Morning Notes

New County Infrastructure Plan Proposed — “County Manager Mark Schwartz has proposed a $1.25 billion three-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) that focuses on meeting Arlington’s existing commitments, increasing infrastructure maintenance, and beginning investments in long-term plans and programs. The three-year proposal follows a one-year CIP that was adopted last summer as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The County anticipates returning to a traditional 10-year plan next year for FY 2023 – FY 2032.” [Arlington County]

Rosslyn Developer Dies from Covid — “Marvin Weissberg, a herald of Northern Virginia development whose portfolio of early projects still mark Rosslyn’s modern skyline, has died. He was 94. The founder of Weissberg Investment Corp. passed away Monday at his home in Annapolis of complications from Covid-19.” [Washington Business Journal]

Marine Corps Marathon Returning — “Good news for runners: the Marine Corps Marathon will take place in-person this year after it was held virtually in 2020 due to Covid. The 26.2-mile race follows a course through DC and Arlington, and typically sees more than 20,000 participants. This year, the marathon and accompanying races and events will be held over the weekend of October 29 through 31.” [Washingtonian]

New Gold’s Gym Opening in Rosslyn — “Rosslyn’s newly constructed Gold’s Gym officially opens for members [today], May 20. Located inside Rosslyn City Center (1700 N. Moore St.), this space is nearly 40,000 SF of brand new equipment and modern facilities!” [Rosslyn BID/Instagram]

Cemetery Flyover Planned Today — “Four Air Force T-38 Talon jets are scheduled to fly over the National Capital Region at 1:50 p.m. The formation is part of a funeral at Arlington National Cemetery for retired Air Force Col. George Benoit.” [Patch]

This Year’s Bond Referendums — “Arlington voters will be asked to approve a modest package of bond referendums in November, if County Board members accede to a request made May 18 by County Manager Mark Schwartz. The proposal calls for a bond package of $62.5 million (not counting an expected school-bond request) that would fund Metro, paving, courthouse renovations and Neighborhood Conservation projects.” [Sun Gazette]

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A new fitness studio called SPENGA is set to open in Ballston in late April.

The studio at 4040 Fairfax Drive will teach a proprietary blend of spin, strength training and yoga — which are also blended together in the name “SPENGA.” The fitness brand has more than 300 franchise locations in operation or opening across the U.S.

“We are so excited to bring this amazing workout to my hometown of Arlington and to be a part of the incredible Ballston community,” said Sherry Ruffing, the owner of the forthcoming Ballston location.

The workout combines cardio, strength and flexibility to give clients 60 minutes of efficient, full-body workouts, according to the website.

“[SPENGA has] all of the burn with none of the burnout,” Ruffing said. “Not only will you transform your body, but you will join a network of like-minded, supportive friends. And no matter your fitness level, it’s you versus you.”

Ruffing is leaving her career in the aerospace industry and government relations after 30 years to introduce the boutique brand to the D.C. area.

She said she plans to open several studios across Northern Virginia, including two more in Arlington County, likely in Rosslyn and Pentagon City.

The studio, located on the ground floor of an office building two blocks away from the Ballston Metro station, will be open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on weekends from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Ruffing is offering a $50 discount to members who purchase unlimited monthly class plans before the gym opens.

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(Updated at 9:35 p.m.) A new CVS Pharmacy is open at the revamped Central District Retail shopping plaza, also known as “Crystal Square,” in Crystal City.

The store opened on Sunday, Feb. 28, a JBG Smith spokesperson confirmed. It is part of a major redevelopment that the property owner has planned for a block of Crystal Drive between 15th and 18th streets.

In 2018, the County Board approved the project, which JBG says will blend retail, public spaces and transit services.

Signage appears to now be up for two more occupants: Mah-Ze-Dahr, a bakery said to have some of New York City’s best doughnuts, as well as a yet-unnamed specialty grocery store. The first D.C. outpost of the NYC bakery opened in Navy Yard in the fall.

JBG once more declined to comment on which grocer will be filling the space. Permits indicate that the store will offer prepared foods like packaged salads, sandwiches, entrees and soups, as well as various beverages. The permits further specify that the store will have “self app check-out.”

A spokesperson previously confirmed that the specialty grocer will sell produce, meats and poultry, frozen foods and baked goods. Taken as a whole, the concept sounds similar to that of Amazon Fresh stores, a new bricks-and-mortar retail offering of the tech giant, which is currently constructing its HQ2 up the street.

