Arlington, VA

Morning Notes

Office Vacancy Rate Dropping — “The commercial vacancy rate in the County continues to improve. The vacancy rate as of the second quarter of 2019 stands at 16.6%, down nearly 5% from its historic high of 21% in 2015. Arlington Economic Development also announced it successfully closed 26 deals in FY 2019, representing 7.2 million square feet of office space and 43,000 jobs.” [Arlington County]

County Adopts New Bathroom Policy — “The Arlington County government has adopted what amounts to an anything-goes policy for government-building restrooms and locker rooms. The policy, outlined to County Board members on July 16, will formally allow any individual to use a male or female restroom ‘that corresponds with gender identity or expression,’ county staff said.” [InsideNova]

Human Remains Found Near GW Parkway — Human remains, in a skull, have reportedly been found near the GW Parkway and Reagan National Airport, in the same area where a D.C. cadaver dog was hurt earlier this week, prompting a medevac flight. The dog is now recovering from serious injuries. U.S. Park Police are investigating the source of the remains. [Fox 5, Washington PostWTOP]

New Provost, Plans for Marymount — “Marymount is proud to welcome the university’s new Provost, Hesham El-Rewini, Ph.D., P.E., who officially begins his duties on campus this week… ‘We have bold plans for the future of Marymount as we strive to become an elite Catholic institution that is nationally recognized for innovation,’ said Dr. Irma Becerra, President of Marymount University.” [Marymount University]

GoFundMe for Westover Residents — A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to benefit residents of Westover whose homes were damaged by flash flooding last week. So far more than $8,000 has been raised. [GoFundMe]

Big Crane Assisting With DCA Project — “A 250 ft. crane is being used to lift and put steel into place for a new 14-gate concourse that will replace Gate 35X” at Reagan National Airport. [Twitter]

Pentagon City Apartment Sold for Big Bucks — “Dweck Properties Inc. has picked up another multifamily property in Pentagon City, not far from where Amazon.com Inc. is settling into its second home. A Dweck affiliate paid $117 million July 9 for the Park at Pentagon Row, a 299-unit apartment building at 801 15th St. S.” [Washington Business Journal]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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The man who was shot in the parking garage of the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall has died, police say.

In a press release, Arlington County Police say the shooting happened during an attempted robbery. The man who died was wearing a mask and brandished the gun, demanding the cell phone of a man inside a car, police say; a struggle ensued and the alleged, would-be robber was shot.

The deceased robbery suspect’s name has not yet been released. Police say they have not filed charges against the victim of the robbery attempt “at this time.”

More from ACPD:

The Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit is investigating a fatal shooting that took place in the Pentagon City area of Arlington on the afternoon of July 1, 2019.

At approximately 1:43 p.m. on July 1, police were dispatched to the report of shots fired in a parking garage in the 800 block of Army Navy Drive. The preliminary investigation indicates that the victim was inside of his vehicle when he was approached by a masked subject displaying a handgun. The subject brandished the firearm and threatened the victim demanding his cell phone. A physical struggle ensued between both parties outside of the vehicle, during which the firearm was discharged.

Arriving officers located the suspect suffering from an apparent gunshot wound and immediately began to render aid. He was subsequently transported to an area hospital with life threatening injuries and later succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased.

The identity of the decedent is being withheld pending proper identification and notification of next of kin.

This incident remains an active criminal investigation. No charges have been sought at this time.

Anyone with information related to this investigation is asked to contact Detective G. Seibert of the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4199 or [email protected] Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

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Arlington County Police are investigating two fatal pedestrian-involved crashes that happened last week.

The first occurred Wednesday morning at the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. Four Mile Run Drive. The victim, a 77-year-old Arlington resident, died Thursday, police announced over the weekend.

More from ACPD:

The Arlington County Police Department’s Critical Accident Team (CAT) is investigating a now fatal pedestrian crash that occurred on Wednesday, June 12 at the intersection of Columbia Pike and South Four Mile Run Drive.

At approximately 9:27 a.m., police responded to the area for the report of an accident with injury involving a pedestrian. Officers and medics arrived on scene and located the female victim suffering from serious injuries and rendered aid. The pedestrian was transported to an area hospital in critical condition. The preliminary investigation indicates that the victim was crossing the westbound lanes of Columbia Pike against the walk signal when she was struck by an oncoming vehicle. The driver of the striking vehicle remained on scene and detectives interviewed multiple witnesses.

