74°Clear

by Heather Mongilio — July 31, 2015 at 6:30 pm 0

donaldson run water

It looks like the rain is gone, at least until next Thursday, making this weekend a great time to go celebrate the start of the last full month of summer.

One way to enjoy the sunshine might be a walk on the Donaldson Run trail now the water advisory has been lifted.

Cyclists can also join County Board member Libby Garvey in honoring her late husband with a 90-mile bicycle ride.

Residents may also want to head over to the Arlington Central Library’s auditorium (1015 N. Quincy Street) to hear about the changes coming to I-66, including going from HOV lanes to HOT lanes.

Feel free to sound off on the proposed lane changes or any other topic of local interest in the comments.

by ARLnow.com — July 31, 2015 at 4:45 pm 988 0

Construction on the large, eight-building Liberty Center project in Ballston has been wrapping up this week, but just temporarily.

Construction barriers have been removed from the corner of Wilson Blvd and N. Randolph Street, a new sidewalk is open and construction cranes have come down. However, the project isn’t quite complete: one of the buildings has yet to be built.

As reported by the Washington Business Journal in January, developer Shooshan Co. decided not to built the eighth and final building — a 20-story office building at 4040 Wilson Blvd — without significant lease commitments. With none apparently forthcoming, Shooshan decided against building on “spec” during a period of high office vacancies in Arlington and the rest of the D.C. region.

“The construction has been paused until we have the right deal in place,” Director of Leasing and Marketing Kevin Shooshan told ARLnow.com. “We could start again in a month, or in a year, it all depends on the market and finding our deal.”

Currently, passersby can see the top of a five-level underground parking garage, behind the chain link fence, on the site of what will eventually be 4040 Wilson Blvd.

The tower will eventually be built on top of the garage. Until then, Shooshan says the company is planning to place wrap signage around the site.

The temporary conclusion of construction isn’t the only action on the block. Around the corner, on N. Quincy Street, Pepita Cantina opened last night to a large crowd sampling the drink-heavy menu.

by Heather Mongilio — July 31, 2015 at 3:15 pm 2,820 0

(Updated at 5:20 p.m.) District Taco is working with an unlikely contractor for the construction of its new Rosslyn location: a company that once laid the restaurant’s founder off.

In 2008, Osiris Hoil was working as a superintendent for Patriot Contracting, the construction company that is building the new District Taco in Rosslyn and has built locations in Alexandria and Dunn Loring — which is celebrating its grand opening today.

The company originally hired Hoil despite his lack of construction experience because of his “can do” attitude and work ethic, said Jeff McGee, the co-owner of Patriot Contracting. The company struggled during the 2008 financial crisis, however, and Hoil was laid off.

“When I got laid off, I was very sad and I asked if I could stay on payroll, sweeping floors,” Hoil said. His wife was pregnant at the time and he needed the health insurance.

Laying off Hoil was one of the toughest days McGee has experienced on the job.

“I walked away crying,” he said.

Laying Hoil and the other employees left its mark on the company. McGee vowed that the company will stay small in order to avoid ever laying someone off again.

Undaunted by the adversity of losing a job during a major economic downturn, Hoil went on to start his original District Taco cart in 2009. He had a passion for cooking and his family’s recipes — and they turned out to be a hit.

That first cart eventually spawned a second, and then a brick and mortar restaurant followed on Lee Highway. That in turn led to what is now a growing regional chain. And when Hoil started building additional restaurants, he ultimately returned to Patriot Contracting, this time as a client.

“Instead of being angry about what they did, I’m right next to them saying let’s try this again,” Hoil said. He says he signed a multimillion dollar contract with Patriot because the company has good people and the owners get involved in the project.

The construction company has built two new stores and remodeled one of the existing locations, McGee said. It is currently working on the Rosslyn location.

“We really enjoy working with him [Hoil], and we’re proud of what he’s done,” McGee said.

Hoil is also eying Bailey’s Crossroads in Virginia and the Tenleytown neighborhood in D.C. for two more restaurants, he said. Hoil says he also wants to expand into Maryland, possibly in College Park. The company currently has 270 employees.

The new District Taco in Rosslyn will be located at 1500 Wilson Blvd, next to the future TargetExpress store. Both are expected to open this fall.

by ARLnow.com — July 31, 2015 at 1:30 pm 997 0

Virginia Confederate license plateA federal judge’s ruling today will allow Virginia to remove the Confederate flag from specialty license plates.

