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by Chris Teale October 18, 2017 at 2:30 pm 0

A new co-working space will move into Ballston next year, across the street from the under-construction Ballston Quarter mall.

TechSpace will move into the eighth floor of Two Liberty Center (4075 Wilson Blvd); its 10th location in the United States. It expects to open in June 2018. TechSpace already has similar co-working spaces in New York, California and Texas.

The new 20,000-square-foot Arlington office will include 56 private, interconnecting office suites with 198 workstations as well as open co-working desks and spaces for working. That will include fully-equipped conference rooms and lounges. Members who work in the space will also have access to building amenities like a rooftop terrace, bike storage, locker rooms and showers.

“Our new Arlington location extends TechSpace’s heritage of delivering extraordinary flexible, modern office space and technology services to all businesses as well as enterprise companies,” said Victor Memenas, Chief Executive Officer for TechSpace, in a statement. “We’re excited to bring our model of creative flexible office space and collaborative social experience combined with our exceptional customer service to the Arlington community.”

More from a TechSpace press release:

TechSpace Arlington will be prominently positioned along the Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor within easy reach of Washington DC, The Pentagon, Tyson Corner, Maryland Suburbs, the Ballston-MU Metro, I-66 and Route 50. The campus is also close to retailers including Sweetgreen, Taylor Gourmet and celebrity Chef Mike Isabella’s 3 concept restaurants, Kapnos Taverna, Pepeita and Yona. This campus will join nine existing TechSpace locations in New York City, Los Angeles, Orange County, San Francisco, California and Austin and Houston, Texas.

“TechSpace Arlington will allow us to expand our outstanding customer service and highly flexible, low-commitment model to many more companies seeking to grow their businesses without the burdens of long-term leases and unnecessary capital investment,” said Memenas.

TechSpace will complete with a number of existing coworking spaces in Arlington, including the soon-to-open Spaces in Rosslyn, MakeOffices in Clarendon and WeWork in Crystal City, among others. There is demand for coworking space in Arlington: latter two offices are both at or near capacity.

Photo via Shooshan Company.

by ARLnow.com October 13, 2017 at 8:50 am 0

(Updated at 10:40 a.m.) A water main break in Ballston resulted in a geyser of water shooting up from N. Taylor Street.

The break happened shortly before 8 a.m. this morning, just north of Fairfax Drive near the Nature Conservancy building. The street was being milled as part of repaving work.

Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services spokeswoman Kathryn O’Brien said the break is affection water service for about 500 customers.

“Crews are repairing the break and are expected to be completed by 5 p.m., barring any complications,” she said.

Update at 3:45 p.m. — Via O’Brien at DES: “The water main has been repaired and water service is being restored to impacted customers. Crews are expected to complete road repairs by 7 p.m. this evening, barring any complications.”

Video courtesy Ron B.

by Katie Pyzyk October 3, 2017 at 3:55 pm 0

Stageplate Bistro in Ballston hasn’t always been open during normal business hours recently, but it’s not closing down. In fact, despite the limited service hours, the staff is preparing for the new restaurant’s upcoming grand opening.

A message on the front door at 900 N. Glebe Road, which is also posted on the restaurant’s website, thanks patrons who already have tried the restaurant during its recent soft opening. The grand opening is scheduled for Monday, October 16.

General Manager Mary Marchetti said the limited service has been to work out any snags, as this is the team’s first restaurant. She said customer feedback has been positive and staff has been able to incorporate customer suggestions in order to perfect operations.

“Just those little things, we were working it out,” Marchetti said. “We’ve had wonderful interactions with guests. I feel really good and really confident now that we’re going to be great.”

When an ARLnow reporter passed Stageplate Bistro during the typically busy dinner hours one day last week, customers trying to go in were met with locked doors. Upon reading the sign, though, several said they would come back for the grand opening and that they were just glad the locked doors didn’t mean the restaurant had met its demise so quickly.

The restaurant will serve its full menu at typical operating hours starting on Monday, October 16. It will open starting at lunchtime from Monday through Saturday, and for now it will be closed on Sundays, although brunch will be added in the future.

Marchetti says the Stageplate Bistro team is excited to be a part of the Arlington community. “We tried to talk with every single table [of customers] that came in,” she said. “Everyone was really interactive. The community has been so unbelievably great.”

by Katie Pyzyk October 2, 2017 at 2:45 pm 0

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

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

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

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

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

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

by Katie Pyzyk October 2, 2017 at 11:15 am 0

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

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

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

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

by ARLnow.com September 28, 2017 at 9:30 am 0

A malfunctioning elevator at the Ballston Metro station made for an unpleasant morning commute for a woman at the Ballston Metro station Thursday.

