Arlington, VA

The Arlington County Board is poised to advance the Ballston Harris Teeter project with several zoning updates.

The County Board will vote during its meeting this Saturday, November 16 on whether to approve the developer’s request to change the land’s zoning categories to permit the the many housing units as planned (732) and add retail to the buildings (83,600 total square feet.)

Georgia-based developer Southeastern Real Estate Group, LLC is planning to demolish the existing grocery store, nearby Mercedes Benz parking lot, and a single-family home at 525 N. Thomas Street. Southeastern will then build:

  • a new Harris Teeter on the ground level of a five-story apartment building containing 390 housing units
  • another, six-story apartment building with 234 apartments
  • an 11-story building with 243 housing units, and 10,592 square feet of ground-floor retail space
  • A strip of public open space fronting N. Thomas Street

The park will include a pedestrian path, a dog run, a picnic area, as well as “pollinator meadow zone” with plants selected to feed pollinator insects and birds, according to the latest plans filed with the county.

The Board previously approved a public meeting on the Southeastern’s zoning requests this summer. During the meeting, several residents asked the county to wait before approving the zoning changes, expressing concerns over too much traffic and the trees that will need to be cut down according to the construction plan.

In April, the developer bumped the number of housing units in the project from 700 to 732, cut some parking spaces, and announced its intention to seek LEED Silver sustainability certification.

The development is across the street from another site at at 501 N. Randolph Street and 4019 5th Road N. where builders envision a 10-story hotel with 240 rooms, featuring amenities like a jacuzzi, light display, and possibly home-grown herbs, as well as the renovated Ballston Quarter Mall.

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Arlington Community Federal Credit Union (ACFCU) is closing its Ballston branch, 6.5 years after it opened.

The branch is closing on Dec. 31, ACFCU announced this week. The credit union plans to open a new branch in Arlington by late 2020.

“We are still in the process of searching for the perfect branch location to serve our members, so we’re not able to confirm a neighborhood yet,” said an ACFCU spokeswoman.

In the meantime, the Ballston staff will relocate to ACFCU’s other branches, at 2130 N. Glebe Road and 5666 Columbia Pike.

“Our team will miss serving members in Ballston, where we have been proud of this neighborhood’s exciting growth,” the credit union’s CEO, Karen L. Rosales, said in a press release. “We look forward to opening a new, innovative branch to continue our mission to empower the financial lives of our members in Arlington and beyond.”

In addition to its branches, ACFCU operates three stand-alone ATM machines in Arlington, including two in Courthouse and one in the Virginia Hospital Center food court.

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Coworking on the Rise

In a nutshell, coworking is the practice of shared workspaces and amenities where multiple unrelated companies work in the same space using the operator’s administrative and amenity functions. In today’s modern and ever-changing office world, coworking is the fastest growing alternative to the traditional office space.

The coworking industry has become a global phenomenon! Between 2008-2010, more operators joined the market, but in recent years, the industry has veritably exploded. According to Emergent Research, over 1,000 new coworking spaces opened in the second half of 2018 — nearly half of which are located in the U.S.

TechSpace, one of the first operators in the coworking space industry, was established in 1997 and opened in the Ballston area in June 2018.

Who Uses Coworking Spaces? 

People often wonder what kinds of companies are best served by coworking spaces. The answer is many industries are actually well-suited. Since opening in June 2018 at our Ballston location at 4075 Wilson Boulevard, we’ve experienced a rapid influx of businesses that have ties to the federal government, but also see a lot of growing tech companies.

Despite the different sectors in which they operate, all businesses have become reliant on a superior technology infrastructure like the one TechSpace provides.

Why Move into TechSpace?

Flexibility — The terms provided by a flexible workspace provider gives members the ability to scale up (or downsize) quickly, as their needs change. This means a company can grow into a private office, or multiple private offices, as well as scale within the same building, all without having to move or change addresses. Coworking spaces also help with low upfront capital costs and reduced fixed expenditures — giving your company more cash on hand.

