Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com June 7, 2011 at 9:00 am 3,184 46 Comments

HOT Lanes Firm May Walk — One of the two companies that was tapped to built High Occupancy Toll lanes on I-95/395 may walk away from the project if the federal environmental review lasts more than 12 months. The CEO of Melbourne-based Transurban told a newspaper that long delays, including delays caused by Arlington County’s lawsuit challenging the project, has prompted him to think about cutting his losses. [The Australian]

Oil & Vinegar Store Sets Opening Date — Ah Love Oil & Vinegar, the subject of an ARLnow.com poll last month, is set to open its doors on Shirlington on Thursday. [Shirlington Village Blog]

County to Designate ‘Essential’ Historic Properties — Arlington County is scheduled to designate 23 new “essential” historic properties, including garden apartment complexes, old shopping centers and the Arlington Cinema ‘n’ Drafthouse.  The designation will do little by itself to protect buildings from development, however. [Sun Gazette]

  • MB

    And I hope that Virginia would have grounds to sue Transurban all the way back to Australia. Given the absolutely appalling deal cut by state officials, though, I expect we’ll end up footing the bill for the business-class seats it would take to get them there. The HOT lanes are a cluster()@#@ of epic proportions, and everyone involved should be ashamed of themselves.

    • Burger

      And what exactly would be your claim/argument to sue? A project that should have been completed in a couple of years that hasn’t even started?

    • Greg

      And your claim against Transurban is based on what exactly, iCounselor?

      • MB

        Get me the agreement and I’ll find one, iSecretary.

    • MC

      What’s bad about the HOT lane deals that VODT signed with TransUrban is that they provide a revenue guarantee to them, but not ceiling on what they can charge drivers.

      The outcry over the rising fees of the Dulles Toll Rd shows that people expect some accountability for road toll fees, that there is no real market mechanism at work to discipline a monopoly once granted by State officials.

  • I predict a March 12 closing date for Ah Love. I don’t see the market for it. Of course, that’s just me.

    • CW

      Me neither. But I also remember a friend from NYC many years ago telling me about the popularity of Magnolia Bakery. My response was “who would ever stand in line for cupcakes?”. And here we are.

      • Stu Pendus

        This is why the Chinese are winning.

        • doodly

          The Chinese stand in line for cupcakes too, but only because they have to.

          • NPGMBR

            My God……I almost p*ssed myself laughing at that!

          • doodly

            You’re welcome.

          • Josh S

            I think you’re confusing them with our old Soviet Russia nemesis. Our new nemesis will require new stereotypes.

          • doodly

            I work with what I’m given.

      • We also have trucks that bring the cupcakes directly to us.

  • I’m old enough to be considered a historic property of Arlington. Will that get me a tax break? LOL

    • Bluemontsince1961

      “I’m old enough to be considered a historic property of Arlington.”

      You’re not the only one!

      “Will that get me a tax break? LOL”

      We should live so long! LOL!

    • LyonSteve

      Yes. See your VA-760.

      • doodly

        Good one! Though technically it’s not there, it’s from carrying over the AGI from your federal return.

        • I was hoping for something more in tune to a senior citizen discount at the movie theater. Maybe a 2.5% sales tax for “historical characters”.

        • LyonSteve

          I’m not old enough to care, but when I fill out my 760 there is a part for “historic” citizens of VA. It’s on the first page, I don’t know what if any change it has on tax liability.

          • doodly

            Oops, it is on the 760 too. My bad.

  • Josh S

    If it’s such a terrible deal (and I agree it is), why would we want to sue Transurban for walking away from it? Wouldn’t we be glad for the opportunity to negotiate a better deal with someone else? (Not that that is likely to happen….)

    • MB

      Damages as remedy, not performance. And, well, mostly to satisfy my own sense of impotent outrage over the deal. I know that most big transportation projects involve some bad terms, but this one was really beyond the pale.

      • Westover

        The fact that such terms were required shows how risky the plan was. We need more lanes on 395, just not sure that HOT Lanes are the answer.

  • G Clifford Prout

    I will be opening my Salt and Pepper store next month.

    • CW

      I just signed a lease for a space to house my Bread Crumb Emporium.

      • doodly

        Please come visit my new store, The Mustardium, which should be opening as soon as the final permits are issued by the county in 2017.

        • JamesE

          my store “Shake N Bake” will open next month

          • LyonSteve

            and I’m opening “Wake and Bake” next store.

          • And all of these will, of course, be right next door to Ned Flanders’ “Leftorium” I’m guessing?

          • doodly

            No, that’s actually a pretty good idea.

          • BlueSkies

            Firing cannons, I presume?

      • John Fontain

        And I’m leasing the space right next door to your emporium for my gourmet mayonnaise shop. It’s going to be the next big thing.

        • doodly

          Stay away from The Mustardium though!

  • CW

    All joking aside, I think everyone only is betting against this place because it’s in Shrlington. You and I both know that, were this to open on Clarendon blvd, there’s be a line out the door (mostly strollers and dogs of course) for the next 2 years.

    Consistently winning business model for the R-B corridor: Commodity product sold as “upscale” + location + prices to match = success.

    • LyonSteve

      Hey — I have nothing against Shrlington except I can’t park there or Metro there.

      • Charlie

        There is FREE parking in Shirlington . . .

        • Tabby

          And you can take the ART 77 right there from Court House/Clarendon.

  • Burger

    Old buildings are not essential because they are old. Not everything old should stay, most are rundown and not worth keeping.

    • 1234

      Agreed. I’m still perplexed why the developers of the Halstead had to keep the facade of the Arlington Hardware building.

      • Chris Slatt

        Just to be clear, they didn’t “have” to keep the Arlington Hardware facade, it’s just that the Form Based Code gives them a density bonus for doing so (up to 2 additional floors for incorporating a designated historic facade I believe). The developer apparently determined that the density bonus made it worth their while to incorporate the facade.

    • doodly

      Yeah, wouldn’t it be great if everything looked like Crystal City?

      • Burger

        Of course, I didn’t say that but thanks for the witty comment.

        • doodly

          But it’s still what we’d have without historic preservation measures.

  • BoredHouseWife

    na na na na
    na na na
    hey hey hey

    don’t let the door hit you on the way out transurban

  • Mr. Clarendon

    I like that Q-400 in the photo…


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