The woman was trapped inside the station’s elevator at ground level after the doors would not open.

The Arlington County Fire Department was called and firefighters used the “jaws of life,” a heavy-duty hydraulic tool, to pry open the elevator doors. The started passenger was then able to squeeze out of the gap between the doors, where she was evaluated by paramedics.

ACFD posted a video of the incident on its Twitter account.

by ARLnow.com September 21, 2017 at 9:15 am 0

A new Silver Diner restaurant will be opening in Ballston.

The 6,700-square-foot eatery will join Target and Enterprise Rent-A-Car as retail tenants in the currently under-construction 750 N. Glebe development. Set to open in 2020, 750 N. Glebe will be a 12-story building with nearly 500 apartments, across from Ballston Quarter mall.

The new Ballston location will be the 14th Silver Diner in the D.C. area. The company has an existing Arlington location at 3200 Wilson Blvd in the Clarendon area.

The Washington Business Journal reports that, at least for now, Silver Diner plans to operate both Arlington locations simultaneously. (It has a long-term lease in Clarendon.)

Current plans are to operate both Ballston and Clarendon, although [Silver Diner founder Bob] Giaimo has acknowledged in the past that site where the Clarendon Silver Diner sits at 3200 Wilson Blvd., would likely be the subject of redevelopment at some point, putting the diner’s future there in flux.

More about the lease signing from a Ballston Business Improvement District press release, after the jump.

(more…)

by Chris Teale September 19, 2017 at 3:45 pm 0

Efforts by residents to remove a requirement for a public courtyard behind their Ballston condo building was unanimously rejected on Saturday by the Arlington County Board.

Members of the Berkeley Condo Association (1000 N. Randolph Street) applied to remove the requirement for 24-hour public access to the courtyard, citing concerns about safety and public nuisances.

Peter Schulz, a staffer at the county’s Department of Community, Planning, Housing and Development, acknowledged that the easement for the courtyard — which also serves as a cut-through to the Ballston Metro station — had not been properly recorded by county staff. But county staff recommended against removing the easement, arguing that without it “there is no guarantee that the space will remain open to the public.”

The issue came to light after the association erected gates at entrances to the courtyard without a permit and someone complained about it to the county. A notice of violation was issued and then upheld by the Board of Zoning Appeals; the case is pending in Arlington County Circuit Court after the applicants sued to keep the gates.

Residents said there are problems with nuisance behavior like littering, public drunkenness, drug use and loud music playing in the courtyard, exacerbated by the presences of nearby bars like A-Town Bar & Grill, on the opposite side of Fairfax Drive. Residents said problems persist day and night, and are not confined to bar patrons.

“We’ve really had to put up with a great deal of noise,” said resident Charles Richter. “It’s sometimes at very uncomfortable hours, both from people who have had too much to drink in the evening, and in the day we’ve had several dog fights [and] people fights.”

“When people come out after an evening of drinking, they help themselves to our rear yard,” said William Lawson, the attorney for the condo association.

Police, however, did not report any significant issues associated with the space.

“Staff has only been able to find one (1) police report concerning the outdoor space in the past year,” said the staff report.

In letters to the County Board, both the Parks and Recreation Commission and members of the Ballston-Virginia Square Civic Association opposed closing off public access to the park.

While County Board members were sympathetic to the condo owners, and promised to look again at finding ways to improve public safety in the area, they said they could not get rid of the public space requirement.

“This was an easement granted to the people of Arlington County,” said Board member Libby Garvey. “We can’t just give it up willy-nilly because there were some mistakes made.”

Fellow Board member John Vihstadt said there were “dirty hands here all around.” Schulz, the county staffer, said with better coordination between plan reviewers on staff, such mistakes are unlikely to be repeated.

“It was an unfortunate case of too much silo-ing in county staff at the time,” he said.

Photos via county presentation

by Chris Teale September 14, 2017 at 3:45 pm 0

An Indian restaurant is set to be the latest to move into a Ballston space that has had several eateries come and go in recent years.

The restaurant, known as Urban Tandoor, hopes to be open at 801 N. Quincy Street on the ground floor of the Quincy Crossing office building around November, said owner Rajeev Mainali.

It will replace Republic Kitchen & Bar, which replaced the former Leek American Bistro, the replacement for Thai Terrace.

Mainali said there will be around 95 seats inside, with another 40 on an outdoor patio. He said it will have an “extensive” bar menu, while the food will mostly be Indian, with some subtle differences.

