(Updated at 1:30 p.m.) Firefighters from Arlington and neighboring jurisdictions battled a house fire near Shirlington.
Fire companies were initially dispatched to the Windgate townhouse development on the 2500 block of S. Arlington Mill Road for a reported electrical fire. The fire turned out to be at the nextdoor Heatherlea condo complex, along 28th Road S.
Flames were visible from the outside of the residence when the first firefighters arrived on scene, according to radio traffic. The fire was mostly contained to the home’s exterior and was extinguished before it could spread further.
Everyone was able to get out of the home and so far no injuries have been reported.
Arlington County is looking to restart an initiative aimed at helping condominium owners stay in their condos that was halted by the pandemic.
The Condominium Initiative, which is part of the county’s Housing Arlington program, is focused on strengthening condo associations. A series of workshops this fall will include information on when capital improvement assessments should be performed and who should do them.
“We are currently working with the City of Alexandria, with whom we had co-sponsored the previous workshops, to schedule more events,” said Elise Cleva, the acting spokeswoman for Arlington’s Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development.
County staff involved with the Condo Initiative are considering some ideas such as small loans to help low- and moderate-income and elderly condo owners pay for repairs and assessments.
“No specific program has been developed and no funding source has been identified,” Cleva said. “Instead, staff is focusing on outreach at this time, with a goal of becoming more familiar with the issues that are of greatest concern for condominium developments; particularly those that are considered ‘affordable’ homeownership.”
Condo affordability and safety have been on County Board member Christian Dorsey’s radar since 2019 — but the issues have been on the back-burner due to other Housing Arlington initiatives, such as the ongoing study of “Missing Middle” housing stock, which will examine how Arlington can increase the supply of townhomes and duplexes, among other issues.
Dorsey tells ARLnow the county needs to get the ball rolling on its condo initiative if it wants to get ahead of problems that are bound to befall aging condos later on. The issue took on a greater sense of urgency after news broke of a condo building collapsing in the Miami area late last month.
Dorsey said he is not worried about a disaster of that scale happening in Arlington, but he is worried about deferred maintenance. Condo owners are responsible for regular assessments and for maintenance, but when the costs become too great, the work often gets put off. Eventually, it compounds, he said, and people opt to sell rather than fix their building.
“I think it’s an emerging problem — one thing that doesn’t reveal itself to you until it becomes catastrophic,” Dorsey said.
In 2016, the county sent surveys to 134 condo association contacts. Of the 16 that responded, 11 were deemed “potentially affordable,” with sale prices less than $500,000. According to a survey summary, one building was less than 20 years old and three were less than 50 years old, and the most common capital needs were aging or deteriorating roofs, structural issues and old mechanical systems.
At the time, however, the 16 respondents expressed “minimal interest” in workshops or technical assistance, and only one development said it did not have the money to make repairs, the summary said.
“These results suggest the need to intensify efforts to contact condo associations and engage them in identifying needs and interests and planning for a program of services, activities and financial assistance,” the summary said.
But conditions have changed since that survey, Dorsey said. Over the last couple of years, the County Board has received a growing number of accounts of deferred maintenance in certain condo communities, a trend that he predicted will continue as wages stagnate and fees climb.
He added that the work should start now because sustainable solutions will require federal policies, which could take a few years to hammer out, he said. The board member said he wants monthly fees and assessments to be tax deductible just as interest on mortgages for homes is tax deductible.
“The reason I think the federal government has a role here is first, equity — not disadvantaging by homeownership type — and second, the level of government subsidy that would be required is significant,” he said.
Federal low-interest loans — such as those done during natural disasters — could also help condo associations pay for assessments, he said.
(Updated at 9:25 p.m.) Firefighters responded to the high-end Turnberry Tower condo building in Rosslyn to battle a reported fire on the roof Tuesday afternoon.
An HVAC unit caught fire atop the high-rise building, sending a small column of dark smoke rising in the air. The fire was quickly extinguished after firefighters made it onto the roof.
Police closed at least one street around the complex due to the large initial fire department response.
#Update Units isolated the fire to an air handler on the roof with no impact to the floors below. Units are going in service shortly after cleaning up.
— Arlington Fire & EMS (@ArlingtonVaFD) March 9, 2021
Two residents of the Fairlington Arbor condominiums were told by the condo board to dig up their spooky gravestones that seek to lay bigotry to rest.
