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by Bridget Reed Morawski February 15, 2018 at 4:30 pm 0

Travelers heading to or from Reagan National Airport should get ready for traffic impacts from construction starting next week.

Work will begin overnight from Monday, February 19 into Tuesday to prepare the building foundation for the new security checkpoints.

Roadway disruptions will initially be confined to overnight lane closures near terminal B/C, but will extend into the afternoon and evening hours later in the spring.

A project press release adds that “some temporary changes are coming inside the terminal that will affect the airline check-in process for some passengers.”

Nicknamed “Project Journey,” the one billion dollar infrastructure enhancement is scheduled to run through 2021. The finished project will bring two 50,000-square-foot buildings with security checkpoints, replacing three smaller checkpoints at terminal B/C. A new 14-gate concourse is in the works, which will include an American Airlines members lounge, replacing the notoriously difficult to access Gate 35X.

The airport has vastly outgrown its original passenger projections. It now serves about 24 million travelers a year, as opposed to the 14 million it was built to accommodate.

by Bridget Reed Morawski February 9, 2018 at 9:45 am 0

A 360-unit luxury apartment complex has broken ground in Potomac Yard.

The new 12-story building, to be called The Sur, will have 16,000 square feet of retail space and another 25,000 square feet of shared amenities space. Units range from 557 square foot studios to 1,419 square foot three bedroom apartments. High-end features include a dog spa, a rooftop spa and a “party room.”

Situated on the site of the neighborhood’s namesake former major railroad switchyard, The Sur will be across from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport’s south end.

On-site construction hours on the site at 3400 Potomac Avenue have been approved from 7 a.m. through 9 p.m. on weekdays and between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. on weekends and holidays.

The development was originally approved in 2007, but Courthouse-based developer Erkiletian Development Co. sought minor modifications to the plan this past September. The site plan amendment was ultimately given the greenlight by the Arlington County Board.

by Anna Merod February 6, 2018 at 5:30 pm 0

Several plastic pipes washed away from a construction project on the I-395 bridge into Four Mile Run after a downpour of rain Sunday.

The I-395 project between the Shirlington interchange and Glebe Road currently uses 35 plastic pipes to redirect water in Four Mile Run away from the work area. The rain’s movement of the pipes did not harm the construction project, said Jennifer McCord, a Virginia Department of Transportation spokesperson.

Workers are currently moving the pipes out of the creek by hand and should be done with the removal sometime today or tomorrow, McCord said. She added that she is unsure if the pipes will be put back into place as they may no longer be needed for the project.

The project costing $7.2 million should be complete by November 2018, she said.

Photos by Mark Wigfield

by Fatimah Waseem February 1, 2018 at 9:45 am 0

The curbside lane along eastbound Old Dominion Drive will be closed today, tomorrow and on Monday as the county removes trees to make way for a new sidewalk.

Closures will remain in effect from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. today and Monday and from 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. tomorrow. The “missing link” sidewalk project is anticipated to begin construction this spring/summer with completion expected in spring 2019.

Once trees are removed, utility adjustments will begin to complete the sidewalk from the south side of Old Dominion Drive from Cherrydale Firehouse to N. Thomas Street.

The county has allocated $1.15 million for the project, a spokeswoman said.

Photos via Arlington County

by Chris Teale January 24, 2018 at 3:45 pm 0

(Updated 8:25 a.m. January 25) A now-demolished funeral home in Virginia Square is set for continued use as a parking lot for crews working on redeveloping the former CarPool site.

The Arlington County Board will consider an extension on the approval of the site plan at 3901 Fairfax Drive, and its interim use for parking, until February 2021.

Construction crews working on the CarPool project use the site as parking while building work is ongoing on a 22-story luxury high rise, which will have up to 330 residential units, 264 underground parking spaces and ground-floor retail.

The Board approved the project in 2012 on the site of the old Arlington Funeral Home.  It was first used as a temporary parking lot the following year after the building’s demolition.

In its place, a 10-story building with three levels of underground parking is planned. It would include office space and ground floor retail. It had been the planned location of a 150-seat black box theater, but that plan was nixed last year.

In a report on the planned extension, county staff said that developer BDC Crimson LLC has promised that development will be underway by 2021, “once financing is finalized to permit construction.”

Staff recommended the Board approve the extension.

by Chris Teale December 18, 2017 at 10:45 am 0

Two local parks will receive extensive renovations under plans unanimously approved by the Arlington County Board at its meeting Saturday (December 16).

