Arlington, VA

Morning Notes

Lane Closures Near Ballston — Sewer relining work is closing the right-hand lane of portions of Fairfax Drive and Wilson Blvd in the Bluemont neighborhood, near Ballston. [Twitter]

Arlington’s Young Population Drives Trends — “One of the reasons Virginia’s Arlington County is consistently rated highest for health and fitness is because of its young demographic. Take Ballston, for example, where 47.7% of the adult population is between 25 and 44 years old.” [WTOP]

Courthouse Metro Rescue Makes National News — “We would like to thank @ABCWorldNews for broadcasting our rescue of a @wmata rider last Friday. The patient is in stable condition. If you find yourself on the tracks and are unable to exit, roll towards the platform side to the area of refuge.” [Twitter, ABC News]

Fort Myer Gate Temporarily Closed — “Attention DoD ID card holders: @JBMHH’s Old Post Chapel Gate that provides entry onto the base from Arlington National Cemetery will be temporarily closed beginning today through the end of April for construction.” [Twitter, Twitter]

Nearby: Proposed Arlandria Redevelopment — A “D.C. developer filed preliminary plans with Alexandria earlier this month for the project, looking to completely overhaul a Mount Vernon Avenue shopping center near Four Mile Run Park, now called Del Ray North. It’s currently home to a MOM’s Organic Market, but has seen a variety of retail vacancies recently.” [Washington Business Journal]

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After opening here last year, Dirt has closed its Ballston outpost, at least for now.

The small, Miami-based restaurant chain opened its 4121 Wilson Blvd location to fanfare last April, touting its health-oriented and vegetarian options. It joined an increasingly crowded Ballston restaurant scene that has seen numerous openings since the Quarter Market food hall in the renovated Ballston Quarter mall opened in early 2019.

Below the slogan “EAT CLEAN” in the window, a sign posted over the weekend said “we’re sad to inform you that DIRT is closing their doors on Sunday the 26th.” Another small sign posted on the storefront today said simply “sorry, we are closed!”

It was not immediately clear whether the closure is permanent. No one answered the restaurant’s phone line this morning. A key lockbox could be seen hanging from the locked front door.

In May a kitchen flash fire, reportedly caused by a can of cooking oil placed too close to the stove, seriously injured an employee and prompted a temporary closure of the restaurant.

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Making its mark in Ballston center is Origin, the newest residential tower featuring studio to two-bedroom residences. In particular, a variety of great one-bedroom floorplans are available right now to accommodate a range of lifestyles.

Walking into Origin´s residences feels serendipitous with its elevated level of finish and attention to detail that has gone into the design of every room.

The chef-inspired kitchens deliver high-end conveniences with its stainless steel Whirlpool appliances, Caesarstone quartz countertops, ceramic-tile backsplashes, under-cabinet task lighting and built-in pantries.

Bathrooms are designed to deliver the perfect energizing start to the day. Bathrooms feature quartz countertops with large illuminated vanity mirrors, plenty of under the sink storage space, Moen chrome fixtures and large format tile flooring.

Every home at Origin has extensive light-filled living areas with sustainable wood flooring and impressive views, but not every home is the same. Origin embraces each resident’s lifestyle with its extensive conveniences, options and upgrades. Residents can select from two interior finish packages in Pearl and Asher and may upgrade their apartments to include ample walk-in closets, floor-to-ceiling windows, patios and terraces, kitchen islands and more!

Origin has dedicated three floors to a bespoke collection of amenities that inspire residents to live their best lives. With extensive work/life amenities, Origin features a fitness center with top-of-the-line equipment, a work lounge with individual study rooms, 24 hr concierge service, a rooftop pool with cabanas and a private clubroom, a rentable entertainment space with a fireplace, and a dog spa along with a rooftop dog park and multiple indoor and outdoor entertainment areas.

Ready to live in Origin? Visit originballston.com and schedule your tour.

For a limited time Origin is offering ONE MONTH FREE to select move-ins before March 21.

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Compass Coffee’s new Ballston location will be opening in mid-February, a company rep tells ARLnow.

Work is nearly complete on the interior of the space at the corner of Wilson Blvd and N. Randolph Street, on the ground floor of the Origin apartment building that was built as part of the recent renovations to what is now Ballston Quarter mall.

The new cafe will offer the same drink selection as other Compass Coffee locations — including the Rosslyn location at 1201 Wilson Blvd that opened in 2018 — but its food menu will vary slightly depending on the needs of the Ballston neighborhood, Stephanie Junkin, the manager of the new location, said. Customer favorites such as cold brew coffee and croissants will be offered in Ballston.

The cafe will host a “Free Coffee Day” on or soon after the day of its opening. Customers will be able to receive a drink of their choice at no charge on this day, Junkin said.

Compass is currently in the process of hiring baristas for the Ballston location.

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Morning Notes

W-L Alumni File Suit Over Name Change — “A local alumni group is filing suit in federal court over their high school’s name change. The Washington-Lee High School Alumni Association claims the public did not get the chance to weigh-in on the school board’s decision to change its name to Washington-Liberty High.” [WTOP, DCist]

Wrong-Way Driver Nearly Strikes Officer — “As officers approached the vehicle to investigate, they observed a handgun with extended magazine in plain view. The suspect disobeyed the lawful commands of the officers, placed the vehicle into drive and allegedly accelerated towards an officer. The officer quickly moved out of the way to avoid being struck and the vehicle fled the scene at a high rate of speed.” [Arlington County]

NPR Highlights W-L Esports Team — NPR’s All Things Considered profiled the Washington-Liberty High School esports club this week. Colleges are offering millions in scholarships for esports players, the segment noted. The W-L team was also profiled by the Washington Post this fall.  [NPR]

New Credit Union Open in Ballston — “Northwest Federal Credit Union recently celebrated the grand opening of a new branch in Ballston… its ninth public branch and first in Arlington County.” [Press Release]

ART Switch Successful Thus Far — “So far, so good, as the Arlington Transit (ART) system has a new contractor settling in. ‘The transition to ART’s new service provider – First Transit – has gone well during the initial weeks,’ County Manager Mark Schwartz told the Sun Gazette.” [InsideNova]

APS Launches Superintendent Survey — “The Arlington School Board is seeking community input through an online survey to help shape search criteria for the next superintendent. The survey is now open.” [Arlington Public Schools]

Flickr pool photo by GM and MB

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(Updated at 4 p.m.) A young man found dead inside a Ballston apartment building was the victim of a homicide, Arlington County Police said Tuesday afternoon.

