Crystal City’s leading business advocacy group is taking its most concrete steps yet to expand and represent Pentagon City and Arlington’s portion of Potomac Yard as well.
The Crystal City Business Improvement District is hoping to bump out its borders as soon as next year, according to documents submitted to the County Board. The BID plans to spend the next few months working secure the support of businesses in its adjacent neighborhoods, then finalize the change sometime in fiscal year 2020.
The business group, funded via a tax on properties in Crystal City, has been eyeing a potential expansion for months now, and the move took on increased importance once Amazon announced it would be setting up shop across all three South Arlington neighborhoods: the tech giant will have office space in both Crystal City and Pentagon City, and is spurring the creation of a new Virginia Tech campus in Potomac Yard.
The BID has already started to pitch the area to businesses as a cohesive “downtown” for Arlington, and is billing the creation of an “area-wide” BID as a way to “reinforce the complementary nature of these markets” when it comes time to lure new companies and residents to the area.
“In fact, the Crystal City, Pentagon City, and Potomac Yard-Arlington area has a total asset value of over $11 billion and represents a powerful economic engine for Arlington County, the region, and the Commonwealth of Virginia,” the BID wrote in its work plan for FY2020, delivered to the Board ahead of its meeting Saturday (Feb. 23).
The group’s new proposed borders would expand the BID’s reach down Army Navy Drive until it meets S. Hayes Street, putting major developments like Amazon’s future home near Metropolitan Park and the neighborhood’s Costco and Best Buy under the BID’s umbrella. However, the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall would not be included under the BID’s current proposal.
On the Potomac Yard side of the things to the south, the BID would extend its borders down Route 1 until it meets Four Mile Run (and the county’s border with Alexandria). That would pull in the large development that includes Lidl’s American headquarters and a Harris Teeter grocery store.
According to its work plan, the BID plans to spend the second and third quarters of the current fiscal year rallying support from business owners in Pentagon City and Potomac Yard. It also plans to move offices later this year, then hire more staff to account for its expanded borders.
The Board will also set the tax rate it imposes on Crystal City businesses to fund the BID as part of its upcoming budget deliberations. The BID is requesting that the tax rate remain stable, and when combined with a 6.8 percent jump in property values in the neighborhood, the group expects to pull in about $2.76 million in revenue this year.
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A Spanish restaurant complete with a “sangria garden” is the latest eatery looking to set up outdoor seating at the new Ballston Quarter development.
The fast casual restaurant Copa is applying for the permits necessary to include outdoor cafe tables in the development’s yet-to-be-opened plaza area, located near Ballston Quarter’s Wilson Blvd entrance.
So long as the County Board signs off on the request at its meeting Saturday (Feb. 23), Copa will become the seventh restaurant to win permission for outdoor seating at the development in recent months. The Board approved similar plans for Bartaco, Compass Coffee, South Block, Ted’s Bulletin, True Food Kitchen and Union Kitchen in October.
Copa is backed by the creators of Bethesda restaurants Butchers Alley and Pescadeli, and is set to offer small plates, homemade sangria and Spanish flatbreads.
It looks set to be located alongside a bevy of other upscale restaurants in the development’s revamped food court, dubbed a “food hall,” which is one of the largest sections of Ballston Quarter that has yet to open since stores began slowly coming online last fall.
Signs posted around the development continue to list February as an opening date for the new “Quarter Market.”
St. Peters Episcopal Church invites the community to come and enjoy a U2-rock-music-infused worship service Saturday, March 2, 2019 at 7 p.m.
The U2Charist is a rollicking and spiritual sing-along worship service open to all. Featuring big screen U2 lyrics, join our community to sing along in an Episcopal Rite II service of Holy Communion, intended to raise awareness of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and call people to a deeper faith and engagement with God’s mission.
The featured U2 songs will include “One” and “Beautiful Day.” All baptized persons are welcome to receive Holy Communion. Participants may choose to donate toward SDG Goal Four, ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education for all. All of the money raised will be used as scholarships for children supported by two of St. Peter’s missions.
Our South Africa Mission and The Love Quilt Project help the St. Francis Trust in Simons Town, South Africa provide housing and education for children in Masiphumelele, Western Cape province who are orphaned due to HIV/AIDs.
St. Peter’s Dominican Republic Mission, with the Dominican Development Group, supports impoverished children attending the Niño Jesus school in Montellano and Mosovi, in partnership with local parishes, Iglesia Episcopal Santa Maria Virgen and Divina Gracia.
