Arlington, VA

JPMorgan Chase is continuing its Mid-Atlantic expansion with a new bank branch in Ballston.

A Chase Bank location is currently under construction at 850 N. Randolph Street, in the former Pizza Autentica space. Permits show the new branch will include a coffee bar, among other amenities.

In December, the New York-based banking giant opened its first Arlington branch in the former Walgreens building in Clarendon.  Another branch is in the works near the Rosslyn Metro station.

No word yet on when the Ballston location will open.

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A new JPMorgan Chase bank branch is coming to Rosslyn.

The bank filed for a building permit in April for a 1,688 square feet space at Rosslyn City Center (1700 N. Moore Street), according to Arlington Economic Development.

The building is in the middle of an overhaul by owner American Real Estate Partners, though one smaller than what was initially proposed. Interior alterations include changes to the first-floor lobby and building facade.

It’s unclear which space inside the building will house the bank. Inside Rosslyn City Center, there are more spaces empty than full, including two spots vacated by other banks — Bank of America and Presidential Bank. Presidential Bank moved nearby to a new space at 1515 Wilson Blvd.

JPMorgan Chase has been expanding in the D.C. area. It opened a location on Wilson Blvd in Clarendon in December.

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Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.

When Erik Neighbour’s sister gave birth to a baby boy a little over a year ago, like a lot of new uncles, he began to worry about the child’s future.

Around the same time, Neighbour said he read an article about the high number of Americans that would struggle to handle emergency expenses.

Guardian Savings, a new app to help teach children financial literacy, was born out of Neighbour’s desire to help give kids like his nephew a head start on lessons about banking.

“An emergency can happen any day due to something medical or a crash,” said Neighbour. “That was a really shocking statistic, and with my sister having just given birth, I started thinking about how I would teach my nephew about money so they don’t become one of those statistics about financial literacy.”

The group is still in its earliest phases, with a team of three working from home. Two are located in the Courthouse neighborhood, with the third in San Francisco.

Neighbour said the idea was to include behavioral incentives and rewards for good financial behavior that could change and evolve as the kids grew up and learned more about finances.

“Most of the time, financial literacy happens at home,” said Neighbour. “Schools teach theoretical concepts. I learned how to do algebra in high school, but I didn’t learn how to invest or do taxes. But most families aren’t necessarily the best equipped to teach kids, so it’s a never-ending cycle [of financial illiteracy].”

The development featured feedback from local teachers, which Neighbour said was critical in building the app’s interfaces and features.

Almost two weeks ago, the group launched a prototype of their app for elementary-aged children, with future modules planned for older ages. The app currently has around 20 users.

“We’ve been collecting a lot of really useful data points and feedback,” said Neighbour. “We’re looking to expand and improve the prototype for the full launch. It’s not an app like in the app store, so that’s the next step.”

The program is built using JavaScript React, a programming language popular for single-page apps that Neighbour said he hopes will make adapting the program for iOS and Android easier.

But while Neighbour’s team works on building the prototype, he also said the group is started to look at how to make the app financially sustainable. The long term vision is for the app to grow along with its users, so children who start with the basics in elementary school can learn more about investing and taxes and insurance as the children reach middle or high school.

If they can achieve that, Neighbour said he hopes to earn revenue from referring fees to larger financial institutions, like banks or credit card companies. But this is reliant on building a generation of users, which is still an optimistic vision several years in the future.

“In the short term, we’re considering a premium model where there are features families can pay for,” said Neighbour. “A feature like that would be offering a debit card where you can control what vendors it’s authorized for and spending limits, so you can give your kid a card when you’re not with them.”

Photos courtesy Guardian Savings

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Federal investigators now believe a serial bank robber dubbed the “Beltway Bank Bandit” was responsible for the attempted robbery of the Columbia Pike Capital One branch Monday.

The FBI’s Washington office is now offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the man’s capture, up from $5,000, and investigators believe he’s now been involved in 20 robberies across Virginia, Maryland and D.C. over the last year or so.

County police believe a man walked into the Capital One bank at 3532 Columbia Pike around 2:15 p.m. Monday, brandishing a gun and passing a teller a note demanding money. However, he fled the scene before he could get any cash.

Police released surveillance photos yesterday (Thursday) of the man wearing a mask and hard hat, which the FBI believes is consistent with the “Bank Bandit’s” previous robberies. Investigators say he’s passed a threatening note to tellers in each of his robberies, and has “worn different disguises such as a baseball cap, wig, gloves, hijab or hoodie to alter his appearance,” according to a news release.

The FBI believes the man has previously robbed banks in Alexandria, Falls Church and Centreville, but this is the first incident he’s been involved in Arlington.

Investigators describe him as a black man in 20s or 30s, standing between 5’7″ and 6’2″, weighing between 160 and 170 pounds.

The FBI is asking anyone with more information to call 202-278-2000 or submit a tip at tips.fbi.gov.

