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by ARLnow.com — March 17, 2017 at 6:00 pm 0

Shirlington leprechaun

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

If you’re celebrating with pints of Guinness, shots of Jameson or any other type of alcohol, you can get home safely and for free tonight via SoberRide’s new Lyft service.

The top five most-read articles this week were:

  1. Police Tase Suspect in Pikachu Onesie During Brawl Outside A-Town Bar & Grill
  2. Williamsburg Middle School Principal Gordon Laurie Resigns
  3. UPDATE: Winter Storm Warning Issued for Arlington, Region
  4. Police Investigating Reported Home Invasion Robbery in Shirlington Apartment Building
  5. Arlington Bar Named No. 1 Destination for St. Patrick’s Day

Feel free to discuss the news of the week, your favorite St. Patrick’s Day destination, or any other topic of local interest in the comments.

by ARLnow.com — March 17, 2017 at 4:50 pm 0

Ballston Quarter road closure (photo via Ballston BID)

A busy street in Ballston will be closed this weekend while crews work to erect a construction crane.

N. Randolph Street is set to be blocked off between Wilson Blvd and the Ballston mall parking garage starting at 9 a.m. Saturday. The massive crane will be assisting with the construction of the new residential tower, which is part of the Ballston Quarter project.

More from the Ballston BID:

Clark Construction Group and their subcontractors will be erecting the tower crane for the Ballston Quarter Residential Tower this weekend on Saturday (3/18) and Sunday (3/19).

They will be closing N. Randolph Street between Wilson Blvd. and the Arlington County Parking Garage starting Saturday, 3/18, at 9 AM. and will be reopened upon completion. Vehicles will be detoured from N. Randolph St. for the entire duration of the closure. (Note: The County parking garage entrance on N. Randolph St. will remain open.) You will find a diagram of this condition for your above.

Off-duty police officers will be present to help enforce the closures and field and questions.

by Chris Teale — March 17, 2017 at 3:50 pm 0

Rosslyn CAFE eventsSome of Rosslyn’s lesser-known venues will be transformed into active community spaces with food, drink and art as part of a new event series.

Rosslyn CAFE — Community, Arts, Food and Entertainment — is being produced by the Rosslyn BID. The free events are part of the business improvement district’s goal to create community events that take advantage of “unknown or unused spaces in the neighborhood.”

Next month’s series, known as April Arts & Beats, will take place on Fridays and feature a happy hour with new local artists each week, complimentary small plates and cocktails, wine and beer available for purchase.

The Bennett Park Art Atrium at 1601 Clarendon Blvd will host each Friday night. The space already has several pieces of public art by the likes of Virginia sculptors Foon Sham and Kendall Buster, and is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.

Entrance is free, but space is limited. More information is available on the Rosslyn BID website.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — March 17, 2017 at 2:55 pm 0

Flying Colors column banner

Flying Colors is a sponsored column on the hobby of backyard bird feeding written by Michael Zuiker, owner of the Wild Birds Unlimited store at the Lee Harrison Shopping Center. Visit the store at 2437 N. Harrison Street or call 703-241-3988.

There are rainbows in your backyard. There are rainbows in your front yard. There are rainbows on your patio and on your deck.

You have rainbows in the early morning, mid-afternoon and early evening. Rainbows come during all the seasons. But what is unique about these rainbows is that they do not go away. They actually sit, perch and fly around. You can even bring one of these rainbows right to your hand with a little patience.

Bird - Flying Colors share imageThe rainbows I am talking about by now you have figured out. They are the dozens of beautiful wild birds that visit our yards all year round. All the colors of the rainbow show up. The radiant red male cardinal. The brilliant blue of the Bluejay. The golden yellow of the Goldfinch. Those are only a few of the many wild birds, that we, as landowners, have become stewards of. Being good stewards we provide food, water, houses to raise the young and habitat to live.

