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Ballston Quarter Delays Opening to Late October

The developer behind Ballston Quarter is now promising a grand opening late next month, a minor departure from the September date originally targeted for the revamped Ballston Common Mall to begin welcoming customers once more.

Forest City is now targeting Oct. 25 for the development to open its doors “barring any unforeseen delays,” Forest City Regional Director of Marketing Jill Fredrick told ARLnow, via a PR rep. The bevy of restaurants and retailers set to call Ballston Quarter home won’t open all at once, but on a “rolling basis” over the next nine months, Fredrick added.

The overhauled mall has been in the works for years now, as Forest City has sought to refresh the aging structure with a mix of retail, office and residential space. But the exact timetable for its completion has been difficult to pin down, with the developer reporting some construction delays to county officials over the past few months.

“You’ve got to look at the magnitude of this project — it only slipped a month,” said Ballston Business Improvement District CEO Tina Leone. “Of course, we would’ve loved to have had a huge grand opening, but at least they’re opening.”

Leone and county leaders alike view the development as a critical one as Ballston continues to become an ever-more-urban section of Arlington — as she puts it, it will help transform Wilson Blvd into a “truly a retail street” and the neighborhood as a whole into “an 18-hour community.”

Yet the massive amount of construction required for the project, running in tandem with a host of other major Ballston developments, has snarled traffic in the area and forced visitors to the businesses that have remained open in the mall to wind through a confusing maze of scaffolding and tarps. Accordingly, Leone is quite anxious to see things start to wrap up on the site.

“There will be a critical mass of things starting to open in the fall, and then by the spring, end of the second quarter, it’s going to be up and rolling,” Leone said.

By the Oct. 25 opening, Fredrick expects that the mall’s “public areas will be fully open and accessible to the public, including vertical transportation elements like the escalators and elevators.” Leone says that will include clear ground-floor entrances along both Wilson and N. Glebe Road, as well as some big improvements to the mall’s parking garage.

“The elevator banks are going to match up with the floors in Ballston Quarter, instead of having to go up and down the stairs, and there will be more escalators,” Leone said. “It’s going to be more open, so you can actually see where you’re going and where the parking garage is. The connectivity is going to be much better. It couldn’t have gotten much worse, right?”

She added that sidewalks along Wilson will also be wider for people walking to the mall by the time it opens, which will help the development accommodate outdoor seating for a variety of its restaurants. The County Board is set to give the go-ahead for the new patios to open next week, when it could grant permits to establishments including Compass Coffee, South Block, Ted’s Bulletin, True Food Kitchen, Union Kitchen and Bartaco.

Leone also noted that the CVS pharmacy, which has remained open during the construction, will be accessible from both the Glebe and Wilson sides of the mall. And for fast food fans, she fully expects that the reopened Chick-fil-A will start serving customers by the time development opens.

Inside the mall itself, Leone hopes that the “wayfinding is going to be very, very clear” to help shoppers navigate the new space. Fredrick says construction will be ongoing even after the development opens, but she expects it will be “limited to the interior of tenants’ space and will not interfere with overall public access.”

Crucially, Leone says the new “plaza” at the center of the development should be open by the time fall rolls around, and she hopes to start working with Forest City to schedule activities and events in the space through the winter and spring.

One feature the area will be missing, however, is are the “large media screens” the developer originally proposed for the plaza. Attorney Evan Pritchard says the developer had hoped installing two LED screens there would “be an interactive and fun element to help activate the plaza,” but has since determined that they might not be allowed under county zoning rules.

Forest City is asking the Board to drop its request for the screens at its meeting Saturday (Sept. 22), though Pritchard expects to pursue a change to the county’s zoning ordinance to allow them in the future.

“We hope to have Board support on that,” he said.

With or without the screens, Leone hopes the plaza will be a natural “entrance into the market area,” a 25,000-square-foot food court home to 18 restaurants. She expects that will open by November, as will Punch Bowl Social, a bar offering a bevy of games and entertainment options.

As for the rest of the offerings at Ballston Quarter, Leone hopes to see everything open by spring 2019. But half the battle will be the mall finalizing tenants for its remaining open space — Fredrick said three quarters of the development is already leased, with “additional deals in the works.”

“It’s just a matter of getting everyone into their spaces,” Leone said.

