The Board discussed the matter in a closed session before unanimously approving it. According to County Attorney Stephen MacIsaac, it is standard procedure for the Board to discuss a grant behind closed doors. The grant agreement will be made public once the county attorney finalizes it.
County Manager Barbara Donnellan said the grant will help bring the theater current with real estate taxes owed to the county. Funding for the grant was provided from budget savings identified at the end of Fiscal Year 2012.
The Arlington County Department of Management and Finance indicates the grant includes around $85,000 for past due real estate and business tangible taxes, $99,000 for the next two payments of real estate taxes and around $30,000 for the next business tangible tax payment. The remaining $35,000 will either help fund a financial consultant study or go to future tax payments.
Signature Theatre has sole access rights and branding capability in its current space within a county owned building. It is responsible for the full costs of operating that facility, including real estate and business tangible taxes. Other county supported arts groups performing in county subsidized spaces are not required to pay taxes.
“Signature is thriving, and has a great future ahead of it,” Donnellan said. “This grant addresses an immediate, short-term need by providing temporary relief from a tax burden that is not shared by other supported arts groups.”
The county emphasizes that the theater is a cultural anchor for Shirlington and provides financial benefits to the community. It estimates that more than $150,000 in annual sales and meals taxes can be directly attributed to Signature’s presence in Shirlington.
Signature faced several debt-related lawsuits in Arlington General District Court last year, including claims from Waste Management, Conde Nast Publications and the Delancey at Shirlington Village apartment building. The Waste Management and Conde Nast claims were eventually dismissed. The court ruled in favor of Delancey at Shirlington Village.
County Treasurer Frank O’Leary told the Sun Gazette that Signature was delinquent on its real estate and business taxes.
(Updated at 9:20 a.m.) A car flipped on its roof near Shirlington on Sunday after colliding with a parked police car.
The incident happened on the 2800 block of S. Wakefield Street Sunday afternoon. According to police, an Acura TL heading eastbound on Wakefield Street struck two parked vehicles — a Ford Mustang and an Arlington police cruiser — before flipping over. It damaged a third vehicle after overturning.
The police car “sustained major damage” to its rear axle, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
The driver, identified as a 26-year-old Arlington man, was charged with reckless driving, driving with a revoked license and DUI. No injuries were reported.
New Bikeshare Stations in Shirlington – Two new Capital Bikeshare stations have been installed in the Shirlington area. The stations are located at Four Mile Run Drive and S. Shirlington Road, and at S. Arlington Mill Drive and Four Mile Run Drive. [Facebook]
Notable Trees Recognized – The Arlington County Board recognized 19 “notable trees” around the county on Tuesday. The honor is “an initiative of the Arlington Beautification Committee that recognizes residents who maintain and preserve outstanding trees.” There are now 265 trees registered in Arlington as part of the Notable Tree program, which began in 1987. “I am proud to live in a community that places such value on its trees,” said County Board Chair Walter Tejada. [Arlington County]
Lee Arts Center Lauded – The Lee Arts Center, at 5722 Lee Highway, is “one of Arlington County’s best kept secrets,” according to local arts writer James George. The county-run facility hosts a gallery and studios for ceramics and printmaking. [Examiner.com]
Fatshorty’s Now Open for Lunch – Fatshorty’s, the new beer and sausage restaurant in Clarendon, is now open for lunch, according to owner Aaron Gordon. The restaurant will be open from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Sunday through Monday, and 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Flickr pool photo by m01229
The Board unanimously approved the plan, which updates a previous plan that was passed in 1987. The new plan seeks to protect the communities from traffic impacts, maintain public infrastructure and foster a sense of community. It was created over the course of eight years with the help of community input.
“The program reflects the County’s belief that no one understands what a neighborhood needs better than the people who live there,” County Board Chair Walter Tejada said in a statement. “The County Board thanks the residents of Fairlington-Shirlington for working for eight years to produce this thoughtful, realistic plan to help ensure this area of the County will remain a great place to live for decades to come.”
Fairlington, with a population of 8,000 residents, is southwest of Shirlington, population 1,500, and bisected by I-395.
Fairlington was created as a publicly-financed housing complex for defense workers during World War II. Shirlington was a swampland before becoming a shopping center in the 1940s. The current Shirlington began to take shape, with high rise housing and and an “urban village” of retailers, after being purchased by Federal Realty Investment Trust in 1995.
The new Neighborhood Conservation Plan contains 35 service and infrastructure recommendations. The full list, which can be found below (after the jump), includes recommendations ranging from increased speed enforcement to new bus shelters to efforts to curb helicopter noise.
“In the coming year, County staff will be working with the association and residents to help identify priority improvement projects for funding,” the county said in a press release.
Photo courtesy Arlington County
Earth Day apparently isn’t just for humans. The animals at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington (2650 Arlington Mill Drive) in Shirlington will be getting a special treat in recognition of the day.
