percent over CY 2013.

Assessments for most commercial properties are based on an income approach and evaluate how much income a property would produce if it were rented as an apartment, store, factory, etc. This approach considers operating expenses, taxes, insurance, maintenance costs, and the profits most people would expect from the rental. The net income after operational costs, plus a capitalization rate, determines the assessment value. It is not based on the profitability of a particular business; rather the assessment value is based on the rents and expenses of the property and building in which the business is located.

by ARLnow.com — February 26, 2014 at 10:25 am 5,275 0

Rien Tong in Clarendon(Updated at 1:20 p.m.) Real estate assessments for numerous Clarendon restaurants skyrocketed this year, with little explanation as to why.

Long-time businesses, which have not been renovated or sold recently, saw their assessments increase by double digit or even triple digit percentages. The rise in assessments could mean the owners will be forced to pay tens of thousands in additional county taxes this year, barring a successful appeal.

The biggest increase spotted by ARLnow.com was that of Rien Tong Restaurant (3131 Wilson Blvd). The Asian eatery, located across from the Clarendon Metro station, saw its assessment jump from $559,900 to $1,667,600, a nearly 200 percent increase that would result in an extra $12,528 in taxes.

Restaurants on Wilson Blvd in ClarendonThe assessment for Kabob Bazaar (3133 Wilson Blvd), directly adjacent to Rien Tong in a nearly identical storefront, also increased but not as dramatically. The restaurant’s assessment increased from $635,500 to $840,700, a 32 percent rise.

The biggest tax increase as a result of higher assessments goes to Spider Kelly’s (3171 Wilson Blvd), which saw its property valuation increase 83 percent to $5.1 million. The added tax yearly bill: $26,428.

With the exception of Revolution Cycles (2727 Wilson Blvd), which had its building assessment increase 64 percent to $3.8 million, and Azure Day Spa (2420 Wilson Blvd), which increased 55 percent to $1.9 million, the businesses impacted were primarily Clarendon restaurants.

Other big increases include Eventide (39 percent), Clarendon Ballroom (50 percent), Hard Times Cafe and Delhi Club (50 percent), Boccato Gelato (71 percent), Whitlow’s (24 percent), Faccia Luna and Boulevard Woodgrill (56 percent). By comparison, the Clarendon Whole Foods store at 2700 Wilson Blvd saw no increase in its assessment.

Several restaurant owners contacted ARLnow.com about the higher assessments.

“There’s some funny business going on here,” one said, on the condition of anonymity. “This is a money grab, pure and simple.”

Arlington County Director of Communications Diana Sun says that the businesses in question are typically assessed based on a method that takes a look at the income generated by each property. That, however, can’t fully explain the increases.

“Clearly there were some that just look like an anomaly,” she said.

Sun encouraged business owners who think their assessments this year were unjust to file an administrative appeal before the March 3 deadline. Such an appeal could result in a new inspection of the property and a lower assessment. After March 3, or after an unsatisfactory result from an administrative appeal, any appeals must be filed with the county’s Board of Equalization.

The unknowns involved in filing an appeal still have some business owners on edge.

“I have to hire a lawyer now,” one told ARLnow.com “I’m pretty pissed off about it.”

by ARLnow.com — January 17, 2014 at 5:00 am 402 0

Editor’s Note: This post is written and sponsored by Urban Turf.

Are you considering buying a home in Arlington in 2014?

If so, attend this Arlington home buyer seminar in Clarendon next Wednesday, January 22nd. (Update: this event has been canceled due to weather.)

Three industry experts – Joe Zamoiski of 1st Portfolio Lending, George Papakostas of Long & Foster, and George Glekas of GPN Title — will give an informative talk about the process of buying a home in Arlington. Joe, George, and George have years of experience between them in the Arlington market, not to mention hundreds of successful transactions.

They’ll cover the home-buying process in detail, including:

  • Identifying a home.
  • The offer, negotiation, and closing process.
  • Financing, including loan approval and figuring out what you can afford.
  • State of the Arlington market.

In addition to the above, the purpose of the seminar is to answer your questions. Attendance is kept low to allow ample attention for all attendees. You’ll have plenty of time to ask questions during the Q&A or afterwards if you’d prefer to ask a question privately.

Click here to register

The speakers will present for 45 minutes or so, after which there will be Q&A for 30 minutes, when the seminar officially ends. But Joe, George, and George will stick around as long as necessary to answer all questions.

