First Night of Hanukkah — Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah, the eight-day Jewish holiday also known as the Festival of Lights. [Chabad]
Ebbin Introduces Repeal of Va. Gay Marriage Ban — State Sen. Adam Ebbin has introduced legislation that would repeal Virginia’s constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. In order to repeal the amendment, which was approved by voters in 2006, Ebbin’s legislation would need to pass the General Assembly in 2014 and 2016, and be approved in a statewide referendum. [Sun Gazette]
No Tenants for New Rosslyn Skyscraper — So far, no tenants have signed on to lease office space in 1812 North Moore, the new skyscraper in Rosslyn that holds the title of the region’s tallest building (with the exception of the Washington Monument). The lack of tenants is being blamed on weakness in the local office market. The office vacancy rate inside the Beltway has risen from 10 percent in 2010 to 17.5 percent this quarter. [Washington Post]
Flickr pool photo by J. Sonder
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and FBR, an investment bank, will be moving into new offices in Arlington over the next year and a half. That’s good news for economic development officials in Arlington, who are still reeling from the impending loss of the National Science Foundation and its 2,237 jobs.
FBR will move from a “trophy” office building at 1001 19th Street N. in Rosslyn to a slightly less lofty accommodations, at 1300 17th Street N., also in Rosslyn. FBR’s new lease runs through the end of 2025. First-year rent for the space — on the building’s 2nd, 13th and 14th floors — is $41 per square foot for the lower floor and $51.50 per square foot for the higher floors, according to an SEC filing.
FBR employs approximately 250 people in Arlington. The company hopes to make the move this May.
The FDIC, meanwhile, has signed a lease for 171,000 square feet in the former DARPA building at 3701 N. Fairfax Drive, in Virginia Square. The agency expects to move employees there from an office at 1310 N. Courthouse Road, in Courthouse, in April 2015.
The FDIC has an existing office at 3501 N. Fairfax Drive, and the new accommodations will eliminate the need to shuttle employees back and forth between Courthouse and Virginia Square, the Washington Business Journal reported.
Rosslyn Apartment Building to Sell for $220 Million — The JBG Cos. has reached a deal to sell its new Sedona Slate apartments in Rosslyn for $220 million. The company spent about $150 million to develop the two-building apartment project, which had a ribbon cutting ceremony in June. [Washington Business Journal]
APS Competition to Reduce Dropout Rate — Arlington Public Schools (APS) announced a competition for data analysts to help the school system prevent students from dropping out. Analysts will help APS identify trends and hopefully will find ways to flag students who could use more one-on-one time with counselors. Assistant Superintendent for Information Services Raj Adusumilli told ARLnow.com the winning team of analysts likely will be announced by the end of this winter. Although no firm date is in place for finishing the data analysis, the school system anticipates being able to use the gathered information by about February 2014 in order to help students make class choices for next year. [Washington Post, Arlington Public Schools]
Opera Singer Wins Talent Competition — Opera singer Garrick Jordan won first place in the second annual “Arlington’s Got Talent” competition. Jordan beat out six other competitors on Sunday (November 18) at Clarendon Ballroom. [Sun Gazette]
Around 9:45 a.m., an emergency call came in for an elevator worker who somehow got caught in an elevator pulley system at 1300 17th Street N. in Rosslyn. By the time emergency workers arrived at the scene, the man’s co-workers had already untangled him from the cables and pulley.
Emergency workers reported the worker’s hand was partially severed at the palm. The man, who is in his 60s, was transported to the trauma center at George Washington University hospital.
No additional information is available regarding his condition.
