Arlington, VA

(Updated at 3:40 p.m.) Planned climate change protests in D.C. may cause major disruptions during Monday morning’s commute.

Arlington County Police are warning those driving into the District to expect delays. Also expected: an increased police presence in Arlington.

“The National Capital Region may experience traffic disruptions during the morning commute on Monday, September 23, 2019, due to protests in Washington D.C.,” ACPD said in an advisory Friday afternoon. “Commuters are encouraged to follow local news reports and adjust travel as necessary. Police will monitor conditions and the public can expect to see an increased law enforcement presence throughout Arlington County.”

Protesters affiliated with the group Shut Down DC plan to block key roads and intersections to “bring traffic and business as usual to a standstill.” Their goal, according to Washingtonian, is “creating major havoc… to get people in power to pay attention and enact change” to address climate change.

“Shut Down says its blockades are being strategically placed to impact the most powerful in DC: the intersections chosen will all be near places of money or power; the group is staying out of the way of public transportation,” Washingtonian reported.

Monday’s planned action follows a worldwide climate change strike today. Millions took to the streets in some 150 countries around the globe, organizers said, while a youth-organized event in Arlington drew dozens to the Courthouse area.

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Morning Notes

‘American Idol’ Bus Spotted in Arlington — The “American Idol” audition tour bus was spotted near Crystal City yesterday morning. The bus is in the area for auditions in D.C. today. [Twitter]

State Change Affecting Arlington Teacher Union — “Arlington School Board members could be gearing up to battle the state government’s powerful Virginia Retirement System (VRS) on a new ruling that impacts the way benefits are calculated for presidents of the Arlington Education Association.” [InsideNova]

Planetarium Closing Next Year — “In September, the David M. Brown Planetarium will once again offer three shows a day for students, plus weekend and select weekday programs for the general public. In January, it will temporarily shut down for more than a year while an adjacent construction project converts the Arlington Education Center into classroom space.” [Arlington Magazine]

Arlington Startup Serving D.C. Schools — “The administration of Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) announced in August that the city would spend $26,400 to partner with LiveSafe, an Arlington, Va., tech company. The move comes in response to students’ repeated pleas to the city to make their commutes safer.” [Washington Post]

Ballston Bar’s Pricey Booze-Free Drinks — “The new Punch Bowl Social in Ballston Quarter mall was designed to cater to millennials (hello photo booths, corn hole, and karaoke). Now they’re jumping on the ‘sober-curious’ trend with a $19 zero-proof punch bowl.” [Washingtonian]

Local Courts Dropping Fare Evasion Cases — “When a rider is cited for not paying the fare to board a bus or train in Northern Virginia, the ticket is more likely to be dropped in the courts than paid. Only 278 of the 1,306 fare evasion citations handled by the Arlington, Fairfax and Alexandria general district courts between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2019, were paid, according to court records. In those districts, roughly $38,000 in fare evasion fines have gone unpaid in the past two years.” [Washington Post]

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Morning Notes

Local Brews for Crystal City Oktoberfest — “Oktoberfest is returning [to Crystal City] in 2019 with a new partner, local Arlington brewery New District Brewing. The second annual celebration, which will feature a selection of local beers, live entertainment, and a variety of food trucks and vendors serving traditional German fare, will take place on Saturday, September 28, 2019 from 1-4 p.m. at The Grounds, located at 12th and South Eads Street in Crystal City.” [Press Release]

D.C. Developments Now Touting Proximity to Arlington — The announcement of a large, new mixed-use development in the District touts its 750 market-rate residential rental units, 42,000 square feet of co-working space, and “great access to… emerging areas, including National Landing.” [Twitter]

Catholic Newspaper Reducing Publishing Frequency — The Arlington Catholic Herald will be moving from weekly to biweekly publication, as part of a series of changes that also includes expanding the number of households to which the paper is sent. [Arlington Catholic Herald]

Sewage Leak Along Spout Run — “Residents are advised to avoid a generally inaccessible portion of Spout Run due to a sanitary sewer main break east of the Spout Run Parkway-Lorcom Lane fork. County staff are on site establishing a bypass.” [Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley

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Morning Notes

Family Sues Metro for Va. Square Death — “A family has filed a $25 million lawsuit against the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), claiming negligence in the death of a man who lay down on the tracks at the Virginia Square rail station in July 2017.” [NBC Washington]

