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by ARLnow.com — April 29, 2016 at 1:30 pm 0

Police car lightsA pizza delivery driver’s car was stolen while he was making a delivery in Courthouse yesterday afternoon.

Working with the Metropolitan Police Department, Arlington County Police say there were able to locate the vehicle in D.C. and take the suspect into custody.

From an ACPD crime report:

GRAND THEFT AUTO, 160428031, 1400 block of N. Uhle Street. At approximately 1:10 p.m. on April 28, a pizza delivery vehicle was stolen while the driver was on a delivery. Officers were able to locate the vehicle in Washington D.C. With the assistance of the Metropolitan Police Department, the suspect was taken into custody without incident. Warrants were obtained for grand larceny auto for James Lee Thomas III, 38, of Washington D.C.

by ARLnow.com — April 27, 2016 at 9:45 am 0

2001 Clarendon Blvd (file photo)(Updated at 11:33 a.m.) A new hardware store is coming to Courthouse.

Fairfax-based Twins Ace Hardware will open an Arlington location on the ground floor of the 2001 Clarendon apartment building late this summer, according to a company announcement

The store will sell a “wide variety” of products and span 5,560 square feet, the announcement reads.

A building permit application for the new business was filed on Monday.

A hardware store is one of the most often-requested retail amenities for the Clarendon-Courthouse area, following the 2005 closure of Virginia Hardware on Wilson Blvd.

Hat tip to Chris Slatt

by ARLnow.com — April 19, 2016 at 1:35 pm 0

A slick new burger restaurant and bar has opened in Courthouse.

Basic Burger pairs a relatively straightforward menu — burgers, hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, fries, salads, shakes — with a clean, modern interior and a bar offering beer, cider and wine.

It’s a bit Shake Shack-esque, with some unique touches, including sweet potato fries, onion rings, fried pickles and fizzy beverages from “craft soda” brand Stubborn Soda.

Located at 2024 Wilson Blvd, just down from the now-closed Wendy’s and up from Ray’s Hell Burger, Basic Burger opened for business on Monday. Its hours are 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

by ARLnow.com — April 15, 2016 at 12:00 pm 0

Another barre studio is coming to Arlington.

Xtend Barre, which has existing locations in Alexandria, D.C.’s Shaw neighborhood and Bel Air, Maryland, is coming to 2008 Wilson Blvd, on the ground floor of the 2001 Clarendon Blvd apartment building. Construction is underway but no opening date has been announced.

“We’re opening with almost 40 classes on the schedule including our signature Xtend Barre class, Xtend Technique, Xtend Stick, Xtend Suspend and Xtend Petites,” the company said on its website. “We are incredibly excited to announce our opening day and we can’t wait to meet you at the barre!”

The owner of the studio, Kelly Wilkinson, said she discovered the ballet-based barre workout about a year ago and fell in love with it. “It was fun, energetic and made me sweat,” she in a blog post.

Xtend Barre joins a growing list of barre studios in Arlington. Among them are Lava Barre, down the street in Rosslyn; Neighborhood Barre, which is coming to Clarendon; plus Pure Barre and Barre Tech, also in Clarendon.

by ARLnow.com — April 11, 2016 at 11:20 am 0

Opower logo(Updated at noon) Arlington-based Opower has laid off about 7.5 percent of its global workforce, ARLnow.com has learned exclusively.

The move comes amid a wave of layoffs among tech companies that are struggling to attain or maintain profitability as tech investment euphoria cools. Across the economy, there’s weakness in the employment market and in corporate profits.

“We’ve reduced a small number of roles — about 45, including about 25 in our U.S. offices,” Opower Vice President of Communications Matt Maurer said this morning in response to an inquiry from ARLnow.com. “It’s part of an effort to cut back on our overall spend in sales and marketing and R&D.”

“These moves give us a better expense profile and strengthen the very good position we are already in as the clear leader in our space, having recently renewed our largest clients to multi-year extensions and with over $480 million in contracted future revenue on the books,” Maurer continued. “These strong fundamentals — combined with our new and growing set of customer care products — put Opower in a great position for continued success.”

