Arlington is the No. 1 best city to live in the U.S., according to 2020 rankings from Niche.com, and two Arlington neighborhoods are No. 2 and No. 3 on the website’s new list of the Best Places to Live in America.
Arlington, which is technically a county, has topped the Niche “Best Cities to Live” list since 2016.
The site calculates the rankings “based on crime, public schools, cost of living, job opportunities, and local amenities.” Niche previously lauded Arlington for high-quality public schools, low crime rate, abundant nightlife options and walkability.
In its rankings this year, Niche cites the following recent review of Arlington from a current resident.
Arlington is a very clean and open-minded town with educated individuals and businesses that are dedicated to producing less waste. Many stores and retail centers are modern and well-kept. It is a family friendly area with great public schools. However, traffic is prevalent and real estate prices are through the roof. But, living a healthy lifestyle is easy in Arlington with many healthy food options and amazing trails all over.
Arlington neighborhoods also ranked remarkably well on Niche’s 2020 Best Places to Live lists for both the state and the country, thanks in large part due to highly-rated public schools and walkability.
The Bluemont neighborhood, west of Ballston, is the No. 2 best place in the nation, according to Niche. Radnor-Fort Myer Heights, near Rosslyn and Courthouse, is No. 3. Ballston/Virginia Square is No. 12 in the U.S. and Clarendon/Courthouse is No. 24.
Within Virginia, Arlington neighborhoods dominated the top 25: Bluemont (1), Radnor/Fort Myer Heights (2), Ballston/Virginia Square (3), Clarendon/Courthouse (4), Waycroft/Woodlawn (6), Colonial Village (11), North Rosslyn (12), Lyon Village (13), Cherrydale (14), Arlington Forest (15), Dominion Hills (16), Arlington Ridge (18), Claremont (20), Columbia Heights (21), Aurora Highlands (22), Alcova Heights (23), and Ashton Heights (25).
(Updated at 2:10 p.m.) A development plan for a new hotel and a new apartment or condo tower in the Rosslyn area has decreased the number of units originally planned for the site.
Grant Investment Properties, LLC which owns both the Best Western Iwo Jima hotel at 1501 Arlington Blvd and 14-unit Ellis Arms Apartments at 1523 Fairfax Drive, is now seeking to build a 10-floor, 48-unit residential building and a 12-story, 160-room hotel building on the Rosslyn site, according to county documents.
The Arlington County Board is set to vote Tuesday on the amended plan, and county staff is recommending approval, according to a staff report. The plans also include a 160-space parking garage, LEED Gold certification for both proposed buildings and “an extensive green roof.”
An earlier proposal called for a 250-room “dual brand hotel” and a 64-unit residential building, as ARLnow previously reported.
“While the number of proposed units decreased, the total residential [gross floor area] is unchanged, as the average unit size increased due to the elimination of studio units and increase in two (2) bedroom units,” the staff report said.
During an April 8 Planning Commission meeting several community members expressed concern about how the development may displace current residents from the Ellis Arms apartment building, which is considered market rate affordable housing, according to County Board documents.
“In response, the applicant has indicated that, in addition to the required Tenant Relocation Plan, it is working to identify potential affordable units, nearby the site, where existing tenants may have an option to move,” the documents note.
Depending on whether the residential building becomes rental apartments or condominiums — the staff report suggests the current plan is for condos — the developer would provide either on-site affordable rental units or a multi-million dollar contribution to the county’s affordable housing fund, respectively.
The Arlington Park and Recreation Commission supports the plan, noting in a letter that the development’s community benefits package includes a donation to the nearby Ft. Myers Height Park, which will help fund improvements to “the picnic area (furnishings, ADA access, drinking fountain, invasive species removal), the half basketball court, and landscaping on a vacated playground site.”
Photos via Arlington County
The robbery happened on the 1200 block of Fort Myer Drive, near Rosslyn, around 2 p.m. That block is home to the popular Quarterdeck restaurant and the Fort Myer Market, a convenience store.
Police say two men hopped the counter and struggled with one of the people inside the store, before grabbing cash from the register and running off.
More from this week’s Arlington County Police Department crime report:
ROBBERY, 2019-04010150, 1200 block of Fort Myer Drive. At approximately 1:56 p.m. on April 1, police were dispatched to the report of a robbery by force. Upon arrival, it was determined that the two suspects entered a convenience store, jumped the counter and stole money from the cash register. Following a brief struggle with the victim, the suspects fled the scene. Suspect One is described as a black male with short brown hair, 25 years old, 6’0 tall, 190 lbs. He was wearing black jeans, a black shirt and black jacket at the time of the incident. Suspect Two is described as a black male with short brown hair, 20 years old, 5’5 tall, 175 lbs. He was wearing a gray t-shirt and gray shorts at the time of the incident. The investigation is ongoing.