In a brief statement, ACPD said Scott Ratigan, 24, died as a result of “trauma to the upper body.” It is Arlington’s first homicide of 2020.

Police were called to the AVA Ballston Square building at 850 N. Randolph Street around 5:30 p.m. Friday for a report of a man found unresponsive and bloodied in an apartment. He was declared dead on scene by medics. A 911 caller reported a strong smell of bleach in the apartment, according to scanner traffic.

More from ACPD:

Following an autopsy by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, the suspicious death has been ruled a homicide with the victim suffering trauma to the upper body. The victim has been identified as Scott Ratigan, 24, of Arlington, VA.

This remains an active and ongoing criminal investigation. Arlington County Crime Solvers is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for tips leading to the arrest of a suspect. To report anonymous tips, call the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at ‪1-866-411-TIPS (8477)

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

With their busy schedules of helping buyers and sellers get great prices on homes, our agents need the chance to blow off some steam — so why don’t you join them? They wanted to take some time today to show you two of our favorite places to have fun in the Ballston neighborhood of Arlington, Virginia.

Ballston is full of hidden gems and amazing spots for revelers of all ages, and we wanted to take the chance to talk about a couple of them today!

What’s your favorite place to go for fun in Ballston? Let us know in the comments below — we’d love to check it out!!

Are you interested in moving to Ballston, another neighborhood in Arlington, or anywhere else in D.C., Maryland, or Virginia? The Keri Shull Team can help make sure you get a great price for the perfect home!

If you want to learn more about how we can help you find AND WIN your dream home, contact The Keri Shull Team today!

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Arlington County Police are investigating what the department characterized as a suspicious death.

Officers and medics were dispatched to an apartment at the AVA Ballston Square building (850 N. Randolph Street) around 5:30 p.m. Friday. Initial reports suggested that a young man was in cardiac arrest, with blood coming from his upper extremities, and that several other people were inside the apartment at the time.

“Upon arrival, an adult male victim was located deceased inside a residence,” police said in a press release. “Cause of death will be determined by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.”

“This remains an active criminal investigation and the preliminary investigation has not revealed an immediate threat to the community,” ACPD said. “Anyone with information related to this case is asked to contact Detective J. Senn of the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4049 or [email protected] Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at ‪1-866-411-TIPS‬ (8477).”

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Police responded to an unusual accident in Ballston Friday afternoon.

A Toyota Prius appears to have been driven into a construction zone at the intersection of Fairfax Drive and N. Quincy Street and partially fallen into excavated portion of roadway — possibly an uncovered utility vault — in a scene that looks somewhat like Arlington’s version of the infamous Pittsburgh sinkhole bus.

No injuries were reported.

The crash was not obstructing traffic and did not appear to have a significant impact on the construction work. A 22-story apartment tower is being built at the site, which was formerly home to long-time local watering hole Carpool.

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It’s dwarfed by an adjacent apartment building and it’s unclear when it was first built, but if you’ve ever wanted to own a commercial building in the middle of Ballston outright, now’s your chance.

The vacant Sichuan Wok building at 901 N. Quincy Street went on the market in the fall for an asking price of $3.2 million.

Sichuan Wok closed in 2018 and its owner, who ran the restaurant with her late uncle, is now offering the building for sale, according to listing agent Virginia Smith. It’s still configured as a restaurant, with nearly 3,000 square feet of total floor area and a full kitchen, though the property also presents a redevelopment opportunity.

The 5,200 square foot lot is zoned C-2, which permits smaller “service commercial” uses, as compared to some of the high-rise offices and apartments around it.

“Excellent opportunity for an investor, developer, or user to acquire a rarely available fee simple retail property in such a dynamic, vibrant Arlington location… 2 blocks from the new Ballston Quarter,” says a sales flyer.

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The wait is almost over. VIDA Fitness is set to open its doors to their first ever Virginia location, and we can’t wait to welcome you.

Arlington has been voted America’s fittest city by The American Fitness Index, and VIDA is excited to join the ranks of the countries most dedicated enthusiasts. Our newest club, opening this March, promises to deliver all of the exceptional amenities & equipment that members have come to expect from our existing five D.C. locations.

VIDA Ballston will feature expansive weight room floors, state-of-the-art cardio equipment, hundreds of group fitness offerings, personal training, luxury locker rooms, and steam rooms & saunas. VIDA will also be opening alongside SweatBox, D.C.’s newest studio workout craze. This class combines both strength & cardio training, and is sure to provide you with an incredible fitness experience that is guaranteed to challenge your entire body in one hour. Also opening will be Aura spa, a premiere day spa offering massages, facials, waxes and other pampering services for an ultimate day of relaxation.

VIDA is offering special early bird pricing when you join our Ballston location through the end of the month, that will no longer be available upon opening.

Be sure to act fast to take advantage of this incredible fitness opportunity, and let us show you what exceptional results VIDA can help you achieve in an already extraordinary city.

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