County Seeks “Great Design” Nominations — Arlington County’s is accepting submissions for great design in new construction, renovations, additions or adaptive re-use projects. It’s part of the biennial design awards program, DESIGNArlington, which recognizes people who do design work that enhances the county’s built environment. Applications can be submitted online until 5:00 p.m. on December 2. An independent panel of architecture, urban design, historic preservation, public art and landscape design professionals will examine the nominations and select several winners. Previous winners include Northside Social, the Reed School/Westover Library, and the Gleason/Pries residence. [Arlington County]
Preservation Arlington Highlights Bruner Home — This week, Preservation Arlington looks at the Brumer house in its “Preserved and Developed” series. In 1934, Dr. Roland Bruner purchased the property at 2018 S. Glebe Road in the Nauck neigbhorhood. Only two black doctors had been practicing in Arlington at that time, so Brumer opened a private practice in his house to help serve the black community. He worked up until his death in 1978, and a historical marker now stands near his home. [Preservation Arlington]
Close Election Could Benefit VA DREAM Act — Fresh off a victory in Tuesday’s election, Del. Alfonso Lopez plans to make enactment of the DREAM Act his number one priority for the Virginia General Assembly session. It appears the narrow victories of Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe (D) and Del. Thomas Rust (R) may help the prospects for such legislation. Lopez and Rust had combined similar pieces of legislation last year that made it through the House Committee on Education on a 17-4 vote, but stalled because the House Appropriations Committee did not act on the measure before the session ended. If the bill makes it to McAuliffe, he is expected to sign it into law. [Sun Gazette]
Rosslyn BID Collects and Donates Marine Corps Marathon Clothing — The Rosslyn Business Improvement District (BID) collected and redistributed 968 pounds of clothes to the Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network (A-SPAN). The clothes were items such as hats, gloves, sweatshirts and pants that runners shed while passing through Rosslyn during the Marine Corps Marathon on October 27. The BID had the clothing cleaned and gave it to A-SPAN to distribute to people in need.
Monument Lights to Be Turned Off — The decorative scaffolding lights on the Washington Monument will be turned off today, as repairs on the monument wrap up and the scaffolding is prepared for being taken down. [Washington Post]
Georgetown Scraps Satellite Dorm Plan — A plan that might have resulted in Georgetown University students being housed in Clarendon has been scrapped due to overwhelming opposition from students. The university will instead find a way to house more students on campus. [The Hoya]
Winter Coat Drive in Rosslyn — The Rosslyn Business Improvement District is collecting coats and other outerwear starting today. The donations will benefit the Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network. [Sun Gazette]
Free Flu Shots Tomorrow — Arlington County will be giving out free flu shots as part of a “public health emergency preparedness exercise” on Tuesday. The shots will be distributed between 7:00 and 11:00 a.m. at the Washington-Lee High School cafeteria. [Arlington County]
Photo courtesy Andrew Clegg
Heavy Seas Alehouse, a brewpub affiliated with the popular Baltimore brewery, is expected to open in Rosslyn this December.
The alehouse is currently under construction at the corner of N. Oak Street and 18th Street N. and Director of Operations Vince Cassino said it will open in December “if all goes well.”
The restaurant is 6,000 square feet with capacity for 160 patrons inside, and will have outdoor seating for up to 40 customers, Cassino said. There will also be a private event room with space for 60 people.
The bar will have 15 taps rotating primarily with Heavy Seas beers, but Cassino said there could be beers from other local breweries on occasion. The alehouse will open daily for lunch at 11:00 a.m. and will be able to fill growlers for customers. A Sunday brunch may eventually be offered as well, Cassino said.
Ft. Myer Drive in Rosslyn has become a hazard for pedestrians due to ongoing construction, but no solutions are on the horizon, according to county staff.
At the County Board’s Tuesday afternoon meeting, Arlington Transportation Bureau Chief Wayne Wentz had no major recommendations for safety upgrades to the heavily-used roadway. The construction that has most adversely affected safety — on the 1812 N. Moore Street skyscraper – is expected to be largely finished by Oct. 31, but the safety concerns will persist.
“We’re never going to be done looking at Ft. Myer Drive,” Wentz said. “We’ve looked a lot at jaywalking. We just can’t find a way to put a crosswalk in there.”
Wentz said county staff is considering installing signs telling residents not to jaywalk in front of the road’s tunnel — a common crossing zone for those entering and exiting from the back entrance of the Rosslyn Metro Station. The county is also in discussion to put up fencing on the sidewalk and in the two small median islands on either side of the tunnel.
“We need to be more proactive in preventing crossing there,” Board Member Mary Hynes said, “given the fact that we have had near-misses and a hit there relatively recently.”
The sidewalk between N. Moore Street and Ft. Myer Drive on 19th Street will remain closed after Oct. 31, Wentz said. The size of Ft. Myer Drive in that area is part of what makes it unfeasible to install a crosswalk. With more than five lanes, the likelihood of a multi-vehicle accident is much greater than on a smaller road.
