Arlington, VA

Anthony Fusarelli, Jr., Arlington County’s new planning director, has watched the county transform over 15 years from within the Department of Community Planning, Housing, and Development.

When he arrived in Arlington, the Department of Defense was preparing to leave a gaping hole in Crystal City and Pentagon City that Arlington would, in effect, fill a decade later with Amazon’s HQ2.

Elsewhere, he watched as housing market forces and county regulations together drove the redevelopment of single-family homes for contemporary tastes at higher price points.

And in some corridors, he saw the county realize a decades-old vision for transit-oriented development, while others retained their suburban, auto-focused flavor.

Fusarelli will assume his role in early June but he is already imagining the next 40 years of development in Arlington County. Future planning will have to accommodate Arlington’s increasing population and flourishing tech industry, fueled by the arrival of Amazon’s HQ2, as well as the changing nature of work.

All of those things are moving targets, and to meet them, the plans that Arlington uses to guide development will need to allow for a variety of uses to meet the changing needs of the community, he said. That is a lesson he learned from the pandemic.

“I’m looking forward to working with our team to think more about what we can do to better absorb future disruptions and shockwaves as a complete community,” he tells ARLnow.

What that looks like, he said, “is the million-dollar question.”

Practically speaking, he said construction projects need to be adaptable by design: Parking garages that can turn into housing, or apartment buildings with co-working spaces for tenants working from home.

“We have to recognize that our planning work and decisions about buildings inform places that are going to be here for decades,” he said. “The more they can be flexible and adapt with changing times, the better off Arlington will be.”

In many ways, he said, “the possibilities are endless,” but they will involve rewriting regulations and updating county plans guiding development.

Present efforts to refresh these planning documents are focused on Clarendon, Pentagon City and along Lee Highway. Later this year, his department is set to deliver an update to the western end of the Clarendon Sector Plan.

But the Pentagon City and Lee Highway updates will be more comprehensive, he said.

Forty-five years after the Pentagon City Phased Development Site Plan was approved, most of the development it envisioned has been exhausted, he said. The biggest contributor was the 2019 approval of the first phase of Amazon’s HQ2, Met Park.

The second phase — the iconic glassy double helix that’s currently under review — will nearly complete the development called for in the 1970s, he said.

Now, the county is stepping back to imagine a more flexible plan to guide Pentagon City’s future growth, he said. And next door in Crystal City, Amazon plays an equally vital role.

“In many ways, Amazon’s arrival can really serve as a catalyst for a lot of the envisioned development that the county had imagined through the Crystal City Sector Plan,” said Fusarelli, who spearheaded the creation of the 2010 plan.

Meanwhile, future planning for Lee Highway benefits from the work to redevelop Columbia Pike from an auto-oriented shopping center into a more urban, walkable corridor.

“We still have work ahead of us,” he said.

And like Columbia Pike, the county will have to pay attention to how future development “can effectively and harmoniously transition down to low-density residential neighborhoods,” he said.

The county also has a lot of work to do to ensure a diverse range of people can live in Arlington’s more residential neighborhoods. That work will likely require changes to zoning ordinances while keeping racial equity and inclusion top of mind, he said.

“Arlington is challenged by high land values,” he said. “We need to look at other tools, such as zoning regulations, to see if they need adjustments to help us get on track.”

Courtesy photo

0 Comments

Update at 7:35 p.m. — The suspect is now in custody, Arlington County police confirm. A video reportedly showing the arrest, near the Pentagon City mall, is above.

Jay Williams, who witnessed the arrest, said he saw officers chase the man on foot across 15th Street S. before taking him into custody. The video Williams took shows the suspect struggling as he’s placed in the back of a police SUV.

Earlier: Warrants have been issued for a man who police say shoved a restaurant employee in Crystal City after refusing to pay.

Part of the incident, which happened last Tuesday, was caught on video by a second restaurant employee. The man also allegedly used anti-Asian slurs, which is being investigated as a possible hate crime, according to Arlington County police.

