It didn’t take long for the Exxon station at the corner of N. Glebe Road and Carlin Springs Road to close following the Arlington County Board’s approval of a new apartment development in October.
The station is now shuttered and surrounded by a fence, as is the adjacent Prestige Certified Motors dealership (which moved to 7700 Lee Highway in Falls Church) and a surface parking lot once used by Macy’s. The block-long parcel of land is located across from Ballston Common Mall.
To be built on the parcel: a six-story, 173-unit apartment building dubbed 672 Flats. The building will include two ground floor retail spaces, an underground parking garage with 177 spaces and 70 bicycle parking spots.
No word yet on a construction timeline. Developer Penrose Group has completed a number of other projects around Arlington, including Pike 3400 on Columbia Pike, the Latitude Apartments in Virginia Square and the Residence Inn in Courthouse.
Gas prices around Arlington are dropping as the price of crude oil continues to fall.
The price of a gallon of regular gasoline at the BP station, pictured here, has dropped to $1.91 from $1.97 just last month.
It’s tied for second-lowest price in the county, according to GasBuddy.com, with only Arlington Auto Service on Columbia Pike cheaper, at $1.83 per gallon.
With gas prices continuing to drop to levels reminiscent of the 1990s and, more recently, depths of the recession, do you find yourself driving more?
The FBI is seeking information about a man wanted for a string of eight gas station robberies, including one in Arlington.
The robberies occurred in Arlington, Fairfax, Falls Church, Richmond and Washington, D.C. One of these includes the late morning armed robbery at a Shell station on Lee Highway on Nov. 19.
The suspect is described as a white male, 30-40 years old and approximately six feet tall with facial hair. In surveillance footage of each of the robberies, he is seen wearing a gray pullover, khaki shorts or jeans, a blue baseball hat.
More information from a press release:
Law enforcement authorities are seeking an armed unknown male subject who has committed eight robberies at gas station convenience stores in Virginia and Washington, DC, between mid November and December of 2015.
The armed robberies occurred as follows:
- Nov. 15 at 11:48 am: Exxon Gas located at 8715 Lee Highway, Fairfax, VA
- Nov. 19 at 11:34 am: Shell Gas located at 5630 North Lee Highway, Arlington, VA
- Nov. 23 at 12:05 pm: Valero Gas located at 5516 Mudd Tavern Road, Woodford, VA
- Nov. 25 at 11:24 am: Mobil Gas located at 10800 Fairfax Boulevard, Fairfax, VA
- Nov. 27 at 11:55 am: Exxon Gas located at 3535 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC
- Nov. 29 at 12:23 pm: Shell Gas located at 6519 Arlington Boulevard, Falls Church, VA
- Dec. 01 at 01:34 pm: Shell Gas located at 805 E. Parham Road, Richmond VA
- Dec. 04 at 08:59 pm: BP Gas located at 6701 Wilson Boulevard, Falls Church, VA
During each robbery, the subject purchased an item from the gas station attendant, produced a black handgun and reached over the counter to pull cash from the cash register.
The FBI is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to the identification, arrest and conviction of this unknown robber.
SHOULD BE CONSIDERED ARMED AND DANGEROUS
The FBI’s Washington Field Office and the Arlington County and Fairfax County, Virginia Police Departments are investigating these robberies and request that anyone with information call the FBI at 202-278-2000. You may also contact your local FBI office; or submit a tip on the FBI’s website by visiting tips.fbi.gov.
Cheap Gas in Arlington — Just in time for your Thanksgiving vacation, there are a number of gas stations in Arlington at which you can fill up for less than $2.00 per gallon. At $1.97 per gallon, the BP station at the corner of S. Four Mile Run Drive and Walter Reed Drive, pictured above, isn’t the lowest in the county: that honor belongs to Arlington Auto Service on Columbia Pike, with its $1.87 per gallon gas. [Gas Buddy]
County Warns of Sewer Backup Risk — One thing that could ruin your Thanksgiving feast would be a sewer backup. Arlington County is warning residents that that could happen if they’re not careful about disposing of fats, oils and greases (FOG). The proper ways to dispose of FOG is to empty it into a container, like an empty can, and throw it in the trash — not rinsing it down the drain, where it could cling to and clog pipes. [Arlington County]
Suspicious Package Calls Up Since Paris Attacks — Calls for suspicious packages and suspicious circumstances are up in Arlington since the Paris terror attacks. That’s according to Arlington County Police Chief Jay Farr, who spoke to reporter Pete Williams during a segment on last night’s NBC Nightly News broadcast. The county has set up an online form for reporting possible terrorism-related activity, in addition to receiving such calls via the police non-emergency line: 703-558-2222.
