The former Long and Foster offices in Fairlington may become a preschool.
The real estate company vacated the building at 4800 31st Street S. last year. Now, the Fairlington Villages condo association says the building’s owner has interest from a preschool operator to move in.
The association is holding a special Board of Directors meeting on Monday (June 17) at 7 p.m. to discuss the proposal.
The demand for childcare in Fairlington is high. An existing preschool a block away, the STEM Preschool at 3120 S. Abingdon Street, is planning a significant expansion.
There will be a Special Meeting of the Board of Directors on Monday, June 17, 2019 at 7:00 pm.
Realty Fair General Partnership will present its proposal to build a preschool in the building previously occupied by Long and Foster.
— Fairlington Villages (@NFairlington) June 13, 2019
Amazon Driving Commercial Property Sales — “An office building and an apartment building near the future Amazon HQ2 campus in Northern Virginia have recently hit the market, the latest in a wave of property owners looking to cash in on rising values from the tech giant’s arrival.” [Bisnow]
Continued Amazon Boost for Residential Real Estate — “The Amazon HQ2 effect continues to drive the Arlington County market. The median price of the 289 sales in Arlington in May was $615,000, up 9.8 percent from a year ago.” [WTOP]
Activists to Continue Resistance to Amazon — “Amazon is apparently here to stay. But so are the local activists who fought incentives for the tech giant in the first place. Monday evening, organizers from the coalition For Us Not Amazon held a forum at Clarendon Presbyterian Church in which they laid out next steps in their resistance efforts against Amazon.” [WAMU]
Community to Celebrate Resident’s 100th Birthday — “Four generations of family and a host of admirers descended on Calloway United Methodist Church the afternoon oj June 8 for a 100th-birthday salute to Birdie Alston, an icon of the Halls Hill-High View Park community.” [InsideNova]
Closures for 5K Race in Pentagon City — “The Zero Prostate Cancer 5K Race will take place on Saturday, June 15th, 2019. The Arlington County Police Department will conduct the following road closures from approximately 7:00 A.M. until 11:00 A.M. to accommodate the event: South Joyce Street, between South 15th Street and Army Navy Drive [and] Army Navy Drive, between South Joyce Street and South 25th Street.” [Arlington County]
Photo courtesy Mashalette/Instagram
A building in one of the highest foot traffic areas of Rosslyn is getting a big upgrade.
The owner of the Rosslyn Metro Center building at 1700 N. Moore Street announced today that it will be starting construction on a $35 million renovation project later this month. The building, which is next to the Metro station, will also be getting a new food hall and fitness studio.
“As part of this effort, the building’s exterior, lobby and common areas will be totally renovated and will include a state-of-the-art conference facility and flexible work space,” according to a press release. “The addition of new retail, a 30,000 square foot fitness studio with a dedicated outdoor terrace, and the chef-driven destination food hall by Oz Rey housing 12 artisanal food stalls and two lounges that extend onto an outdoor terrace overlooking the streetscape.”
Oz Rey, an Austin, Texas-based “culinary experience company,” plans to fill the dozen food halls with locally-based vendors offering “premium coffee, as well as things like a burger/sandwich concept, Asian stalls, and a fresh seafood purveyor,” the Washington Business Journal reports.
Arlington’s first food hall — a term that essentially refers to an upgraded version of a traditional mall food court, populated by local chefs and vendors instead of chains — opened earlier this year in Ballston and continues to add vendors.
A press release with more on the upgrades to Rosslyn Metro Center, which is now being called Rosslyn City Center, is below, after the jump.
Photos (1 and 2) via American Real Estate Partners, (3) via Google Maps
Polls Open for Democratic Primary — All Arlington voters can vote in today’s Democratic primary. Polls are open from 6 a.m.-7 p.m. You can find your polling place and other information on the state elections website. [Twitter]
Politico Profiles Prosecutor Primary — “One sign that this era of agitated civic life is not merely a reflection of Donald Trump or Twitter is that the agitation has penetrated, of all places, into Arlington County, Virginia. In normal times, Arlington politics are polite and consensus-driven, almost proudly dull.” [Politico]
Clarendon Street Closed for Construction — “Through mid-August: North Edgewood Street closed between Clarendon and Wilson boulevards due to construction. Absolutely no impact on Whole Foods organic produce or imported cheese selection.” [Twitter]
Trade Group Moving to Ballston — “The Infectious Diseases Society of America announced today that it will be relocating its headquarters to 4040 Wilson Boulevard in the Ballston Quarter area of Arlington, Va., a hub of advanced research learning, technology and science in the Washington, D.C. metro area. The Society has been at its current location at 1300 Wilson Boulevard in Arlington since 2006.” [PR Newswire]
How Glass Is Being Recycled — “Ever wonder where your glass goes? If you properly recycle it in Northern Virginia these days, it gets crushed into sand and turned into construction material… ABC7 recently took a trip to Fairfax County’s I-95 landfill in Lorton, where we found a glass graveyard and a big blue machine.” [WJLA]
Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick
Location: 2300 N. Pershing Drive, Unit A, Arlington,VA 22201
Auction: Wednesday, June 19 at 11 a.m.