Amenities — As the competition for top talent heats up, companies must adapt their workplaces in response to changing demands and expectations of employees. Flexible workspaces offer a wide range of hospitality-focused services and amenities — from a welcoming reception area and dedicated community manager to a variety of networking events — creating a warm, welcoming atmosphere and positive workday experience for all employees.

Community — Coworking spaces also give members access to a supportive community of other like-minded business professionals to work around. This means companies and their employees have endless opportunities to network and socialize with other members — both throughout the workday and during community programs and events.

Move into TechSpace by December 31 and get up to $500

For a limited time, TechSpace is reimbursing new members up to $500 when you sign by December 31. So, how does the one-time incentive work? It’s simple!

  • Earn $500 total (maximum) for 4+ seats
  • $250 total for 1-3 seats (this includes FlexSpace)

Book a tour with our community manager, Jennifer today!

Move-in credit of $250 or $500 will be given to new members closing on their office(s) by December 31. Credit will be applied by ‘one-time promotional discount’ 90 days (3 months) after move-in date.

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Morning Notes

Dorsey in Trouble With Metro BoardUpdated at 10 a.m. — “Metro board member Christian Dorsey to return $10,000 donation from ATU Local 689, the main Metro union, and be reprimanded and removed as chairman of Metro finance committee.” [Washington Post, Twitter]

South Arlington Pupatella Now Hiring — “Official Job Fair at Pupatella South Arlington — 1621 South Walter Reed Drive — Thursday, Nov 7 thru Saturday, Nov 9 between 10am and 4pm – All positions available (kitchen and front of house).” [Twitter]

JBG May Hold Off on Crystal City Office Building — “Amazon.com Inc.’s second headquarters is expected to generate additional demand for office space in Crystal City and Pentagon City, but for now… the Chevy Chase developer does not plan to start construction on the Crystal City office building without enough commitments from future tenants.” [Washington Business Journal]

Robbery on Columbia Pike — “The suspect then walked around the counter and confronted the victim, implied he had a weapon, and demanded the merchandise. The suspect fled the scene with the merchandise prior to police arrival.” [Arlington County]

Ballston Company Partnering With Google — “AES Corporation and Google have entered into a 10-year strategic alliance which they hope will speed up the expansion and adoption of clean energy. In an announcement Wednesday, the Arlington, Virginia headquartered power firm said it would leverage ‘Google Cloud technology to pioneer innovation in the sector.'” [CNBC]

Arlington Blvd Bus Stop Temporarily Closed — “4A riders: The stop on Arlington Blvd at S. Highland St will close on 11/6 for two weeks. Customers may board/exit at an adjacent stop.” [Twitter, WMATA]

Nearby: Beyer to Host Impeachment Town Hall — Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) “is planning to talk impeachment at a town hall meeting later this month. [Beyer] announced today that he will be holding the event on Thursday, Nov. 21, from 7-8:30 p.m., at the T.C. Williams High School auditorium.” [ALXnow]

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(Updated at 2 p.m.) Arlington’s culinary school La Cocina is planning to add a cafe and a business incubator — as well as triple the number of students it teaches.

The bilingual non-profit donates healthy meals and trains Hispanic immigrants for culinary jobs. But now La Cocina is planning to move from the basement of a church near Ballston to a 5,000-square-foot space in the affordable Gilliam Place housing development at 3507 Columbia Pike, where the organization’s CEO and Founder Patricia Funegra says La Cocina will help residents cook up new businesses.

“We call it the zero-barriers training and entrepreneurship center,” Funegra told ARLnow today. “The new center will triple our capacity.”

For the last two years, she said she’s worked to raise money ($2.5 million so far) for the new space where La Cocina will continue training residents for culinary jobs — but also rent out its kitchen space and offer micro-lending to low-income entrepreneurs looking to start their own food businesses.

Funegra says the plan is also to launch a “pop-up cafe” with space for 40 seats where these burgeoning business owners can sell their offerings.

Also planned for the new space is an in-house catering business to help pull in revenue for the nonprofit.