“We think that there is a chance to reconfigure what Ft. Myer Drive looks like. It could be a two-way street or a narrower street someday,” Wentz said. “There is hope in the future to do something different there, but we don’t recommend it at this time.”
Signs reading “Marine Corps Marathon Drive” will adorn street poles on Wilson Blvd. from N. Lynn Street to N. Moore Street in honor of Sunday’s annual marathon.
The signs will remain through race day to signify how much the Marine Corps Marathon has become a part of the Arlington community.
“It is fitting that we rename part of Wilson Boulevard ‘Marine Corps Marathon Drive.’ The renaming anticipates a day that inspires and energizes us all, while also paying tribute to our heroic U.S. Marines,” said Mary-Claire Burick, the new president of the Rosslyn Business Improvement District.
“On MCM day, Rosslyn is eager to welcome runners and celebrate their accomplishments as the host of the Marine Corps Marathon Finish Festival,” Burick said.
The Marine Corps Marathon route starts near the Pentagon and runs through Rosslyn, up Lee Highway, down Spout Run and into the District, before crossing the 14th Street Bridge into Crystal City and ending near the Marine Corps War Memorial in Rosslyn. The race, which draws more than 30,000 runners, starts just before 8:00 a.m. on Sunday.
Photo courtesy of @StayArlington
Capriotti’s, a fast-casual sandwich shop, will be moving into ground floor retail space along Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn, according to Capriotti’s Washington Metro Area Developer George Vincent. Vincent wouldn’t reveal the precise location because the lease has not yet been signed.
Vincent expects to sign the lease in the coming weeks, and is concurrently applying for permits with Arlington County, he said. Once the lease is signed, building the interior of the restaurant will take about five weeks.
“We’ll probably be open right after the first of the year,” he said. “The idea is to open for the Super Bowl or the week before the Super Bowl.”
Vincent said he’s going to push for some outdoor seating during the process with the county. The Rosslyn location will be Capriotti’s second in the region; a shop will be open in a few weeks on M Street NW, Vincent said.
The chain has locations in 13 states, and specializes in large sandwiches and roasting turkey and roast beef in house overnight. Its most popular sandwich, Vincent said, is The Bobbie, with roast turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing and mayonnaise.
“Part of what drew us to Rosslyn is you don’t have a ton of sandwich shops here,” Vincent said. “I think we’re going to be a spot where you can go in and pick something new every time and not be disappointed.”
Image via Facebook
No Metro Work This Weekend — In an occurrence that’s somewhat rare these days, there is no Metro rebuilding work planned on the Blue, Orange or Yellow Lines this weekend. [WMATA]
New Rosslyn Cafe to Open Monday — Caffe Aficionado, a new independent coffee shop at 1919 N. Lynn Street in Rosslyn, is scheduled to officially open on Monday, according to owner Adiam Berhane. The cafe is also holding events for neighbors today and Saturday.
Chamber Joins Small Biz Shopping Initiative — The Arlington Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the organizers of Arlington Small Business Day. The Chamber will help promote the holiday shopping day, which debuted last year and is scheduled for Nov. 30. [Sun Gazette]
Flickr pool photo by Ddimick
The restaurants, at 1100 Wilson Blvd, closed earlier this month. In July, the possibility they could close became apparent when Monday Properties, which owns the building, applied for a county permit with plans to combine the two spaces into one restaurant with outdoor seating.
Baja Fresh’s phone is disconnected and the space is closed this afternoon. Much of the interior signage has been removed.
A Zpizza employee at its Lyon Park location confirmed that the Rosslyn location closed last week.
So far, no restaurant has signed a lease for the soon-to-be renovated space, according to Aaron Twersky, marketing director for building owner Monday Properties. However, Monday anticipates signing a restaurant in time for a possible spring or summer 2014 opening.
On Saturday, the Board is expected to approve a staff recommendation to lower the speed limit on N. Lynn Street and Fort Myer Drive from 30 to 25 mph. The change encompasses the stretch of each road between Arlington Blvd and Lee Highway.
