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Penrose Square Plaza Expected to Open This Fall Despite Oil Spill

by ARLnow.com July 25, 2012 at 1:45 pm 4,407 27 Comments

The new public plaza at the Penrose Square development along Columbia Pike is still expected to open this fall, despite a recent setback.

The contractor working on the $2 million project found and accidentally ruptured an oil tank earlier this month during excavation work, we’re told. The rupture contaminated part of the site, but the county and contractors worked quickly to remedy the situation.

According to Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation spokeswoman Susan Kalish:

The tank’s presence was previously unknown by the County. [Arlington] County’s construction manager immediately stopped contractor from working and notified our 3rd party consultant. Samples were taken and the fire marshal and Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VADEQ) were notified. VADEQ directed County to have the tanks removed by a licensed contractor in the presence of the fire marshal. Samples were also taken to determine the extent of the contamination. Remediation steps have been approved by VADEQ.

Kalish said the plaza is still on track to open this fall.

“Construction is scheduled to be completed and the project opened in fall 2012,” she told ARLnow.com. “This issue will cause some delay, but is still expected to be completed and open in fall 2012.”

The plaza will consist of “a tree-covered, upper terrace with movable tables and chairs; an inner plaza with a water feature; a unique two-piece sculpture called ‘Echo’; an inscription of the historic significance of the site, and a grass mound area shaded with trees for informal seating,” according to the county.

  • Becoming indifferent

    This kind of stuff won’t happen once the trolley is up and running!

  • DarkHeart

    Looks like Pedro and Vinny are still standing!

    • neutrino

      Are they permanent? I was never sure.

      • neutrino

        Also, are they good?

        • yes again

          Yes, highly recommended…

  • CrystalMikey

    Was there ever a gas station there?

    • nom de guerre

      Not that I remember. The “Plaza” area pictured used to be part of the parking lot for the Giant Food and other stores in the Adams Square center. The article refers to it as an “oil tank.”

    • NPGMBR

      I was wondering the same thing.

  • CW

    I guess the developer’s LUST for money got the best of them.

    • Josh S

      I’m going to guess that this reference will go over most people’s head….

      • CW

        Then I will have succeeded in keeping my bad joke mostly to myself.

    • nom de guerre

      LUST = Leaking Underground Storage Tank?

      • CW

        Looks like somebody found the wikipedia disambiguation page.

  • sunflower

    with “re”-movable tables and chairs?

  • G Clifford Prout (now moderated for extra purity)

    Holy Quaker State Batman! An oil tank no one knew about? Someone needs to get on that and see what was on this property. Put the librarians in the Virginia Room to work. Think of the other toxins that might be on this site. Won’t somebody please think of the children?

    • neutrino

      Do you even know if you were making a point?

  • Rick

    Those pockmarks on the bricks are so hipster ironic, like “we can make our pavement bad on and spend other people’s money at the same time”.

  • Earth Mover

    …meanwhile the work zone over by RiteAid and the farmers market looks like a ghost town. What’s happening at that site? How long does it take to lay down pavers on a sidewalk?

    • YTK

      The same people who are developing Bronx Pizza — are developing that site which is supposed to be some kind of Transit Station………….which will take SO long to build that it will open as a Trolley Stop.

      “Toto, we’re not in NY anymore– this here is the Slooow South.”

      Clicks Ruby Slippers together – – “Oh my! I do believe I have OIL on my Ruby slippers!!! Thank HEAVEN! Here comes the Trolley!! SAVED!!!”

  • seriously

    this plaza will look rediculus with pedro and vinnys shack next to it.

    • YTK

      They can change the name to Petrol and Vinny’s.

    • 5555624

      But the eventual plan is to extend the park. Remove the parking lot, remove Pedoo & Vinny’s, and extend Cleveland Street to Columbia Pike.

  • 5555624

    “an inscription of the historic significance of the site”? What historical significance? As a parking lot? The “Three Sisters Radio Towers” were not located there. They were located off S Courthouse RD (and there is already a Virginia Historical Marker there. Is the sign in the plaza going to say “a couple of blocks away”?

    Oh, well, the operating costs for the plaza are only $100,000 a year.

  • arlingtony

    That plaza is really gona tie the area together.

  • Veeb

    > Remove the parking lot, remove Pedoo & Vinny’s, and extend Cleveland Street to Columbia Pike.

    Remooove Pedro & Vinny’s? Move my burritos and goose sauce? What you talkin.


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