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by Adrian Cruz — August 1, 2016 at 1:45 pm 0

(Updated at 3:45 p.m.) Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) held a special ceremony this morning announcing the construction of equipment that would allow for new high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes on I-66.

McAuliffe hosted the event at Washington-Lee High School — which overlooks the highway — and was joined by Va. Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne and Arlington County Board chair Libby Garvey.

“Since the beginning of our administration, we made it our top transportation priority to improve Virginia’s infrastructure and unclog the bottlenecks on our most congested highways,” McAuliffe said during the ceremony. “This initiative, coupled with Virginia’s new SMARTSCALE transportation prioritization process, will unlock Northern Virginia from the traffic congestion that was strangling this region’s economic potential.”

Workers will soon begin the $60 million project to install tolling equipment along the interstate from the Beltway to the Lee Highway exit in Rosslyn, according to a press release from McAuliffe’s office.

The new equipment will allow drivers to pay a toll of about $5-6 on average to bypass traffic during morning and afternoon rush hours, according to VDOT. Vehicles with two or more occupants, buses and motorcycles will be exempt from paying the toll.

Toll revenues will go toward funding alternative forms of transportation, McAuliffe said.

“The toll revenues will now fund travel options like ridesharing and enhanced commuter bus service, making those choices more attractive and much more user friendly so more people will leave their cars in the garage to get to work,” McAuliffe explained in his remarks. “We are committed to creating a carpool culture for I-66 travelers.”

Additionally, the Commonwealth Transportation Board will commit nearly $10 million toward projects such as improving commuter buses from Loudoun, Prince William County and Fairfax, local buses in Arlington and Fairfax, new carpool incentives and new bikeshare programs, according to McAuliffe’s office.

Along with the new tolling equipment, I-66 will also be partially widened. The plan calls for an extra lane to be built within the existing eastbound right-of-way from the Dulles Connector Road to the Fairfax Drive exit in Ballston.

The new HOT lanes are expected to open some time next summer.

by Jackie Friedman — July 27, 2016 at 10:55 am 0

No official opening date has been set yet, but construction and building permits are up outside the new Nando’s Peri-Peri restaurant in Ballston.

“We are getting close at Ballston,” said Jim Popkin, a representative for the company.

The restaurant is located at 4401 Wilson Blvd, the former home to Italian eatery Vapiano’s.

A Virginia ABC notice outside of the restaurant indicates that Nando’s is seeking to serve wine, beer and cocktails in a space with more than 150 seats.

The Portuguese-style chicken chain has an existing Arlington location in Pentagon City.

by ARLnow.com — July 26, 2016 at 3:45 pm 0

Update at 4:05 p.m. — The suspect has been taken into custody on the back porch of a home on the 1100 block of N. Taylor Street, according to scanner traffic.

Arlington County Police are searching for a suspect who took off on foot after a traffic stop in the Ballston area.

The car was stopped by police on Washington Blvd. The suspect ran off and officers gave chase, but they lost sight of him in the area of 9th Street N. and N. Stuart Street, near the Metro station.

Police are establishing a perimeter in order to try to find the suspect. Officers are also investigating the possibility that the car was stolen or, at minimum, was improperly registered.

by Andrew Ramonas — July 25, 2016 at 4:45 pm 0

Shady Grove Fertility location at 901 N. Stuart Street in Ballston (Photo via Shady Grove Fertility)

A new fertility center has arrived in Ballston.

Shady Grove Fertility has a location now open at 901 N. Stuart Street in the Ballston Metro Center Office Towers, the center announced last week. Dr. Anitha S. Nair, a reproductive endocrinologist who leads the Arlington office, will treat men and women fighting infertility.

With its Ballston clinic, Shady Grove Fertility currently has 19 full-service outposts in Virginia, D.C., Maryland and Pennsylvania.

“In response to the growing demand for Shady Grove Fertility services in Northern Virginia, we’ve located our newest office in Arlington, VA, within steps of the Metro to provide additional convenience for our patients,” Shady Grove Fertility’s medical director Eric A. Widra said in a statement. “With Dr. Nair being a longtime resident of the city, we’re excited to provide the Arlington community with the experience and success we’ve achieved throughout the region.”

