List of County Gov’t Changes — “With cases in the region, including Arlington, we are taking critical steps to slow down the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), as the health and safety of our employees and our community is our top priority. While we will be making changes to some programs and services, we will continue to operate essential government services for our residents and businesses.” [Arlington County]
Visits Cancelled at County Jail — “All Professional Visits will be non-contact for a minimum of 30 days. All Personal Visits will be cancelled for a minimum of 30 days. All programs will be cancelled for a minimum of 30 days.” [Arlington County]
Jury Trials Postponed — “As of March 15, the Circuit Court has postponed all jury trials & released witnesses from subpoenas through March 31. Other hearings & sentencing dockets are also postponed. See attached. Arraignments & bond motions will still be heard.” [Twitter]
Metro Reduces Service — “As of 2 p.m., Friday, March 13, Metro has further escalated its response to Phase 3 of its Pandemic Flu Plan. Phase 3 is the highest level of response and will include all subsequent mitigation steps required during the public health emergency… Monday-Friday: Trains will operate every 12 minutes on each line throughout the day. The rail system will maintain normal hours, opening at 5 a.m.” [WMATA]
Visitor Restrictions at Va. Hospital Center — “Effective March 12, we have implemented new visitation restrictions to protect the health and safety of our patients and staff from the spread of COVID-19.” [Instagram]
Restaurant Delivering Free Meals — “Between the empty grocery store shelves, scary headlines, and mass closures, it’s hard not to feel like the world is ending. Which is why Medium Rare owner Mark Bucher wanted to do something to make people’s lives a little easier. So yesterday, he posted a message on Twitter: If anyone over the age of 70 needed a meal, his restaurant would make sure they got one.” [Washingtonian]
Few Crowds at Pentagon City Mall — The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall was “almost dead” at noon on Saturday as most shoppers sayed away. Meanwhile, a reader took a video of people in full body suits in the Victoria’s Secret store; it’s unclear whether they were cleaning the store or otherwise. [Twitter, Twitter]
Crash on N. Glebe Road Saturday — A crash at N. Glebe Road and Pershing Drive sent a car careening into a lamp post, over a sidewalk and smashing into the parking lot of the Buckingham Center strip mall on Saturday. [Twitter]
A 28-year-old Fairfax woman has been arrested and charged with a stabbing over the weekend.
The incident happened around 4:20 p.m. Saturday, on the 4300 block of N. Pershing Drive in the Buckingham neighborhood.
Police say the suspect was engaged in a verbal argument with someone she knows when the dispute escalated to violence and the other person was stabbed multiple times. The victim was rushed to a local hospital with serious injuries.
Stephanie Batol was subsequently arrested and charged with Aggravated Malicious Wounding, a crime punishable by 20 years to life in prison.
More from an Arlington County Police crime report:
MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 2020-03070146, 4300 block of N. Pershing Drive. At approximately 4:18 p.m. on March 7, police were dispatched to the report of an assault with a weapon. Upon arrival, it was determined that a verbal dispute between known individuals escalated and the suspect allegedly stabbed the victim multiple times. Officers arriving on scene rendered aid to the victim, then located the suspect and took her into custody without incident. The victim was transported to an area hospital with serious injuries. Stephanie Batol, 28, of Fairfax, Va., was arrested and charged with Aggravated Malicious Wounding.
A man was stabbed multiple times and seriously injured Monday night in the Buckingham neighborhood, near Ballston.
The incident happened around 6:20 p.m. on the 4200 block of 2nd Road N. Police say a man and a woman were arguing in a residence when the woman “produced a knife and stabbed the victim multiple times.”
The 58-year-old suspect fled the scene but was later arrested by police. The victim is expected to survive.
More from an Arlington County Police crime report:
MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 2020-02030215, 4200 block of 2nd Road N. At approximately 6:20 p.m. on February 3, police were dispatched to the report of a stabbing. Upon arrival, an adult male victim suffering from multiple stab wounds was located. The victim was transported to an area hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries. The investigation determined that the victim and suspect became engaged in a verbal dispute inside a residence. During the dispute, the suspect produced a knife and stabbed the victim multiple times. The suspect fled the scene prior to police arrival. During the course of the investigation, officers developed a suspect description, located her and took her into custody without incident. Debbie Williams, 58, of Arlington, Va., was arrested and charged with Aggravated Malicious Wounding. She was held on no bond.
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
(Updated at 1:40 p.m.) Construction on a row of new townhomes is expected to start this spring in the Buckingham neighborhood.
