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Morning Notes

Mattress Store Goes Night Night — From local tweeter @CartChaos22202: “The ⁦⁦Mattress Firm⁩ location along S. 15th Street in Pentagon City has closed… but try not to lose sleep over it.” [Twitter]

Santa Visiting Fairlington Next Week — “It was touch and go for a while, but it appears Santa Claus will be able to take part in an annual Fairlington tradition after all. The Fairlington Citizens Association is working to bring Saint Nick to the community for his annual ride on an Arlington County fire truck. The event is slated to take place on Saturday, Dec. 11.” [Sun Gazette]

Lane Closure for Bridge Maintenance — From Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services: “Routine deck maintenance work continues on Shirlington Road Bridge through Dec. 11. One travel lane closed at a time, 7am to 7pm including weekends. West sidewalk remains open.” [Twitter]

Opioid Test Strips Are in Demand — “Months after Arlington County’s Department of Human Services started the pilot program to dispense 100 fentanyl-testing strips, the county is renewing its opioid response grant as demand continues to grow. ‘We were out of those test strips within the first couple of weeks. Since then, since the middle of August, we’ve dispensed 604 test strips,’ said Emily Siqveland, who runs the county’s new Opioid Treatment Program.” [WTOP]

Elections Office Ready for Rerun — “Yes, Virginia, there may be a rerun of all 100 House of Delegates races in the new year. Maybe not, but possibly. If so, personnel in the Arlington elections office will be ready, they say. ‘We’ll just have to wait and see how this process plays out,’ said Gretchen Reinemeyer, the county’s director of elections, in a look-back-and-look-forward report to the county’s Electoral Board on Nov. 30.” [Sun Gazette]

Reminder: Arlies Voting — Don’t forget to cast a vote for your favorite bakery, ARLnow commenter, coffee shop or brunch spot. Voting in the Winter 2022 Arlies awards closes on Monday. [ARLnow]

It’s Friday — It’s going to be a bit windy today, with sunny skies, a low of around 40 and a high near 58. Northwest wind 8 to 13 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph. Sunrise at 7:10 a.m. and sunset at 4:46 p.m. Saturday will be mostly sunny, with a high near 55 and wind gusts up to 20 mph. Sunday will be mostly sunny, with a high near 51. [Weather.gov]

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The Arlington School Board during the Nov. 16 meeting (via APS)

The Arlington School Board will vote on boundary changes tomorrow (Thursday) targeting two overcapacity schools in South Arlington.

This fall, Superintendent Francisco Durán launched a “limited” fall 2021 boundary process to relieve overcrowding at Abingdon Elementary School, Gunston Middle School and Wakefield High School.

The newest version of the plan postpones changes to Abingdon, where enrollment is currently manageable for next year, according to Durán. Students would have been moved from the school in Fairlington to Charles R. Drew Elementary School in nearby Green Valley, echoing a similar proposal in 2018 that became controversial.

Gunston and Wakefield are still over-capacity, so some planning units will be moved to Thomas Jefferson Middle School and Washington-Liberty High School.

“The proposed changes are manageable among the identified schools that we’ve talked about and we’ve engaged with. The planning units included in this process should not need to be moved again in the next few years, and this limited process provides some additional to understand enrollment fluctuations we’re seeing caused by the pandemic, and any shifts in projects we may see,” he said during the Nov. 16 School Board meeting.

APS also proposes to change which neighborhood schools feed into Arlington’s Spanish-immersion schools, following previous boundary changes and the relocation of one immersion program, Key School.

“We want to make sure access to immersion schools is convenient to families and students nearest the location,” Durán said.

Relief for Gunston and Wakefield

The boundary changes for Gunston and Jefferson will reassign 140 third- to fifth-graders while the Wakefield and W-L changes will reassign 162 students.

The changes will impact the Penrose, Foxcroft Heights, Arlington View and Columbia Heights neighborhoods.

The proposal to move Wakefield students to W-L comes as the latter is about to unveil a new wing of the school — the former Education Center administrative offices — with room for up to 600 students.

APS says the extra space at the Education Center will provide enrollment relief for Wakefield and cut down on W-L’s waitlist for the International Baccalaureate (IB) program.

“The number of applicants to the IB Lottery and number on the waitlist has increased each year over the last four years,” according to the 2021 boundary process website.

