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One Dollar Wasn’t Enough for Blond, Backpack-Wearing Bandit

Arlington County police car(Updated at 4:05 p.m.) A slim man with blond hair and a red backpack stole another man’s wallet in the Columbia Heights West neighborhood last Friday, according to police.

The incident happened around 10:30 p.m. on the 5200 block of 8th Road S. Police say the man approached the victim and demanded money — but he apparently did not specify how much.

“The victim gave the suspect one dollar and the suspect asked for more,” according to the daily Arlington County crime report. “As the victim was opening his wallet to give the suspect more money, the suspect snatched the wallet and fled the scene.”

“The suspect was described as a white male, approximately 5’7″, slim build with blonde hair wearing a white shirt, grey shorts and a red backpack,” the crime report continued. “The investigation remains ongoing at this time.”

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Crime Report: Grocery Store Robbery Foiled

Police car lightsA 19-year-old McLean man was arrested Tuesday after a daytime robbery attempt at a grocery store.

The incident happened just after noon, at the Safeway on the 3700 block of Lee Highway. Police say a man implied that he had a weapon and demanded cash. The store’s manager was able to subdue the suspect and hold him until police arrived.

From this week’s Arlington County crime report:

ROBBERY, 150217009, 3700 block of Lee Highway. On February 17 at 12:03 pm, a male suspect entered the Safeway and attempted to rob the store demanding money and assaulting the store manager and implied he had a weapon. The manager was able to detain the suspect until police arrived. Enkhamar Tserenorj, 19, of McLean, VA, was arrested and charged with robbery and assault & battery. He was held without bond.

Last Friday, just before Valentine’s Day, a man allegedly used a master key and bolt cutters to break into his ex-wife’s apartment in the Columbia Heights West community.

Once inside, police say the man assaulted the woman and her boyfriend.

BURGLARY/ASSAULT, 150214003, 700 block of S. Florida Street. At 11:53 pm on February 13, a male subject gained entry to his ex-wife’s apartment by using a master key and bolt cutters. The suspect forced his way into the bedroom and physically assaulted the 44 year-old female victim and her boyfriend. The suspect fled and was located by police at a relative’s house. Gonzalo Cruz, 45, of Arlington, VA, was arrested and charged with burglary, possession of burglarious tools, destruction of property and assault. He was held without bond.

The rest of this week’s crime report, after the jump. All named suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty.

ARMED ROBBERY, 150213013, 2600 block of Jefferson Davis Highway. At 4:35 am, two unknown males entered and held employees at gunpoint during a robbery. The suspects fled with an undisclosed amount of cash. Suspect one is described as a black male in his twenties, approximately 5’3″ tall and 125 lbs. He was wearing a black mask, ripped jeans and construction boots. Suspect two is described as a black male in his twenties, approximately 5’8″ tall and 190 lbs. He was wearing a black mask, dark jeans and a black Northface coat.

ARMED ROBBERY, 150217003, 2700 block of Washington Boulevard. On February 17 at 2:13 am, a suspect entered the 7-11 and held a knife to the throat of the clerk while demanding money. The clerk was released after receiving the money and cigarettes. The suspect then pointed a gun at a delivery truck driver and demanded his wallet. He attempted to take the delivery truck but abandoned it after he was unable to release the air brake. The suspect fled the scene and was later captured by police. Antonius Sallis, 34, of no fixed address, was arrested and charged with armed robbery, malicious wounding, abduction, carjacking and felony possession of a firearm. He was held without bond.

BURGLARY, 150217029, 1200 block of S. Courthouse Road. Between 8 am on February 13 and 7 pm on February 16, an unknown subject(s) entered a residence and stole items to include a guitar and cash. There is no suspect(s) description.

BURGLARY, 150216011, 1900 block of Columbia Pike. At 8 am on February 16, a male subject forced entry into the residence of his ex-girlfriend and damaged her furniture and electronics. The suspect also slashed the tires of her vehicle. Wendell Adams, 39, of Washington, DC, was arrested and charged with burglary and destruction of property. He was held without bond.

