Arlington, VA

The new Harris Teeter along Columbia Pike appears to be one step closer to opening.

State records indicate that the grocery store replacing the Food Star market at the corner of the Pike and S. George Mason Drive applied for a Virginia ABC permit to sell wine and beer last week, and a Harris Teeter spokeswoman said it’s expected to open soon.

The spokeswoman told ARLnow yesterday (Monday) that the new store at 950 S. George Mason Drive had an “anticipated opening date of fall 2019,” but did not provide an exact opening date. Previously, a spokesperson said the store was slated to open in late 2019.

The finished store will have 50,000 square feet of space and is part of the redevelopment of the Columbia Pike Village Center that demolished the shopping center that Food Star, EvolveAll fitness studio, and several other small businesses inhabited.

As part of the project, dubbed Centro Arlington, developers are also building a 22,150 square foot public space, 31,530 square feet of space for other retailers, a three-level parking garage, and 365 market rate apartments.

Pop-up hotelier WhyHotel is planning to open around 150 temporary hotel rooms in the new apartment building this fall.

Image 1 via Google Maps, Image 2-3 via Google Maps

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The Giant store at Penrose Square is adding a new online pickup kiosk.

The grocery store just off Columbia Pike, tucked away in the Penrose Square building at 2501 9th Road S., recently was issued permits for interior alterations to create an online pickup area near the front of the store.

Staff at the Giant confirmed to ARLnow that the area will be turned into a place for guests to pick up groceries they ordered online. When the new section will open is currently unknown.

The company has been rolling out the new curbside service called Giant Pickup since July, according to Supermarket News. Orders must be $30 or more and come with a $2.95 fee.

Hat tip to Chris Slatt. Photo courtesy @SRtwofourfour/Twitter

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Morning Notes

Ribbon Cutting for Revamped Rosslyn Safeway — “Safeway will unveil renovations to its Rosslyn store at 1525 Wilson Boulevard in Arlington, VA, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony scheduled for 10 am on Friday, July 12.” [Press Release]

More on Real Estate Boom Forecast — “Real estate agents and local economists said inventories are so sparse that some popular Zip codes in Arlington and Alexandria show no homes for sale at all. They added that investors are pouring into the market, looking to turn homes into rental properties.” [Washington Post, InsideNova]

Acosta Signs Books in Clarendon — CNN correspondent Jim Acosta showed up to an sparsely-populated Barnes and Noble store in Clarendon for a “surprise signing” of his book “The Enemy of the People: A Dangerous Time to Tell the Truth in America.” [Twitter]

Workers Vote for Strike at DCA — “On June 12, airline food workers who prepare, pack, and deliver food and beverages served onboard American Airlines flights departing from Reagan National Airport voted 100% to strike when released by the National Mediation Board.” [Press Release]

New Local Store at DCA — “The District of Columbia Department of Small & Local Business Development (DSLBD) and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) today celebrated the grand opening of the Made in DC retail pop-up at Reagan National Airport, providing a new national and international presence for local makers and small business owners.” [Press Release]

ARLnow’s Press Release Section — For the next week, we’re experimenting with posting press releases directly on a special section of our site. Let us know what you think. [ARLnow]

Photo by Vernon Miles

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Morning Notes

Brush Fire in Park Near Columbia Pike — “Firefighters were called to Alcova Park a little after noon today to put out this small fire. No word on cause, but it’s an early season reminder to fully extinguish smoking & BBQ’ing materials before safely discarding them in a metal container & leaving the area.” [Twitter]

‘Walk for the Animals’ Tickets on Sale — “On Saturday, June 8, 2019 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., AWLA invites you to Walk for the Animals and celebrate our 75th anniversary of improving the lives of animals in our community… $35 Early Bird registration until May 1 (includes Walk registration and t-shirt)” [Animal Welfare League of Arlington]

Traffic Enforcement in Clarendon — Arlington County Police conducted “high-visibility pedestrian enforcement at the intersection of N. Highland Street and Washington Boulevard as part of regional @COGStreetSmart campaign” yesterday afternoon. [Twitter, Twitter]

Arlington Resident Wins Lottery — “An Arlington man is $100,000 richer after playing a Cash 5 game he purchased at a store in the Fort Myer Heights neighborhood near Rosslyn recently.” [Patch]