The store will be built in the existing office building at 1550 Crystal Drive, according to the county. The new one-story retail area will replace a 1990s-era strip and will link the grocery store to a planned Alamo Drafthouse movie theater at 1750 Crystal Drive.

The theater chain recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but a company spokesman tells ARLnow the planned Crystal City location is owned by a franchisee “which has not filed for bankruptcy.”

“There are no changes to its development plans at 1750 Crystal Drive,” the spokesman said.

Meanwhile, outposts of New York City taco chain Tacombi and the boutique fitness gym Solidcore — which has existing locations in Courthouse and Ballston — are still on track to open in the area.

A spokeswoman for Solidcore confirmed that the gym is slated to open this summer.

“Central District Retail will enhance the street-level experience with new dining, shopping and entertainment options on Crystal Drive,” Amy Rice, senior vice president of Retail Leasing at JBG Smith, previously told ARLnow in a statement. “It will serve as the retail heart of National Landing and a vibrant destination for people throughout the region.”

Photo (2) courtesy Car-Free#HQ2/Twitter

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Morning Notes

Another Snowstorm on the Way? — “Confidence is growing in a messy mix of wintry precipitation in the Washington region Thursday, the latest in a parade of wintry weather events since late January… Parts of the region could see significant amounts of snow and/or ice before a possible change to rain. The precipitation, which may be heavy at times, is likely to continue into Thursday night or very early Friday morning.” [Washington Post]

More Details on Pike CVS Development — “Last summer, the public caught wind of upcoming plans to redevelop the Fillmore Gardens Shopping Center on Columbia Pike in Arlington. Now… [a] rezoning application has been filed to apply Columbia Pike-specific zoning to the property at 2601 Columbia Pike (map) in order to deliver The Elliott, a six-story building with 248 apartments with a new CVS pharmacy and a grocery store on the ground floor.” [Urban Turf]

Equinox Isn’t Coming to Clarendon — “An affiliate of Regency Centers Corp. has sued an affiliate of upscale fitness chain Equinox for more than $20 million for allegedly pulling the plug on a planned location at the Market Common retail center… Clarendon Regency IV LLC sued Equinox Clarendon Inc. in U.S. District Court in Alexandria in mid-November for breaching the terms of its lease for space on the first and second floors of the nearly 68,500-square-foot building at 2801 Clarendon Blvd.” [Washington Business Journal]

Capitol Police Officer Died in Arlington — “Smith returned to the police clinic for a follow-up appointment Jan. 14 and was ordered back to work, a decision his wife now questions… Police found him in his cherished Ford Mustang, which had rolled over and down an embankment along the George Washington Memorial Parkway, near a scenic overlook on the Potomac River. He was the second police officer who had been at the riot to take his own life.” [Washington Post]

Reaction to Senate Trump Vote — Arlington’s Congressional delegation expressed disappointment with the acquittal of former President Trump in the Senate impeachment trial. Said Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.): “A bipartisan majority of Senators voted today to send a clear message to future presidents that conduct of this nature is impeachable, intolerable and disqualifying. When the history books on this moment are written, I believe that judgment will be clear.” [Blue Virginia]

Solving Arlington’s Hunger Problem — “The pandemic has made it harder for many Americans to feed their families. After the COVID-19 outbreak, Arlington’s Department of Human Services estimated nearly 16,000 residents needed food assistance. Now the Capital Area Food Bank estimates 26,000 are at risk of hunger in Arlington. County leaders have a plan to help.” [WJLA]

Southwest Air ‘Love’ Story at DCA — “And of course, there’s the inspiring story of Reecie and Imani. Reecie met Imani in 2018 after Imani requested that her plane return to the gate [at Reagan National Airport] before taking off. Imani was the maid of honor in her best friend’s wedding, but she was too nervous to fly.” [Twitter]

Jenna Bush’s Worst Date Happened in Arlington — “Hoda Kotb asked Jenna about her worst first date ever and boy, did the story deliver. ‘My worst first date involved the Secret Service, let’s just leave it at that,’ Jenna said, laughing…. She explained that they were in Arlington, Virginia, where her now-husband was living at the time. He had realized he was running out of fuel, so he tried to get to a corner gas station that was up a slight hill. ‘He started to go up the hill and then booooop, crash.'” [Today Show]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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A relatively slow snow day for public safety personnel got busier this afternoon after a pair of significant emergency incidents occurred within 15 minutes of one another.