Benjamin Banneker (1680 N. Sycamore Street) and Fairlington (3308 S. Stafford Street) Parks will benefit. The former, near the East Falls Church Metro station, has expanded in recent years as the county has acquired more land.

For Benjamin Banneker Park, the Board approved a long-term vision for the park, which includes replacing its existing amenities and improving its trails. It will also give more protection to the Four Mile Run stream, a major feature of the 12.5-acre park.

Per a county press release, the long-term plans for the park include:

  • Widening trails: Trails will be widened to 10 to 12 feet, following guidelines from the adopted Arlington Master Transportation Plan – Bicycle Element.
  • Improving accessibility: A sidewalk connection from 16th Street N. to the parking lot will be added as well as a sidewalk around the parking lot perimeter, which will link internal sidewalks and trails with park amenities.
  • Relocating playground: The playground will be shifted further from the stream along 18th Street N. The new location will be separated from trails and visible from the street. It will include new play equipment, more seating and tables.
  • Parking lot improvements: The parking lot will be reconfigured and restriped to better accommodate up to 25 cars. The footprint of the lot will be reduced and made more efficient.
  • Renovating Dog Park: The dog parks surface will be replenished and there will be new furnishings and play features.

“This plan will make Benjamin Banneker Park more accessible, provide more protection for Four Mile Run stream, which runs through the park, improve the park’s trails, and replace its playground equipment,” County Board chair Jay Fisette said in a statement. “We appreciate the great work that staff and the community did in crafting this well thought out plan.”

Separately, the Board approved a construction contract for the final phase of renovations at Fairlington Park.

The final phase will include replacing the park’s amphitheater with a playground for children in the 2-5 and 5-12 age groups. It will also add outdoor fitness equipment, a picnic area, improved ADA accessibility, furniture, landscaping, and improvements to drainage and stormwater management.

by Chris Teale December 15, 2017 at 2:45 pm 0

Construction crews have moved into the Dominion Arms apartment building as major renovations begin.

The building at 333 S. Glebe Road in Arlington Heights is set for renovations inside according to permit applications filed with the county. This will include converting 2,400 square feet of retail space on the building’s first floor into amenity space for residents.

Six laundry or storage areas will be converted into residential units, while the sprinklers and fire alarms will get an upgrade and the building’s roof will be repaired. Several trees will also be removed.

To prepare for the project, which appears to have shuttered the entire building, first-floor businesses have moved out. That included the likes of a barber shop, dry cleaners and convenience store. The entire site has been fenced off by the construction crews.

Several readers had asked whether the building would be “razed,” but no demolition permits have been filed.

by Chris Teale December 7, 2017 at 4:15 pm 0

Two years after being put on hold, construction will resume next year on the Liberty Center’s final building in Ballston after it signed an office tenant.

AvalonBay Communities, a publicly-traded apartment developer and real estate investment trust, will relocate its headquarters to 4040 Wilson Blvd, which is set to be a 22-story mixed-use building with offices, retail and residential. It will be Ballston’s tallest building.

AvalonBay, which is already in the neighborhood at 671 N. Glebe Road, signed a lease for 73,000 square feet of office space on three floors — the eighth, ninth and 10th as well as a portion of the seventh — at the site owned by developer The Shooshan Company and Brandywine Realty Trust.

It joins VIDA Fitness, which will open its first non-D.C. location at the building. With this new signing, the building’s office space is 50 percent pre-leased.

Construction is now expected to start in the first quarter of next year. AvalonBay is projected to move in around mid-2020.

“When we decided to amend 4040 Wilson to a mixed-use building consisting of roughly a 50/50 split of office and residential and increased retail last year, we did so in an effort to adjust to the recent market trends which consisted of more prospective tenants in the [around] 75,000 [square feet] range, and more retail demand along Wilson Blvd.,” Kevin Shooshan, leasing director at The Shooshan Company, said in a statement. “Just about a year after county approval, we’re honored to have executed a pre-lease with a company as prestigious as AvalonBay, securing their headquarters location here in Arlington County for years to come.”

Previously, Shooshan told ARLnow that construction had been paused during a period of high office vacancies in Arlington and the rest of the D.C. region.

Image No. 1 via The Shooshan Company

by Chris Teale December 6, 2017 at 2:45 pm 0

The Carlin Springs Road Bridge will close on Friday for partial demolition as part of its planned replacement.

