The site has been under construction since April, but workers aren’t worried about finishing in time for the rink opening next Friday, November 15.
“That’s how it works, it doesn’t look like anything for a while and then it suddenly appears,” a worker said.
In addition to a larger rink there will be a new stone fire pit. New features that customers can enjoy in warmer weather include a turf lawn, revamped outdoor dining areas and lighted water fountains.
The grand re-opening celebration will take place from 5:00-8:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 7. Attendees can expect live entertainment and giveaways. Plus, regardless of whether there’s any natural snow, there will be snow at the ice rink every night from December 7 through January 1. Skate among the snowflakes at 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. each night.
Hours and pricing can be found online.
Terminal A Revamp Underway at DCA — A $37 million renovation project at Reagan National Airport’s Terminal A is proceeding swiftly. The project isn’t adding a significant amount of extra space to the historic terminal, but it will make the existing space seem brighter and more open. Most of the work is expected to be complete by the holiday travel season. [Washington Post]
Pupatella Makes National Pizza Rankings — Bluemont’s Pupatella Neapolitan Pizzeria (5104 Wilson Blvd) serves one of the top 40 slices of pizza in the country, according to new rankings. Pupatella’s capricciosa pizza was ranked No. 36 on the list, as judged by the Daily Meal website. [Daily Mail]
Students Receive Scholarships at NAACP Banquet — Through a partnership with the Arlington NAACP, a new scholarship fund awarded $2,500/year college scholarships to four high-performing local students over the weekend. The scholarship fund allows the NAACP to “invest in our youth,” said the head of the Arlington branch of the organization. [Sun Gazette]
Beer and Wine Walks Return to Crystal City — Crystal City’s 1K wine and beer walks will return next month. The walks — which allow participants to sample various wines and beers while walking through Crystal City’s underground shopping center — will take place on Nov. 16 and 17. [Crystal City]
County Board Adopts Public Safety Radio Resolution — The Arlington County Board adopted a resolution yesterday (Tuesday) that calls on builders to install technology that allows better police and fire department communications in new buildings. Modern construction materials have made it difficult for first responders to receive radio signals in newer buildings. The Board’s non-binding resolution calls on builders to install in-building wireless systems to better transmit public radio signals. [Arlington County]
Disclosure: Crystal City BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser
Moran’s New Beard Called ‘Santa Chic’ — Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) has been sporting a white beard since August. While the 68 year old’s new look has its supporters and detractors, the congressman’s own staff has taken to calling it “Santa chic.” [The Hill]
Letter: Arlington Dems Use African-Americans as ‘Window Dressing’ — In a letter to the editor, Bobbie Fisher, an African-American resident of Arlington, says that Arlington Democrats are taking African-American voters for granted and not paying sufficient attention to their concerns. “Walk into any [Arlington County Democratic Committee] meeting, you will never find more than a few African-Americans present,” she writes. “We are viewed as window-dressing or bobble-heads, to sit quietly while others raise questions of interest to their community.” [Sun Gazette]
GGW to Host Arlington Happy Hour — The blog Greater Greater Washington will be hosting a happy hour at Fire Works Pizza in Courthouse next Tuesday. The happy hour is an opportunity for the blog’s contributors, editors and readers to get together “for some drinks and lively conversation.” [Greater Greater Washington]
Central Library Renovations in ‘Home Stretch’ — The second floor reference desk and the old first floor circulation desk at Arlington Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street) are gone, among other ongoing renovations. The library’s renovation project as now entered the “home stretch,” officials write. [Arlington Public Library]
Flickr pool photo by Christaki
Neighbors of an under-construction Lyon Park home are worried about who might be moving in when the renovations are complete.
The “Metal House,” at 2797 Washington Blvd, is named as such because of its modern wood-and-steel exterior. While the home’s appearance is unconventional, neighbors seem more concerned about the way the house is being marketed to potential renters.
The home features a “kegger, flip cup, corn hole-friendly yard,” according to its rental listing, below. It’s a “short stumble home from [Mister] Day’s, Spider Kelly’s, Clarendon Ballroom, Clarendon Grill, Ri Ra, etc.,” the ad continues.
Asking price for the home, which features five bedroom suites, each with its own bathroom: $7,500 per month.
“Ouch,” the ad says simply, after listing the price.
In emails, neighbors alternately called the ad “disturbing” and “rather epic,” expressing concern about the kind of tenants such a listing might attract.
