County Celebrates ART Maintenance Facility Opening — Arlington County officials drove a bus through the ribbons at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Arlington Transit Light Maintenance Facility near Crystal City. “The facility provides… fueling, maintenance and wash services for the entire ART fleet,” noted a press release. “Washing and fueling services for ART buses had been contracted from an adjacent Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) facility at a higher cost and with restricted hours.” [Arlington County]
Banned Books Week at Libraries — Arlington Public Library is marking Banned Books Week, which runs through Sept. 30, by encouraging readers to check out at least one “challenged” book this week. [Arlington Public Library]
Lamenting Construction Inconveniences — From “Our Man in Arlington” columnist Charlie Clark: “My East Falls Church neighbors and I are at nerves’ end about a seemingly perpetual construction project we drive or walk past daily. The county’s stormwater drainage system expansion has been underway for a year at N. 24th and Rockingham streets. It has necessitated countless automobile and pedestrian detours… Construction improves our shared living space and boosts the economy. But it’s tough on neighbors.” [Falls Church News-Press]
W-L HOF Noms — The Washington-Lee High School Athletic Hall of Fame is accepting nominations for new inductees through Nov. 1. [W-L Athletics]
Lost Puppy in Va. Square-Ballston Area — A local resident is searching for her puppy, named Faith, who got loose Sunday night and was “lost by Quincy Park running towards Washington Blvd.” The dog is described as “a very sweet, incredibly timid boxer mix. Her identifying markings are: light brown body, black/white muzzle, white dipped paws, and a large spot of missing hair on her right hind thigh.” [Facebook]
Legal Drama for Matchbox — Matchbox Food Group, which counts a large Matchbox restaurant in Pentagon City among its locations, is locked in a messy legal battle between two of its cofounders and two of its financiers: a bank and the bank’s CEO, who is also an investor in the company. [Washington Business Journal]
The Arlington County Fire Department helped out on a structure fire call at the SunTrust Bank in Seven Corners this morning.
ACFD sent units to the bank at 6300 Leesburg Pike around 11 a.m. to assist Fairfax County Fire & Rescue with the reported electrical fire. The bank is near Route 7’s intersection with Arlington Blvd and close to the Eden Center.
Firefighters arrived on scene and saw smoke at the back of the building. A small electrical panel caught fire, and crews determined it had not spread, according to Fairfax County authorities.
Firefighters ventilated the building to remove lingering smoke on two floors. No injuries were reported.
— Arlington Fire (@ArlingtonVaFD) September 21, 2017
Units on scene 6300 block of Leesburg Pike, with smoke showing from the rear of the building. pic.twitter.com/gIY9ASraCk
— Fairfax Fire/Rescue (@ffxfirerescue) September 21, 2017
Update 6300 block of Leesburg Pike: small fire in an electrical panel. Fire is out. Crews now checking for any extension. pic.twitter.com/JF7o6nrqLJ
— Fairfax Fire/Rescue (@ffxfirerescue) September 21, 2017
Update 6300 block of Leesburg Pike: No extension of fire. Some smoke conditions on two floors. Crews ventilating the building at this time. pic.twitter.com/lzAdLunSgs
— Fairfax Fire/Rescue (@ffxfirerescue) September 21, 2017
A branch of Capital One Bank on Lee Highway is set to close later this year.
Multiple readers reported receiving letters from the bank at 5222 Lee Highway — its intersection with N. George Mason Drive — telling them the branch will close on November 18.
And a teller at the bank confirmed the news on Tuesday, saying that with another branch at 4700 Lee Highway, the company made the decision to consolidate its services at that location.
“We have another branch right down the street, so it just doesn’t make sense to have two so close together,” the teller said.
The bank is across the street from a strip mall — the Garden City Shopping Center — and a couple of blocks from the Lee-Harrison Shopping Center. No word yet on what might replace the bank.
A company spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment.