Where: Circuit Court of Arlington County
On Wednesday, June 19 a foreclosure sale of a single-story retail corner condominium is taking place at the Circuit Court of Arlington County at 11 a.m.
Located at 2300 N. Pershing Drive, Unit A, the property is currently operating as a restaurant and approximately 1,723 square feet. The property is configured with about 60% open dining area with a built-in service counter and food display cases separating the dining area from the commercial kitchen. There are 2 bathrooms on premises.
The project has a common area parking lot in the rear of the building with 80 spaces which is a parking ratio of 4.55 spaces per 1,000 square feet.
For more information contact Jeff Stein at [email protected] or call 888-621-2110.
Visit Tranzon Fox for a full description of the property.
Amid difficulties for American shopping malls, Arlington’s two malls are betting on new eateries to turn more diners into shoppers.
Management at the newly-renovated Ballston Quarter and the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City say elevated dining options — from Ballston Quarter’s trendy local eateries to newer, healthier options at Pentagon City mall — are becoming an increasingly important part of mall design.
Commercial real estate experts say food options are now the key driver of mall traffic.
A new study released by the International Council of Shopping Centers shows that 40 percent of customers choose which mall they go to based solely on the food there, and nearly 38 percent of those surveyed said healthy options were a priority, according to CNBC.
“People increasingly value experience-based shopping and place higher expectations on how they spend their time,” said Will Voegele, senior vice president of mixed-use development for Brookfield Properties, in an email to ARLnow. “We designed the revitalized Ballston Quarter with the community in mind and our vision reflects a strong focus on experiential retail, innovative food and beverage concepts, and diverse entertainment offerings to create a new all-season neighborhood experience with the density of an urban center that is purposeful, thoughtful and unique.”
Voegele said part of the redesign for Ballston Quarter was to maintain a focus on local vendors for the 25,000 square-foot food hall.
“The uniform array of national names that we associate with the traditional food court does not provide the richness and authenticity that is so important to our mission at Ballston Quarter,” Voegele said. “Families and young professionals still want grab-and-go, but they are also looking for better quality and healthy dining options. Food halls offer the perfect solution in this case.”
Voegele said the new food hall design has gradually supplanted the traditional fast food-oriented food court of the archetypical ’80s and ’90s malls.
“The fundamental design of the traditional mall no longer supports the way people like to shop and dine as consumers are craving visually stimulating and creative experiences,” Voegele said. “The boxy retail behemoths of yesterday are just not practical for today’s landscape.”
“Fashion Centre at Pentagon City has introduced enhanced dining options over the recent years, including Matchbox American Kitchen + Spirit, honeygrow, Sugar Factory and Shake Shack,” management at the mall said in an email. “In addition, the center added modern furniture, finishes and additional seating during the renovation in 2016 to offer an even better experience for shoppers visiting the dining pavilion.”
But does this translate into sales at other retail options in the mall? Voegele said the Ballston Quarter’s food hall, Quarter Market, has seen consistent traffic across all age groups — and events like Quarterfest last weekend boosted its local profile. The study said transactions increase as much as 25 percent at malls with quality food and beverage options, with shoppers who eat at the mall spending 15 percent more per trip.
Shoppers inside Ballston Quarter weren’t so sure. While several said they came for the food hall and loved the dining options, many also said this wouldn’t necessarily translate into going into the upstairs part of the mall to shop.
A Head Start program for the children of low-income families will have a new home in Arlington.
The County Board on Saturday unanimously approved a lease for Northern Virginia Family Service and its Head Start program, which serves more than 200 children. The program will now be based at 2920 S. Glebe Road, an office building purchased by the county and renovated for about $6.6 million.
The Head Start program is moving from 1800 N. George Mason Drive, which was owned by the county but acquired by Virginia Hospital Center in a land swap. It will continue paying about the same rent — around $274,000 per year with 5 percent annual increases.
More from an Arlington County press release:
The Arlington County Board today approved a lease agreement with Northern Virginia Family Service, Inc. (NVFS) to continue operations of the Head Start program at a new location on 2920 S. Glebe Road.