“There are a lot of concerns about the legality of the renovation — neighbors don’t understand how and why the county approved a house that was formerly a single-family home be renovated in this way,” one neighbor, who didn’t want her name used, told ARLnow.com.
The home was renovated by local builder Mickey Simpson after being purchased for $460,000 in 2012. The company did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
CLARENDON (North Arlington): The METAL HOUSE. Coolest rental house in Clarendon. Construction is close to being finished. New 5 Bedroom house available from September 15 – October 1 in Clarendon. Four floors of NEW silly shiny metal contemporary/modern style. Top floor is kitchen/bar Great Room with half bath and ROOFTOP party deck. Two full-sized stainless steel refrigerators. Granite counters. 5 Bedroom Suites — * each BR Suite has a private full bath with an awesome shower* each BR Suite has a walk-in closet* each BR Suite has a full sized washer and dryer (yes, 5 washers and 5 dryers in this house). Kegger, flip cup, corn hole-friendly yard. Parking for at least 5 cars off-street. Short stumble home from Day’s, Spider Kelly’s, Clarendon Ballroom, Clarendon Grill, Ri Ra, etc. You get the idea. Oh, and its only a few blocks from the Clarendon Metro. Absolutely no pets. This is a brand new house. Rent is $7500/month. Ouch. Seeing is believing… Please email for appointment.
Ballston Common Mall is moving closer to beginning its major renovation project.
Mall owner Forest City Enterprises is “close to finalizing a deal with Macy’s” to allow the process to move forward and the company to begin applying for permits from the county, according to Forest City spokesman Gary McManus. Securing a deal with Macy’s, one of the mall’s “anchor tenants,” was one of the last impediments to the long-awaited redevelopment.
Forest City is planning to recast the mall as Ballston Center, building more than 300 apartments on top of a renovated shopping center and adding office space. As part of the redevelopment, Forest City is negotiating with Macy’s to take over some of the department store’s space. The negotiations were initially expected to take a few weeks after the announcement of the proposed renovations, in February.
“The deal with Macy’s has taken longer than anticipated,” McManus said in an email.
He said the negotiations are close to being finalized and should be done “within the next few weeks.” Inside the mall, the changes could include a new mix of stores and restaurants.
“The tenant mix of not only the food court but the rest of the mall will be open to revision, expansion and enhancement,” said McManus.
Clarendon Whole Foods marketing manager Jackie Zovko said the store is pushing back a large cooler in the produce department, which will clear space to expand produce, add 8 to 10 feet of the seafood counter and add another grocery aisle, which would allow for expansion of the bulk foods section.
“We hope to have it completed by the first week of October,” Zovko said. “There will be some other changes, but they’re not confirmed yet.”
The renovation is the second phase of Whole Foods’ renovation project for its Clarendon location. Five years ago, the grocery store moved its café section to the second story and expanded its specialty and baked goods section.
Zovko said most of the work will be done at night, after the store closes, so as not to interfere with customers’ shopping experience.
Photo courtesy of Erin Johnson. Disclosure: Whole Foods is an ARLnow.com advertiser.
Towers Park, at 801 S. Scott Street near Columbia Pike, is in line for a $1.3 million facelift, complete with a new basketball court, new tennis courts and practice courts and a state-of-the-art lighting upgrade.
The County Board is expected to approve the construction contract for the project at its meeting this coming Saturday, when the item is on Board’s consent agenda, which is intended for non-controversial items. Once the contract is signed, county staff estimates the construction will take seven months.
The lighted facility, which features four tennis courts, two practice courts, a basketball court and a sizable dog park, has severe heaving and deep cracking throughout the court surfaces and it is served by obsolete lighting fixtures,” the staff report states when justifying the need for the improvements.
In addition to the court surface improvements, new “dark sky” lighting — intended to reduce light pollution — will be installed at the courts. Also planned are stormwater drainage improvements, new accessible paths, parking space stripings, an improved picnic shelter and other site furnishings.
The design originally called for the two practice tennis courts to be relocated and four trees to be removed, but, after the county’s parks staff met with the Penrose Civic Association and the Arlington Tennis Association, the practice courts were moved back to their current location in the plan.
The courts — both basketball and tennis — are popular spots for league play and drop-in games, so while construction is going on, athletes looking for a game will have to go elsewhere before the opening of the new facility, likely in the spring of 2014.
