Nearly 20 cars were broken into in the Rosslyn area over the weekend.
According to police, the front passenger side window was smashed and items were stolen from at least 14 cars in a parking garage on the 1600 block of Clarendon Blvd. The break-ins happened early Saturday morning.
These break-ins followed a series of 17 car break-ins in Rosslyn during the prior weekend, in which passenger side windows were also smashed.
Police told NBC 4 (above) that the break-ins may be related but so far they haven’t been able to catch the suspect or suspects on surveillance camera. The thieves are looking for small items of value that can be easily concealed, so one way to protect yourself is to remove any such items from your car when leaving it parked overnight.
For mere seconds at a time, a sign flashing the symbol for “no right turn” illuminates next to the red light on the off-ramp of westbound I-66 at the intersection with N. Lynn Street.
The intersection has been labeled the “Intersection of Doom” because of its numerous accidents over the years. The confluence of pedestrians, cyclists and motorists from I-66, Lee Highway and Lynn Street trying to reach both points west, the GW Parkway and the Key Bridge has created a critical mass of safety hazards.
Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services has been planning safety improvements to the site and the new signal is just one of the planned changes. It was installed at the beginning of January.
“The sign has been integrated into the function of the traffic signal to restrict right turns from the I-66 off-ramp to Lynn Street during the time when pedestrians and cyclists receive the walk signal,” DES spokeswoman Jessica Baxter said. “The improvement reduces conflicts between pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles at this busy intersection. Additional time has also been added to this walk signal phase.”
The light is one of the interim improvements DES has made before a planned $5 million safety project is built in a few years. The project was originally scheduled to be completed in 2014, but delays in the design phase have caused the estimated completion date to be pushed back to 2017.
Chris Slatt, a cyclist and president of the Penrose Civic Association, said he appreciates the interim solutions but is tired of waiting for the permanent project.
“I applaud the County for working on quick-to-implement, low-cost, short-term fixes like the new no-turn-on-red sign,” he told ARLnow.com in an email this morning. “That said, the County simply must start turning around capital projects more quickly and when they do slip, they need to start communicating about what is going on.
“By the time Esplanade/Custis Trail project gets built, most anyone who attended the last public meeting about the project (in October of 2011) is going to have forgotten it ever existed,” he continued. “This is a complicated area to work in — there are VDOT-controlled roads, it backs on to NPS property, but everyone knew that going in to the project and it should have been accounted for in the original timeline.”
In the planned permanent improvements, a travel lane will be removed from Lee Highway, the Custis Trail would be widened, curbs would be expanded to slow down turning cars and on-street bike lanes will be added.
In three signal cycles ARLnow.com witnessed yesterday at the beginning of the evening rush hour, one car disregarded the briefly illuminated signal, turning right when lit up. Cars waiting at a red light see no indication of the new signal — and accompanying traffic rule — except for the unlit box. Two cars legally turned right on red over the same five-minute span, and the driver that made the illegal maneuver did it just seconds after the previous vehicles.
Baxter said DES will continue to study traffic patterns at the intersection, and configure the timing of the signals to bring it more in line with traffic signals.
The group DC Stampede is organizing the protest in conjunction with a national protest campaign that’s fighting a planned animal research lab at the University of Washington. The protests are targeting Skanska, the construction company selected to build the new lab.
DC Stampede is asking protesters to gather at the Rosslyn Metro station at 4:00 p.m. before marching to Skanska’s office at 1776 Wilson Blvd. There, protesters will hold signs, chant slogans and pass out flyers, until about 5:30.
Organizers hope to convince Skanska to terminate its contract to build the lab.
The University of Washington (UW) plans to build a new animal lab that will imprison thousands of dogs, cats, mice, rabbits and other defenseless animals. DC Stampede is joining the national campaign against UW’s Animal Research and Care Facility. What better way to do this than by stopping the lab from ever being built? That is why the campaign is focused on getting Skanska, the multinational construction company that is contracted to build the lab, to back out of its contract with the University of Washington.
So far, 30 people have RSVPed yes on the protest’s Facebook page.
Arlington County firefighters are on the scene of an apartment fire in the River Place condo complex in Rosslyn.
The fire broke out in the kitchen of a 12th floor unit in the River Place building at 1021 Arlington Blvd. It was quickly extinguished once firefighters were able to ascend the stairs and reach the apartment.
A second alarm was sounded but the fire was out by the time the additional units arrive. No injuries have been reported and the flames did not spread to surrounding units.
Firefighters are now working on ventilating smoke from the building.
Photo courtesy @ACFDPIO
Police say the woman had just left her N. George Mason Drive apartment Thursday afternoon when a masked man forced her back into the apartment, bound her hands and stole her money and cell phone. After the man fled the scene, the woman managed to escape, hail a cab and go to a friend’s house, from which she called police.
