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
Now that Christmas has come and gone, and all the presents have been unwrapped, another holiday tradition is upon us: the rush back to stores to return unwanted or ill-fitting gifts.
The week after Christmas is traditionally a busy one for retailers as they start to take returns (and as shoppers who received gift cards start to cash them in).
Will you be making returns this week?
As mentioned in our Morning Poll, your shopping days before Christmas are dwindling.
Maybe you need some help scrambling to pick up those last minute presents. If so, never fear, because Santa has apparently set up a mailbox on a utility pole in North Arlington, near George Mason Drive and 26th St. N.
We’re not sure how often elves are collecting the letters, but we’re told neighborhood children have been frequenting the mailbox.
Forget the weekend after Thanksgiving, this weekend — the last weekend before Christmas — may be one of the busiest shopping times of the year. Last-minute gift buyers are expected to flock to stores on Saturday and Sunday, in advance of two consecutive holiday weekends.
Adding to the shopping crush: Hanukkah starts relatively late this year, on Dec. 20.
Will you be joining the masses at the malls and shopping centers this weekend?
In addition to being able to peruse hard copies of the magazine at branches throughout the county, the library is offering online access. Readers can compare the items reviewed in recent issues of the magazine, as well sift through the archives from the past four years.
Users need to enter their Arlington library card number and PIN code after clicking on the link to access Consumer Reports.
Arlington ranks sixth in terms of average per-person monthly spending on electronics, according to consumer financial website Bundle.com. Arlington residents spend an average of $67.58 per month on electronics, compared to the national average of $48.00 per month.
The only cities that spend more on electronics, on average, are (in order of first to fifth): San Jose, Ca.; Austin, Tex.; Nashville, Tenn.; Madison, Wis. and Plano, Tex. Residents of San Jose — in the heart of Silicon Valley — spend an average of $91.08 per month.
District of Columbia residents were also on the top-spending list, but weren’t quite as big spenders as Arlington residents. D.C. came in 12th on the list at $61.42 per month. Arlington, we should note, is home to the Consumer Electronics Association — one of the primary trade groups for electronics manufacturers.
(Arlington is technically a county, but often gets included in ‘top city’ lists because it is considered a Census Designated Place.)
Hat tip to Steven S.
Extended Mall Hours for Black Friday — Arlington’s two biggest shopping malls will be open earlier than usual for the traditional post-Thanksgiving shop-a-thon known as Black Friday. Ballston Common Mall will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., while Pentagon City mall will be open from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Eminent Domain Change Proposed — A proposed amendment to the Virginia Constitution would make it harder for localities to seize private property under eminent domain laws. The amendment, which has the support of some General Assembly Republicans, is being proposed at a time when Arlington is threatening to use eminent domain to purchase an office building in Courthouse. [Washington Times]
Romeo and Juliet in Crystal City — Synetic Theater’s dialogue-less production of Romeo and Juliet premieres today in Crystal City. The physical theater company’s interpretation of Shakespeare’s classic tragic love story runs through Dec. 23. [Synetic Theater]
‘Arlington Rap’ Guy Gets Write-In Votes — ‘Arlington Rap’ artist Remy Munasifi was among the recipients of write-in votes in this month’s County Board election. Munasifi received four out of the more than 1,000 write-in votes cast. A host of local and national politicians — George W. Bush, Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton among them — were also written-in for the Board race. Write-in votes for commonwealth’s attorney, meanwhile, included rapper Lil Wayne, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and Capitals star Alex Ovechkin. [Sun Gazette]
Yorktown to Play for Regional Championship Today — The undefeated Yorktown Patriots football team will face the South County Stallions at 1:30 p.m. today for the Northern Region Championship. The victor will win the right to advance to the state football playoffs. The game is being played at Yorktown High School stadium (2700 N. Greenbrier Street).
Arlington is the second-most “shopaholic” city in the U.S., according to consumer budgeting website Bundle.com.
Using several data sources, Bundle calculated that Arlington residents spend an average of $254.58 per month on clothes, shoes and other apparel. That’s second only to Washington, D.C., where residents spend an average of $263.00 per month on wearable goods.
The national average, according to Bundle, is $142.08 per month.
Immediately below Arlington on the “shopaholic” top 10 list is Nashville, Tenn.; Scottsdale, Ariz.; Dallas; San Francisco; San Jose, Calif.; Seattle; Austin, Tex. and Bakersfield, Calif.
“We’re a nation of shopaholics, with Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw (obsessed with shoes and designer labels) and How I Met Your Mother’s Barney Stinson (obsessed with suits and luxury goods) representing on our television sets what two of America’s estimated 18 million shopaholics might look like in real life,” Bundle said.
Arlington is, of course, a county — but it’s considered a Census-Designated Place for statistical purposes and is thus included on a number of “top city” lists.
While Arlington may be near the top of the “shopaholic” list, that doesn’t mean that all residents are benefiting from the county’s affluence. Recently, the number of families served by the Arlington Food Assistance Center reached an all-time high. Nationwide, new census data out today shows that a record 49.1 million Americans are living in poverty.
Storm Shopping Clears Shelves — Residents are taking the advice of emergency officials and shopping for essential items in advance of Hurricane Irene. At the Potomac Yard Target store last night, shopping carts were at a premium, milk was running low and bottled water was completely sold out.
