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Mystery Construction Project Near Ray’s Hell Burger

by ARLnow.com July 19, 2010 at 2:29 pm 2,421 34 Comments

This morning a reader asked about a “bizarre” construction project happening at the corner of Wilson Boulevard and North Quinn Street, near Ray’s Hell Burger.

We dutifully checked it out and yes, it was pretty weird. First of all, you don’t typically see that much construction debris sitting out in the open near a main thoroughfare. When we arrived workers were busy laying brick next to the building and doing some sort of metal work inside. We asked the workers what was being built — and got no response.

We checked with the county zoning records system to see if any building permits had been issued for the address — and couldn’t find any (Update: Per the discussion in the comments section, it looks like a building permit was applied for last year and approved this year). We would have asked a zoning employee about it, but for about two hours no one in the office has answered the phone.

The building was previously a service station. Does anybody know what it’s going to be once this work is completed?

  • Teyo

    Is this part of the re-alignment of the street in preparation for having N. Quinn connect through to the other side on Clarendon Blvd?

  • S

    Too bad it is not additional parking for Ray’s Hell Burger!

  • TuesdayChild

    I hope it is a new spray park. Or a dog park. Or maybe a combination of spray park / dog park. “Spray and Spay!”

    • Katie

      Good one.

  • Eponymous Coward

    Secure garage for the Medvedev limo? Mrs. Coward and I were recently musing over what’s going up there.

  • KW

    There are building permits in various stages of approval and finalization. See this link: http://permits.arlingtonva.us/Query_by_Address.aspx and search for 1625 Wilson Boulevard. The underground storage tanks are being removed and now they’re adding an addition to the back [per permit: “MOVE EXISTING WALL 12′ 4” & EXTEND FLOOR SPACE UNDER EXISTING WOOD STRUCTURE (ADDING 200 SQ FT FLOOR SPACE)]. Looks like it will be a service station again but without a service bay (a gasoline dispensing station only).

  • Mike

    The triumphant return of the Arlington Grill

    • charlie

      That would be awesome to have the Arlington Grill return.

  • KW

    The real estate assessment shows no change in property class or ownership. It’s still zoned for a service station only. http://www.arlingtonva.us/Departments/RealEstate/reassessments/scripts/Inquiry.asp?action=view&lrsn=28234

  • AES

    Huh? How’s this going to be a gas pumping service station if they removed the underground tanks per the previous permit issued July 09?

  • Stacey

    Strange to have a filling station right next to a school.

  • KW

    I’m sure the tanks there were pretty old and needed to be replaced. You’ll notice when gas stations get renovated they often remove the tanks and then replace them with new ones (for example, the renovation of the previous Shell now Liberty gas station in the 4100 block of Columbia Pike; the repair facility was removed as were the original tanks). I assume that’s what will happen in this case.

  • I spoke with the owner. They’re putting in a 7-Eleven.

  • It is my understanding that this renovated building will continue as a commercial use… though not as a gas station (tanks were removed). You could also contact the owner for more info… it’s EMANCO LLC.

    — Diana Sun, director of communications, Arlington, VA

  • TuesdayChild

    Ahh, there used to be a 7-11 on the other side of Wilson. I guess they want back in!

  • AES

    I spoke with a real estate rep from 7-11 a few months back, and she told me they were looking for space in Rosslyn but no one wanted to lease to them. Maybe they’ve found an in.

  • MC

    Hope it’s not a 7-11; they are colonizing Arlington. One opened near me recently, a mere 2 blocks from an existing 7-11. Inside they sell all kinds of life-taking merchandise: cigarettes, magnum-sized malt liquor, herbal supplements of dubious legality, and various artery clogging junk food. I can understand why they got a cold shoulder from landlords: they are trashy and drive down property values. If it’s still zoned as a service station, maybe people can oppose a rezoning that would enable them to sell cigarettes and alcohol next to a school.

    • Mike

      Don’t like it? Don’t shop there. Snob.

      And FYI, there used to be a 7-11 across the street next to RHB.

    • ereed

      You need to move to the deep suburbs immediately if not sooner. Shh! Go now.

  • Efrem

    I heard Chris Zimmielocks is opening a competing burger joint called Jell Burger – no beef, no substance.

    • charlie

      but you still get gas

  • Virginia State Corporation Commission Hack

    According to the VSCC website, the registered agent of Emanco LLC is Muhammad A. Alhussein, and his given address is 1625 Wilson Blvd (an Amoco station). Barry, is that who you talked to?

  • Mike

    I hope it’s a BP station.

  • VSCCH: it’s not an Amoco station any more, 1625 Wilson Blvd is where the new building is going up. I didn’t get the guy’s name though.

    MC: they were already selling cigarettes when it was a gas station (they did a big “close out” sale before they finally shut down). I don’t think they were selling alcohol there but they had pretty much everything else you mentioned.

    • Virginia State Corporation Commission Hack

      Yeah, sorry, I failed reading comprehension on that one.

  • charlie

    This is another tragic example of the new economy of Arlington — selling crap instead of doing something. We had it with Virginia Hardware which provided advice, repair tools and sold useful stuff for your daily existence. (Please don’t get on the they-were-forced-out-bandwagon.) But the owners of Virginia Hardware owned their building and saw that they could make more money more easily renting it to yet-another run of the mill restaurant than they could selling useful stuff. And the owner of this service station, where you could get your car inspected and repaired has now found it more lucrative to be a purveyor of junk food and death tools (I like that phrase) than to actually DO ANYTHING or PROVIDE A SERVICE. This is the reality of the Arlington market — sell sell sell.

    • Skeptical

      Amen, charlie. But it’s not just the Arlington economy, it’s pretty much America. We’re drowning in “stuff,” but just try to find someone who can fix or maintain that “stuff” if it breaks down, or sell you a part and not an entire new whatsit. Seems like lately every time I want to patronize a business that’s been in Arlington for decades, I find out they’ve moved to the outer burbs because they don’t want to fight the rents around here any more. Hurray for “walkable Arlington,” where you can walk to 1000 things you don’t really need.

      • Greg

        I was thinking about this during a recent trip through western PA. Especially in Pittsburgh, seeing all the industrial sites now replaced with strip malls and entertainment complexes. It seems we just trade money around with each for frivolous things and produce and less less of anything with actual utility.

  • AES

    Mostly agreed, but in this case the service station that closed sat directly across the street from Arlington Motorcar Service. So the block won’t be without locally owned auto repair.
    While I’d rather see an independent grocery store or hardware store in that space, a 7-11 is probably going to be useful to a number of residents. Most of the convenience stores in Rosslyn are for the office crowd and close at night and on weekends.

  • Melissa

    My friends who work next door at the Wilson School also said it was going to be a 7-Eleven.

  • Katie

    “Hurray for “walkable Arlington,” where you can walk to 1000 things you don’t really need”

    All that walking is more painful, too. The Comfort Shoes in Clarendon moved out because the landlord was raising the rent to extortionate heights.

  • The site has now sat completely untouched since the end of July. Anyone know what the deal is? Based on the link from KW, it looks like they got hung up on the final permits.

  • Ryan

    Just to update this story, it appears that it will in fact be a 7-11 according to this fancy sign posted on the construction fence. Work seems to be coming along at a good pace now, they must have hired someone new. http://www.dropmocks.com/mKIqU

    • SoCo Resident

      Thanks Ryan for giving us a visual of the new 7-Eleven sign. Wonder how much a 7-Eleven pulls in per day or year in a very valuable location like that?

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