From the crime report:
ROBBERY BY FORCE, 150129025, 100 block of N. George Mason Drive. At 2:17 pm on January 29, as a female victim was exiting her apartment she was allegedly confronted by a masked subject. The subject directed back into the apartment, bound her hands together and robbed her of cash and cell phone. Once the suspect fled, the victim ran outside and sought assistance from a cab driver. The suspect is described as a Hispanic male, approximately 5’5″ – 5’7″ tall and 190 lbs. He was wearing a black jacket and mask.
Also last week, someone smashed the windows of at least 17 cars in a Rosslyn parking garage, stealing “numerous items” from inside.
LARCENY FROM AUTO (series), 150201014, 1900 block of N. Lynn Street. Between 11 pm on January 31 and 8:30 am on February 1, an unknown subject(s) entered a parking garage and broke into and/or damaged at least seventeen vehicles by smashing a window. Numerous items of value were stolen. There is no suspect(s) description.
The rest of this week’s crime report, after the jump.
Rosslyn: Hub of Hillary Intrigue — Rosslyn is home to an organization devoted to helping Hillary Clinton’s presidential prospects, an organization that spends much of its time trying to dig up dirt on Hillary, and a news organization that is covering the 2016 presidential race. This has created some awkward moments at Rosslyn’s few after-work watering holes. Concludes a magazine article: “The epicenter of the country’s great Hillary debate remains a small, charm-deficient enclave across the river from D.C.” [National Journal]
State Legislators Pass Uber Bill — Both houses of the Virginia General Assembly have passed a bill that would allow ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft to operate legally in the Commonwealth. [Washington Business Journal]
Bachelor Contestant Is From Arlington — Jillian Anderson, a now-former contestant on this season of ABC’s “The Bachelor,” is an Arlington resident. Anderson, 25, is described as a competitive weightlifter and an “outspoken gym junkie.” [WJLA]
Crystal City: City of the Future? — Paul Singh, founder of Crystal City-based Disruption Corporation and its Crystal Tech Fund, says he wants to model a “sustainable model for an American city of the future” in Crystal City. “Our efforts in the city should be a 100-year legacy,” he said. [Technically DC]
Flickr pool photo by Jim Webster
Police say 42-year-old Daniel Groseclose of Edgewater, Md. was employed by Kone, a company that does elevator and escalator repair work for Metro, when the thefts were discovered. He’s accused of stealing copper that was located on a construction site near the Rosslyn Metro station. The copper was owned by the electrical contractor M.C. Dean.
Metro Transit Police announced Groseclose’s arrest Friday afternoon.
“It is alleged that on at least two occasions last fall, Groseclose stole sections of copper wire and tubing from the site,” Transit Police said in a press release. “Kone was cooperative with the investigation, and has advised Metro that they have since dismissed Groseclose as an employee.”
“Groselose was arrested by Anne Arundel County Police on MTPD’s arrest warrant in Virginia,” the release continued. “He is expected to face two counts of grand larceny once extradited to Arlington County.”
The incident happened around 5:00 p.m. on January 25 at the Arlington Temple Methodist church in Rosslyn, also known affectionately as “Our Lady of Sunoco” in reference to the gas station below it.
Police say a man was rummaging through the church’s kitchen and trying to steal items when the pastor confronted him. The pastor pulled out his cell phone to call 911, and that’s when the suspect snatched the phone and ran off, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
The pastor did not recognize the suspect, who remains at large. From an ACPD crime report item:
ROBBERY, 150125037, 1800 block of N. Nash Street. At 4:59 pm on January 25, an unknown subject entered the Arlington Temple Methodist Community Center and was attempting to steal items from the kitchen. When confronted by a pastor, the subject stole the pastor’s phone and fled the scene. The suspect is described as a black male in his twenties, approximately 5’8″ tall and 175 lbs. He was wearing a striped khaki jacket, dark pants and a black ear warmer.
Kona Grill, an Arizona-based sushi and seafood restaurant chain, is planning to open its next location in Rosslyn, across from the Colonial Village Shopping Center.
Building permit applications were filed in November and are undergoing review by county planning staff. If it opens as planned, the location could be Kona’s second in Virginia and first in the D.C. area. The chain has one restaurant near Richmond and one in Baltimore.
Kona’s menu features its sushi and cocktails, but also has gluten-free, vegan and “skinny” options, as well as fusion dishes like beef bulgogi tacos, Hawaiian ribeye steak and, for “Pulp Fiction” fans, a Big Kahuna cheeseburger.
