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Plans Coming Together for Redevelopment of Ballston Harris Teeter

Plans seem to be taking shape for a full redevelopment of the Harris Teeter and adjacent Mercedes Benz dealership lot in Ballston.

The grocery store’s owners are hoping to team up with a Georgia-based developer to build 700 residential units on the property with 83,600 square feet of retail on the ground floor of two buildings, including a newly renovated Harris Teeter store to replace the existing location.

The plans match the county’s long-term goal of transforming the Glebe Road property into a mixed-use community.

Though the plans are still conceptual at the moment, the developer provided some details to owners at the neighboring Hyde Park Condominiums — an anonymous tipster provided a copy of a presentation sketching out the redevelopment to ARLnow. Helen Duong, a spokeswoman for the county’s planning office, said that there’s a meeting scheduled today (Tuesday) for the developer to submit preliminary plans on the project.

A lawyer working on the development effort declined to comment. But the presentation, dated July 30, shows that the developer is envisioning buildings anywhere from six to eight stories tall, in addition to adding a half-acre park on the site. The plans also call for as many as 974 parking spaces to serve the new buildings.

Back in 2013, the County Board approved some policy changes to allow for more density on the site, in light of Ballston’s rapid development along Wilson Blvd. County staff wrote at the time that redeveloping the area would enhance “the southern gateway of Ballston” and transform N. Glebe Road into “an urban boulevard.”

The Board even approved zoning changes to allow buildings anywhere from 12 to 14 stories tall, so the current proposal, backed by the development firm Southeastern, is less dense than the county envisioned. However, it does call for many of the same transportation improvements the county sketched out at the time, including an extension of N. Tazewell Street from where it meets with N. Carlin Springs Road, running through the property.

Harris Teeter envisions building a new, 70,600-square-foot store on the site, complete with an “improved layout” and “improved customer experience and offerings,” according to the presentation. The old store would remain open as workers built the new one, complete with 390 housing units stacked on top.

Plans are a bit less set in stone for the height of each residential building. One option included in the plan calls for both buildings to be eight stories tall, provided the developer can win some policy changes from the county — another option envisions an eight-story building located on the current pre-owned Mercedes lot, and six-story building where the Harris Teeter is currently, closest to the Hyde Park condos.

Ballston Business Improvement District CEO Tina Leone declined to comment on the exact details of the plans, but said “we are very pleased and supportive to see community-building development happening here.”

Map via Google Maps

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Police Arrest Man for Masturbating Inside Glebe Road Business

A man is now facing a series of charges after police say he started masturbating inside a business near the intersection of N. Glebe Road and Route 50.

County police claim that 37-year-old Durrell Carter of Arlington walked into the business around 1 p.m. last Wednesday (Aug. 22), when he began “exposing himself and masturbating.” The block where the incident occurred is home to a McDonald’s, a Dunkin Donuts and a car dealer, among other shops.

Carter is now charged with indecent exposure, possession of marijuana, identity theft and possession of a fake ID.

He’s set for a Sept. 24 hearing in Arlington General District Court.

Full details from a county crime report:

INDECENT EXPOSURE, 2018-08220138, Unit block of N. Glebe Road. At approximately 1:16 p.m. on August 22, police were dispatched to the report of a male exposing himself. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim observed the male suspect allegedly exposing himself and masturbating inside a business. Durrell Carter, 37, of Arlington, Va., was arrested and charged with Indecent Exposure, Possession of Marijuana, Identity Theft and Possession of a Fake Identification. He was held on no bond.

Photo courtesy of Arlington County Police

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New Bike Lanes Proposed to Connect Lee Highway to N. Glebe Road

Some new bike lanes and other road improvements could soon be on the way for N. Woodstock Street as it runs between Lee Highway and N. Glebe Road.

County officials are circulating some new designs for the road, which primarily runs through the Waverly Hills neighborhood, ahead of some paving work kicking off later this summer.