BURGLARY, 150213031, 4600 block of S. 34th Street. Between 8:30 pm on February 11 and 3:32 pm on February 13, an unknown subject(s) forced entry into a residence and stole numerous electronic items. There is no suspect(s) description.

BURGLARY, 150211075, 4200 block of S. Four Mile Run Drive. Between 2:50 and 7:45 pm on February 8, an unknown subject(s) entered an apartment and stole a cell phone and Galaxy tablet. There is no suspect(s) description.

STOLEN VEHICLES

02/12/15, VA JESEME, 2010 Honda Accord, Red
2400 block of S. Queen Street

02/13/15, NY FCR1800, 2014 Ford Expedition, White
3200 block of N. 10th Street

02/17/15, NV 008343, 2001 Suzuki GSXR, Blue
2000 block of S. Eads Street

02/11/15
DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY, 150211012, 3300 block of S. 2nd Street
LATE LARCENY, 150211013, 1500 block of N. Lincoln Street
ATTEMPTED LARCENY BY FALSE PRETENSES, 150211020, 1700 block of S. Crystal Drive
ATTEMPTED LARCENY BY FALSE PRETENSES, 150211022, 2700 block of N. Clarendon Boulevard
ASSAULT & BATTERY, 150211038, 5600 block of N. Lee Highway
HARASSMENT, 150211039, 1100 block of N. Arlington Boulevard

02/12/15
FRAUD, 150212015, 4600 block N. Washington Boulevard
BREAKING & ENTERING, 150212021, 2400 block of S. Lowell Street
LARCENY FROM AUTO, 150212027, 1000 block of S. Frederick Street
GRAND LARCENY, 150212028, 1100 block of S. Hayes Street
GRAFFITI, 150212033, 2700 block of S. Troy Street
IDENTITY THEFT, 150212043, 1300 block of S. 19th Road
GRAND LARCENY, 150212044, 700 block of N. Glebe Road

02/13/15
ASSAULT AND BATTERY, 150213005, 2800 block of Wilson Boulevard
IDENTITY THEFT, 150213010, 1600 block of Clarendon Boulevard
DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY, 150213014, 1300 block of N. 17th Street
LARCENY FROM AUTO, 150213015, 5100 block of S. 8TH Street
GRAND LARCENY, 150213020, 1100 block of S. Hayes Street
GRAND LARCENY, 150213028, 800 block of N. Abingdon Street
CREDIT CARD THEFT, 150213029, 200 block of S. 18TH Street
LARCENY, 150213032, 2700 block of Key Boulevard
GRAND LARCENY BY FALSE PRETENSES, 150213039, 2700 block of Clarendon Boulevard
ASSAULT AND BATTERY, 150213040, 1700 block of Arlington Boulevard
FRAUD, 150213041, 1100 block of S. Hayes Street
ASSAULT AND BATTERY, 150213050, 3200 block of S. 25th Street
ASSAULT ON POLICE/RESISTING ARREST/TAMPERING, 150213053, 2400 block of S. Lowell Street

02/14/15
ASSAULT AND BATTERY, 150214007, 1300 block of N. Veitch Street
ASSAULT AND BATTERY, 150214008, 3100 block of Clarendon Boulevard
ASSAULT AND BATTERY, 150214010, 2000 block of Clarendon Boulevard
EMBEZZLEMENT, 150214019, 1100 block of S. Hayes Street
GRAND LARCENY, 150214023, 1100 block of S. Hayes Street
GRAFFITI, 150214027, 5000 block of Columbia Pike
FORGERY/UTTERING/ID THEFT TO AVOID ARREST/RESISTING ARREST, 150214028, 1900 block of Lee Highway

02/15/15
LARCENY FROM AUTO, 150215017, 1500 block of N. 12th Street
GRAND LARCENY, 150215021, 1100 block of S. Hayes Street

