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Five Guys appears set to return to its original location near the corner of Columbia Pike and S. Glebe Road.

Since its 1986 founding in Arlington’s Westmont Shopping Center, Five Guys has grown into a huge international burger-and-fries chain. But it has maintained its local roots, including a Northern Virginia corporate headquarters that will soon be moving to Alexandria.

Now, it is expected to open a new location on the ground floor of the Westmont apartment building that’s replacing the former strip mall. A leasing brochure seen by ARLnow suggests it will be taking a 2,400 square foot space along Columbia Pike, the second retail business listed on the leasing plan in addition to a new Allcare urgent care clinic along Glebe.

The brochure says construction on the building is expected to wrap up within the next three months or so. It is unclear how long after that Five Guys might open.

So far, Five Guys has not responded to ARLnow’s request, sent Tuesday, for confirmation of the new location.

The company has two existing Arlington locations, in Courthouse and at Reagan National Airport. The status of a previously-announced Clarendon location, in part of the former Whitlow’s space, is unclear.

1000 block of S. Wayne Street (via Google Maps)

(Updated at 12:45 p.m.) Arlington County police responded to multiple 911 calls reporting gunfire near Columbia Pike last night.

The incident happened around 11 p.m. Tuesday on the 1000 block of S. Wayne Street, near several high-rise apartment and condo buildings.

Initial reports suggest that multiple shots were fired, possibly in a parking garage, where arriving officers found a dissipating cloud of smoke. Callers also reported seeing several people running from the scene, according to scanner traffic.

John Antonelli, who lives in one of the residential towers nearby, described hearing “automatic weapons fire,” followed by someone driving away at a high rate of speed and, shortly thereafter, “a lot of cops” arriving on scene.

On Twitter, others also reported hearing between 8 and 11 shots fired in rapid succession, followed by a car speeding off.

There were no initial report of injuries.

The investigation was quickly moved to an encrypted police channel. An Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman did not immediately respond to an ARLnow inquiry sent last night, but provided the following from the department’s crime report early Wednesday afternoon.

SHOTS FIRED, 2023-03140266, 1000 block of S. Wayne Street. At approximately 10:58 p.m. on March 14, police were dispatched to the report of shots heard. Responding officers recovered evidence in the area of S. Courthouse Road at 12th Street S. confirming shots were fired. During the course of the investigation, officers established a perimeter, processed the scene and spoke with potential witnesses who reported observing several individuals flee the area on foot following the shots. No property damage or injuries were reported. There are no suspect descriptions. The investigation is ongoing.

This is just the latest gunfire incident in Arlington. On Jan. 29, two separate shots fired calls drew a police response to the Green Valley and Arlington Mill neighborhoods. On Jan. 30, gunfire between two vehicles speeding down Columbia Pike resulted in bullet holes in the front windows of Bob & Edith’s Diner, a block from last night’s incident. On Feb. 20, more shots were fired between two vehicles in the Virginia Square area.

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File photo

Police are investigating the sexual assault of a teen girl Sunday night along Columbia Pike.

The attack happened around 9:15 p.m., near the intersection of the Pike and S. Four Mile Run Drive. The suspect grabbed the girl from behind, pulled her into the woods and sexually assaulted her while armed with a “bladed object.”

Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspect, who was only described by his clothing.

More from an Arlington County police press release, below.

The Arlington County Police Department’s Special Victims Unit is investigating a sexual assault on S. Four Mile Run Drive and is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the suspect.

At approximately 12:11 a.m. on March 6, police were dispatched to the report of a sexual assault at Columbia Pike and S. Four Mile Run Drive. Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 9:15 p.m. on March 5, the female victim, a juvenile in her teens, was walking in the 4900 block of Columbia Pike when the suspect began to follow her. As she turned onto S. Four Mile Run Drive, the suspect grabbed her from behind and touched her inappropriately before pulling her into a wooded area. The suspect then produced a bladed object and sexually assaulted the victim before fleeing the scene on foot. The victim was then able to walk home and seek assistance.