Hat tip to Chris Slatt (@alongthepike)
Target Eyes Rosslyn — A vacant storefront at 1500 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn may become home to the D.C. region’s first TargetExpress, a smaller, grocery-oriented version of the big box retailer’s stores. So far, Target has not confirmed the news. The storefront has previously hosted Rosslyn BID-sponsored pop-up market events. [Washington Business Journal]
Key Bridge Rehab Planned — The D.C. Department of Transportation is planning to begin a two-year rehabilitation project on the Key Bridge this spring. Most of the work will focus on the bridge’s substructure so traffic impacts will be limited. Other planned work includes new LED streetlights, stronger barriers between the road and the sidewalk, and a new paint job for the bridge’s fence. [Georgetown Dish]
Sub $2 Gas in Arlington — The average price of a gallon of regular grade gasoline in Virginia fell to $1.99 over the weekend, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic. That’s the lowest statewide average price since May 2009. So far in Arlington, only one gas station is reported to have $1.99 gas: the Arlington Auto Service station at 5200 Columbia Pike. [VirginiaGasPrices]
AYD to Hold SOTU Watch Party — Arlington Young Democrats will be holding a watch party for tonight’s State of the Union address. The party starts at 7:30 p.m. at Mad Rose Tavern in Clarendon (3100 Clarendon Blvd). President Obama’s address is scheduled to start at 9:00 p.m. For those looking for an ostensibly non-partisan watch party, Busboys and Poets in Shirlington (4251 S. Campbell Ave) is holding a “community watch event” starting at 8:00 p.m. [Arlington Young Democrats]
Blind Woman’s Luggage Returned Thanks to TV Station — WJLA’s “7 On Your Side” segment helped a blind Arlington resident retrieve her lost luggage at Reagan National Airport. The bag, reportedly containing all of Jessica Kyriazis’ winter clothes, was lost for several days by American Airlines due to circumstances arising from “bad weather.” [WJLA]
Taylor Gourmet Now Open at DCA — A Taylor Gourmet is now open at Reagan National Airport. It’s the latest in a line of trendy local restaurants that are opening at the airport this year, including Cava Grill, &pizza, Bracket Room, Lebanese Taverna Grill, Kapnos Taverna, and El Centro D.F. [Washington City Paper]
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.
Artisphere is very likely to close on June 30, barring a change of heart from the majority of the Arlington County Board, and while many agree with the Board’s decision, the local art scene is lamenting the loss.
Artisphere — with multiple theaters for programming of everything from local orchestras to international groups with experimental sounds and galleries for its free visual art displays — will continue operating as planned, Executive Director Jose Ortiz said.
“The show must go on,” he told ARLnow.com yesterday. “It was definitely a disappointing decision … We have programs that are planned and on the books, from exhibitions and performances to rentals. The items that are on the books must continue.”
ARLnow.com’s unscientific poll yesterday asked readers if they agreed with County Manager Barbara Donnellan’s recommendation to close Artisphere at the end of the fiscal year. Some 57 percent of poll respondents – out of nearly 3,000 votes – said they agree with the decision. Ortiz said he didn’t necessarily disagree with it.
“Barbara said it. This was a business decision,” he said.
Some critics of the move are calling it “short-sighted,” alluding to the multimedia center’s uptick in both revenues and visitors in the past year or more. Donnellan said the theater would require $2 million or more per year to stay open, but vowed to continue the revitalization efforts in Rosslyn.
“In an era when communities throughout the country and especially in the D.C. area have used arts and culture to successfully revitalize neighborhoods, Donnellan’s recommendation to close the county’s most vital cultural asset is both shocking and remarkably short-sighted,” wrote Phil Hutinet, editor of D.C. arts website East City Art.
Ortiz started at Artisphere four months after it opened to lots of hype and hope the it would be revenue neutral. He said he would have “helped people understand what Artisphere was” if he had been involved from the beginning. Still, he said, he’s proud of the four years of programming the center has showcased.
“My hope is people will remember us because they were part of a project or they attended something here that blew their minds,” he said.
A full statement from Oritz on Artisphere’s closing, after the jump: (more…)
Red, Hot & Blue, the barbecue chain restaurant at 1600 Wilson Blvd, is closing on Sunday.
Manager Chris Hawkins confirmed to ARLnow.com that the restaurant — which he says has been open since at least 1989 — will have its last day on Sunday, but he said the staff has been kept in the dark as to why.
“I haven’t the slightest idea” why the restaurant is closing, Hawkins said. “It was brought to my attention this week. We’re still trying to figure it out.”
Until the restaurant closes after Sunday, it will still offer everything it’s promised, including a holiday meal to go for $69, that customers can pick up on Sunday.