The “hobby” of backyard bird feeding is the second most popular hobby in the Unites States right after gardening. Over 60 million Americans feed the birds in their backyards in one form or another. It is very easy to attract anywhere between 20-30 different rainbows in your yard. You do not need a large size yard to accomplish this. By setting up a couple of feeders with different food types in your yard, you will attract many different birds. Fresh birdseed, rendered suet cakes and live mealworms are just three types of food that are very to many birds eat. We used to have a window feeder attached to the back office window. This location was right above the rear parking area of my shopping center. And yet over the course of 2 years we attracted more than 24 different birds to his small feeder. One of my former employees actually had her apartment balcony designated as a “National Wildlife Federation Backyard Habitat”.

Most of us have yards with diverse habitat which are filled with these rainbows. And boy can they sing! The symphony started a couple of weeks ago, and is spreading throughout the neighborhood. I have no problem with dozens and dozens of birds waking me up in the morning with their beautiful songs and drowning out the roar of car tires in rush hour traffic. I say bring on the choir! So, this is a very exciting and fun time in the yards, even if it is still a little cold in the mornings. But get a little adventurous and put on a good coat, knit cap and warm gloves. Get that hot coffee or chocolate and sit out in your yard as the sun comes up. You will create some musical memories.

Your yards and world are filled with rainbows. Bring these rainbows into your Arlington backyard. And, whenever and wherever you go outside, marvel at the brilliance, beauty and diversity of the flying rainbows in our world.

by Chris Teale — March 17, 2017 at 2:00 pm 0

Smashed windshield from ice (photo courtesy Meg Miller Rydzewski)

(Updated at 2:15 p.m.) The recent winter storm may be old news, but after several incidents in recent days drivers still need to be alert for chunks of ice flying off vehicles in front of them.

Arlington resident Meg Miller Rydzewski sent a photo of her husband’s car, which was struck by a chunk of ice that broke off a truck in front of him while driving northbound on I-95.

The ice hit the windshield and caused major damage, but Rydzewski said it could have been much worse.

“It’s estimated that if the force of impact had been 10 to 15 percent more, it would have gone through the windshield and might have killed him,” she wrote. “[It was] sudden and very scary.”

“He did get safely to the side of the highway but couldn’t see where he was going due to the shattered glass,” Rydzewski added. “Thankfully he was not hurt.”

AAA reported that flying ice caused injuries to three vehicle occupants along I-95 and the Beltway in Maryland on Wednesday. Maryland State Police said the victims “suffered eye injuries from spraying glass from windshields broken by ice from other vehicles.”

John Townsend, AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Manager of Public and Government Affairs, said drivers are responsible for clearing snow and ice from their cars before they leave home.

“Snow and ice flying off moving vehicles will cause other drivers to swerve to avoid it, and they can run off the road or swerve into another lane of traffic where other motorists are traveling, causing a deadly domino effect,” he said. “So before leaving your driveway or your curbside parking spot, and before you go, clear every inch of snow and ice accumulated on the exposed surfaces from your vehicle.”

There is no law in Virginia, Maryland or D.C. to punish motorists that do not remove snow from their vehicles before driving, according to AAA.

“A law is needed in Maryland, Virginia and the District to help protect drivers from sheets of snow and ice flying off from vehicles while they are driving down the road,” Townsend said. “After this epic snowstorm, it can be a matter of life or death if drivers fail to remove the snow and ice.”

AAA has a number of tips for people clearing snow from their cars. Drivers should never use hot water to melt ice on their cars, for instance; the organization recommends using de-icer spray for windows and mirrors in combination with a snow brush for the rest of the car. With the snow brush, drivers should work from the top of the vehicle on down, pulling snow towards you.

“It requires less effort and helps you avoid having to clear the same areas twice,” AAA says. “If the vehicle is an SUV or taller — grab a step stool to help access the roof.”