The pedestrian, identified as Martha Saltos, 77, of Arlington, Va. was transported to an area hospital in critical condition. She later succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced deceased on June 13.

Anyone who may have witnessed this crash or has additional information regarding this investigation is asked to contact Detective S. Lafley at [email protected] or 703-228-4052. Information may also be reported anonymously to Arlington County Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS.

The second fatal crash happened Friday night, on N. George Mason Drive near Virginia Hospital Center. A 66-year-old Arlington man died from his injuries after being struck by a vehicle.

Also from ACPD:

The Arlington County Police Department’s Critical Accident Team is investigating a fatal pedestrian crash that occurred in the 1700 block of N. George Mason Drive.

At approximately 10:51 p.m. on Friday, June 14, police responded to the report of a crash involving a pedestrian. The pedestrian, identified as Robert Bramwell, 66, of Washington D.C., was transported to an area hospital where he succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased.

Based on the preliminary investigation, it is believed that the pedestrian entered the roadway outside the crosswalk and did not have the right-of-way at the time of the crash. The driver of the striking vehicle remained on scene and is cooperating with the investigation.

This remains on ongoing investigation and anyone with additional information related to this incident is asked to contact Detective T. Parsons at [email protected] or 703-228-4172. To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).

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Morning Notes

Police Nab Sex Assault Suspect — “Following a tip from a member of the public, the suspect has been identified as Wondimagegn Azemach, 19, of Riverdale, Maryland. He has been charged with Abduction with Intent to Defile and Sexual Battery.” [Arlington County]

Fire at Ambar in Clarendon — A small fire temporarily closed Ambar restaurant in Clarendon during prime brunching time on Saturday. [Twitter, Twitter]

Board Approves Va. Square Development — “The Arlington County Board today approved a plan to replace aging commercial buildings on the northwest corner of Washington Boulevard and Kirkwood Road, in the Ballston-Virginia Square neighborhood, with a seven-story apartment building that will include 16 affordable units and achieve LEED Silver energy efficiency.” [Arlington County]

GW Parkway Sinkhole Work Continues — “The repairs to a crumbling section of the George Washington Parkway between Turkey Run Park and the Capital Beltway are now expected to continue through most of the summer. The long-term repairs to a failed drainage inlet will keep at least one right lane on the parkway closed for 10 weeks once the contractor is ready for work, the National Park Service said Friday. Engineers have determined that a 60 year old brick drainage structure buried deep under the parkway needs to be replaced.” [WTOP, Press Release]

Fire Victim Identified — The person killed in an apartment fire in the Ashton Heights neighborhood last week “has been identified as Brian Green, 50, of Arlington. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.” [Arlington County]

Football Team Joins Arlington Chamber — “Welcome new member @Redskins! We are thrilled to have you as part of our membership at the Arlington Chamber of Commerce.” [Twitter]

County Kicks Off Census Effort — Arlington County and its Complete Count Committee (CCC) are gearing up for the 2020 Census – working toward the goal of counting every Arlingtonian… It’s not too early to get acquainted with the Census and what to expect next year.” [Arlington County]

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley

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(Updated at 1:30 p.m.) One person has died after a fire in Ashton Heights, near Ballston, Tuesday morning.

First responders were dispatched to a garden-style apartment on the 3800 block of 5th Street N at 7:44 a.m. today where they found an unconscious man in the living room, the Arlington County Fire Department said in a statement at 1:30 p.m. today.

“There was no fire evident when firefighters arrived, but the reporting party told firefighters it smelled like something was burning in the building,” said the department. “Firefighters on the back of the building identified the source of the smell as a first-floor apartment. They forced entry and found a small fire on the stove at the rear of the apartment that was quickly extinguished.”

The department said firefighters located the apartment’s smoke detector — but the early warning device lacked a battery.

By the time they found the man, the apartment had filled with smoke, department spokesman Capt. Ben O’Bryant told ARLnow at 11:15 a.m.

The man was rushed to a local hospital as medics performed CPR, according to O’Bryant. He was later pronounced dead.

Authorities are not yet releasing the man’s name, as they work to notify next of kin. He was only identified as an adult male.

As is standard for a fatal fire, the fire marshal’s office and Arlington County Police are jointly investigating the cause of the fire and the man’s death.

See the full department press release below:

At 7:44 a.m. on Tue., June 11, firefighters from the Arlington County Fire Department and Ft. Myer Fire Department, and officers from the Arlington County Police Department, were dispatched for a possible structure fire at a two-story apartment building in the 3800 block of Fifth Street North.