APS may consider targeted transfers from Wakefield to Yorktown if forthcoming enrollment projections for 2022-23 suggest unmanageable levels at Wakefield — even with the boundary adjustment.

The new high school boundaries would reverse moves made in 2016 to address overcrowding at W-L, but those who were moved away from W-L in 2017 will not be moved back.

In 2017, APS redirected Boulevard Manor kids from W-L to Yorktown High School. Students say when they graduate from Kenmore Middle School and head to Yorktown, they lose many of their middle school friends. To avoid that, they apply for W-L’s IB program or for a neighborhood transfer.

“I can make new friends, but the point is that it’s completely reasonable that I want to go to high school with my friends — just like all the middle schoolers in Arlington,” said Kenmore eighth-grader Xavier Anderson, during the Nov. 16 meeting.

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(Updated at 11 a.m.) Arlington police are investigating gunshots reportedly fired from a vehicle in the Shirlington area.

Described to first responders as a “drive-by shooting,” the incident happened around 9:30 a.m. on the stretch of 31st Street S. between the Shirlington and Fairlington neighborhoods.

The vehicle from which the shots were fired is described as a dark blue Toyota Prius. A lookout for the car was broadcast to police in neighboring jurisdictions.

So far there are no reports of anyone being struck by the gunfire.

Police are on scene investigating while medics stand by in case any gunshot victims are located.

Map via Google Maps

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Morning Notes

Peak Heat, Statistically Speaking — “Based on history, we are now at the hottest point of the summer. While it can still be brutally hot in the weeks ahead (and probably will be at times), we are about to begin our gradual descent into winter, using average temps.” [Capital Weather Gang, Twitter]

Arlington Home Prices Keep Rising — “A total of 369 properties went to closing last month, up 62 percent from 228 in June 2020… The average price of single-family homes in the county was $1,217,376 last month, up 9.8 percent from $1,109,179.” [Sun Gazette]

Protected Bikes Lanes for HQ2? — “Amazon.com Inc.’s newest PenPlace design would add protected bike lanes along a key roadway adjacent to the 11.6-acre campus and a new bike share station near the planned ‘Helix’ tower. During Arlington’s Long Range Planning Committee’s virtual meeting Tuesday, Amazon’s HQ2 landscape architect Scape presented its revised vision for the site’s 2.1 acres of open space and transportation networks.” [Washington Business Journal]

Woman Finds Bullet Hole in Window — “3900 block of Columbia Pike. At approximately 6:09 a.m. on July 13, police were dispatched to the report of suspicious circumstances. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim was awoken at approximately 10:00 p.m. on July 12 to a loud pop sound. The following morning, she discovered a bullet hole in her window.” [ACPD]

Affordable Apartments Set for Renovation — “Arlington County is backing away from plans to buy part of the Park Shirlington apartment complex in South Arlington as the developers are instead pitching a full renovation of the affordable community. The county is set to deliver a $22.7 million loan to power the rehabilitation of all 293 units on the 15.7-acre parcel.” [Washington Business Journal]

Arlington Is a ‘Top Digital County’ — “Arlington County is once again ranked among the top digital counties in the nation. The Center for Digital Government and National Association of Counties has named Arlington to the No. 2 spot for their 2021 awards in the 150,000-249,999 population category.” [Arlington County]

New Record for W-L IB Program — “W-L students surpassed their worldwide peers in diploma pass rate, average score pass rate, and the average points earned by diploma candidates. In addition, the overall pass rate for all W-L students participating in [International Baccalaureate] classes, including Diploma Candidates and Course Candidates, is the highest in the 25-year history of IB at W-L at 92.6%.” [Arlington Public Schools]

‘Arlington Tech’ Students Earn Degree — “Seven Arlington Tech Class of 2021 graduates are the first APS students to earn Associates Degrees by taking courses offered through both Arlington Tech and the Career Center.” [Arlington Public Schools]

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(Updated at 11:20 a.m.) Just over 2,000 Dominion customers were without power in Arlington this morning.

Though there are small, scattered outages around the county after last night’s storms, the main outage is affecting the Shirlington, Fairlington and Claremont neighborhoods.

More than 3,500 Dominion customers were also in the dark across the border in Alexandria as a result of the outage. No restoration time was given on the Dominion Energy website.

As of 10:45 a.m., the number of Dominion customers without power in Arlington had dropped to just over 1,000.

An incident involving a county vehicle along S. Walter Reed Drive near Four Mile Run may have contributed to the outage.

