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Morning Notes

H-B’s Rosslyn Home Has New Name — The new Rosslyn home for the H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program has a new name, after a School Board vote last night. The under-construction structure’s new name: The Heights Building. The vote came after the School Board voted to change the name of Washington-Lee to Washington-Liberty. [Twitter, Arlington Public Schools]

CPRO Gets New Interim Leader — “The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization (CPRO) has named Karen Vasquez as its Interim Executive Director. Karen has spent the last fifteen years working in the field of economic development, creating compelling stories to help recruit and retain Fortune 500 companies, non-profits, hotels and more to Arlington, Virginia.” [CPRO]

Animal Welfare League Nabs Chicken — “AWLA’s 75th animal control case of our 75th year came in just a few days ago! We received a call about a chicken on 8th Rd S., and Officer Swetnam was able to catch the chicken, now affectionately called Henny Penny, and bring her back to the shelter. [Instagram]

Arlington Housing Costs Top D.C. ‘burbs — “Homes in Arlington had the highest per-square-foot costs across the Washington suburbs, according to new sales data, although most jurisdictions saw lower averages from a year before. Arlington’s per-square-foot cost of $435 led the pack but was down from $473 in 2017, according to figures reported Jan. 10.” [InsideNova]

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Top Pike Booster Retiring

Cecilia Cassidy, the Executive Director of the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization, is retiring.

CPRO, which was established in the 1980s to “champion and connect business and community along Columbia Pike,” announced the retirement in a press release Monday afternoon.

A search for Cassidy’s replacement is currently underway, the organization said. Her last day is currently expected to be Dec. 31.

More from the press release:

The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization (CPRO) announces the retirement of its Executive Director, Cecilia Cassidy. Cassidy has served as the organization’s executive director since February 2016.

“CPRO is grateful for Cecilia’s leadership and her contributions to the organization,” said CPRO board president John Snyder, “but even more grateful for the spirit, enthusiasm, and friendship Cecilia has shared with us.”

Under Ms. Cassidy’s leadership, the organization has seen its largest period of financial growth in its 30-year history and adopted a strategic plan that included new initiatives such as the installation of nearly 70 place-making banners that were installed this month along the four-mile stretch of Columbia Pike that CPRO serves, unifying the corridor and celebrating “Arlington’s Oldest and Newest Main Street.”

Before joining CPRO, Cassidy led Rosslyn Renaissance, one of Arlington’s four public/private partnerships, and was instrumental in the creation of Arlington’s first BID, the Rosslyn Business Improvement District, which she headed until 2013.

CPRO’s Board of Directors is in the early stages of the search process for Cassidy’s replacement.

The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, public/private partnership. CPRO is a coalition of residents and civic associations, businesses and property owners, and the Arlington County Government.  For more information visit www.Columbia-Pike.org

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New ‘Place-Making’ Banners On the Way for Columbia Pike

Columbia Pike is now set to see dozens of new banners adorn its street poles, as part of a bid to tie communities along the highway together.

The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization announced that it’d begin installing 70 of the new banners on a four-mile section of the Pike last week.

The County Board signed off on the new pennants this summer, with some set to proclaim the area as “Arlington’s Oldest and Newest Main Street” and others advertising local events like movie nights and farmers markets.

“This four-mile stretch of ‘The Pike’ represents Arlington’s most diverse community with nearly 72,000 residents, roughly 38 percent of Arlington County’s entire population,” CPRO Board President John Snyder wrote in a statement. “The Pike represents an opportunity for place-making, for celebration and for economic development. And Columbia Pike’s 10 neighborhoods are also immediately adjacent to Crystal City, the newly announced headquarters for Amazon.”

The first banners will hang on poles running from the Pentagon City Sheraton (900 S. Orme Street) to the Arlington Mill Community Center (909 S. Dinwiddie Street).

Then, as work wraps up on utility undergrounding and streetscape improvements along the highway in the coming months, CPRO will add more banners on the road between S. Dinwiddie and S. Jefferson streets. That will include the area surrounding the “Centro Arlington” development taking the place of the old Food Star grocery store near the Pike’s intersection with S. George Mason Drive.

CPRO is paying for the banners with help of grants from the county, the Washington Forrest Foundation and the Virginia Main Street Affiliate Program, according to a news release.

The nonprofit first started developing the banner program in tandem with the County Board last year in order to “visually unify” the area and “highlight the major development areas where ongoing Pike events take place,” the release added.

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New ‘Main Street’ Banners Approved for Columbia Pike

Columbia Pike is getting some new branding, in the form of banners that will be placed on light poles along the Pike.

As expected, the County Board approved the banners — which proclaim the Pike to be “Arlington’s Oldest and Newest Main Street” — at its meeting on Saturday.

The initial 48 banners will cost just over $11,000 to install and will be paid for and maintained by the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization.

“The County and our partner, CPRO, continue to make steady progress toward realizing the community’s vision of a Columbia Pike that feels more like a Main Street,” Arlington County Board Chair Katie Cristol said in a statement. “These colorful banners will enhance the vibrancy we already see along the Pike, where years of community planning and public and private engagement have created a more pedestrian-friendly streetscape and more welcoming public spaces.”

The banners will run the length of the Pike in Arlington — from Foxcroft Heights to the western county line

Arlington County’s press release about the banner approval is below.

The Board voted unanimously to authorize the installation of non-commercial banners in the public right-of-way along the entire length of Columbia Pike, from Foxcroft Heights to the western County line. The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization (CPRO) will place the seasonal banners on street light poles on behalf of the County.

CPRO will fund the phased installation and maintenance of these banners. In the first phase, 48 banners will be installed at key major intersections along the Pike. Subsequent phases will be completed as funding becomes available. Total cost to install the initial 48 banners is $11,280. It will cost $2,000 to maintain the banners the first year (increasing 5 percent annually). […]

Background

In 2017, the Board doubled annual funding for CPRO, bringing its total commitment to $400,000. The Board, at the time, said it wanted to see CPRO use some of those funds to develop new place-making activities – specifically a cleaning program and a banner program. The Washington Forrest Foundation has also contributed $10,000 to CPRO for the program for this purpose. This is the second time the Board has permitted CPRO to install decorative banners within the public right-of-way.

About CPRO

CPRO’s mission is to create a safer, cleaner, more vibrant community from the Pentagon to the County line, a corridor which geographically makes up 17 percent of Arlington, and to champion and connect businesses and community along Columbia Pike. […]

To learn more about the County’s efforts to transform Columbia Pike into a more transit-oriented, pedestrian-friendly Main Street with great public spaces and a mix of vibrant retail, restaurants, housing and offices, visit the County website.

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