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Morning Notes

Good News for Ed Center Project — “It may not come with all the bells and whistles, but county school officials should be able to convert the Arlington Education Center building into classroom space without exceeding the $37 million budgeted for the project. Two estimates… came in slightly under budget to turn the former school-system headquarters into classroom space for 500 to 600 students.” [InsideNova]

Succession Question for Va.’s Leaders — Under fire for each of their own controversies, resignations by Virginia’s Democratic governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general could end up triggering a special election or even elevating a Republican state lawmaker into one of the top jobs. Meanwhile, the chaos in Richmond was the lead story on the national evening news this week — twice — and made the cover of this morning’s New York Post, with the headline “Virginia is for Losers.” [Politico, Twitter]

Amazon and Homelessness — “Along with the promise of 25,000 high-paying jobs will come more expensive housing, and possibly, more people priced out of homes, and some, falling through the cracks. Seattle, where Amazon is based, has a huge problem with homelessness. Will Seattle’s problems become ours?” [WUSA 9]

Possible Presidential Candidate Lives in Arlington — Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), who is considering a run for president, reportedly rents a three-bedroom home in Arlington with her husband, for their time in the D.C. area. The current rent is estimated at $4,500 per month. [Heavy]

Merger of Banks with Local Branches — “BB&T will buy SunTrust Banks for about $28 billion in an all-stock deal, the companies said on Thursday, creating the sixth largest U.S. lender in the biggest bank deal since the 2007-2009 financial crisis.” [CNBC]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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The Capital One bank branch along Columbia Pike now plans to shut its doors this spring.

The bank started notifying customers last week that the branch, located at 3532 Columbia Pike, will shut down on May 9, according to company spokeswoman Amanda Landers.

She told ARLnow that “there will be no changes to our customers’ accounts or their account numbers” associated with the branch’s closure.

“As always, customers can visit any Capital One branch and receive the same level of account access and high-quality service they’ve come to expect,” Landers wrote in an email. “We’re working hard to make this transition as smooth as possible. We also encourage our customers to give us a call or stop by the branch to ask us any questions before it closes, so that we could show them the available options to bank at any time with Capital One with tools such as online/mobile banking and bill pay.”

The bank branch has previously been in the news for twice being robbed in recent years, including one incident that attracted the FBI’s attention.

Capital One last closed another one of its Arlington branches along Lee Highway in September 2017.

The company still operates branches in Rosslyn, Ballston, Crystal City and another along Lee Highway.

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Arlington’s first Chase Bank branch is set to open in Clarendon next week.

Signs posted on the storefront at 2825 Wilson Blvd say that the new bank will open up this coming Tuesday (Dec. 18).

JPMorgan Chase has been hard at work at converting the former Walgreens Pharmacy into a new branch since earning construction permits late this summer. The building has sat empty since Walgreens closed last February.

The bank bought the space, designated by the county as a historic building, for $25 million back in January. That historic protection means that the county prohibited the bank from doing any work on the building’s exterior, but interior renovations were permitted.

The new Clarendon location is one of four new branches the bank is opening around the D.C. region in the coming months.

JPMorgan Chase kicked off a new round of expansion earlier this year, adding two new branches in D.C. and one in Bethesda alongside others in Boston and Philadelphia.

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SunTrust Bank will close its branch in the Safeway at 3713 Lee Hwy on Feb. 5 — its second branch closure in Arlington on that day.

The bank told clients earlier in November that their accounts will be transferred to the Lee-Old Dominion branch at 4710 Lee Highway, unless clients specify a different location, Hugh Suhr, a spokesman for SunTrust, told ARLnow.

The branch at 249 N. Glebe Road is also set to close on that day.

Clients’ accounts at the branch on Glebe Road will be transferred to either the Arlington Gateway branch at 901 N. Glebe Road or the South Arlington branch at 3108 Columbia Pike, unless clients indicate a different location, Suhr said.

In May, SunTrust, which is based in Atlanta, was hit with a massive data breach that compromised 1.5 million customer accounts.

Photo via Google Maps

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A new Wells Fargo bank is set to open soon in Courthouse.

Signs posted at a space at the base of an office building at 2319 Wilson Blvd advertise that the new branch is “coming soon.”

The location would be the bank’s ninth branch in Arlington, and second in Courthouse alone. Wells Fargo operates a branch just up the road from the new space, just near the county government center at 2200 Clarendon Blvd.

The lot at 2319 Wilson Blvd was once home to a variety of smaller businesses, including the hookah lounge and bar Adam’s Corner, but those were replaced by an eight-story office building.

The retail space in the base of the building has largely sat empty since then, but The Merit School is also planning to open a new daycare center in the building in the coming months.

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SunTrust Bank will close its branch at 249 N. Glebe Road on Feb. 5.

“The decision to close a branch is made after careful study and analysis,” Hugh Suhr, a spokesman for SunTrust, told ARLnow, adding that market growth, real estate arrangements and transaction volumes are some of the factors considered.

The bank began notifying clients last week, and their accounts will be transferred to either the Arlington Gateway branch at 901 N. Glebe Road or the South Arlington branch at 3108 Columbia Pike, unless clients specify a different location, Suhr said.

“SunTrust, like all banking companies, must constantly refine its branch network to meet the changing needs and transaction patterns of clients, as well as taking into account their increasing usage of newer delivery channels such as internet banking and mobile banking,” Suhr said.

In May, SunTrust, which is based in Atlanta, was hit with a massive data breach that compromised 1.5 million customer accounts.

A Subway sandwich shop next door at 243 N. Glebe Road closed earlier this year. The owner decided to shut it down in April in order to focus on another Subway location nearby that is still open, a spokesperson for the restaurant told ARLnow.

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Navy Federal Credit Union has now opened its fourth branch in Arlington.

The bank held a grand opening for the new branch, located at 6402 Williamsburg Blvd, on Monday.

The new location is situated in the Williamsburg Shopping Center, near the intersection of N. Sycamore Street and Williamsburg Blvd., which is also home to a CVS and newly rebranded frozen yogurt shop.

Navy Federal primarily caters to active-duty service members, veterans and their families. Other locations around Arlington include one on the grounds of the Pentagon itself, one in Ballston and one in Crystal City.

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