02/16/15
DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY, 150216003, 1900 block of Columbia Pike
LARCENY FROM AUTO, 150216006, 2000 block of N. Woodrow Street
ASSAULT AND BATTERY, 150216007, 1600 block of S. Glebe Road
GRAND LARCENY, 150216016, 3000 block of Wilson Boulevard
LARCENY FROM AUTO/DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY, 150216017, 2100 block of N. Westmoreland Street
ASSAULT AND BATTERY, 150216019, 1100 block of N. Glebe Road
DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY, 150216021, 1900 block of Columbia Pike
GRAND LARCENY, 150216023, 1200 block of S. Hayes Street
PETIT LARCENY, 150216027, 200 block of N. Glebe Road

02/17/15
DISPUTE, 150217012, 4500 block of S. 31st Street
EMBEZZLEMENT, 150217014, 1100 block of S. Hayes Street
PETIT LARCENY, 150217022, 1100 block of S. Hayes Street
GRAND LARCENY, 150217026, 1400 block of S. Hayes Street
ASSAULT AND BATTERY, 150217024, 2500 block of S. Adams Street
PETIT LARCENY, 150217027, 1100 block of S. Hayes Street
LARCENY, 150217028, 1100 block of S. Hayes Street
PETIT LARCENY, 150217032, 1100 block of S. Hayes Street
GRAND LARCENY, 150217038, 2100 block of N. 15th Street

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New Farmers Market Planned for Arlington Mill

Arlington Mill Community Center pre-opening Flickr photo(Updated at 2:10 p.m.) The western portion of Columbia Pike in Arlington is likely going to be home to the county’s newest farmers market.

The Arlington County Board is expected to approve a proposal to create an open air market in the plaza of the Arlington Mill Community Center (909 S. Dinwiddie Street) at its meeting this Saturday.

The market, if approved, would take place from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Wednesdays and be run by the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization. The Arlington Mill plaza, in the middle of its first summer since the community center opened last fall, is already hosting half of CPRO’s outdoor summer movies, including showing several Spanish-language films.

CPRO already operates one farmers market on the east end of the Pike, next to the Rite Aid parking lot (2820 Columbia Pike), but CPRO Executive Director Takis Karantonis has spoken about expanding the use of public spaces all along the Pike to engage the community.

“We try to think of how to activate as much public space as possible,” Karantonis told ARLnow.com last month. “We want to do many small events that strengthen the idea of Columbia Pike as one corridor.”

Karantonis said the market will focus on “fresh vegetables and produce” and will start small. If approved as expected, Karantonis expects the first market to be held on July 30.

“The western end of the Pike has had less than favored access to fresh food and choices in general,” he said. “We want to remediate that. We want to have a farmer’s market that caters to a large population that needs more affordable choices, so we will try our best to make it as affordable as possible.”

The proposal is on the County Board’s consent agenda, meaning it will be approved without discussion unless a Board member has an issue. CPRO anticipates seven or eight vendors per week this summer, but applied for permission for up to 10 vendor tents. The land is owned by Arlington County, so the Board must also approving licensing it to CPRO for use during the market.

The market is proposed to operate until the end of November during its first year, and to operate year-round after that. The Board is voting on a one-year open-air permit, with the option to review and renew after the year is over.

File photo

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Board Approves Loan for Pike Apartment Purchase

Serrano apartments on Columbia PikeThe Arlington County Board approved a $16.5 million loan to affordable housing developer AHC on Saturday to purchase a Columbia Pike apartment building.

The loan, which comes from the county’s dedicated Affordable Housing Investment Fund, will allow AHC to purchase the Serrano Apartments at 5535 Columbia Pike, which are currently owned by Carmel Partners.

The apartment building, in the Columbia Heights West neighborhood, has 280 units, 239 of which are currently considered affordable. The loan allows AHC to purchase the building and keep 196 units in the building as dedicated affordable housing for the next 60 years. The remainder will be offered at a market rate.

AHC will also purchase the 39,500 square feet of vacant land fronting the Pike, which Carmel has an application to subdivide, according to the county’s press release. That land could be developed into a complex with about 80 apartment units, according to the Columbia Pike Form Based Code.

“The County Board has committed to preserving affordable housing along Columbia Pike,” County Board Chair Jay Fisette said in the press release. “This loan to AHC is in keeping with our commitment. These units now will remain affordable for generations of Arlingtonians — and help preserve the Pike’s rich diversity as it is redeveloped into a more transit-oriented, walkable ‘Main Street.'”