“At approximately 9:17 a.m., police were dispatched to S. Four Mile Run Drive and S. Walter Reed Drive for the report of a traffic complaint,” said Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “Upon arrival, it was determined that the bucket of an Arlington County Government truck struck wires connected to a utility pole.”

The incident caused the utility pole to topple onto some nearby trees.

Dominion crews are currently working to replace the pole and fix the lines. The crash happened a block away from a power substation.

 

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The County Board is set to consider a set of projects that would upgrade sidewalks and improve a small park.

Of the four, three focus on pedestrian improvements with an eye toward walkability for Arlington Public Schools students in the Bluemont, Columbia Heights and Fairlington neighborhoods. The fourth would fund improvements to 11th Street Park in Clarendon.

These upgrades, at a cost of roughly $2 million in total, were given a thumbs up last December by Arlington’s Neighborhood Conservation Advisory Committee. This group identifies needed improvements such as sidewalks, street beautification, street lights and parks and recommends them to the County Board.

At the intersection of 6th Street N. and N. Edison Street in Bluemont, the committee proposes to widen some corners and build out the sidewalks as well as upgrade landscaping and accessible ramps.

“It’ll be very visible to cars that people are crossing,” project representative Nick Pastore said during the December meeting. “That will help slow the rate of speed of cars going around those corners.”

Drivers take these residential roads “at a pretty decent speed” to avoid N. George Mason Drive between N. Carlin Springs Road and Wilson Blvd, he said.

At the intersection of 12th Street S. and S. Scott Street in Columbia Heights, nearu Columbia Pike, NCAC is requesting $500,000 to conduct a feasibility study for improving the intersection by extending the street corners, and making improvements to the crosswalks, landscaping and accessible ramps.

“This improved crossing will help students walking from nearby S. Courthouse Road to Hoffman-Boston [Elementary School] safely cross a busy road,” said Kristin Haldeman, director of multimodal transportation planning for Arlington Public School, in a letter to the county.

She added that the extra curb space “will provide more room for students in the area who attend Gunston Middle School and Wakefield High School to wait for their bus at the intersection.”

Columbia Heights Civic Association member Sarah McKinley welcomed the project for the neighborhood of apartment buildings and condos, saying the committee has been criticized over the years for mostly benefitting single-family neighborhoods.

“Here’s an example of an NC project that can benefit both types of neighborhoods,” she said.

In Fairlington, the committee proposes a sidewalk, curb, and gutter along the north side of S. Abingdon Street between 31st Street S. and 31st Road S. — near the STEM Preschool and the former Fire Station 7.

Fairlington representative Ed Hilz said these changes would improve walking paths for students getting to Abingdon Elementary School.

“Currently, there’s a staircase that is not very convenient to negotiate for children,” he said.

Finally, a green space at 11th Street N. and N. Danville Street in Clarendon would get new furnishings, park signage and path lighting. Additionally, the lawn will be aerated.

“I think this park is heavily used so all these upgrades will be a tremendous benefit for the community,” project representative Alyssa Cannon said.

Money for the projects will come from the 2016 and 2018 Community Conservation bonds.

Images via Google Maps

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Grab a basket and brush up on your produce-scoping skills, it’s farmers market season once again.

A number of Arlington farmers markets have or will be opening for the season in the coming days, including:

  • Crystal City on Tuesdays, from 3 p.m.-7 p.m. (starting tomorrow, April 6)
  • Ballston on Thursdays, from 3 p.m.-7 p.m. (opened on April 1)

Several other farmers markets will be opening in the weeks to follow, including:

  • Lubber Run on Saturdays starting April 17, from 8 a.m.-12 p.m.
  • Fairlington on Sundays, starting May 2, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Rosslyn on Wednesdays, starting May 5, from 3 p.m.-7 p.m.

Three Arlington farmer markets are open year-around, though with shifting hours depending on the season including:

  • Westover’s Sunday winter hours of 9 a.m.-1 p.m. will remain until May 2, a market representative confirmed, when it shifts 8 a.m.-12 p.m.
  • Courthouse’s Saturday farmers market shifts their hours to 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on April 17.
  • The Columbia Pike market on Sundays is now in the parking lot of the Fillmore Shopping Center and keeps the hours of 8:30-11:30 a.m. year around.

The Courthouse farmers market is the oldest in Arlington, selling produce since 1979. All of the markets will have modified operations, including limited capacity, as a result of the pandemic.