Today, police announced that they’ve obtained warrants for a 28-year-old man, who remains at large.

“The suspect has been identified after a patrol officer recognized him from a previous interaction. Warrants for Defrauding an Innkeeper and Felony Assault and Battery have been obtained for Jordon Bevan, 28, of No Fixed Address,” ACPD said. “This remains an active investigation and officers continue to work to locate the suspect and serve the warrants.”

Court records show Bevan was charged with two counts of petit larceny and one count of resisting arrest two weeks ago. He was released on bond and his next court date was scheduled for June 3, records show.

A police spokeswoman tells ARLnow that Bevan was arrested in the Pentagon City area on Wednesday, April 28 for two other alleged dine-and-dash crimes.

“At approximately 3:40 p.m. on April 28, police were dispatched to the area of 15th Street S. and S. Fern Street for the report of a larceny that had just occurred,” said ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 2:50 p.m. on April 27, the suspect dined at a restaurant and left without paying. On April 28, the suspect returned to the restaurant where an employee confronted him about the previous incident and he advised he would pay for both meals. He then proceeded to dine at the restaurant and allegedly left again without paying.”

“The employees contacted police and pointed out the suspect to the responding officers,” Savage continued. “The officers attempted to place the suspect into custody but he refused to follow commands and resisted arrest. With the arrival of an additional officer, he was taken into custody. He was arrested and charged with Petit Larceny (x2) and Resisting Arrest.”

The court records list Bevan’s address as Madison, Ohio. A booking photo from the April arrest shows a bearded man with similar glasses as those on the suspect in photos of the restaurant incident released by police.

A man who had his wallet stolen is facing charges after allegedly trying to confront someone he mistakenly thought was the thief.

The incident happened Sunday afternoon on the 1400 block of 28th Street S., near Gunston Middle School in the Long Branch Creek neighborhood.

“The suspect’s wallet and credit card had been stolen the day prior and he had noticed suspicious charges on his credit card,” Arlington County police said in a crime report. “The suspect went to a restaurant where his card had been used and followed a delivery driver to the home to confront the individual who had placed the order.”

“When the victim opened the door, the suspect allegedly brandished a firearm,” said ACPD. “The victim was able to close and lock the door. The investigation determined the victim did not use the suspect’s stolen credit card to place the order.”

A 27-year-old man from Stafford, Virginia was arrested and charged with brandishing a gun within 1000 feet of a school.

“The investigation into the fraud is ongoing,” police noted.

Monday’s crime report included another weekend brandishing, this time along Route 1 in the Crystal City area.

Just before 5 p.m. on Saturday a man in the drive-through line at McDonald’s allegedly became irate at the driver in front of him.

“The female victim was waiting in a drive-thru line when the suspect, who was behind her, began to honk his vehicle’s horn,” said ACPD. “He then approached her on the passenger side and brandished a firearm. The suspect then proceeded to exit the parking lot onto Richmond Highway.”

No injuries were reported. Police are continuing to investigate the incident.

File photo

0 Comments

If you see some fresh red paint on the pavement in Arlington, that’s a lane that has been designated for use by buses only.

County crews could be seen painting the new lane markers in Courthouse last week.

The new “bus only priority lanes and stops” are intended “to help improve transit safety, service and reliability,” Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services spokeswoman Kathryn O’Brien tells ARLnow.

Seven red-painted portions of roadway are planned throughout the county, O’Brien said, including:

  • 27th Street S. and Potomac Avenue in Crystal City
  • 33rd Street S. and Crystal Drive in Crystal City
    S. Hayes Street and 12th Street S. in Pentagon City
  • Crystal Drive and 26th Street S. in Crystal City
  • 15th Street N. and N. Uhle Street in Courthouse
  • Clarendon Blvd and N. Uhle Street in Courthouse
  • Wilson Blvd and N. Uhle Street in Courthouse

“They should all be completed within the next week,” O’Brien said of the painting effort.