The suspect is described as an unknown race male wearing a black jacket and black or gray sweatpants.

This remains an active investigation and anyone with information related to this incident is asked to contact Detective R. Munizza at 703-228-4171 or [email protected] or the Arlington County Police Department’s Tip Line at 703-228-4180 or [email protected] Information may also be reported anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

Adolfo Zambrano (photo courtesy ACPD)

A 94-year-old man has been arrested and charged with sex crimes against children.

Arlington resident Adolfo Zambrano is facing two counts of Aggravated Sexual Battery, following an incident earlier this month at a home along Columbia Pike and accusations of child sexual abuse dating back to 1999.

Arlington County police are now seeking additional potential victims.

More from an ACPD press release, below.

The Arlington County Police Department’s Special Victims Unit is seeking possible additional victims of a suspect charged with sex offenses. Adolfo Zambrano, 94, of Arlington, VA, was arrested and charged with two counts of Aggravated Sexual Battery. He is being held without bond in the Arlington County Detention Facility.

At approximately 6:25 p.m. on February 10, police were dispatched to the late report of an assault. Upon arrival, it was determined at approximately 4:30 p.m., the witness observed a suspicious incident between the known suspect and a child inside a residence along Columbia Pike. The witness confronted the suspect, he left the home and she subsequently contacted police.

During the course of the investigation, detectives determined the suspect inappropriately touched the child. Additionally, detectives identified an adult female victim who reported having been touched inappropriately by the suspect in 1999 when she was a child. As a result of the investigation, detectives obtained warrants for his arrest and he was taken into custody on the evening of February 16, 2023.

This remains an active criminal investigation. Anyone with past inappropriate encounters with this suspect or who has additional information related to this investigation is asked to contact Detective H. Molina at 703-228-4208 or [email protected] Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

Over the weekend, the Arlington County Board approved two redevelopment proposals, one in Clarendon and one on Columbia Pike.

It greenlit an apartment complex for the Joyce Motors site at 3201 10th Street N. in Clarendon and one for the Bank of America office building at 3401 Columbia Pike.

The Clarendon proposal includes a site plan to construct an 11-story apartment building with ground-floor retail. It includes nine on-site committed affordable units, including five “family-sized units” as well as the relocation and preservation of the historic Joyce Motors façade and the full building preservation of the Clarendon Barbershop building several blocks away.

“For historic preservation purposes, the Board also approved transferring developmental rights from the Clarendon Barbershop Building to the Joyce Motors site, allowing unused density to be used toward the proposed 11-story [mixed-use] building,” per a County Board press release.

The developer committed to installing new sidewalk, building portions of 10th Road N. and a new alley, as well as LEED Gold certification and nearly $1 million in cash contributions for transportation and public spaces.

“It’s really a big win for staff, the community, the project development team, I’m really thrilled to see it manifest this way,” said Board Chair Christian Dorsey. “It’s a testament to the fact that, I know developers are often considered the enemies in society, they are also the conduit to the implementation of the plans that the community wants to create.”

“It’s not going to happen if we don’t have people who are willing to put together and take on all kinds of risks to get things done,” Dorsey continued. “The beauty of that is we can have win-wins, where you have a development team that hopefully has a successful project but the community, for generations, has something that reflects the plans they come up with.”

On the Pike, the Board approved the construction of a six-story, 250-unit apartment building and about 5,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and commercial space, at the busy corner of S. Glebe Road and the Pike.

Normally, these kinds of projects are supposed to receive administrative approvals via the Columbia Pike Form-Based Code. This project, however, required County Board approval in part because the developer, Marcus Partners, requested relief from height restrictions on a portion of the property.

“This is a strong project, I do… appreciate a little bit of architectural diversity coming forward, I think it will add a lot to the neighborhood,” said Board Member Katie Cristol. “I appreciate our staff’s efforts to make sure compliance with the code is a floor in terms of fulfilling the vision of the neighborhood as well as thorough, additional work to mitigate impacts that may be happening and maximizing the positives.”