Current tenants will not be displaced with the ownership change, the county said. The purchase follows through on the Columbia Pike Neighborhoods Area Plan, which calls for keeping 6,200 of the current affordable market-rate apartments affordable as the Pike develops and creating 400 new units affordable to families at 80 percent of the area median income on the western portion of the Pike.

Photo via Bozzuto

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Forest Glen Residents Fight for Permit Parking

Cars parked along 7th Street S. in Forest GlenForest Glen, an 84-home civic association between Glencarlyn and Columbia Heights West, is preparing to submit a request to the county to establish a permit parking zone in their neighborhood.

The neighborhood, one of the smallest in the county, spans from Glencarlyn Park to 7th Road S. and Tyriol Hill Park. The Forest Glen Civic Association has grown increasingly concerned over non-residents — specifically, residents of apartment buildings in neighboring communities — taking up available street parking they feel should be reserved for only neighborhood residents.

“Residents even drive a car from the apartment complex, park it on our street, and get into a different car already parked on our street,” Shawn Brown, a Forest Glen resident, wrote in an email to ARLnow.com. “That’s pretty crazy and really unacceptable.”

Forest Glen residents say street parking is nearly impossible to find late at night, with the streets filled not only with cars, but commercial vans and trucks. The civic association has prepared a draft appeal for the county to institute permit parking, citing the source of the problem as “the overcrowded apartments, condominiums, and duplexes that are located to the south of our neighborhood (between 7th Road S. and Columbia Pike and between Carlin Springs Road and Dinwiddie Street).”

However, any parking zone created by the civic association’s request under the current parking ordinance would also include residents of neighboring Columbia Heights West, which includes those apartment buildings. That’s something the civic association wants to avoid.

County Parking Manager Sarah Stott says she considers Forest Glen and Columbia Heights West “basically one community.” The county is currently conducting a study to determine whether, instead of restricting parking, more street parking can be created along the streets.

“Maybe there’s one space here, one space there [to add],” Stott said, adding that the “signs team” is studying if signs can be moved to create spaces. “We’ve got some wide streets there, we could put in angled parking and see if that could work. That could gain you a lot more spaces than parallel parking. We’re having engineers see if there’s a way to do that.”

Cars parked along S. Greenbrier Street in Forest GlenStott expects the study to be complete by the end of the month or in early April; she’s retiring March 21 and her replacement, Mike Connor, has also been following the issue closely.

If the study yields results the civic association finds unsatisfactory, it may submit its draft appeal, which suggests creating its own special parking ordinance for Forest Glen. If it does, Stott says she’s not exactly sure what would come next.

“I don’t know what that process would be,” she told ARLnow.com. “We haven’t had that before where a civic association, or anybody has appealed to the county to write its own ordinance.”

The appeal also references the special parking zones that have been established in the much-larger neighborhoods of Douglas Park and Columbia Forest, which restrict nighttime street parking. Even if the draft were to become an official ordinance, Forest Glen residents may not be too pleased with the results. Connor said he doesn’t see a need to increase parking for Forest Glen homeowners.

“The design folks are going to look at that entire community, but the intent isn’t to create the capacity in Forest Glen, which is a single-family neighborhood” he said. “Ideally the county is going to be able to create capacity in the higher-density neighborhoods.”

The full text of the civic association’s appeal is after the jump.

Update at 9:20 a.m. — Forest Glen Civic Association President Ron Ross said the neighborhood’s “ideas for a possible appeal have not been finalized” and said the appeal sent to ARLnow.com does not reflect the civic association’s official stance. He added, “There is a considerable amount of parking in Forest Glen by non-residents, decreasing the parking space for Forest Glen homeowners. The additional vehicles have also brought peripheral problems, such as trash left on the neighborhood streets and lawns, noise during nighttime hours, as well as blocking driveways of homeowners.”

>Draft Appeal of Parking Zone Decision

To: Manager, Arlington County
From: Forest Glen Civic Association

Forest Glen Civic Association and the residents of the Forest Glen neighborhood hereby request review of a decision of the Transportation Staff regarding a requested parking permit zone.