Los Angeles-based Resmark Companies and Tysons-based Madison Homes is developing “an upscale enclave of 19 single-family townhomes” at 19 N. Trenton Street, a half block from Route 50.
“The project is fully entitled with construction on the first homes expected to start in spring of 2020,” the companies noted in a press release. “Designed in a traditional style, the four-level townhomes at Trenton Square will sit on a tree-lined street, just over three miles from Washington, DC.”
The townhomes will each be just over 2,000 square feet, with 3 bedrooms and 3.5 baths, as well as a two-car garage and a “walk-out terrace” on the fourth floor. Construction on the first nine homes is expected to wrap up by the end of the year, with the other 10 expected to be built by the summer of 2021.
Also in the press release, the developer touted proximity to Ballston and to Amazon’s HQ2.
“Positive economic and demographic trends in the greater D.C. region continue to drive demand for new for-sale housing in Northern Virginia,” said Resmark’s Stephen O’Neil, Vice President, Investments. “Trenton Square enjoys an exceptional infill location in Arlington and provides easy access to employers in the District and Tysons, and to future Amazon offices in National Landing,” he added. O’Neil also noted that future homeowners at Trenton Square will be a mile from the Ballston Metro and diverse shopping, dining and entertainment options at Ballston Quarter.
Andrew Rosenberger, Vice President of Madison Homes, stated that Trenton Square is anticipated to be one of the only townhome communities to be actively selling in Arlington County during 2020. “There is strong pent-up demand for new home communities in this coveted area. The Ballston submarket, along with other Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor submarkets, have experienced considerable economic growth in the last decade, yet the housing supply hasn’t kept pace. We’re thrilled to have Resmark as our partner on this project.”
The lack of new townhomes for sale in Arlington, referenced in the quote above, is notable as officials consider ways to add more “missing middle” housing in the county. Housing advocates have urged Arlington County to facilitate the production of more townhomes, duplexes and other small-scale forms of multi-family housing, to provide more affordable housing options that meet the needs of residents looking for something in-between apartments and traditional single-family detached homes.
The townhouses will be replacing a pair of aging, single-family homes. The project is part of the redevelopment of the adjacent Red Cross site, which will also build affordable apartments along the Arlington Blvd service road.
Arlington County Police are asking for the public’s help in a sexual assault case.
Police say a woman was grabbed from behind, pushed to the ground and sexually assaulted while walking up to her apartment around 11:30 p.m. last Wednesday. The incident happened on the 200 block of N. Piedmont Street, in the Buckingham neighborhood near Ballston.
More from an ACPD press release:
The Arlington County Police Department’s Special Victims Unit is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying a suspect involved in the sexual assault of a female victim in the Buckingham neighborhood.
At approximately 11:35 p.m. on November 27, police were dispatched to the report of a woman screaming and subsequently the report of a possible rape in the 200 block of North Piedmont Street. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim exited a vehicle and was returning to her residence when the unknown male suspect approached her from behind, grabbed her and pushed her against another vehicle. The suspect told the victim not to yell, then pushed her to the ground and sexually assaulted her. The victim began screaming, prompting the suspect to flee in a vehicle prior to police arrival. Responding officers established a perimeter and canvased the area with negative results.
The suspect is described as a dark-skinned Hispanic male, approximately 5’3″, with short, cropped dark hair, wearing dark pants. The vehicle, described as a white van, last seen heading South on North Piedmont Street.
This remains an active investigation. Anyone with information regarding the identity of this individual, details surrounding the incident, and/or home surveillance that may assist the investigation is asked to contact Detective J. McGrath of the Special Victim’s Unit at 703-228-4244 or [email protected] Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).
Map via Google Maps
Firefighters responded to a blaze on the second floor of a low-rise apartment building near Ballston Friday night.
The fire was first reported just before 10 p.m. on the 4100 block of Henderson Road, in the Buckingham neighborhood.
Arriving units found smoke coming from the second floor and worked quickly to bring the fire under control. Firefighters from Ft. Myer and Fairfax County assisted with the firefighting effort, ACFD said.
The fire is being investigated by the Arlington County Fire Marshal’s Office.
More via social media:
Fire is under control, crews still working to ventilate structure. Fire Marshal on location to begin investigation. Please stay clear of area while fire crews are picking up. https://t.co/tjUxDCQ6Uj
— Arlington Fire (@ArlingtonVaFD) October 12, 2019
FINAL UPDATE – Fire is under routine investigation. One occupant treated and released at the scene. Initial reports are that smoke detectors alerted occupants. #workingsmokedetectors #checkyourbatteries. https://t.co/9KHHZy5bTv pic.twitter.com/KbwiXha9Ue
— Arlington Fire (@ArlingtonVaFD) October 12, 2019
— Rocky (@asap_rocky__) October 12, 2019
Map via Google Maps
A string of vehicle break-ins in north Arlington is continuing, but this time a suspect might have been caught on camera.
