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by Tim Regan — February 16, 2017 at 5:30 pm 0

A new apartment building could rise from a lot in Crystal City.

Crystal House Apartments Investors filed a preliminary site plan for an infill development that would construct a new apartment building called “Crystal House III” near the corner of S. Eads Street and 18th Street. The proposed construction site is adjacent to the existing Crystal House apartment buildings, which are two 12-story residential towers that were built in 1961.

Under the proposed plan, the developer would build a new five-story building on a parking lot next to those towers with 252 new residential units. The plan also calls for a two-level underground parking lot with space for 424 vehicles and the construction of a new public park, streetscape improvements and public art.

“Through the proposed development, the applicant will be providing new residential units in a building with high-quality architecture and within walking distance to many community amenities, such as the Crystal City Metro station, Pentagon City Mall and 23rd Street retail businesses,” the filing reads.

The new filing is a revision of a former plan that called for the construction of two four-story residential buildings and a parking garage. That was never built, however.

The proposal is listed as preliminary, pending a final filing, on the Arlington County projects and planning website.

Second photo via Google Maps

by ARLnow.com — February 13, 2017 at 3:30 pm 0

Metrobus and fire department vehicle (file photo)The strong winds Monday morning caused a frightening moment for a Metrobus driver in the Crystal City area.

The incident happened around 10 a.m. on S. Eads Street at 22nd Street S.

“The lid of a trash dumpster that was being pushed down the street was blown open by the wind striking the windshield of a Metrobus,” a Metro spokesman told ARLnow.com. “The bus operator was treated on site for minor injuries due to broken glass.”

The bus was not in service at the time and no other passengers were reported to be on the bus.

File photo

by Tim Regan — February 6, 2017 at 10:30 am 0

Photo via Chick-Fil-AFathers and daughters will have a chance to strengthen their bond over chicken sandwiches and waffle fries during an upcoming event in Crystal City.

The Chick-fil-A at 2200 Crystal Drive is slated to hold a pre-Valentine’s Day “Daddy-Daughter Princess Night” on Monday, Feb. 13, at 4 p.m. The event is an annual sit-down meal held at Chick-fil-A restaurants across the country.

“We know how important it is to have special moments with your princess and we want to help make this pre-Valentines day one of those special moments,” the Arlington location said on its website. “Let us help make this a lifetime memory.”

Customers interested in attending must reserve a table no later than today, Feb. 6, by calling the restaurant at 703-415-7815. The meal lasts approximately 40 minutes.

“Daddy-Daughter Princess Night” isn’t the only family event the eatery has held. Chick-fil-A’s locations in Ballston and Crystal City also hosted medieval-themed mother-son “date knights” in 2013, for instance.

Photo via Chick-fil-A

by ARLnow.com — February 3, 2017 at 10:25 am 0

Crystal Couture is back for another year.

The annual fashion show and sale in Crystal City kicked off last night on the sixth floor of 2200 Crystal Drive. The event features models walking the catwalk, showing off the work of local designers. There is a bar, a DJ, numerous boutiques and free make-up and hair makeovers.

Thursday night’s event was hosted by media personality Sarah Fraser. Friday’s show will run from 5-10 p.m. and will be hosted by television personality Paul Wharton, while Saturday’s event will run from 2-10 p.m. and will be emceed by radio host Tommy McFly.

Crystal Couture is free to attend.

by ARLnow.com — February 2, 2017 at 7:05 pm 0

Crystal City BID CEO Angela Fox at the BID's annual meeting. Photo by Joy Asico (www.asicophoto.com)Angela Fox, the president and CEO of the Crystal City Business Improvement District, joined us on this week’s 26 Square Miles podcast.

The BID was formed about 10 years ago and charged with “reinventing” Crystal City, changing perceptions about one of the area’s biggest business districts and creating experiences that make it a more dynamic place to live, work and play.

That was not an easy task, especially when half the jobs in the area were set to pick up and leave due to BRAC. We asked Angie about how the BID tackled that challenge, what kind of events it’s hosting this year, and about the changes to Crystal City that could be coming soon.