There was no fire evident when firefighters arrived, but the reporting party told firefighters it smelled like something was burning in the building. Firefighters on the back of the building identified the source of the smell as a first-floor apartment. They forced entry and found a small fire on the stove at the rear of the apartment that was quickly extinguished.

Upon searching the residence, firefighters located an unconscious adult male in the living room. The occupant was immediately removed from the apartment and resuscitative efforts initiated by Fire/EMS personnel. Responders continued to treat the patient en route to the hospital where the patient was later pronounced deceased.

The fire was contained to the room of origin and did not affect any other residences in the building. There was a smoke detector installed in the apartment, but it did not contain a battery.

Investigators from ACFD Fire Prevention Office and ACPD responded and are working collaboratively to investigate the fire. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

The identity of the deceased is being withheld pending notification of next of kin. The cause of death will be determined by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. No further information is available at this time.

Photo via ACFD/Twitter

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Morning Notes

Body Found in Submerged SUV — “Authorities were working Monday night to recover a body inside an SUV submerged in the Potomac River [near Roosevelt Island]… D.C. Fire & EMS said they found tire tracks leading into the river and divers were able to locate the SUV by 6 p.m. Monday. Sources confirmed to News4 that a body was trapped inside.” [NBC Washington]

Clarendon Beer Garden May Open Next Month — “The 22,000-square-foot space, dubbed The Lot… [is] anticipating an early June opening, pending final permit approvals, with plans to incorporate drinking games, picnic seating, and tacos.” [Eater]

UMD Coming to Crystal City? — “The University of Maryland is scouting out potential sites in Crystal City, where it could potentially help to feed Amazon.com Inc.’s long-term plans to hire at least 25,000 workers to support its second headquarters. The state’s flagship university is in the market for between 20,000 and 25,000 square feet to support the growth of HQ2, according to sources familiar with the situation.” [Washington Business Journal]

Arlington Mosque Security Measures — “Members of an Arlington, Virginia, mosque are being trained on how to respond to an active shooter. Worshippers are learning how to take security measures to protect themselves and save the lives of others. The training follows mass shooting at houses of worship around the world.” [Voice of America, Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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A man died early Tuesday morning after crashing his motorcycle on I-395 in Arlington.

The crash happened around 2 a.m. on northbound I-395 at the Washington Blvd exit, just prior to Pentagon City. The force of the crash ejected the rider, who died on scene, and caused the motorcycle to catch fire.

More from Virginia State Police:

At 1:58 a.m. Tuesday (April 23), Virginia State Police were called to the scene of a single-vehicle crash in Arlington County. Based on witness accounts, a motorcycle was traveling north on I-395 at a high rate of speed when it ran off the left side of the highway and struck the cement Jersey wall. The motorcycle then crossed over all northbound lanes of I-395 and continued off the right side of the interstate at the Exit 8A ramp. The motorcycle struck the guardrail and its rider was ejected. The impact with the guardrail caused the motorcycle to catch fire.

The motorcycle’s operator died at the scene. State police is still in the process of locating and notifying the next of kin.

The crash remains under investigation.

A crash reconstruction effort closed the ramp during the early morning hours.

Photo via Google Maps

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Morning Notes

Fatal Crash Along I-395Updated at 10:05 a.m. — Virginia State Police are investigating a fatal motorcycle crash that happened on the ramp from northbound I-395 to Washington Blvd. [ARLnowWTOP]

County Board Planning Tax Rate Hike — “Owners of a typical Arlington single-family home will see this year’s real-estate tax bill rise 4.95 percent to more than $8,400 under the county government’s fiscal 2020 budget slated for approval this week. County Board members on April 18 tentatively opted for a 2-cent increase in the real estate tax rate, bringing it to $1.026 per $100 assessed value and making Arlington the only jurisdiction in Northern Virginia’s inner suburbs to impose a tax-rate increase on homeowners this year.” [InsideNova]

UNTUCKit Coming to Pentagon City Mall — Internet-born clothing brand UNTUCKit, which specializes in button-down shirts intended to be worn untucked, is planning to open on the second level of the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall, next to Nordstrom. [Twitter]

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Morning Notes

More on Seven Corners Death Investigation — “Detectives from our Major Crimes Bureau are investigating after a body was found… in the 6100 block of Arlington Boulevard in Falls Church. Officers found a 49-year-old Hispanic man lying unresponsive in an alley near the intersection of Arlington Boulevard and Patrick Henry Drive.” [Fairfax County Police]

