Pupatella Gets Millions for Expansion — “Arlington’s own Pupatella pizza restaurant chain has raised $7.5 million to continue its growth spurt, with plans to open more more than a dozen restaurants in the coming years. The round was fully subscribed and had participation from almost all of the investors who participated in the company’s first round in 2018, when it raised $3.75 million.” [Washington Business Journal]
Steel from WTC Donated to Arlington — “Two pieces of steel from the World Trade Center will now be on permanent display in D.C. and Virginia ahead of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. The words ‘never forget’ are written on the front of a piece of steel beam unveiled during a ceremony in front of the Arlington County Police Officer Memorial on Sunday.” [WTOP]
Crystal City Getting Cooler? — “Nearly three years after Amazon announced it would be bringing its second headquarters to Arlington — and specifically to ‘National Landing,’ a name conjured by local officials to sell the area as a tech hub — its reputation may be changing.” [Washington Post]
Food Scrap Caddy Being Delivered — “With Arlington’s weekly food scraps collection program launching next month, a County-provided countertop caddy, instructions and even introductory biodegradable bags will be delivered to curbside customer homes beginning this week.” [Arlington County]
Fire Engine Involved in Crash — “An Arlington fire engine was involved in a crash at the intersection of 18th Street S. and S. Fern Street this morning around 9:30. No firefighters were injured. One person in the second vehicle involved was taken to the hospital but is expected to be okay, per an ACFD spokesman.” [Twitter]
CPRO to Mark 35th Anniversary — “As the group’s 35th anniversary looms on the horizon this fall, the recent annual meeting of the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization (CPRO) was a chance to take stock of tumultuous times and fly the organization’s flag in the march toward the future.” [Sun Gazette]
Arlington Poetry Book — “I picked up a copy of the ‘Written in Arlington: Poems of Arlington, Virginia’ edited by Katherine E. Young, our poet laureate emerita. Published quietly last fall during the pandemic, it showcases storytelling via 150 poems by 87 poets who ‘live, work, study, worship in or simply pass through… and in so doing, make Arlington their own,’ Young explains. She nodded to famous Arlington-based poets — George Washington Parke Custis, Doors singer Jim Morrison, and Zitkala-Sa.” [Falls Church News-Press]
It’s July — Today is the first day in the month of July, named after Julius Caesar around the time of his assassination in 44 BC. Prior to that, the month was called Quintilis. In addition to today being the start of July, it’s also the start of the second half of the year. Expect the month to be especially hot and rainy. [Capital Weather Gang]
New Va. Bike Law Now In Effect — “A new state law requires motorists to change lanes when passing a bicyclist, if the lane of travel is not wide enough to accommodate 3 feet in distance between the motor vehicle and the bicycle. Existing law had allowed, but did not require, a motorist to move into the other lane when passing a bicyclist in order to ensure at least 3 feet of distance.” [Sun Gazette]
ACFD CPR Battle — “Recruit Class 80 was certified in CPR yesterday. Recruits went head to head in partner CPR races. The top recruit team took on the FTA Cadre in a final race. Watch to find out who won! Our manikins give live feedback on the quality of compressions and ventilations.” [Instagram]
ACPD’s LGBTQ+ Outreach — “The unit provides educational outreach to the LGBTQ community on issues of concern to that community, including the types of crime that some LGBTQ people become victims of. Among those issues, he said, are same-sex domestic violence and online dating scams in which criminals pose as a potential dating partner to gain access to a gay person’s home, where they rob and sometime assault the unsuspecting victim. Penn said he was unaware of any anti-LGBTQ hate crimes that have occurred in Arlington in recent years.” [Washington Blade]
CPRO Gets Amazon Donation — “The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization (CPRO) is pleased to announce a new partnership with Amazon. To kick off this partnership, CPRO has received a generous $25,000 donation from Amazon this month to support three of its upcoming events: the recent Columbia Pike Blues Weekend, the upcoming Columbia Pike Drive-In Movie Nights, and CPRO’s 35th Anniversary Celebration in October.” [Press Release]
Outdoor movies are returning to Columbia Pike.
The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization will be screening summer cinema from the Arlington Career Center parking lot starting this Saturday.
The group’s annual movie series, now in its 11th year, was held under the stars until the pandemic struck. Last summer, it decided to offer a drive-in movie theater experience instead, a format that the CPRO will be repeating this year.
