Arlington, VA

Construction has started in Ballston on the future site of a new Harris Teeter, three apartment buildings and a new green space.

Excavation and sheeting and shoring work started this past week at 600 N. Glebe Road, said Mary Senn, the vice-president of Georgia-based developer Southeastern Real Estate Group, LLC, the developer overseeing the project.

“We are underway,” she said.

Work began last year with utility relocation and demolition of the vacant American Service Center building, Southeastern president Mark Senn told ARLnow in October.

The current phase is the first of three for the site, approved in 2019. In phase one, a new 310-unit apartment building with a new Harris Teeter space on the ground floor will replace the former American Service Center building.

In this phase, customers still have access to parking and the current Harris Teeter, which was the company’s first in Virginia.

“Harris Teeter and Southeastern are very excited to be moving forward with the construction, and the community will be excited to have the new store,” Mary Senn said. “[Harris Teeter] will really do this one up as the latest and the greatest, as far as the store goes.”

The grocery store may have a bar, among other new features, and will also have covered parking, she said.

“People in Arlington, given the weather the past couple of weeks, will appreciate the covered parking, which will definitely be an improvement,” said Senn.

The timeline for the construction of the project has not changed, the vice-president said. Phase one is expected to be complete in 2023.

“But we’ll be open before then,” she said.

During the second phase, the old Harris Teeter will be demolished for new temporary surface parking. The second apartment building, with 195 units, and the public open space will be constructed in phase two.

In the third phase, the temporary parking lot will become the third apartment building: a 227-unit residential building with retail on the ground floor and two levels of below-grade parking.

The park will include a pedestrian path, a dog run, a picnic area, as well as natural vegetation to support pollinator insects and birds.

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Seven Arlington Metro stations will be getting new escalators.

This is part of a $179-million, seven-year project that begins in May to replace old escalators and install 130 new heavy-duty ones at 32 stations across the Metro system.

In total, 36 escalators across seven Arlington stations will be replaced.

They are:

  • Rosslyn (8 escalators)
  • Ballston (6 escalators)
  • National Airport (4 escalators)
  • Pentagon (5 escalators)
  • Pentagon City (4 escalators)
  • Crystal City (6 escalators)
  • Virginia Square (3 escalators)

The new escalators will have up-to-date safety features and LED lighting. The contract for the project was awarded to the Finnish engineering company KONE.

The escalators set to be replaced include four in Rosslyn that date back to 1977 and rise nearly ten stories. At 207 feet high, they are among the world’s longest, continuous escalators.

“Replacing these escalators that average 38-years old, will ensure we maintain reliability for our customers today and into the future,” Metro General Manager/CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld said in the press release.

To install the new escalators, KONE will have to demolish the existing escalators and remove them piece by piece.

No more than 18 escalators will be out of service at any given time, the transportation agency promises.

For the last decade, Metro has made it a priority to fix, rehabilitate, and replace frequently breaking escalators. By the time this project is completed, Metro will have replaced or rehabilitated 84% of its escalators since 2011.

However, Metro has not set forth a timeline beyond the work beginning in May.

The full press release from Metro is below.

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New signage is coming to National Landing and Ballston.

The business improvements districts that serve as boosters for the areas are planning to put hundreds of new banners on light poles. The County Board approved the use of such non-commercial signs in the public right-of-way at its meeting last weekend.

The National Landing signs will differentiate the BID’s three distinct neighborhoods — Crystal City, Pentagon City and Potomac Yard — while highlighting the National Landing branding.

The Ballston BID banners, in the neighborhood’s orange, white and black colors, will include slogans like “Skill Full,” Taste Full,” “Power Full” and “Event Full.”

Photos via Arlington County

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A new restaurant called Ballston Local is coming to the former location of Stageplate Bistro at 900 N. Glebe Road.

One of the co-owners confirmed with ARLnow that Ballston Local could open in late April or early May after some renovations to the space. The partners, who do not wish to be named yet, want to time the opening with springtime and more positive news about the coronavirus vaccine.