Airport Workers Rally for Higher Wages — As hordes of passengers head to Reagan National Airport for holiday travel, airport workers are going on a hunger strike, pushing for a living wage. Tipped workers at the airport, like baggage handlers and wheelchair attendants, make as little as $3.77 an hour. [WUSA 9]
Lopez Named House Minority Whip — Arlington’s Del. Alfonso Lopez has been named the new Minority Whip of the Virginia House of Delegates Democratic Caucus. In a statement, Lopez said we will continue to work for “our vision of a Commonwealth that prioritizes public education, invests in transit and transportation infrastructure, protects our environment, preserves our social safety net, and grows a new Virginia economy to expand opportunity for all Virginians.” [Patch]
Van Doren Running for Reelection — Arlington School Board member Nancy Van Doren has announced that she will be running for reelection in 2016. Van Doren replaced Noah Simon on the School Board after a special election last year. She will be seeking her first full term. [InsideNova]
The robbery occurred around 11:30 a.m. at the Shell station at 5630 Lee Highway, near the intersection of N. Kensington Street.
According to scanner traffic, the suspect is a white male wearing gray pants and a gray sweater, described as approximately six feet tall and in his 40s.
Early reports said he robbed the station at gunpoint with a semi-automatic weapon and stole $400 to $500. Police said he fled the scene on foot, traveling south on N. Kensington.
A K-9 unit was dispatched from Alexandria to help the search. Police also went to the Rivendell School, which is across the street from the station, to notify administrators about the situation.
No injuries were reported.
Earlier this morning an armed robbery was reported at the Giant supermarket at 2901 S. Glebe Road near Arlington Ridge, prompting administrators to secure the building at nearby Gunston Middle School, according to scanner traffic. So far police have not responded to a request for comment about the earlier robbery.
The robbery occurred just after 5 p.m., at the Blue Ridge Partners gas and service station on the 2700 block of N. Pershing Drive, at the intersection with Washington Blvd.
Initial reports suggest that two men robbed the store, with one man displaying a small chrome pistol. Then men took cash, an iPhone and Newport cigarette cartons, before fleeing on foot to a nearby black SUV with tinted windows and Maryland tags and then driving off.
Both suspects are described as black males in their 40s with average builds. The first suspect is described as 5’9″, wearing a Washington Redskins jacket. The second is described as 5’10” with a black jacket and a black ski cap.
No one was injured in the robbery.
County Board Nixes TJ Elementary Plan — The Arlington County Board voted last night to refuse to allow Arlington Public Schools to build a new elementary school next to Thomas Jefferson Middle School, at least for now. Libby Garvey, a former school board member, was the lone dissenting voice on the 4-1 vote. She agreed with the school system that new elementary school seats are urgently needed in South Arlington. The board majority said the school system needs to go back and study alternatives again, since the elementary school could have negative impacts on the surrounding community. “You have to be a little more crowded for awhile,” County Board Chair Mary Hynes told school officials. [Washington Post, Arlington County]
Board Approves Overnight Gas Sales at 7-Eleven — Just down the street from Thomas Jefferson Middle School, on S. Glebe Road, exists a 7-Eleven convenience store and gas station that heretofore has not been allowed to sell gas from midnight to 6:00 a.m. The condition was put in place by the County Board in 1992, due to concern about traffic, noise and other neighborhood impacts. On Saturday the Board approved, with neighborhood support, a use permit change that will allow gas to be pumped 24/7. [InsideNova]
Board Approves Pentagon City Apartment Building — Also on Saturday, the County Board approved a new 20 story, 453 unit apartment building at 400 Army Navy Drive in Pentagon City. The developer of the project agreed to a nearly $10 million community benefits package and to building to LEED Gold sustainability certification standards. [InsideNova]
Jury Duty Phone Scam Returns — Once again, someone is calling Arlington residents, claiming to be a law enforcement officer and demanding payment over the phone because the call recipient supposedly failed to appear for jury duty. As it did last March, the police department is reminding residents that this is a scam. [Arlington County Police]
Octogenarian Still in the Marriage Business — Our Man in Arlington columnist Charlie Clark has a profile of Gerald Williams, who at age 82 is still performing 25-30 civil marriage ceremonies per week from a basement office in Courthouse. Williams was also profiled in a short documentary called “Arlington is for Lovers?” that was produced in 2010. [Falls Church News-Press]
The Arlington County Police Department is looking for a man suspected of breaking into a Lee Highway gas station over the weekend.
Police say the man entered the gas station Sunday night, stole cash and caused damage to the business before fleeing. He escaped, but was caught in the act on a surveillance camera.
Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to call police. From an ACPD press release:
The Arlington County Police Department’s Burglary/Larceny Unit is asking for the public’s assistance in identifying and locating a suspect involved in a burglary incident over the weekend at an Exxon Gas Station.