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A new Spanish tapas restaurant has opened on Columbia Pike, filling the void left by a well-liked Mexican restaurant.

Sabores started serving “Spanish tapas with a Latin flair” this past weekend at 2401 Columbia Pike, co-owner Alex López told ARLnow. It’s in the large storefront at the corner of S. Adams Street where Taqueria el Poblano was for about a decade before closing last year.

For the moment, Sabores is only serving dinner but will extend to lunch and “hopefully” breakfast soon as well.

This is López’s first restaurant, having opened the eatery with two long-time co-workers, Carlos Olarte and Ernesto Valenzuela. They all previously worked together at a Brazilian steakhouse in Fairfax as well as Jaleo in Crystal City, which was owned by José Andrés but closed in 2021.

“We loved the concept of sharing plates and gathering with family,” López said about how the famed chef inspired them to open their own restaurant. “We want to make sure people are having a good time.”

He and his partners made the decision to open their own restaurant last year and found this space in the Penrose neighborhood.

“We are excited about the neighborhood. South Arlington has a lot of potential and we want to invest in it,” López said.

He noted how much help and support they got from the Columbia Pike Partnership, which assisted the new owners in navigating the county permitting process. López also said that the space’s previous tenants also helped with the switch and were “great” to them.

López is Colombian with his partners from other South American countries. The menu at Sabores reflects that with “cuisine [from] the different regions of Spain and the diversity of dishes of all Latin American countries,” per the restaurant’s website.

He’s learned a lot as a first-time restaurant owner, but already feels supported by the neighborhood.

“Things don’t go your way all the time, but you got to keep pushing and trying,” López said. “Luckily, we are in this community and have gotten a lot of help.”

Scooting along near Arlington National Cemetery (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

The third time could be the charm for Arlington County, which is applying for federal funding to improve cycling and walking connections around Arlington National Cemetery.

On Saturday, the Arlington County Board is scheduled to review the county’s third application for funding from the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) Program.

The money would partially fund the construction of a long-proposed Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) Wall Trail along Washington Blvd, which would connect Columbia Pike and the Pentagon City area with Memorial Avenue and the Arlington Memorial Bridge into D.C.

“Connectivity for bike-ped users across this part of the County is complicated by the combined barrier effects of secured federal facilities such as ANC, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, and the Pentagon Reservation” and “a high-volume roadway network” comprised of Arlington Boulevard, Washington Blvd, Route 1 as it runs through Pentagon City, I-395 and the GW Parkway, the county notes in a report.

The new trail would run along the western side of Washington Blvd. An existing trail on the opposite side gets dicey near Memorial Circle for pedestrians and cyclists looking to connect to the Mt. Vernon Trail or cross into D.C.

The Federal Highway Administration is designing this multi-use trail in conjunction with the realignment of Columbia Pike. This work is being done to accommodate the 50-acre southern expansion of the ANC, which will add about 80,000 burial sites, allowing burials through the 2050s.

Arlington County has unsuccessfully applied for RAISE funding in the 2021 and 2022 fiscal years. This fiscal year, the federal program has nearly $2.3 billion to dole out “for investments in surface transportation that will have a significant local or regional impact,” per the notice of funding opportunity.

“RAISE is a cost reimbursement program and not a lump sum grant award,” the county report notes. “Previous programs have been highly competitive.”

The Arlington Memorial Trail will run west along Washington Blvd and Richmond Hwy, starting at the eastern end of a realigned Columbia Pike to Memorial Avenue, immediately adjacent to the Arlington Cemetery Metro station.

It will link up to an existing trail along the west side of Richmond Hwy, which provides a connection to the Iwo Jima Memorial, to Rosslyn and to the larger network of bicycle and pedestrian trails along the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor.

Renderings of Arlington National Cemetery expansion and Columbia Pike reconfiguration project (via National Capital Planning Commission)

The estimated cost of the Arlington Memorial Trail in the approved 10-year capital improvement plan is $25 million. If the federal government green lights the full $15 million, the county would cover the remaining $10 million through a mix of the commercial and industrial tax and funding it receives from the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority for local projects.