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Morning Notes

Ballston Mall LED Screens Nixed — Developer Forest City is, for now, withdrawing a request to install two large, high-definition LED video screens above the main entrance to its still under-construction Ballston Quarter mall. The screens do not comply with Arlington zoning rules. Attorneys for Forest City say they are still hoping that the County Board will eventually amend the zoning ordinance to allow such screens. [Washington Business Journal]

Free ART Bus Rides Thursday — “Think there’s no such thing as a free ride? Not if you take the bus in Arlington, Virginia, and you’re traveling on Sept. 20. Arlington Transit is letting passengers ride free Sept. 20 as a way to celebrate the transit agency’s 20th anniversary.” [WTOP]

Tax Delinquency List — Arlington County Treasurer Carla de la Pava has released her office’s annual list of residents and businesses that have not paid their taxes. The list includes nearly $200,000 in delinquent real estate taxes, $1.3 million in delinquent personal property taxes, $1 million in delinquent business license and property taxes, and more than $500,000 in delinquent meal (restaurant) taxes. [Arlington County]

Celebrating Community and Elders in Nauck — “Celebrating the lives and achievements of the community’s elders was a centerpiece of the 2018 Nauck Civic & Community Pride Day, which brought food, music and fellowship to Drew Model School on Sept. 15. Four community residents who had reached, or were set to reach, the centennial mark – Elizabeth Cole, Novella Cummings, Mary Lockett and Thelma Russell – were honored by the Nauck Civic Association.” [InsideNova]

Critic Praises Shirlington’s Signature — “The Tony Award-winning Signature Theatre — the Arlington troupe known for musicals — shapes up as my favorite D.C. company. I’m not saying Signature is hands-down the best theater in Washington… But Signature showcases a lot of assets, from its singular glam factor to plain old ease of use.” [Washington Post]

Late Night Storms — Thunderstorms that rumbled through Arlington around midnight last night brought a period of frequent lightning and thunder that set off car alarms and awakened some residents from their sleep. [Twitter, Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by Tom Mockler

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‘Experiential’ Art Venue, Spanish Restaurant Headed to Ballston Quarter

(Updated at 5:55 p.m.) A Spanish restaurant and an “experiential” art venue with a bar are among the new Ballston Quarter mall tenants announced today.

The occupants will join a first group of restaurants and retail announced for Ballston Quarter earlier this year. The redeveloped shopping center is planning to hold is grand re-opening this fall.

 

The new Ballston Quarter occupants are:

  • Copa: Developed by the team behind Bethesda neighborhood favorites Butchers Alley and Pescadeli, Copa is a new casual neighborhood bar and kitchen, offering a place for friends and family to gather around fresh Spanish flavors and small plates. The restaurant will feature craft cocktails and Spanish beers, along with Spanish flatbreads and tizona skewers. It will also boast a sangria garden featuring homemade sangria.
  • DC Lash Bar: DC Lash Bar is a renowned eyelash extension bar specializing in eyelash extensions, eyelash perming and eyelash tinting. Owner and CEO Josie Philippe, created a beauty retreat that delivers the best quality services and promises old school hospitality. The Ballston Quarter location – the first outside of DC – will occupy 1,300 square feet.
  • WHINO: WHINO is a new experiential venue by the founder of Art Whino, an organization geared toward cultural community service for the arts. The 6000 square-foot space at Ballston Quarter will feature a state-of-the-art chef’s kitchen with seating for 35, full service bar, art gallery, retail space and full immersion murals, providing a multi-dimensional experience unlike any other.

Bash Boxing, a boxing-focused workout studio, also announced yesterday (Wednesday) that it will be opening a second location in the development.

The finished Ballston Quarter project will be a 850,000 square foot development, including a 360,000 square feet of retail, a 25,000 square foot food hall, 176,000 of office space and a new 406-unit apartment building.

“With Ballston Quarter, we are fostering a true community in which people can live, work, shop and be entertained by dynamic and homegrown concepts alongside some of the most exciting national brands to come to this area in a decade,” Will Voegele, Forest City Senior Vice President of Development, wrote in a statement. “We are proud to partner with unique businesses across many industries, whose inspiring spirit form the heart of Ballston Quarter that will give Ballston and the surrounding Arlington County an undeniable pulse.”