Photo via Shady Grove Fertility

by ARLnow.com — July 18, 2016 at 8:30 am 0

Sunset over Four Mile Run in Shirlington

County Looking at Fire Station Alternatives — The Arlington County Board on Saturday approved an agreement with Arlington Public Schools that would allow it to build a temporary fire station on the grounds of the new H-B Woodlawn school in Rosslyn. However, in response to parent concerns the Board directed county staff to look into potential alternative locations. [InsideNova, Arlington County]

Couple: Snow Melter Fumes Contaminated Our House — A couple who lives near Bluemont Park says diesel fumes from a snow melter that the county was using about 40 yards from their home this past winter has contaminated the home. The county paid for the couple to live in a hotel while the snow melter was running, in the wake of January’s blizzard. Now the couple wants the county to pay for a thorough cleaning of the home. [Washington Post]

Henry Gate to Reopen — The Henry Gate along Route 50 at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall will reopen to military bicyclists and pedestrians on Aug. 1. Among other expected benefits, the gate is expected to serve military users of Uber and Lyft; the ride hailing services are not available on the base. [Mobility Lab]

Police Escort Ducklings Across Road — An ACPD officers and a couple of “alert citizens” helped a mother duck and her ducklings cross N. Stafford Street on Friday. [Twitter]

More on Clarendon Drug Bust — One of the regular meetups for the alleged Clarendon drug ring was Whitlow’s on Wilson, where two of the suspects worked. “It was shocking, disappointing and frustrating to hear that any of this activity took place around our business and the neighborhood,” said Whitlow’s manager Jon Williams, noting that most other Clarendon bars were also named as areas of drug activity. [NBC Washington]

Two Park Renovations Approved — The County Board unanimously approved $1.65 million in upgrades to Bluemont Park and High View Park over the weekend. [Arlington County]

Board Approves Changes to Ballston Building — Originally proposed as an office building, the last building in the Founder’s Square project in Ballston will instead be built as a mixed use building, with a mix of retail, office and apartments. [Arlington County]

by Adrian Cruz — July 14, 2016 at 4:45 pm 0

Following last year’s demolition of Marymount University’s “Blue Goose” building in Ballston, construction is underway on the building’s replacement, which now has a new name.

The mixed-use development at 1000 N. Glebe Road is now being called “Newside.” Two buildings are under construction on the site, a nine-story office building and a 12-story, 267-unit residential building.

The nine-story building will be owned by Marymount University, with the university using six floors as office and educational space. The top three floors will be leased out as office space.

Along with the two buildings, there will also be a 10,600 square foot public plaza and pedestrian passageway in between them.

The Shooshan Company, the project’s developer, is optimistic about its potential.

“You’ve got this unique blend of all these uses in one spot,” said Kevin Shooshan, the company’s director of leasing and marketing. “There is going to be constant foot traffic every day of the week,” between Marymount students and customers of the on-site retail. “It gives kind of a new life to the site which is why we view it as the new side of Ballston, the new side of Marymount University.”

Government contractors, high profile associations, IT and technology companies are among the potential tenants that Avison Young, the company in charge of leasing office and business space, imagines for the top three floors of the Marymount building.

According to Shooshan, the development’s convenient location just off I-66, between Tysons Corner and D.C., along with its potential for rooftop signage that can be seen from the highway, gives it an advantage in the marketplace.

“It is the only new construction space available in the Ballston market,” he said. “In an era when many tenants are looking to reduce things and right-size their space, doing so in new construction — it’s the only opportunity in the Ballston market and it’s coming within the next year.”

“We’ve also been seeing some good activity from some national retailers,” he added.

At the moment, the excavation and concrete portion of the underground parking garages are complete and work is currently being done of the second floors of the buildings.