Projects can receive $5 million to $25 million. A single state cannot receive more than $225 million and awards must be split evenly between urban and rural areas.

Selected projects will be announced by the end of June.

File photo

A local man is accused of drunkenly breaking into Washington-Liberty High School early this morning, damaging a door.

Nothing was reported stolen and the motivation for the alleged break-in is unclear.

More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report:

UNLAWFUL ENTRY, 2023-02100054, 1300 block of N. Stafford Street. At approximately 4:15 a.m. on February 10, police were dispatched to the report of a burglary alarm. A lookout was broadcast and responding officers located the suspect in the area and took him into custody without incident. The investigation determined the male suspect allegedly forced entry into the school, causing damage to one of the door’s glass windows. No items were reported stolen and no other items were reported damaged. [The suspect], 30, of Arlington, Va., was arrested and charged with Trespass: School/Church Property, Destruction of Property, and issued a summons for Drunk in Public. He was held on a secured bond.

Also this morning, police responded to a stabbing along Columbia Pike, near The Wellington apartment complex.

Initial reports suggest that a man was stabbed, possibly in the back, but is expected to recover from his wound. The stabbing stemmed from a dispute between two men.

The incident happened around 9 a.m. and, after some initial confusion about the location, police found the men near the intersection of 12th Street S. and S. Scott Street, according to scanner traffic.

“The preliminary investigation indicates the two males were involved in a dispute which escalated into a physical altercation, during which one suffered an apparent stab wound,” said ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “Both individuals were treated on scene for injuries considered non-life threatening. Police remain on scene investigation the incident.”


A residential redevelopment planned for a four-story office building, bank drive-thru and parking lot on Columbia Pike is now heading to the Arlington County Board.

On Monday night, the Planning Commission unanimously voted its approval for a project that would tear down the Bank of America building at 3401 Columbia Pike, at the northwest corner of S. Glebe Road and the Pike, next to the Wendy’s. It will now head to the Arlington County Board, which is slated to consider the project at its meeting next Saturday, Feb. 18.

The property falls within the Pike’s Commercial Form-Based Code, which provides a streamlined process for developers provided they meet certain guidelines. The project needs Planning Commission and County Board approval because of its size, according to Commissioner Stephen Hughes.

“Otherwise, the goal is for it to be a by-right development subject to the Zoning Administrator, if every checkbox is met,” he said.

The developer, Marcus Partners, proposes a 250-unit, six-story apartment building with 4,500 square feet of ground floor retail and 287 parking spaces across a 2.5-level underground garage. It will have 172 one-bedroom, 39 two-bedroom and 38 studio units.

“I for one am excited to see this building get built because it’s different,” Hughes said. “The materiality and the architecture of it are something we’ve yet to see on the Pike, and so I think we’re a little excited to see that.”

As part of the project, Marcus Partners will make streetscape improvements, revamp an existing alley for parking and loading and build a 7,800 square-foot private open space. It will landscape a small triangular lot to create more of a buffer between the building and a single-family home to the north.

Throughout the review process, people have been sensitive to how close the proposed building will be to this home and have recommended ways to minimize impacts on residents, said county planner Matt Mattauszek.

“This is not the first, nor will it be the last time, that a form-based code has an adjacency to a low residential development zone and it is always shocking to me… the embracing of the density that goes on with my neighbors on the Pike,” Hughes said.

The proposed building will round out development of this prominent intersection, says Lauren Riley, a land use lawyer with Walsh Colucci. It is flanked by three form-based code projects: Pike 3400 to the south, Gilliam Place to the west and the under-construction Westmont project to the east.

Riley assured anyone who banks with Bank of America that the branch — which was set to close late last year — will move across the street to the former Capital One building.

“No need to worry, you’ll still have your bank services across the street,” she said.

