An under-utilized park south of Crystal City is in line for some major upgrades.
Across jurisdictional lines, the planning process for South Park at Potomac Yard near Four Mile Run is gathering steam, with a projected completion date of later this year. Arlington County and the City of Alexandria both own portions of the park, located between Potomac Avenue and U.S. Route 1, along Four Mile Run.
The park currently has a publicly accessible playground and a playground exclusively used by a daycare facility, planted shrub/perennial beds, walkways, a large grassy field and a steeply sloped grassy area.
A post on the county website explains the park’s unique history.
“The boundary line curvature represents the natural Four Mile Run channel before it was straightened and channelized by the Army Corps of Engineers after the 1972 Hurricane Agnes, which produced heavy rain and extensive flooding,” the post reads. “As a result, the Army Corps of Engineers straightened and channelized Four Mile Run and covered the stream’s natural banks with riprap. Unfortunately, this created a less than desirable condition for the stream’s ecology.”
And with money available in the county’s capital budget as well as a federal grant available to construct and improve connectivity to the Four Mile Run Trail, staff in the parks department are preparing to make improvements.
The first phase of construction is anticipated to begin early next year and link Route 1 to the Four Mile Run Trail. The second phase is slated to begin in 2022 for the remaining park elements.
Those remaining park elements will be decided through a civic engagement process led by county parks and recreation staff that began late last month with a community meeting at Gunston Middle School.
Three more meetings are scheduled — the next on March 29 at a location yet to be determined — with a view to residents helping determine the park’s design.
Attendees wrote down their desired park amenities at that first meeting, then the next meeting will bring further determination of park elements as well as staff soliciting potential park names.
“The Four Mile Run Restoration Master Plan and Design Guidelines provide a vision for in-stream and near-stream improvements,” said Bethany Heim, an associate planner at the county’s parks and recreation department. “The vision calls for public and private improvements to recognize Four Mile Run as an asset and, through design, make visual and physical connections to the water. The master plan also calls for innovative strategies to treat stormwater runoff that will improve the water quality.
“The South Park Master Plan will identify ways to connect people to the water, take advantage of view sheds, and improve the water quality of Four Mile Run.”
Alexandria, meanwhile, intends to improve its section of the site as part of the redevelopment of North Potomac Yard.
Dana Wedeles, acting principal planner in Alexandria’s department of recreation, parks and cultural activities, said she expects plenty of cooperation between the two jurisdictions on this project despite the differing timelines.
“We are working collaboratively to ensure that what is proposed through the Arlington process does not preclude complimentary future improvements to the Alexandria portion,” Wedeles said in an email. “We envision that the site will be used by both Arlington and Alexandria residents and, despite the two jurisdictions having different, timing of planning, design and implementation, we ultimately want to see one seamless improved open space.”
Resident Helps ACPD Arrest Break-in Suspects — On Saturday an Arlington resident spotted a group of people breaking into car and immediately called 911, leading to the arrest of three juvenile suspects. Police say such cooperation from the community can help them fight crime. Over the weekend more than 30 vehicles were “entered and rummaged through” in Arlington. [Facebook]
Alexandria Schools Closed Wednesday — Alexandria City Public Schools will be closed on Wednesday after more than 300 staff members requested leave. That coincides with Wednesday’s “Day Without Women” protest. Arlington Public Schools will remain open, a spokesman said, although Wednesday is an early release day for elementary schools. [Twitter, InsideNova]
Orange Line’s Abysmal On-Time Rate — Last year trains on Metro’s Orange Line were only on time 56 percent of the time. [Twitter]
Spotlight on Uyghur Cuisine — Crystal City’s Queen Amannisa is one of three restaurants serving Uyghur cuisine — with its mix of Chinese, Central Asian and Middle Eastern influences — in the D.C. area. Uyghur “is going to be the next big thing in the United States,” said a partner in the restaurant. [Washington Post]
Chick-fil-A Coming to DCA — A new Chick-fil-A restaurant is coming to Terminal C at Reagan National Airport, in the former Cosi space. [PoPville]
Grand Opening for Xfinity Store — On Saturday Comcast celebrated the grand opening of its new 6,700 square foot Xfinity store in Courthouse. The store replaces the former Comcast Service Center in Clarendon. The store “features a comfortable seating area and informational, interactive displays where customers can learn more about Comcast’s products and services, including Comcast Business services, the X1 Entertainment Operating System, Xfinity Home automation and security offerings and Comcast’s suite of mobile apps.”