Opower had about 600 employees worldwide before the layoffs, which were announced to employees last week.

The company is planning to move from its long-time offices in Courthouse to a new yet-to-be-built headquarters down the street, at 2311 Wilson Blvd, in about two years. Opower received a $1 million grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to entice the company to stay in Virginia.

Opower, which creates energy efficiency technology for utility companies, is publicly traded under the ticker symbol OPWR. As of 11:15 a.m. it was trading at $7.30 per share. The company reported a $13.6 million loss in its most recent quarterly results.

by ARLnow.com — April 1, 2016 at 9:35 am 0

A duck in Bon Air Park (Flickr pool photo by Airamangel)

Power Outage at Courthouse Metro Station — A power outage has been reported at the Courthouse Metro station. The outage turned off most of the lights and trapped some customers in the station’s elevator, according to Twitter accounts. The station is said to now be operating on emergency power. [Twitter, Twitter]

Interview with John Vihstadt — Washingtonian has published a Q&A with Arlington County Board member John Vihstadt. During the interview, Vihstadt said of county government: “by and large, it’s well managed.” Before he was elected, however, Vihstadt said the county was in danger of losing its way. “There was a growing consensus that we were too self-congratulatory. There was too much ‘Aren’t we doing great?’ And if there was room for improvement, it was nothing another taxpayer dollar couldn’t solve.” [Washingtonian]

Garvey on I-66 Widening — In a county-produced video, Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey discusses the somewhat controversial VDOT plan to widen a portion of I-66 in Arlington. [Facebook]

Another AAA Rating for Arlington — Bond rating agency Fitch Ratings has again assigned Arlington County its top AAA rating. The high rating allows the county to borrow money more cheaply than less creditworthy jurisdictions. [BusinessWire]

Rising Sea Levels and Arlington — A new interactive map shows what rising sea levels would mean for D.C. and Arlington. The good news is that the two meters of sea level rise predicted to occur by 2100 would result in little impact for most of Arlington; the most vulnerable areas are portions of Reagan National Airport, East Potomac Park in D.C. and other areas along the banks of the Potomac. [Washingtonian]

Arlington Little League Opening Day — It looks to be a cool and cloudy start to the local little league season this weekend. Arlington Little League’s 30th anniversary season kicks off at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at Barcroft Park. [Twitter]

One Year Anniversary for Shirlington RestaurantOsteria da Nino in Shirlington (2900 S. Quincy Street) is celebrating its one year anniversary on Sunday. The restaurant will offer a complimentary glass of Prosecco and appetizers for guests from 4-6 p.m. [ARLnow]

Flickr pool photo by Airamangel

by ARLnow.com — March 11, 2016 at 3:45 pm 0

2014 Four Courts Four Miler road race produced by Pacers Events. Saturday, March 15, 2014. Arlington, VA. Photo by Brian W. Knight/Swim Bike Run PhotographyIt’s going to be a busy six days at Ireland’s Four Courts (2051 Wilson Blvd) in Courthouse.

On Saturday morning, the local watering hole will again sponsor the sixth annual Four Courts Four Miler race. After the 9 a.m. race, the bar will be packed with runners enjoying their complimentary beverage and other post-race libations. There will also be a live band.

Registration is still open and will be available at Four Courts on the day of the race.

On Wednesday, Four Courts will mark its 20th anniversary. To celebrate, the bar will be offering Guinness for the original 1996 price of $4.50 from 4-8 p.m. Live music will follow, with Sanford Markley taking the stage at 6 p.m. and Sheen Righter at 9 p.m. There will also be a giveaway of $1,000 cash and other prizes, “in support of your loyal patronage.”

On Thursday, St. Patrick’s Day, Four Courts will open at 9 a.m. for the usual St. Daddy’s festivities. There will be live music all day and a heated tent in the back to help accommodate the crowds.