The form-based code comes with height restrictions: three to six stories for what it designates as main streets, two to five stories for avenues and two to three stories for local streets. Developers are able to extend or retract these designations up to 50 feet to make their project work.

Even with this workaround, Marcus Partners would have had to make a small section of its building three stories shorter, which county staff agreed would be unworkable. The developer is asking the County Board for relief from the tapering requirement.

“The transition from a higher density to a single-family home had been well thought out on the form-based code and the unique instance of this site and the way the site was assembled warrants this change,” said Commissioner Leonardo Sarli. “But the transition from main street to residential is a really good approach and one that benefits the community as a whole.”

The Black Heritage Museum of Arlington on Columbia Pike (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

(Updated at 5:20 p.m.) It’s set to be a busy month at the Black Heritage Museum of Arlington as it continues to look for a permanent home.

The museum is participating in a number of Black History Month programs while preparing to put up new exhibits, museum director Scott Taylor told ARLnow.

This past weekend, the museum partnered with the Columbia Pike Partnership and the Embassy of Switzerland on a program focused on the importance of museums in the community.

On Sunday (Feb. 5), families and staff from Tuckahoe Elementary School visited the museum. Plus, Taylor monitored a panel last night for the local PBS station WETA discussing the production of last year’s documentary series “Making Black America.”

Coming up on Sunday, Feb. 19, the museum is again partnering with WETA as well as the Arlington Public Library for a screening of the documentary American Masters: Roberta Flack at the Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse on Columbia Pike.

Flack is known for several number-one hits including “Killing Me Softly” and grew up in Green Valley.

All of these events and programs have kept Taylor so busy that he hasn’t had a chance to put up any new exhibits, but that’s hopefully changing this week.

The museum is planning to set out a display featuring items from what was once Hoffman-Boston High School, Arlington’s only high school for Black students at a time when the county’s schools were segregated.

“We have some sixty-plus-year-old yearbooks that people see and feel and look at,” Taylor said.

There will also be a “few new things” from Fire Station 8, including several firemen hats and boots. Located in Halls Hill, it was Arlington’s only fire station staffed with Black firefighters. A state-of-the-art station is replacing the old one and is expected to be completed later this year.

Later this month, Taylor plans to put up an exhibit about Camp Casey featuring a gun from the era as well.

All of this comes as the museum continues its search for a permanent home. In September, it moved into a new space with the Columbia Pike Partnership on the first floor of the Ethiopian Community Development Council building at 3045B Columbia Pike.

While Taylor appreciates the temporary home, it is small and the museum is often unable to do everything it wants to do.

“Arlington needs this and, most people who come through, want [us] to expand,” he said. “I have things that I can’t even put up because we don’t have enough space.”

The museum is not close to finding its own home, Taylor said, noting money is the main obstacle.

“The rent in Arlington is just crazy. These new buildings want $10,000 a month,” he said.

At their grand re-opening in September, Taylor said he had a conversation with several County Board members about possibly moving into the building across the street if it ends up getting redeveloped by the county into a library.

But that remains only a possibility and somewhat far in the future.

The Black Heritage Museum is a “big asset” to the county, he said, one that he says needs to be cherished and given assistance to.

“This history is not being taught in schools. We bring voices to unsung heroes,” Taylor said. “This history belongs to Arlington.”

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Arlington police car at night (file photo courtesy Kevin Wolf)

A pair of suspects, armed with a knife and a gun, robbed a man along Columbia Pike early Sunday, prompting an aerial search.

The robbery was reported just after 2:30 a.m. on the 3700 block of Columbia Pike.

“Upon arrival, it was determined the victim was exiting his parked vehicle when two unknown male suspects approached him, brandished a firearm and a knife, and demanded his personal property,” Arlington County police said today in a crime report. “The suspects then stole the victim’s wallet and jewelry and assaulted him before fleeing the scene on foot. Officers canvassed the area and an aerial search was conducted with the assistance of a police helicopter which yielded negative results.”

No injuries were reported, ACPD said.

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