The bridge will be closed to all traffic from 7 p.m. on Friday, December 8 through 5 a.m. Monday, December 11 for demolition. The closure will also affect the section of N. George Mason Drive underneath.

Roadway ramps and sidewalks connecting N. George Mason Drive and N. Carlin Springs Road will stay open during demolition, but traffic will be temporarily detoured via adjacent streets during the weekend closure. Signs will be in place to assist drivers and pedestrians.

Staff from the county’s Department of Environmental Services are encouraging motorists to use alternative routes, such as N. Glebe Road, Arlington Blvd and Wilson Blvd during the closure. Properties adjacent to the work site will still be accessible.

Detours will be as follows, per DES:

Detour for northbound traffic on N. George Mason Drive:

  • Turn right at N. Park Drive
  • Turn left at N. Carlin Springs Road
  • Turn right onto ramp to N. George Mason Drive (northbound direction)

Detour for southbound traffic on N. George Mason Drive:

  • Turn right at 6th Street N.
  • Turn left at N. Edison Street
  • Turn left at N. Carlin Springs Road
  • Turn right onto ramp to N. George Mason Drive (southbound direction)

Detour for westbound traffic on N. Carlin Springs Road:

  • Turn right onto ramp to N. George Mason Drive (northbound direction)
  • Turn right onto N. Buchanan Street
  • Turn left onto 7th Street N.
  • Turn left onto N. George Mason Drive (southbound direction)
  • Turn right onto ramp to N. Carlin Springs Road (westbound direction)

Detour for eastbound traffic on N. Carlin Springs Road:

  • Turn right onto ramp to N. George Mason Drive (southbound direction)
  • Turn left onto N. Park Drive
  • Turn right onto N. Carlin Springs Road (eastbound direction)

When the bridge reopens on December 11, the rest of the bridge will be limited to one travel lane in each direction and a single sidewalk until the project is completed.

Completion of the project, which will add wider sidewalks, bike lanes, four travel lanes and other features, is scheduled for fall 2019.

by Chris Teale November 14, 2017 at 3:45 pm 0

Construction to expand a federal training facility has closed a walking trail near Alcova Heights Park.

The trail between 6th Street S. and S. Quincy Street closed permanently yesterday for construction on the State Department’s National Foreign Affairs Training Center (4000 Arlington Blvd).

NFATC trains members of the nation’s foreign service, and is seeking to expand its campus in Arlington to include a new training and classroom facility, childcare center and other buildings. The project is expected to be completed in October 2018.

As planned, the expansion would extend the perimeter fence farther south, and, in the process, swallow up a pedestrian path that connects George Mason Drive and S. Quincy Street.

The decision to close the path came under fire earlier this year from local residents, who signed a petition to try to save it. At the time, critics said pedestrians would be deprived of a way to walk from one end of the Alcova Heights neighborhood to another.

The petition was signed by more than 130 people and urged the General Services Administration, which is responsible for the project, to “build a perimeter trail connecting 3rd St. S to the existing trail at Quincy at 6th St. S,” among other demands.

by Chris Teale October 27, 2017 at 10:30 am 0

The Maserati and Fiat dealership on S. Glebe Road near I-395 is expanding.

The dealership at 2710 S. Glebe Road is being knocked down and rebuilt on the same plot of land. When an ARLnow reporter stopped by, much of the building had been demolished, except what used to be the front entrance. The building that housed the dealership used to be a seafood store.

Permitting applications filed with the county show a new one-story sales room will be built, as well as a four-story building for service and vehicle storage.

“The lot wasn’t being used to its fullest potential, so we’re expanding and adding space,” said Ethan Anderson, a spokesman for the company.

The dealership will stay open throughout the work, with employees’ offices housed in a temporary trailer nearby.

Anderson estimates the construction could take about a year to complete.

“It’s quite a project,” he said.

by Katie Pyzyk October 3, 2017 at 1:15 pm 0

The owners of the The Board Room in D.C. had hoped to unveil their Arlington location in the old Sehkraft Brewing spot last month, but construction delays are pushing back the opening of the Clarendon bar and entertainment venue.

Mark Handwerger, the owner of The Board Room’s parent company, Bedrock Bars, wrote in an email, “We are not exactly pleased by the delays.” But he said that The Board Room’s team is “holding everyone’s feet to the fire.”