Katrina Reed and her husband Joe decked out their yard with six decorative gravestones, but they papered over the space for names of the deceased to bury hate, racism, religions discrimination, sexism, homophobia and white supremacy instead.
Both Reeds teach and coach high school basketball. As teachers, Katrina said they strive to create an inclusive environment in their remote and in-person classrooms.
“Our thought process was, ‘Why wouldn’t we want to be inclusive at home?'” she said.
The death-to-discrimination markers received a lot of love from neighbors, but drew the ire of the Fairlington Arbor management. The dispute centers around whether the gravestones are signs, which are not allowed unless the Board of Directors approve them, or seasonal decor, which are allowed if they are “modest and in keeping with community norms.”
A letter from management and addressed to the Reeds on behalf of the Fairlington Arbor Board of Directors asked them to “correct this matter” to “avoid further action by the Board of Directors.”
The letter treats the gravestones as decor, but the messages as signs.
“While the frames on your sign are compliant, the content is not,” the letter said. Joe disputed the application of the bylaw in an email to management.
“The signs displayed are not deemed ‘seasonal’ by the board since they display a message that does not fit the Halloween occasion,” Arbor management said in response.
The letter’s author, Fairlington Arbor’s general manager, declined to comment further. In an automated message, Matt Duncan, the President of the Board of Directors, said he is out of office and referred inquiries to management.
In a private neighborhood Facebook group, Katrina asked her neighbors for advice and to see if others had similar experiences. The response was overwhelming, with more than 175 comments on Katrina’s post so far.
“People went nuts,” she said. “They were ready to light their pitchforks and find the board members.”
One Facebook commenter said of the decorations: “We thought they were awesome. 10/10. Do not take them down.”
“These have made me very happy every time I walk by!” another said.
The couple maintains that stifling free speech causes more division than signs promoting inclusivity.
“If you can let people express First Amendment rights within a time period, I think it solves these issues,” Joe said.
The couple said the bylaws need to be clarified and they plan to speak about it during the next board meeting on Oct. 27. Joe said ironically, he was on the board and helped write the bylaws.
“I don’t envy them,” he said.
On Facebook, some theorized that the condo board was pushed to take action by a handful of complainers.
“Neighbors have been complimentary of our messages of inclusion, but I seem to have offended the racists, homophobes, etc.,” Katrina wrote in her post.
Others guessed that the current political climate might have caused an overreaction by condo management.
“It’s probable that no one is offended by your decorations but management just wants to head off something truly objectionable,” wrote one commenter, who congratulated the couple for speaking up.
This summer, the S. Abingdon Street bridge over I-395 in Fairlington was the site of a showdown between those supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and counter-demonstrators who replaced BLM slogans with pro-Trump messages.
County Launching Race Conversations — “Today, Arlington County launched a new effort to address racial equity and disparities in our community. Called Dialogues on Race and Equity (DRE), the effort is part of the County’s broader commitment to racial equity… DRE will include a series of virtual community conversations with individuals, nonprofit organizations, civic associations, faith organizations, and businesses.” [Arlington County]
Local Nurses Hold Food Drive — “Nurses at the Virginia [Hospital] Center are going above and beyond to give back to the local community… Nurses launched the ‘Together We Can’ campaign where they collected canned goods. All together, they collected 10,000 cans and donated them directly to the food assistance center.” [WJLA]
Virtual 5K for Local Nonprofits — “A coalition of three homeless-outreach organizations – Community Lodgings, Bridges to Independence and Homestretch – will be hosting their third annual 5K “Home Run for the Homeless” in a different format this year. Rather than running as a group on the Washington & Old Dominion Regional Trail this year, participants will be able to run where they choose anytime from Oct. 10 (which is designated World Homeless Day) to Oct. 31.” [InsideNova]
Penthouse Sold in New Rosslyn Tower — “The sales team for Pierce announced strong early sales for The Highlands‘ luxury condominium tower… Strong early interest in Pierce has resulted in over $18.7 million in sales by The Mayhood Company since launching sales in August, including the sale of one of two top-of-the-market penthouse residences.” [Press Release]
Theater Holding Virtual Halloween Event — “Synetic Theater will hold its annual ‘Vampire Ball’ in a ‘virtual’ setting this year, with participants enjoying the festivities ‘from the comfort of your own crypt.’ The event will be held on Friday, Oct. 30 from 8 to 10 p.m.” [InsideNova]
A project that is changing the skyline of Arlington has just celebrated its “topping out.”