“It’s a new and exciting concept that is focused on crave-worthy food with a full bar,” said one of the co-owners, adding that he and his business partner live in Fairfax County and intend Ballston Local to be a “local, non-chain based environment.”

The partners, who together have decades of restaurant experience, are still hammering out menu details. Ballston Local will meet the demand for fast-casual, office worker-friendly lunches as well as a more traditional service with a full-service bar for happy hour, dinner and drinks.

Despite optimism from its owner, Mary Marchetti, Stageplate Bistro succumbed to the reputation haunting the western side of N. Glebe Road for being a difficult place for restaurants to survive. The bistro temporarily closed in February 2020 for hiring and staff training and internal reorganizing, with plans to reopen in March.

Then, the pandemic hit and by June, Stageplate Bistro had closed for good.

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Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups, founders, and other local technology news. Monday Properties is proudly featuring Shirlington Gateway. The new 2800 Shirlington recently delivered a brand-new lobby and upgraded fitness center, and is adding spec suites with bright open plans and modern finishes. Experience a prime location and enjoy being steps from Shirlington Village.

BASH Boxing, a boutique boxing gym founded in Arlington, has announced plans to franchise its model across the country.

“There’s so much uncertainty because people lost jobs, or stepped out of corporate jobs,” co-owner and founder Alexandra Trakas told ARLnow. “This is an amazing opportunity for people who want a fresh start to own their own business.”

Trakas and her investment team, which includes Washington Capitals player Tom Wilson, plan to help open hundreds of locations “in the coming years,” locally and nationally.

Trakas, who turns 32 this March and entered the fitness industry at 24, opened her first location in Rosslyn in November 2018 and her second in Ballston in October 2019. A graduate of Shenandoah University with a bachelor’s in fine arts and a concentration in dance, she said she came out of the womb with an entrepreneurial mind.

“It’s the way I’ve always been,” she said.

After working for franchise outposts of The Bar Method and Orangetheory Fitness, she said was ready to discuss with partners the possibility of franchising a new boutique gym.

“Give me the playbook — I’ll add a few things to bring camaraderie — but stick to the playbook and it works,” she said.

She announced to staff early last year that the business will be franchising and that more information would come soon. For front desk staff and sales associates, she said, the news would mean more opportunities to view the job as a career path.

Although Trakas had to lay off some staff and regroup as a result of the pandemic, she never fully closed BASH. Instead, she said her team always pivoted to meet changing regulations for staying open. During the spring shutdowns, coaches taught free Instagram Live classes almost every day, before reopening on June 13. Today, they can only coach nine members at a time, despite having 1,000 members and a capacity of up to 44.

“The only reason we made it through the coronavirus is because of our community,” Trakas said. “I have an incredible team with me.”

She pressed pause on franchising work for about five months, but by July, Trakas could sit and wait no longer. She wanted agreements with franchisees and properties in hand for when the country fully reopened.

“We want to be ready to grow,” she said.

Trakas is looking to expand into what she calls “sub-cities” — suburbs of large metropolises that are also cities in their own right. Her first choice is not the sprawling, fitness-obsessed Los Angeles, but rather a place like Arlington, or Reston, she said.

The first 5-10 franchisees will get the most favorable terms and hands-on support.

“If you have the means and the commitment, it’s time to get in,” Trakas said

Images via BASH Boxing

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Police are releasing new photos, video and information in the year-old unsolved murder of a 24-year-old man in a Ballston apartment.

Scott Ratigan was founded bloodied and unresponsive in his bedroom, at the AVA Ballston Square apartment building (850 N. Randolph Street), around 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 17, 2020. Police now say he suffered “trauma to the upper body.”

ARLnow reported at the time that the 911 caller — now identified as a relative of Ratigan — reported a strong smell of bleach in the apartment. Police now say that “evidence recovered at the scene indicates the suspect(s) attempted to clean the crime scene prior to fleeing the residence.”

Today, ahead of the one-year anniversary of the crime, Arlington County police also released video and three surveillance images of a “person of interest” — seen leaving the area while wearing a mask, before that became commonplace during the pandemic.