Ebbin, Levine Endorse Parisa — State Sen. Adam Ebbin (D) and Del. Mark Levine (D) have endorsed Parisa Dehghani-Tafti, Democratic candidate for Commonwealth’s Attorney of Arlington County and the City of Falls Church. They join several other elected officials, including former Gov. Terry McAuliffe and former County Board member Walter Tejada, in endorsing the challenger in the Democratic primary. [Facebook, Blue Virginia]

Stamos’ Recent Endorsements — Earlier this month Commonwealth’s Attorney Theo Stamos announced endorsements from Arlington’s firefighter union and county treasurer Carla de la Pava in her bid for reelection, in addition to a litany of endorsements from other elected and former elected officials. [Facebook, Facebook]

Nearby: Aldi Coming to Bailey’s Crossroads — An Aldi grocery store will reportedly be replacing the former Babies R Us store at 5700 Columbia Pike, while a nearby Safeway store is said to be closing. [Annandale Blog]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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Morning Notes

Lidl Opens Store at Arlington HQ — “Arlington finally has its first Lidl grocery store — it just happens to be pint-sized… the company took a little more than 1,000 square feet it was using as storage on the ground floor of its HQ to open Lidl Express, a convenience-sized store with a variety of convenience store staples and fresh food.” [Washington Business Journal]

Lee Highway Group Wants More Funding — “The Lee Highway Alliance is seeking what its president calls a modest increase in funding from the county government. But the budget proposed by County Manager Mark Schwartz is heading in the other direction.” [InsideNova]

Crystal City Condo Aiming for Record Sale — “With Amazon’s HQ2 on the way, the seller of Penthouse 3S at the Crystal Gateway Condominiums believes the time is right to go for a record… While $2 million might sound like a hefty number, DeHart stresses that inside DC limits, buyers pay nearly twice as much for Potomac views.” [Washingtonian]

Former ACPD Captain in the News — “The former police chief of Portsmouth, Va.” — Tonya Chapman, a former Arlington County Police captain and the first black woman to lead a municipal police department in Virginia — “says she was forced out by city leaders over resistance to her attempts to overhaul a department riven by racial tension.” [Washington Post]

Instagrammable Arlington Spots — Arlington tourism booster StayArlington has compiled a list of Instagram-friendly locations in the county. [StayArlington]

Nearby: Halal Butchery Approved — “A retail halal butcher shop that slaughters chickens on-site will be allowed to open in a small industrial area of Alexandria, despite strong opposition from nearby business owners and their patrons.” [Washington Post, Patch]

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley

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Rosslyn’s Safeway, one of the oldest grocery stores in Arlington, is getting a badly needed facelift.

The shop, located just a few blocks from the area’s Metro station at 1525 Wilson Blvd, should be fully renovated by sometime this spring, according to the Rosslyn Business Improvement district.

The Safeway’s management team told the BID that the store has already added new self check-out machines, and replaced the store’s tile floor with concrete. The shop also widened its aisles and raised its shelves “to provide more space for a greater variety of products,” the BID wrote in a blog post.

The store is currently installing new cases for frozen food, and workers plan to expand its bakery and Starbucks counter. The shop will also get a new seafood department.

The renovation work should come as welcome news to Rosslyn residents, as the Safeway garnered some brutal reviews from Yelp users over the years. Rosslyn-ites also told the BID in a survey last year that “better grocery stores” was one of their top priorities for future development in the area.

The Safeway has called the 1500 block of Wilson Blvd home since 1962. However, the store did need to relocate briefly when its building was redeveloped in 1985, and it returned shortly afterward.

Photo 2 via Rosslyn BID

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(Updated at 8:30 p.m.) An older office building in Crystal City may be converted into apartments, and developer JBG Smith is soliciting public feedback on the project.

JBG Smith is looking to convert a 12-story office building at 1750 Crystal Drive into a 21-story residential building. The building, across from the Crystal City Water Park, would be 257 feet in height.

In the first phase of the “Central District” project, a new 74,000 square foot, street facing retail area would be built, reportedly anchored by an Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. The retail area may also include a smaller-format grocery store, like a Trader Joe’s.