According to initial reports, a Buckingham resident was robbed by an armed man after withdrawing cash from a bank along Columbia Pike.
A police spokeswoman said the robbery occurred inside a residence on N. Thomas Street in Buckingham. The suspect remains at large.
More from today’s ACPD crime report:
ARMED ROBBERY, 2017-06120175, 300 block of N. Thomas Street. At approximately 2:07 p.m. on June 12, officers responded to the report of an armed robbery. Upon arrival, the victim reported that an unknown male subject brandished a firearm and stole an undisclosed amount of cash from the victim. The suspect then fled the scene on foot. Responding units established a perimeter with negative results. The investigation is ongoing.
Buying your first car or home? Refinancing or retiring? Lafayette Federal Credit Union will be your financial partner for all of these milestones.
Since 1935, Lafayette Federal has been catering to families and businesses worldwide, offering a wide range of financial products and services that prove the difference between a community-oriented credit union and a traditional multi-branch bank.
“We are member-owned, not-for-profit and community minded,” said Marilyn Wagner, Vice President, Marketing for Lafayette Federal. “Every decision made, every new product and every service introduced is based on what is best for our community. Being a not-for-profit organization allows us to pass savings along to you, which in turn is good for your wallet.”
Those new to the credit union concept are welcome to talk to a Lafayette Federal representative at any time to discuss the benefits of membership. One major benefit is lower rates on residential mortgages, credit cards, and auto and boat loans. There are other advantages, as well as free cutting-edge mobile banking, free rewards credit cards and eight locations, including three in Northern Virginia.
For those living and working in Arlington, the road to achieving your financial goals begins with a visit to the new Crystal City branch, located on the ground floor of the 2231 Crystal Drive building.
The Crystal City location is a full-service branch and can assist members with all of Lafayette Federal’s products and services. The branch also has an ATM on-site and across the street.
The preceding post was sponsored by Lafayette Federal Credit Union and written by Buzz McClain.
The California Tortilla location in Crystal City location has closed.
The locally-based Mexican fast casual chain opened the location at 2450 Crystal Drive in 2012. It apparently closed this week.
A sign posted on the door reads: “California Tortilla is closing! We thank you for your patronage these past four years, and wish you the best of tacos in the years to come!”
An employee was removing the lettering with the restaurant’s hours from the door this afternoon.
Separately, the former Seattle’s Best Coffee location down the block is under construction. Permits displayed on the windows indicate that a Navy Federal Credit Union location will be moving in.
Hat tip to @34smiley
County Backtracks on Uber Story — Arlington County is in the early stages of considering a plan to replace low-ridership ART service with some sort of partnership with ridesharing services, like Uber. However, the county is backtracking on an official’s statement that the service would be subsidized. “A recent press account quoted a County staff person as saying, incorrectly, that we will be subsidizing this service,” said County Manager Mark Schwartz. “No such decision has been made at this preliminary stage of analysis.” [Arlington County]
Advisory Group: Change Name of Jeff Davis Highway — An advisory group appointed by the City of Alexandria has recommended changing the name of Jefferson Davis Highway. Alexandria’s “Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Confederate Memorials and Street Names” says the Confederate president’s name should be removed from Route 1 in the city. [Patch]
Ultimate Frisbee Vote — Arlington Public Schools is now the first school system in Virginia to make ultimate frisbee an official school sport. The Arlington School Board voted Thursday night to implement ultimate as a sport in middle and high schools, on an initial countywide budget of $90,000. [WTOP]
New ART Bus Route Launching Monday — The new ART 54 bus route will begin serving Dominion Hills, Madison Manor and East Falls Church on Monday. The new bus will run every 24 minutes on weekdays, during the morning and evening rush hours. [Arlington Transit]
Medicine Dispensing Exercise — Arlington residents are being encouraged to participate in the county health department’s mass medication dispensing exercise on Saturday. Volunteers are needed to form a crowd seeking medication (the county will be dispensing two types of candy during the exercise.) [ARLnow]
United Bank Purchasing Cardinal Bank — Two regional banks are coming together to form what may be the “most dominant community bank” in the D.C. area. United Bank, which has four Arlington branches, is purchasing Cardinal Bank, which has five Arlington branches. [Washington Business Journal]
Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick
The Bank of Georgetown branch at 2300 Wilson Blvd in Courthouse has closed permanently.