Someone stole a cell phone from an unlocked car in a garage on the 4700 block of N. Carlin Springs Road late Thursday night or early Friday morning, according to Arlington County Police.
“Between 11:00 p.m. on September 12 and 3:10 a.m. on September 13, an unknown suspect entered an unlocked vehicle inside a garage and stole a cell phone,” ACPD said of the theft. “The investigation is ongoing and detectives will work to determine if this case is linked to any others reported in Arlington County.”
An anonymous resident in the same area as the break-in, a few blocks from Ballston, contacted ARLnow with video footage (above) of a man looking into a vehicle behind a house, taken that same night. Nothing appears to have been taken in the video, however, and police declined to confirm whether the person seen is a suspect in the theft.
ACPD was notified about the video, the resident said.
The video was taken with an Ring video camera. Arlington County Police are considering a public safety partnership with the Amazon-owned company, the Washington Business Journal reported last week, despite concerns nationally about the privacy implications of such partnerships.
On Ring’s Neighbors app, at least a half dozen car break-ins have been reported in and around Arlington over the past week — mostly involving unlocked vehicles. ACPD has been reminding residents to lock their cars and homes at night as part of a public safety initiative dubbed the “9 P.M. Routine.”
The annual Buckingham Festival returns this weekend, bringing food, dancing, and a road closure to Arlington.
The Arlington County Police Department announced today (Friday) that officers will a section of N. Pershing Drive between N. Glebe Road and N. Thomas Street from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. to block traffic from festival goers.
In the past, the street event has celebrated the heritage of the neighborhood’s Latino residents with food and folk dances — both of which are expected to return this year. In addition, children will be able to play games and enjoy a bounce house.
Falls Church-based Latin band Grupo Quimbao is also scheduled to perform live during the event.
Organizers noted in their bilingual event flyer that parking will available at Barrett Elementary School.
(Updated at 4:15 p.m.) It was poultry pandemonium at Popeyes on Pershing, the Pike and in Pentagon City today.
The fried chicken chain has been selling out of its wildly popular, critically acclaimed new chicken sandwiches nationwide, and Arlington is no exception — but one shining beacon of salty and fatty goodness in the county was still serving as of mid-afternoon today.
Spurred on by a social media war among Popeyes, Chick-fil-A and Wendy’s and lesser chicken sandwich purveyors, customers have been flocking to Popeyes restaurants and scarfing down every clucking sammy in the joint.
In Arlington today, we went searching for the coveted bread-chicken-pickles-and-mayo stack at three Popeyes locations in the county: at 4241 N. Pershing Drive in Buckingham, near Ballston; at 5007 Columbia Pike, near the Arlington Mill Community Center; and at the Pentagon City mall food court. (A fourth, right on the Arlington/Alexandria border at 4675 King Street, was left off our visit list.)
Arriving at the Pershing location around 1 p.m., the parking lot was full and a line wrapped around the interior of the restaurant. After finally advancing to the front of the line, a woman dressed in business attire and not the usual Popeyes uniform — was it the owner? — broke the news that the restaurant had sold out of the sandwich an hour earlier. She said a shipment on Friday is expected to restock their sandwich supply, and added in hushed tones that they may be restocked tonight (Wednesday) as well.
The story was even bleaker at the Popeyes on the Pike. Staff there said they’re out of the sandwiches, noted that many local Popeyes have been out for two days, and asserted they won’t be getting more until Friday at the earliest. One particularly spicy customer — the sandwiches come in classic and spicy varieties, it should be noted — said the viral online food fight is to blame.
“It’s crazy. I blame it on social media,” the customer said. “They [the Popeyes sandwiches] are good, but they’re not Chick-Fil-A good.”
Finally, at 3 p.m., the Popeyes at the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City food court beckoned. Taking stock of the origin of the chain’s name — it’s supposedly named after a detective in the 1971 film The French Connection, not the spinach-swallowing cartoon sailor — it dawned on our intrepid reporter that we, too, were conducting an investigation into a dealer of addictive substances. But since chicken sandwiches are decidedly more benign than heroin, he soldiered on.