Dave Cahill, an Irishman and Four Courts’ long-time general manager, credits the establishment’s longevity, amid all the change in Arlington, to its core mission of being a community-oriented place to eat and hang out.

“I think we’ve never lost sight of the fact that we’re a neighborhood restaurant,” he told ARLnow.com today. “We have a great relationship with the community, we sponsor sports teams and donate to charities. We have a home-like atmosphere.”

The evidence of customer loyalty is literally hanging from the walls: Four Courts has sold 2,750 pewter mugs to its regulars. The mugs are proudly displayed around the bar, available for use when a customer comes in. Want more proof? Some of the staff are the now-grown children of Four Courts’ first customers.

In addition to pouring Guinness and running Four Courts, Cahill has another race day duty. He’s the race’s official running leprechaun, of course.

Ten minutes after the race starts, Cahill will take off down the course, dressed in green and accompanied by a lady leprechaun on a bicycle, announcing his approach. By the end of the four mile race, Cahill, 44, will have passed about two-thirds of the field.

“I usually catch the first people around the mile and a half mark,” he said. “I catch more people on the mile 2-3 turn. Then, coming up the hill [on Wilson Blvd between Rosslyn and Courthouse] people start looking over their shoulder waiting to see the leprechaun coming.”

Those who beat the leprechaun get a prize from Pacers. For every runner Cahill passes, $1 is donated to the Arlington County Police Benevolent Fund.

How does he do it? It’s not by tricks or the luck of the Irish. Cahill happens to be a very accomplished amateur runner. At last year’s Potomac River Run Marathon, he clocked a 3:10 finish time, good enough to qualify for his first Boston Marathon, in April.

The Four Miler will result in some road closures Saturday morning. The traffic alert from the Arlington County Police Department, after the jump.

(more…)

by Andrew Ramonas — February 9, 2016 at 3:30 pm 0

2013 Clarendon Mardi Gras parade

Masked characters, dogs in costumes, marching bands and other Mardi Gras partiers are set to make their way through Clarendon tonight.

After dodging the threat of snow following two years of weather delays and cancellations, the 17th Annual Clarendon-Courthouse Mardi Gras Parade is slated to kick off at 7 p.m. on Wilson Boulevard, making its way from N. Barton Street to N. Irving Street.

After the parade, revelers then can head to the first-ever Clarendon Mardi Gras Ball at the Clarendon Ballroom (3185 Wilson Blvd.) The party is scheduled to run from 7 to 11 p.m.

More than 30 groups are expected to march in the parade, which is organized by the Clarendon Alliance. The non-profit organization has billed the parade as a “family-friendly event” that is “big fun.”

“Participating in the parade is a great way to have fun — participants can wear masks, dress completely inappropriately, and throw stuff at people,” the Clarendon Alliance says on its website. “What’s not to like?”

Except maybe traffic.

Some roads will shut down starting at 4:30 p.m. due to the parade. According to the Arlington County Police Department, the street closures include:

  • Wilson Blvd from Veitch Street to Barton Street will be closed from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m.
  • Adams Street and Wayne Street, between Clarendon Blvd and Wilson Blvd, will be closed from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m.
  • Wilson Blvd from Barton Street to Irving Street will be closed from 6:45 to 9:30 p.m.

Clarendon Ballroom will host the Yamomanem Jazz Band and the 8 Ohms Jazz Band and serve traditional Louisiana food, with wine, beer and punch, as part of the Clarendon Mardi Gras Ball.

Ball guests under the age of 21 are welcome to attend, but must have a parent or guardian with them. Tickets to the party cost $20 online and $25 at the door.

Iota Club (2832 Wilson Blvd), meanwhile, will be hosting its own Mardi Gras celebration starting at 8:00 p.m. The free event features a rock-blues band and $3 gumbo shots.

Photo courtesy Jason Dixson Photography

by ARLnow.com — February 9, 2016 at 1:15 pm 0

Publicly-traded energy tech firm Opower is staying in Arlington, Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) announced at a press conference this morning, marking some good news for a county beset by the departures of large government agencies.