For more information contact, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church Office at 703-536-6606 or email our Rector, The Rev. Dr. Craig Phillips, [email protected] or the Assistant to the Rector, The Rev. Daniel P. Spors, [email protected]. St. Peters Episcopal Church is located at 4250 N. Glebe Road Arlington, Virginia.
Janet Caputo and her husband thought they’d found just the right home for a new chapter in their lives when they moved into an apartment at “The Rixey” building in Ballston last month.
The couple had just sold their Cherrydale home of the last 22 years, looking to downsize now that their children are all heading off to college. Caputo says they spent months on the apartment search, touring buildings across Arlington multiple times before settling on The Rixey, located at 1008 N. Glebe Road.
Then came the news on Feb. 8 that Marymount University would be buying the building from its current owners, the prominent real estate developer The Shooshan Company, and converting it into housing for students, faculty and staff.
“I was not told the truth,” Caputo told ARLnow. “I wouldn’t have spent all this money to move in if we knew we could only stay for 14 months.”
Indeed, Shooshan and Marymount are now working over the course of the next several months to manage the tricky process of converting what was once yet another luxury apartment building in Ballston into an upscale dorm.
Representatives for both the company and the university say they’ll honor all existing leases, and are committed to making the transition go smoothly. Still, residents like Caputo can’t help but feel that they were blindsided by the change.
“I don’t think millennials are out to wreck the world… I don’t mind living among them,” Caputo said. “What I don’t like is being told I can’t stay in this building after I put all this effort into moving here.”
Kelly Shooshan, the company’s chief operating officer and director of residential development, says she can’t speak to what people were or were not told about the building’s future when they signed their leases. She deferred questions on that to The Rixey’s management company, the Bozzuto Group — Jamie Gorski, Bozzuto’s chief marketing officer, declined comment for this article.
However, Shooshan says residents have long been aware that some Marymount graduate students have lived in the building since it opened in October 2017, making ties to the university quite clear.
“In fact, they were the first students to move in,” Shooshan wrote in an email.
She added that the sale shouldn’t have come as a complete surprise, considering how Marymount and Shooshan worked together to make the development happen.
Marymount built its new Ballston Center building right next door to the Rixey, leasing the adjacent land to Shooshan. But the university reserved the right to purchase the apartment building outright in the future, and that’s exactly what Marymount did earlier this month, using a mix of state funds and private financing to afford the $95 million price tag.
“The Rixey was my baby,” Shooshan said. “I worked on it for four-plus years, so no one will miss it more than me. But all that means is I have to go build another great project.”
But Caputo says she had no idea that such an option was ever a possibility, and thinks it’s unreasonable that this wasn’t explained to residents ahead of time — she fully expects that if she’d known about the option, she and her husband wouldn’t have chosen The Rixey, and they certainly wouldn’t have spent close to $7,000 installing upgrades to the apartment’s furnishings.
Caputo adds that many of her neighbors are in the same boat. She’s heard from some who signed leases just weeks ago, and even encountered one family that put pen to paper on a lease the day the sale was announced.
A letter provided to ARLnow from the building’s new management company (American Campus Communities) says staff have also heard “a number of residents express concern” and surprise about the change.
“It’s just house flipping on an enormous scale, without telling unsuspecting people who think they are signing a lease in a multifamily building,” Caputo said.
Yet Shooshan points out that it’s not as if current Rixey residents are being thrown out on the street overnight.
“All leases will be honored,” Marymount Chief Financial Officer Al Diaz wrote in a statement. “But we will only renew leases for qualifying students, faculty and staff.”
Diaz says the university won’t start moving in undergraduate students to The Rixey until this coming August, though he says it “may fill vacancies that develop with graduate students, faculty and staff.”
But for anyone looking for a more immediate change, Shooshan says her staff is already working to help them move to another one of the company’s residential properties.
“Hopefully, this will resolve some of the initial frustrations,” Shooshan said. “As you know, no one likes change.”
Caputo isn’t yet sure what she and her husband will do — they’ve already paid their first month’s rent, and aren’t sure whether they’ll get it back if they move out early.
And she’s adamant that she has no interest in living in another Shooshan-owned property, after her experience at The Rixey.
“My husband and I are beside ourselves,” she said.
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The EvolveAll fitness studio is returning to Columbia Pike, with plans to move back to South Arlington sometime this spring.
The gym’s staff announced plans to move into a space at 1058 S. Walter Reed Drive, just off the Pike, last week. Owner and founder Emerson Doyle said in a video laying out his plans that he’s aiming to have the studio open by “the end of May.”