Girl Scout Troop 1251 from Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School in Falls Church has been helping to construct a “small companion animal garden” at the shelter. Animals at the shelter including rabbits, guinea pigs and birds will soon be able to munch on the fresh, organic produce that will be grown in the garden.
The scouts will put the final touches on the garden on Monday, which is Earth Day. At that time, they will finish planting the produce such as cabbage, broccoli, lettuce, parsley and carrots.
Around 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, police received several calls for a vehicle containing numerous young children who were not in proper children’s car seats. Police pulled the vehicle over as it was leaving the Weenie Beenie parking lot on the 2600 block of Shirlington Road, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
Inside the 2004 Ford Explorer, officers found seven children, ages 5 months to 3 years, and, according to police, “none of them were buckled in with any type of safety restraints.” One child was on the lap of a woman in the front passenger seat, four were in the back seat, and two were in the rear cargo area, Sternbeck said.
Two Alexandria women — Betty Ross, 34, and Cassandra Lewis, 37 — were arrested and charged with seven counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Ross and Lewis, who own a home-based daycare business in Alexandria, were released on a summons.
“None of the children were physically injured, and all of the children were returned to their parents,” according to the ACPD crime report.
The Crystal City location of Caribou Coffee (2100 Crystal Drive) will be closing at the end of this week and the coffee shop’s Shirlington location will eventually be converted to a Peet’s Coffee and Tea store, ARLnow.com has learned.
According to employees, the Crystal City location will close its doors after Sunday, April 14. The store is currently offering merchandise like coffee, mugs and coffee makers for 50 percent off, we’re told.
The Shirlington location will remain open for now but will be converted to a Peet’s Coffee and Tea store “at some point this fall,” an employee said.
Peet’s, which opened its first store in Berkeley, Calif. in 1966, is majority owned by a German private equity firm that purchased the Caribou chain last year. Caribou announced on Monday that it’s closing 80 “underperforming” stores and converting another 88 to Peet’s locations.
As reported last week, Copperwood Tavern, from the owner of Wilson Tavern in Courthouse, is replacing the former Bistro Bistro restaurant at 4021 Campbell Avenue. The restaurant will offer dozens of draft beers and craft bourbons, in addition to a menu of seasonal American small plates, meats and family-style sides.
From a press release:
Copperwood Tavern will bring a woodsy retreat to the middle of downtown Shirlington Village this summer, replacing the former Bistro Bistro space with a 5,700-square-foot cabin-style restaurant.
Imagine walking through the wilderness of southern Virginia and stumbling upon an inviting cabin. That’s exactly what Copperwood Tavern’s owner, Reese Gardner, envisioned when he started putting together the plans for what’s sure to be a new Shirlingtonian favorite.
Gardner, who is a Shirlington resident and also the owner of The Mighty Pint, Irish Whiskey DC, and Wilson Tavern, has created an all star team to help bring out the unique atmosphere of Copperwood Tavern.
Irish Whiskey’s Executive Chef, Sean McIntosh, and designer Maggie O’Neill of O’Neill Studios, will emphasize Copperwood Tavern’s rustic charm with a savory home-style food menu and designs that embody a welcoming backwoods feel.
O’Neill, who is the mastermind behind DC favorites Lincoln and Capitale, is helping create the woodsy retreat by featuring oversized ax door handles and cabin themed décor.
This rustic tavern seats up to 188 people and will specialize in McIntosh’s creations of seasonal American small plates, prime cuts of local game, farm raised poultry, beef and fresh fish accompanied with hearty, family style sides such as macaroni and cheese, corn casserole and seasonal vegetables.
Soon to be a new favorite brunch spot, Copperwood will feature a Bloody Mary bar and seafood buffet, including fresh oysters, clams and steamed shrimp.
The watering hole will not only offer 24 beers on tap and 30 small-batch whiskeys, but it will also boast a variety of superb wine selections and even moonshine! A separate service bar will ensure that all drink requests are filled in a timely and efficient manner.
Dog owners can look forward to the 56-seat outdoor patio with custom copper dog bowls and house baked dog treats.
A new restaurant from Wilson Tavern owner Reese Gardner is coming to Shirlington.
“Copperwood Tavern” will be opening in the former Bistro Bistro space at 4021 Campbell Avenue. The restaurant’s elaborate interior will be an updated take on an old logging tavern, Gardner told ARLnow.com in February. Old saws and moonshine bottles will adorn the walls.
The restaurant will be more upscale than Wilson Tavern, and will serve American small plates, some 30 draft beers, and 30 craft bourbons, we were told. Interior construction began on Feb. 10 and Gardener was hoping to open at some point in July.
Washingtonian reports that Copperwood Tavern will seat 115 and will have a Sunday brunch buffet.
Next Thursday (March 28) will be a big deal for those looking for different ways to get around South Arlington. A ribbon cutting is planned for the first Capital Bikeshare station along the Columbia Pike corridor.