Photo courtesy of Forest City

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Woman Spots Worker Tattooed with Nazi Symbols at Ballston Quarter

(Updated Aug. 20 at 2:30 p.m.) An Arlington woman says she was weaving through the construction at the Ballston Quarter development when she saw something she could hardly believe.

Taylor, who requested that ARLnow withhold her last name due to safety concerns, was bound for the Sport and Health gym early Tuesday morning (Aug. 14), when she spotted a group of workers near the former mall’s elevators. One of them, she noted, had Nazi symbols tattooed all over his arms and neck.

“I was just surprised a company would allow their worker to wear a tank top with such tattoos on his neck and arms,” she told ARLnow.

When her workout was wrapped up, Taylor, who is black, made her frustration with the situation clear to a Ballston Quarter employee nearby. She then grabbed her phone and opened up Twitter to make it clear just how she felt about what she saw.

Because she mentioned the construction company overseeing the work at Ballston Quarter, Clark Construction, in the tweet she says she soon heard from the company that they were investigating the situation, but otherwise heard nothing.

Since then, however, the company says it determined that the man Taylor saw was an employee of one of its subcontractors at the site. A spokeswoman for Clark did not offer additional details on whether it could confirm what Taylor saw, but it seems she was not mistaken.

“Clark Construction became aware of a violation of its anti-harassment policy on a job site in Arlington, Virginia and immediately took steps to investigate,” Brian Abt, division president and CEO for Clark’s Mid-Atlantic region, wrote in a statement. “Clark engaged the subcontractor employee who was involved and has taken appropriate action to resolve the situation.”

A spokeswoman for Clark also did not clarify whether that action included firing or otherwise disciplining the employee involved.

File photo

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Bash Boxing Opening Second Gym in Ballston Quarter

Bash Boxing is gearing up to open its second location in the Ballston Quarter development next year.

The boxing-focused workout studio will join the newly renovated Ballston mall “sometime in early 2019,” according to co-owner Scott Parker, who also manages a variety of Arlington restaurants.

Co-owner Alex Trakas adds that the space will be 5,000 square feet in size, and will be located closest to the N. Randolph Street side of the development.

Bash announced plans earlier this year to open its first gym in Rosslyn, in the space formerly occupied by Cafe Asia. Parker and Trakas were initially hoping to start offering classes there this spring, but Trakas says they’re now hoping to get things going sometime this fall.

The studio plans to split its workouts between boxing on a water-filled training bag and “high intensity interval training.” Classes will generally last 45 minutes each.

Ballston Quarter will also eventually be home to a slew of restaurants and retailers, in addition to some “experiential” tenants. Its developer is hoping to open some stores in the development starting this fall, though some parts of the project have run into a few snags recently.

Photo via @bash

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Morning Notes

Chess Growing in Popularity at Wakefield HS — A hot new trend with students at Wakefield High School: chess. The school offers chess boards for students and teachers to use during their lunch periods. Five or six students were regular players at the beginning of the year, but by the end of the year the number of students playing on a weekly basis grew to around 200, including standout varsity athletes like Amari Cooper and Ben Horsford. [InsideNova]

Religious Protesters Picket Freddie’s — A pair of religious protesters held signs and chanted anti-gay slogans outside of Crystal City LGBTQ watering hole Freddie’s Beach Bar over the weekend. Despite their message of intolerance, owner Freddie Lutz invited the two in to have a dialogue about their beliefs and why Lutz is proud of his bar and customers. [Washington Blade]

Ballston Mall Owner to Be Sold — The Cleveland-based owner of the revamped Ballston Quarter mall is being sold to a Toronto-based management company, Brookfield Asset Management, for a reported $11.4 billion. [Washington Business Journal]

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Ballston Construction Projects Continue to Progress

Construction is ongoing for several major projects in Ballston, though at least two should be up and running by the end of the year.

Ballston Quarter, a transformation of Ballston Common Mall, plans to open its shopping and entertainment center in the fall, according to a news release from the county. The completion of a pedestrian bridge that will connect Ballston Quarter to 4201 Wilson Blvd and the Metro station has been pushed back to 2019, however.

Ballston Business Improvement District CEO Tina Leone said Ballston Quarter will likely be fully leased within a year. So far, several eateries, retailers and entertainment-oriented tenants have signed on to the development. Retailers including Macy’s and Regal Cinemas have remained open during construction.