The county currently has a community survey open on possible designs for the retooled street, including the addition of bike lanes in each direction and some new traffic calming measures to bring down speeds on the road.

Officials also plan to add new, high-visibility crosswalks where the road meets both 20th Road N. and N. Glebe Road, as the county embarks on the wholesale replacement of brick crosswalks in favor of reflective plastic markings.

The work also calls for the removal of several “outdated medians” to help facilitate the construction of the bike lanes, without requiring any change in on-street parking or traffic patterns.

“Adding bike lane markings rather than having un-utilized pavement (previously occupied by medians) will also serve as a traffic calming measure to keep vehicle speeds low and encourage safer movements,” the county wrote in the survey.

The survey is set to close to respondents tomorrow (July 31).

Photo 1 via Google Maps

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Asian ‘Street Food’ Eatery Set to Open in Arlington Ridge Shopping Center This Month

A new fast casual restaurant offering all manner of Asian street eats is opening up this month in the Arlington Ridge Shopping Center.

Kovi Asian Street Food Kitchen will hold its grand opening on June 30, with a soft opening set for sometime in the “next few days,” lead chef and owner Vi Nguyen told ARLnow. The eatery will be located at 2921 S. Glebe Road, once the site of longtime restaurant the Arlington Diner.

“This location just fit our wheelhouse,” Nguyen said. “There aren’t a lot of unique food options in the area for local residents… and because we promote healthy lifestyles, it’s such a good match to have a Gold’s Gym close by.”

While healthy eats are indeed a focus for Nguyen, he says his main pitch to diners is simple: “I make tasty food.”

He’s run a food truck bearing the same name for the last few months now, serving up dishes like Korean barbecue tacos and Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches throughout Northern Virginia. Nguyen says he’s even started offering poke bowls recently, and he plans to keep experimenting with “nontraditional tacos” at his first storefront — octopus tacos are one of his newest offerings.

Take a sneak peek into our new restaurant. We're just a few days from opening our doors!#kovirules #kovifan #kovilove…

Posted by Kovi Kitchen on Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Nguyen, who’s worked as a chef at both fine dining establishments and casual eateries around the D.C. area, says the Arlington Ridge location won’t be the only Kovi in the area. He already has a lease set for a location in Leesburg, and he’s envisioning opening “four to eight more” restaurants in the near future.

“Our plan for growth is very aggressive,” Nguyen said.

But first, Nguyen is planning on offering up plenty of promos at his Arlington store as the soft opening gets going, like giving some of the first customers to swing by Kovi free lunch for a month.

Nguyen’s new restaurant takes the place of a 32-year fixture in the shopping center. Arlington Diner closed last May, with its owner citing struggles in keeping up with the rent in his decision to move on.

Fairfax-based District Dumplings will be moving in next door to Kovi, taking the place of a Domino’s location in the shopping center. It initially appeared as if District Dumplings would be taking over the Arlington Diner space, but Nguyen stresses that Kovi is not affiliated with that restaurant.

Photo courtesy @DanielMagnolia

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‘District Dumplings’ Set to Open New Location in Arlington Ridge Shopping Center

(Updated, June 11 at 1:30 p.m.) A Fairfax dumpling restaurant will soon move into the space next to what was once the Arlington Diner in the Arlington Ridge Shopping Center.

District Dumplings, based in the Mosaic district, is planning to open a new location at 2923 S. Glebe Road, once the home of a Domino’s, according to a manager who answered the phone at the restaurant’s Fairfax location. She says the new eatery could be open as soon as next week.

The building’s landlord secured a permit for a 28-seat “fast casual restaurant” in early March, according to county records. One reader noticed signs advertising the change up at the location as of Monday (June 4).

The diner closed last May, after 32 years in business at the location. Its owner cited challenges in negotiating an affordable lease in his decision to close up shop.

The shopping center is also home to a Giant grocery store and a Gold’s Gym.