Photo courtesy Lisa C.

0 Comments

A man allegedly left a local restaurant without paying, shoved a restaurant employee, and used anti-Asian slurs, according to police.

The incident happened shortly before 6 p.m. on Tuesday along Crystal City’s restaurant row, on the 500 block of 23rd Street S.

Restaurant employees told police they confronted the man after he didn’t pay the bill, but he kept walking away. The man also allegedly pushed an employee to the ground while another recorded the encounter on video.

The alleged assault is being investigated by Arlington County police. The employees, who are of Asian descent, told officers that the man used racial slurs, which has been referred by ACPD to Virginia State Police as a possible hate crime.

More from a police press release, below.

The Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit is investigating the assault of a restaurant employee and is seeking the public’s assistance identifying the suspect who was captured on cell phone image.

At approximately 5:54 p.m. on May 4, police were dispatched to the 500 block of 23rd Street S. for the report of an assault. Upon arrival, it was determined that the suspect left a restaurant without paying his bill. Two employees approached the suspect outside the establishment and requested he return to pay. The suspect continued walking away and when one employee began recording him, he pushed the other employee to the ground and ran off towards Richmond Highway. The victim of the assault did not require medical treatment.

During the course of the follow-up investigation by detectives, it was alleged that the suspect used racial slurs towards the employees, an Asian male and female. In accordance with Virginia law, this incident has been reported to Virginia State Police as a possible hate crime.

The suspect is described as a white male in his late 20’s to early 30’s with dark brown hair, a light brown beard, approximately 5’9″ to 5’11” tall and weighing between 150 to 160 lbs. He was wearing square rimmed glasses, headphones, a black t-shirt, gray and black sweatpants and black sneakers at the time of the incident.

This remains an active criminal investigation. Anyone with information related to this incident or who can identify the suspect is asked to contact the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4180 or [email protected] Information may also be reported anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

Photos via Arlington County Police Department

Our Arlington Agenda post is back for the first time since the pandemic started.

As a reminder: Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County. If you’d like your event considered, fill out the event submission form to submit it to our event calendar.

Monday, May 3

Patterns at Gallery Underground
Shops at Crystal City, 2100 Crystal Drive
Time:

Gallery Underground in May presents in the Focus Gallery, Patterns: an all-member show of works highlighting pattern and texture. Media used in the display include oil, acrylic, pastel, water media, sculpture, glass, ceramics, wood and metalwork.

Tuesday, May 4

Protecting What You Build: Intellectual Property as the Entrepreneur’s Core Asset
Virtually via Zoom
Time: Noon-2 p.m.

This free session hosted by the Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property (CPIP) at GMU Law School will guide attendees through types of intellectual property and how experienced entrepreneurs rely on them to implement their visions.

Wednesday, May 5

Legislative Update for Landlords in NOVA*
Virtually via Zoom
Time: 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

This webinar will review all Virginia laws going into effect on July 1, 2021, ensuring landlords understand new laws and know they are operating within the law — particularly regarding the legalization of marijuana.

Thursday, May 6

Lunch with a Librarian: Virtual Book Buzz
Virtually via Zoom
Time: Noon-12:30 p.m.

Drop in our monthly 30-minute book buzz with local librarians, with library staff and the public swapping book recommendations.

Friday, May 7

Second Anniversary Fundraising Event
Troy’s Italian Kitchen (2710 Washington Blvd)
Time: 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Troy’s Italian Kitchen is celebrating its two-year anniversary with a fundraiser to give back to the community. A portion of proceeds on Friday will go to the Arlington Food Assistance Center and the Lyon Park Community Center.

5K Fridays: The Great Inflatable Race
Courtyard Green (2121 Crystal Drive)
Time: 6-7 p.m.

Pacers and the National Landing BID’s annual 5K series returns this Friday with a wacky summer inflatable attire theme. Registration is limited to 250 participants, so make prospective runners should sign-up in advance.