“That property has just been critical to how Ballston has developed over the last couple of generations,” Leone said. “Ballston Quarter really catalyzed these other developments to occur.”

Ballston Exchange, located in the former headquarters of the National Science Foundation at 4121 and 4201 Wilson Blvd, plans to include collaborative workspaces and first-floor retail.

That project is slated to be completed near the end of 2018, according to the Ballston BID. Restaurants already committed to Ballston Exchange include Shake Shack, We The Pizza and CAVA. A New York-based coworking space became the development’s first new office tenant last month.

A number of the current projects in Ballston include residential space — Ballston Quarter, for instance, will include a 393-unit residential tower, according to Ballston BID.

And 4040 Wilson Boulevard, the final piece in Liberty Center, will feature office, retail and residential space. The Shooshan Company, that site’s developer, plans to wrap up construction by January 2020.

Also set for delivery in early 2020 is The Waycroft (750 N. Glebe Road), to include residential units and an on-site Target and Silver Diner.

As Ballston continues to develop, “what we really want to achieve is a greater sense of neighborhood and a greater sense of community,” Leone said.

A full list of developments in Ballston can be found here.

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New Ballston Quarter Pedestrian Bridge Delayed Until 2019

The developer behind the renovated Ballston Quarter mall is pushing back its plans to open a new pedestrian bridge over Wilson Blvd, as part of a host of proposed changes to the project.

Forest City had originally hoped to open the overhauled bridge connecting the mall to 4201 Wilson Blvd and the Metro station in time for stores to begin opening this fall. Yet work on the bridge is “currently behind schedule and is now expected to be completed in the winter or early spring of 2019,” according to a report prepared for the County Board.

Accordingly, Forest City is asking the Board to tweak some of the planning documents governing the project to account for the delay, which county staff believe will allow for “additional time for public engagement” around changes to the bridge’s renovation. Staff are recommending that the Board push off any consideration of that request until next month, though Board members won’t get a chance to vote on that recommendation until Saturday (June 16).

County staff also suggest that the Board wait until its July 14 meeting to consider a request from Forest City to add “large media screens” to the development. The big TV screens would face Wilson Blvd as part of Ballston Quarter’s west plaza. A spokeswoman for Forest City said “nothing is yet confirmed” when it comes to the purpose of the screens.

The Board could take some action related to the development on Saturday, however. Forest City is hoping to open six “outdoor cafes” as the mall welcomes back patrons in September, though construction plans originally called for some additional landscaping and construction work to be completed before those restaurants could open.

Staff noted that Forest City’s plans are “not ideal,” but they also didn’t see any “public safety risk” in letting the cafes open first. They’re recommending that the Board approve the request, then consider individual permits for each restaurant over the course of the next month.

The developer has already unveiled a variety of restaurants and retailers that will open at the mall, with plans to release more information in the coming months.

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Ballston Quarter Unveils 12 New Restaurants, Including the Return of Chick-Fil-A

Ballston Quarter mall is unveiling 12 new restaurants with plans to open in the development, bringing the shopping center’s total to 22 confirmed eateries ahead of its scheduled re-opening this fall.

Forest City, the company that owns and manages the under-construction former Ballston Common Mall, announced the line-up of eateries today (Thursday). Some of the restaurants will be located in the development’s 25,000-square-foot “food hall,” while others will be spread throughout the mall or even located in the apartment building attached to the project.

The restaurants announced today include the return of Chick-fil-A, an old staple of the Ballston Common mall, and the first location of D.C. chain Compass Coffee outside the city. Union Kitchen Grocery and Baltimore-based The Local Oyster are also planning a location at Ballston Quarter, as is the previously-announced Ted’s Bulletin.

“Our overall mission for Ballston Quarter is to feature some of the most unique, trendsetting restaurants and reimagined brands possible, with a strong focus on best-in-class regional favorites,” Will Voegele, Forest City’s senior vice president of development, wrote in a statement.

The developer announced the mall’s first retail tenants last month, and several “experience-oriented” businesses in February. Forest City added it plans to announce more restaurants for the development ahead of its opening in the fall.

Full details from a press release on the 12 new restaurants, after the jump.