The redevelopment of North Potomac Yard in Alexandria gathered more steam last week, and residents in Crystal City are keeping an eye on its potential impacts.
North Potomac Yard is in the northeast corner of Alexandria, just across the Arlington County line, near a planned Potomac Yard Metro station. It is currently occupied by a Regal movie theater, a Target and other big box stores and restaurants.
The City of Alexandria is in the planning process for a massive mixed-use development at the 69-acre site, to include retail, residential units, a hotel and office space.
On February 22, city staff released the first draft three chapters of the updated plan, then the following day met with the Crystal City Civic Association at its general meeting.
Association president Christer Ahl told ARLnow.com that his members are most concerned that Crystal City will be left behind as nearby developments spring up in Arlington and Alexandria.
“Perhaps the larger issue which the project raises is whether it could contribute to the notion of Crystal City becoming a ‘backwater,’ stuck with many old buildings which at best might be renovated, while the Rosslyn/Ballston corridor and Potomac Yard in two very different ways will be full of exciting new development,” he said.
“Of course, this depends a lot on the attitude and priorities of the county, JBG/Smith and other developers, together with the near-term market situation.”
Ahl added that many in the area are also concerned with the impact on traffic along Crystal Drive and Route 1 from the new development, which could total as much as 7.5 million square feet.
The Alexandria City Council voted to approve the new Metro station in May 2015, to be located on the Yellow and Blue lines between the Braddock Road and National Airport stops.
While the new Metro station and the Metroway bus rapid transit route along Route 1 could take care of a lot of traffic impact, Ahl said, there were still concerns about the number of cars to hit the roads with the new development.
“If we assume that the new development goes hand-in-hand with the new Metro station, that should take care of a lot of the concerns,” Ahl said. “Alexandria very strongly focuses on being as pedestrian, bike and transit-friendly as possible, and conversely avoiding car dependency. In terms of vehicular traffic on U.S. Route 1 or Potomac Avenue leading into Crystal City, I guess the proof in the pudding is hard to predict.”
One other aspect that Ahl said troubled some association members is the potential loss of amenities like the movie theater and Target, which are major draws. But he said members will continue to monitor the situation and see how it evolves.
“To some extent, it becomes wait and see,” Ahl said. “Depending on their own inclinations and their own preferences, we’re speculating on whether it will be positive or negative in some sense. Some people would hate to see losing some of their existing favorite places, although they emphasized in our meeting that Target has a lease in place until 2028, so that might be the last thing that happens down there.”
According to a timeline, an advisory group tasked with updating the North Potomac Yard plan will present its final recommendations in April.
Images via City of Alexandria
Highest Monday Wind Gusts — According to the National Weather Service, the highest wind gusts recorded in Arlington Monday, after the initial squall line came through Sunday night, were between 47 mph in Barcroft and 53 mph in Cherrydale. [National Weather Service]
Arlington Man Arrested for Bank Robbery — A 41-year-old Arlington man was arrested in D.C. Monday and accused of robbing the HSBC Bank at the corner of 14th and I streets NW. Police say the man passed the teller a note claiming to have a bomb, fled on foot with cash but was then detained by a pair of witnesses and held until police arrived. [Washington Post]
County Defends Property Purchase — Arlington County says it did not overpay by spending $800,000 to buy a house, assessed for $519,200, which was needed for the Fire Station No. 8 expansion project. The county says the owner of the home was not anxious to sell and, essentially, making them an offer they couldn’t refuse helped save time and effort compared to trying to use eminent-domain to try to acquire the property at a fair-market value. [InsideNova]
Kudos for Arlington’s Affordable Housing Plan — “Arlington has set ambitious goals to tackle housing affordability, in part by making it easier for developers to build affordable housing in the first place. According to a recent report, Arlington made plans for new affordable units and brought its number of homeless residents down last year even as rents and housing costs went up.” [Greater Greater Washington]
Registration Open for Girls Fire Camp — The Arlington County Fire Department is now taking applications for its 2017 Girls Fire Camp, which “gives teenage girls, ages 15-18, a chance to experience firsthand what it takes to be an Arlington County Firefighter/Emergency Medical Technician.” The camp will take place from July 6-9. [Arlington County]
Nearby: No New Taco Bell in Alexandria — A proposed new Taco Bell restaurant on Duke Street in Alexandria, which neighbors worried could bring “late night riff raff” and cause traffic problems, will not be opening after all. The company has withdrawn its plans for the new location. [Washington Business Journal]
A traffic camera shows police blocking the intersection of Glebe and S. Eads Street, and directing drivers to turn around.