First, firefighters responded to the grounds of Missionhurst, a church facility near Marymount University, for a report of a 12-year-old who had suffered a head injury after sledding into a tree. The call was soon upgraded from a standard injury response to a technical rescue due to the terrain.

“At 1:59 p.m. we received a 911 call for a child that struck a tree while sledding at 4651 25th St N.,” said Arlington County Fire Department spokesperson Taylor Blunt. “Initial crews arrived within four minutes and requested the technical rescue team due to the patient’s location at the bottom of a snowy hill.”

“Crews provided initial treatment and used a haul system to move the immobilized patient up the hill to an ambulance,” Blunt continued. “The patient was transported to a local trauma center with non-life threatening injuries.”

Soon thereafter came another significant incident: someone at a gym in the Arlington Ridge Shopping Center near Crystal City had reportedly severed two fingers after getting them caught in exercise equipment.

“At 2:13 p.m. we received a 911 call at 2955 S. Glebe Road for a patient suffering from a partial amputation to their hand,” Blunt said. “Crews arrived within four minutes and provided bleeding control techniques to stabilize the injury. The patient was transported to a local trauma center in stable condition.”

The address corresponds to that of a Gold’s Gym and a chiropractic and physical therapy office.

File photo

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Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups, founders, and other local technology news. Monday Properties is proudly featuring Shirlington Gateway. The new 2800 Shirlington recently delivered a brand-new lobby and upgraded fitness center, and is adding spec suites with bright open plans and modern finishes. Experience a prime location and enjoy being steps from Shirlington Village.

BASH Boxing, a boutique boxing gym founded in Arlington, has announced plans to franchise its model across the country.

“There’s so much uncertainty because people lost jobs, or stepped out of corporate jobs,” co-owner and founder Alexandra Trakas told ARLnow. “This is an amazing opportunity for people who want a fresh start to own their own business.”

Trakas and her investment team, which includes Washington Capitals player Tom Wilson, plan to help open hundreds of locations “in the coming years,” locally and nationally.

Trakas, who turns 32 this March and entered the fitness industry at 24, opened her first location in Rosslyn in November 2018 and her second in Ballston in October 2019. A graduate of Shenandoah University with a bachelor’s in fine arts and a concentration in dance, she said she came out of the womb with an entrepreneurial mind.

“It’s the way I’ve always been,” she said.

After working for franchise outposts of The Bar Method and Orangetheory Fitness, she said was ready to discuss with partners the possibility of franchising a new boutique gym.

“Give me the playbook — I’ll add a few things to bring camaraderie — but stick to the playbook and it works,” she said.

She announced to staff early last year that the business will be franchising and that more information would come soon. For front desk staff and sales associates, she said, the news would mean more opportunities to view the job as a career path.

Although Trakas had to lay off some staff and regroup as a result of the pandemic, she never fully closed BASH. Instead, she said her team always pivoted to meet changing regulations for staying open. During the spring shutdowns, coaches taught free Instagram Live classes almost every day, before reopening on June 13. Today, they can only coach nine members at a time, despite having 1,000 members and a capacity of up to 44.

“The only reason we made it through the coronavirus is because of our community,” Trakas said. “I have an incredible team with me.”

She pressed pause on franchising work for about five months, but by July, Trakas could sit and wait no longer. She wanted agreements with franchisees and properties in hand for when the country fully reopened.

“We want to be ready to grow,” she said.

Trakas is looking to expand into what she calls “sub-cities” — suburbs of large metropolises that are also cities in their own right. Her first choice is not the sprawling, fitness-obsessed Los Angeles, but rather a place like Arlington, or Reston, she said.

The first 5-10 franchisees will get the most favorable terms and hands-on support.

“If you have the means and the commitment, it’s time to get in,” Trakas said

Images via BASH Boxing

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An unnamed specialty grocery store and Mah-Ze-Dahr, a bakery said to have some of New York City’s best doughnuts, are two of the businesses coming to Crystal City as part of a major redevelopment.

JBG Smith is giving a block of Crystal Drive between 15th and 18th streets — also known as “Crystal Square” — a facelift and a new name: Central District Retail. The redevelopment, approved by the County Board in 2018, will blend retail, public spaces and transit services, according to the developer’s website.