A JBG Smith presentation says the project would include “delivery of nine screen Alamo Drafthouse Theater that shows first run and art house films as well as dining, entertainment, and event space hosting.” According to the feedback website, JBG is hoping to start construction in the fall and to have the theater open by the spring of 2020.

As part of the project, a two story, 16,000 square foot retail building would be built at the corner of 18th Street S. and Crystal Drive — next to a proposed second Crystal City Metro entrance — with renderings showing an sizable outdoor dining area adjacent to it.

Feedback from JBG’s online portal is helping to shape the development, said a representative for the company that created the portal.

“It’s a new approach for the developer, which added online outreach to the traditional process involving community meetings,” said the rep. “Over 1,600 people have interacted with the Central District at Crystal City website… Based on the feedback, JBG Smith has committed to providing seating, plantings, and seasonal events in the plaza.”

“The developer is also recruiting a full-service grocery store, which online voters said was the most important element to make the spot a neighborhood destination,” he added.

An open house on the Crystal City Block Plan “G” and Metro Market Square, which will plan open space and retail around the existing and new Metro entrances, is scheduled for Wednesday, March 21.

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(Updated at 4 p.m.) Rosslyn residents are a bit happier with the neighborhood than they were last year, but they’d still like a new grocery store.

The results from the Rosslyn Business Improvement District survey, conducted in December 2017, were released earlier this month and point to a growing desire for healthy food options.

“Better grocery stores came up as the top desire for residents and the second for those who live in, work in, and/or visit Rosslyn,” the report said.

Currently, an aging Safeway and a newer Target Express are the main grocery options.

However, Rosslyn residents might be getting a new grocery store at some point in the near future, noted a Rosslyn BID rep, if an approved Monday Properties development at 1401 Wilson Boulevard moves forward. Plans are currently is on hold and a grocery tenant has not been announced for the location.

The survey also found that neighborhood negativity was down slightly, but there were areas with room for improvement.

Fewer residents expressed negative feelings about shopping options — down from 64 percent to 58 percent. Agreement that longer hours would get people to spend more time in Rosslyn dropped by three percent to 52 percent. Just over half of respondents noted that longer or later restaurant or shopping hours of operation would encourage them to linger in Rosslyn.

Survey takers said healthier food and more sit-down restaurants would be a welcome addition.

“Whether with food or retail, the overall consensus is a strong desire for more and better options, with local options playing an underlying theme,” said the survey results. “For dining, the public is unsatisfied with the limited sit-down dining options and desires more diverse and full-service restaurants. Additionally, a desire for healthy food options (including vegan, vegetarian, and organic) emerged in both dining and grocery options.”

Overall satisfaction with Rosslyn as a place to work went up from 87 percent to 91 percent.

“We see an overwhelmingly positive shift in perception from 2016 to 2017,” said Maureen Goldman, Rosslyn BID marketing and communications director. She said she was pleasantly surprised by the survey results and that the company would be capitalizing on the sentiment shift to make Rosslyn more of a destination.

“Perception change is a long game, it isn’t something that happens overnight,” she said.

Respondents were able to write-in the first words that came to mind when thinking about Rosslyn. The BID didn’t provide exact word count figures, but the group created a word bubble visualizing the word size corresponding with the frequency of the response.

The largest word on the chart was “convenient,” followed by “accessible,” “corporate,” and “clean.” Fewer respondents appeared to use words like “walkable,” “nice,” “food,” or “beautiful” to identify Rosslyn.

“Boring” was no longer within the top ten words used to describe the neighborhood.

Photo via Google Maps

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Morning Notes

More Stuff Coming to Ballston — Even more hip food-and-drink spots are on the way for Ballston. A 3,000 square foot Union Kitchen Grocery store is coming to the ground floor of the revamped Ballston Quarter mall, at the corner of Wilson Blvd and N. Randolph Street, while a Compass Coffee cafe will also be opening in the mall. [Washington Business Journal]

Wheels Stolen Off the Lot at Dealership — Someone stole tires from three vehicles parked in the lot of a car dealership on Lee Highway just after midnight Wednesday. “An unknown suspect(s) removed the tires from and tampered with multiple vehicles in the parking lot of a business,” police said in a crime report. There is no suspect description and no surveillance footage, we’re told. There is a Toyota dealership on the 4000 block of Lee Highway, where police said the crime occurred, but also a Honda dealership nearby. [Arlington County]

Garvey Confident About Amazon — Arlington County Board member Libby Garvey is optimistic about Amazon coming to the area. “I think Amazon is very likely coming here,” she said at a Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce conference, shortly after it was announced that Northern Virginia, D.C. and Montgomery County, Maryland were among the top 20 finalists for Amazon’s HQ2. “We have got everything here.” [Washington Business Journal]

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Much of the D.C. region is under a Winter Weather Advisory tonight as a coastal storm packing snow, icy cold temperatures and strong wind nears.