Initial reports suggest there was a bank robbery in Alexandria and the robber — described as a white male wearing a black beanie cap — threw a bag of cash, which also contained a tracking device, out into the middle of Glebe Road.
Police are documenting the scene and trying to deal with cash that was reported to be “all over” the road.
Update at 9:50 a.m. — Police have collected the cash and the road closures are being lifted. Alexandria Police say the bank robbery happened on the 3700 block of Jefferson Davis Highway; that matches the address of a Navy Federal Credit Union location at Potomac Yard.
Update at 5:30 p.m. — Alexandria Police have released the following press release about the robbery.
The Alexandria Police Department is investigating the robbery of a Navy Federal Credit Union located at 3725 Jefferson Davis highway. On Monday, February 6, 2017, at 9:17 a.m., a man entered the bank and passed the teller a note demanding money. The teller complied and the suspect fled in a vehicle with an undisclosed amount of cash. There were no injuries.
The suspect is described as a white male, approximately 6’1″ to 6’3″ tall with a thin build. He was wearing a black coat, blue jeans, a black hat, and dark aviator-style sunglasses.
The FBI is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to the identification, arrest, and conviction of these criminals.
Police ask that anyone with information about this incident call Detective Brad Cecchetti at 703.746.6858.
— Alexandria Police (@AlexandriaVAPD) February 6, 2017
Wardian Dominating Global Marathon Event — Arlington resident and running superhero Michael Wardian has won the first two races in the World Marathon Challenge. Wardian, 42, posted a time of 2:54:54 in Antarctica, the fastest marathon ever run on the continent, and a time of 2:45:42 this morning in Punta Arenas, the South American leg of the seven day, seven continent and seven marathon event. Wardian is trying to break the event’s record average race time of 3:32:25. [Facebook, Twitter, Washington Post, Runner’s World]
APS Projected to Keep Growing — Arlington Public Schools is bursting at the seams, building new schools to keep up with rising enrollment — and that enrollment is expected to keep growing over the next decade. According to projections presented at a School Board meeting last week, the APS student body is expected to rise from around 27,000 now to 32,500 by the fall of 2026. In terms of per-student costs, the added 5,500 students could add more than $100 million to the school system’s current $600 million annual budget. [InsideNova]
Northern Va. Restaurant Week Coming in March — The Arlington Chamber of Commerce and other regional business organizations are teaming up for the second year in a row to organize Northern Virginia Restaurant Week. The week of dining discounts and discovery is scheduled from March 20-27. [Arlington Chamber]
Extra Metro Trains for Pro-Life March — Metro says it will run extra trains during mid-day Friday in order to accommodate crowds for the 2017 March for Life in the District. In a press release, Metro also said it “will run more 8-car trains (the longest train length possible), all midday track work will be cancelled, and additional staff will be on hand to assist visitors.” [WMATA]
Nearby: Car Stolen With Baby Inside — Two men stole a car that had been left running near a bank ATM, then abandoned it, apparently after discovering a baby inside. The incident happened Monday afternoon at the Bradlee Shopping Center in Alexandria, across from Arlington’s Fairlington neighborhood. The child was unharmed. [WJLA]
Waverly Hills Profiled By WaPo — In a profile of Waverly Hills, residents call the north Arlington neighborhood — which features kids walking to school, a variety of house sizes and plenty of tree cover — “very storybook” with a “really strong sense of community.” [Washington Post]
Go-Go Concert in Arlington Tonight — The Church at Clarendon tonight will host a world premiere performance of “JuJu Symphony” and “Down With You” by the Go-Go Symphony. The event, which mixes go-go and classical music styles, is scheduled from 8-9:30 p.m. [ARLnow, Washington City Paper]
Arlington Factors Into FC Development Editorial — The City of Falls Church must allow more development so it doesn’t have to raise taxes, which would in turn increase the likelihood that it would eventually get absorbed into Arlington or Fairfax. So says an editorial that also notes: “we’ve suspected on more than a few occasions powerful interests based outside our Little City have sought to meddle in our politics to the nefarious end of forcing us to give up our autonomy.” [Falls Church News-Press]
Nearby: Dairy Godmother Has Closed — Beloved Del Ray custard shop Dairy Godmother will not reopen from its winter sabbatical, the store announced yesterday. [Washington Business Journal, Dairy Godmother]
It’s Friday the 13th — But that doesn’t matter. [Vox]
Update at 5:35 p.m. — Power has been restored to all Arlington customers, according to Dominion’s website.