Construction is expected to be completed for both buildings around the second quarter of 2017.

by ARLnow.com — July 12, 2016 at 8:30 am 0

Golden hour in Shirlington

Board to Consider Arts Grants — The Arlington County Board on Saturday is set to consider its latest round of annual grants to local arts organizations. Among the 18 organizations being allocated a portion of the $215,810 in financial support for the arts are the Arlington Arts Center ($20,547), Bowen McCauley Dance ($27,237), Encore Stage and Studio ($24,715) and Washington Shakespeare Company ($24,247). [Arlington County]

ACFD Says Thanks for Fire Staffing — The Arlington County Fire Department thanked residents yesterday for fully funding safe fire truck staffing levels and an additional peak-time medic unit with the county’s latest Fiscal Year 2017 budget. The new budget took effect July 1. [Twitter]

Landscapers Volunteer at Arlington National — A group of some 400 professional landscapers from around the country volunteered their time at Arlington National Cemetery on Monday to help spruce up the grounds. The annual event is organized by the National Association of Landscape Professionals. [WTOP]

Extended Construction Hours for Ballston Project — The County Board will consider a proposal by Marymount University and developer the Shooshan Company to temporarily extend the construction hours at the “Blue Goose” project in Ballston. The proposal would extend construction hours to 1:30 a.m. for eight weeks, to allow nighttime deliveries of construction materials that would otherwise require lane closures on Glebe Road and Fairfax Drive during the day. [InsideNova]

Lane Closures on GW Parkway — Expect single lane closures on the northbound GW Parkway, 2.5 miles north of Key Bridge, due to repair work on a stone wall along the Parkway. The closures will be in place from 8 p.m.-5 a.m. through Wednesday. [Patch]

by ARLnow.com — June 30, 2016 at 9:10 am 0

D.C. skyline view from the rooftop of the Bartlett in Pentagon City

Police Conduct Pedestrian Safety Detail — Arlington County Police conducted a pedestrian safety detail at the intersection of Washington Blvd and N. Utah Street, in Ballston, where a teen was struck by a car and seriously injured in April. In a tweet, a driver is shown receiving a ticket for failure to yield to a pedestrian. [Twitter]

Pure Barre Coming to Pentagon City? — Exercise studio Pure Barre is finalizing a lease on the ground floor of the new Bartlett apartment building in Pentagon City. That was revealed during an opening party for the Bartlett on the building’s rooftop (see photo, above) Wednesday night.

Photo Shows Big Changes in Pentagon City — As seen in an old black-and-white photo, 56 years ago Pentagon City was mostly empty fields on the outskirts of Crystal City and the Aurora Highlands neighborhood. Development has transformed it into a Metro-accessible hub for shopping, apartment living and offices. [Twitter]

Arlington Mom Gives Birth Live on Facebook — An Arlington mother gave birth to her son live via Facebook Live for the TLC show “A Baby Story Live.” [Patch]

Light Pole Snaps During Storm — Earlier this week, a light pole in the park along Lubber Run snapped during a storm. [Twitter]

by ARLnow.com — June 23, 2016 at 10:55 am 0

Composite sketch of sexual assault suspect (photo courtesy ACPD)Arlington County Police have released a composite sketch of a man who broke into a woman’s apartment and sexually assaulted her.

The crime happened early Sunday morning near Ballston and was first reported earlier this week.

Police are seeking the public’s help in identifying the suspect. They have released a composite sketch (left), in the hopes that it may lead to more tips.

From an ACPD press release:

The Arlington County Police Department’s Special Victim’s Unit is asking for the public’s assistance in identifying and locating a suspect involved in the sexual assault of a female victim which occurred at a residence in the 3900 block of 4th Street N. in the early morning hours of June 19, 2016.

At approximately 2:00 a.m., an unknown male subject unlawfully entered a female victim’s apartment and sexually assaulted her while using the threat of a weapon to hold her against her will. During the attack, the 28 year old female victim was able to lock herself in the bathroom and yell for help. The male suspect fled the scene on foot.

The suspect is described as a white Hispanic male, 25-35 years old with dark hair and a fair complexion. He was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt with dark pants. Following interviews with the victim and witnesses, a composite sketch of the suspect was developed.

Arlington County Police detectives are actively investigating this incident. Responding officers attempted a canine track in the area with negative results and officers canvassed the area speaking with possible witnesses. Officers will continue conducting extra checks in the area.

If anyone has information on the identity of this individual or details surrounding this incident, please contact Detective P. Pena of the Arlington County Police Department’s Special Victim’s Unit at 703.228.4183 or at [email protected] To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).

by Andrew Ramonas — June 20, 2016 at 4:55 pm 0

A 12-story, mixed-use development with a possible grocery store in Ballston received the Arlington County Board’s endorsement over the weekend.