Jury Duty Process Starting Soon — “The Arlington Circuit Court… will soon begin its annual juror qualification process. Juror questionnaires will be mailed in early August to randomly selected residents of Arlington County and Falls Church City.” [Arlington County]

Tech Company Relocating to Arlington — “Still fresh off of raising millions in venture capital funding, Amify Inc. is leaving Alexandria for a larger space in Arlington just a few blocks from Amazon.com Inc.’s second headquarters. The company, which markets, sells and ships products for other companies on Amazon, has signed a three-year lease with JBG Smith Properties to take over the Crystal City space that was last rented by Trustify Inc., an embattled tech company that’s now in bankruptcy.” [Washington Business Journal]

Plaque Proposed for Wilson School — “Gone but not forgotten. That’s the hope of historic-preservation advocates when it comes to the Wilson School in Rosslyn… Plans for an historic marker noting the school’s provenance are wending their way through the county government’s approval process.” [InsideNova]

Arlington Exec Tapped as Accenture CEO — “Accenture Inc.’s board of directors has promoted Julie Sweet, a Greater Washington executive who now serves as the company’s North American CEO, to the top job of global chief executive effective Sept. 1. Her ascension makes Sweet, based in Arlington County, the 34th female CEO of a Fortune 500 company.” [Washington Business Journal]

Nearby: Update on Flooded Commuter Routes — “After time-consuming repairs, the District Department of Transportation reopened Canal Road between Reservoir and Foxhall roads late Monday morning…. In McLean, a rain-swollen [Pimmit] Run undermined a large section of Kirby Road. VDOT said the work to repair the road and embankment will take weeks.” [WTOP]

Flickr pool photo by John Sullivan

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A pair of commercial property tax hikes in D.C. may drive additional economic activity in Arlington, according to a new report.

Commercial real estate services firm JLL says higher commercial property taxes in the District — a 2.2% hike from $1.85 to $1.89 per $100 of assessed value — “will cause rent paid by office tenants to jump further, at a time when the market’s supply-demand paradigm strongly favors tenants.”

The report also says an approved 72% increase in the District’s deed transfer and recordation tax will cause commercial property sales activity to “grind to a halt in the mid- to long-term.”

The new taxes will take effect Oct. 1, at the beginning of D.C.’s new fiscal year, as part of a $15.5 billion budget that includes new investments in affordable housing.

Between D.C. making itself more expensive for commercial property owners and lessees, and the arrival of Amazon’s HQ2, JLL says conditions are ripe for increased economic activity in Northern Virginia and Arlington, in particular.

DC’s losses will be Northern Virginia’s gains. These tax hikes come at a time when Northern Virginia is heating up as an investment alternative to DC. Transaction costs were already substantially lower in Arlington County than in Washington, and now will be even more so. It is no stretch to say that this will attract capital away from DC and toward Arlington’s top-tier offerings, of which there will be many when HQ2-related demand spurs the development of new buildings and the lease-up of old ones.

Bisnow, which first reported on the study, quoted JLL Managing Director of Research John Sikaitis as saying the new dynamic could drive increased investment interest and office leasing in Arlington.

With the increased taxes on commercial property sales making deals harder to pencil in D.C., the JLL researchers expect investors will begin to look across the river. Northern Virginia has traditionally not been viewed as the same type of core market as D.C. in the eyes of outside investors, but an improving office market and expected growth from Amazon HQ2 has them taking a closer look.

“No one denies now that Arlington is a core market with a significant amount of future urban demand,” Sikaitis said. “You’re now seeing institutional investors start to look at Arlington from an investment perspective, which didn’t happen 12 or 24 months ago. Their allocation to D.C. could be allocated to Arlington.”

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Morning Notes

District Taco Considering Franchising — “All stores are corporate-owned, but Hoil is exploring the possibility of expanding District Taco’s growth strategy to include franchise units, too. The key is to find partners who will be just as invested in and energetic about the concept as he is.” [QSR Magazine]

New Car Seat Law in Va. — “Starting July 1… a new Virginia law will require parents to keep their precious infants and toddlers in rear-facing car seats until the child turns two, or reaches the minimum weight limit for a forward-facing child restraint seat, as prescribed by its manufacturer.” [Press Release]

Ray’s Hell Burger Closes in D.C. — Following the closure of Ray’s the Steaks in Courthouse, Ray’s Hell Burger has closed in the District. [PoPville]

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Mother’s Day has passed, but it’s never too late to celebrate!