*Denotes featured (sponsored) event.

0 Comments

(Updated at 4:30 p.m.) The “all clear” has been given after a bomb threat in the Crystal City/Potomac Yard area.

The investigation took place on the 3500 block of S. Clark Street, a block that includes the U.S. headquarters of grocery chain Lidl and an LA Fitness location.

An Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman declined to specify who or what received the bomb threat, but did note that several nearby businesses were evacuated during the investigation.

Arlington County firefighters and other law enforcement agencies are assisting with the investigation, said ACPD’s Ashley Savage. Assistance was provided by the explosives detection K-9 units of Virginia State Police, the Pentagon Force Protection Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency, Amtrak, and and the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, she said.

The large police presence and road closures prompted delays for some buses, Metro said earlier via social media.

Photo courtesy anonymous

0 Comments

A new bazaar is planning to bring everything from vintage clothing to artisanal food to a National Landing Market starting next month.

The new market is scheduled to launch Saturday, May 15 with a selection of artist vendors. The market will be held at Plaza at 220, a surface parking lot at 220 20th Street S. in Crystal City, and will be open every Saturday from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

“DCBB Productions, the group that brought the ‘Below Zero’ market to Dupont Underground in 2020, has come above ground to collaborate with JBG SMITH and the National Landing Business Improvement District (BID) to announce a new market in National Landing, scheduled to open on May 15,” DCBB Productions said in a press release. “National Landing Market [is] a new weekly international arts market [that] will feature extraordinary vendors selling furniture, vintage clothing, collectibles, antiques, a curated selection of jewelry, arts and crafts, delicious fresh food and artisanal food.”

A few of the vendors currently signed up are below.

  • Thirakul Designs: Vintage-inspired dresses and separates that pay homage to the styles of the early 1960s. Designed by Nina Thirakul, NOVA native who spent many years working for Chanel before starting her own line. Many of the pieces come in a matching-companion size for dogs.
  • Scuttlebutt BakeShop: A small batch, women owned, home-based bakeshop. All of the cookies have a nautical theme — CHIPwreck, The Anne Bonny, Shark Bait
  • Vincenzo’s Vintage: Enzo Dagnesese has an eye for treasures. Whether it be vases that are shaped like a mermaid’s tail, to vintage typewriters to original WW1 Red Cross posters from 1917, he’s got it all.
  • Ananya Murthy: A GW student who started painting after pandemic canceled her internship last summer.  She soon realized she wanted to share her art with people. She’s been running a small business on the side while in school selling paintings and custom painted clothes.

The market will have some COVID-19 precautions. All vendors must be 10 feet from each other, wear a mask, and have touchless payment options. Additionally all vendors, customers and staff will have to receive a temperature check before entering.

(Today the CDC recommended that everyone continue wearing masks in crowded outdoor settings, but said that those who have been fully vaccinated can safely stop wearing masks at small gatherings and while participating in certain types of outdoor exercise.)

Image courtesy DCBB Productions

0 Comments

At the end of the long road from a pop-up in 2019, The Freshman is ready to graduate this week from long-delayed concept to Crystal City’s newest restaurant.

The Freshman is the creation of Nick Freshman, owner of Spider Kelly’s in Clarendon. The restaurant, which offers an all-day breakfast menu as well as lunch and dinner options, advertises itself as one of the first to come into the area in the wake of the Amazon HQ2 announcement.

The Freshman — located in a 3,400 square foot space at 2011 Crystal Drive — is scheduled to open this Wednesday, April 21, after a soft opening last week for friends and family.

“We are really excited to open our doors and begin serving the neighborhood,” said Freshman. “We’ve created an all-day space so we can offer something thoughtful and housemade throughout their day, from a pastry and a great cup of coffee before work to a handcrafted cocktail with dinner.”

The website says the new restaurant will feature coffee and cocktails, along with a selection of beer and wine, in addition to a “locally-sourced and seasonally-driven menu.”