More highlights from this week’s crime report, including some we’ve already reported, are below.
(Updated at 10:40 a.m.) Firefighters responded this morning to a significant gas leak at a construction site in the Radnor-Ft. Myer Heights neighborhood.
A gas line was reportedly struck at a construction site near the intersection of N. Rolfe Street and the Arlington Blvd access road. The gas leak prompted evacuations of nearby residents.
Washington Gas is currently on scene working to control the leak, ACFD said.
#Breaking: Units called for gas line struck at construction site in 1700 block of Arlington Blvd. Crews are monitoring and evacuating some residents in the adjacent building to another building until the leak is controlled. @washingtongas enroute. pic.twitter.com/fv8UT8lQ52
— Arlington Fire (@ArlingtonVaFD) March 22, 2019
#FinalUpdate: Gas leak in 1700 block of Arlington Blvd. @washingtongas has leak controlled. No further hazards present. All evacuees have been allowed to return home. Fire department returning to service. pic.twitter.com/6wFR626F4i
— Arlington Fire (@ArlingtonVaFD) March 22, 2019
Map via Google Maps
Fairfax County resident Santiago Rodriquez Campos, 34, has been charged with indecent exposure and sexual battery in connection to a Aug. 29, 2017 incident in which, according to police, he exposed himself to a woman and then brushed up against her.
Charges are also pending for a series of indecent exposure incidents in the Rosslyn and the Radnor-Fort Myer Heights area, according to ACPD. Police say the arrest was made by a regional fugitive task force and is the result of an “intensive investigation.”
More from a police press release:
The Arlington County Police Department has charged 34-year-old Santiago Rodriquez Campos of Fairfax County with sexual battery and indecent exposure for his role in an incident stemming from 2017. Campos is linked to a series of indecent exposures and additional charges in Arlington County are pending.
At approximately 12:15 a.m. on August 29, 2017, police were dispatched to the report of an indecent exposure. Upon arrival, it was determined that a female victim was walking in the area when an unknown suspect approached her from behind, exposed his genitals and brushed against her. The suspect then fled the area on foot prior to police arrival.
Following an intensive investigation into the indecent exposure series, Santiago Rodriquez Campos was arrested by the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force on the evening of August 9, 2018, at his residence in Fairfax County. He is being held in the District of Columbia where he is facing additional charges.
The investigation into Santiago Rodriquez Campos is ongoing. Anyone with information related to this investigation is asked to contact Detective J. Echenique of the Arlington County Police Department’s Special Victims Unit at [email protected] To report information anonymously, contact Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866-411-TIPS (8477).
Both incidents, which were reported to police an hour apart, happened Thursday night in the Radnor-Fort Myer heights neighborhood. Both times, a woman witnessed a man exposing himself and masturbating.
The suspect descriptions differ, and are not do not match up precisely with the serial flashing suspect, but the suspect behavior is similar.
More from this week’s Arlington County Police Department crime report:
INDECENT EXPOSURE, 2018-06140250, 1300 block of Fort Myer Drive. At approximately 10:20 p.m. on June 14, police were dispatched to the report of an exposure just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that the female victim was walking in the area when she observed a male suspect exposing himself and masturbating. The suspect then approached the victim and touched her inappropriately before fleeing the area on foot. The suspect is described as a male, approximately 5’6, in his mid 20’s, with an average build, approximately 120 lbs., wearing dark grey sweatshirt and dark pants, with a hood pulled tightly around his face. The investigation is ongoing.
INDECENT EXPOSURE, 2018-06140269, 1300 block of N. Meade Street. At approximately 11:19 p.m. on June 14, police were dispatched to the report of a peeping. Upon arrival, it was determined that the female victim was inside her residence when she noticed movement outside her window and observed an unknown male suspect exposing himself and masturbating outside the window. The suspect is described as a tall white male, with a muscular build, wearing a maroon or dark red short sleeved shirt and jeans. The investigation is ongoing.
The rest of this past week’s crime report highlights, after the jump.