Photo via Google Maps

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Major Power Outage in Del Ray, Part of Arlington

Nearly 5,000 Dominion customers are without power this afternoon due to a major outage centered around Alexandria’s Del Ray neighborhood.

The outage extends as far south as King Street and as far north as Arlington’s water treatment treatment plant and the nearby residential neighborhood along S. Glebe Road. The traffic signal at the busy intersection of Glebe and Route 1 is also reported to be dark.

Dominion’s website says the cause of the outage is a “circuit out” and estimates that power will be restored between 6-11 p.m.

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Morning Notes

Petition in Support of Affordable Housing Project — The website Greater Greater Washington is helping to promote a petition that intends to counter resident complaints about a proposed affordable housing project on the former Red Cross site along Route 50. Neighbors are concerned that the project might “defile” the Buckingham neighborhood, with increased traffic and school overcrowding and a loss of green space. [GGW, GGW]

‘A Friend’ Writes Thank You Note to ACPD — From the Arlington County Police Department Twitter account: “To the citizen who left this unexpected note on one of our cruisers, thank you. ACPD is grateful for the support we receive from the community and small gestures like this mean a lot to our officers.” [Twitter]

Arlingtonian Places 23rd at Boston — Among other impressive finishes by Arlington residents at the Boston Marathon on Monday, Graham Tribble finished 23rd with a time of 2:30:06, the fastest among the D.C. area contingent at the prestigious race. [RunWashington, Patch]

High Schools Students Learning How to Spot Fake News — “At Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia, outside Washington, some high school seniors are bent over their laptops, engaged in a digital course called Checkology that helps them figure out what makes news and information real, misleading or just plain false.” [Voice of America]

Elementary Girls Heading to Int’l Problem Solving Competition — “An all-girls engineering team from Glebe Elementary School is heading to the 2018 Odyssey of the Mind World Finals where they will compete with students from nearly 25 countries… The team of fourth graders from Glebe, who are all ages 9 or 10, became state champions last weekend at the Virginia Odyssey of the Mind competition, which was held April 14 in Newport News.” [Arlington Public Schools]

ACPD Forms ‘Restaurant Liaison Unit’ — The Arlington County Police Department has formed a “Restaurant Liaison Unit” to work with local bars to tamp down on drunken and sometimes violent incidents. One Clarendon bar in particular had police responding to it for a call almost every other day in 2017. [Washington City Paper, Twitter]

Glebe Lane Closure Causes Backups — Commuters heading northbound on Glebe Road today faced major backups due to a lane closure near Ballston. Washington Gas has been performing emergency repairs in the roadway since Wednesday. [Twitter, Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by Rex Block

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TRAFFIC ALERT: Crash Closes Washington Blvd at Glebe Road

Washington Blvd is currently closed to traffic due to a crash at the intersection with N. Glebe Road, near Ballston.

Initial reports suggest two vehicles — a car and a pickup truck — were involved in a T-bone crash. The driver of the car needed to be extricated from the vehicle by firefighters.

Southbound Glebe is currently open to traffic but the northbound lanes are closed, as are all lanes of Washington Blvd approaching the intersection.

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Water Main Repairs Close Part of S. Glebe Road

The southbound lanes of S. Glebe Road are detoured between Walter Reed Drive and 20th Street S. due to a water main break.

Repair crews are currently on site, digging up the roadway to access the leaking section of pipe. Repairs on the 8-inch main are expected to stretch into the afternoon.

Northbound traffic on Glebe, meanwhile, is down to one lane.

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Police Looking for Man Who Filmed Woman in Dressing Room

Arlington County Police are trying to find a man who used his cell phone to film a woman in a dressing room.

The incident happened Wednesday evening on the unit block of S. Glebe Road, the same block as the Goodwill retail store.  Police say a woman was in a dressing room when she saw a man reach under the wall with his phone. The suspect then fled the scene.