The board Saturday unanimously approved a proposal by developer Saul Centers Inc. to construct the building on the former Rosenthal Mazda dealership site at 750 N. Glebe Road, which is three blocks from the Ballston Metro station. The dealership closed in April, in advance of the redevelopment.

In addition to a possible full-service supermarket, the almost three-acre property is set to have an Enterprise Rent-a-Car location and 491 apartments, 22 of which are slated to meet the county’s threshold for affordable housing. Saul Centers also is expected to earn LEED Gold and Energy Star certifications for the development.

“It will enhance the vibrancy of one of the County’s most successful urban villages, and offer residents easy access to transportation options, lively outdoor cafes, shopping and more,” County Board Chair Libby Garvey said in a statement after the vote.

But not everyone at the meeting was in support of the project.

Independent County Board candidate Audrey Clement and other locals at the meeting said they were worried about a major influx in traffic from a grocery store, among other concerns.

“The traffic generated by the grocery store will not only add to the hazard of walking in the vicinity, but will also add to the gridlock of traffic dumped by a newly constructed lane on I-66, just one block away at the intersection of Fairfax Drive and Glebe Road, which is in the works.”

Images via Arlington County

by ARLnow.com — June 20, 2016 at 3:35 pm 0

Police car (file photo)A man broke into a woman’s apartment near Ballston early Sunday morning and sexually assaulted her.

The crime happened on the 3900 block of 4th Street N., in the Ashton Heights neighborhood, according to a police press release. The Arlington County Police Department is asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspect.

From ACPD:

The Arlington County Police Department’s Special Victim’s Unit is asking for the public’s assistance in identifying and locating a suspect involved in the sexual assault of a female victim which occurred at a residence in the 3900 block of 4th Street N. in the early morning hours of June 19, 2016.

At approximately 2:00 a.m., an unknown male subject unlawfully entered a female victim’s apartment and sexually assaulted her while using the threat of a weapon to hold her against her will. During the attack, the 28 year old female victim was able to lock herself in the bathroom and yell for help. The male suspect fled the scene on foot. The suspect is described as a white Hispanic male, 25-35 years old with dark hair and a fair complexion. He was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt with dark pants.

Arlington County Police detectives are actively investigating this incident. Responding officers attempted a canine track in the area with negative results and officers canvassed the area speaking with possible witnesses. Officers will continue conducting extra checks in the area.

If anyone has information on the identity of this individual or details surrounding this incident, please contact Detective P. Pena of the Arlington County Police Department’s Special Victim’s Unit at 703.228.4183 or at [email protected] To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).

by Jackie Friedman — June 17, 2016 at 2:45 pm 0

A new Applebee’s restaurant has opened in Ballston.

The chain eatery opened its doors on Wednesday (June 15). It’s located at 900 N. Glebe Road, in the former Greene Turtle Sports Bar & Grille space. The Greene Turtle closed in April.

While some locals were skeptical of Applebee’s ability to find success in an urban neighborhood like Ballston, it was packed with customers around dinnertime Thursday, when ARLnow.com visited.

Applebee’s has an outdoor patio, over 200 seats indoors and a bar. Business hours are from 11 a.m.-11 p.m every day except on Saturdays, when it’s open 11 a.m.-10 p.m., according to the Applebee’s website.

by ARLnow.com — June 13, 2016 at 10:05 am 0

Outdoor concert in Shirlington

W-L Soccer Captures State Title — The Washington-Lee boys soccer team defeated First Colonial 3-1 on Saturday to win the school’s first Virginia 6A boys soccer state title. Despite an injury, Maycol Nunez led the team with two goals. [Washington Post, InsideNova]

Ceremony for W-L Grad Killed in WW2 — A special ceremony will be held today at Arlington National Cemetery to honor the memory of Merrill Walter Hoover, a star athlete at Washington-Lee High School who was killed while serving in the Coast Guard during World War II. Hoover’s body was never found following a ship collision in which he worked selflessly to save his shipmates. [Falls Church News-Press]