Admission requires a donation to the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization and registration in advance. Both can be done through forthcoming links in the neighborhood’s newsletter, which is sent out every Thursday. The event is being funded in part by Amazon and the Washington Forrest Foundation.
Showtime begins at sunset, between 8 and 8:30 p.m. depending on the evening. The movies are rated between G and PG-13 and the lineup ranges from dramas to animated films, and musicals to action flicks:
- July 3, 8:30 p.m.: La Misma Luna
- July 10, 8:30 p.m.: The Addams Family
- July 17, 8:30 p.m.: The Farewell
- July 24, 8:30 p.m.: Just Mercy
- July 31, 8:30 p.m.: Hairspray
- Aug. 7, 8:15 p.m.: Gojira
- Aug. 17, 8 p.m.: A League of Their Own
- Aug. 28, 8 p.m.: Raya and the Last Dragon
Each movie will be shown in English with Spanish subtitles.
The Arlington Career Center Parking lot can be accessed by entering on S. Walter Reed Drive, according to the event page. There will be no public bathrooms available at the facility while the film is shown.
Moviegoers can arrive up to one hour early to secure a spot for their vehicles, the event page said. A Kona Ice truck will be making shaved ice treats before the movie.
Photos courtesy of CPRO
(Updated at 11:10 a.m.) A pair of Columbia Pike businesses say they’re planning to leave when their leases are up due to parking challenges at a county-financed garage.
Lost Dog Cafe and Joule Wellness Pharmacy both tell ARLnow that relatively high and confusing parking fees in the garage are costing them thousands of dollars a year in customer business. The owners of both say they will not be renewing their leases when they expire come 2023 and 2024, respectively.
“This parking issue has made it so untenable,” says Lost Dog Cafe franchise owner Jim Barnes. “We link this to our sales and our sales are not good. There’s a correlation with this parking lot.”
The parking garage, located at the corner of Columbia Pike and S. Walter Reed Drive, is owned by Ballston-based apartment developer AvalonBay. However, it was built based as part of an unusual 2006 agreement with Arlington County.
The county contributed $2.96 million to its construction with the promise of receiving 45% of parking revenue as a form of payback every month going forward, according to the “public parking development agreement” obtained by ARLnow.
It is one of only two parking garages in the county that has an agreement of this nature, county officials confirm, with the other also along Columbia Pike, at Penrose Square.
The agreement does not specify a duration for which the county will continue to receive the parking revenue and county officials declined to provide an “interpretation” of whether that could mean into perpetuity.
They also didn’t specify how much revenue the garage generated for the county in 2020.
The parking garage is owned by AvalonBay and was acquired by the company with its $102 million purchase of the since-renamed Avalon Columbia Pike apartment building — formerly the Halstead Arlington — in 2016.
While this agreement had been in place for a decade and a half, initially signed by a different developer, a majority of the issues for the businesses started in March 2020, just days before the pandemic began to hit Arlington.
That’s when, according to Lost Dog and Joule Wellness, the parking machines were turned on and enforced for the first time in years.
Lost Dog Cafe, a franchisee of the original in Westover, moved into 2920 Columbia Pike in May 2009. At the time, Barnes said that parking was free after 5 p.m. and on weekends, which he says was an adequate compromise. A large portion of their customer-base came when parking was free anyway, with the garage able to earn revenue at other times, he says.
When AvalonBay purchased the building, notes Barnes, those restrictions went away and the parking machines were turned off. Enforcement also stopped.
Then four years later, with little notice according to the businesses, the machines were turned back on, enforcement restarted, and parking fees were being charged 24/7. The machines require drivers to pay for parking in advance, and anyone who fails to do so — or who overstays the amount of time they paid for — gets ticketed or towed.
A sign outside the garage advertises a parking rate of $1.75 per hour, which can be paid via a cash-only machine inside the garage. Barnes claims the machine “has never worked” and “steals people’s money.”
Drivers can also use the ParkMobile app, but poor cell phone reception in the garage makes that difficult, and the app charges $2.25 for the first hour.
“Customers cannot use their phones to access it infuriating them and they simply choose to no longer come to our business as a result,” Barnes said.
Paid street parking is available nearby, but is limited. Parking on surrounding neighborhood streets, meanwhile, often requires a residential decal, and nearby parking lots are restricted to other businesses and their customers.
AvalonBay, in an email to ARLnow, disputes Barnes’ version of events, writing that parking was being collected prior to March 2020.