Arlington County Board Chair Walter Tejada is scheduled cut the ceremonial ribbon at the event and help to launch the 2013 expansion wave, which includes 33 new stations around Columbia Pike and Shirlington. Last year’s expansion focused on the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor. The full list of planned stations is available online.
The station also marks another milestone — it’s the 200th in the Capital Bikeshare system.
The ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at 9:00 a.m. on March 28, at the Walter Reed Community Center (2909 16th Street South).
“We’ll miss all loyal customers,” the restaurant said. “Thank you so much for the good times.”
Said another social media post: “Restaurant items for sale. Call 202-256-0444. Everything must go!!”
Via Twitter, Extra Virgin said that the restaurant closed because it was not making enough money in sales to pay the rent.
As of December, Extra Virgin owed Arlington County $38,402.12 in unpaid meals taxes. That debt has since been repaid.
“All taxes owed by Extra Virgin have been paid so that their present balance is zero,” Arlington County Treaurer Frank O’Leary told ARLnow.com.
Photo via Facebook
Free Taxi Rides on St. Paddy’s Day — As part of the SoberRide program, the Washington Regional Alcohol Program will be offering free taxi rides home on Sunday (St. Patrick’s Day) from 4:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. In order to get your fare (up to $30) comped, you must call 1-800-200-TAXI to book the cab. [Washington Regional Alcohol Program]
St. Patrick’s Day in Shirlington — Restaurants and stores in Shirlington are offering a number of specials food, drink and product this weekend in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. [Shirlington Village Blog Spot]
Arlington Touts Traffic Management — Despite a surge in population and employment in Arlington County since the 1970s, there has not been a corresponding significant increase in traffic levels on major county streets. According to a new blog post from the county’s Mobility Lab, Arlington County Commuter Services deserves some of the credit for that. The bureau — which operates Walk Arlington, Bike Arlington, and the Car Free Diet marketing campaign, among other “Transportation Demand Management” functions — says it kept 45,000 cars off county streets every work day in 2012. [Mobility Lab]
ACPD Officers to Participate in Bike Trek — Three Arlington County police officers will participate in the annual “Road to Hope” Law Enforcement United bicycle trek from Chesapeake, Virginia to Washington, D.C. The three day, 250-mile ride is organized “to honor the service and sacrifice of their law enforcement colleagues who have died in the line of duty” and to provide support for two law enforcement charities. [Arlington County Police Department]
It had only been open for about 10 days, but Lotus Grill and Noodles in Shirlington temporarily closed down yesterday.
A tipster sent ARLnow.com a photo of the county inspection sign that went up on the door yesterday, claiming the building is unsafe.
According to a representative with Arlington’s Inspection Services Division, the restaurant had opened before receiving its certificate of occupancy. The county worker said the restaurant owners took it upon themselves to open when they weren’t authorized to do so.
We’re told there were outstanding building, zoning and inspection issues that needed to be resolved before issuing the permit. However, all of the issues were resolved around noon today and the restaurant is officially able to serve customers.
The restaurant re-opened this afternoon.
A new Vietnamese restaurant has opened in Shirlington Village.
Lotus Vietnamese Grill & Noodles, at 4041 Campbell Avenue, started serving customers on Monday. The restaurant, which seats about 40, is located in a 2,100 square foot space next to Extra Virgin restaurant.
The menu offering include: crispy spring rolls, summer rolls, green papaya salad with beef jerky, lotus stem salad with prawns, vermicelli, phở noodle soups, bahn mi sandwiches, and various rice dishes. The restaurant has a small bar that offers beer, wine and liquor.
Lotus Grill is open from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Carryout service is available by calling 703-566-2173.
An aging county-owned building near Shirlington is being torn down as part of the expansion of Jennie Dean Park.
The LaPorte Building at 3600 S. Four Mile Run Drive was purchased by Arlington County for $3.6 million in 2002, as part of a long-range expansion plan for the 22.4 acre park. It was most recently used as a temporary construction office during the expansion of Arlington’s Water Pollution Control Plant. The building was vacated by the plant contractor in late 2010.
Now, the county is preparing to finally tear down the run-down structure. The demolition will be conducted in an environmentally-responsible manner, officials say.
“Rather than using traditional means and methods, the County’s contractor will deconstruct the building,” said Dept. of Parks and Recreation Construction Management Specialist Brenda Parker. “This entails taking apart the building in order to reclaim, reuse and/or recycle as much of the materials as possible.”
After the structure is town down, the lot will be turned in to open space.
“Once the building is removed, the area will be graded and seeded, a portion of the fence will be removed, temporary landscaping will be installed around the site perimeter and benches may be added at the corner of S. Four Mile Run Drive and S. Nelson Street,” Parker said. “That work should be completed by early 2013.”
An adjacent, existing parking area will be maintained, however, in order to temporarily store equipment and Arlington Transit buses while a new ART facility is constructed. Use of the temporary storage area is expected to last through the end of 2013, at which time the parking lot will be demolished and converted to open space.