Also discussed: the Crystal Couture fashion show and sale that’s happening in Crystal City this weekend.

Listen below or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Google PlayStitcher or TuneIn.

by ARLnow.com — January 31, 2017 at 11:10 am 0

Four Mile Run Valley arts area concept sketch (via Arlington County)Arlington County is scheduled to hold a series of focus groups on the housing needs of artists next week.

The public discussion will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 8 and will be led by Minneapolis-based Artspace, a nonprofit that “uses the tools of real estate development to create affordable, appropriate places where artists can live and work.”

“The conversation with arts, community, and business leaders will focus on the potential for artist housing in a variety of neighborhoods in Arlington,” according to a web page for the event. “The visit will assess the viability of arts-related programming for selected sites.”

There are four areas being considered for arts-related development: Virginia Square, Columbia Pike, the Four Mile Run Valley/Shirlington area, and the 23rd Street S. commercial district in Crystal City.

The $20,000 cost of the feasibility study is being paid for by the nonprofit Arlington Foundation for Arts and Innovation, according to the county, but at this point no final decision has been made as to whether to move forward with artist housing facilities in Arlington.

“By convening a broad-based conversation among community leaders, Artspace hopes to stimulate serious, forward looking dialog on the needs of Arlington’s creative community, including affordable housing for art teachers, music instructors and working artists,” said the county. “This is simply a conversation to explore the range and feasibility of arts-related uses broadly in and within a handful of specific neighborhoods.”

“If the results of the initial feasibility study are positive, Artspace may be engaged to conduct a Phase II study which offers a deeper dive into the needs of the community,” the county explained. “AFAI has indicated that it will fund the Phase II study if the results of the original feasibility study warrant it.”

The event is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Feb. 8, at the Arlington Economic Development offices at 1100 N. Glebe Road, 15th floor. Anybody is welcome to attend.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — January 26, 2017 at 6:35 pm 0

Crystal Couture

Crystal Couture is always free to attend and shop amazing designer discounts, but bargain-savvy shoppers can upgrade to the Crystal Couture VIP ticket for an enhanced show and sale experience.

Ticket holders receive an exclusive VIP gift bag$20 of Couture Cash to spend at any retailer at Crystal Couture, and access to an open bar serving beer and wine (valid during VIP hours on Saturday from 2-6 p.m. only).

The Crystal Couture VIP ticket is $20 online and $25 at the door (if available), but through today’s ARLnow Deal of the Day, you can get a ticket for your shopping buddy, spouse, or partner for FREE with the purchase of your own ticket.

Be sure to purchase your tickets now — this deal is only available through Friday evening!

Note: VIP status is only valid during VIP hours on Saturday, February 4 from 2-6 p.m. VIP status is not required to attend and shop during VIP hours.

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by ARLnow.com — January 26, 2017 at 10:30 am 0

Cannon at the Clarendon war memorial

Gov. Announces New Jobs for Arlington — Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) has announced that Vorsight, a “sales effectiveness” tech firm in Rosslyn, will be expanding its corporate headquarters, creating 112 new jobs in Arlington. [Governor of Virginia]

New Apartments in Crystal City/Pentagon City — More than 1,100 new apartments opened in the Crystal City and Pentagon City area in 2016. More than 3,000 additional apartments are in the development pipeline. [Bisnow]

History of Churches in Arlington — Arlington’s first church was the Chapel of Ease of Arlington Plantation, built in 1825 by George Washington Parke Custis. The church was located near what is now the Sheraton hotel at the intersection of Columbia Pike and Orme Street. It was burned by union troops during the Civil War. [Falls Church News-Press]

by ARLnow.com — January 23, 2017 at 6:05 pm 0

Bomb squad called to incident at Yorktown High School (file photo)Arlington’s bomb squad is on scene at the Americana Hotel in Crystal City for a suspicious package investigation.

Police requested the bomb squad respond to the hotel, at 1400 Jefferson Davis Highway, just before 5:45 p.m. to investigate several suspicious packages. Additional fire department units were requested to the scene around 6 p.m.

Police were initially called to the hotel for a suspicious person.