The kitchen space itself will include six to eight prep tables and industrial ovens, fridges, and a walk-in freezer. All together, she hopes to quadruple the number of students a year from around 30 to 120.

“We are moving from a workforce development nonprofit in the food service to becoming producer of food,” Funegra said of the ambitious plans. “So there is some learning process we are going through as well.”

Funegra also hopes the new location on Columbia Pike will also allow Cocina to better reach low-income individuals who need access to healthy meals. She said the organization’s existing food donation program has given out 12,000 such meals, but they hope to give out 40,000 in the new location thanks to the bigger space and larger staff.

Currently, Cocina employs six full-time staffers. It now plans to hire another six come January, including cooks, a manager of operations for the cafe and catering service, and a social worker.

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VIDA Fitness is opening it’s first Virginia location in early 2020, and to celebrate, we want to give your body the full makeover it deserves.

When you join VIDA Ballston during November, you’ll also receive a complementary 2-week trial to SweatBox, D.C.’s premiere strength & cardio-based workout.

This is the perfect opportunity to see why VIDA is already D.C.’s favorite gym — voted by Washingtonian, D.C. City Paper, and the Blade. VIDA Ballston will conveniently be located next to Ballston Quarter and Ballston Metro stop, and will have everything you need to maintain a healthy & balanced lifestyle. Members have already fallen in love with our incredible group fitness offerings, beautiful Pilates studios and expansive Fuel Bar — featuring delicious smoothies and snacks for your workout recovery.

VIDA Ballston will also offer:

  • Individual programming to fit your goals, and hundreds of group fitness classes
  • State-of-the-art fitness equipment and expansive weight room floors
  • Brand new cardio equipment with the latest entertainment and technology
  • Qualified Personal Trainers to work with you on achieving your goals
  • Registered Dietitians to assist with keeping your diet on track
  • Amazing, spacious locker rooms with a sauna and steam room
  • Discounts on Bang Salon, Aura spa and hundreds of preferred partners

VIDA will also be opening up alongside SweatBox, a 55-minute class that will change the way you see fitness. Your 2-week trial will allow you to experience firsthand the benefits of the program, and burn up to 1,000 calories per class. This unique group fitness offering uses Coach-by-Color Bikes, free weights and XT Trainers to guide you through an unparalleled studio experience with flashing colorful lights, and energizing music.

All of these incredible benefits are at your fingertips, including the exclusive opportunity of a free 2-week SweatBox trial when joining VIDA in November.

Get ready to see some serious results, and crush your goals in new & innovative ways!

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Lebanese Taverna is hoping to open its “LebTav” fast-casual concept later this month in Ballston.

It’s part of a new expansion push by the Arlington-based local chain, which includes a new location that’s planned to open in the Pentagon late next year.

As previously reported, the new restaurant in Ballston will be located in the former Taylor Gourmet space at the corner of Wilson Blvd and N. Quincy Street. Signs are up on the doors, the windows are covered and construction is still underway inside.

Lebanese Taverna has existing, full-service Arlington eateries in Westover (5900 Washington Blvd) and Pentagon Row (1101 S. Joyce Street), as well as a market at 4400 Old Dominion Drive.

LebTav offers a smaller but similar menu to the full-service restaurants, and existing locations in Rockville and Silver Spring, and is opening another in a former Taylor Gourmet space in D.C. A PR rep tells ARLnow that the Ballston location is expected to open at some point in November.

A press release from commercial real estate firm KLNB, below, notes that Lebanese Taverna currently has a dozen locations in the D.C. area.

KLNB, the leading mid-Atlantic multi-service commercial real estate firm, has announced that Lebanese Taverna will open three new “LebTav” fast-casual concept locations within the next two years: Ballston in fall 2019, K Street in early 2020, and inside the Pentagon in late 2020, in addition to the recently opened Farragut Square location on 17th Street in D.C.

KLNB principal, Steve Combs, and retail specialist, Kelley Milloy, represented Lebanese Taverna in all three deals.