“Equipment had been in place and parking revenue was collected prior to March 2020,” writes a company representative. “In March 2020, an updated parking system was installed with the County’s approval.”
Barnes, however, says that he received “no notice whatsoever” about the change or any updates.
The management of Joule Wellness Pharmacy, which opened its Pike location in early 2014, said they did receive notice, but it was only two to three weeks prior to the change. What’s more, they said there’s no mention of paid parking in their lease.
“There was not no mention of that in our lease,” says manager Alex Tekie. “And in fact, we’re told parking is free for us and our employees and for customers coming on the retail side.”
Tekie and pharmacy owner Winnie Tewelde tell ARLnow they now shell out nearly $800 a month in parking, mostly so employees can park in the lot.
They’ve talked a lawyer about the situation, but grew weary of paying even more money to fight the parking changes against a large, publicly-traded developer.
“We got exhausted. Drained,” says Tekie. “It’s David vs. Goliath.”
Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County and local events being held online. If you’d like your event considered, fill out the event submission form to submit it to our event calendar.
Tuesday, May 18
Anxiety, Isolation And Hopelessness: The Pandemic Mental Health Crisis
Via Zoom or Facebook
Time: 7:30-8:30 p.m.
WAMU host Kojo Nnamdi will be part of a round-table discussion with a panel of experts to discuss the state of mental health in the wake of the pandemic. Kojo and the panel of experts will discuss the effects of COVID-19 on mental health and what can be done to get people the needed help.
Thursday, May 20
The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization is celebrating its 35th year with a virtual luncheon to discuss how far the Pike has come as a community and the progress still being made. A donation to the organization is required for registration, with optional amounts of $35, $50 and $89.
Saturday, May 22
National Landing Farmers Market
Metropolitan Park (1330 S Fair Street)
Time: 8 a.m.-Noon
The National Landing BID is launching a weekly farmers’ market in Pentagon City every Saturday, offering a variety of meat, eggs, and produce options. The markets start this Saturday and will run through July 31.
Troop 647 May Drive-Through Scouting for Food
Church of the Covenant (2666 Military Road)
Time: 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Troop 647 is pushing to reach a goal of raising 8,000 pounds of food by June. Over 5,000 has been raised since November and the Troop is hoping to make a big push for unopened canned or packages of dry food at an event this Saturday. Scouts will be at the church to receive the donation then box it and take it to the Arlington Food Assistance Center.
*Denotes featured (sponsored) event.
APS Modifies Back-to-School Plan — “To better serve our students, we are announcing updates to the return-to-school plan, including revisions to the elementary and middle school hybrid/in-person instructional models and adjusted student groupings.” [Arlington Public Schools]
More on Silver Line Attack — “The woman was riding the train with her young child at about 11:35 a.m. Tuesday when a man assaulted her, tried to remove her clothing and exposed himself, Metro Transit Police said. The attack occurred between the McLean and East Falls Church stations.” [NBC 4]
CPRO May Get New Name — “The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization has been known by the name – and the acronym CPRO – for nearly 35 years. But plans are now in the works to provide a new name to describe the organization’s current mission. The renaming process ‘will probably happen over the next few months,’ CPRO executive director Kim Klingler said.” [InsideNova]
Rose Bush Auction This Weekend — “Hosted by Arlington Rose Foundation… Our auction with sound system will be held outdoors, where it is easy to social distance, in the lovely rose garden at Columbia Gardens Cemetery, 3411 Arlington Boulevard.” [ARLnow Events]
Adult, Two Kids Struck By Driver in Falls Church — ” At approximately 11:01 a.m. on October 7, City of Falls Church Police were dispatched to the report of pedestrians hit by a vehicle at the intersection of W Annandale Road and W Broad Street. Three victims – an adult and two minors – were transported to Virginia Hospital Center with non-life-threatening injuries.” [City of Falls Church]
Unease About Va. Reopening — “Local leaders and business owners in Northern Virginia were uncertain about Gov. Ralph Northam’s announcement that parts of the state could begin reopening as soon as May 15. ‘Our first reaction was whoa wait a minute, talk to us,’ said Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey. David Guas, the owner of Bayou Bakery in Arlington County, said the state’s guidance on reopening business is becoming unreliable.” [NBC 4]