More from ACPD:

PEEPING, 2018-02280206, Unit block of S. Glebe Road. At approximately 5:25 p.m. on February 28, police were dispatched to the report of a subject recording a female victim in a dressing room. Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 5:00 p.m., while the victim was inside of a fitting room, an unknown male suspect reached under the wall and began recording her with a cell phone. The victim shouted for help and the suspect left the fitting room. The suspect fled the scene prior to police arrival. The suspect is described as a light skinned Hispanic male, approximately 40 years old, with a heavy build, a short neck, short curly, black hair, wearing a gray and red striped shirt, a dark jacket, gray or khaki pants, carrying a dark backpack.

Photo via Google Maps

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Plastic Pipes from I-395 Bridge Washed Away into Four Mile Run

Several plastic pipes washed away from a construction project on the I-395 bridge into Four Mile Run after a downpour of rain Sunday.

The I-395 project between the Shirlington interchange and Glebe Road currently uses 35 plastic pipes to redirect water in Four Mile Run away from the work area. The rain’s movement of the pipes did not harm the construction project, said Jennifer McCord, a Virginia Department of Transportation spokesperson.

Workers are currently moving the pipes out of the creek by hand and should be done with the removal sometime today or tomorrow, McCord said. She added that she is unsure if the pipes will be put back into place as they may no longer be needed for the project.

The project costing $7.2 million should be complete by November 2018, she said.

Photos by Mark Wigfield

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BREAKING: Glebe Road Closed After Car Strikes Pole

N. Glebe Road is closed in both directions after a car struck and shattered a utility pole, bringing wires down.

The collision took place just after 11:30 a.m. today (Tuesday) on the 3700 block of N. Glebe Road in the Old Glebe neighborhood. The driver of a white car struck the pole while heading south, then veered across into the northbound lanes. The car was left with significant damage to its front end.

Officers from the Arlington County Police Department closed N. Glebe Road in both directions and diverted traffic onto side streets. In a tweet, the Arlington County Fire Department said closures will be in effect for an “extended time.”

No injuries were reported. Several dozen Dominion customers in the area are currently without power, according to the company’s outage map. Crews from Dominion arrived on scene to assess the damage around noon.

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Beware the Hole in This North Arlington Road

A big hole on the side of a road in the Waverly Hills neighborhood has been damaging cars that fail to steer around it.

At least one car was disabled and more damaged by the hole, according to police scanner traffic. No damaged cars were seen when an ARLnow.com reporter stopped by later in the day.

Located at the corner of N. Glebe Road and N. Woodstock Street, the hole appears to have been cut as part of road, curb and sidewalk work along Woodstock Street. While there are orange traffic cones around it, cars turning onto the residential street seem to have trouble squeezing by the hole when another is waiting at the stop sign to turn onto Glebe.

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Renovations Underway at Dominion Arms Apartment Building

Construction crews have moved into the Dominion Arms apartment building as major renovations begin.

The building at 333 S. Glebe Road in Arlington Heights is set for renovations inside according to permit applications filed with the county. This will include converting 2,400 square feet of retail space on the building’s first floor into amenity space for residents.

Six laundry or storage areas will be converted into residential units, while the sprinklers and fire alarms will get an upgrade and the building’s roof will be repaired. Several trees will also be removed.

To prepare for the project, which appears to have shuttered the entire building, first-floor businesses have moved out. That included the likes of a barber shop, dry cleaners and convenience store. The entire site has been fenced off by the construction crews.

Several readers had asked whether the building would be “razed,” but no demolition permits have been filed.

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No Water, Traffic Delays on N. Glebe Road for Emergency Water Main Repairs

Some residents in Waverly Hills could experience water outages and traffic delays while crews carry out emergency water main repairs.

Crews from the county’s Department of Environmental Services are out on N. Glebe Road between 18th Street N. and 19th Street N. making the emergency repairs, near Glebe Elementary School.

In a tweet, DES staff said water service for 50-100 customers in the area will be affected, and that N. Glebe Road will be partially closed. Repairs are expected to be completed by 8 p.m. tonight (Tuesday).

Image via Google Maps.

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