Background on Forest Glen. Forest Glen is a neighborhood of 84 single family homes in south Arlington, developed in the early 1960s. Our neighborhood is bordered on the north and west by Glen Carlyn Park, on the south by 7th Road South, and on the east by Tyrol Hill Park. There are only two streets by which to enter our neighborhood (S. Florida St. and S. Greenbrier St.). There are no through streets.

Our Parking Problem. Our neighborhood is confronted with several related parking problems. First, our streets are overcrowded at night with vehicles from outside our neighborhood. During the day, there is ample on-street parking. But at night (typically starting around 10:00 p.m.), vehicles from outside our neighborhood come into Forest Glen and park, with the result that there is virtually no on-street parking after midnight. We often see cars come into the neighborhood to park, and then the drivers get picked up by another vehicle to take them out of the neighborhood. Additionally, many work vans and other commercial vehicles park in our neighborhood; they are not owned or operated by residents of our neighborhood. There are many overnight taxis with Maryland and DC license plates that park in our neighborhood overnight and on the weekends. As a result, we have the usual problems associated with out-of-area parkers: litter, loitering, noise, unfamiliar persons, etc. These are the very problems that the County Board’s parking permit zone resolution is intended to address.

Source of the Problem. The source of the parking problem in our neighborhood is the overcrowded apartments, condominiums, and duplexes that are located to the south of our neighborhood (between 7th Road South and Columbia Pike and between Carlin Springs Road and Dinwiddie Street). There is apparently an insufficient amount of parking available to the residents in that area, so they park their cars in our neighborhood. Some out-of-area parkers probably come from farther away, though it is hard to tell because they share rides to and from our neighborhood to park their cars. We fear the problem is going to get worse in the future as two new apartment complexes are being developed in that area.

Decision of Transportation Staff. Earlier this year, we asked the Transportation Staff to initiate the process of creating a residential parking permit zone for our neighborhood (to restrict overnight parking in our neighborhood to residents and their guests). The Staff conducted one survey, and found that we met the occupancy criterion for establishing a parking permit zone (i.e., more than 75% of the on-street parking spaces were occupied). However, for the residency criterion (in which 25% or more of the vehicles must be from outside the zone), the Staff determined that our area would include the apartments, condos and duplexes that are not in our neighborhood but are located nearby. The Staff determined that 7th Road South, which divides our neighborhood from the apartments, condos and duplexes that are the source of our parking problem, is not a dividing line for purposes of delineating parking zones. The key factor in the Staff’s view was that 7th Road South is not a “major” or “minor” arterial, but is instead considered a “neighborhood principal.” The Staff therefore determined that the apartments, condos and duplexes outside of our neighborhood would be considered in our area for parking zone purposes. Under this approach, we would not be able to satisfy the residency criterion to establish a parking permit zone for Forest Glen (because all of the cars would be considered in our area).

Factors that Support Our View. We disagree with the Transportation Staff’s view. First, regardless of the technical designation of 7th Road South (i.e., “major arterial,” “minor arterial,” or “neighborhood principal”), the fact is that it is a major roadway that is a natural dividing line between neighborhoods. It is a heavily travelled arterial with double-yellow lines dividing it. It is a fire truck route and is used by several Metro and ART for several bus routes.

Second, the neighborhoods on either side of 7th Road South are materially different. Our neighborhood consists of single family homes that was developed as a neighborhood. In contrast, to the south of 7th Road are apartments, condos and duplexes. A Google map aerial view clearly shows the different character of the two areas.

Third, the Transportation Staff’s decision that our area includes the apartments, condos and duplexes for parking permit purposes effectively means we will not be able to resolve our parking problem. The major source of our parking problem is people who live in or visit the apartments, condos and duplexes and park in our neighborhood. By zoning them into our neighborhood, they would be allowed to park in our neighborhood. The problem will not be resolved.