“The menu includes a range of small plates, tartines, flatbreads and salads, and, of course, breakfast (which is offered from open to close),” says a press release.

“Favorites include the Virginia Ham + Dried Fig + Goat Cheese tartine, the Grilled Broccoli + Brussels Caesar, and the Grilled Octopus Escabeche, which includes an apple-fennel pico de gallo, Chicken Fried Oysters and Spring Pea Hummus,” the release continues. “The Freshman‘s breakfast menu includes a vegan Tofu Scramble + ‘Cheese’ sandwich and a range of pastries, including Vanilla Cardamom Bread and a Bacon, Cheddar and Jalapeno Scone.”

The restaurant will be open from 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, and from 8 a.m.-11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The Freshman will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

The press release said the restaurant will offer dine-in service with masks required, as well as patio service and takeout. There is season for 120 inside and 50 on the patio.

Freshman had originally planned to open the restaurant early last year, but the pandemic disrupted those plans. Instead, relief program Hook Hall Helps used The Freshman’s empty space as a hub for distributing care kits and family meals to hospitality workers and families in need. The press release noted that the program has since moved into the former Cosi space next door and will remain open.

0 Comments

In the Before Times, when neither COVID-19 nor National Landing were part of the local lexicon, Crystal City would host a series of springtime races dubbed 5K Fridays.

The weekly races would attract thousands of runners. Alas, despite vaccinations quickening, gatherings of thousands of people in a relatively concentrated area remain frowned upon outside of sports stadiums.

Thus, to continue the 5K tradition in a more scaled-back fashion, the now-National Landing Business Improvement District is hosting a single event next month dubbed the Great Inflatable Race.

As the name suggests, participants are being encouraged to come “dressed in your wackiest summer inflatable attire.”

Only 250 participants will be able to register, and even then runners will start the race in waves and will be required to wear masks “at the start and finish lines and while passing within 10 feet of other runners.”

The race is scheduled for Friday, May 7 at 6 p.m., kicking off from the “Courtyard Green” at 2121 Crystal Drive.

Packet pickup will take place at the Pacers Running store in Old Town Alexandria the Sunday afternoon before the race.

0 Comments

After first announcing their move to Crystal City in September 2019, Rasa is finally planning to open this summer.

The D.C.-based, fast-casual Indian restaurant applied for a Virginia ABC permit to sell beer, wine and mixed drinks earlier this month, typically a prelude to an opening within a few months. A restaurant spokesperson confirms to ARLnow that the Rasa Crystal City location is, in fact, planning to start serving customers this summer.

We asked why the nearly year-long delay — the pandemic seems a likely culprit — but have yet to hear back as publication time.

“Rasa National Landing” will be located at 2200 Crystal Drive, near a Sweetgreen, a Chick-fil-A, and an Amazon-assisted COVID-19 vaccination clinic.

While Crystal Drive’s row of restaurants have always been popular with the lunch-time crowd, that crowd has thinned during the pandemic. Still, new residential development and hopes of turning National Landing into a “vibrant 18-hour environment” raise the possibility of a more robust dinner crowd down the line.

Rasa was founded by locals Rahul Vinod and Sahil Rahman. There are currently two other restaurant locations, one in Navy Yard near Nationals Park and the other on K Street NW in the Mt. Vernon Triangle neighborhood that opened in August 2020.

The menu and design of Rasa’s Arlington location is expected to mirror the D.C. restaurants.

The menu is bowl-based, featuring punny names like “Caul Me Maybe” (which features tofu, cauliflower, peanut sesame sauce, rice, and spinach) and “Goa Your Own Way” (featuring spicy beef, coconut ginger sauce, green beans, and lentils).

The restaurants’ colorful interiors have basket swingsets, bookshelves stocked with titles by South Asian authors and paintings from local artist Nandita Madan (who happens to be co-founder Rahman’s aunt).

Photo courtesy of Rasa

0 Comments
×

Subscribe to our mailing list