The massive Highlands residential development in Rosslyn recently reached its full height. Construction, which has continued through the pandemic and some notable challenges, is expected to wrap up in the second half of 2021.
More on the topping out and the project, from a press release.
Penzance, a leading owner, operator, and developer in the Washington, DC, metropolitan region, today announced the topping out of all three of the towers for The Highlands, Rosslyn’s newest mixed-use, luxury residential community.
Perched on the hilltop with panoramic views of Northern Virginia, the Potomac River, and the iconic monuments along the DC skyline, The Highlands name is inspired by its geographic location as the highest point in Rosslyn. In addition to three distinct residential towers, destination retail, the Highlands will be home to a new and enhanced Rosslyn Highlands Park and a new headquarters to Arlington County Fire Station #10 all funded as part of a public-private partnership between Penzance and Arlington County.
The Highlands, built to LEED Gold certification standards, will be comprised of 104 luxurious condos, 780 rental apartments, and more than 50,000 square feet of refined amenity space and 40,000 square feet of carefully-curated retail space between the buildings at full build-out, all delivering in the second half of 2021.
“We are proud to see all three of our towers at The Highlands reach this major construction milestone on-schedule as we work to deliver this new community that is primed to transform Rosslyn when it delivers in 2021,” said John Kusturiss, Senior Vice President of Construction and Development for Penzance. “The Highlands will establish a lively neighborhood within Rosslyn that aligns nature with architecture to create a pedestrian-friendly and connected environment, just minutes from the very best of the DMV.”
The Highlands includes three distinct towers: Pierce, Aubrey, and Evo. The elegant design of each building incorporates environmentally sustainable interior and exterior elements. Marked by a distinguished style to meet the unique needs of the region’s burgeoning and diverse makeup, The Highlands serves as the heart of the repositioned Wilson Boulevard and is only a short walk to both the Rosslyn and Courthouse Metro stations and Georgetown via the Key Bridge.
This content was written and sponsored by The Keri Shull Team, Arlington’s top producing residential real estate team.
On this week’s edition of the Neighborhood Spotlight, we want to share some of our favorite options for luxury condominiums in one of the D.C. area’s hottest neighborhoods, Rosslyn.
If you are looking for where to live if you work in Arlington, it’s hard to beat the Rosslyn neighborhood. With convenient access to two separate metro stops, and as an important business heart of the county, most places to live in Rosslyn come with short commute times and plenty of Arlington’s best entertainment options to explore once work hours are over. And best of all, there are some amazing options for luxury condos in Rosslyn, so you can enjoy all that the area has to offer from the comfort of your stylish home.
Last year, the expert agents of the Keri Shull Team created virtual tours of 3 of the most luxurious highrises in all of Arlington, located right in the heart of Rosslyn. Each one of these condos has a full suite of unique and eye-catching features — and any of them could be the perfect home for you!
This 26-story highrise is the tallest residential building in the Washington, D.C. area — and it is a pinnacle of luxury, too! Turnberry Tower consists of 247 condo units, spanning from 1-4 bedroom options, with unbeatable views of the region’s iconic landmarks like the Key Bridge, Washington Monument and National Cathedral.
Inside of the building, residents can enjoy amenities such as a 24-hour valet, white-glove concierge services, an indoor swimming pool, complimentary cinema room, and an exclusive luxury spa and fitness center. The condos themselves are similarly high-end, with high ceilings, top-of-the-line cooking appliances, and direct-entry elevators for ultimate privacy and convenience.
Sitting on the bend of the Potomac, right at the foot of the Francis Scott Key Memorial Bridge, is a gorgeous, 31-story highrise: The Waterview. This building serves as both a hotel and a condominium community, with the bottom 15 floors being for temporary guests and the top levels containing the permanent residents.
The building was constructed in 2008 and is crafted to the highest standards of luxury with hardwood flooring throughout, gourmet kitchens and open floor plans. Residents can also enjoy the views of D.C. and Arlington from their enormous, floor-to-ceiling windows. The community itself features a health spa and cutting-edge fitness facility, as well as an unbelievable observation deck, located on the 31st floor, complete with outdoor cooking stations and a complete 360-degree view of the surrounding area.