The suspect broke into the gas station, located in the 4700 block of N. Lee Highway, shortly after 8:00 p.m. on January 18, 2015. The lone suspect was captured on surveillance video causing damage to the business before stealing the cash register from behind the counter. He fled with the register and an undisclosed amount of money.
The subject is described as a black male in his 30-40s and was wearing a dark leather jacket, tan pants and black beanie skull cap.
If anyone has information on the identity and/or whereabouts of this individual, please contact Detective James Stone of the Arlington County Police Department’s Burglary/Larceny Unit at 703.228.4245 or at [email protected] To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).
Target Eyes Rosslyn — A vacant storefront at 1500 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn may become home to the D.C. region’s first TargetExpress, a smaller, grocery-oriented version of the big box retailer’s stores. So far, Target has not confirmed the news. The storefront has previously hosted Rosslyn BID-sponsored pop-up market events. [Washington Business Journal]
Key Bridge Rehab Planned — The D.C. Department of Transportation is planning to begin a two-year rehabilitation project on the Key Bridge this spring. Most of the work will focus on the bridge’s substructure so traffic impacts will be limited. Other planned work includes new LED streetlights, stronger barriers between the road and the sidewalk, and a new paint job for the bridge’s fence. [Georgetown Dish]
Sub $2 Gas in Arlington — The average price of a gallon of regular grade gasoline in Virginia fell to $1.99 over the weekend, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic. That’s the lowest statewide average price since May 2009. So far in Arlington, only one gas station is reported to have $1.99 gas: the Arlington Auto Service station at 5200 Columbia Pike. [VirginiaGasPrices]
AYD to Hold SOTU Watch Party — Arlington Young Democrats will be holding a watch party for tonight’s State of the Union address. The party starts at 7:30 p.m. at Mad Rose Tavern in Clarendon (3100 Clarendon Blvd). President Obama’s address is scheduled to start at 9:00 p.m. For those looking for an ostensibly non-partisan watch party, Busboys and Poets in Shirlington (4251 S. Campbell Ave) is holding a “community watch event” starting at 8:00 p.m. [Arlington Young Democrats]
Blind Woman’s Luggage Returned Thanks to TV Station — WJLA’s “7 On Your Side” segment helped a blind Arlington resident retrieve her lost luggage at Reagan National Airport. The bag, reportedly containing all of Jessica Kyriazis’ winter clothes, was lost for several days by American Airlines due to circumstances arising from “bad weather.” [WJLA]
Taylor Gourmet Now Open at DCA — A Taylor Gourmet is now open at Reagan National Airport. It’s the latest in a line of trendy local restaurants that are opening at the airport this year, including Cava Grill, &pizza, Bracket Room, Lebanese Taverna Grill, Kapnos Taverna, and El Centro D.F. [Washington City Paper]
Flickr pool photo by Brian Allen
A car ran into the front of a gas station in Bluemont this morning.
The incident happened around 9:30 a.m. The driver of a car somehow lost control and ran into the front of the clerk’s booth at the BP station at the corner of Wilson Blvd and George Mason Drive.
The car only dented the building and no one was injured. Despite the scare, the gas station has remained open to customers.
The incident happened around 7:45 p.m. at a gas station on the 3300 block of Lee Highway, just east of Cherrydale and west of I-66.
Police say a woman was pumping gas when she saw an employee with his pants down, masturbating in one of the garage bays.
Police were called and Arlington resident Bishnu Bahadur, 37, was arrested and charged with indecent exposure.
The cheap gas was organized by the New American Energy Opportunity Foundation, a group that’s in favor of increased domestic energy production in the U.S. and critical of the Obama administration’s energy policies. Among those on hand for the promotion were former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R), who stopped by to lend support, and the “Gas Can Man” a smiling gas can mascot that has been appearing at similar events in Ohio, Virginia and elsewhere.
Organizers say they planned to provide the cheap gas for about 150 motorists between 7:00 and 9:00 this morning. They said drivers started lining up a half hour before the event in order to take advantage of the offer. Some of the drivers, organizers said, asked whether they could still fill up even though they were Obama supporters (yes, they could).
Two Arlington police officers helped direct traffic during the event, preventing drivers on busy Columbia Pike from queuing up for the promotion. Still, traffic on eastbound Columbia Pike was slow as drivers stopped to ask the officers why they weren’t allowed to block the Pike’s right-hand lane in order to wait for one of the pumps to open up.
Signs placed around the station during the event blamed President Obama for higher gas prices.
“No CHANGE to fill my gas tank!” said one.
“Can Obama,” said another.
The $1.84 per gallon price of gas reflects the price just before President Obama’s inauguration in 2009, in the midst of the country’s economic crisis. Organizers said the president’s energy policies have led to an increase in gas prices since he took office.