  • All About Burger: All About Burger is a D.C.-based burger chain known for its vast selection of milkshakes, burgers, hot dogs and cheesesteaks. The 2,793 square-foot Ballston Quarter location will be the eatery’s fifth storefront overall, joining existing locations in Arlington, VA, Southwest and Northwest D.C., and Baltimore.
  • Chick-Fil-A: As one of the largest fast food chains and family-owned businesses in the country, Chick-Fil-A has more than 2,200 locations and 125 locations in Virginia. The beloved family-favorite and an existing Ballston-staple will be returning this fall with its famous chicken-centric menu in a new 2,925 square-foot Ballston Quarter location.
  • Compass Coffee: Compass Coffee was founded in Washington, D.C. by two former Marines who set out to change the way people experience coffee with nine different blends with unique notes and flavors. With seven locations in D.C., the 2,170 square-foot Ballston Quarter location will be located on the ground floor of the residential tower, which will be Compass Coffee’s first location outside of the District.
  • French Exit: French Exit began as a pop-up sandwich shop founded by Chef Matt Baker, which featured a rotating menu of creations including a croque-madame, a Korean braised short rib hoagie and a fried chicken sandwich. The 820 square-foot Quarter Market location will be French Exit’s first brick and mortar store, which will offer similarly inspired dishes.
  • Maizal: Maizal is a South American restaurant serving a fresh take on one of South America’s most coveted street foods, the arepa, a cornmeal patty topped with fresh meats and vegetables and served with sides such as yuca fries and street corn. Maizal’s 843 square-foot Quarter Market restaurant will be Maizal’s first location in Virginia and second location to date.
  • Mezeh: Mezeh is a regional fast casual restaurant serving freshly made-in-house Mediterranean staples such as tabbouleh, hummus, caramelized eggplant and homemade fruit juices prepared in small batches daily, free of preservatives for guaranteed freshness. With eight locations in Maryland and Virginia, the 1,932 square-foot Ballston Quarter location will add to its expanding list of regional eateries.
  • Slapfish: Slapfish is a casual seafood restaurant originally founded by Andrew Gruel in Huntington Beach, California. With roots as a food truck, and 11 locations nationwide, Slapfish features locally-sourced dishes such as fish tacos and sandwiches. The 2,314 square-foot Ballston Quarter location will be the second location on the east coast, joining their Rockville, Maryland restaurant, which is slated to open in June 2018.
  • Sloppy Mama’s BBQ: Sloppy Mama’s BBQ is a family-owned business specializing in authentic American BBQ. Created by a husband and wife duo, Sloppy Mama’s is dedicated to making the best smoked meats in the DMV region. The 195 square-foot Quarter Market location will be Sloppy Mama’s second standalone location, joining the existing storefront in Union Market.
  • South Block: Northern Virginia’s first cold-pressed micro juicery, South Block, opened in 2011, bringing cold-pressed juices, smoothies and acai bowls to its customers sourced with the freshest local ingredients. The 1,231 square-foot Ballston Quarter location will be located in the ground floor of the Ballston Quarter residential tower, and it will be South Block’s tenth location in the D.C. region.
  • Ted’s Bulletin: Ted’s Bulletin first opened in 2010 as a modern American diner offering traditional comfort food dishes. With six locations in the D.C. region, Ted’s Bulletin will open its newest location at 4,534 square feet in Ballston Quarter this fall.
  • The Local Oyster: The Local Oyster is an oyster bar featuring locally sourced ingredients and regionally inspired seafood dishes including crab legs, Old Bay-seasoned shrimp and lobster. The 1,495 square-foot Quarter Market location will be The Local Oyster’s second location since the first restaurant opened in Baltimore, Maryland in 2015.
  • Union Kitchen Grocery: Union Kitchen Grocery offers a selection of locally made gourmet foods with an international flair, including items ranging from house cured meats to freshly-made chocolates. This 2,812 square-foot store will be located on the ground floor of the Ballston Quarter residential tower, and will be Union Kitchen’s fourth expected store in the D.C. region.
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Five Retailers Announce Plans to Open in Ballston Quarter

Ballston Quarter is naming five more shops ahead of its planned opening this fall, with both local and national retailers signing up for space in the new development.

Forest City, the company that owns and manages the former Ballston Common Mall, announced the site’s first round of retail tenants on April 26.