Appeal. We respectfully request that the County Manager review the decision of the Transportation Staff and resolve this matter in our favor, either by overruling the Transportation Staff on the scope of what is in our area, or by initiating a special ordinance. For the first approach, the County Manager could determine that 7th Road South is an appropriate dividing line for purposes of establishing a parking permit zone in our neighborhood. The factors outlined above establish the justification for such a determination. We could then proceed with establishing a permit parking zone for the Forest Glen neighborhood. For the second approach, the County Manager could initiate a special ordinance similar to what Douglass [sic] Park and Columbia Forest (zones 21 and 22, respectively) have – night-time permit parking that excludes neighboring apartments. This also would resolve our parking problem. We would be happy to discuss either option with you.

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Pizza Pizza: Little Caesars Coming to the Pike

Little Caesars pizza sign on Columbia Pike Little Caesars pizza sign on Columbia Pike

A new location of the Little Caesars pizza chain is expected to open in the Columbia Pike Plaza shopping center at the corner of Columbia Pike and S. Dinwiddie Street.

The location is in the former AT&T Wireless store at 5025 Columbia Pike, in the shopping center across S. Dinwiddie Street from the Arlington Mill Community Center. There’s no hint of an expected opening date.

The location, when it opens, will be Little Caesars’ second current location in Arlington; its other store is at 5175 Lee Highway and opened late last year.

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Teen Robbed for His Shoes

Police car lightsPolice are looking for a suspect who robbed a teenager of his shoes on Friday (December 13) in the Columbia Heights West neighborhood.

According to police, the suspect approached the 15-year-old victim around 8:25 p.m. in the 5100 block of 8th Road S. and put him in a choke hold. The suspect demanded the victim’s Nike Foamposite shoes, shoved the victim and then fled.

The victim was not seriously injured and was not transported to the hospital.

Police describe the suspect as a dark skinned Hispanic male with a light beard, approximately 5’10”, 160 pounds and around 20 years old. At the time of the incident he was wearing a black jacket and dark pants. Another person was with the suspect at the time of the robbery, but was not directly involved in the incident. The second person is described as a light skinned male, approximately 6’2” with a heavy build. At the time of the incident he was wearing a black jacket and dark jeans and had a black backpack with him.

Anyone who may have information regarding the robbery is asked to call the police non-emergency number at 703-558-2222.

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Apartment Fire in Columbia Heights West

Arlington County fire truck(Updated at 2:55 p.m.) Arlington firefighters are on the scene of a reported kitchen fire in the Columbia Heights West neighborhood.

The fire broke out around 2:30 p.m. in an apartment on the 700 block of S. Florida Street. According to initial reports, the fire started on the stove of one of the apartments and spread to the cabinets.

Firefighters have managed to extinguish the flames. No injuries have been reported.

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Police Seek Man Who Attempted to Sexually Assault Arlington Girl

Police car lightsA man broke into an apartment in the Columbia Heights West neighborhood this morning and attempted to sexually assault a girl.

Police have released only a few details about the alleged crime, but are seeking the public’s help in identifying the suspect.

The incident happened around 6:00 a.m. at an apartment somewhere in the Columbia Heights West neighborhood, off of Columbia Pike. The man broke into the apartment and attempted to sexually assault a juvenile female, according to Arlington County Police. The victim did not know her attacker, police said.

“Despite recent efforts to locate the suspect, he continues to remain at-large,” police said in a press release. “The subject is described as a 20-25 year old white male, approximately 5’7” with freckles and a short brown mohawk. At the time of the incident, the suspect was wearing a white shirt with a gray design, blue jeans, and black shoes.”

“If anyone has information on the identity and/or whereabouts of this individual, please contact Detective Joe McGrath of the Arlington County Police Department’s Special Victims Unit at 703.228.4244 or at [email protected],” the press release said. “To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477). “

Details like the apartment address, how the suspect got inside the apartment and the exact nature of the assault have not been released.

“We don’t want to go into specifics at this time,” said ACPD spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.

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County Previews Arlington Mill Community Center

The $36 million Arlington Mill Community Center is only weeks away from opening.

County Board Chairman Walter Tejada and county staff members gave members of the media a preview tour Monday afternoon, showcasing the county’s newest community investment.