More details:

  • Location: In the heart of Clarendon at 3033 Wilson Boulevard, suite 700 (map).
  • Parking: Yes, free parking.
  • Metro-accessible: One block from the Clarendon station.
  • Cost: $15 per person here, $20 at the door.
  • Food: Snacks and drinks will be provided.
  • Questions: Email seminars2014@urbanturf.com or call 703-842-1391.

Click here to register

by Ethan Rothstein — January 14, 2014 at 4:20 pm 1,992 0

Arlington Economic Development's Alex Iams, left, speaks at the NAIOP economic development luncheonArlington is “still sorting through the mess” of the BRAC closures that have boosted office vacancy rates, an Arlington representative told hundreds of Northern Virginia commercial real estate developers today.

Arlington, like other communities in the D.C. area, is experiencing weakness in the office market. The high office vacancy rate is exacerbated by new office buildings coming on the market and certain large employers (including military offices impacted by BRAC) leaving.

To combat that, Arlington is considering options providing certain incentives to attract new businesses and hang on to existing employers.

“We’re aggressively planning for the future,” Alex Iams, a commercial development specialist with Arlington Economic Development, told members of NAIOP, an association for commercial real estate developers.

“[BRAC] is still a four-letter word in Arlington for certain,” he said. “We did an aggressive plan for Crystal City, we’ve done planning along Columbia Pike. We have done planning for BRAC in Rosslyn as well, so we’re not only doing planning for the future, but now we’re aggressively positioning ourselves to hold on to what we have.”

Iams was one-fifth of a panel with the directors of economic development from Alexandria as well as Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties. He told ARLnow.com that Arlington is considering tax incentives and other methods to try to encourage businesses to grow — and, just as importantly, stay — in Arlington.

“We’re trying to structure a policy on how to address office vacancy,” he said. “We haven’t done it yet, but you can expect to see it at the end of the season.”

The commercial real estate industry in Northern Virginia listens to economic development officials speakWith the delivery of the 35-story 1812 N. Moore Street last fall, Iams said Arlington’s office vacancy rate is now hovering around 20 percent, the highest it’s been in nearly a decade. Iams said projects like Monday Properties’ skyscraper, which is still unoccupied after being built “on spec” are “suffering the most, because it’s so much space all at once.”

Iams pointed to the success at 1776 Wilson Blvd, a five-story office building at the intersection of N. Quinn Street. It opened in winter of 2012 and is about 85 percent leased, he said.

What Arlington can do to solve its vacancy rate, Iams said, is to follow Vornado’s example in Crystal City when the first wave of BRAC closures saw the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office move to Alexandria.

“Vornado didn’t just sit on their hands,” Iams said. “There was an adaptation with rents and an increase in amenities nearby, and they transformed Crystal Drive into a retail center.”

Iams also cited Kettler Capitals Iceplex, Penrose Square and the Village at Shirlington as examples of “placemaking” the county has partnered with private businesses on to make specific areas more attractive to employees and residents.

The other economic development leaders lamented the lack of demand for office space while demand for residential units all over Northern Virginia is exploding, creating a tricky regulatory line to walk to ensure balance. Iams said Arlington, despite its vacancy rate, still sees demand for office development.

“We’re getting questions from our board and our community about approving more office space,” he said. “The office market also works in cycles, and we want different kinds of products available to be able to deploy when a certain company or tenant may be searching in our market.”

by ARLnow.com — January 14, 2014 at 9:00 am 925 0

Gaslight square condominium development (Flickr pool photo by Lawrence Cheng Photography)

Real Estate ‘Bull Market’ in December — Arlington’s residential real estate market soared in December, reaching a deal volume of $134.4 million, up almost 40 percent over a year prior. The average sales price rose 12.8 percent. [Sun Gazette]

Yorktown Nominated for a GRAMMY — Yorktown High Schools is one of 123 schools nationwide selected as a semifinalist for the 2014 GRAMMY Signature Schools Award. “Created in 1998, the GRAMMY Signature Schools program recognizes top U.S. public high schools that are making an outstanding commitment to music education during an academic school year,” the school system said in a press release. [Arlington Public Schools]

MLK Weekend Metro Track Work — Track work will reduce Metro service on the Orange and Blue lines to one train every 20 minutes this weekend. The track work will not be performed on Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and Metro will instead operate on a normal Saturday schedule systemwide. [WMATA]

Flickr pool by Lawrence Cheng Photography

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