Fundraiser for Family in Need — Money is being raised online for an Arlington woman and her two school-aged sons after her husband — their dad — passed away from stomach cancer. The De Leon Ordonez family was very active with the Barrett Elementary School community, volunteering “countless hours of time and energy” to the school and the PTA. “Please donate to help them get back on their feet,” wrote Del. Patrick Hope. [YouCaring, Twitter]
Tenant-Landlord Guidelines Changed — “County Board members on May 22 approved revisions to the guidelines that developers either can or must follow – depending on the specific circumstance – if they are renovating residential properties and displacing tenants in the process. The revisions… will provide many tenants with more notice and, in some cases, higher relocation payments if they find themselves displaced.” [InsideNova]
Turtle Causes Flight Delay at DCA — A flight from Reagan National Airport to Chicago had its departure delayed a few minutes due to a turtle on the runway. [WUSA 9]
Radnor/Fort Myer Heights Profiled — WaPo has published another profile of an Arlington neighborhood and this time around it’s the Radnor/Fort Myer Heights neighborhood, just south of the Rosslyn and Courthouse Metro stations. The neighborhood’s civic association president said the neighborhood is “concerned about increased density” from development, “want it reasonable” and “open to affordable housing and diversity.” [Washington Post]
County May Hold Discussion of School Construction Costs — “Members of the [Arlington County] government’s audit committee are seeking to hold a summertime discussion of the high costs of Arlington school construction, hoping to piggyback on a report due out in coming weeks from the school system’s auditor. The audit committee has ‘made overtures’ to school officials about holding a joint community forum – date and place still undetermined – to discuss the findings of the report.” [InsideNova]
Ribbon Cutting for New Crystal City Office — Helicopter manufacturer Bell has opened a new office — its “Advanced Vertical Lift Center” — in Crystal City. A ribbon cutting was reportedly held yesterday. The new office “is designed for the company’s military customers, partners and policy makers to ‘interact with technology that is defining the future of vertical lift.'” [Rotor & Wing]
Photo courtesy Jeremy Galliani
Update at 6 p.m. — ACPD says that the same suspect is believed to be responsible for at least nine separate indecent exposure incidents, all in the same general area.
“The suspect is described as a Hispanic male in his 20’s or 30’s, 5’8″ to 5’10” tall with a medium build,” police said in an updated press release. “In several incidents, the suspect was reported to be wearing dark clothing with a hat or hood pulled tight around his face.”
Earlier: Two additional indecent exposure incidents were reported over the weekend and the suspect might be a repeat offender.
Like previous incidents, both happened in the Radnor-Fort Myer Heights neighborhood, near Rosslyn and Courthouse, and involved a suspect wearing a hoodie with the hood up.
The first was reported around 10:30 p.m. Sunday on the 1900 block of Clarendon Blvd, while the second was reported just before 11:30 p.m. Sunday on the 1200 block of N. Meade Street.
In the second instance, the man exposed himself and started masturbating in front of a woman in a parked car.
Asked yesterday if the cases might involve the same suspect, an Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman said both have been “referred to our Special Victims’ Unit for additional investigation and to determine if the cases are linked.”
The department is asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspect.
More from an ACPD crime report:
INDECENT EXPOSURE, 2018-05060211, 1900 block of Clarendon Boulevard. At approximately 10:25 p.m. on May 6, police were dispatched to the report of a possible exposure. The witness described the individual as a possible black male wearing a dark hoodie. No additional information was provided by the witness regarding the incident. Upon arrival, officers established a perimeter and canvased the area with negative results. The investigation is ongoing.
INDECENT EXPOSURE, 2018-05060226, 1200 block of N. Meade Street. At approximately 11:20 p.m. on May 6, police were dispatched to the report of a possible exposure. Upon arrival, it was determined that the female victim was inside her parked vehicle when she observed an unknown male suspect approach her vehicle. Once in front of her vehicle, the suspect exposed himself and began masturbating. The victim then drove away. The suspect is described as a male, approximately 6’0″ tall and weighing 165 pounds. He was wearing a hoodie with the hood pulled tight around his face at the time of the incident. The investigation is ongoing.
Two additional indecent exposures were reported in the Radnor/Ft. Myer Heights area over the weekend. ACPD continues to follow-up on investigative leads and seeks the public's assistance identifying suspect. Additional info: https://t.co/1CpPg03W8x pic.twitter.com/SAFHxvHRHj
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) May 8, 2018
(Updated at 8:05 p.m.) The Arlington County Police Department is asking for tips from the public to identify a man they say has repeatedly exposed himself in the Radnor-Ft. Myer Heights neighborhood, near Courthouse and Clarendon.