Thousands of Dominion customers in south Arlington are without currently without power.
Nearly 2,500 customers are without power in Arlington, primarily in the Shirlington and Fairlington areas, and another 700 or so are in the dark across the border in Alexandria, according to Dominion’s power outage map.
Starting around S. Arlington Mill Drive, the Walter Reed Drive and N. Beauregard Street (in Alexandria) corridor is without power, according to the map. Police have been called to the intersection of Walter Reed and S. Dinwiddie Street for a report of traffic problems.
According to the Dominion website, power is expected to be restored at some point between 4-9 p.m.
Arlington Public Library says the Shirlington branch is among the places affected by the outage. The library will close at 5 p.m. if power is not restored by then.
Shirlington Branch Library will close at 5p.m. tonight due to a current power outage in the area (unless power comes back on before then).
— Arlington VA Pub Lib (@ArlingtonVALib) January 11, 2017
CEB Being Acquired — Arlington-based CEB Inc., one of the county’s biggest private employers, is being acquired by Connecticut-based Gartner in a $2.6 billion cash-and-stock deal. CEB is set to anchor one of the under-construction Central Place towers in Rosslyn once it is completed. [Reuters, Gartner]
Fisette Still Mulling Reelection Run — Jay Fisette, who is serving as Arlington County Board Chair for 2017, has not yet decided whether he’ll run for another four-year term. Fisette says he’ll make a decision in February, the Washington Post’s Patricia Sullivan reports. [Twitter]
What County Board Members Did for New Year’s — With the County Board’s traditional New Year’s Day organizational meeting moved to Jan. 3, what did County Board members do on Jan. 1 instead? Nothing too interesting, it turns out. [Falls Church News-Press]
Obama’s Military Farewell Ceremony — It tied up some traffic in Arlington, but yesterday afternoon the country’s armed forces bid farewell to President Obama and Vice President Biden on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall. The event went well, minus one Army honor guard member fainting during the ceremony. [NBC News, Daily Mail]
Couple Married After 20 Years Together — An Arlington couple that first met 20 years ago in a D.C. nightclub finally tied the knot over the summer. Bob Kenney, a real estate agent, and Mark Treadaway, an airport executive, were wed in the backyard of their Woodmont home in front of 75 guests. [Arlington Magazine]
Nearby: Alexandria Flips Out Over Taco Bell — Residents in the West End of Alexandria are really worried about a proposed Taco Bell. In letters to the city’s planning commission, residents decried the potential for “late night riff raff,” “the devastating effects of an accident,” and “lowered home values.” One resident also relayed her personal experience of going to a Taco Bell that had run out of forks. There are four Taco Bells in Arlington County, including one on the Alexandria border and another in the Pentagon. [Washington Business Journal, City of Alexandria]
Va. Legislator Proposes N.C. Style Bathroom Bill — Del. Bob Marshall (R-Prince William) has proposed a “bathroom bill” similar to the controversial bill that because law in North Carolina. The bill would restrict transgender individuals from using certain bathrooms and would require school principals to “notify all parents if a student at their children’s school asks to be treated as a member of the opposite sex.” [Washington Post]
Alexandria police are investigating a bank robbery at the Bradlee Shopping Center near the Fairlington neighborhood.