The branch closed Friday afternoon, as the $269 million acquisition of Bank of Georgetown by competitor United Bank was completed. It is being “consolidated” into the United Bank branch at 2930 Wilson Blvd in Clarendon.
The closed bank branch was located on the ground floor of the Navy League building, near the Five Guys burger restaurant.
Photo via Google Maps
District Taco Gets New Neighbor — The new District Taco in Rosslyn will soon have a new neighbor at 1500 Wilson Blvd. A Wells Fargo bank is “coming soon” to a next-door ground floor retail space. There is an existing Wells Fargo branch down the street at 1300 Wilson Blvd. A branch in Courthouse recently closed. A bank spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment. [Twitter]
Scaled-Down Long Bridge Aquatics Center Proposed — Arlington County Manager Mark Schwartz last night proposed a scaled-down version of the Long Bridge Park aquatics center. The original aquatics center design was shelved before it could be built due to construction estimates and an operating budget that were higher than expected. [InsideNova]
Congressional Delegation Writes to NPS Director — Arlington’s congressional delegation — Sen. Mark Warner, Sen. Tim Kaine and Rep. Don Beyer — has written to National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis, urging him to make sure NPS applies for a “FASTLANE” grant for reconstruction of the decaying Memorial Bridge, before the April 14 application deadline. However, the Park Service is said to be likely to miss the deadline. [Scribd, Washington Post]
Maker Economy Event in Crystal City — TechShop in Crystal City will be hosting a discussion of the “the maker economy and local manufacturing in the DMV region” next Wednesday, April 20. Early bird registration ends tomorrow. [LERCPA]
Beginning of the End for Metro’s 1000-Series — Metro retired the first of its aging 1000-series rail cars from service yesterday morning, calling it the “end of an era.” [YouTube]
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
Sometime between Saturday night and Sunday morning, someone entered the United Bank in Arlington’s Williamsburg neighborhood through a hole in the wall, but nothing was stolen.
Police are investigating the break-in, in the Williamsburg Shopping Center. Investigators say the suspect was able to gain entry to a room behind the bank’s ATM, but not the main lobby of the bank. The hole was in a wall in a walkway between the bank and a barber shop, we’re told.
Some cuts were found on the ATM, but no money was stolen.
It was business as usual at the bank as of Wednesday afternoon. No holes were visible in the wall, which appeared to be recently plastered over.
From the Arlington County Police Department’s crime report:
BURGLARY, 160214018, 6400 block of N. Williamsburg Boulevard. Between 5:20 p.m. on February 13 and 9:15 a.m. on February 14, an unknown subject(s) forced entry through a hole in the wall of United Bank. No money was stolen and no damage was made other than cuts made to the ATM. There is no suspect(s) description.
The incident happened just after noon Sunday at the PNC Bank at 2601 Clarendon Blvd.
Police say 27-year-old Uchenna Eze threw a rock at the bank “in an attempt to steal money.” He was arrested, charged with attempted burglary and held without bond.