“Just as the removal of snow from sidewalks along your home and business is a responsibility of all citizens, removing snow and ice from vehicles should be the responsibility of every driver before it becomes dislodged while driving down the highways,” Townsend said. “It is the duty and debt we owe one another.”

Photo courtesy Meg Miller Rydzewski

by ARLnow.com — March 17, 2017 at 1:05 pm 0

A Roti Modern Mediterranean restaurant is opening in Pentagon City, permits show.

The fast casual rotisserie eatery is coming to the ground floor of the Met Arcadia apartment building, at 1211 S. Fern Street, between two recently opened businesses: a Starbucks and an Orangetheory Fitness.

Interior construction appears to be underway inside. So far there’s no word as to when the restaurant is expected to open.

This will be Roti’s second location in Arlington County. The first is located at 1501 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn.

by ARLnow.com — March 17, 2017 at 12:10 pm 0

Looking for a new home? There are plenty of houses and condos to look around in Arlington this weekend.

Check out our real estate section for a full listing of open houses this weekend. Here are a few highlights:

4390 Lorcom Lane
2 Bed/1.5 Bath Condo
Agent: Conor Sullivan
Listed: $224,000
Open: Sunday 2-4 p.m.

 

2100 Lee Highway
2 Bed/1.5 Bath Condo
Agent: Robert Kenney
Listed: $417,700
Open: Sunday 12-2 p.m.

 

1151 S. Edison Street
3 Bed/2 Bath Townhome
Agent: Donna Sehler
Listed: $639,000
Open: Sunday 1:30-4 p.m.

 

859 North Frederick Street
3 Bed/1 Bath Townhome
Agent: Richard Cutrera
Listed: $675,000
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.

 

3219 5th Street S
4 Bed/2.5 Bath Single-Family Detached
Agent: Dina Gorrell
Listed: $849,500
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.

 

2973 22nd Street S
4 Beds/3.5 Bath Single-Family Detached
Agent: Deborah Gorham
Listed: $924,900
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.

 

2804 16th Street S
5 Bed/4.5 Bath Single-Family Detached
Agent: Inga Beermann
Listed: $1,249,900
Open: Sunday 1-4 p.m.

 

Interested in getting your open house listed? Email us.

by Chris Teale — March 17, 2017 at 11:15 am 0

Three businesses have closed in short order at the Dominion Hills Centre shopping plaza, worrying some local residents — but remaining businesses say there’s little cause for concern.

A tipster emailed ARLnow.com earlier this week lamenting the shuttering of the Little River Yoga Studio at 6025 Wilson Blvd. The tipster said it was the “latest to go,” following the departure of the Great Harvest Bread Company as well as the florist nearby.

But expiring leases and other circumstances were behind the closures, not a larger trend, we’re told. Business owners that have remained say foot traffic and sales remain healthy.

Great Harvest closed at the end of January. Franchisee Brad Hurst, who operates the bakery’s Alexandria location alongside his wife, said that it proved difficult to run two stores, especially as the larger Alexandria one took up more time.

After taking over the franchise’s five-year lease with approximately two years remaining, Hurst said they made the decision to close and focus their energies in Alexandria.

“Probably for the last year or so, we knew it was a lot of effort for what we were getting as far as traffic and sales,” Hurst said. “When the lease came up, we let that expire, much to the disappointment of several customers. We have to make sure our effort is rewarded with the business, so it was hard to keep it going.”

The shopping center’s florist had been in business for several decades at 6035 Wilson Blvd, but multiple business owners in the plaza said it closed when its owners retired and let the lease expire. It is now being marketed for another tenant.

Then Little River Yoga relocated its classes to Faith Lutheran Church at 3313 Arlington Blvd and rebranded as Ashtanga Nation. It made the move in mid-January.

Katie Gilman, owner of Taste by Katie, which provides reheatable meals to bring home, said business appears healthy for the dozen-plus stores that remain, including her own. When a reporter visited on Thursday afternoon, the plaza’s parking lot was about two-thirds full.