Site plan image via Arlington County
The 14-story, 280,000 square foot office building at 1777 N. Kent Street, on the easternmost end of Rosslyn, will be undergoing a full-scale renovation. Building owners Vornado and Gould Property Company announced late last week that they had secured $53.5 million in debt financing from Wells Fargo to help pay for the renovations, which will include “new lobby and common areas and upgrades to the building’s mechanical systems.”
The building, which was built in 1980, is also known as Rosslyn Plaza North.
The Corporate Executive Board has already pre-leased more than 100,000 square feet in the renovated building. That’s in addition to their existing 625,000 square foot lease at the Waterview building at 1919 N. Lynn Street, the Washington Business Journal previously reported.
Jones Lang LaSalle, which helped arrange the financing, described Rosslyn as “one of the strongest office markets in the United States.”
“Situated in Rosslyn, Virginia, 1777 N. Kent Street offers an irreplaceable location including stunning, unobstructed and monumental views of the Washington, D.C. skyline,” the company said in a press release. “The submarket, one of the top performing in the DC metropolitan area offers an urban setting providing abundant amenities and direct access to Metrorail’s Blue and Orange lines, the area’s critical roadways and major international airports including Washington Reagan National Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport.”
Photo via Vornado
Tonight (Friday), starting at 6:00 p.m., an opening celebration will be held for the newly-renovated High View Park, located at 1945 N. Dinwiddie Street, within the boundaries of the John M. Langston Civic Association.
Renovations to the park include new play areas, an ADA accessible route from Cameron Street, new benches, and a picnic area.
The event will include moon bounces “for all ages,” face painting, balloon art and refreshments. The ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at 7:00 p.m.
On Saturday, Arlington County will celebrate the restoration of Carlin Hall (5711 4th Street S.). Dating back to 1892, Carlin Hall is currently used as a preschool, a community meeting facility and a recreation center. It recently underwent an extensive structural restoration.
A ribbon cutting ceremony is scheduled for Carlin Hall at 12:15 p.m. on Saturday. The ceremony is part of the annual Glencarlyn Day festivities, which include a pancake breakfast, a parade, a fun fair and a home and garden tour.
Photo via Arlington County
Courthouse restaurant Toscana Grill is giving away free food tonight (Wednesday) before closing for emergency renovations.
On Friday, the Italian restaurant suffered a busted pipe that left three inches of water on the floor. Owner Joe Smith says the restaurant will have to close until mid-June for renovations, including a new dining room floor, new ceiling and new paint.
Not content to let the remaining food in the kitchen go to waste, Smith says he and his staff will be cooking it up and giving it away for free tonight. The free food giveaway will take place from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m.
“We will be giving away everything on the menu,” Smith told ARLnow.com via email. “One dish per person, to go only (but there is a patio to enjoy).”
There will also be tip jars set up for the restaurant’s staff. Smith said he’s hopeful that insurance will pay their wages while the restaurant is closed.
Toscana Grill will celebrate its second anniversary under current ownership in mid-July. The restaurant is located in the courtyard area of Courthouse Metro Plaza (2300 Clarendon Blvd).
Photo courtesy Joe Smith
‘Virginia Room’ Reopens With New Name — The former Virginia Room at Arlington Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street) has reopened following renovations. Meanwhile, the room has been renamed the “Center for Local History.” [Arlington Public Library]
Phoenix Bikes Plans Move — The nonprofit Phoenix bike shop has been raising money for a planned move. The new location will be larger than the current classroom-sized shop. Like the current shop, it will be located on public property — at S. Walter Reed Drive and Four Mile Run Drive, next to the W&OD Trail. [Arlington Mercury]
Haute Fabrics Now Open Near Ballston — Marshall, Va.-based fabric shop Haute Fabrics has opened a second location, near Ballston. The new location is located at 730 N. Glebe Road and offers two floors worth of fabrics. [My Notting Hill]
Flickr pool photo by Mrs. Gemstone
The 11th annual “Rock the Row” summer concert series at Pentagon Row will start June 6, but in a different location than years past.