Arlington Mill’s construction “will definitely be under budget,” according to George May, Department of Environmental Services bureau chief for facilities design and construction, and the five-story, 67,000-square-foot building will start hosting programs Sept. 3, and hold a grand opening Sept. 21. The project’s expenditures are at about $35 million, May said.

Located at 909 S. Dinwiddie Street, the community center sits at a corner of Columbia Pike where there once stood a Safeway. Purchased by the county in 1996, the land remain unused for years while the economy crashed and the county had to reconfigure its plans for a community center in the area.

“It took a huge effort,” Tejada said. “When the economy tanked, it looked like it might not move forward and the community was very disappointed.”

Tejada had on a perpetual smile during the tour,  seeing years of negotiations and false starts come to fruition. He was especially excited at the foosball table, which was covered by a piece of cardboard and he gleefully removed to spin the handles.

The facility will be free and open to the public from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. weekdays, 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Saturdays and 1:00 to 9:00 p.m. Sundays.

The only uses that will require fees are the fitness center and the parking garage after four hours. It was Tejada’s hope that the garage be completely free, but, in a controversial decision, he and county staff compromised on four hours of free parking, to prevent the garage from becoming a “haven for commuters,” according to the Sun Gazette.

The gymnasium has two full basketball courts and lines painted for volleyball and pickleball, which Facility Manager Rob Carter said was the most-requested activity in community meetings.

Arlington Mill also has a satellite office of the Arlington County Employment Center, classrooms, multipurpose rooms available to reserve, a room for the Project Family service and a rooftop garden. The center will have WiFi and, on the first floor, Pan American Bakery and Café. However, the bakery won’t be open for a few months after the center itself opens.

Next door, the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing is still in construction on its apartment building, on land leased from the county. The window to apply for the waiting list for the building opens today and closes Saturday, Aug. 31. The fourth floor of the center is currently unoccupied, and is part of 9,900 square feet of the facility that is designated for future use.

When asked what he would tell critics who say Arlington Mill has been a vanity project, Tejada responded, “I would invite them to come here and meet the diverse people who will use this center, and then we can chat them up.”

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Garage Burglary Suspects Arrested

Suspects arrested for alleged apartment garage burglaryFour people were arrested last night after they allegedly tried to steal items from cars in an apartment parking garage.

Three males, including a 17-year-old juvenile, entered an apartment building in the Columbia Heights West neighborhood by following a resident through the front door, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. As they entered they put on masks and gloves and went down to the garage, Sternbeck said.

A resident called police around 11:25 p.m. after observing suspicious individuals looking into cars. Police arrived at the building, on the 800 block of S. Greenbrier Street, and arrested the three suspects inside the garage, Sternbeck said.

A woman, who police say was the getaway driver, was later arrested in a van outside the apartment. She apparently didn’t notice the commotion inside the garage because she was talking on her cell phone when the arrests were made, Sternbeck said.

The two adult men — Charles Messiah of Annandale and Kareem Taylor, both 19 — were charged burglary, conspiracy to commit burglary, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. One was also charged with resisting arrest.

The female suspect, 19-year-old Ciarra Rice of Lorton, was charged conspiracy to commit burglary.

Sternbeck recommended that residents be mindful of individuals trying to gain access to apartment buildings and secured parking garages. He also commended the resident who alerted police to this incident.

Photos courtesy ACPD

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Car Crashes into Front Porch of Apartment Building

(Update at 7:10 p.m.) A woman somehow drove her car onto the front porch of an apartment building in the Columbia Heights West neighborhood this afternoon.

The accident happened at the corner of 8th Road S. and S. Emerson Street. A witness tells ARLnow.com that the driver was trying to back into a street parking spot when she lost control, hit the front of a Honda, drove in a U-turn in the front yard of the building and came to rest on the front porch. In the process, the woman’s car took out one of the porch’s columns.

We’re told the small, three-story apartment building is currently vacant.

The woman did not appear injured, though her car suffered significant damage to the drivers side. Firefighters from Fairfax County managed to drive the car off the front porch and into a nearby parking lot.

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