The gym is currently located in a shopping center near Bailey’s Crossroads, but it has a long history in Arlington.
Doyle and the rest of his EvolveAll instructors first started teaching classes at the Walter Reed Community Center and Thomas Jefferson Fitness Center more than a decade ago, according to a release from the studio.
The gym opened its first physical location at 2526 Columbia Pike, next to the Celtic House Irish Pub. It then moved to the Food Star shopping center, but was forced to relocate when the redevelopment process to transform the space into “Centro Arlington” got rolling.
This new space will be just down the street from its original home on the Pike. It was once home to True Health and Wholeness gym, which closed back in June 2017, and EvolveAll staff say the new space will be about 2,900 square feet larger than the gym’s current location.
That will open space for additional classes, and locker rooms with showers for both men and women.
EvolveAll currently offers classes in martial arts, yoga and massage therapy.
Photo via @EvolveAll
Board Member Wants Lower School Costs — “In remarks to a local service organization, Matt de Ferranti telegraphed the likelihood that Arlington property owners would see a higher real-estate-tax rate this year, in part to pay for higher school costs. But at the same time, he said the days of gold-plated school facilities must come to an end.” [InsideNova]
Arlington No. 5 on ‘Women in Tech’ List — Arlington County ranks fifth on a new list of “the Best Cities for Women in Tech in 2019.” D.C. ranked No. 1. [SmartAsset]
Isabella Restaurant Gear Up for Auction — “Rasmus Auctions is advertising online auctions for kitchen equipment, dining room contents, decor and more at Yona, Pepita and Kapnos Taverna in Arlington until about noon March 13.” [Washington Business Journal]
County Expanding Drug Take-Back Boxes — “In the first calendar year of the Permanent Drug Take-Back Box program, residents safely disposed of 1008 pounds of unused, unwanted or expired prescription medications. Due to the success of the program, an additional permanent drug take-back box has been installed at Arlington County Fire Station #5.” [Arlington County]
AWLA Calls for More Pet Foster Families — “We need your help! Our kennels are full and we are in URGENT need of foster homes for medium-large adult dogs and kittens undergoing treatment for ringworm.” [Facebook]
Falls Church Becoming ‘Un-boring’ — The sleepy City of Falls Church is attracting younger residents amid a development boom, cheered on in an editorial by the little city’s newspaper. [Falls Church News-Press]
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4 BR home adjacent to McKinley Elem
Description: 4 BR/3 BA two-level single-family home with nearly 1/3 acre private lot surrounded by mature trees. Good condition, needs some renovations, but full gut not required. Off-street parking and quiet residential neighborhood. 1 mile to EFC Metro & Westover.
4 BR/3 BA in Rosslyn/Courthouse
Description: Contemporary single-family home less than a 10 minute walk to Rosslyn & Courthouse Metros. Attached 2-car garage + driveway. $200k in recently updates. Soaring ceilings, walls of windows, surrounded by cherry blossoms. Has rare “wow” factor inside and out.
New construction in Cherrydale
Description: To-be-built 5 BR/5.5 BA 6,100 sq. ft. custom home with two-car garage on 1/4 acre private lot and dead-end street. Walking distance to Lee Heights Shops. Summer 2019 delivery.
Courtesy of RE/MAX
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Address: 1422 21st Street S.
Neighborhood: Arlington Ridge
Gorgeous remodel in Arlington Ridge! Large home with top of the line and luxurious updates throughout.
Gourmet kitchen with coffered ceilings, large center island, stainless steel appliances, marble countertops, custom cabinets, wine fridge, breakfast bar and luxurious light fixtures.
Expanded master suite with large walk-in closet with custom Elfa shelving, soaking tub + stand-up shower, dual sinks and custom mirrors. Fully finished lower level walkout with full bath and kitchenette — perfect for supplemental income, nanny, au-pair or in-law suite. Porcelain tile throughout and fresh paint.
Large backyard with amazing views from up above the trees in Arlington Ridge, including 2 patios and an upper deck — perfect for relaxing or entertaining. Brand new windows and doors throughout, updated landscaping, new front walkway and 1-car garage.
Prime private cul-de-sac location — 20 min walk to Amazon HQ2/National Landing/Crystal City, close to Pentagon, I-395 and more.
Optime Realty / Keri Shull Team
A 72-year old woman from Reston has been missing for over a month; a report has been filed with Fairfax County. If you have seen Candace Noonan or know anything about her whereabouts, please report it to the Fairfax County police at 703-556-7750 or 703-246- 7800 (Detective Thornton; Case # 2019-0380061).