As an amazing feature of the Waterview’s unique mixed function, residents of the building can take advantage of the Le Meridian hotel’s amenities. This means that condo owners can have valet parking for their guests, get their dry cleaning take care of, and even order room service from the hotel right up to their home!
One of the most exciting new developments in the world of Rosslyn luxury living is the construction of The Pierce, a new construction condominium community on Wilson Boulevard. This building will consist of 104 units across 27 floors, each of which features some of the most elegant luxury amenities around.
Each home features world-class cabinetry in the gourmet kitchen, heated floors in the unbeatable master bathrooms, and floor-to-ceiling windows to give breathtaking views of the surrounding area.
Residents can also take advantage of the community’s shared luxuries such as a resort-style pool on the rooftop terrace, a two-story fitness center, and a clubroom that is perfect for entertaining guests and loved ones.
All of this, when combined with the Pierce’s promise of white-glove service and the unbeatable location near the Rosslyn Metro and local shopping, means that the Pierce is set up to be one of the most amazing options for luxury living in Arlington in the coming years.
Which of the extravagant amenities featured in these homes is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!
If you are interested in learning more about how you can find your dream home in one of these condos, or anywhere else in the Washington, D.C. area, then you owe it to yourself to work with the best agent possible — and we want to help you! The Keri Shull Team has become the #1 real estate team in the Washington, D.C. area because we ensure that we can help you buy or sell a home faster, with less stress, and for a price that you’ll love!
To learn more about how we can help you with your real estate needs, contact the Keri Shull Team today! All you need to do is click here to schedule a time for a completely online, 100% free Real Estate Consultation with one of our expert agents!
But one Arlington doctor had the police called to her office this week by a resident who was outraged that she was conducting in-car COVID-19 tests in the building’s parking lot.
Dr. Lillian Hunt owns a ground-floor office condo at The Chatham condominium building, located a mile south of Ballston at 4501 Arlington Blvd. She says she started testing her patients last Monday “as soon as my commercial labs could give me the test kits.”
“I started testing because patients and colleagues with exposures and/or viral symptoms could not get tested by the overwhelmed public sector,” Dr. Hunt told ARLnow. “When Arlington announced public testing the prior week, I sent an order to a patient who returned from Europe just before the international flights were restricted. The patient had a fever of 102.5, dry cough, sore throat, and severe malaise. She drove to the site across from W-L high school but was unable to get the test done due to excess demand.”
Despite her testing protocol reportedly following health department guidelines, some condo residents were incensed and wrote complaints to building management. (An Arlington health department spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.)
“Management received some emails yesterday from residents with concerns about the doctor testing patients in their vehicles in the parking lot,” said a notice set to residents this week, adding that the condo association board and its attorney have been informed of the situation.
One resident went so far as to call the police. That resident, whose first name is Erika, reached out to ARLnow with her concerns.
“At the Chatham condominium in Arlington, Va. there is a rogue doctor’s office — Dr. Lillian Hunt — doing COVID-19 tests in the condo parking lot, much to the dismay of its hundreds of residents who live there,” she wrote. “With the closure of the gym at the building, many residents also use the parking lot as a home gym — many unknowingly exercising right next to COVID patients in their cars lining up for tests. Arlington is destined for a spike in COVID cases. And Chatham is going to be the epicenter.”
Erika also posted about her concerns on a Facebook group for the building.
An employee in the doctor’s office says they were “shocked” when police showed up and knocked on the door. Dr. Hunt said she was surprised and “saddened.”
“I was frankly stunned to have the Chatham residents call in a police complaint on me without any communication of their concern directly,” she said. “The officer was unaware that I was operating from a licensed medical office in a condo I own. The officer seemed as confused as my staff as to the complaint and quietly left.”
“My patients in the building did however call to express their support,” she added.
A new development that will build new housing in Rosslyn while renovating one of the region’s oldest hotels got the green light from the Arlington County Board over the weekend.
The board approved the redevelopment of the Key Bridge Marriott site by a 4-0 vote. The project will include the renovation of the hotel — one of Marriott’s earliest hotels, which first opened in 1959 — as well as the construction of three new 16-story residential buildings, with about 300 rental apartments and 150 condo units.