“The individual is described as a White male, approximately 5’6″ – 5’8″ tall, weighing 150 – 175 lbs, dressed in all black, carrying a black backpack and walking with his feet turned inward, often referred to as a pigeon-toed gait,” ACPD said. “Detectives would like to identify and speak with this individual.”

Several months ago, an ARLnow reporter observed detectives holding large poles in the courtyard between the apartment building and Wilson Blvd, perhaps in an effort to ascertain the person’s height. Until this morning’s press release, police have steadfastly declined to divulge additional details about the case in response to numerous inquiries from ARLnow.

The Ratigan family is offering a $25,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the murder case.

The full ACPD press release and additional surveillance images are below.

The Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit is seeking the public’s assistance identifying a person of interest captured in surveillance video as they continue to investigate the circumstances that led to the death of 24-year-old Scott Ratigan one year ago. The Ratigan family has established a reward fund of $25,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction of the suspect(s) involved in Scott’s homicide.

At approximately 5:29 p.m. on January 17, 2020, police were dispatched to the 800 block of N. Randolph Street for the report of cardiac arrest. Upon arrival, it was determined a relative of the victim entered his bedroom after becoming concerned he had not recently been heard from. The adult male victim was located inside his bedroom suffering from trauma to the upper body and was pronounced deceased on scene by medics. An autopsy by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled the death a homicide. Evidence recovered at the scene indicates the suspect(s) attempted to clean the crime scene prior to fleeing the residence.

Surveillance video recovered from an exterior camera shows a person of interest leaving the area around the suspected time of the homicide. The individual is described as a White male, approximately 5’6″ – 5’8″ tall, weighing 150 – 175 lbs, dressed in all black, carrying a black backpack and walking with his feet turned inward, often referred to as a pigeon-toed gait. Detectives would like to identify and speak with this individual.

To date, detectives have conducted an intensive investigation into this incident including collecting information, analyzing crime scene evidence, speaking with witnesses and canvasing the area near the crime scene. Detectives continue to actively follow investigative leads in this case but believe there is someone, somewhere with information that will allow us to solve this case and seek justice on behalf of the Ratigan family. If you have information in this case, no matter how insignificant you may feel it is, we implore you to come forward and speak with detectives.

Anyone with information related to this incident is asked to contact the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4180 or [email protected]

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Just around the corner from Washington, D.C., in North Arlington, is Ballston. A reflection of the nation’s capital, Ballston blends some of the city’s highlights with its own unique rhythm, creating a vibrant and exciting place to work and play.

Just around the corner from the heart of Ballston, is Trenton Square at Ballston. Down tree-lined streets, the townhome community of Trenton Square provides the perfect balance to the cosmopolitan cadence of Ballston, creating a relaxing and spacious place to live. This boutique community of just 19 townhomes is selling quickly and won’t last long. Make an appointment to visit our beautifully decorated model today, and lock in today’s low mortgage rates with our homes available for immediate delivery.

The homes at Trenton Square would make anyone in D.C. envious. Four levels of luxury and elegance, and with the space and comfort to stretch your legs, take a deep breath and bathe in the light pouring through all the large windows.

The entry level is all about productivity. A two-car garage protects your vehicles and gives you some extra flex space, should you need it. Dedicated office space lets you easily work from home without taking over the dining room table.

The next two levels provide fuel, fun and recharging. A designer kitchen with quartz countertops, stainless steel appliances and a large island will inspire many delicious meals. A spacious dining and family room fill out the floor, providing all the room you need to entertain. Above that, on the third floor, is your owner’s suite. Decadent. Refreshing. A sanctuary within a sanctuary.

The fourth floor is special, because that’s where a large and airy loft space leads out onto your private outdoor terrace. Dine under the stars, dance with the rising sun or share a glass of wine and a good book with the fresh air. Your private terrace provides the ultimate natural recharge.

Just around the corner from home, right down the road, you’re back in the heart of Ballston. All the best dining, shopping and entertainment await you. Any flavor you crave can be found within five blocks at one of over 80 restaurants. Scores of essential services and boutique shops are ready to brighten your home and life. Parks, movie theaters, immersive virtual experiences and even an ice rink (home of the Washington Capitals) — can’t get much cooler than that!