Republican Candidate Running for County Board — “The Arlington County Republican Committee, which in recent years has found it challenging to field candidates, announced May 7 that retired attorney Bob Cambridge had won the GOP nod for the special-election ballot. ‘Bob will bring a robust discussion of important local issues to this race – focusing on fiscal accountability, government transparency and planning for the future,’ GOP chairman Andrew Loposser said.” [InsideNova]
Arlington Startup Secures More Funding — “Stardog, the leading Enterprise Knowledge Graph platform, today announced it has expanded its Series B round to $11.4m, securing an additional $3 million from new investors Contour Venture Partners, Dcode Capital, and Presidio Ventures… The additional capital will be used to scale go-to-market operations.” [Stardog via Potomac Tech Wire]
CPRO Launches ‘Feed Our Families’ Initiative — “As the pandemic continues to impact every aspect of our daily lives, access to fresh food has become the most urgent need for many families along Columbia Pike. That’s why we’re partnering with our Columbia Pike Farmers Market vendors to assemble weekly produce boxes that can be distributed to families in need.” [Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization]
Local Business Owners Still Waiting for Loans — “Like many business owners across Northern Virginia, Cyrille Brenac is still waiting to hear back from his bank about his application to the Paycheck Protection Program… For Brenac, who lives in the Cherrydale neighborhood of Arlington, the money would help him rehire about 50 employees of his two French restaurants he laid off when the economy abruptly shut down as the result of the global COVID-19 pandemic.” [Connection Newspapers]
County Board Salary Raise Unlikely — “The COVID-19 health pandemic and resulting economic downturn have snagged another victim – big pay raises for Arlington County Board members. Raises totaling more than $50,000 spread across the five board positions, which were included in County Manager Mark Schwartz’s pre-virus budget proposal in February, have been red-lined out.” [InsideNova]
Bearded Goat Barber Dies During Home Isolation — “We’ve already had quite a tragedy of our own — a barber who was in recovery from heroin addiction. He told us a couple times in the first few weeks, ‘It’s not good for me not being busy like this… not being able to work.’ We didn’t know just how bad it would be for him. He relapsed and got a bad batch and died.” [InsideHook, Facebook]
Campaign to Help Nurses, Restaurants Raises $30k — “The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization (CPRO) began its ‘Buy a Nurse Lunch’ initiative several weeks ago to raise money for restaurants along Columbia Pike in Arlington, while simultaneously providing meals for nurses and medical staff at the Virginia Hospital Center. In just two weeks, the organization says that over $30 thousand was raised, providing much-needed revenue for small, locally-owned restaurant.” [WJLA]
County to Consider More Retail Conversions — “For many years, county officials were insistent that retail be placed in office and residential buildings in certain areas. The problem – as developers apparently knew but county leaders seemed to miss – is that retail spaces are dependent on visibility and foot traffic, which each can vary widely even within the same building. (At one business-organization meeting years back, developers simply shrugged their shoulders, saying they often penciled in ‘zero’ for the expected revenue.)” [InsideNova]
Local Man Recounts Coronavirus Experience — “He had been in the hospital for seven days when doctors declared he might not make it out alive. His blood oxygen levels sank. His lungs struggled. The ventilator helping him breathe, doctors at Virginia Hospital Center said, did not seem to be doing much good. Nurses called his family. His family called a priest. They wanted to make sure Francis Wilson, 29, received last rites before the end.” [Washington Post]
Raccoons Rescued from Trash Can — “Officer Cameron got a surprise yesterday when she responded to a call about a raccoon stuck inside a bag inside a trash can. After she ‘unstuck’ the raccoon, she found 2 raccoon kits with her! Officer Cameron made sure they were all safe, releasing them to a quiet place nearby.” [Animal Welfare League of Arlington]
Arlington Musicians Play Mozart From Self-Isolation — A group of Arlington musicians joined those from elsewhere to perform Mozart: Serenade No. 13 in G Major, K. 525 ‘Eine Kleine Nachtmusik’ (1st movement) remotely. [YouTube]
Falls Church Senior Care Centers Face Outbreaks — “Three Falls Church area senior homes are now confirmed to be fighting outbreaks of the coronavirus, with Chesterbrook Residences telling the News-Press today that a total of 17 of its residents and staff have tested positive for COVID-19.” [Falls Church News-Press]
Flickr pool photo by P Ranfone