The stores set to move into the 850,000-square-foot development include:

  • Francesca’s: ​A national clothing and jewelry boutique with more than a dozen locations in the D.C. region. The store will be located in a roughly 1,700-square-foot space in Ballston Quarter.
  • Gossip: A women’s fashion boutique “with a West Coast vibe” offering clothing and accessories priced under $100. The store will move out of a Crystal City storefront to set up shop in a 760-square-foot space.
  • Potomac River Running: ​A family-owned, Virginia-based running specialty store. The company plans to relocate its current Ballston location along N. Fairfax Drive to a 1,430-square-foot space in Ballston Quarter.
  • Steadfast Supply: ​A D.C.-based creative retail shop and curated events hub. The store will be the company’s second location in the D.C. region, with a 1,025-square-foot space.
  • Scout and Molly’s: ​A North Carolina-based fashion boutique with 35 locations nationwide. The company will occupy a 1,141-square-foot space at Ballston Quarter.

Some stores at Ballston Quarter are set to start opening this fall, to go alongside holdovers from the old Ballston Common Mall, like the Regal Cinemas and Sport & Health club.

Forest City previously announced that the new development will also feature an 18-restaurant “food hall” and several “experience-oriented” businesses, like a recreational culinary school and an indoor play space.

By the time it’s finished, Ballston Quarter is also set to feature a 22-story, 406-unit apartment building and 176,000 square feet of office space.

Photo courtesy of Forest City

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Photos: Ballston Quarter Construction Coming Along

Construction on the renovated Ballston Quarter mall is coming along.

Signs up at the site still point to a fall 2018 opening for the redeveloped and rebuilt space, formerly known as the Ballston Common Mall.

Recent weeks have seen the announcement that several “experiential tenants,” like cooking class company Cookology and live action adventure venue 5 Wits, have signed on as tenants.

The 360,000 square foot retail space will also include a 25,000 square foot food hall, which reportedly will have 18 restaurants, including Timber Pizza Co. and Buredo. Trendy D.C. spots Himitsu and Gravitas are also said to be considering opening up eateries at the mall.

At least 400 residential units are being constructed as well, though leasing will begin next year.

Ballston Quarter is just one of a number of major construction projects currently underway in the neighborhood. Crews were seen working on Friday directly across the street from another construction site, Liberty Center, at 4040 Wilson Boulevard.

The mixed-use residential, retail, and office space is scheduled to open for mid-2020 and will be the final piece of a five-building development. VIDA Fitness, a “high end fitness center and spa,” is set to open its first non-D.C. location in the building.

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Morning Notes

Wakefield Advances to Championship — The Wakefield High School boys basketball team has advanced to the Virginia Class 5 championship after defeating Edison last night 82-66. The team will face Varina tomorrow at VCU. Meanwhile, Wakefield senior forward A’Mari Cooper has been named Northern Region Class 5 Player of the Year. [Washington Post, InsideNova]

Metro Starts Selling Merch — Despite its reliability issues and subsequent image problem, Metro has launched a new line of clothing and gifts, sold online and at a new gift store at Metro Center. The reaction to the merchandise has been mixed. [WMATA, NBC Washington]

General Assembly Passes Car Seat Bill — “Today, the Virginia General Assembly passed House Bill 708… which would change the commonwealth’s law to require that child safety seats remain rear facing until the age of two, or the child reaches the minimum weight limit for a forward-facing child restraint device as prescribed by the manufacturer of the device. The bill is now on its way to Governor Northam’s office for his signature. If signed, the new law would become effective July 1, 2019.” [AAA Mid-Atlantic]

More Restaurants Considering Ballston Quarter — Fresh off the announcement that Ted’s Bulletin was coming to Ballston Quarter, the owners of trendy D.C. spots Himitsu and Gravitas are said to be considering opening up eateries at the mall. Also in the works: a donut shop, an arepas stand, an oyster bar, and a barbecue joint. [Washington Business Journal]

Nicecream Expanding to D.C. — Liquid nitrogen-powered ice cream shop Nicecream Factory, which first opened in Clarendon, has since expanded to Alexandria and is now planning to open two D.C. locations, in Adams Morgan and Shaw. [Washington Business Journal]

Nearby: Gun Reform Discussion — Fred Guttenberg, father of one of the Parkland, Florida high school shooting victims, will speak at an event called “A Conversation About Gun Safety And The Safety Of American Schools” at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria tonight. Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) is hosting the event, which will discuss “actions we can take to ensure no other parent has to experience this kind of trauma.” [Eventbrite]

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Ted’s Bulletin Coming to Ballston

Chalk up another name-brand restaurant heading to Ballston Quarter mall.