Two Candidates Challenge Brink — Del. Bob Brink will have to work a bit harder to keep his 48th District House of Delegates seat. Brink is facing general election challenges from Independent Green candidate Janet Murphy and from McLean resident Kathleen Gillette Mallard, who has ties to the Tea Party. [Sun Gazette]
Major Crystal City Employer Purchased — Bloomberg LP has purchased the Bureau of National Affairs, a specialized industry reporting outfit headquartered in Crystal City. Bloomberg says it plans to run BNA, which has more than 600 employees, as a “stand-alone subsidiary.” [Washington Post]
Office of Emergency Management Video — Rest assured that Arlington County is ready for Hurricane Irene. But be a bit worried about the county’s ability to properly operate a video camera. [YouTube]
Fairfax Times Rips Off ARLnow.com Quote — The Washington Post-owned Fairfax Times has copied, verbatim, a quote from an ARLnow.com article on the 31st District state Senate primary without proper attribution. The quote from Betsy Wildhack only appeared on ARLnow.com — we were the only news outlet there at the time — but yet now appears at the end of a Fairfax Times article without any sort of credit or acknowledgement.
Forget Black Friday. The next two or three days will likely be some of the busiest shopping days of the year, as procrastinators head to the malls to pick up last-minute Christmas gifts.
Where in Arlington, if anywhere, are you planning on going shopping before Dec. 25? You can select more than one answer.
Expect parking to be at a premium in Clarendon Saturday afternoon as the Market Common shopping center holds its 10th annual Winter Wonderland event.
Santa and Mrs. Claus will be in attendance from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m., and there will be entertainment and activities for all ages.
Market Common Clarendon will present the 10th annual Winter Wonderland on Saturday, December 11, offering plenty of holiday fun for all ages. Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive by fire truck at 1:00 pm, and they’ll be staying for visits and free photos until 5:00 pm. All afternoon, attendees can enjoy free holiday activities and entertainment, including ice sculptures, strolling entertainment, “Jack Frost”, carolers, and more. MIX 107.3 FM will be broadcasting live from Market Common Clarendon with host, John Martin, for the US Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots campaign, accepting donations of unwrapped toys and cash from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Contrary to popular belief, the Friday after Thanksgiving is not the busiest shopping day of the year. Americans actually buy more in the days leading up to Christmas.
But Black Friday is one of the biggest “traffic” days of the year at shopping centers, as consumers, unburdened by work or the need to prepare a Thanksgiving dinner, head out to the mall just for the sake of getting out and doing something. And of course there are those doorbuster specials, too.
The good news if you are heading out on Friday is that we know more people will be out of town this year. But it’s not clear whether that will have any noticeable effect on the normally horrendous mall parking lot traffic.
Are you planning on joining the crowd?
The complex is being torn down to make way for a new mixed use development, and the demolition work is expected to begin at some point within the next month.
Construction crews will first salvage the shopping center’s limestone facade, for re-use in the new development. Then, the demolition will begin.
Utility work is expected to begin after that, and the actual construction of the building should start by the end of the winter, according to owner Equity Residential. The first tenants in the new complex are expected to move in by the summer of 2012.
Equity has promised to work with the contractor to make sure construction vehicles enter the site through Route 50 and not through neighborhood streets.
The 2201 North Pershing project, as it’s known, will consist of nearly 200 apartments and a block-long first floor retail space that will wrap around to Route 50 / Arlington Boulevard.
Equity says it hasn’t signed up any retail tenants yet, but that hasn’t stopped locals from not-so-quietly making their wish lists known.
“The underserved South of Courthouse, or SOCO, neighborhood, has high hopes for a coffee shop, ice cream store and a small upscale grocery as well as a much needed bank,” one Barton Street resident told us in an email.
Ebbin introduced the bill to the Virginia House of Delegates in 2009 and 2010, each time unsuccessful. He’s hoping for a different result in the upcoming 2011 legislative session.
If enacted into law, the bag fee would protect the environment, Ebbin said. Locally, he added, it would help make waterways like Four Mile Run cleaner.
When polled earlier this week, 52 percent of ARLnow.com readers supported a bag fee or ban.
Here’s the legislative summary of Ebbin’s 2010 bill, the Virginia Waterways Clean Up and Consumer Choice Act.
Paper and plastic bag fee. Imposes a fee of $0.05 on paper and plastic bags used by purchasers to carry tangible personal property from the place of purchase. Durable, reusable plastic bags and bags used for ice cream, meat, fish, poultry, leftover restaurant food, newspapers, dry cleaning and prescription drugs are exempt from the fee. Retailers are allowed to retain $0.01 of the $0.05 fee or $0.02 if the retailer has a customer bag credit program. The revenues raised by the fee will be deposited in the Virginia Water Quality Improvement Fund. Failure to collect and remit the fee will result in fines of $250, $500, and $1,000 for the first, second, third and thereafter offenses.
The Arlington County Board is seeking the authority to ban or tax the distribution of single-use plastic bags at retailers in the county, according to the Sun Gazette — but it’s an uphill climb.
Since Virginia is a Dillon Rule state, Arlington must first ask the state legislature for permission to pursue policies not specifically allowed by state law. In past years, the state government has been reluctant to grant Arlington any new taxing power.
Arlington will make its unlikely bag request during the General Assembly session starting Jan. 12.
D.C. has already imposed a tax on disposable plastic bags in an effort to limit their use. Should Arlington follow the District’s example?