With the site perched above the Potomac River, near Key Bridge, many of the new homes will have enviable views of the river and D.C.
The project also includes the construction of two new street segments, as well as the contribution of land and funding for a new public park.
More from an Arlington County press release:
The aging Key Bridge Marriott hotel at 1401 Lee Highway will be partially demolished and renovated, and three new residential buildings will be added to the site under a plan approved by the County Board.
“This plan adds much-needed housing in Rosslyn, new public open space and a major renovation of the Marriott Hotel, greatly enhancing the aesthetics and functionality of this highly visible site in Rosslyn,” Board Chair Libby Garvey said.
The Board voted 4-0 to approve the redevelopment plan. […]
In addition to renovating the hotel’s 445 rooms, developer KBLH, LLC, will build three 16-story residential buildings, with a total of 451 units, on the 5.5-acre site on the north side of Lee Highway. One of the new buildings is expected to offer rental apartments and the other two are planned as condominiums. The modernized hotel’s new façade will face Lee Highway and Gateway Park.
The plan, which evolved significantly before and during the public review process, also calls for two new streets that will connect with an esplanade open to the public on the north end of the site, accessible to pedestrians and cyclists but not cars. The esplanade will offer views of the Potomac River and Georgetown and connect to the bike path leading to Key Bridge. A crescent-shaped park will be built on the site’s Fort Myer Drive frontage and will provide an improved bicycle and pedestrian path to Key Bridge. Most of the park is on National Park Service property and will require federal approval for improvements.
The developer has committed to achieving LEED Gold certification for the residential buildings and LEED Silver for the hotel and will install ENERGY STAR and WaterSense appliances. Among other community benefits, the developer would contribute land for a new public park on the site, fronting on Fort Myer Drive, $870,075 to help plan and build the park, and a contribution of $1.75 million to the County’s Affordable Housing Investment Fund.
This content was written and sponsored by The Keri Shull Team, Arlington’s top producing residential real estate team.
Crystal City might be known for the extensive underground city that runs beneath its streets, but the skyline is equally impressive, featuring plenty of luxurious condominium highrises that could be your new dream home!
Join the local experts of the Keri Shull Team as we show you some of the hottest condo buildings in all of Crystal City — and these home values are only going up as Amazon makes progress on their new headquarters!
If you like this video, make sure to check out the rest of our Neighborhood Spotlights and subscribe to the Keri Shull Team on YouTube — and turn on post notifications so you don’t miss any new videos!
Do you have a suggestion for where we should Spotlight next? Let us know in the comments below!
Are you interested in learning more about living in Arlington VA — or anywhere else in D.C., Maryland, or Virginia? If so, contact the Keri Shull Team today to learn about how we can help you find and win the home of your dreams!
Local Crossing Guard Honored — “Zeleke Taffesse, a crossing guard serving Taylor Elementary School in Arlington, was one of four crossing guards statewide named tops in their field as part of the Feb. 10-14 commemoration of Crossing Guard Appreciation Week.” [InsideNova, Twitter]
Inexpensive Condos Still Exist in Arlington — “There are still some bargains to be had in Arlington, particularly if you’re willing to downsize to an older condo. For example, Unit 49 in the Lorcom House Condo at 4401 Lee Hwy. in North Arlington is priced at $225,000. The monthly condo fee of $552 includes all utilities as well as trash and snow removal.” [Washington Post]
Hope’s Instant Runoff Bill Advancing — “A proposal that would allow, though not require, Arlington to elect its County Board members by ‘instant-runoff’ (also known as ‘ranked-choice’) voting has cleared its first hurdle in Richmond, but still faces an uncertain future. The measure, by Del. Patrick Hope (D-Arlington), won passage in the House of Delegates on a 68-30 vote and was forwarded across the hall for consideration by the state Senate.” [InsideNova]
Beyer Holds ‘Real ID’ Event — “Congressman Don Beyer partnered with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Saturday to host a REAL ID application event for constituents of the 8th District at Wakefield High School in Arlington… Beginning October 1, 2020, U.S. residents who want to board a domestic flight or enter a secure federal facility using their state-issued driver’s license or ID as identification must have a version of the credential that is REAL ID compliant.” [Press Release]