Photo via Google Maps
First Day of Fall — Today marks the autumnal equinox and the first day of astronomical fall in the Northern Hemisphere. We’re losing about two-and-a-half minutes of daylight per day, as the sun rises later and sets earlier. [Capital Weather Gang]
Arlington Unveils New Mobile Visitors Center — Arlington County, which generates about $81 million per year in tourism-related tax revenue, has unveiled a new mobile visitor center. The “Stay Arlington” branded cargo van will provide visitor information and services, primarily from parking spots near five Arlington Metro stations, but also at large events like the Marine Corps Marathon. [Arlington County]
New Traffic System on I-66 Underwhelms — Drivers are scratching their heads, wondering what exactly VDOT is accomplishing with its new, $39 million Active Traffic Management system. The system went live last week. It “combines sensors, cameras, computers and signs to help drivers figure out what’s ahead between Route 29 in Gainesville and the D.C. line.” [Washington Post]
ACFCU Launches New Marketing Campaign — The Arlington Community Federal Credit Union, a nonprofit local financial provider and ARLnow.com advertiser, has launched a new website, NotABank.org as part of a new marketing campaign. “We are for people, not for profit,” the website says.
Pike Office Building Purchased — Bethesda-based Cascade Realty Partners has purchased the 30,000 square foot office building at 3401 Columbia Pike for $4.8 million. The office building is 75 percent leased to Bank of America. [Virginia Business]
(Updated at 10:45 a.m.) A car slammed into the side of an Arlington bank on Saturday.
The incident happened before noon at the BB&T Bank (1100 S. Walter Reed Drive) near Columbia Pike.
No one was injured when the car rammed the bank, nearly running through a set of double doors, according to the local firefighter association Twitter account. No structural damage to the building was reported.
The crash was “a classic case of mistaking the gas pedal for the brake,” said Arlington County police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. The vehicle struck a parked car before crashing into the bank’s ATM vestibule.
The driver was charged with reckless driving, according to Sternbeck.
— Chief 288 (@Chief288) March 14, 2015
Photos (top) via @IAFF2800
‘Pups and Pilsners’ Photo Contest — Want to sample some brews and make your pet famous? Head on over to Crystal City’s Pups and Pilsners event from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, snap a photo of your pooch and tweet it to us and our sponsors, @CCBID and @BeckysPetCare. Pups and Pilsners is a free dog-friendly event featuring a massive beer garden and food from local restaurants. [Crystal City BID]
Planners: Bank Shortchanges Courthouse — The office building slated to replace the Wendy’s in Courthouse will have a Wells Fargo bank prominently located on the ground floor, and Arlington planners don’t like it. County staff says the bank use is “not appropriate” and should be at least moved so that a more active retail use can occupy half of the plaza area. Developer Carr Properties says the bank must stay, since Wells Fargo owns the land under the existing bank that will be torn down for the project. [Washington Business Journal]
Vihstadt Out-Raises Howze — Incumbent, independent County Board candidate John Vihstadt is out-raising his Democratic opponent, Alan Howze. Vihstadt raised $31,367 in July and August, compared to $20,607 raised by Howze. Vihstadt recently reported $58,746 cash on hand while Howze reported $16,906. [Washington Post]
Fugazi to Release ‘Lost Album’ — Fugazi is planing to release a “lost album” of 11 songs recorded in 1988. The legendary local rockers recorded the songs on the album, First Demo, at Inner Ear Studio in Arlington. [Spin]
Road Closures for Clarendon Art Fest — Parts of Washington Blvd, Clarendon Blvd, and N. Highland Street will be closed Saturday and Sunday for the 2nd Annual Arlington Festival of the Arts. “Over 100 artists will showcase their works including glass, mixed media, paintings, jewelry, and pottery; providing all sorts of opportunities to appreciate — and purchase — art,” according to the festival’s website. [Arlington County, ArtFestival]
(Updated at 4:30 p.m.) A space that sat vacant for years near the Ballston Metro station is about to get a new tenant.
According to permits filed with the county, Bank of America plans to open a branch in the former Ruby Tuesday space. The new bank will occupy one of the first floor commercial spaces in the building at 901 N. Stuart Street, just feet away from an existing Presidential Bank.
A representative for Bank of America said it is relocating its branch at 3625 N. Fairfax Drive to the new space. Extensive construction has been underway at the new site for several weeks, and it is expected to open sometime in December.