The County acquired the property in 2017 as a new home for the federal program. Head Start promotes school readiness for children ages five and under from low-income families, an important policy goal for the County.
“Ensuring Head Start’s long-term sustainability remains a key priority for the Board. Head Start has achieved remarkable results in readying children to thrive in school,” County Board Chair Christian Dorsey said. “This facility will provide an optimal learning environment for children and be conveniently located for most families who participate.”
The property was needed when the program’s home at 1800 N. George Mason Dr. was designated for a land swap between the County and Virginia Hospital Center, which plans to expand its north Arlington campus.
The County budgeted $6.6 million to prepare the South Glebe site for more than 200 children. The build-out is set for completion next month. The County’s lease with NVFS ends in January 2023 with four five-year extension options.
NVFS is to pay the County just under $274,000 a year in rent plus 5 percent annual escalations, essentially the same terms that existed for the prior location on George Mason Drive. The County will provide utilities and janitorial service at no additional charge.
The County Board voted unanimously as part of the consent agenda to approve the lease agreement.
Photo (1) via Arlington County, (2) via Google Maps
County Board Roundup — As expected, the Arlington County Board on Saturday voted to approve a contract for Nauck Town Square, a purchase agreement to acquire Virginia Hospital Center-owned property, and a permit to convert former administrative offices next to Washington-Lee High School to classroom space for up to 600 students.
Adding Amazon Acquisitions in Arlington? — “Keep an eye on what companies Amazon.com Inc. buys next. It could be what fills HQ2. Acquisitions will likely determine what jobs and teams develop at the second headquarters in Arlington, said Holly Sullivan, Amazon’s head of worldwide economic development.” [Washington Business Journal]
Drivers Work to Inflate Prices at DCA — “Every night, several times a night, Uber and Lyft drivers at Reagan National Airport simultaneously turn off their ride share apps for a minute or two to trick the app into thinking there are no drivers available — creating a price surge. When the fare goes high enough, the drivers turn their apps back on and lock into the higher fare.” [WJLA]
Garvey Endorses Stamos — “I believe we could use a healthy debate about equity in Arlington and how our legal justice system works. However, a healthy debate means using facts about what is working and what is not… I hope you will join me in voting for Theo Stamos for Commonwealth’s Attorney on June 11.” [Libby Garvey]
Sun Gazette Endorses Favola, Lopez — “In its endorsements, the paper said neither Nicole Merlene (who is challenging Favola) nor Julius Spain (who is taking on Lopez) has reached the rather high bar set for an endorsement of challengers to sitting office-holders.” [InsideNova]
Merlene on Kojo — “On @kojoshow, @NicoleMerleneVA says a second bridge over the Potomac, perhaps in Loudoun County, is needed, especially in light of the recent Beltway closure. She also expresses support for marijuana decriminalization and medical marijuana in Va.” [Twitter]
Arlington Firms in Fortune 1000 — Four Arlington-based companies are in the new Fortune 1000 list: AES, CACI International, Graham Holdings, and AvalonBay Communities. Fairfax County, meanwhile, is home to ten Fortune 500 companies. [Fortune, Twitter]]
Man Sentenced for Threatening Ajit Pai — “Threatening to actually kill a federal official’s family because of a disagreement over policy is not only inexcusable, it is criminal. This prosecution shows not only that we take criminal threats seriously, but also that online threats of violence have real world consequences.” [Twitter, USDOJ]
Another Amazon-Adjacent Acquisition — “Amazon’s planned second headquarters continues to attract the interest of major investors to the National Landing area. Newmark Knight Frank announced Friday it brokered the sale of Presidential Tower at 2511 Jefferson Davis Highway on behalf of the seller, Beacon Capital Partners. The building sold for $123M, according to CoStar information.” [Bisnow]
Photo courtesy @zachzsnapz/Instagram.
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Amazon is planning to build 2.1 million square feet of new office space in Pentagon City as part of the first phase of construction for its permanent “HQ2” in Arlington.
The retail and tech giant announced its plans today in a blog post.
We are looking to build an urban campus that will allow our employees to think creatively, to be a part of the surrounding community, and to remain connected to the region’s unique culture and environment. As with our Seattle headquarters, we plan to invest in developing a new headquarters in Arlington that will grow alongside its neighbors, supporting local businesses, building new public spaces for all to enjoy, and integrating sustainable design features throughout our campus.
Amazon says it filed its initial development plans with the county this week.
The plans call for a first phase of development that will replace vacant warehouses on the Metropolitan Park site along S. Eads Street, while a second site — the vacant PenPlace site along Eads closer to the Pentagon — will presumably await a second phase.