In total, Arlington has eight farmer markets.

The Marymount University farmers market closed last year and is not currently operational, a county official confirms. It opened in 2016, billing itself as the only Arlington market north of Lee Highway.

Despite being encouraged to offer pre-ordering, markets are open for in-person shopping. This is a change from early last year, at the start of the pandemic, when markets were briefly shut down and then allowed to open for pre-ordered sales only.

File photo

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Morning Notes

Future of Fairlington Fire Station — “A community process to determine the future of Fairlington’s 1940s-era, one-bay fire station has been on hold during the COVID crisis, but may be tackled later in the year, a top community leader says. The Arlington government in late 2018 closed Fire Station #7 over concerns about the structural integrity of its flooring.” [Sun Gazette]

Arlington’s Affordable Housing Effort — “Some jurisdictions are building more homes than others. Of 10 localities analyzed by HAND’s Housing Indicator Tool, D.C. and Arlington County are closest to meeting some affordable housing targets recommended by the Urban Institute… For its part, Arlington County has excelled at adding more homes for low-middle-income households, but has built virtually none for the most vulnerable households in the last two years.” [DCist]

Women in Stolen Car Arrested Near Crystal City — “An officer observed the vehicle enter Arlington County on I-395 NB. With the assistance of additional units, a traffic stop was initiated. The occupants of the vehicle were initially noncompliant and were observed reaching around the vehicle and storing items on their persons, but were detained without incident. During the course of the investigation, the vehicle was confirmed as stolen; distribution quantities of marijuana were located and determined to be associated with the driver of the vehicle.” [ACPD]

Cicada Swarm Coming Soon — “They’ve been buried — alive — for 17 years. And now, Brood X, one of the world’s largest swarms of giant fly-like bugs called cicadas, is ready to rise. When the ground warms to 64 degrees, they’ll stop gnawing on tree roots and start scratching toward the surface by the hundreds of billions.” [Washington Post]

Flickr pool photo by Tom Mockler

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Morning Notes

Reminder: In-Person School Resuming Updated at 8:55 a.m. — “@APSVirginia elementary schools re-open for preK-2nd grade on Tuesday, March 2, followed by 3rd-5th + 6th (middle school) and 9th (high school) grades on March 9, then all returning students on March 16.” [Twitter, Twitter]

County Buying Fairlington Area Apartments — “A push to redevelop the Park Shirlington apartment complex in South Arlington has fallen through, prompting county officials to take the unusual step of buying part of the aging affordable community. Arlington leaders signed off on plans in late January to purchase about half of the property, located along I-395 near the county’s border with Alexandria. The county will end up paying about $27.9 million for 105 apartments on a 6.3-acre parcel should the deal close in August.” [Washington Business Journal]

New Rosslyn Apartments Start Leasing — “Today, Penzance… announced the start of leasing and the opening of their interactive leasing center for Aubrey, the first luxury apartment tower to deliver at The Highlands, a dynamic mixed-use development project along the Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor.” [Press Release]

Amazon Donates to Wakefield HS — “As part of it’s celebration of Black History Month, Amazon presented a $15,000 donation to support Wakefield High School. This is the latest in Amazon’s ongoing work to support education and racial equality initiatives in communities across the country where its employees live and work. The donation to Wakefield High School of $15,000 will include the book Stamped: Racism, Anti-Racism, and You by Jason Reynolds.” [Arlington Public Schools]

Food Stand Operators Expand into Alpacas — “What started as just a food truck eight years ago [and later a food stand in Crystal City] has now turned into an expanded business. The Peruvian Brothers are actually selling a new product — selling alpaca poop. Yes, that’s right.” [WJLA]

Jaywalking Now No Longer a Primary Offense — “Though it didn’t garner as much attention as other police reform measures during the special legislative session that ended this fall, a provision to decriminalize jaywalking in a pretextual policing bill from Delegate Patrick Hope, D-Arlington, means that come March 1, police will no longer be able to stop folks for the act of crossing the street outside of a marked crosswalk.” [Virginia Mercury, NBC 4]

Amazon Funds Affordable Housing in Falls Church — “In response to concerns about the anticipated impact of its second headquarters in Arlington on the region’s housing prices, Amazon pledged $75 million over five years to affordable housing in Northern Virginia… Falls Church will get $3.4 million for a new affordable housing homeownership program and $350,000 to extend the availability of nine committed affordable apartments at the Read Building (402 W. Broad Street).” [Tysons Reporter]

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In this week’s Neighborhood Spotlight, please join us as we give you a full breakdown of Arlington’s Fairlington neighborhood!