“There was a report [that a] male subject was acting suspiciously,” Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage told ARLnow.com. “He had left the scene prior to police arrival.”

The man “left some packages behind in a hotel room,” Savage said. “In an abundance of caution, the ACFD Bomb Squad is going to investigate the packages.”

Update at 7:20 p.m. — The scene has been cleared, police said via Twitter.

File photo

by Tim Regan — January 12, 2017 at 10:00 am 0

(Updated at 10:17 a.m.) A free creative arts festival is returning to Crystal City in just over two months.

Artomatic, a six-week art show that was previously held in the neighborhood in 2007 and 2012, is scheduled to return Friday, March 24, and run until Saturday, May 6.

This year’s Artomatic will occur at 1800 S. Bell Street, the Crystal City Business Improvement District said. Tens of thousands of visitors are expected to visit the 100,000-square-foot arts space over the course of the event.

In previous iterations, the festival has brought visual art, music, film, live performance, fashion and other forms of artistic expression. Artist registration begins next month, organizers said.

“We first brought Artomatic to Crystal City in 2007 in order to demonstrate the transformation that was already in progress — a new main street, fun restaurants — as well as to underscore how easily accessible our neighborhood is from D.C. The second showing in 2012 helped us further showcase our emerging arts and innovation scene,” said Angela Fox, CEO of the Crystal City BID. “Now in our third iteration, we are excited to mark the beginning of the next generation of growth, engagement and creativity for Crystal City.”

More information on this year’s event from a press release:

Artomatic returns for its signature art event to be held this year in Crystal City, Virginia from Friday, March 24th to Saturday, May 6th. Artomatic draws hundreds of artists and performers throughout the D.C., Maryland and Virginia area to showcase their talents for a six week long free exhibition that routinely attracts thousands of visitors.

“We first brought Artomatic to Crystal City in 2007 in order to demonstrate the transformation that was already in progress – a new main street, fun restaurants – as well as to underscore how easily accessible our neighborhood is from DC. The second showing in 2012 helped us further showcase our emerging arts and innovation scene,” said Crystal City BID President/CEO Angela Fox. “Now in our third iteration, we are excited to mark the beginning of the next generation of growth, engagement and creativity for Crystal City.”

This year’s 100,000 square foot space at 1800 S. Bell Street is provided by Vornado/Charles E. Smith and is located along Crystal City’s Art Underground. Launched in 2013 to transform Crystal City’s interior concourse into a vibrant arts and cultural destination, the Art Underground includes Synetic Theater, the 1200-foot long FotoWalk Underground, ArtJamz Underground, the Gallery Underground, TechShop, and Studios Underground which provides work space for two dozen artists.

Artomatic is well-known for transforming empty spaces into vibrant arts communities that create unique and exciting events for tens of thousands of visitors – all free to visit. Anyone can show art at Artomatic – it is non-juried and art is selected on a first-come, first serve basis – so it’s a great way to discover new art.

“We are very excited to be working again with the Crystal City BID, a constant champion of the arts, to create a unique, invigorating and brand new artistic experience for all visitors to enjoy,” said Jennifer Williamson, current Artomatic Board President. “We will be conducting Artist tours starting in mid-January to allow interested participants an advance glimpse of their artistic home for six weeks where they can start imagining the endless creative possibilities they can do with the space.”

by Tim Regan — January 6, 2017 at 3:00 pm 0

Photo via Facebook / DC Tattoo ExpoThousands of tattoo enthusiasts are expected to flock to Crystal City for an annual expo next week.

The D.C. Tattoo Expo is scheduled to be held at the Crystal Gateway Marriott (1700 Jefferson Davis Highway) next Friday, Jan. 13 to Sunday, Jan. 15. This is the show’s seventh consecutive year running.

The event should attract more than 400 professional tattoo artists, including some of the celebrities from Spike’s “Ink Master” and “Tattoo Nightmares,” organizers said. Attendees can sign up to get new tattoos or just talk shop with the tattooers throughout the three-day festival.

“For our seventh year in a row, we have more vendors, more clothing, more tattoos, more craziness and more fun than ever before,” the expo website reads.