Included in the plans for the first phase:
- 2.1 million square feet of office space in two LEED Gold-certified, 22-story towers
- 50,000 square feet of retail space “for shops, restaurants, and a daycare center for area residents and Amazonians”
- 1.1 acres of public open space for use as “a dog park, recreation areas, farmers markets, and more”
- On-site bike facilities, a new cycle path along S. Eads Street, and storage space for 600 bikes
- A “below-grade parking structure with 1,968 parking spaces,” per the Washington Business Journal, though Amazon says it will encourage transit use
“These buildings are the first step to creating an urban campus where our future 25,000 employees and the local community can live, work and play,” the blog post says.
The buildings will likely take several years to build, requiring a public process and County Board approval prior to construction. In the meantime, Amazon is leasing temporary office space in Crystal City as it starts to ramp up hiring for HQ2.
More from Amazon’s blog post:
We plan to invest more than $2.5 billion dollars in building our campus over the next decade, driving the creation of thousands of indirect jobs in construction, building services, hospitality and other services industries across the region. In Seattle, where we have invested more than $4 billion in our campus and hired an average of 5,000 people every year since 2010, we estimate that Amazon’s investments have created an additional 53,000 jobs on top of our direct hires.
We are grateful to our new neighbors, and all the elected officials, civic leaders, local businesses, nonprofits and associations who have talked with us about our plans, asked questions, and shared their views. We will continue to listen to their feedback during this process and learn from them as we continue to grow our teams in Virginia.
The Arlington County Board is set to vote this weekend on a site plan amendment that will allow the landlord of the 3600 and 3650 S. Glebe Road buildings to lease the retail space to “retail equivalent” businesses, defined as:
Uses that have characteristics similar to retail such as the hours of operation, the customer base and the level of activity that provide visual interest and create an active street life, but are not retail uses. Uses include but are not limited to museums, galleries, day care uses, medical and dental offices, colleges and universities and hotel lobbies; as well as certain innovative office elements and residential amenities such as fitness centers, community rooms, etc.
The tiny shopping plaza is located in a roundabout between the two buildings, well off the beaten path — north of the busy Potomac Yard Shopping Center in Alexandria but south of Crystal City. To the west, across Route 1, is Arlington’s sewage plant.
A procession of sit-down restaurants has tried and failed to open and attract customers. One even had to put out a press release after they learned that Google Maps was steering would-be customers to an empty plot of land several blocks away. And that’s not to mention the extended closure of the adjacent Harris Teeter store, the block’s biggest draw, following a major sewage backup in 2012.
“The applicant has experienced sustained difficulty in attracting and retaining retail tenants for certain base retail spaces since 2006, when its Retail Attraction and Marketing Plan (RAMP) was approved,” the staff report for the site plan amendment notes.
“This space, along with others, are located on an interior circle drive, off South Glebe Road, and the applicant sites the lack of visibility as an obstacle for retaining retail tenants,” the report adds. “Recently, a physical therapy practice sought to lease a retail space, but could not be certified for occupancy because it is an office use, rather than retail use.”
Currently, the circle is home to a small collection of restaurants and service businesses. Should the County Board approve the change, it may be able to attract other businesses more equipped to survive in the low foot traffic area. No changes are proposed for the Harris Teeter space, the staff report notes.
VHC Land Swap Ready to Move Forward — “Nearly six months after a divided Arlington County Board approved a major expansion of Virginia Hospital Center, board members are set to take the next step.” [InsideNova]
DEA Finds Temporary Digs — “The Drug Enforcement Administration has found temporary space in Crystal City for its employees while its… headquarters in adjacent Pentagon City gets a major makeover. Representatives for the DEA recently applied to Arlington County for interior alteration permits to renovate three floors at 2200 Crystal Drive.” [Washington Business Journal]
Road Closures for Ballston 5K Race — “The 2019 Girls on the Run 5K Race will be held in the Ballston-Virginia Square area on Sunday, May 19, 2019. The Arlington County Police Department will implement the following road closures from approximately 8:15 AM to 10:15 AM to accommodate the event.” [Arlington County]
Carlee Defines the ‘Arlington Way’ — “‘In its most positive framing’ [the Arlington Way] means ‘engaging with the public on issues of importance or concern (not always the same) in an effort to reach community consensus or… a shared understanding and an opportunity for everyone to be heard,’ [former County Manager Ron Carlee] writes. ‘In its negative framing’ the phrase has been ‘derided as a way to talk everything to death so that ideas are killed or that people are so worn-down that by the end, they do not care what happens as long as it is just over.'” [Falls Church News-Press]
Photo courtesy @klk_photography11/Instagram