Arlington, VA

The empty Red Cross building (4333 Arlington Blvd) in Buckingham will come down in a few weeks to make way for a new apartment building called The Cadence.

The building, developed by Wesley Housing Development Corporation, will have 97 units, all set aside for low- and moderate-income households. It is part of a complex that includes 19 nearly complete market-rate townhouses a stone’s throw away.

Local officials, project financiers and construction company representatives gathered for a socially distanced groundbreaking on Tuesday afternoon at the site in Buckingham. The event also commemorated renovations that will begin next year on the neighboring complexes, Whitefield Commons and Knightsbridge apartments, which Wesley also operates for low-income residents.

“The cadence that we set has changed tempo a few times, from where we were to where we are going, but we’re still moving ahead and at this point, we see no reason that we won’t stick the rest of the schedule going forward,” quipped Shelley Murphy, President and CEO of Wesley Housing.

Mark Weisner, the president of Bozzuto Construction Company, which is building The Cadence apartment building, said his company has “a lot of work to do in the next 24 months,” when the building is set to open its doors to renters.

Wesley’s presence in Northern Virginia continues to grow, as well as its staff. The nonprofit owns and operates 2,000 affordable housing units across the region, with about 690 units located in Arlington, including a mixed-income apartment building in Rosslyn that opened in 2017. The company also provides services and programs to residents.

Libby Garvey, the chair of the Arlington County Board, said this groundbreaking is an important milestone for the county, which — like every in-demand urban area — struggles to maintain affordable housing when wealthy families also desire to move in.

“Healthy communities provide work and housing opportunities for all levels of the social and economic spectrum,” Garvey said. “The pandemic has shown clearly how important housing is to everyone’s health.”

Murphy said the moderate-income units and market-rate townhouses in The Cadence make good on a promise that Wesley made to the community to bring more income diversity to Buckingham, which has a significant number of affordable housing units already.

“We want to make sure we are helping Arlington County build neighborhoods of opportunity,” she said.

Knightsbridge and Whitefield Commons provide “extremely deep affordability” for families with an average income of less than $20,000 and $30,000 a year, respectively, she said. The Cadence will cater to families of four who earn between $62,000 and $80,000 a year.

Wesley also promised to preserve the Whitefield Commons — which was built in 1943 and formerly known as the Windsor Apartments — and to encourage residents to seek transportation alternatives to cars. The developer faced some opposition from neighbors, who said Buckingham’s percentage of affordable housing units is much higher compared to other neighborhoods.

The project has received state and county funding, loans and tax credits. Additional funding comes from Wesley selling the land for the townhouses to Tysons-based home builder Madison Homes.

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(Updated at 1:15 p.m.) A teen girl was allegedly touched inappropriately by a man in the Buckingham neighborhood, near Ballston, late last night.

The incident happened just before midnight on N. Pershing Drive.

Initial reports suggested that the man might have attempted to abduct a 13-year-old girl, but a police spokeswoman tells ARLnow the crime is currently believed to be a sexual battery, not an abduction attempt.

The man reportedly fled in a vehicle after the incident.

More from today’s Arlington County Police Department crime report:

SEXUAL BATTERY, 2020-10040211, 4300 block of N. Pershing Drive. At approximately 11:56 p.m. on October 4, police were dispatched to the report of a sexual assault just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that the juvenile female victim was walking in the area when she observed the suspect following her. The suspect then approached the victim from behind and grabbed her buttocks. The victim pushed the suspect away and yelled for help, prompting the suspect to flee the scene. The suspect is described as a Hispanic male, 25 – 35 years old, approximately 5’0″ tall, chubby, with short black hair. He was wearing shorts and a dark blue shirt at the time of the incident. A silver Honda mini-van was observed by witnesses leaving the area immediately after the incident occurred. The investigation is ongoing.

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A man was stabbed early Sunday morning after leaving a restaurant in the Buckingham neighborhood.

The incident happened shortly after 2 a.m. on the 200 block of N. Glebe Road. Arlington County police say two men approached a man after he walked out of a restaurant and stabbed him with a knife.

Police rendered first aid to the victim, who was seriously injured but is expected to survive.

No motive was given and the suspects remain at large.

More from an ACPD crime report today:

MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 2020-08230040, 200 block of N. Glebe Road. At approximately 2:20 a.m. on August 23, police were dispatched to the report of a stabbing. Arriving officers located the victim suffering from a laceration and provided emergency medical care until the arrival of medics. The victim was then transported to an area hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries. The investigation determined that the victim had exited a restaurant and began walking in the area when he was approached from behind by two suspects, who produced a knife and stabbed him. The suspects fled on foot prior to police arrival. The Suspect One is described as a Hispanic male, wearing a white shirt with jeans. Suspect Two is described as a Hispanic male with brown hair, wearing a black shirt and jeans. The investigation is ongoing.