Founded in 1979, the Lebanese Taverna Group currently owns and operates 12 locations around the Washington, D.C. Metro area, and has been recognized by numerous media outlets and publications as having the region’s best Mediterranean cuisine. KLNB has worked with Lebanese Taverna since the opening of its first location and has helped the restaurant group open all subsequent locations. The restaurant group is family-owned and operated.

Recently, Lebanese Taverna has evolved to adapt to their customers’ changing tastes and needs. “The new LebTav brand and fast-casual concept is a response to these changing consumer trends,” said Combs. “For savvy business owners like Lebanese Taverna, that meant launching a new concept in target markets around the region. From a real estate perspective, it was critical to the business plan that we work with the owners to find unique spaces that reduced the restaurant group’s footprint and aligned with the fast-casual atmosphere they wanted to cultivate.”

Last year, Lebanese Taverna rebranded three of their locations in Annapolis, Congressional Plaza Rockville, and Downtown Silver Spring to “Lebanese Taverna Cafes”. In each case, KLNB helped Lebanese Taverna find and move the restaurant to another space within the existing shopping center, cutting down their square footage.

“We want to grow and change with our customers. LebTav is a refinement of what has been successful in the past. We took the greatest hits of our traditional menu and utilized smaller retail space paired with a fresh design to cater to our busy customers,” said Grace Abi-Najm Shea, Executive Vice President, Lebanese Taverna Group. “KLNB helped us bring this new concept to life. As a restaurant owner, the space in which you operate is critical to your business. KLNB has grown with us and we look forward to many more successful years to come.”

Lebanese Taverna has had a banner year. 2019 marked the restaurant group’s 40th anniversary in business – an achievement for which they were honored by the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) at the annual RAMMY Awards Gala with the Honorary Milestone Award. They were also honored by the National Restaurant Association as a Faces of Diversity Award winner.

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Located in the midst of Ballston, Origin is among Arlington’s newest residential developments, rising 22-stories with 406-units ranging from studios to two-bedroom residences and a wealth of indoor and outdoor amenity space.

At Origin, residences feel inspired with an elevated level of finish that can be observed in every room. Residences feature stunning interiors with fully equipped chef-inspired kitchens and relaxing bathrooms. Homes are adaptable to every lifestyle with the available upgrade packages that include ample walk-in closets, in-unit washer and dryer, patios and terraces, kitchen islands and more.

Spread throughout three floors, amenities and services were thoughtfully curated so residents could live their life with purpose.

On the ground floor, residents will encounter the 24/7 concierge, bike storage and repair center, onsite management and maintenance team, and onsite access-controlled garage parking.

The third floor has everything you need, want, or wish you ever had, with extensive fitness, work and entertainment options. The cutting-edge fitness center with multiple studios that feature Technogym equipment, Nexersys boxing, Peloton bikes and Fitness on Demand programs. The work lounge features open study nooks and enclosed work pods. For entertainment, residents have a rentable lounge and dining lounge connected with a fireplace, a spacious programmed outdoor terrace and additional lounges facing the south end of the building.

The rooftop boasts an expansive deck with 360 views that can be enjoyed from the pool or from the clubroom lounge with alcove seating.

Not enough? Just outside the front door, you will find Ballston Quarter, Compass Coffee, Union Kitchen Grocery, South Block Juice and convenient access to Ballston Metro station that houses the orange and silver lines.

For a limited time, Origin is offering 1 month free when you lease. Schedule a tour on originballston.com to make Origin your home.

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Update at 2:45 p.m. — The outage no longer appears on Dominion’s map.

Earlier: More than 1,000 Dominion Energy customers are without power in the Ballston and Bluemont neighborhoods due to emergency utility work.

As of 1:15 p.m. Dominion’s outage map reported 1,258 outages and an estimated restoration time of 4-7 p.m. Generators could be heard running in Ballston and power was flickering off and on — or out altogether — at local stores, restaurants and offices, including the headquarters of ARLnow.

A number of Dominion trucks could be seen parked at the corner of N. Stuart Street and 9th Street N., near the Ballston Metro station. Local offices have been told that crews are working on a transformer and more power interruptions are possible this afternoon.