DC Bike Ride is offering a $10 discount on registrations to their annual bike ride on May 18!

DC Bike Ride is the perfect way to celebrate with friends and family. The 20-mile closed-road ride means NO cars, just FUN! Say goodbye to the stress of having to dodge traffic — this is your chance to own the road worry-free. The ride is only a few days away — hurry to register and save!

In addition to cruising through the most iconic landmarks in D.C., you get to enjoy some of the best food and music D.C. has to offer along the course. And the fun keeps going after the ride! You can stop by the Finish Festival on 3rd street after you’re done with the ride to enjoy music, foods, drinks and lots of giveaways and fun!

Don’t miss out on your last chance to join the ride of a lifetime. Sign up for DC Bike Ride and let the fun times roll!

To redeem your $10 discount, click here and enter code MOM10 at checkout!

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It’s National Bike Month and DC Bike Ride is the main celebration!

Join us on May 18 for the best car-free recreational bike ride in the District. Not an avid bike rider, but still want to have fun? DCBR has you covered! The 20-mile ride is meant to be a ride NOT a race!

Feel free to pedal at your own pace, stop along breathtaking sights, and join a scavenger hunt challenge throughout historic landmarks. The course is packed with entertainment, pit stops, great food, music and giveaways from start to finish.

After the ride, stop by the Finish Festival on 3rd Street between the U.S. Capitol building and the National Mall to enjoy the FitDC Movement Zone and dance to DJ Jealousy beats!

Sign up today to join the 8,000 riders on this celebration, and don’t miss out on the chance to let the fun times roll on May 18!

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Want to ride the DC Bike Ride on May 18, but wondering how you’ll get your bike to the starting line? Worry no more! DC Bike Ride has you covered.

DC Bike Ride is offering the lowest price EVER on bike and helmet rentals!

Forget about having to secure your own, just add a bike and helmet rental at checkout and leave the stress behind.

If you haven’t registered for the DC Bike Ride, what are you waiting for? May 18 is your one chance to celebrate life on two wheels on a car-free course. Come experience DC Bike Ride and enjoy the best sights, sounds and flavors D.C. has to offer.

And if that’s not enough, as a valued ARLnow member we’d like to offer you an exclusive discount. For a limited time only, use promo code ARLNOWPP and save $10 off standard registration. Hurry before this exclusive opportunity ends on April 11.

Mark your calendars for May 18 and let the fun times roll!

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It was an April Fools’ Day joke, but an interesting one.

The Rosslyn Business Improvement District, riffing off the much-ballyhooed but not-actually-happening Rosslyn-to-Georgetown gondola proposal, floated an idea: a zip line over the Potomac.

Putting aside questions about feasibility — for instance, is it a good idea to have a zip line running across a major airline and helicopter flight path? — an argument could be made that a zip line would be a fun local activity and tourist attraction.

If this was a real proposal — again, putting aside whether it could actually work — would you be in favor of it?

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Mark your Calendars! DC Bike Ride is only a few weeks away.

Enjoy cruising through the streets of D.C. entirely car-free and at your own pace on May 18. This is your chance to be a tourist in your own city. DC Bike Ride offers the most exclusive sights, sounds and delicious bites along the course. Don’t forget to stop and snap a few pictures for Instagram along the way!

In case you needed even MORE reasons to be excited about the DC Bike Ride on May 18, we’re bringing you an exclusive deal that you can’t miss.

This year, DC Bike Ride is offering its lowest price EVER on bike and helmet rentals! Enjoy picking up your Cannondale bike and helmet at the starting line for just $12 at checkout. Say goodbye to the trouble of having to haul your own bike — Let DC Bike Ride take care of you instead.

And if that’s not enough, as a valued ARL Now member we’d like to offer you an exclusive discount. For a limited time only, use promo code ARLNOWPP and save $10 off standard registration. Hurry before this exclusive opportunity ends on March 31.

Mark your calendars for May 18 and let the fun times roll!

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