D.C. Area Adds Fewer Jobs Than Expected — “The Washington region added 35,300 jobs in 2018 based on data released yesterday from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 16,800 fewer jobs than indicated by the preliminary releases.” [George Mason University]

Home Sales Continue Trend — “Year-over-year home sales across the Washington region have now tumbled each of the first two months of 2019, but the median sales price rose for the 29th consecutive month, according to new data, while inventory levels tightened slightly as the winter market segued into spring.” [InsideNova]

Dudley’s Opening at Last — Nearly four years after it was first announced that a new sports bar called Dudley’s Sport and Ale was coming to the former Bungalow space in Shirlington, the long-delayed sports bar is finally planning to open to the public on Friday. [Facebook]

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Morning Notes

Seven Corners Suspicious DeathUpdated at 10:25 a.m. — Fairfax County Police are investigating a “suspicious death” on the 6100 block of Arlington Blvd in Seven Corners, near the Arlington border. That block is home to the Willston Centre shopping center, a McDonald’s, a hotel and a number of commercial offices. [Twitter, Twitter]

What’s Up With the ‘Psychedelic Tower?’ — “You’ve probably seen the tower if you’ve ever driven across the 14th Street Bridge… It’s a hexagonal, granite structure that sits about a third of the way down the bridge, closer to the Virginia side. By day, it doesn’t look like much. But by night, its windows light up like a gigantic kaleidoscope.” [WAMU]

New Pike Library Remains a Goal — “Arlington government leaders haven’t given up their quest to add a new library branch on the western end of Columbia Pike. But unless an unbeatable opportunity presents itself, a new facility is not going to happen immediately.” [InsideNova]

Arts Cuts Highlighted in TV ReportProposed budget cuts to the county’s scene shop, costume shop and technical services provided to local theater companies “would really destroy the arts community,” advocates told NBC 4 in a segment that aired last night. [NBC Washington]

Nearby: Seven Corners Office Buildings Purchased — “BoundTrain Real Estate has purchased the two commercial office towers located at 6400 and 6402 Arlington Boulevard in Falls Church for more than $38 million. The two 13-story buildings in the Seven Corners commercial district include more than 410,000 square feet of commercial space.” [Falls Church News-Press]

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Update on 1/11/19 — The victim was an 83-year-old Arlington man, police announced today.

The pedestrian has been identified as Maynard Thaxter, 83, of Arlington, VA. The cause of the crash remains under investigation. Police continue to seek witnesses and ask that anyone with additional information contact Detective S. Whalin at [email protected] 703-228-4159. To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).

Original article: A man has been struck and killed by a vehicle on Route 50.

The crash happened around 10:15 a.m. on the westbound lanes of Route 50 at N. Manchester Street, near the western end of Arlington County.

Traffic camera images showed a man lying motionless, face down in the street and bleeding from the head, while a man kneeled beside him, holding a phone. A Jeep could be seen stopped in the left-hand lane behind the victim; it is unclear whether that is the vehicle that struck the man and whether the man on the phone was the driver or a passerby.

Later, a white sheet was placed over the body.

All lanes of Route 50 are blocked and are being diverted onto N. Manchester. The closure is expected to last an extended period of time while police investigate the crash.

Arlington County recently completed a safety improvement project for the intersection, intended “to reduce speeding and accidents along Arlington Boulevard.”

Update at 2 p.m. — The westbound lanes of Route 50 have reopened.

Update at 2:25 p.m. — Police have issued the following press release about the fatal crash.

The Arlington County Police Department is investigating a fatal pedestrian crash that occurred on Tuesday, January 8 at the intersection of Arlington Boulevard and N. Manchester Street. At approximately 10:18 a.m., police responded to the area for the report of a pedestrian struck by a vehicle in the westbound lanes of Arlington Boulevard. Members of the Critical Accident Team responded to the scene and are conducting an ongoing investigation into the cause of the crash.

The pedestrian, an adult male, was pronounced deceased at the scene. The identity of the pedestrian is being withheld pending proper identification and notification of next of kin. The driver of the striking vehicle remained on scene.

Police are seeking witnesses to the crash and ask that anyone with additional information related to this investigation contact Detective S. Whalin at [email protected] or 703-228-4159. To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477)

Editor’s note: Readers may find some of the images in the photo gallery above disturbing.

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