McAuliffe and County Board Chair Libby Garvey were among those making the announcement at Opower’s current headquarters at 1515 N. Courthouse Road in Courthouse, which President Obama visited in 2010, when the company was still a startup.

Opower will be moving down the street to a new office building at 2311 Wilson Blvd in Courthouse. The building — already approved by the County Board — is set to be constructed over the next two years, replacing a row of restaurants. Developer Carr Properties had been calling the 8-story building the “Clean Technology Center,” which seems consistent with Opower’s sustainability and energy conservation mission.

Virginia and Arlington County had been fighting to keep Opower, which was being courted by the District and by The Wharf, the massive new development on the Southwest D.C. waterfront.

“Keeping Opower in Arlington County has been a high priority of my administration,” McAuliffe said. “This high-profile energy software company is growing rapidly and making a major impact on global challenges, and we are committed to further strengthening this important corporate partnership. The technology industry is booming in Virginia, and wins like this expansion help us continue to build on the momentum in this important sector.”

“Arlington has watched Opower grow from a startup venture to a thriving leader not only in the region, but in the entire clean technology industry,” Garvey said. “Arlington’s highly-educated workforce and easy transportation access were things Opower was looking for as the company continues to grow, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with them for a long time to come.”

McAuliffe helped arrange a $1 million grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to help Arlington keep Opower.

“Arlington County will match the state funding with a performance-based local economic development incentive grant,” the county notes in a press release. “Arlington will provide an additional annual performance grant through the remaining years of the lease term subject to job and occupancy requirements. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.”

Opower plans to invest about $10.5 million in its new, 63,000 square foot headquarters and expects to add 70 new employees within three years. The company will also retain 357 jobs that currently pay above the region’s prevailing wage.

“Opower has been with Arlington since the beginning,” said Victor Hoskins, Director of Arlington Economic Development. “The company is a model for the fast-growth technology companies we’re hoping to attract to Arlington, and we simply could not be more pleased that Opower has decided to continue to be a part of Arlington’s business community.”

The building at 2311 Wilson Blvd will have a total of 150,000 square feet of office space plus ground floor retail spaces when it’s completed.

by Jennifer Currier — January 13, 2016 at 3:30 pm 0

Clarendon Mardi Gras Parade 2016Pending good weather, floats, bands, horses and “critters in costumes” will march down Wilson Blvd during the 17th Annual Clarendon-Courthouse Mardi Gras Parade, scheduled for early February.

This year’s parade is planned for Fat Tuesday, which falls on Feb. 9. It will start at 7 p.m., traveling along Wilson from N. Barton Street to N. Irving Street. The deadline to register to participate is Feb. 1, and bead orders must be submitted by Jan. 25.

Snow has forced the family-friendly parade to be postponed to mid-March the last two years in a row, but this year the organizers — the non-profit Clarendon Alliance — have planned an additional event that’s not weather-dependent on the evening of the parade.

The first-ever Clarendon Mardi Gras Ball will be held from 7-11 p.m. at the Clarendon Ballroom at 3185 Wilson Blvd. The ball will have live performances from jazz ensembles the Yamomanem Jazz Band and the 8 Ohms Jazz Band. A ball king and queen will be announced between the bands’ sets.

Traditional Louisiana food will be served alongside wine, beer and punch. Ticket holders will get one free ticket upon entry. All other food and beverage sales will be cash only or from additionally purchased food and drink tickets.

Ball guests under the age of 21 are welcome to attend but must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Tickets to the ball are now for sale online for $20 per person, and parade participants can get their tickets at a discounted rate. Proceeds from the tickets — beyond parade expenses — will benefit St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church.

by Jennifer Currier — January 5, 2016 at 3:35 pm 0

Courthouse Plaza Improvement Sketch (via Vornado)

The seemingly endless construction at Courthouse Plaza — the privately-owned, open-air shopping center near the Courthouse Metro station — is finally nearing an end.