Arlington County crews have been mobilized and are treating roads in anticipation of an inch or so of snow tonight and tomorrow, potentially disrupting the morning commute.

As of 4 p.m., grocery store shelves in Clarendon still had plenty of milk and toilet paper, though the former was being frequently restocked by store employees. The scene, at least thus far, was nothing like that outside a D.C. Trader Joe’s store that was mobbed by customers last night.

https://twitter.com/ArlingtonDES/status/948664802389495808

More from the National Weather Service:

… WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 10 PM THIS EVENING TO 11 AM EST THURSDAY… * WHAT… SNOW EXPECTED. PLAN ON SLIPPERY ROAD CONDITIONS, INCLUDING DURING THE MORNING COMMUTE ON THURSDAY. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF AROUND ONE INCH ARE EXPECTED. * WHERE… THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, PORTIONS OF CENTRAL, NORTH CENTRAL AND NORTHERN MARYLAND AND CENTRAL AND NORTHERN VIRGINIA. * WHEN… FROM 10 PM THIS EVENING TO 11 AM EST THURSDAY. * ADDITIONAL DETAILS… VERY COLD CONDITIONS MEAN THAT SNOW WILL QUICKLY STICK ON ROADS AND SIDEWALKS… MAKING THE THURSDAY MORNING COMMUTE DANGEROUS. PLAN AHEAD AND ALLOW EXTRA TIME TO GET TO YOUR DESTINATION IF TRAVELING LATE WEDNESDAY NIGHT OR THURSDAY. BITTERLY COLD CONDITIONS WILL FOLLOW FOR LATE THURSDAY THROUGH THE WEEKEND CAUSING SNOW TO REMAIN ON UNTREATED SURFACES. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW MEANS PERIODS OF SNOW WILL CAUSE PRIMARILY TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SNOW COVERED ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES, AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING. THE LATEST ROAD CONDITIONS FOR THE STATE YOU ARE CALLING FROM CAN BE OBTAINED BY CALLING 5 1 1.

More from VDOT:

Virginia Department of Transportation and contract crews will mobilize late Wednesday night to treat roads for snow forecasted to arrive before Thursday morning’s rush hour. A second week of frigid temperatures continues to turn falling precipitation into slick road conditions. Small amounts of snow falling on below-freezing roads can easily melt from the friction of vehicle tires and then quickly refreeze into a layer of ice.

Once fully mobilized, please watch for crews as they stage along roads ahead of time. Crews will treat roads with salt and sand as needed once snow begins to fall overnight Wednesday and will remain on duty until road conditions improve. Please give treatments trucks room to work, as they are very heavy and drive slowly.

Drivers are asked to:

  • Stay tuned to weather (see National Weather Service forecast).
  • If conditions are icy, avoid or delay trips for safety. Otherwise, allow plenty of extra time and reduce speeds significantly.
  • Assume any pavement may be slick. Crews are unable to plow a light coating, and even previously treated roads become slick quickly with low pavement and air temperatures.
  • Take it slow on bridges, ramps, overpasses, and other known trouble spots.
  • Ensure gas tanks and wiper fluid tanks are full.
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A deli and grocery store in Virginia Square will close today (Friday), but is expected to reopen next month.

A sign on the front door of Jen’s Kitchen (901 N. Nelson Street) said all its grocery items including beer and wine must go, with everything half-price.

But Jen’s is set to reopen in late January under new management, the sign reads.

The store between Starbucks and a dry cleaners, on the first floor of the Virginia Square Apartments and just feet from the neighborhood’s Metro station, sells hot food and fresh salad as well as breakfast, lunch and dinner.

It opened in 2015, replacing the former Metro Cafe and Gourmet.

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