Police say a man entered the Wells Fargo at 3624 King Street, implied a weapon and made off with cash.
From an Alexandria police press release:
The Alexandria Police Department is investigating the robbery of a Wells Fargo Bank located at 3624 King Street. On Friday, December 16, at 2:05 p.m., a man entered the bank, passed the teller a note, and implied that he had a weapon. He demanded money, the teller complied and the suspect fled with an undisclosed amount of cash. There were no injuries.
The suspect is described as a black male, approximately 5’10” tall with a large build. He was wearing a grey and black coat, blue jeans, grey and white tennis shoes, and a black baseball cap.
Police ask that anyone with information about this incident call Detective Michael Whelan at 703.746.6228.
Fusion Academy Alexandria is a revolutionary private middle and high school where positive relationships unlock academic potential.
We are a non-traditional community of learning with the smallest class size possible: one student and one teacher per classroom. This allows us to personalize curriculum for each student’s unique strengths, interests, and learning style. We are also able to customize scheduling; students may enroll at any time (even mid-semester or during the summer) and take classes at a time of day that works best for them.
We just moved into our permanent campus space at 333 John Carlyle Street, Suite 100 in Alexandria. You are invited to see our new space and meet our team at an Open House on December 8.
You’ll get to peek in our teacher-customized one-to-one classes, hang out in the Homework Café®, be inspired in our mixed-media art studio, and jam in our state-of-the-art recording studio. We’ll also share student stories and the exciting things they have been working on since we started teaching in September.
Classes are offered at three levels: essential, college prep, and honors. From algebra to yoga and everything in between, we have a wide variety of classes to choose from. Students can enroll full-time, take classes for credit, or utilize our tutoring services. In addition to academics, we partner with outside therapeutic professionals to support students’ emotional health and help foster a balanced life.
While it’s impossible to put our students into categories, we generally serve students with the following backgrounds: accelerated/gifted learners, ADHD, dyslexia, mild learning differences, social challenges, school anxiety, or students with challenging schedules. Students who attend Fusion have one thing in common: traditional school isn’t working.
Fusion has over 37 campuses across the country in California, Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Virginia, and Washington D.C.
Antigone, parent from our Lake Forest, Illinois campus says: “The teachers at Fusion have offered my son the highest content classes with the perfect amount of purposeful homework for reinforcement. Accelerated learning and inspiration happens in the classroom. This has allowed for unique extracurricular activities and family time to enrich his life after school. Fusion provides balance between high academics and nurturing the childhood years. Everyone in our family is less stressed with this approach to learning.”
Connect with us at FusionAlexandria.com to learn more and RSVP for the December 8 open house.
The preceding post was written and sponsored by Fusion Academy.
A Michael’s craft store is set to open tomorrow (Sept. 2) near Arlington’s Fairlington neighborhood.
As of this afternoon, “opening” signs were posted on the window of the store and employees could be seen training inside.
The new Michael’s is located in the Bradlee Shopping Center at 3690 King Street in Alexandria.
W-L Student Aces ACT Exam — Washington-Lee High School rising senior Benjamin Brooks has earned a perfect score of 36 on the ACT college entrance exam. Of the two million people who take the exam each year, only 1,600 achieve a top score. [InsideNova]
Speakeasy Moves to Alexandria — The Room 19 speakeasy that was formerly in the now-closed Boulevard Woodgrill in Clarendon (which is now becoming Ambar) is relocating to Alexandria. Room 19 will have its soft opening in the Carlyle Club at 2050 Ballenger Ave tomorrow, a spokesman said. It will be open Thursdays from 6 p.m. to midnight. [Facebook]
Juror Questionnaires Are Being Mailed — Residents of Arlington and Falls Church will be receiving questionnaires as part of Arlington’s annual juror qualification process. About 35,000 questionnaires are being mailed out. [Arlington County]
Live Podcast Taping Coming to Arlington — Local media personalities Sarah Fraser and Samy K will be hosting a live taping of their popular Hey Frase podcast at Clarendon Ballroom next month. Tickets to the show start at $25. [Eventbrite]
Fusion Academy is a private middle and high school, but don’t be quick to envision uniforms and lecture halls. At Fusion, classes are one-to-one: just one student and one teacher per classroom. This allows for the personalization of curriculum for each individual student’s strengths, interests, and learning style.
This education model was born of frustration with the status quo, and out of a passionate belief in the power of positive relationships to unlock academic potential. This unique, relationships-based school began when founder, Michelle Rose Gilman, began tutoring and mentoring students out of her home in Solana Beach, CA.
After demand outgrew their space, Gilman and her teachers moved into a building and expanded their offerings to be the private, accredited, one-to-one school Fusion is today. In 2010 the first campus replication opened in Los Angeles, CA, and the model has grown exponentially since to 39 campuses across the country in California, Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Washington D.C., and Virginia. The Washington D.C. campus opened in June, and locations in Alexandria and Tysons will be opening soon.
The educational experience at Fusion is completely customized to ignite a student’s passion for learning. Classes are self-paced, and course material is presented in ways that suit students’ individual interests, strengths, and challenges. It was modeled around the needs of students who weren’t finding their place in more traditional school environments – whether they struggled with mild learning differences, social issues, the rigid scheduling of more traditional schools, or the boredom of a classroom not geared to accelerated learners.
Along with personalized curriculum, Fusion’s one-to-one teaching model also allows for the customization of scheduling. Students may enroll at any time of the year, and take classes at a time of day that works best for them, which appeals to students who have demanding schedules outside of school because of sports or artistic involvement.
Each campus includes a state-of-the-art recording studio and mixed-media art studio for students to express their creativity, and two Homework Café® spaces, one silent and one social, where students complete their homework before leaving for the day.
Some students enroll full time, while others utilize Fusion’s tutoring and mentoring services. Families also turn to Fusion to support their homeschooling efforts by taking classes for credit like world languages and lab sciences. Beyond academics, Fusion partners with outside therapeutic professionals to support students’ emotional health and help foster a balanced life.
From algebra to yoga and everything in between, Fusion offers over 250 middle and high school courses, all of which meet state standards. Creative expression is at the core of Fusion, as they understand the pivotal role it plays in students’ well being. They offer a robust roster of elective classes like DJ Performing Arts, Graphic Design, Music Theory, Vocal Fundamentals, Recording Arts, Digital Photography, Film Studies, and more.
The Alexandria campus will be opening soon at 333 John Carlyle St., and are enrolling students now. Connect with them at FusionAlexandria.com or by calling 866.350.4678.
The preceding was written and sponsored by Fusion Academy.
That buzz you are hearing is the energy and excitement coming from historic Potomac Yards. The brand new apartment community, Notch 8, which is named after the highest gear a diesel-electric locomotive can hit, continues to generate steam.
The residents are, even as we speak, enjoying the full array of amenities and features offered at Notch 8.
This summer, residents are benefiting from free boot camp classes with the on-site K!CK Fitness personal trainer on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
When the workout is over they can head over to the on-site Starbucks for an iced caffeine booster or to the Giant grocery store for fresh sustenance. Whatever they need is all right there… right in the building.
Plus, the over-the-top building amenities include, among other things, an extensive courtyard with swimming pool, grilling stations, hammocks, outdoor billiards and fire pit; a game room with Xbox One and PS4; a lounge with an 80-inch flat screen and entertainment kitchen; and a state-of-the-art fitness center, if they need even more of a workout after the boot camps, that is.
A few of the appointments featured inside these modern-industrial apartments are stainless steel appliances, contemporary plank flooring, pantry, kitchen island, oversized windows streaming in natural light, and a hi-tech Nest learning thermostat.
How can you get in on this action? And how can you get up to two-and-a-half months rent for free? And how can you become eligible for a $500 Giant gift card for stocking the fridge and pantry in your new apartment?
Just visit and ask.
Notch 8 is located at 2900 Main Line Blvd in Alexandria. Learn more about these brand new upscale apartments and the amazing incentives on Notch 8’s website or call 866-811-1457.
Notch 8 is convenient to Route 1 and I-395, offering direct access to the District. The underground garage has EV charging stations and a Zipcar right next door.
Plus, there is a dedicated Metroway bus running every six minutes during rush hour to both the Crystal City and Braddock Road Metro stations on the Blue and Yellow lines.
The preceding was a promoted post written by Buzz McClain and sponsored by Notch 8.