An existing state law on the books says specialty license plates issued for members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans may not include an emblem, like the Confederate battle flag. An injunction on First Amendment grounds prevented the Commonwealth from enforcing that law, but a Supreme Court ruling in June prompted Attorney General Mark Herring (D) to file a motion to vacate the previous order.

In a press release, the attorney general’s office says that Judge Jackson Kiser will next file an order that will specify whether nearly 1,700 previously-issued Confederate plates may be recalled.

Today in federal district court in Danville, Judge Jackson Kiser ruled from the bench that he will dissolve his 2001 injunction that had allowed the Sons of Confederate Veterans to place the confederate battle flag on certain specialty license plates in Virginia. On June 26, Attorney General Mark R. Herring filed motions (see below) to dissolve the injunction and vacate the order that had required placement of the flag on SCV license plates. The Commonwealth will now be able to enforce its existing law regarding SCV plates which states “No logo or emblem of any description shall be displayed or incorporated into the design of license plates issued under this section.”

“This ruling will allow Virginia to remove a symbol of oppression and injustice from public display on its license plates,” said Attorney General Mark Herring. “Virginia state government does not have to and will not endorse such a divisive symbol. I appreciate Governor McAuliffe’s leadership in calling for the removal of the flag and those on my team who moved quickly to get it done.”

Judge Kiser’s ruling will not be official until he enters his order, which will also address whether the decision will apply prospectively to new license plates, or retroactively to include existing ones. Deputy Attorneys General Rhodes B. Ritenour and Jeffrey M. Bourne and Senior Assistant Attorney General Janet Westbrook handled the case on behalf of the Commonwealth.

by Heather Mongilio — July 31, 2015 at 12:30 pm 358 0

Signs line the Donaldson Run trail.

An advisory warning to people to avoid contact with water from Donaldson Run has been lifted.

The advisory was put into place on July 11 after sewage from a broken pipe leaked into the stream by Military Drive. Two additional leaks followed three days later, causing the county to issue another advisory.

The first leak spewed 4,500 gallons of sewage. The second leak released 9,000 gallons and the third had 11,250 gallons, county spokeswoman Meghan McMahon said.

The sewage in the water was naturally flushed out and the county fixed the broken pipe, as well as the protective casing around it.

The county recently tested the water downstream from the break for E. Coli and found normal levels, according to a county press release.

Although there is no more sewage in the water, people should still never drink or bathe in stream water, according to the county. Residents should also always wash their hands after coming in contact with water from local streams.

by ARLnow.com — July 31, 2015 at 11:30 am 437 0

And just like that, August is upon us! Things are (finally) looking dry and cooler for this weekend, so you have no excuse not to get out and see all the great open houses this weekend. There’s so many this weekend, with options for every budget and style of home.

For the full listing of open houses, check out our real estate section. For now, here are a few highlights:

481930th4819 30th Street S.
2 BD / 1 BA Condominium
Agent: William Skipworth, DC Living Real Estate LLC
Listed: $324,500
Open: Saturday from 1:30-3:30 p.m.

150712th1507 12th Street N.
2 BD / 2 Full, 1 Half BA Condominium
Agent: Janet Callander, Weichert Realtors
Listed: $599,000
Open: Sunday from 2-4 p.m.

606tazewell606 Tazewell Street
3 BD / 2 Full, 1 Half BA Townhouse
Agent: Daniel Lesniak, Optime Realty LLC
Listed: $764,900
Open: Sunday from 2-4 p.m.

3831Vernon3831 N. Vernon Street
4 BD / 2 Full, 1 Half BA Single Family Detached
Agent: Kelly Tierney, Re/max Distinctive Real Estate Inc.
Listed: $899,900
Open: Sunday from 1-4 p.m.

318Madsison318 N. Madison Street
4 BD / 3 BA Single Family Detached
Agent: Laina Lee, McWilliams/Ballard Inc.
Listed: $939,900
Open: Sunday from 12-3 p.m.

1881Nash1881 N. Nash Street
2 BD / 2 BA Condominium
Agent: Daniel Lesniak, Optime Realty LLC
Listed: $1,049,900
Open: Sunday from 2-4 p.m.

by Heather Mongilio — July 31, 2015 at 10:30 am 2,110 0

Alleged rape suspect (Courtesy of ACPD)The Arlington County Police Department is seeking a man suspected of sexually assaulting a 25-year-year old woman in Courthouse.