“It’s going to be mainly Indian food,” he said. “We have expanded the menu, and will be adding a lot of seafood and grill items. We put it as a tandoor. There’s going to be a little bit of a twist on the menu to cater to the young crowd.”

Mainali said he saw an opportunity to move in due to what he said is a dearth of ethnic food in the fast-growing neighborhood.

“They don’t have a lot of options for ethnic food in the Ballston area,” he said. “The area is growing so fast, we feel like it has been underserved as far as restaurants go. We feel like there are not enough good restaurants there. There are some, but not enough to serve the growing clientele there.”

by ARLnow.com September 7, 2017 at 4:45 pm 0

Online retail behemoth Amazon just announced that it is searching for a place to build a second headquarters, and Arlington officials say the county is tossing its hat in the ring.

Amazon is looking to build its “HQ2” in North America, in a metropolitan area with a population over 1 million and room to build up to 8 million square feet of transit-accessible office space in a pedestrian-friendly setting. The new headquarters is expected to come with $5 billion worth of investment and will create up to 50,000 jobs, with an average salary north of $100,000.

Other requirements include being within 30 miles of a population center and no more than 45 minutes away from an international airport.

Arlington, officials say, could fit the bill — and the county is planning to respond to Amazon’s request for proposals.

“Yes, we will be pursuing the opportunity,” said Arlington Economic Development spokeswoman Cara O’Donnell, adding that it is “too early to say which specific locations would be under consideration.”

One potential option is Arlington’s Crystal City neighborhood, which has a burgeoning tech scene and an existing plan to build up to 9.7 million square feet of office space, partially through the demolition of aging, vacant office buildings. It is also transit and highway accessible, within walking distance of Reagan National Airport and much of its office space is owned by one company.

Another option is Arlington’s millennial-heavy Rosslyn-Ballston corridor, along the Orange Line. Rosslyn recently scored Nestle’s U.S. headquarters and Ballston has been active in trying to attract tech companies and fill soon-to-be-vacated office space.

O’Donnell declined to say what Arlington’s pitch to Amazon will be, but the transit accessibility and skilled, young professional workforce is likely to be a selling point. Economic incentives and tax breaks from the county and the state will also undoubtedly be involved — Amazon has stated that will be a determining factor.

Competition for the new headquarters will be intense, as the winning jurisdiction will be instantly transformed into a formidable technology center. In the Washington region alone, D.C., Loudoun County and Prince George’s County have already indicated that they will also be pursuing Amazon.

File photo

by ARLnow.com August 31, 2017 at 2:30 pm 0

A young man and a boy were arrested in Ballston Wednesday afternoon and charged with stealing items from cars in the Cherrydale neighborhood.

Police say they were called to the intersection of N. Taylor Street and 18th Street N. in Cherrydale just after 4 p.m. for a report of a car break-in and theft that had just happened. Officers found five cars had been broken into and valuables stolen.

The suspects were then spotted fleeing towards Ballston.

“A responding officer witnessed three suspects matching the description fleeing towards the Metro and broadcast a lookout,” according to an Arlington County Police Department crime report.

“Officers responded to the Metro station and observed two of the suspects. Following a brief foot pursuit, one juvenile suspect was taken into custody by officers,” the crime report continued. “A second suspect was also taken into custody by officers. Nathan Outlaw, 19, of Washington, DC, was arrested and charged with three counts of Credit Card Theft. Additional charges are anticipated.”

File photo

by ARLnow.com August 31, 2017 at 9:10 am 0

Developer Lands Loan for Ballston Project — Saul Centers has secured a $157 million construction loan for its Rosenthal Mazda/750 N. Glebe project that will replace the former car dealership with nearly 500 apartments and a small-format Target store. [Washington Business Journal]

Carpool to Reopen… In Fair Lakes — The owners of the now-shuttered Carpool bar and restaurant in Ballston, which closed to make way for a new high-rise residential building, are working to open its successor in the Fair Lakes section of Fairfax County. The new bar is expected to open its doors in October. [Northern Virginia Magazine]

Civ Fed Wants Younger Crowd — A key goal of the Arlington Civic Federation’s new president is to attract participation from younger residents and to “leave [it] with a more youthful leadership team at the end of my presidency.” [InsideNova]

Dad Doodles on Daughter’s Lunch Bags — Every school day, Arlington dad Mike Jenkins makes lunch for his 16-year-old daughter and places it in a brown paper lunch bag which he fills with cartoon doodles. But Jenkins is not just any dad and his cartoons are not the work of an amateur: Jenkins is a political cartoonist turned freelance caricaturist and the doodles are whimsical works of art. [Washingtonian]

Flickr pool photo by Chris Guyton

by ARLnow.com August 30, 2017 at 2:30 pm 0

A man was slashed in the face by a knife-wielding suspect in Ballston this past Saturday night, police say.