The price of gas at the Citgo station down the street from the event today was $3.55 per gallon. By comparison, in June 2008 under President George W. Bush, the average price of gas in the U.S. was $4.10 for a gallon of regular unleaded.
Photos by ARLnow.com and courtesy of Scot Crockett, as labeled
Gingrich, a McLean resident, will be appearing at the Pentagon Liberty gas station at 2300 Columbia Pike (next to Bob & Edith’s Diner) from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m., when the station will be offering gasoline for $1.84 per gallon. The event is sponsored by the New American Energy Opportunity Foundation, a group that promotes increased energy production in the United States.
The group has been critical of the Obama administration and, in September, connected the “anti-American uprising in the Middle East” to “our nation’s destructive energy policies.”
The $1.84 per gallon price reflects the price of gas in 2008, before President Obama took office and in the midst of the country’s economic crisis.
The New American Energy Opportunity Foundation issued the following press advisory about the event.
Newt Gingrich will appear at a New American Energy Opportunity Foundation “Gas Can Man” event taking place at the Pentagon Liberty Store at 2300 Columbia Pike tomorrow [Nov 2] from 7:00 AM to 9:00 AM. Drivers will be provided with $1.84 a gallon gasoline “to dramatically show voters what life was like before President Obama imposed onerous restrictions on domestic oil and gas exploration that resulted in soaring gas prices,” according to NAEOF spokesman Joe DeSantis.
The “Gas Can Man” promotion has been a “hugely successful effort throughout the state of Ohio this week, attracting immense crowds and media coverage. We expect the turnout in Arlington tomorrow will create quite a stir,” he said. It is part of a massive campaign to educate Americans on how energy independence can be achieved and includes a million dollar national radio ad buy, hundreds of thousands of dollars in newspaper advertising, a major Internet presence, including a video that can be viewed at www.EnergyIsOpportunity.com.
DeSantis explained that the events have been successful in increasing awareness of the fact “that we need to begin tapping America’s enormous energy resources now. We have the resources at hand to produce all the energy we need. Vast amounts of oil and gas are right under our feet. Energy independence is a practical and viable goal.”
The New American Energy Opportunity Foundation is dedicated to empowering citizens and lawmakers to make the changes needed for the United States to reach its full energy production potential, creating more jobs, lower prices, and greater national security.
The plan, from Arlington-based affordable housing developer AHC Inc., would replace the gas station with a six-story, 83-unit apartment building for lower-income tenants.
According to slides from a recent AHC presentation to the Columbia Heights West Civic Association, the building will consist of 15 one-bedroom apartments and 68 two-bedroom apartments. Residency would be reserved for those making below 50 to 60 percent Area Median Income (AMI). The building is also expected to have 6,700 square feet of retail space and a “high-level of energy efficiency.”
The development would be located next to an existing AHC property: the 116-unit Harvey Hall apartment building at 860 S. Greenbrier Street. AHC owns 22 apartment communities in Arlington.
Over the next month or so, AHC will be applying for project funding through Arlington County’s affordable housing investment fund and through federal low income housing tax credits. AHC is pursuing the development via Form Based Code, which does not require County Board approval. Last night the Columbia Pike Form Based Code Advisory Working Group held a meeting to review the project.
By replacing the gas station, AHC says the building will enhance “a site that is underdeveloped and a visual detriment to the neighborhood.” If funding is secured, and if no significant environmental contaminants are found on the site, AHC hopes to begin construction in March 2013 and finish construction in the fall of 2014.
Images via AHC Inc.
Update at 8:00 p.m. — One lane of northbound Glebe Road opened around 6:00 p.m., according to Arlington Alerts.
Update at 5:00 p.m. — The gas leak has been stopped, firefighters are clearing the scene, and the southbound lanes of Glebe Road have been reopened. So far, northbound Glebe Road remains closed.
Update at 4:00 p.m. — Washington Gas has told firefighters that they have located the source of the gas leak and that it will be about another half hour until they can shut off the gas.
All lanes of Glebe Road have been shut down between Route 50 and N. Pershing Drive due to a gas line rupture.
Initial reports suggest that a major gas line was cut by a utility crew, necessitating extended road closures. Crews from Washington Gas are on the scene using digging equipment outside an apartment building at Glebe Road and N. Piedmont Street. The building has been evacuated and a strong odor of natural gas can be smelled a block away.
Police are on the scene directing traffic. Firefighters are monitoring gas levels in nearby storm drains and standing by with fire hoses in hand should something ignite the gas. Pedestrians, including school children walking home from school, aren’t being allowed on a two block portion of Glebe Road.
Drivers should plan for possible significant rush hour traffic impacts as a result of the closure.