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Morning Notes

by Katie Pyzyk January 3, 2013 at 9:20 am 1,736 44 Comments

Arlington, Virginia and Key Bridge across Potomac River from Georgetown (photo by Wolfkann)

Mario’s and Carvel to Remain Open Despite Sale — Mario’s Pizza House and Carvel Ice Cream shop (3322 Wilson Blvd) were sold at auction last month for $2.86 million, achieving one of the highest per square foot sales in Arlington. The tenants will continue to operate at the location because the sale was for the real estate only, not the businesses. [Globe Newswire]

Tejada and Violand-Sanchez Make History in Virginia — As of January 1, Arlington made history by becoming the first Virginia jurisdiction to have its two local elected bodies headed by Latinos. Walter Tejada was selected to chair the County Board for 2013, joining Emma Violand-Sanchez who is halfway through her term as School Board chair. Tejada is a native of El Salvador and Violand-Sanchez is a native of Bolivia. [Sun Gazette]

Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann

  • novasteve

    So was Tejada elected to the chair because he’s hispanic or because he was the most qualified?

    • drax

      Because it was his turn.

      • xarl

        accurate……and showing remarkable restraint

    • Captain_Obvious


  • JimB

    The newly elected ARLCo board chair and the recently elected ACPS board chair are Latinos.
    Applaud the openness of the U.S. to immigrants and the opportunities here for talented persons to achieve and to contribute, and recognize the changing demographics.

    • Mary-Austin

      Arlington is becoming less Latino.
      Maybe we should add a 23 year old IT consultant/frat dude to the board to recognize the changing demographics?

  • John Fontain

    “Mario’s Pizza House…sold at auction last month for $2.86 million”

    And yet Arlington County has only been collecting property taxes on an assessed “fair market value” of the land at $650,000.

    • Wayne Kubicki


    • Wayne Kubicki


      I’ve had prior conversations with the Arlington assessor’s office over situations perhaps similar to this.

      The issue on the land value is often one of current zoning and the density it would allow. State law limits the assessment to the value reflecting current zoning. If a purchaser pays a price “on the come” – in effect, paying a premium on the anticipation that the parcel will be upzoned – the assessor is unable to capture that premium unless/until the zoning is changed.

      Not sure if this is the situation with the Mario’s parcel – but it might be.

      • John Fontain

        Even under it’s current zoning, there is no way in hell that land is only worth $650,000.

      • JohnB

        State law says the property should be assessed at 100% of fair market value. Zoning is most likely used to ensure sales comparisons are of similar properties.

    • JohnB

      Two things:

      1 – The article states that the property sold for $2.86 million or $177 per sq ft. meaning around 16,000 sq ft were sold. The RPC (19014026) for the address listed (and that is assessed at $642,400) is only 9,177 sq ft. It is highly likely that the adjacent parcels (RPC 19014023, RPC 19014049) which are also owned by Mario’s Land Corporation with sizes of 6,624 sq ft and 279 sq ft respectively and assessed land values of $463,700 $8,300 were included in the sale meaning the county was collecting taxes on $1,114,400 of assessed value.

      2 – Assessments are supposed to be set at fair market value. The only evidence of fair market value are prices paid for similar properties. Logically sales prices in a time of rising prices will be higher than assessments because assessments respond to sales prices.

  • occasionally a fact

    Don’t county assessments lag a year behind? If so, look for a large jump next time around.

  • James Moron

    Despite claims to the contrary, what’s the over/under on the Mario’s/Carvel occupancy? I’d say 12 months.

    There is zero chance that someone spent $2.86M on land to be the landlord to two businesses that could not possibly cashflow enough to pay rent high enough to service the debt.

    • Lee-n-Glebe

      What debt?

      • arlcyclist

        The $2.86M the developer paid for the land.

        • Lee-n-Glebe

          I don’t see where it says that it debt, but I’ve been known to miss stuff.

    • drax

      What are the lease terms?