The incident happened just before 6 p.m. on the 4000 block of 5th Road N. — a block that includes restaurants, a yoga studio, a towing lot and the rear of a Mercedes-Benz dealership.

Police say the victim suffered a non-life-threatening cut to the face and the suspect was taken into custody. The motive for the alleged crime is unclear.

“The suspect was consuming alcohol prior to the incident,” said Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “What preceded the incident remains under investigation.”

More from this week’s ACPD crime report:

MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 2017-08260207, 4000 block of 5th Road N. At approximately 5:58 p.m. on August 26, officers responded to a report of a stabbing. Upon arrival it was determined that a known suspect struck the victim in the face, causing a laceration. The victim was transported to Virginia Hospital Center with non-life threatening injuries. Jeffery Warren, 55, of Stafford, VA was arrested and charged with Malicious Wounding and held with no bond.

Also in the crime report, a man has been charged with aggravated sexual battery after allegedly “playing with children in an inappropriate way” in the Aurora Highlands neighborhood.

AGGRAVATED SEXUAL BATTERY, 2017-08230184, 2700 block of S. Fern Street. At approximately 3:20 p.m. on August 23, police responded to the report of a suspicious person. Upon arrival, police met with a female victim who observed the male suspect playing with children in an inappropriate way. During the course of the investigation, it was determined that the suspect touched two minor females in a sexual manner. Marlon Cardona-Orellana, 38, of Arlington, VA was arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated sexual battery.

The rest of this past week’s crime report highlights, including some that we’ve already reported, after the jump.

(more…)

by Chris Teale August 30, 2017 at 11:00 am 0

Ballston is prepared to cope with the imminent departure of the National Science Foundation, a major local employer, says Ballston Business Improvement District CEO Tina Leone.

The NSF is set to finish moving from Stafford Place on Wilson Blvd to Alexandria later this year, and began to move employees earlier this month.

But with a number of new construction projects ongoing in Ballston, and the upcoming opening of the renovated Ballston Quarter mall, Leone said the neighborhood is going to be just fine without a federal tenant and its more than 2,000 employees, even though she said it will add about 1 percent to Arlington’s office vacancy rate.

“This is our first real challenge, I believe,” she said. “Ballston has been very much growing and sustaining organically, it’s always been a place where people can live and work very easily. And now this is probably our first big challenge, I believe.”

Leone said the reason for her optimism lies in the major development projects underway, especially the redeveloping Ballston Common Mall, rebranded as Ballston Quarter.

Demolition of the mall to make way for a new apartment tower and retail space has been ongoing for just over a year, and Leone said once that project is done in 2018 it can anchor the rest of the neighborhood.

Leone also pointed to the likes of Marymount University’s “Newside” building, construction of new mixed-use developments at 750 N. Glebe Road and the former Carpool building, as well as developer Jamestown LP’s revamp of the NSF’s current home for new tenants, as other examples of the neighborhood’s continued growth.

Ballston will also be home to a revamped Central United Methodist Church that will include affordable housing, as well as several other new apartment buildings.

“The Ballston Quarter development has helped spur on these other developments,” Leone said. “Once developers knew that this project was a go, they said, ‘okay, now we can push the button on our projects too.’ Who doesn’t want to live next to a beautiful new open air retail, restaurants, 360,000 square feet of fun? That’s what really pulled the trigger on many of these other developments, for sure.”

(more…)

by ARLnow.com August 25, 2017 at 9:05 am 0

NSF Starting Its Move to Alexandria — “Moving day for the first group of National Science Foundation workers relocating from the agency’s Ballston headquarters to Alexandria starts this weekend, more than four years — and more than a bit of controversy — after selecting the site for its new home.” [Washington Business Journal]

TSA Moving to Springfield — The headquarters of the Transportation Security Administration will be moving from Pentagon City to Springfield, after the GSA awarded a new 15-year, $316 million lease. The move is expected to take place in 2020. [Washington Business Journal]

Construction Activity at DCA — Construction is underway at Reagan National for the airport’s $1 billion expansion project. [NBC Washington]

‘Doc’ Muse Dies — “Leonard ‘Doc’ Muse, who for 65 years – from the era of Jim Crow to the election of an African-American president – watched over the Nauck community from his perch behind the counter of the Green Valley Pharmacy, died the weekend of Aug. 19-20. He was 94 years old.” [InsideNova]

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