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Several vehicles were damaged Wednesday afternoon after a woman in a vehicle that was reported stolen twice tried to ram her way out of traffic stops, according to police.

The incident started shortly after 4 p.m. in the Buckingham neighborhood.

Police say the woman stole a car that was left idling and unattended, near the intersection of N. Henderson Road and N. Thomas Street, and was subsequently spotted driving north of N. Glebe Road near Route 50.

She refused to stop for officers, but was followed through Ballston by police in unmarked vehicles, as witnessed by an ARLnow reporter. Police tried to block her in on N. Monroe Street, near the Arlington Arts Center, but she reportedly hopped the curb and kept driving. The mirror of a parked vehicle, as well as the front of a police SUV, appear to have been damaged in the process.

An Arlington County Police Department crime report details what happened next.

“Officers briefly lost sight of the vehicle, but located it again when the suspect backed into a parking spot in the 3300 block of 2nd Street S.,” near Thomas Jefferson Middle School, according to the crime report. “The suspect refused to exit the vehicle and began to drive again, striking a cruiser blocking it into the spot.”

“Spike sticks were deployed as the driver attempted to flee again by reversing the vehicle onto the curb behind it,” the crime report continues. “Following multiple attempts to have the suspect exit the vehicle, officers forced entry and took her into custody without incident.”

“Latia Hill, 27, of No Fixed Address, was arrested and charged with Grand Larceny: Motor Vehicle Theft, Eluding Police and Reckless Driving, and held on no bond,” the crime report concludes. “During the course of the investigation, it was determined that the suspect also struck a parked vehicle in the area of Wilson Boulevard and N. Monroe Street.”

A Virginia State Police trooper assisted with the final traffic stop, according to scanner traffic. No injuries were reported.

Arlington County police recently warned residents of a wave of thefts of unattended vehicles, many of which are delivery vehicles.

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Narcotics may have claimed two more lives in Arlington over the weekend.

Police removed two bodies from an apartment along N. George Mason Drive in the Buckingham neighborhood Sunday night, a local resident told ARLnow. A police spokeswoman tells us that the preliminary death investigation pointed to drugs as a likely cause.

“At approximately 6:52 p.m. on August 2, police were dispatched to the 300 block of N. George Mason Drive for the report of a possible death,” said Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage.

“Upon arrival, an adult male and female were located deceased inside a residence,” Savage continued. “Based on the preliminary investigation, the deaths are being investigated as possible overdoses. Cause of death will be determined by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.”

Arlington has seen a resurgence in opioid overdoses and deaths this year, as the pandemic leaves people jobless and at home, exacerbating substance abuse issues. The surge threatens to reverse progress since the opioid crisis in Arlington peaked in 2017.

Two weeks ago, ACPD revealed that its officers had used life-saving Naloxone to reverse opioid overdoses nine times so far this year. Prior to the weekend’s deaths, the county had recorded 38 opioid overdoses and 10 deaths so far this year, compared to 42 overdoses and 6 deaths for all of 2019.

More from a police press release:

Since the start of the year, nine individuals have recovered from opioid overdoses following the deployment of Nasal Naloxone (also known as Narcan®) by responding officers. This comes as the number of police investigated incidents involving opioids begins to rise, with fatal incidents now surpassing those reported in 2019. The opioid crisis remains a significant issue facing our community. The Arlington County Police Department is sharing information and resources to promote awareness, prevention and action to ultimately save lives.

Addressing the Opioid Crisis in Arlington

Starting in 2016, the Arlington community began seeing a significant increase in the number of opioid overdoses and deaths reported in the County. To help individuals, families, parents and friends understand the risks associated with opioids and resources available to help with this growing crisis, Arlington developed the Arlington Addiction Recovery Initiative (AARI). AARI is a collaborative program comprised of stakeholders from across the county including treatment providers, first responders, the justice system, schools, the hospital, and non-profit organizations. The initiative takes a multi-faceted approach to addressing the opioid epidemic by focusing on prevention and education, addiction treatment, response and recovery and criminal investigation and enforcement. […]

Investigating Opioid-Related Incidents

Detectives from the police department’s Organized Crime Section assist with every opioid-related overdose and collaborate with detectives from the Homicide/Robbery Unit on fatal incidents to ensure a complete and thorough investigation. Prioritization has been placed on investigating cases involving heroin and opioids and identifying those that distribute dangerous controlled substances within our community. Whenever possible, overdose victims are referred to the DHS’ overdose outreach program for follow-up after an incident involving opioids. This referral system has led to an increase in the number of individuals seeking treatment for opioid use disorders through County programs.