From a distance, a long line could be seen. Upon further inspection, it started at the Popeyes and stretched well past the McDonald’s. Approaching the counter, employees could be seen preparing it — The Sandwich — the most buzzworthy fried chicken fast food concoction since the KFC Double Down.
Sure enough, the chicken sandwich was still being served to hungry shoppers and office workers, pulled to the Popeyes stall at the mall at 3 p.m. as if by some magnetic force.
“It’s really good,” said Sedaya Moore, halfway through her first Popeyes sandwich experience, before continuing to chow down with her dining companions. There was nothing else to say.
Vernon Miles contributed to this report
Local affordable housing non-profit Wesley Housing Development Corporation is staffing up as it prepares to take on more projects.
“We’re at about 100 employees in total,” said the nonprofit’s President Shelley Murphy. “This time last year we were about 80ish.”
Most of those employees have been added to the nonprofit’s property management team, which manages buildings throughout Northern Virginia. The rest of the new hires have been added to Wesley’s real estate department (around 10) and a housing stability team (3) that connects tenants with social services to help them stay housed.
One big project in Arlington that necessitated new hires was Wesley’s redevelopment of the Red Cross site at 4333 Arlington Boulevard in Buckingham. The planned mixed-income community, dubbed The Cadence, will feature 97 affordable apartments and 19 market-rate townhomes. Murphy expects to break ground on the project next year.
Recently, the nonprofit added a senior project manager and a senior construction manager to the Buckingham development, as well as a real estate development associate, per a press release earlier this month.
Previously, Wesley also developed a 12-story, mixed-rent rate Union on Queen building near Rosslyn.
Today, Murphy said Wesley owns 2,000 affordable housing units across the region, with about 690 units located in Arlington.
“By adding three new team members to the real estate development team, we will be well-equipped to continue addressing the affordable housing crisis in this region,” said Murphy in a statement.
While Wesley officials did not mention Amazon’s forthcoming HQ2 in Arlington as an impetus for its growth, the new headquarters is expected to exacerbate the county’s longstanding struggle to replenish its affordable housing stock.
Amazon announced last month that it would donate $3 million to local affordable housing and support services. Additionally, the tech and retail giant would match employee donations to local housing nonprofits — including Wesley — up to $5 million through the end of September.
When it comes to Amazon, Murphy acknowledged HQ2 speculation has raised property values and rents which could make her work more difficult. But overall, she said the company’s arrival portends good things for the county.
“The fact is that the 25,000 jobs that they’re adding over the course of 10 years are the same jobs that we lost with BRAC a few years ago,” she said, referring to the thousands of jobs Arlington lost due to Department of Defense restructuring that started in 2005.
In her opinion, the heated debates over Amazon’s potential to shrink Arlington’s affordable housing stock have been healthy for the community.
“All the sudden, our leadership is talking about it, they’re investing in it, there’s a regional conversation,” said Murphy, who commended the Arlington County Board for investing in housing projects and supporting a variety of affordable housing initiatives.
A man was robbed in a bathroom in the Buckingham neighborhood this past Sunday night.
Police say three men told the man he had left some belongings behind after leaving the bathroom of a local business, on N. Glebe Road just north of Route 50.
“When the victim reluctantly returned to the restroom, the suspects followed him, assaulted him and stole his personal belongings and an undisclosed amount of cash,” police said.
More from this week’s Arlington County Police Department crime report.
ROBBERY, 2019-04280253, Unit block of N. Glebe Road. At approximately 8:42 p.m. on April 28, police were dispatched to the report of a robbery by force. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim was inside a business and had exited the restroom when he was approached by three male suspects who engaged him in conversation. The suspects convinced the victim that he had dropped something when he was in the restroom. When the victim reluctantly returned to the restroom, the suspects followed him, assaulted him and stole his personal belongings and an undisclosed amount of cash. The suspects fled the business on foot prior to police arrival. Arriving officers canvased the area and a K9 track was initiated, and subsequently the victim’s belongings, with the exception of the cash, were located nearby. The victim suffered minor injuries. Suspect One is described as a black male, 18-25 years old, 5’11”-6’3″ tall, with a thin build, 150-180 lbs., with short, black hair, wearing a black shirt or hooded sweatshirt, and dark jeans. Suspect Two is described as a black male with short dreadlocks, 17-20 years old, 5’11”-6’0″ tall, with a thin build, approximately 150 lbs. and wearing a green hooded sweatshirt. Suspect Three is described as a black male, 17-20 years old, 5’11”-6’0″ tall, with a thin build, approximately 150 lbs. and wearing a red hooded sweatshirt.
The rest of the crime report is below.