No matter where you live in Arlington, there’s something unique to fall in love with. What do you love about your community? Let us know down in the comments below, so we can highlight them in a future Neighborhood Spotlight.

And, as always, if you have any questions about Arlington real estate, please click here to contact the Keri Shull Team, Arlington’s No. 1 top-selling real estate team.

An Overview of Fairlington

Fairlington is an unincorporated neighborhood in the southern part of Arlington, Virginia. It borders the similarly named Shirlington neighborhood and is quite close to Alexandria, Washington D.C. and the business districts of Arlington. This location makes it a great place to live if you work in Arlington — in addition to being a wonderful neighborhood in its own right.

At the time of its initial construction — during the 1940s — Fairlington was a rental community. It was founded by the Defense Homes Corporation as temporary housing for those working at the newly built Pentagon.

Following the conclusion of the Second World War, a private real estate group began renting Fairlington properties out as apartments. In 1972, the owners decided to convert Fairlington into a condominium development. At that time, Fairlington became the largest condominium community in all of Virginia.

What Types of Homes Are in Fairlington?

Fairlington is uniform, consisting almost entirely of townhome-style condominiums. This means that detached, single family homes are exceedingly rare in the Fairlington community, as are the apartment-style units found in other Arlington condo communities.

In general, owning a home in Fairlington is a good investment, as home values have been steadily going up all around Arlington for a while now. This means that people who buy a home in Fairlington now will likely have their home be worth more later — especially once Amazon’s HQ2 opens up in National Landing.

Because of the size of the community and how fast the market moves in Arlington, it can be difficult to find and win your dream home in Fairlington. The best thing to do is work with a team that can help find you off-market homes in Fairlington.

Communities Within Fairlington

Fairlington is divided into seven smaller communities that all feature similar home styles. Because of this, the area tends to feel more like a neighborhood defined by its community, rather than by certain streets and landmarks.

All of the homes in Fairlington have access to lovely community amenities. These include community pools, clubhouses for the villages, exercise facilities, courts to play tennis and basketball, and plenty of walking trails that are perfect for enjoying the natural beauty of Fairlington and Shirlington.

What Makes People Want To Live in Fairlington?

Fairlington is family friendly, convenient for commuters and has a relatively low cost for how much home you are getting.

In general, the same buying power that would get you a two-bedroom condo in North Arlington will cover a three-story townhouse in Fairlington. Plus, homes in Fairlington tend to have generous outdoor spaces — which is more important than ever for some people who are outgrowing their homes after 2020.

Fairlington residents can easily get to North Arlington and Alexandria painlessly thanks to King Street and I-395, both of which run through Fairlington.

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A gunshot was fired during a robbery in the residential Fairlington neighborhood last night, according to police.

The incident happened around 9:45 p.m. on the 2800 block of S. Buchanan Street, a couple of blocks from Abingdon Elementary.

A woman was robbed by two male suspects, one of whom was armed with a gun, during a “pre-arranged sale of narcotics,” Arlington County Police said in a press release Sunday afternoon. After the robbery, the armed suspect allegedly fired a single gunshot in the victim’s direction.

More from ACPD:

The Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit is investigating an Armed Robbery and Attempted Malicious Wounding in the Fairlington neighborhood that took place on the evening of December 5, 2020.

At approximately 9:48 p.m., police were dispatched to the 2800 block of S. Buchanan Street for the report of an armed robbery. The investigation revealed the female victim and two unknown male suspects were meeting at the location for the pre-arranged sale of narcotics. Suspect One approached the victim and engaged her in conversation. Suspect Two then approached, knocked her to the ground, brandished a firearm and demanded cash before stealing her purse. The suspects fled the scene on foot and fired a single shot in the direction of the victim. She was not injured. A perimeter was established by responding officers and a canvas of the area returned with negative results.

Suspect One is described as a Black male in his late teens, wearing all black and a blue face mask. Suspect Two is described as a White/Hispanic male wearing all black, a black beanie hat and dark blue face mask.

This remains an active criminal investigation. Anyone with information related to this incident and/or home surveillance that may assist the investigation 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).

Map via Google Maps

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