Arlington RAMMY Winners — Clarendon’s Northside Social and chef Jonah Kim of Yona in Ballston were big winners during last night’s RAMMY awards, picking up “Favorite Gathering Place of the Year” and “Rising Culinary Star of the Year” awards, respectively. The awards program for Washington’s restaurant industry also honored major Ballston restaurant operator Mike Isabella Concepts. [RAMW]

Worker Rescued in Crystal City — On Saturday, a worker whose lift platform became stuck 30 feet in the air in Crystal City was rescued by Arlington County firefighters. [Twitter]

Cousins Tweets W-L Senior’s Yearbook Quote — “Best of luck at VCU this fall!” Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins told Washington-Lee senior Joseph Langley, in a tweet, after Langley used Cousins’ famous “You like that?!” moment as his yearbook quote. [ESPN]

More on Applebee’s Ballston Plans — Applebees is opening in Ballston with a “new, urban-focused design.” Why Ballston? “There are lot of Millennials in the area, and it’s an area that has a lot of office buildings as well as residential,” a company spokesman said, as quoted in a 1,070 word magazine article about the restaurant’s Ballston plans. [Arlington Magazine]

CPRO Names New Executive Director — The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization has named its interim executive director, former Rosslyn BID honcho Cecilia Cassidy, as its permanent executive director. CPRO’s previous executive director, Takis Karantonis, resigned in January after five years on the job, and is currently working for County Board candidate Erik Gutshall’s campaign. [CPRO]

by Jackie Friedman — June 6, 2016 at 2:55 pm 0

Local wine and cheese retailer and restaurant Cheesetique opened its third location today in Ballston, at 800 N. Glebe Road.

“This is our biggest physical location, so I am very hopeful the model will work for us,” said store owner Jill Erber. The original location opened 12 years ago in Del Ray and the second location opened in Shirlington, at 4056 Campbell Avenue, five years ago.

The Ballston menu is identical to the other two locations. The cheese shop carries cheeses and charcuteries from all over the world, for retail sale or for dining in. Dine-in menu items include mac and cheese, grilled cheese, salads and hearty sandwiches.

“Everything on the menu is intended to feature the cheeses,” said Erber.

The wine and beer list is selected to pair with the cheeses. One unique feature about the new location is that there will be a full bar, which will be opening later this year.

For this week only, Cheesetique will only be serving lunch from 11-3 p.m. Next week, the restaurant will start its normal hours, serving lunch and dinner from 10 a.m.-11 p.m.

by Jackie Friedman — June 3, 2016 at 3:50 pm 0

Christian Dorsey, Libby Garvey and Paul Wiedefeld at a Metro press conference in East Falls Church

Nearly two weeks of continuous single tracking between East Falls Church and Ballston, on the Orange and Silver Metro lines, begins tomorrow (Saturday) morning.

Major travel disruptions are expected during Metro’s maintenance “surge,” dubbed “SafeTrack.” WMATA General Manager Paul Wiedefeld, along with Arlington County Board members Libby Garvey and Christian Dorsey, held a press conference this afternoon at the East Falls Church Metro Station to discuss preparations.

“We are going to make this work, it is a team effort,” said Garvey, touting Arlington’s plans to assist commuters and ease congestion. “We’re all working together.”

Metro riders can seek commuting alternatives such as carpooling or telecommuting. Free shuttle buses between Ballston and East Falls Church and Ballston and West Falls Church will be offered during the project. Additional Capital Bikeshare stations are being installed at the East Falls Church station in preparation for the work.

The single tracking will last for 13 days, ending on Thursday, June 16.

According to Wiedefeld, the worst impacts on the Orange and Silver lines will be west of Ballston. Orange Line trains will run only every 18 minutes between Vienna and Ballston, while Silver Line trains will run every 18 minutes. Additional trains will be placed in service east of Ballston.

The biggest effects will be felt during rush hour — riders are being told to expect “extreme crowding and delays” in each direction.

“Remember, the reason we are doing this is to make the system more reliable and safer,” said Wiedefeld.

The track work is just the first of numerous SafeTrack projects planned over the next year, many of which will impact Arlington riders.

Arlington County streamed a video of the press conference on Facebook, and yesterday released a video discussing SafeTrack (below).

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