Thanks to major renovations at the shopping center’s plaza, this year the concerts will be held in the alley between Pentagon Row and the Pentagon City mall parking garage. The alley will be closed to traffic during the concerts. As before, the concerts will take place on Thursday evenings from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
This year’s Rock the Row schedule is as follows:
- June 6: Slippery When Wet (Bon Jovi tribute)
- June 13: Hyjinx (90s cover)
- June 20: Uncle Jack Band (70s tribute)
- June 27: Gonzo’s Nose (80s tribute)
- July 11: Unity Reggae Band (Reggae)
- July 18: All Mighty Senators (Rock and Soul)
- July 25: The Crawdaddies (Roots Rock and Zydeco)
- August 1: Beach Bumz (Jimmy Buffett tribute)
- August 8: Higher Hands (Funk)
- August 15: Matt Hutchison Band (Pop Rock)
- August 22: Real Geniuses (80s tribute)
- August 29: Crowded Streets (Dave Matthews tribute)
The concerts are free and open to the public.
The renovations at the Pentagon Row plaza include an expanded ice rink during the winter, a turf lawn during the summer, revamped outdoor dining areas, 1,500 square feet of new retail and dining space, lighted water fountains and a stone fire pit. Construction on the project is expected to wrap up this fall.
LOFT, formerly known as Ann Taylor LOFT, sells “upper moderate” priced women’s clothing for for work and home. The company’s two stores in Arlington — at the Pentagon Row and Market Common Clarendon shopping centers — closed recently to undergo some remodeling.
The Pentagon Row location is expected to reopen this Friday (May 3) and the Clarendon location should reopen at some point next week, according to company spokeswoman Marie Larson.
“This new concept store is complete with plush seating and open space encouraging interaction among clients and larger groupings of mannequins in order to show our guests additional outfitting options,” Larson said.
A plywood perimeter has been erected around the plaza at Pentagon Row as heavy construction has gotten underway on a major renovation project
A backhoe and other construction equipment being used to excavate the center of the plaza. So far outdoor restaurant seating has remained open at the plaza, but instead of overlooking the center courtyard, the view from the outdoor patios is blocked by plywood boards around the construction. Today, those board were being painted black.
As reported earlier this month, the renovations include an expanded ice rink during the winter, a turf lawn during the summer, revamped outdoor dining areas, 1,500 square feet of new retail and dining space, lighted water fountains and a stone fire pit.
Construction is expected to wrap up this fall, according to Pentagon Row owner Federal Realty Investment Trust.
The owner of Pentagon Row announced this morning that major renovations to the shopping center’s plaza are now underway.
The renovations, approved by the Arlington County Board last March, will include an expanded ice rink during the winter, a turf lawn during the summer, revamped outdoor dining areas, 1,500 square feet of new retail and dining space, lighted water fountains and a stone fire pit.
Work on the project began on Monday and is expected to run through November, wrapping up in time for the grand reopening of the ice rink. Other parts of the plaza will reopen starting late this summer, according to a rep for Pentagon Row owner Federal Realty Investment Trust.
“The plaza was thoughtfully redesigned to cater to the lifestyle of the Arlington community and customer to create a year-round experience,” FRIT said in a press release, below.
This year’s Rock the Row outdoor concert series will still be held despite the construction, according to spokeswoman Molly Hippolitus, and Pentagon Row stores will remain open.
Federal Realty Investment Trust announces today that the Pentagon Row plaza will undergo a major renovation, which will include an expanded ice rink, enhanced outdoor dining areas, added retail space, and improved public gathering places with an expansive turf feature, new water fountains, and new stone fire pit. Construction began April 1, 2013 and the new plaza will be completed and opened to the public in phases beginning late summer 2013. The final project will be complete by November 2013 in time for the ice rink grand re-opening celebration.
The plaza was thoughtfully redesigned to cater to the lifestyle of the Arlington community and customer to create a year-round experience. The addition of an expansive, functional turf feature will host gatherings in warm weather and events such as the 2014 Rock at the Row Summer Concert Series, and an expanded ice rink will be available in the winter months. The additional 1,500 square feet of retail and dining space will energize the plaza core and feature a defined café dining area. The addition of an interactive water feature and stone fire pit will provide year-round amenities for visitors to enjoy.
“Federal Realty Investment Trust’s investment in the project reflects our commitment to creating public spaces for the community to gather and enjoy public events,” says Robin McBride, Vice President – Mid Atlantic Region COO, Federal Realty Investment Trust. Adding, “We are thrilled to continue our commitment to improving Pentagon Row with this major plaza renovation which will create a true 12-month experience for the community.”
Pentagon Row retailers and restaurants will remain open during construction.
Renderings courtesy Federal Realty Investment Trust