  • Suburban Not Urban

    Yea – Everyone should feel really good about themselves – that the least qualified member of the county board has been awarded the role of chairmen. Another win for achievement through tenure.

    • xard

      Sorry to nitpick, but “least qualified” is a vast overstatement of his abilities.

    • motherseer

      What the heck is wrong with you people? You sound like the old guys in the balcony on the Muppet Show. How have you determined that Walter Tejada is the least qualified member of the board? The policy of the Board is LITERALLY to take turns as chairman. This is not a clever politically astute observation – it’s WHAT THEY DO. Before you start making fun of a process you should at least know what it is. Every board member will serve as chairman eventually unless they leave after one term. Walter Tejada is an exemplary public servant who always has the interests of the least among us foremost in mind. Sorry if that doesn’t suit your over-privileged agenda. Walter Tejada does an excellent job & I am looking forward to his chairmanship – he did an excellent job last time. You people have way too little to do. What have you done for your community lately? I’m sure you’ll say some nonsense like “pay a sh–load of taxes.” Big whoop. Get a life, mini-minds.

      • Suburban Not Urban

        Sorry Dude, but I watched a board meeting where he litterally asked what the symbol for a door was on a drawing. This is one of the folks that litterly have the go/no go vote on many million dollar Site Plans – and thats just one example.

  • Gastronome

    I sincerely hope that Alan Levine uses at least some of the $$$ to upgrade the quality of Mario’s pizza, which is currently significantly worse than even Domino’s or Pizza Hut, not to mention local upscale pizzerias like Lost Dog Cafe or ZPizza. Our rising neighborhood deserves, and would certainly buy, better pizza even at a higher price.

    • Quoth the Raven

      Lost Dog is “upscale”?? Their prices might be, but their pizza certainly isn’t.

      • Buckingham Bandit

        Zing! But seriously. If you’re already on that part of Wilson, just drive down to Pupatella’s.

        • drax

          Pupatella, not Pupatella’s. Why must people make every restaurant or bar a possessive?

          • Count Adhemar

            You have been weighed, you have been measured, and you have been found wanting.

          • WeiQiang

            i know, right? i was at Nordstrom’s just the other day …

          • Mary-Austin

            I know right…I have a co-worker that always says Harris Teeter’s and Target’s.

        • arlcyclist

          +1000. Best pizza in the area for my money.

        • KalashniKEV

          Who cares. Neither establishment serves a PROPER SLICE.

          • drax

            You’re way beyond self-parody now.

          • WeiQiang

            aw, c’mon Drax. it warms my heart to see a blast from the past.

        • AL

          Why? So you can spend 45 minutes standing up in a crowded pig pen waiting for a table while your food is being delivered????

          • JamesE

            go off hours

    • drax

      Mario’s Pizza is good.

      • Captain_Obvious

        worst pizza I’ve ever had. And that was after a night of boozing, when just about everything tastes good.

        • drax

          Smoke some weed instead next time.

          • Captain_Obvious

            still won’t work.

  • GC2

    Glad to see some additional investments in that part of Arlington. It may be a few years, but here’s to hoping that the area between Clarendon and VA Square is the next area for improved development – but hopefully more family centered, rather than bar centered.

  • dang!

    yeppers. its a dead zone from Ballston to Clarendon….last stop on Fairfax is pines o’ florence…until o’sullivans/NorthsideSocial….and over on Wilson last ‘decent’ stop is Wiinky’s until….silver diner

    If one were to arrange a pub crawl from Rosslyn to Glebe…there would be a big ole dry spot after Clarendon until they got to the Baileys-CarPool zone…I’m just saying…its a community issue that hopefully can be addressed soon…
    what with about 1500 housing units coming up in the next 3 years around here !

    • Clarendon

      There’s a small store at the Va Sq Metro where you can get a 40 oz in a bag to tie you over until you reach O’Sullivans..

      • Curious George

        Or you can go to the 7-11 just across the street from Virginia Square metro for a better selection of 40s. We also tried to set up a meth industry but that didn’t work out.


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