The suspect is reported to have approached several victims while exposing himself.
Police describe the suspect as a Hispanic male in his 20s or 30s, standing at 5’8″ to 5’10” tall with a medium build. The suspect, during several incidents, reportedly wore “dark clothing with a hat or hood pulled tight around his face.”
ACPD is seeking the public's assistance identifying a suspect involved in a series of indecent exposures. Since January, police have investigated 5 reports of an unknown male suspect approaching victims walking in the area while exposing himself. Details: https://t.co/1CpPg03W8x pic.twitter.com/5zJqRWBELK
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) May 2, 2018
Police have linked five separate indecent exposure incidents on four different days to the same suspect “based on witness interviews and evidence collected.”
The incidents, according to police, occurred at the follow dates, times and locations:
- January 26, 2018, 10:35 p.m., N. Rolfe Street at 16th Street N.
- February 9, 2018, 9:48 p.m., 1800 block of 16th Street N.
- February 13, 2018, 11:00 p.m., 2700 block of Clarendon Boulevard
- March 3, 2018, 11:58 p.m., 16th Street N. at N. Rhodes Street
- March 3, 2018, 11:35 p.m., 1900 block of Clarendon Boulevard
The incidents all occurred within approximately a mile of one another, more or less along Clarendon Boulevard. Other indecent exposure incidents have been reported nearby in recent weeks, but were not included in the ACPD press release. However, a police spokesperson tells ARLnow that detectives’ preliminary investigation leads them to believe these two most recent incidents will also end up being included in the same case based on the location and suspect description.
The individual involved in these incidents travels by foot and appears to remain in the same area. At this time, the investigation has not revealed a link between these cases and the April 12 incident.
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) May 2, 2018
More from the press release:
The Arlington County Police Department is sharing these crime prevention tips to help keep you safe as you travel in the area. Remain alert and aware of your surroundings at all times. Whenever possible, walk with another person and stay in well-lit, high traffic areas. Limit your use of devices that may distract you or impede your vision or hearing. If you see something suspicious or are the victim of a crime, contact the Emergency Communications Center as soon as possible by calling 703-558-2222 or 9-1-1 in an emergency.
If anyone has information on the identity of this individual or details surrounding these incidents, please contact Detective J. Echenique of the Arlington County Police Department’s Special Victims Unit at [email protected] To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).
(Updated at 12:10 p.m.) A trash truck smashed into a half dozen cars near Rosslyn this morning.
The crash was reported just after 11 a.m., at the intersection of N. Nash Street and the Arlington Blvd access road, in Ft. Myer Heights.
The truck was going up the steep hill on N. Nash Street when it lost its momentum and started rolling down, according to Arlington County Fire Department spokesman Capt. Ben O’Bryant.
On the way down it struck five vehicles, destroyed part of a stone wall and came to a stop in an apartment building parking lot. It also pushed at least one vehicle over a retaining wall and onto the street and sidewalk below.
Police and firefighters are on scene and the intersection is closed to traffic during the cleanup. The driver of the truck is currently being evaluated for injuries, O’Bryant said.
#Alert: Units are on scene of a 7 vehicle accident involving a trash truck at the Arlington Blvd access road and N Nash St. The access road is shut down from N Queen to N Meade St. One patient being evaluated for injuries. Avoid the area. pic.twitter.com/gcDIo3wSDV
— Arlington Fire (@ArlingtonVaFD) April 19, 2018
ACPD on scene of multi-vehicle crash at Arlington Boulevard at N. Nash Street. Follow police direction in area. pic.twitter.com/okE8gxNJ2h
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) April 19, 2018
Arlington Blvd access road at Nash closed for accident clean up. pic.twitter.com/UthxgNS35M
— Chief 288 (@Chief288) April 19, 2018
— margot (@idlelupino) April 19, 2018
Update at 9:45 a.m. — Power has not been fully restored. According to the Dominion website, 282 customers are still without power. Restoration is currently expected by 1 p.m.
Earlier: Hundreds of Arlington residents are without power in the Courthouse and Rosslyn areas.
About 780 Dominion customers are in the dark on a frigid Sunday night, according to the power company’s website. The outage is between Route 50 and Clarendon Blvd, within the Radnor-Fort Myer Heights civic association boundaries.
The cause of the outage is reported to be under investigation and restoration is estimated between 7-11 p.m.
— Brendan M (@bdm155) January 7, 2018