According to a traffic engineering study, the change is not expected to lower the volume of traffic on the roads. Rather, it is hoped that lower speeds will improve safety, since Lynn and Fort Myer are heavily used by pedestrians.
Presently, the collision rate for both roads is “well below the statewide average rate,” according to the staff report. The average vehicle speed is at or below 25 mph on each.
It is Arlington’s stated transportation policy to lower speed limits on “downtown” arterial streets to 25 mph. The Board lowered the speed limit along Wilson and Clarendon Blvds from 30 to 25 mph in July.
The cost of installing new speed limit signs, should the change be made, is estimated at $2,000.
Photo via Google Maps
Editor’s Note: Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.
Anyone who’s worked in a restaurant remembers the struggles when they first started — remembering orders, doing side work and learning when to check on a table — knows every experience pales in comparison to learning the restaurant computer system.
Brett Guidry has been investing in restaurants for years, and he, with his co-founders Bill Schafer and Bill Draper, knew that the “point-of-sale” (POS) systems in restaurants were ripe for new ideas. So Guidry, Schaffer and Draper launched Dovetail, now known as Gusto, a POS system beginning to roll out in Washington, D.C., restaurants.
Gusto held its launch party in late September, and they’re already in one area business, the Embassy Suites in Chevy Chase. Guidry said when they installed the Gusto system, it took less than a day to train the servers.
The Gusto system took more than a year to design — the business was founded in early 2012 — because Guidry and his coworkers knew that full functionality and an optimal design were keys to get restaurants to switch from entrenched industry giants, such as Micros and NCR.
Paramount to the development were the user experience, navigation, ease of use and ease of learning, Guidry said. Gusto also runs on a “hybrid cloud” system, meaning it runs wirelessly over the Internet, but it’s fully capable if the Internet in the restaurant goes down. Managers and owners can also access their financial systems and real-time information from anywhere, a wrinkle that Guidry said has drawn rave reviews.
“The amount of dissatisfaction and frustration in restaurants was stronger than we thought,” Guidry said. “After talking to restaurateurs, it’s much higher than you would expect.”
“If someone’s not in pain, it’s hard to sell them on someone else coming in and solving a problem,” he said.
Although it’s early, Gusto claims it has pinpointed the most profound pain felt in restaurants and found a solution. The next step is curing what ails more and more restaurants. While not ready to announce their next partners, Gusto is ready for any challenge, Guidry says.
“We’ll be able to handle scale,” he said. “From one small restaurant to several thousand locations. We’re an open platform for restaurant technology. Our goal is to be the platform for serious restaurateurs.”
A James Beard award-winning chef has agreed to use Gusto in his upcoming restaurant, but Guidry said he can’t reveal who the chef is or where and when the restaurant will open. There is also discussion with some national chains, but those are preliminary.
Although New York is generally hailed as the food capital of the country, Guidry said D.C.’s burgeoning restaurant industry is the ideal spot for his team’s young business.
“The food scene is expanding in the D.C. area, and there’s lots of new thinking,” Guidry said. “We want to be associated with those new thinkers.”
The north entrance to the station — the side that includes the skybridge escalator — will also be closed while WMATA starts Phase 1 of its renovation of the Rosslyn station.
“The bridges themselves are going to stay open, but the access to the escalator will be closed off,” said WMATA’s site supervisor, who declined to give his name.
One alternate way to reach the skybridges is via a staircase between N. Moore and Lynn Street, next to the new Rosslyn Metro elevator entrance.
The renovations are expected to take until April to complete. During that time the two up-and-down escalators will be replaced with staircase. Also, a connection to the new skyscraper next door, 1812 N. Moore Street, will be built, the official said.
The escalator removal is taking place despite earlier objections from the North Rosslyn Civic Association, which called the escalators “the only assistance provided to residents in negotiating the tremendous change in elevation between the center of Rosslyn and the adjacent community to the West.”
The removal of the escalators is necessary to make way for a new Arlington Commuter Store.
After Phase 1 is finished, the north side of the station will reopen and the south side will close for construction, the supervisor said. Phase 3 will be renovations to the N. Ft. Myer Drive entrance.
This weekend, the sidewalk that runs along the 1812 N. Moore project, north of the station, will reopen, and the temporary pedestrian walkway that juts into the street will close.