The renovated mall, which is set to open this fall, has announced an 18-restaurant food hall with the likes of Timber Pizza and Ice Cream Jubilee, plus the entertainment-oriented bar Punch Bowl Social.

This morning, regional restaurant chain Ted’s Bulletin announced that it too would be coming to Ballston Quarter. In the announcement, below, the company — which is under new ownership — says the new location will be a “2.0 version of the beloved Ted’s Bulletin experience.”

Ted’s Bulletin today announced the addition of a new location at Ballston Quarter.  Located within this mixed-use development, near the Ballston metro stop, this expansion of Ted’s Bulletin reflects the vision under the new ownership of Salis Holdings, led by Steve Salis, Founder and CEO.

“Tapping into the unrealized potential of Ted’s Bulletin was a top priority when we acquired the company last fall. We are excited to unveil the 2.0 version of the beloved Ted’s Bulletin experience with a vibrant footprint, thoughtful product enhancements and expansion of product offerings,” said Steve Salis, Founder and CEO of Salis Holdings. “As with all Ted’s Bulletin locations, the new restaurant in Ballston Quarter will serve as both a community anchor and destination for guests in the area.”

Expected for delivery in fall 2018, the restaurant will be part of the mall development led by Forest City.

“Our focus with Ballston Quarter is to curate the most unique, beloved restaurants in the region, and we’re thrilled to have Ted’s Bulletin, an iconic D.C. favorite, join our growing lineup of incredible tenants,” said Will Voegele, Forest City’s senior vice president of development.

About Salis Holdings

Salis Holdings, based in Washington, DC, focuses on ideating and acquiring products and brands across a range of hospitality, leisure, real estate and retail businesses. Founded in late 2015, the holding company currently carries businesses and brands that serve millions of guests annually and generates in excess of $85 million in system-wide revenue.

About Ted’s Bulletin

Ted’s Bulletin is a modern American diner with a 1920s/1930s art deco vibe offering patrons multiple comfort food dishes with breakfast available all day.  Its first location opened in 2010 in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, DC, and the restaurant has expanded to six locations in DC and nearby suburbs including 14th Street (also in Washington DC); Ballston Quarter (fall 2018) Merrifield, Reston, Virginia; and, Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Photo via Facebook

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Ballston Quarter to Be ‘Entertainment Hub’ With Addition of New ‘Experiential’ Tenants

With the addition of new experience-oriented tenants, Ballston Quarter is billing itself as “one of the largest experiential and entertainment hubs in the D.C. area.”

The center is bucking its identity as a mall as construction continues on what was once the Ballston Common Mall. Set to open this fall, Ballston Quarter has already announced hip food options in its 18-restaurant food hall and a marquee entertainment tenant in the planned 25,000 square foot Punch Bowl Social.

This morning, mall owner Forest City announced a handful of new tenants, including:

  • 5 Wits — “A live-action entertainment venue that immerses visitors in realistic, hands-on experiences, similar to escape rooms…”
  • Cookology — A “recreational culinary school” that “offers professionally taught, hands-on cooking classes for adults and kids… perfect venue for families, date nights or corporate outings.”
  • Nook — “A modern indoor play and learning space for young families” that is moving from its current Lee Highway location.

Those are also in addition to the existing Regal Cinemas and Sport&Health club, which are undergoing multi-million dollar renovations.

More from a Forest City press release, after the jump.

Today, Forest City announced the initial group of experiential and entertainment tenants that will be featured at the 850,000 square-foot Ballston Quarter redevelopment project coming to Arlington, VA. Once completed in September 2018, Ballston Quarter will become one of the largest entertainment hubs in the region.