4 levels, 3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, 2-car garage, beautifully finished — from $974,900

Immediate delivery homes are available!

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National taco and tequila chain Bartaco is opening its new Ballston Quarter location today.

The restaurant, which serves “fresh, upscale street food with a coastal vibe in a relaxed environment,” will be open from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. It is opening after a year of construction.

Positioned along the outdoor patio at the mall’s food hall, Bartaco is for the time being only offering takeout and delivery.

“While the restaurant is expected to open for dine-in this spring, guests can also enjoy bartaco in the Quarter Market food hall,” the company noted today in a press release.

More from Bartaco:

On the menu are hand-held foods that are perfectly paired with specialty crafted cocktails made with fresh-squeezed juices, as well as beer out of a bottle. Highlights include bartaco’s pork belly taco and falafel taco, guacamole, taco packs for groups + bartaco’s notoriously delicious margarita served for one or two.

In the restaurant, rustic design infused with a neighborhood feel complements the spirited bold + bright flavors of bartaco’s eclectic menu. Once open for dine-in, the stylish ambience, cocktails + freshly prepared tacos + “not tacos” will create an unforgettable experience for guests.

Photo courtesy Bartaco

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Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups, founders, and other local technology news. Monday Properties is proudly featuring Shirlington Gateway. The new 2800 Shirlington recently delivered a brand-new lobby and upgraded fitness center, and is adding spec suites with bright open plans and modern finishes. Experience a prime location and enjoy being steps from Shirlington Village.

(Updated 9:30 p.m.) Ballston-based Fluence is ramping up its efforts to tackle climate change with energy storage systems for renewable energy.

The energy storage company was founded three years ago this month as the joint venture of Berlin-based Siemens and Arlington-based Fortune 500 company, AES Corp. It enjoyed torrid growth over the course of 2020: About 100 staff came on, including a new CEO, and it acquired a company in October.

This year is off to a great start, too, with a pledge of $125 million in investment from the Qatar Investment Authority.

“We have been experiencing an enormous growth since the inception of the company,” said Vice President of Strategy Marek Wolek.

Fluence develops batteries that store energy from wind and solar. Since 2018, Fluence had quadrupled the amount of energy storage it has deployed or is working on, from 600 megawatts to 2,400 megawatts. It has deployed or been awarded contracts for storage in 24 countries.

The work is “a little bit more complicated” than just batteries, however, Wolek said. It also makes sure the supply of natural, renewable energy can be converted into enough electricity to meet demands, without leading to surges in electricity or deficits for customers.

“That’s extremely valuable, and makes the whole energy grid stable,” Wolek said.

But to keep up in a rapidly innovating market, the company started seeking out investing partners about six months ago, he  said.

“How we effectively create a grid of future requires investments,” he said. “The mark is moving very fast: We have to make sure the technology is easier and faster, and efficient to use, for our customers.”

With the $125 million from Qatar Investment Authority, a founding member of the One Planet Sovereign Wealth Fund Initiative, which invests government funds into climate change solutions. Fluence will be investing in hardware and software, as well as staff to further develop the battery technology, he said.

In a statement, CEO Manuel Perez Dubuc said tackling climate change requires both technology and investment worldwide.

“We see energy storage as the linchpin of a decarbonized grid and adding QIA to our international shareholder base will allow Fluence to innovate even faster and address the enormous global market for large-scale battery-based energy storage.”

Dubuc came on as CEO in May 2020, after serving on the company’s board. He switches roles with Stephen Coughlin, who now sits on the board, said Director of Communications Alison Mickey.

He and the newly hired 100 staff members grew the company’s workforce to more than 300 worldwide.

In October, the company bought Advanced Microgrid Solutions, which develops AI bidding software for batteries and other tech for storing and generating renewably sourced electricity. The merger will help to improve energy storage, grid reliability and efficiency, Wolek said.

Fluence is headquartered at 4601 N. Fairfax Drive, and has offices in San Francisco, suburban Atlanta, Germany and Australia.