The suspect allegedly forced the woman into bushes near the corner of 15th Street N. and N. Scott Street early Saturday morning. The woman was able to kick the man in the groin and fight him off after he grabbed at her pants, police say.

A sketch artist worked with the victim to produce a sketch of the suspect. He is described as a Hispanic man weighing between 150 to 175 pounds and is between 5’6 and 5’8 feet tall. He was last seen wearing a white t-shirt and jeans and has an athletic build.

Anyone with information can call Detective Robert Icolari at 703-228-4240 or email him at [email protected] Anyone with information who wishes to remain anonymous can call 866-411-TIPS (8477) to leave a tip with Arlington County Crime Solvers.

by ARLnow.com — July 31, 2015 at 9:30 am 1,884 0

Ballston as seen from the top floor of an office building

Fire Station Relocation May Go to Voters — A controversial plan to relocate Fire Station 8 from Lee Highway and the Hall’s Hill neighborhood to a locale further north, in order to improve response times, could be put to voters. Opponents may push for a stand-alone bond issue for construction of the new fire station, which would put it on the ballot. The idea was floated during a well-attended community meeting on the fire station relocation plan last night. [InsideNova]

North vs. South Swimming Pool Divide? — Swimming has always been a significant part of life in Arlington, but current pool options are tilted toward north Arlington, says Our Man in Arlington columnist Charlie Clark. Building the stalled Long Bridge Park aquatics center could help alleviate the divide, Clark reasons. [Falls Church News-Press]

Arlington Family Kicked off Flight — An Arlington family was kicked off a JetBlue flight from Boston to Baltimore on Monday, reportedly because of a squirming two year old and FAA regulations. [WUSA 9]

DCA Screeners Find Two Guns in Two Days — Screeners at Reagan National Airport found two guns in carry-on baggage over the course of two days this week. The two men who had the guns in their bags are now facing weapons charges. [WJLA]

I-395 Exit to Close Temporarily — The exit from northbound I-395 to Washington Blvd will close overnight Sunday and Monday for paving and lane striping, VDOT says. [Patch]

Just Listed in Arlington

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — July 31, 2015 at 5:00 am 1,048 0

Just Listed banner

Just Listed highlights Arlington properties that just came on the market within the past week. This feature is written and sponsored by Team Cathell, “Your Orange Line Specialists.”

While it’s certainly the season for beach, pools, and boating, but not all buyers have gone on vacation.

The pace of sales this week in Arlington has outpaced the rate of new listings. Some 66 properties went under contract this last week, while only 60 new listings came on the market.

At this healthy rate, Arlington has only about 2.7 months’ worth of inventory (there are 693 properties actively for sale). A real estate market is considered to be at equilibrium at about 5.5-6 months of inventory.

Interest rates are helping sales. In the last two weeks, rates have dropped slightly. Right now the 30-yr fixed rate for jumbo loans is about 4%. Also, more and more lenders are adding new products for 10% and 5% down, no mortgage insurance programs, and more.

It continues to be a great time to buy, if you can only find that “right” home.

  1. 4201 LEE HWY W #604, ARLINGTON, VA 22207- $269,000
  2. 1001 RANDOLPH ST #115, ARLINGTON, VA 22201- $345,000
  3. 4423 34TH ST S, ARLINGTON, VA 22206- $465,000
  4. 1021 GARFIELD ST #303, ARLINGTON, VA 22201- $474,900
  5. 2648 N SYCAMORE ST, ARLINGTON, VA 22207- $610,000
  6. 129 COLUMBUS ST N, ARLINGTON, VA 22203- $725,000
  7. 251 BARTON ST, ARLINGTON, VA 22201- $860,000
  8. 708 HARRISON ST N, ARLINGTON, VA 22205- $950,000

You can access all active listings in Arlington on the Cathell Team website.

Spotluck Spotlight: Sushi Rock

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — July 30, 2015 at 4:45 pm 458 0

Restaurant discovery app Spotluck is spotlighting its restaurant partners in Arlington. Download Spotluck for iPhone or Android to discover and save money at a local restaurant today. Sushi Rock Delicious specialty…

by ARLnow.com — July 30, 2015 at 2:15 pm 516 0

Arlington County is under a Severe Thunderstorm Warning through 2:45 p.m. From the National Weather Service: THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS ISSUED A * SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING…

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