“Central District Retail will enhance the street-level experience with new dining, shopping and entertainment options on Crystal Drive,” Amy Rice, senior vice president of Retail Leasing at JBG Smith, said in a statement. “It will serve as the retail heart of National Landing and a vibrant destination for people throughout the region.”

The specialty grocery store in Central District Retail will have produce, meats and poultry, frozen foods, baked goods and prepared foods, Justina Lombardo, a PR rep for JBG Smith, said. At 15,000 square feet, it’s more the size of a Trader Joe’s than a full-service Giant, for instance.

Through Lombardo, JBG declined comment on which grocer will be filling the space.

The store will be built in the existing office building at 1550 Crystal Drive, according to the county. The new one-story retail area will replace a 1990s-era strip and link the grocery store to a planned Alamo Drafthouse movie theater at 1750 Crystal Drive.

According to permits filed with Arlington County, Central District Retail is also getting the second Washington, D.C.-area location of Mah-ze-Dahr. The popular New York City bakery serves brioche-style doughnuts and other baked goods endorsed by Oprah Winfrey. Founder Umber Ahmad, a former Goldman Sachs executive, opened the first D.C. location in Navy Yard this September.

Permits also indicate that Crystal City will get a CVS, what appears to be an outpost of New York City taco chain Tacombi, and the boutique fitness gym Solidcore, which has locations in Clarendon and Buckingham.

There will also be a retail shop that will sell packaged salads, sandwiches and soups.

It’s unclear when the new shops and restaurants might open.

“The first phase of Central District Retail has been delivered to tenants for build-out,” Lombardo said. “JBG Smith typically defers to tenants on their individual timelines.”

The overall goal is to continue turning Crystal City into a neighborhood that’s more than just a 9-5 destination for office workers.

“The project’s purpose is to turn the area into a vibrant gathering spot — complete with approachable and comfortable retail, an Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, dynamic public spaces, and a new entrance and public plaza for the Crystal City Metro station,” says JBG Smith’s project information website. “Central District will create a sense of community and bring a true neighborhood feel to Crystal City.”

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You can now, sip, stroll and get swole in Shirlington.

The Village at Shirlington, which was just approved for Arlington’s first permit allowing alcohol consumption in private common areas and walkways, is getting a new F45 Training fitness studio.

The gym is taking a 1,800 square foot space next to the new Stellina Pizzeria, which is expected to open by the end of the year at 2800 S. Randolph Street. F45 is set to open in the spring, according to an announcement this afternoon.

There are existing F45 locations in Ballston, at Pentagon Row, and on Columbia Pike. Another is planned at 1550 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn. The international fitness company was founded in Australia and specializes in high-intensity group workouts.

More from a press release, below.

The Village at Shirlington in Arlington, Virginia announces that F45 Training (F45), a global fitness community specializing in innovative, high-intensity group workouts, will open in early spring 2021. The 1,800-square-foot F45 will be located between Stellina Pizzeria and the Studio Salon and Spa.

“We chose the Village at Shirlington because it is a beloved neighborhood,” said Jennifer Grillo of F45. “F45 is all about community and teamwork, and the Village at Shirlington is the kind of place that nurtures that atmosphere.”

The “F” in F45 stands for functional training or exercises that mimic everyday movement — lifting, squatting, jumping, twisting, pulling, pushing, punching, kicking, rowing, and biking — which build lean, functional muscle. The “45” represents the length of the workouts — 45 minutes each. Classes that focus on cardio are offered on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays; classes that focus on resistance training are scheduled on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays; and a mix of cardio and strength training sessions are available on Saturdays.

F45 workouts combine elements of high-intensity interval training (HIIT), circuit training and functional training, with more than 2,700 exercises and 36 workouts in its database. HIIT speeds up a person’s heart rate to increase metabolism and helps burn fat more effectively than slow, steady-state exercise.

“The Village at Shirlington features a vibrant assortment of entertainment, dining and retail merchants and we look forward to F45’s ability to offer our customers a unique fitness experience in the neighborhood,” said Dan Corwin, Director, Asset Management — Mixed Use at Federal Realty. “We are excited for the group-training studio to join our long-standing community, which includes a mix of many merchants who have been with us for over 15 years, like the award-winning Signature Theater, Carlyle, Guapo’s, THAI in Shirlington, as well as contemporary concepts including the popular Taco + Pina and the soon-to-open Stellina, a Washington, D.C. favorite.”