The final phase of construction at Courthouse Plaza is underway, we’re told, completing a series of improvement projects to the property that has extended over the course of the last several years.

The project currently under construction will make streetscape improvements along Clarendon Boulevard to “create a new pedestrian experience.” These improvements include installing new pavers — the stone along pedestrian walkways — and updating the entry into the plaza itself.

Once complete, the plaza will have a new, outdoor gathering space with seating. The area will also have contemporary landscaping features.

These outdoor improvements mark the end of the last phase of capital improvement projects for the building, according to Mara Olguin, spokeswoman for the property’s owner, Vornado. She said plans to make these improvements began more than three years ago and have involved multiple projects.

Some of these include the lease renewal and renovations to the AMC movie theater and improvements to the parking garages at 2200 and 2300 Clarendon Blvd. Before that, Vornado also oversaw the installation of new brickwork in the plaza.

Olguin added all the projects mentioned are consistent with the new Courthouse Sector Plan and Retail Action Plan, which the County Board approved last summer.

Construction work on the plaza’s outdoor area will continue through the winter and early spring. All work is expected to be completed by this April.

Photo via Vornado

by ARLnow.com — December 30, 2015 at 1:30 pm 0

The Wendy’s in Courthouse has finally closed its doors to make way for a new 12-story office building.

Signs were posted in the windows at the fast food restaurant today saying that it has closed. The signs direct customers to the nearest Wendy’s, located three miles away at 5066 Lee Highway.

Also closed is the Wells Fargo Bank next door. Readers reported that the bank, which will also be torn down for the new office development, closed several weeks ago.

A sign in the windows at the bank directs customers to another Wells Fargo branch just up the road, at 2200 Clarendon Blvd.

by ARLnow.com — December 7, 2015 at 9:15 am 0

Japanese Maple in the sunlight (Flickr pool photo by Eric)

Passenger Thrown from Minivan in Crash — Three people were hurt in an early morning crash on S. Arlington Ridge Road today. Police say a car traveling at 55 mph on the residential street slammed into the back of a minivan near 23rd Street S., causing one passenger in the van to be ejected from the vehicle. [WJLA, NBC Washington]

School Board Approves $100 Million H-B Design — The Arlington School Board has approved a concept design for the Wilson School in Rosslyn, future home of the H-B Woodlawn secondary program. With a 92-space parking garage factored in, the construction cost of the school may exceed $100 million. Also last week, the School Board confirmed that it will again ask the County Board for permission to build a new elementary school on the Thomas Jefferson Middle School campus. [InsideNova, InsideNova]

County Facebook Post Raises Eyebrows — Democratic political operative Ben Tribbett, among others, is calling an Arlington County Facebook post about a local Democratic resolution on the Redskins team name an “inappropriate use of a government Facebook account.” Tribbett was previously hired by the team to defend its name. [Facebook, Blue Virginia]

Nine Arlington Restaurants Make Top 50 List — Nine Arlington establishments have made Northern Virginia Magazine’s Top 50 Restaurants list. The highest on the list is new-this-year Kapnos Taverna in Ballston. [Patch]

Fisette on County’s Support for I-66 Plan — Arlington County Board member Jay Fisette says the county supports a plan for tolling I-66 because it is a regional compromise that’s cost effective, multimodal and not “the typical knee-jerk reaction [of] just widening roads.” Fisette notes that Arlington “was traumatized by the building of I-66 right through some of our neighborhoods” in the 1970s and 80s. [Washington Post]

Four Mile DMV Moving After Losing Lease — Dozens of angry Fairfax County residents came out to a meeting Thursday night to express opposition to a new DMV office in the Barcroft Plaza shopping center. The meeting also revealed more information on why the DMV is moving from its current location on S. Four Mile Run Drive. The DMV reportedly lost its lease due to a planned redevelopment, which has since fallen through. [Annandale VA]

More Info on Courthouse Redevelopment — We now know a bit more about the planned redevelopment of a low-rise office building in Courthouse. A 15-story, 91-unit condo building with 2,000 square feet of ground floor retail space is planned to replace the office building at 2000 Clarendon Blvd. [Washington Business Journal]

Flickr pool photo by Eric

by Jennifer Currier — November 19, 2015 at 3:30 pm 0

WERA Control Room (Courtesy of Paul LeValley:AIM)

(Updated at 4:32 p.m.) Arlington Independent Media is asking for residents’ ears starting at 6 p.m. on Dec. 6, the exact moment when the organization’s low power FM station will hit the airways.