Part of the issue has been a hold-up on the millwork, delivery and installation of two additional bars. The owners ultimately had to resort to out-of-town fabricators because “everyone within a couple hundred miles of D.C. is buried with other projects, most notably The Wharf,” Handwerger said.

Today an ARLnow reporter visited 925 N. Garfield Street and observed a couple workers inside the demolished bar space, although not a lot of heavy duty construction was taking place. Some of the wall murals have been painted over and new drywall is piled nearby. There’s also a lot of debris and building material staged to be hauled away.

The new goal is for The Board Room to open mid-November if everything goes smoothly.

by ARLnow.com October 3, 2017 at 8:30 am 0

Construction at Shirlington Library — Construction is expected to begin this week on renovations to the Shirlington Branch Library, to bring the library into Americans with Disabilities Act compliance. Library administrators caution that “certain areas of the building may be closed for short periods, and noise may be unavoidable at times.” [Arlington Public Library]

Millennials Leaving D.C. for Cheaper Cities — “A new analysis by George Mason University researchers finds that… more people are leaving the region than arriving for the first time since the Great Recession. Millennial deserters — ages 20 to 29 — are one factor. But another big one is baby boomers leaving to begin retirement life elsewhere. Families and the unemployed are also going.” [Washington Post]

‘Anti-Muslim’ Group Holding Conference — Despite opposition, ACT for America — which describes itself as “a nonprofit national security organization” but which is described by critics as “the largest anti-Muslim organization in the U.S.” — kicked off its annual conference yesterday at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Crystal City. [Southern Poverty Law Center]

Yorktown Teacher Publishes Third Book — “Melanie McCabe, an English teacher at Yorktown High School and now three-time author, will debut her new work, His Other Life: Searching For My Father, His First Wife, and Tennessee Williams at the Arlington Central Library (1015 N Quincy St., Arlington) on Thursday, Oct. 5.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Region’s Dry Spell Continues — Today is expected to be the 20th straight day without measurable precipitation at Reagan National Airport. But it is still far from the region’s record of 34 straight rainless days in the fall of 2007. [Washington Post]

Photo courtesy Leslie Aun

by Katie Pyzyk October 2, 2017 at 2:45 pm 0

In about a year, the newly renovated Ballston Quarter mall is expected to open. For now, construction workers are plugging away daily at tearing down parts of the old Ballston Common Mall and building up the new development.

A portion of the mall’s brick facade along Wilson Blvd has been torn down, revealing steel beams, concrete columns and a lot of workers. The hole in the side of the existing structure is part of the plan to transform the previously enclosed mall into a more open design with more street-facing storefronts and a courtyard.

The new overhead pedestrian bridge connecting 4201 Wilson Blvd to the mall will be near the new courtyard.

At the intersection of Wilson Blvd and N. Randolph Street, where the Macy’s furniture store used to be, upward progress is being made on what will be a high-rise apartment complex. The tower will have more than 400 units and leasing should begin next year, according to the Ballston Quarter website.

In addition to a few holdouts who remain in place during construction — such as CVS Pharmacy and the Regal Ballston Common movie theater — at least two new businesses have committed to opening locations in the renovated mall: fast casual eatery Mi and Yu Noodle Bar and “eatertainment” destination Punch Bowl Social.

The entire Ballston Quarter development is still scheduled to open in fall 2018.

by Katie Pyzyk September 28, 2017 at 12:45 pm 0

Starting in October, a construction project will close the Van Buren Bridge near the East Falls Church Metro until next spring.

The bridge expansion and replacement project is scheduled to begin the week of October 16, and all bridge access will end at that time. In a letter to residents, the City of Falls Church indicated that construction is expected to continue at least through March 2018.

During construction, Van Buren Street will be closed between 19th Street North in Arlington and East Columbia Street in Falls Church. Northbound vehicles will be rerouted from Columbia Street to Roosevelt Street and 19th Street North. Southbound vehicles will be rerouted from 19th Street North to Sycamore Street and 16th Street North. Cyclists and pedestrians will detour on an existing bridge along the W&OD trail in Benjamin Banneker Park.

Construction is expected to take place most weekdays from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and some weekend work may also be necessary. Residents in the affected area will still have access to their driveways and homes when the closure is in effect.

The project to remove and rebuild the existing Van Buren Bridge will repair structural deficiencies and add pedestrian access along the corridor to the East Falls Church Metro. The new bridge will have two lanes for vehicle traffic and cyclists in addition to a 12-foot wide pedestrian walkway.

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