The new tenants and those under renovation will encompass nearly 40 percent of Ballston Quarter, enhancing the development’s inspired, growing lineup of best-in-class entertainment options to the region, including the following:

  • 5 Wits: 5 Wits is a live-action entertainment venue that immerses visitors in realistic, hands-on experiences, similar to escape rooms, but with higher quality environments, special effects and more compelling storytelling. Visitors of all ages feel as though they are an action hero dodging security lasers, tracking down a giant dragon or battling an angry pharaoh. It’s also available for private events such as corporate team-building functions or birthday parties. 5 Wits will open a 11,500 square-foot space in Ballston Quarter in Fall 2018, which will be the company’s seventh location in the country and first in the region.
  • Cookology: Cookology offers professionally taught, hands-on cooking classes for adults and kids, such as gnocchi workshops, family sushi classes and Duck 101, making it the perfect venue for families, date nights or corporate outings. Their professional culinary program offers a 21st century approach to culinary education. Cookology’s second-ever site and closest to the District at Ballston Quarter will include five commercial kitchens located in a 5,700 square-foot space.
  • Nook: Nook, a modern indoor play and learning space for young families, is moving its first location in North Arlington to a 3,500 square foot space in Ballston Quarter in Fall 2018. The space is divided into several different themed play areas, or “nooks,” offering children a calming, sensory-friendly space to engage in self-directed, play-based learning. Nook also features classes, hosts birthday parties and offers a variety of family-friendly programming, from classical music concerts to parent workshops and happy hours.
  • Punch Bowl Social: Punch Bowl Social – a beloved bar, restaurant and entertainment concept – will open a 25,000 square-foot location at Ballston Quarter in Fall 2018, serving as its first location in the D.C. region as part of the company’s nationwide expansion. Beyond incredible food and craft cocktails, Punch Bowl Social will feature eight bowling lanes, one bocce court, three private karaoke rooms and a 360 degree bar where visitors can eat, explore and play.

In addition to these new tenants, Ballston Quarter will also be home to a fully updated Regal Cinemas and Sport&Health, which are both currently undergoing multi-million dollar renovations. The 67,000 square-foot Regal Cinemas features reserved, luxury seating in all 12 theaters and a new box office. Once completed, Sport&Health will feature a new cardio center, barre, spin and group fitness studios, and luxurious locker rooms complete with steam rooms and saunas, among many other new amenities within the 35,000 square-foot space. Both are open through Ballston Quarter’s redevelopment.

“Although dining and retail will certainly be an important aspect of Ballston Quarter, nearly 40 percent of the property will account for experiential offerings such as 5 Wits, Cookology and Regal Cinemas, among others, positioning Ballston as an exciting and fun, go-to entertainment hub of the region,” said Will Voegele, Forest City’s senior vice president of development.

Once complete, Ballston Quarter will feature 360,000 square-feet of retail, an 18-restaurant, 25,000 square-foot food hall, a 22-story, 406-unit residential building, 176,000 square-feet of office space and a completely renovated Ballston Common Mall–all designed with the community in mind and the creation of a true city center in Northern Virginia.

“At Forest City, we specialize in creating mixed-use urban villages with best-in-class residences, dining, retail and entertainment, which are all critical to creating an experience that elevates how people live, work and, of course, play,” said Deborah Ratner Salzberg, president of Forest City Washington. “Once Ballston Quarter is complete, it will achieve this objective threefold, elevating not only Arlington, but the entire D.C. region.”

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Morning Notes

More Stuff Coming to Ballston — Even more hip food-and-drink spots are on the way for Ballston. A 3,000 square foot Union Kitchen Grocery store is coming to the ground floor of the revamped Ballston Quarter mall, at the corner of Wilson Blvd and N. Randolph Street, while a Compass Coffee cafe will also be opening in the mall. [Washington Business Journal]

Wheels Stolen Off the Lot at Dealership — Someone stole tires from three vehicles parked in the lot of a car dealership on Lee Highway just after midnight Wednesday. “An unknown suspect(s) removed the tires from and tampered with multiple vehicles in the parking lot of a business,” police said in a crime report. There is no suspect description and no surveillance footage, we’re told. There is a Toyota dealership on the 4000 block of Lee Highway, where police said the crime occurred, but also a Honda dealership nearby. [Arlington County]

Garvey Confident About Amazon — Arlington County Board member Libby Garvey is optimistic about Amazon coming to the area. “I think Amazon is very likely coming here,” she said at a Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce conference, shortly after it was announced that Northern Virginia, D.C. and Montgomery County, Maryland were among the top 20 finalists for Amazon’s HQ2. “We have got everything here.” [Washington Business Journal]

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