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This content was written and sponsored by The Keri Shull Team, Arlington’s top producing residential real estate team.

For this Neighborhood Spotlight, we’re joining Sean Sneed of The Keri Shull Team as he gives us the rundown on Punch Bowl Social, a hot new spot for food, drinks and games in Arlington.

Originally founded in Denver, Colorado, Punch Bowl Social has expanded to include many locations across the country, each with its own unique theme in decor and menu. The Arlington location — which sits in the Ballston Quarter alongside some of our previous spotlights — is designed with a circus in mind.

Brett Ramsdell, the general manager of Arlington’s Punch Bowl Social, shed some light on this design choice. The team became fascinated by the “Great Elephant Escape” — an event that saw 4 elephants escaping from a traveling exhibit in 1906, in the area that is now known as Arlington. Though the elephants were eventually rounded up after several days, some managed to travel dozens of miles from their enclosures.

This circus theme is a perfect fit for the whimsical atmosphere inside Punch Bowl Social. With its bright lights and vast collection of games, Punch Bowl Social is a bastion of pure fun. Customers can pay to play table tennis, sing karaoke, or even go bowling inside the arcade, all while sipping on a signature cocktail.

For the retro-inclined, Punch Bowl Social also offers a traditional arcade experience of cabinet-mounted video games.

What’s more, Punch Bowl Social is also equipped with a full collection of classic and modern board games, all of which customers can play for free at their tables.

Punch Bowl Social doesn’t skimp on fun when it comes to food and drinks, either. Customers can enjoy any of the three signature punches — or the Punch of the Day — in a shareable bowl, true to the arcade’s name. For food, Ramsdell recommends the Knockoff Burger, a two-patty sandwich that’s designed to mimic an iconic fast food meal.

Don’t feel like drinking punch? That’s okay! Punch Bowl Social also boasts an enormous menu of wines, beers and mixed drinks, all made with the freshest possible ingredients. And if you’re worried about missing work tomorrow, don’t fret — the drink menu features an impressive collection of non-alcoholic beverages, made with the same craftsmanship as the stiffer stuff.

With so many options for artisan food, delicious cocktails and games for all ages, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better place to unwind after work than Punch Bowl Social.

Are you interested in living in Ballston, or any other of the unique neighborhoods in the D.C. Metro area? Contact The Keri Shull Team today to learn about how we can help you find your dream home — for a price you’ll love!

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It’s official: We, The Pizza says it will open its new Ballston location next week.

The restaurant at 4201 Wilson Blvd, in the Ballston Exchange complex, is expected to open on Wednesday, Oct. 30. In addition to the usual pizza selection, the restaurant will be introducing four flavors of gelato shakes, including Hazelnut Nutella and Stracciatella

The nearly 2,000 square foot space, which should draw a large lunchtime crowd from nearby offices, sits 50.

More from a press release:

We, The Pizza opens October 30th, 2019 at Jamestown’s Ballston Exchange by Nour Sharkas, the latest franchisee to expand a concept by The Sunnyside Restaurant Group. We, The Pizza offers 17 pies by the slice, 12 homemade sodas, chef-made wings and Italian gelato shakes.

Mr. Sharkas began his career by managing Good Stuff Eatery and later working in We, The Pizza in Crystal City, VA. “I am excited to bring this fantastic concept to a great area such as Ballston,” said Mr. Sharkas. “We wanted to create a dynamic space in this community for people to enjoy the great food we serve in a fun, hip, casual atmosphere. We’re also offering delivery at this location.”

We, The Pizza is introducing four flavors of gelato shakes: Hazelnut Nutella, Cherry Amaretto, Tiramisu and Stracciatella. In addition, there will be some new pies: Spicy Sicilian, eggplant, spicy salami, fresh tomato sauce; Margharita Burrata, Vegan Veg Sicilian, Ace & Wes Cowboy Pie, pepperoni and sausage and a Ultimate Cheese.

We, The Pizza’s fourth location is opening at 4201 Wilson Boulevard and occupying a 1,894-square foot space. Seating capacity is 50.

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