Police Memorial Service in Courthouse — “N. Courthouse Road will be closed between 14th Street N. and 15th Street N. from approximately 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. on May 10 to accommodate the Observance of Peace Officers Memorial Day.” [Twitter]
New CPRO Director Sets Vision for Pike — “‘My greatest fear is we are going to be completely gentrified,’ [new Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization director Kim Klingler] said. ‘The market will drive [redevelopment], but at the same time, we want to be able to control what we’re able to control.'” [InsideNova]
Another N. Arlington Power Outage — “More than 1,000 Dominion customers without power in parts of North Arlington [Wednesday] morning, per outage map. Marymount U. Is within the outage area. Power restoration expected this afternoon.” [Twitter]
Arlington Offers Larger Apartments — The median income for renters in Arlington affords an apartment nearly twice the size as the equivalent in D.C. [CNBC]
Column in Va. Paper Bashes J-D Highway Renaming — “In response to Arlington County, Virginia’s proposal to rename its Jefferson Davis Highway, local man Max Perrine has written a very questionable column for Virginia newspaper The Roanoke Times.” [The Week]
Mr. Knick Knack Facing Child Porn Charges — Children’s performer “Mr. Knick Knack,” a 58-year-old Reston resident named Steven Rossi, is facing 10 felony counts of possession of child pornography. Rossi performed a number of shows in Arlington over the past few years. [Reston Now]
The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization tapped Kim Klingler as its new executive director, the group announced in a release today (Tuesday).
Klingler steps in for interim director Karen Vasquez, who’d been serving in that role since January.
She took over for Cecilia Cassidy, who stepped down last December after more than two years helming the group.
“We are excited that Kim will be joining CPRO as our new Executive Director,” said CPRO board president John Snyder in a statement. “She brings with her tremendous experience as an Arlington activist and civic leader, as well as business expertise. All will be great assets to our organization.”
More details on Klingler from a press release:
An Arlington resident for 18 years, in a professional capacity, Kim has been a Division Director at the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and a Senior Manager at Deloitte Consulting. She has also worked extensively with local organizations and Arlington County, serving as both Chair and Vice Chair for the Arlington Committee of 100, Chair of the Emergency Preparedness Advisory Commission, and Co-Chair of the Arlington County Democratic Committee – Joint Campaign.
Kim’s volunteer work includes the Arlington Free Clinic, Lee Highway Alliance, Arlington County Civic Federation, Arlington Arts Center, Falls Church Volunteer Fire Department, among others. She is also a member of Leadership Arlington, the Arlington County Chamber of Commerce, and was a 2014 Inaugural Honoree of the Arlington “40 Under 40.”
“Columbia Pike is such an amazing place with so much history, diversity, and potential,” said Kim. “I am excited, and feel deeply privileged, to have the opportunity to combine my professional and community leadership skills and experiences in order to continue CPRO’s legacy and further shape Columbia Pike’s future.”
Photo courtesy of CPRO
Summer may feel pretty far off these days, as temperatures dip into the 20s, but there’s already a full slate of outdoor movie nights scheduled along Columbia Pike.
The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization (CPRO) announced the schedule for its annual movie series last week, with screenings set to start in mid-June.
The theme of this year’s series is “Heroes and Sheroes: Movies with a Mission.”
On Fridays, screenings will be held at the Arlington Mill Community Center (909 S. Dinwiddie Street). On Saturdays, movies will be shown at the Penrose Square development (2501 9th Road S.).
The full schedule is as follows:
June 14: Moana (PG)
June 21: On the Basis of Sex (PG-13)
June 28: A Wrinkle in Time (PG)
July 5: Hidden Figures (PG)
July 12: Aquaman (PG-13)
July 19: First Man (PG-13)
July 26: The Incredibles (PG)
August 2: Mulan (G)
August 9: Brave (PG)
August 16: E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (PG)
August 23: Won’t You Be My Neighbor (PG-13)
June 15: Black Panther (PG-13)
June 22: Wonder Woman (PG-13)
June 29: The Post (PG-13)
July 6: Apollo 13 (PG)
July 13: Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (PG)
July 20: Akeelah and the Bee (PG)
July 27: Selma (PG-13)
August 3: Norma Rae (PG)
August 10: A League of Their Own (PG)
August 17: Life in the Doghouse (NR)
August 24: Won’t You Be My Neighbor (PG-13)
CPRO says it’s still looking for businesses to sponsor the movie series. Anyone interested can apply on the organization’s website.
Photo via Facebook