The tower, currently under construction at the corner of Wilson Blvd and N. Moore and Lynn Streets, will provide the public with a place to look down on D.C., the National Mall and Arlington National Cemetery from 390 feet up. The building will be one of the tallest in the region, and local officials think it will be the key for making Rosslyn a major tourist hub.
“We really believe that’s going to be a game changer,” said Rosslyn Business Improvement District President Mary-Claire Burick. “Moreso than other projects because it will really position Rosslyn as a tourist destination. This is something that we really think will be quite a draw into Rosslyn.”
The observation deck will pair with the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial, five blocks down the road, for major tourist destinations that will create a “critical mass,” Burick said.
“Iwo Jima, the Netherlands Carrilon, Arlington Cemetery is a few blocks away,” she said. “All these things are right within this core area, and it’s so centrally located and accessible. We have a large cluster of hotels here with the Marriott, the Hyatt, Le Meridien … I think when you look at all that together, you’re now starting to see a critical mass of things happening in Rosslyn.”
The Iwo Jima memorial and Netherlands Carrilon drew a combined 1.4 million visitors in 2007, the most recently available data, according to Arlington Director of Convention and Visitor Service Emily Cassell. Arlington National Cemetery was the county’s most popular attraction, at 4 million visitors.
Cassell said Arlington expects the CEB Tower observation deck to draw comparable numbers to similar decks in New York City and Chicago, cities with larger – but perhaps less monumental — skylines than D.C.
“Being able to see the nation’s capital from that perspective and having a 360-degree view would be really exceptional,” Cassell said.
Another potential tourist attraction down the road: a boathouse along the Potomac River. The National Park Service, which owns Arlington’s shoreline, said this summer that “the ball is rolling” on preliminary plans for the boathouse and Rosslyn boosters are salivating at yet another feature for the neighborhood. They’re also eyeing the potential for a gondola across the river to Georgetown.
“The gondola would represent the fun aspect of what Rosslyn is all about,” said Peter Greenwald, the Chairman of the Rosslyn BID and a senior advisor for Penzance, “with connectedness in new, fun and different ways that play into the creative class and the innovation that Rosslyn is becoming known for.”
The “critical mass” would likely benefit the future development planned for Rosslyn. Besides Central Place (the CEB Tower project), there’s the approved Rosslyn Gateway and Colony House project, plus plans for a Rosslyn Plaza redevelopment. In total, those could bring more than 800 new hotel rooms to Rosslyn in the not-too-distant future.
Despite its bright future, there still lingers the perception that Rosslyn is nothing more than a transit hub filled with office buildings. Burick’s charge since she was hired at the BID last fall is to change that perception.
“We want to market Rosslyn as a modern, premier destination,” Burick said. “I think when you come here on weekends and evenings, you’re already seeing that the streets do have life. I think the perception is already changing.”
Image courtesy The JBG Companies
The Rosslyn Business Improvement District is planning to reshape the sidewalks of Rosslyn next year.
Recently, BID employees have tagged newspaper boxes around the area for removal by tomorrow (Friday), but Rosslyn BID Urban Design Director Lucia deCordre said they will soon be replace by modern newsbox corrals in high-pedestrian areas, instead of the current semi-scattered layout around various parts of Rosslyn.
The corrals, new benches designed with slots placed to resemble the lights of Rosslyn’s skyline, parklets for outdoor dining and WiFi-enabled streetlights are among the elements the BID is planning on bringing to Rosslyn, starting in the spring. No active newsboxes will be removed, the BID says — the notices were placed on the boxes to have the vendors contact the BID about the plans for the corrals.
“We’re really looking to give a facelift to the sidewalks,” deCordre told ARLnow.com today. “We did an inventory of everything we have out there with streetscape, how to make them more pedestrian friendly and hang out a little more and support the retail.”
The BID is in the process of submitting plans to Arlington County to install prototypes of several of the designs at the corner of Wilson Blvd and N. Oak Street. If approved, the prototypes would be installed in the spring, and, if it’s successful, more elements will be introduced all over the BID’s footprint, which extends to N. Quinn Street.
“We’re going to take a full block and at least get one or two of the pieces so we can see how it all interacts together, how it works together,” said Mary-Claire Burick, the president of the Rosslyn BID. “It’s really all about the pedestrian experience. This really just takes us to that next step of that really modern, high-end contemporary feel.”
Some of the design elements will also have functions for those in the neighborhood. One of the mobile phone charging kiosks is already operational at the corner of N. Moore and 19th Streets, and Burick said it’s “very popular.” The streetlights would be enabled with WiFi, creating a network throughout the district.
Disclosure: Rosslyn BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser