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Thieves Smashed Windows, Stole Airbags from ‘Approximately 35 Vehicles’

Dozens of vehicles were damaged at apartment parking lots in the Pentagon City and Crystal City area this past weekend.

According to police, “approximately 35 vehicles were smashed and [had] airbags stolen.” The damaged cars were discovered Saturday morning.

A resident of the RiverHouse Apartments, whose car was among those damaged, said the large Pentagon City apartment complex was a target for the thieves.

“On Saturday, July 7, I was informed that my car had been vandalized: window busted and driver’s airbag stolen,” she said. “Twenty-four other cars in the RiverHouse Apartments complex had their airbags stolen. All were Honda Accords or Civics.”

“RiverHouse has no cameras filming the parking lots,” the resident added. The apartment complex’s vast parking lots have also been the scene of a number of car wheel thefts.

More on the airbag thefts from an Arlington County Police Department crime report:

LARCENY FROM AUTO (series), 2018-07070087/07070100/ 07070106, 1600 block of S. Joyce Street/1600 block of S. Eads Street/2000 block of S. Eads Street. Between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. on July 7, police responded to multiple reports of larcenies from auto. Upon arrival, it was determined that between 8:00 p.m. on July 6 and 7:54 a.m. on July 7, the windows of approximately 35 vehicles were smashed and airbags stolen. There is no suspect(s) description. The investigation is ongoing.

Photo via Google Maps

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BREAKING: Fire in Virginia Square

Arlington County firefighters are on scene of a fire on the seventh floor of a mid-rise residential building in Virginia Square.

Initial reports suggest the fire is on the balcony of an apartment on the 900 block of N. Pollard Street.

The fire has been extinguished, according to scanner traffic. No injuries have been reported.

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Despite Hefty Rent Prices, Arlington Ranked Among Top Places for Solo Renters

Arlington has one of the highest median rent prices in the entire country, yet the county still ranks among the top places people can afford to live alone.

That’s according to a new study of 100 of the nation’s largest cities and counties by the financial data research firm SmartAsset. The company ranked Arlington 17th among that group for places where renters have the financial wherewithal live alone, largely because of the robust median income level of the county’s workers.

SmartAsset found that full-time employees in Arlington have a median income of just over $90,000 a year, putting the county at the top of the list among the firm’s top 25 places where renters can afford to go solo.

The county’s median monthly rent of $1,657 was also the most expensive of any other city on the company’s top 25 list, yet Arlington still ranked ahead of other large cities for renters looking to live alone, including San Francisco and Denver.

For context, the median income in D.C. is just over $75,500 a year. SmartAsset didn’t immediately have median rent prices available for the District, but real estate listing firm Zillow found that the median rent in the city was about $2,146 a month last year.

Arlington also scored high marks in SmartAsset’s rankings for its stock of homes with less than two bedrooms. In all, the company found that 36.5 percent of homes for rent in the county have one bedroom or are studio apartments.

Cincinnati, Omaha and Minneapolis ranked as the firm’s top three cities where renters can live alone. The full rankings are available on the company’s website.

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Morning Notes

Construction Kicks Off at The Berkeley — Work is underway on The Berkeley, and “obsolete” apartment building at 2900-2910 S. Glebe Road that is doing a significant redevelopment. The $100 million project will turn the 137 units currently on the site into 256 apartments. [Multi-Housing News]

Remains May Be Linked to Missing Person Case — Remains found in Stafford County are reportedly those of a woman who went missing in Arlington in 1989. The missing woman’s husband — Jose Rodriguez-Cruz, who’s currently in jail for another woman’s murder — told police at the time that his wife left and was living in the Miami area. Later D.C. police learned that it was his second wife’s sister, who had assumed the identity of Rodriguez-Cruz’s first wife. [Fox 5]

Vida Fitness Eyeing Rosslyn Location — “[Vida Fitness] has a letter of intent for space in western Rosslyn, owner David von Storch told the Business Journal… The location — which will include SweatBox, a boutique studio within a gym that offers high-intensity interval training in a fast-paced, heart-monitored workout — would open in the fourth quarter of 2020. Von Storch already has a deal to open a Vida in Ballston.” [Washington Business Journal]

ACPD Motor Squad Escorts the Caps — Members of the Arlington County Police Department’s motorcycle squad helped escort the Washington Capitals and the Stanley Cup in yesterday’s victory parade in D.C. Other regional police agencies, including Montgomery County Police, also participated. [Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley

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Red Top Cab Redevelopment in Clarendon Could Soon Move Ahead

Long-delayed plans to transform Red Top Cab’s properties in western Clarendon into three new mixed-use buildings could soon move ahead.

The Arlington County Board is set to consider a series of zoning changes this weekend to let Ballston-based developer The Shooshan Company start re-developing the lots, which sit behind Clarendon’s main strip of bars along Wilson Boulevard.

In all, the developer is hoping to build a total of 584 multifamily units across the three buildings, with 1,295 square feet of retail space included as well. The new development would replace Red Top’s headquarters (located where Washington Boulevard meets 13th Street N.), in addition to the lot the company once used for vehicle maintenance at 1200 N. Hudson Street.

The County Board first approved the project in October 2015. But work hasn’t moved ahead on the project as the developer has tweaked its construction plans, according to a staff report prepared for the Board.

Originally, The Shooshan Company planned to start work on the building along N. Ivy Street first. But that location is also home to a daycare center, NOVA KinderCare, and the developer wanted to let that business stay open, staff wrote. Accordingly, they want to move forward with work on the property at the N. Hudson Street — originally the second phase of the project — to kick things off instead.

In exchange for clearing the way for the development by vacating several properties in the area, Shooshan has agreed to donate four parcels of land along the 1100 block of N. Jackson Street, valued at about $3 million, to the county. That will help the county move ahead with its plans to do away with the reversible lanes on Washington Boulevard and create “a more conventional ‘T’ intersection” with 13th Street N., staff wrote.

The developer also plans to donate land to the county to help it build a park in the area, and will include at least six affordable housing units in the new buildings. Red Top plans to move its headquarters elsewhere in Arlington, if these plans go forward, and has already moved its maintenance operations to Falls Church.

County staff is recommending that the Board approve these changes. The Board is scheduled to take up the matter at its Saturday (May 19) meeting.

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Residents Steaming About Air Conditioning Problems at Dominion Towers Apartments

As temperatures have climbed past the 90s over the past few days, one apartment complex just off Columbia Pike hasn’t been able to turn on the air — and that has some residents steamed.

Staff at the Dominion Towers Apartments (1201 S. Courthouse Road) were hoping to switch on the air conditioning system this past Thursday (May 3), giving people living in the building’s 330 units their first chance to cool down their homes for the year.

But senior property manager Christle Tate told ARLnow that the system experienced some sort of malfunction, and now she’s waiting on a contractor to work with the A/C’s manufacturer to find a fix for her overheated residents.

“We’re sitting in limbo, just like they are,” Tate said. “I’d never want anybody to sit through this… but, truth be told, we don’t have an answer right now.”

Tate suspects that the problem stems from the system’s “chiller board,” but she says has no idea when the contractor working on the A/C might be able to get it fixed.

“It’s not anything we’re doing on our end to hold up the process,” Tate said.

She says that even executives with the company that owns and manages the building — Alexandria-based Capital Investment Advisors — are in the dark about when the system might work again. Officials at the company did not immediately return requests for comment.

That sort of uncertainty is quite troubling for people living in Dominion Towers, like Jim Eisele, a resident since 2011.

He says the past weekend’s at-times sweltering temperatures made his apartment unbearable without any air conditioning, but he’s even more frustrated with the way the building’s management has responded to the incident.

“The communication has been terrible from when they took over managing the building,” Eisele said. “But obviously that’s more severe when it affects the air conditioning.”

Tate stressed that management has sent out several emails updating residents on the status of the system, and she emphasized that’s as dismayed as anyone about the outage, particularly because she’s concerned about the heat’s impact on many of the building’s older occupants.

But she also conceded that there’s little she can tell Dominion Towers residents except: “Be patient.”

“My residents here are not used to me not having an answer to something,” Tate said. “This is the first time I truly don’t know.”

Photo via Google Maps

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Affordable Housing Coming to Former Red Cross Headquarters Site

The Arlington County Board has approved a site plan that would bring 97 affordable housing units and two rows of townhouses to Buckingham.

The “100 percent affordable” multi-family building and townhouses will replace the former local Red Cross headquarters.

The approved development comes despite complaints from nearby residents about the proposal. The new development’s density, potentially increased traffic, and “the desecration of the tree canopy” were all cited as dealbreakers for some locals, though supporters asserted that the building was vacant, the affordable housing is “badly needed” and complaints were overblown.

A partial rezoning of the site was approved alongside the site plan at Saturday’s County Board meeting (April 21). There are currently two single family homes on the site, in addition to the former headquarters and an existing playground.

The townhouses will be built in the first phase of the project, with construction on the multi-family building, which is required to “achieve Earthcraft Gold or LEED v4 Homes and Multifamily Midrise Gold certification,” following in a second phase.

The developer, Wesley Housing Development Corporation, agreed to preserve the on-site apartments, known historically as the Windsor Apartments but now called the Whitefield Commons, which the county says were built in 1943. Unit incomes will average 80 percent of the average median income, and the building will average 60 percent of that figure.

Whitefield Commons’ interior will be reconfigured to add five units, bringing the total units inside that complex to 68. The multi-family building will have 97 units, and the townhouses will have 19.

There will be 187 parking spaces between the developments — 45 at Whitefield Commons, 88 at the multi-family building, and 42 for the townhouses. The townhouses have the highest parking ratio per unit, at 2.26 spots per unit plus four visitor spots.

Wesley Housing Development Corporation will be required to “encourage transportation alternatives.”

That will be done via a transportation management plan, which includes a provision to give “each new tenant in the multi-family building… a choice of a SmartTrip card preloaded with a $65 balance or a bikeshare or car share membership,” according to a county project website.

A Google Maps estimate shows that the site is approximately a 22 minute walk to the Ballston Metro station. The 3.95 acre parcel is bordered by N. Thomas and N. Trenton streets, 2nd Road N., and Arlington Boulevard.

Plans estimate that 60 trees will be removed, three of which are dead or dying and another 17 of which are located on top of or near an existing storm pipe.

An estimated 132 tree credits will be granted, according to the site plan. One credit is given for each planted shade tree or large evergreen tree, or for every three deciduous, ornamental, or small evergreen trees.

Map via Google Maps

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In A First, Clarendon Apartment Building Gets LEED Platinum Rating

An apartment building in Clarendon has earned LEED Platinum status from the United States Green Building Council, the first multifamily community in Arlington to do so.

Ten at Clarendon, at 3110 10th Street N., is a luxury apartment building with live-work spaces on the ground floor and a rooftop garden.

LEED — Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design — certification is achieved by earning points across several sustainability-related categories. LEED Platinum, the highest ranking, requires a project to receive 80 or more points. The next step down, LEED Gold, requires 60-79 points.

A council representative confirmed the accolade for Ten at Clarendon, which was not yet registered on the public certification directory as of Tuesday (April 17).

There are currently 1,741 platinum-rated commercial projects in the country, and 3,013 globally.

More from a press release, after the jump.

Ten at Clarendon, the newest luxury apartment community in the highly coveted Clarendon submarket, achieved LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council this month. The Ten is the first and only multifamily building in Arlington County to achieve this designation, as it was built to environmental standards that are rare in the rental market.

Developer CRC Companies and builder, related firm CBG Building Company, dedicated significant consideration throughout the design process to reducing the Ten at Clarendon’s environmental footprint. The turnkey development and construction approach resulted in features such as a green roof, designed to reduce runoff and improve building insulation, air-tight units that optimize HVAC systems performance, and EnergyStar® appliances to save water and electricity. The team placed the Ten’s main entrance as close to the Clarendon Metro entrance as possible to encourage sustainable transportation and promote a car-free lifestyle. An on-site bike wash and repair workshop, as well as 1:1 bike parking and a first-floor bike entrance accessible from the sidewalk also support this goal.

“CRC and CBG have a long history of sustainable building,” said Tracey Thomm, senior managing director of product development at CRC Companies. “We are proud to carry on this green legacy and shared commitment to the environment at Ten at Clarendon and within the community where we live and work.”

Originally targeting LEED Gold certification, the project team skillfully adjusted the Ten’s design and features as construction progressed to achieve LEED Platinum with limited additional costs. Throughout the process, CRC’s Product Development team sourced unique and hard-to-find energy efficient materials, such as recessed LED lights with integrated fire- and sound-proofing, while CBG’s nine-million-square-foot LEED portfolio provided the team unparalleled expertise in green building.

“Ten at Clarendon was designed to improve the 10th Street North corridor and support a sustainable lifestyle amongst our residents,” said Oliver Lee, development executive at CRC Companies. “We sought to create value through the strategic design, development, and management of this community to achieve energy efficiency, resource conservation, and waste reduction.”

In December, Arlington County was named the nation’s first Platinum-level county under the U.S. Green Building Council’s newly created LEED for Communities program. Arlington’s certification recognizes the county’s leadership in creating a sustainable and resilient urban environment that has long-proven success in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, managing stormwater, ensuring economic prosperity and focusing on education, affordable housing, health, and safety for residents and businesses.

Photo via Ten at Clarendon

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New Homes Under Construction Near Columbia Pike

A new residential development is under construction just south of Columbia Pike.

The development, first approved in 2009, is described as “a residential project for 36 condominium units within 12 townhouse structures.” It is currently under construction at 1100 S. Highland Street, behind the Audi dealership, and along what it planned as a future extension of 11th Street S.

The permit holder is listed as the Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC), which has offices at 901 S. Highland Street, about two blocks away from the construction site. Construction permits were first approved in late September last year.

ECDC did not immediately respond to requests for comment from ARLnow.

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Upscale Potomac Yard Apartment Complex Begins Construction

A 360-unit luxury apartment complex has broken ground in Potomac Yard.

The new 12-story building, to be called The Sur, will have 16,000 square feet of retail space and another 25,000 square feet of shared amenities space. Units range from 557 square foot studios to 1,419 square foot three bedroom apartments. High-end features include a dog spa, a rooftop spa and a “party room.”

Situated on the site of the neighborhood’s namesake former major railroad switchyard, The Sur will be across from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport’s south end.

On-site construction hours on the site at 3400 Potomac Avenue have been approved from 7 a.m. through 9 p.m. on weekdays and between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. on weekends and holidays.

The development was originally approved in 2007, but Courthouse-based developer Erkiletian Development Co. sought minor modifications to the plan this past September. The site plan amendment was ultimately given the greenlight by the Arlington County Board.

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Italo Frame Store Open in Clarendon

The new Ten at Clarendon apartment building at 3110 10th Street N. has its first open retail tenant: frame store Italo Frame.

Open for about two weeks, owner Nasir Ester said it has a wide selection of frames as well as deeper shadow boxes for several photographs or other memorabilia.

Ester said he has been involved in the framing business for over 30 years. He previously owned Alna Art & Framing in Alexandria. The new store has frames from across Europe of all different colors and materials.

“You bring it, I will frame it for you,” he said.

The store is on the building’s westernmost corner, across the street from Fire Station 4.

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Renovations Underway at Dominion Arms Apartment Building

Construction crews have moved into the Dominion Arms apartment building as major renovations begin.

The building at 333 S. Glebe Road in Arlington Heights is set for renovations inside according to permit applications filed with the county. This will include converting 2,400 square feet of retail space on the building’s first floor into amenity space for residents.

Six laundry or storage areas will be converted into residential units, while the sprinklers and fire alarms will get an upgrade and the building’s roof will be repaired. Several trees will also be removed.

To prepare for the project, which appears to have shuttered the entire building, first-floor businesses have moved out. That included the likes of a barber shop, dry cleaners and convenience store. The entire site has been fenced off by the construction crews.

Several readers had asked whether the building would be “razed,” but no demolition permits have been filed.

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Eco-Friendly Luxury Living at Tellus Apartments in Arlington

It may seem daunting, looking for an apartment in Arlington that matches everything on the must-have list – convenient location on the Metro, urban lifestyle walking distance to dining and entertainment and natural serenity, too. But Tellus Apartments in Arlington does all that and more. With a unique mix of urban living and natural living, Tellus exceeds expectations with an array of upscale lifestyle amenities.

Just two blocks from the Courthouse Metro station, with access to the orange and silver lines, Tellus is located in a vibrant neighborhood with upscale restaurants, pubs, shopping and entertainment – everything for a convenient lifestyle.

These sophisticated high-rise apartments range from studios to two bedrooms, plus some with dens for extra space. Features include stainless steel appliances, glass tile backsplash, kitchen island with bar seating, balcony and oversized windows for maximum natural light.

When it comes to environmental sustainability, Tellus leads the way as one of Arlington’s first LEED Gold certified residential buildings. Countertops are made of recycled porcelain. 100% of rainwater is recycled. Plus, residents can breathe in a bit more fresh air at this smoke-free community.

Lifestyle amenities include:

  • Rooftop swimming pool offering stunning views of the DC skyline and monuments.
  • Rooftop outdoor lounge with grilling stations, plush seating and outdoor TV.
  • Resident lounge with catering kitchen.
  • Fitness center and yoga studio.
  • Fully equipped business center.
  • Outdoor terrace with fire pit and expansive landscaped lawn for recreation.
  • 24-hour concierge service.

Four-legged best friends are also welcome at Tellus, including large dogs up to 70 lbs.

With a 93 Walk Score, Tellus is a walker’s paradise in a bikeable, Metro accessible location, so residents can easily live without a car, but there is also garage parking available.

Tellus seeks to fulfill the vision of its namesake – the ancient Roman goddess of Earth – who embodied nature and abundance. This forward-thinking environmentally-friendly residence is built with the well-being of its residents and the planet in mind, providing what it takes to live in both comfort and luxury in Arlington, but also in a sustainable atmosphere that reflects the beauty of nature.

View their website at RentTellus.com to learn more about the “Urban Nature” lifestyle at Tellus Apartments and see floor plans, photos, rental rates and availability. Get social with Tellus on Facebook and Twitter or call 866.311.0350 today to schedule a tour.

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Construction Update: Ballston Quarter Mall

In about a year, the newly renovated Ballston Quarter mall is expected to open. For now, construction workers are plugging away daily at tearing down parts of the old Ballston Common Mall and building up the new development.

A portion of the mall’s brick facade along Wilson Blvd has been torn down, revealing steel beams, concrete columns and a lot of workers. The hole in the side of the existing structure is part of the plan to transform the previously enclosed mall into a more open design with more street-facing storefronts and a courtyard.

The new overhead pedestrian bridge connecting 4201 Wilson Blvd to the mall will be near the new courtyard.

At the intersection of Wilson Blvd and N. Randolph Street, where the Macy’s furniture store used to be, upward progress is being made on what will be a high-rise apartment complex. The tower will have more than 400 units and leasing should begin next year, according to the Ballston Quarter website.

In addition to a few holdouts who remain in place during construction — such as CVS Pharmacy and the Regal Ballston Common movie theater — at least two new businesses have committed to opening locations in the renovated mall: fast casual eatery Mi and Yu Noodle Bar and “eatertainment” destination Punch Bowl Social.

The entire Ballston Quarter development is still scheduled to open in fall 2018.

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New Apartment Building With ‘Vintage Americana Aesthetic’ Now Leasing in Ballston

The Rixey (1008 N. Glebe Road), an apartment complex located next to the new Marymount University ‘Newside’ building, is now accepting applications for leases.

The building has 267 units ranging in size from studios to two bedrooms, and a rooftop deck on the 15th floor.

Several of the first-floor windows at the apartment tower sport posters with a retro-looking, mustachioed man in sunglasses, keeping in line with the the development’s “vintage” vibe. According to a spokesperson for the development, “The Rixey combines a vintage Americana aesthetic with luxurious amenities, a prime location, and incredible 360 views of both Virginia and DC.”

The building is one of the two replacing the demolished Blue Goose at the corner of N. Glebe Road and Fairfax Drive. Marymount’s Newside building next door is a 9-story, mixed-use office building that currently houses a Starbucks.

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