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Forty years ago, this neighborhood was planned to be a “new downtown” of Arlington — but was this endeavor successful?

In this week’s Neighborhood Spotlight, please join the Keri Shull Team as we give you a full breakdown of Ballston, one of the most desirable neighborhoods in Arlington, Virginia.

No matter where you live in Arlington, there’s something unique to fall in love with. What do you love about your community? Let us know down in the comments below, so we can highlight them in a future Neighborhood Spotlight.

And, as always, if you have any questions about Arlington real estate, please contact the Keri Shull Team, the No. 1 top-selling real estate team in the Washington, D.C. area.

Where is Ballston?

Ballston is one of the main urban villages of Arlington, marking the endpoint of the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor.

Ballston is close to other popular Arlington neighborhoods, such as Clarendon, making it a great place to live if you work in Arlington. Easy access to public transit and major roadways mean that Ballston also offers convenient access to Alexandria, Washington D.C. and southern Arlington neighborhoods like Shirlington and Fairlington.

Home Styles in Ballston

Ballston tends to be quite varied in the types of homes on the market. High-rise buildings — filled with the apartment-style units found in other Arlington condo communities — dot the Ballston skyline. But just a few blocks away, the neighborhood is filled with detached homes and townhouses.

In general, owning a home in Ballston is a good investment, as Arlington home values have been steadily rising for a while now.

Because of the size of the community and how fast the market moves in Arlington, it’s important to work with a real estate team that can streamline your search and help negotiate for you. In fact, the best thing to do is work with a team that can help find you off-market homes in Ballston.

Popular Ballston Housing Communities

Although Ballston is best known for its condominium communities, there are also plenty of rowhomes, townhomes and freestanding houses available for purchase. Here are two of our favorite housing communities in the Ballston area — for a more complete list, make sure to check out the full guide to living in Ballston:

  • Ballston 880 offers 123 pockets of luxury living across 10 floors, right in the heart of Ballston. The community features one- and two-bedroom units, both with open floor plans and luxury fittings like granite countertops and hardwood floors.
  • One of the most exciting new developments in Ballston real estate is Abingdon Estates, a collection of unique, detached homes built by Classic Cottages. This subdivision, located along a secluded cul-de-sac just a few blocks away the Ballston Quarter mall, is a perfect blend of urban convenience with suburban privacy.

What To Do in Ballston

Ballston is one of the “busiest” neighborhoods in the D.C. metro area — there are a ton of things to do in the neighborhood. In fact, there are far too many suggestions to list in this guide!

However, there is one feature of the Ballston skyline that houses a bit of everything — Ballston Quarter. Ballston Quarter is a newly renovated center for shopping, dining and entertainment in Arlington.

Ballston Quarter represents a new wave in urban convenience. The redesigned mall features retail, a hip food hall in Arlington VA, and even an ice rink on top of the mall. The Quarter is home to some of our favorite eateries in Arlington, such as The Local Oyster and Punch Bowl Social.

How To Find a Home in Ballston

Let’s be frank — living in Ballston is pretty great for a lot of people. Residents get to enjoy perks such as:

  • Incredibly high walkability and transit convenience
  • Access to top-of-the-line dining and retail at Ballston Quarter
  • Easy transit due to high employment opportunities
  • Vibrant local culture
  • Simple commutes to D.C., Alexandria and other parts of Arlington

Because of this, homes tend to move fast in Ballston. If you don’t approach your home search the right way, the chances of finding — and winning — the right home are very slim.

If you aren’t working with the right team might have serious trouble finding the right home now — but there is help out there! At the Keri Shull Team, we have hundreds of off-market properties that you cannot find online or anywhere else… and we want to give you priority access to these homes before they even go on the market.

And if you are selling a house in Arlington, it’s more important than ever to make sure you are taking the proper precautions to protect your investment. The best way to do that is to speak with a top-tier real estate agent and create a completely customized home selling strategy.

So what are you waiting for? Just click here to schedule a time for a free, no-pressure consultation with one of our Real Estate Needs Analysts!

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