The D.C. Tattoo Expo is also set to include body piercing, tattoo competitions and the annual Miss D.C. Pin-up contest. “The Human Knot” and “Mini KISS” are also scheduled to perform.

Photo via Facebook / D.C. Tattoo Expo

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — January 5, 2017 at 4:45 pm 0

1K Wine|Beer Walk

Get ready to enjoy everyone’s favorite faux race with your best bud, BFF, partner or spouse at a steep discount with today’s ARLnow Daily Deal. For the next 24 hours, purchase two 1K Wine|Beer Walk tickets for the price of one!

Tickets are usually $25 at the door or $20 online. With this Daily Deal, you can purchase two tickets for only $20 (plus transaction fees).

Choose the beverage of your choice, select your heat, and get ready to make your way through the course stopping at “hydration stations” throughout the Crystal City Shops and the Art Underground where you will be able to sample from up to 20 different wine and beers. As always, the wine and beer selections are hand-picked by the experts at the Crystal City Wine Shop where all offerings are also available for purchase.

Celebrate your personal best (i.e., your favorite taste) at a fun-filled finish festival that includes additional tasting stations, great music and complimentary bites. Come dressed in your most creative or obnoxious race-wear and be ready for photos, social media, and prizes. 

>>Purchase Today’s Deal Now<<

WHEN: Saturday, January 21st – Heats Available at 2, 3 and 4

WHERE: The Landing, Crystal City Shops @ 1750 Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA 22202

WHAT: Everyone’s favorite faux race, the 1K Wine|Beer Walk is right around the corner. Choose the beverage type of your choice, select your heat, and get ready to make your way through the course stopping at “hydration stations” throughout the Crystal City Shops and Art Underground where you will be able to sample from up to 20 different wine and beers.

by Buzz McClain — January 2, 2017 at 12:15 pm 0

Startup Monday header

Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.

When and if more manufacturing jobs start returning to the U.S., MicroBenefits will be on hand to provide “front-line workers” with a useful tool that helps them work safer and more efficiently, provides training and a pathway for advancement, and creates powerful communication capabilities between the workers and management.

MicroBenefits US staffThe Arlington-based startup, with U.S. operations headquartered in Crystal City’s 1776 business incubator, is already in operation in factories in China. Vietnam is coming online soon; factories in the Philippines are slated for early 2017.

“We’re making English and Spanish versions of the app and we’ll enter different markets [in those languages] as we have opportunities with different brands,” said Mason Chenn, director of business development.

So what does MicroBenefits do for those front-line workers? But first, what is a front-line worker?

“A front-line worker is the person who is assembling your smartphone or your speakers, or is sewing the shirts you are buying from a brand that you know,” he said. “They’re the person putting the stitches together or screwing the screws into the device.”

Photo courtesy MicroBenefitsIf you’ve ever been a front-line worker you know that it’s an isolating position, even though you may be surrounded by coworkers and supervisors. You punch the clock when you come in, do your job and punch out. In some management structures, the only time you get to communicate common problems is over a beverage with coworkers after hours. And visiting with human resources or upper management is a big, tension-filled deal.

Smart companies know they operate more efficiently when they receive feedback from their employees. What MicroBenefits does is give those front-line workers access to a number of channels they never had before via smartphones.

“We offer a mobile technology platform that helps empower front line workers,” Chenn said, bravely attempting to summarize. “The elevator speech gets very complicated after that.”

MicroBenefits deals with multiple stakeholders — the brands that employ the suppliers and the suppliers that employ the front-line workers. “Our technology is enabling change in supply chains around the world,” Chenn said, catching the elevator again.

“We’re trying to solve compliance issues around environmental health and safety. We help to qualify workers for advancement within their organizations with training opportunities. And we provide feedback channels so workers have a voice in the factor to talk about the issues they’re experiencing.”

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by Katie Pyzyk — December 19, 2016 at 1:00 pm 0

Startup Monday header

Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.

College students fall asleep in class. It’s an age-old issue. But a new solution to the problem is what prompted the launch of Sunniva, an Arlington-based “super coffee” beverage business.