Additional Resources

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, there are numerous treatment resources available in Arlington and through the Department of Human Services. Assistance is also available through Operation Safe Station, a designated safe environment where individuals wishing to seek help with their drug use can self-report and receive services, without fear of prosecution and incarceration. Community members are also encouraged to prevent medication misuse or overdose by safely disposing of unused, unwanted or expired prescription medication in one of Arlington’s four permanent drug take-back boxes or by requesting a free deactivation bag.

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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Morning Notes

Arlington Gets Federal Arts Grant — “Arlington Cultural Affairs will receive a $35,000 Art Works award from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)… [Arlington] will use the grant to support a multi-cultural artist residency project serving the Columbia Hills and Columbia Grove affordable housing communities.” [Arlington County]

Justin Trawick to Play ‘Secret’ Show — “We just got approval from Arlington County to present ‘Common Good on The Block’ benefiting the Arlington Food Assistance Center. Join ‘Justin Trawick and The Common Good’ for a secret street show with the full band on August 1st. This will be a socially distanced event and there are only 60 tickets available.” [Twitter]

Armed Robbery Near Ballston — “At approximately 11:45 p.m. on July 7, the victim was outside his residence when he was approached by two male suspects, one of whom was displaying a firearm. The suspects forced the victim back inside of his apartment, assaulted him, and demanded money. The victim was forced into the bathroom while the suspects ransacked the residence, then stole the victim’s vehicle, a 2005 Chevrolet Equinox with Virginia tags, and other items of value.” [Arlington County]

APS Superintendent to Hold Virtual Town Hall — “Dr. Durán will be hosting a community virtual Town Hall on Tuesday, July 14, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., to address the family selection process for choosing an instructional model for students. The Superintendent will address questions already received and take questions during the live event using Microsoft Teams or Facebook Live. The event will provide simultaneous interpretation in 5 languages (more details to come), including ASL, and closed captions in the streamed video.” [Arlington Public Schools]

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Two officers required medical attention after a pair of incidents in Arlington last week.

The first, early Thursday morning in Ballston, involved a 24-year-old suspect who was seen walking in the street. Brought to a local hospital for evaluation, the suspect then allegedly “struck an officer with a closed fist multiple times,” according to an Arlington County Police Department crime report.

The second incident, early Friday morning in Buckingham, involved a 39-year-old suspect accused of shoplifting, being drunk in public, and throwing liquid at arresting officers. The suspect later allegedly bit an officer while being transported from the hospital “for medical clearance,” per ACPD.

More from the crime report:

ASSAULT ON LAW ENFORCEMENT, 2020-06250035, Washington Boulevard at N. Glebe Road. At approximately 4:02 a.m. on June 25, police were dispatched to the report of a suspicious person acting aggressively to a passerby. Arriving officers made contact with the male subject, who was standing in the roadway and moved him to the sidewalk for his safety. The subject repeatedly attempted to walk back into the roadway as traffic was passing. He was transported to an area hospital for medical evaluation, where he allegedly began acting disorderly and struck an officer with a closed fist multiple times. With the assistance of additional officers, the suspect was placed into handcuffs. The officer sustained minor injuries requiring medical treatment. John Steele, 24, of No Fixed Address, was arrested and charged with Assault & Battery on Police.

ASSAULT ON LAW ENFORCEMENT, 2020-06260004, 200 block of N. Glebe Road. At approximately 12:13 a.m. on June 26, police were dispatched to the report of a larceny just occurred. A lookout was broadcast, and officers located an individual matching the suspect description nearby. While investigating, the suspect denied having stolen anything and began walking away. The officer attempted to stop the suspect, however, he became combative, allegedly threw liquid at the officers and fled on foot. The officer caught up to the suspect, and, with the assistance of additional arriving officers, he was taken into custody. The suspect was transported to an area hospital for medical clearance, where he continued to act disorderly. The suspect then refused to get into the transport vehicle and had to be lifted in by multiple officers, during which he bit an officer. Deandre Davis, 39, of Arlington, Va., was arrested and charged with Assault & Battery on Police (x2), Obstruction of Justice, Petit Larceny: Shoplifting and Drunk in Public. He was held on no bond.

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Morning Notes

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]

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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.

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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

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(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.

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