Courtesy photo

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The future is uncertain for the boutique barre fitness studio LavaBarre in Rosslyn.

The gym at 1510 Clarendon Blvd announced on Instagram earlier this week that it would no longer be providing in-person classes at the studio. On Thursday, the studio’s storefront appeared closed and empty, with a lock on the door.

The founders of LavaBarre did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

The fitness studio reopened at reduced capacity on June 26, after shutting down when the state went into lockdown in response to the pandemic.

“Unfortunately, we must again take a step back from in studio classes,” this week’s social media post said.

Although the brick-and-mortar location is empty, the post invited members to contact the gym about in-person indoor 0r outdoor classes, as well as Zoom classes, “during this closure.”

LavaBarre offers high-intensity workouts that blend ballet, interval training, cardio, pilates and the use of props.

The boutique gym opened in Clarendon in the summer of 2012. Two years later, it moved into its current location and was replaced by Barre Tech, which, according to Yelp, has closed.

In the last five years, gyms offering ballet-inspired barre classes have proliferated in Arlington. Among them are Xtend BarreNeighborhood Barre, Pure Barre, and Barre3 in Clarendon, as well as a Pure Barre in Pentagon City.

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Morning Notes

Gold’s to Open Outdoor Workout Space — “Gym goers in Arlington, Virginia, will soon take spin classes on an open air training terrace instead of peddling away indoors. Gold’s Gym will open a turf-covered outdoor promenade for classes and training sessions at a new location that’s set to open over the Rosslyn Metro station in early 2021.” [NBC 4]

Beyer Blasts Trump Stimulus Decision — Before the president seemingly reversed his reversal, Rep. Don Beyer said in a statement: “President Trump’s stunning reversal on stimulus negotiations could not have come at a worse time. Just as a bipartisan deal to support American families, boost the economy, and fight the pandemic seemed increasingly promising, the President made the bewildering decision to walk away from talks completely.” [Press Release]

Sexual Assault on Silver Line — “An attacker tried to rape a woman Tuesday on a Metro train in Northern Virginia, the transit system said. The attack occurred about 11:35 a.m. on a Silver Line train between the McLean and East Falls Church stations, Metro said.” [Washington Post]

Water Work in Rock Spring — “Emergency Water Main Break: 4953 Little Falls Rd. Crews have been dispatched to the location. Little Falls Rd b/w Old Dominion and N Columbus St will be closed until about 12pm on 8/7.” [Twitter]

Arlington Man Attempting Major Feat — “Ashley set a goal of being the first kidney donor to complete the seven summits — climbing to the highest point in every continent. He climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, but his goal remains on pause because of the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on travel.” [RunWashington]

Local Events for Domestic Violence Awareness — “October 1 marks the beginning of Domestic Violence Awareness Month… In moving our awareness into action, Project PEACE is partnering with Northern Virginia regional domestic violence agencies to #PowerUpNoVA with free awareness and educational opportunities that spotlight less commonly recognized forms of abuse.” [Arlington County]

Update on Northam’s Symptoms — “Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said this week that he has developed ‘mild’ symptoms of covid-19 more than a week after testing positive for the novel coronavirus, but he is continuing to conduct business remotely. ‘I had a little bit of cold-like symptoms over the weekend and lost my sense of taste or smell, but other than that, I feel fine,’ Northam (D) said Monday.” [Washington Post]

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Ballston’s newest fitness concept, Training Ground Arlington, provides personal trainers with high-end fitness equipment and exclusive gym space for operating their own programs while bringing some of the best trainers to local clients for truly personalized training.

Most importantly, clients can workout in an exclusive, safe, appointment-based facility without the worry of an uncontrolled gym environment.

Training Ground Arlington is an exclusive shared workspace where trainers can run their own businesses without the hassle of maintaining overhead. Trainers can focus their time and talents on developing personal programs that best benefit their clients. Clients benefit greatly from improved programming, flexible schedules and no cumbersome gym memberships.

Training Ground’s state-of-the-art facility is now open for business, with their soft opening starting this week. Now is the time for clients to get in on the ground floor by taking advantage of grand opening specials and for trainers to sign on while space is still available!

Training Ground is a partner of Next Phase Fitness & Strength Training in Courthouse, where trial personal training sessions can also be held.

For a free consultation, tour or a trial PT session, visit their website or email them directly at the email address below.

Training Ground Arlington is located at 850 N. Randolph Street in Ballston. For more information email [email protected].

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