WERA 96.7 FM is an AIM project with a focus to air programming for the local community, by the local community.

“We would really like to reach out to all of Arlington’s communities and have widespread participation,” AIM Executive Director Paul LeValley said. “We’re working to ensure the programming is compelling, and we hope people will be open minded about giving us a shot.”

As a public radio platform, the station’s funding will come from listener and member contributions, as well as local business underwriting.

According to Andrew Rosenberg, member of the AIM Board of Directors and the station’s Program Advisory and Review Council (PARC), the primary means for keeping residents so closely involved has little to do with money.

“We want to create a service that fills a need in the area so people know this is their station,” he said. “My greatest hope is that we become a real fixture for the community.”

Rosenberg said in recent months members on the project team have worked throughout the Arlington community to start putting together a program schedule.wera-logo-75

Though the schedule itself will be a work in progress as the station grows, Rosenberg said they’ve received several proposals for programs of all varieties. Some of these include:

  • music programming (disc jockey, world beat, ska, music collection shows, etc.)
  • local news and events
  • world news summaries
  • documentary
  • school news summaries
  • call-in discussions
  • content from independent public radio producers

In the beginning, WERA will also air programs sourced from other public radio outlets, if their content is relevant to Arlington listeners. However, Rosenberg said he hoped that over time community programming will displace these.

“We’ll be very much in touch with what the community wants to hear,” he said. “We’ll also be taking proposals on a rolling basis and changing up shows to keep things interesting.”

Arlington Independent MediaThe community station will broadcast out of AIM’s current building at 2701-C Wilson Blvd near Clarendon.

To celebrate, the station is also hosting a party from 3 to 8 p.m. on the launch day in the WERA control room . There will be refreshments, hors d’oeuvres and drinks provided. The family-friendly event is free open to the public, though all attendees should expect to get involved.

“We’re making this participatory because that’s the whole idea behind community radio,” LeValley said.

In addition to demonstrations of the equipment and facilities, guests can rehearse and record a radio drama, share a short story, or participate in a sing-along to “This Land is Your Land.” These recordings will be some of the first segments to go on the air shortly after the ribbon cutting at 6 p.m.

“The more people, the better,” LeValley added. “We would love to have the whole community come and help us launch.”

Photo courtesy of Paul LaValley/AIM

by ARLnow.com — November 17, 2015 at 9:15 am 0

Sun shining through autumn leaves (Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf)

Water Main Break in Courthouse — Courthouse Road is closed between Route 50 and 14th Street N., near the police station, due to a water main break that was discovered overnight. Repairs are still underway as of this morning’s rush hour. [WTOP]

Arlington Scores New Office Tenant in Va. Square — Arlington County will fill 50,000 square feet of vacant office space in Virginia Square thanks to a new tenant. GW Medical Faculty Associates will be moving into 3811 N. Fairfax Drive this coming spring, creating more than 200 jobs. [Arlington County]

Secret Chopsticks Open Today — The previously secretive Secret Chopsticks is planning to open to the public today. The 120-seat upscale, white tablecloth Chinese restaurant is located at 1850 Fort Myer Drive, on the ground floor of the Turnberry Tower condominium. [Washingtonian]

Garvey Wants Strategic Plan for County — Should County Board member Libby Garvey become the board chair next year, she wants to develop a strategic plan for Arlington. “We really don’t have one,” she said over the weekend. [InsideNova]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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