“Three [closures] seem like it could be a big percentage, but it’s really not when you consider all the stores open along here,” Gilman said.

by ARLnow.com — March 17, 2017 at 10:25 am 0

Director of Community Housing, Planning and Development Steven CoverArlington’s planning director has accepted a job with the city of Sarasota, Florida, a move seen by some as a blow to the local business community.

Steven Cover joined Arlington County as director of Community Planning, Housing and Development in March 2015. He won the respect of many in Arlington’s business community by trying to streamline processes in CPHD, which has gained a reputation for a heavy-handed, intransigent approach to enforcing county regulations, sources tell ARLnow.com.

The City of Sarasota announced Cover’s hiring yesterday.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Steven Cover to Sarasota,” said City Manager Tom Barwin. “Steve has extensive and highly successful experience in two of America’s great communities: Arlington, Virginia and Madison, Wisconsin. Steve’s experience and passion for walkable communities, cutting edge bicycle and transportation planning, appreciation for great architecture, innovative zoning codes, and commitment to affordable housing collaborations will serve our community well.”

In a statement released to ARLnow.com, Arlington County Manager Mark Schwartz said the search for Cover’s replacement will be starting soon.

After more than two years of service as our Director of Community Planning, Housing and Development, Steve Cover is leaving to take another job. We wish him well. With the guidance of the County Board, Steve, together with our excellent staff of CPHD professionals, and in coordination with Arlington Economic Development, helped make improvements in service during his tenure. We will begin a search soon for a new director to lead this vital department.

by ARLnow.com — March 17, 2017 at 9:30 am 0

Blooms on ice

Arlington’s Irish Bars on St. Patrick’s Day — Today is St. Patrick’s Day and that of course means that Guinness will be flowing like water at Arlington’s half dozen Irish pubs. Among them: The Celtic House on Columbia Pike (recently lauded by Yelp and Travel + Leisure), Samuel Beckett’s in Shirlington, Ireland’s Four Courts in Courthouse, O’Sullivan’s in Clarendon, P. Brennan’s on Columbia Pike and Sine Irish Pub on Pentagon Row.

Arlington’s High-Earning Millennials — “Arlington has more millennials with a household income of $350,000 or more than any other jurisdiction in the country, with 8.7 percent of millennials among that wealthy cohort.” [Washington Post]

Donaldson Run Neighborhood Profiled — “Tracy and Jeremy Penfield bought their first house in Donaldson Run in Arlington County because they liked the location and the price. After living close to Metro for almost a decade, they welcomed the hilly, wooded neighborhood, which is largely car-oriented.” [Washington Post]

WeWork Creator’s Awards — WeWork, which has both co-working and co-living space at an office building in Crystal City, is giving out $20 million in grant awards to creators around the world, including here in the D.C. area. Applications to pitch an idea in D.C. are due this coming Monday. [WeWork]

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — March 17, 2017 at 8:30 am 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.”

The snow must have scared off sellers from listing their homes this week. Only 62 new listings came on the market, compared to 87 new listings last week. But buyers proved that the market is at full throttle by ratifying 83 contracts this week. Of those, the average days on market has dropped to just 32, and the average list price rose to $675,609. Of those sold, 33 were snatched up within a week of hitting the market.

At this pace of sales, and with only a total of 427 homes actively for sale, Arlington’s inventory has shrunk to just 1.28 months of supply. That’s starting to look like the crazy days in 2005. It’s undeniably now a seller’s market.

Mortgage rates bounced up and down this week with the Feds hike in its short inter-bank rate. Mortgage rates actually dropped right after the announcement. Rates ended the week lower at 4.25% for a 30-yr fixed rate. The Fed’s move will make consumer debt more expensive. The average credit card holder will pay $40 more per year in interest. And a home equity line of $30,000 will cost an extra $75 a year.

Click to see all the fresh new inventory in MRIS and call Team Cathell (703-975-2500) when you find a home you like.

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