A couple of years ago Jordan DeCicco was that guy who kept falling asleep in his classes at Philadelphia University. The freshman tried to stay awake using the energy drinks or pre-made coffee beverages available at convenience stores, but he didn’t like all the sugar, fat, caffeine, and calories that accompanied the beverages.

He learned about Bulletproof Coffee — a blended mixture of coffee, grass-fed butter, and MCT oil — and found that it definitely gave the energy boost he needed to stay awake through class. He tried making it in his dorm room but that wasn’t really practical for a few reasons. First, making it ahead of time and trying to chill it resulted in the butter going back to its solid form. Second, it was loaded with fat from the butter. Finally, Jordan just wasn’t a fan of the taste.

Sunniva "super coffee" beverageThat’s when he started making his own coffee drink and it seemed to be a winner. So much so that other students took notice and DeCicco began selling the drink out of his dorm room. He felt like he was onto something and enlisted help from older brother Jake, who at the time was in business school at Georgetown University.

“We’re very much accidental entrepreneurs,” Jake says. “We were just tired college students who needed an energy boost.”

Sunniva’s combination of Colombian coffee, coconut oil, and a lactose-free milk protein is a low-fat, low-cal beverage that, according to Jake, offers a longer-term energy boost compared to other products that often provide an energy spike and a crash later. Each bottle has 90mg of caffeine, which is pretty standard for an 8 oz. cup of coffee.

Sunniva is now about a year old and based out of the WeWork space in Crystal City. Oldest brother Jim is now the CEO and joins middle brother Jake in running the business, while youngest brother Jordan has gone back to school after taking a year off following his freshman year.

The business is coming full circle and targeting the very audience from which the original idea sprouted: Sunniva has found a substantial niche market on college campuses. It therefore relies heavily on digital marketing channels that younger audiences use: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blogs, and vlogs, to name a few.

“Being started by tired college kids for tired college kids, we really take advantage of this digital age,” Jake says.

The DeCicco brothers, who launched Arlington-based SunnivaThe brothers often are featured in the various social media posts. “We definitely have a personality behind the brand,” Jake says. He laughs as he points out how they often go by “oldest brother, middle brother, and youngest brother” instead of by formal titles like CEO, COO, or founder.

In addition to a growing market on college campuses, Sunniva also has found a home in the cold beverage section of 32 Whole Foods stores in the Mid-Atlantic region, as well as on Amazon.

The product is processed at an aseptic facility in Buffalo, New York. The business tried out different manufacturers and different modes of pasteurization before landing at the current facility. “We had to scale our business appropriately to get there,” Jake says.

Sunniva currently processes about 200,000 bottles per batch. The product now is made in such a way that it doesn’t require refrigeration before opening; it’s shelf-stable for nine months.

Sunniva’s business plan involves further expansion into other Mid-Atlantic and northern East Coast markets up to Boston, with a longer-term goal of becoming a national brand. But the goal for early 2017 is to work on more local market penetration. The brothers want Sunniva to be the “premier bottled coffee in the Washington, D.C. area.”

“Reaching profitability is not a metric we use right now,” Jake says. “Right now we’re really focused on our philosophy of ‘win where you live’ and being hyperlocal.”

by ARLnow.com — December 14, 2016 at 11:00 am 0

Fairfax County police car lightsA woman found a man sleeping in her car in the Crystal City area early this morning.

Police were called to the 1900 block of Jefferson Davis Highway just after midnight.

The suspect fled but was found by officers, arrested and is now facing larceny and trespassing charges.

From this week’s Arlington County Police Department crime report:

LARCENY FROM AUTO (Significant), 2016-12140006, 1900 block of Jefferson Davis Highway. At approximately 12:20 a.m. on December 14, officers responded to the report of a suspicious subject. A female victim found an unknown male subject sleeping in her vehicle. The victim confronted the unknown male subject, causing him to flee the scene on foot. Units positively identified a subject matching the victim’s description. Amir Mansur Haynes, 28, of Washington D.C., was arrested and charged with petit larceny, entering or setting in motion vehicle, and trespassing.

The rest of the past week’s crime report highlights, including some that we’ve already reported, after the jump.

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