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Pickup truck that crashed into and damaged the side of the Memorial Bridge (photo courtesy John Wilcox)

The driver of a pickup truck nearby ran off the side of the Memorial Bridge this evening.

The truck mounted the southern sidewalk and smashed through the decorative masonry on the side of the bridge, over the GW Parkway and the Mt. Vernon Trail. It was likely just a few feet away from falling off the side of the bridge and onto the trail.

Police described it as a single-vehicle crash. U.S. Park Police officers and Arlington firefighters were among those to respond to the scene. No information on injuries or the cause of the crash was immediately available.

The inbound lanes of the bridge were closed to traffic for a time after the crash but have since reopened.

Memorial Bridge underwent an extensive, two-year rehabilitation project that wrapped up in 2020. The work included cleaning, repairing and reinstalling the bridge’s “historic granite balustrade.”

It appears that the truck smashed through one of those sections of balustrade. Repairing it may take awhile.

More on the balustrade work from a 2019 Washington Post article:

Hunks of curbing, benches and hundreds of ornate 80-pound balusters, for the balustrade, or stone railing, were scattered across a large Lorton Stone company work yard in Upper Marlboro, Md., like pieces of a huge puzzle.

There, they were being power-washed and repaired, if needed, said National Park Service spokesman Jonathan Shafer.

Many of the pieces have been stained by rust over the years from passing cars and nicked by snowplows, said Lindy Gulick, a Park Service architectural conservator.

Missing parts are being replaced by new pieces that are glued in place and sculpted to fit.

The original balusters were handcrafted from stone cut in a quarry in Mount Airy, N.C.

Replacements for the few that could not be repaired are being made with the help of a computer and with stone from the same quarry, Gulick said.

More on the crash via social media:

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A towering remembrance of the former Black community of Queen City is slated to be included in an Amazon-funded park next to HQ2.

Arlington’s Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board (HALRB) is set to review the proposed public art installation, from D.C. artist Nekisha Durrett, at its meeting tonight.

A presentation prepared for the meeting shows a 30 foot tall brick chimney stack, with the words “Queen City” written in brick, along the footpaths of the new Met Park in Pentagon City. The park is currently under construction after the County Board approved a $14 million, Amazon-funded renovation project two years ago.

The revamped park is expected to re-open at some point next year.

The proposed red brick structure, harkening back to the area’s past as a hub for brick production, will also include a decorative interior that park-goers will be able to freely enter.

Made with reclaimed bricks and illuminated by LED uplighting, the tower will seek to carry forward the legacy of the Black enclaves of Freedman’s Village and, more specifically, Queen City — two of several that dotted Arlington a century or more ago.

Freedman’s Village, founded on the former estate of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee during the Civil War, was closed by the federal government in 1900 and became part of Arlington National Cemetery. Queen City was founded nearby in response to the closure of Freedman’s Village.

But Queen City, too, would eventually be razed by the federal government — in 1942, to make way for the freeway network built around the newly-constructed Pentagon.

From the doctoral dissertation of Lindsey Bestebreurtje, Ph.D., a curator in the National Museum of African American History and Culture:

Together with the adjacent community of East Arlington, Queen City was located in south-eastern Arlington on flat land, prone to flooding from the nearby Potomac River, near several factories and along the Washington, Alexandria, and Mt. Vernon trolley line. Queen City was built around the Mt. Olive Baptist Church which had roots in Freedman’s Village. Saving one-fourth of an acre for the church, the remaining land was parceled into forty lots to be sold to church members leaving the Village. With small plots of 20 feet by 92 feet, this subdivision transformed the former farm land into a more dense and suburban environment. Many of the homes constructed by former residents of Freedman’s Village at this time were reminiscent of the simple clap-board houses they called home in the Village, making housing type another product of the Village’s diaspora.

By 1942 more than 200 working class families lived in modest but well-kept frame houses. Just as was the case in Freedman’s Village, where residents saw a thriving community, outsiders saw the black neighborhood as a ghetto. In January of 1942 construction began for the Pentagon’s road networks in the path of the communities. Properties were seized through [eminent] domain laws with modest payments. With this loss some community members left the area entirely, while other residents and institutions relocated to Arlington’s remaining black communities of Hall’s Hill, Johnson’s Hill, or Green Valley.

The dissertation notes that the destruction of the Queen City community was personally approved by the president at the time.

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Morning Notes

A rainbow in the sky without the rain (photo courtesy Leslie Koch)

Saturday Afternoon’s Painted Sky — From the Capital Weather Gang: “A couple more nice examples of this circumhorizon arc being see all over the DMV. We wrote about these a few years ago… not uncommon high in the sky around midday during summer.” [Twitter]

Local Woman Harassed in Metro Station — “A 21-year-old woman is sharing the frightening experience she had when a stranger yelled at and harassed her for 10-straight minutes at a Metro station this week in Washington, D.C. Helen Molteni, of Arlington, Virginia, said she was on the platform at the Foggy Bottom station when a man came up to her and started harassing her.” [NBC 4]

Va. Attorney General Visits — “Virginia’s attorney general met with local nonprofit groups in Arlington, Virginia, on Friday for a roundtable listening session about addressing poverty and community needs… Miyares was joined by representatives from the Office of the Attorney General and the Arlington County police in sitting down with members of various faith organizations and nonprofit programs, including Arlington Bridge Builders, a local community coalition with the mission of helping people in need.” [WTOP]

APS Students Top National Competition — “Lina Barclay and Ellie Nix, two Arlington Tech graduates from the Arlington Career Center, won the first-place gold medal in the Television (Video) Production contest at the annual National Leadership and Skills Conference and SkillsUSA Championships in Atlanta. Barclay and Nix represented Virginia in this contest and competed against 37 other teams across the United States.” [Arlington Public Schools]

Are These Pike Apartments Historic? — “Members of the Arlington Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board (HALRB) have opted against moving forward, for now, on a proposal to confer historic-district status on a 70-year-old apartment compound in the Arlington Mill neighborhood. But the buildings may end up preserved, nonetheless.” [Sun Gazette]

Rents Keep Rising Rapidly — “The median rental price for an Arlington apartment grew 2.8 percent from June to July, according to new data, ranking the county third nationally among the 100 largest urban areas in terms of price growth. With the increase, Arlington’s median rent now stands at $2,121 for a one-bedroom unit and $2,538 for two bedrooms.” [Sun Gazette]

Crash at Infamous I-395 Exit — From Dave Statter: “Another considerate driver signals before making a left turn across 4 lanes of I-395S. But their #8CDash came to an abrupt halt when the driver in the last lane somehow didn’t see that signal — or just didn’t believe what they were seeing.” [Twitter]

Office to Apartment Conversions Ramp Up — “‘There really hasn’t been a time like right now, where office is on the decline to the point that [an empty building] is basically the same value as just the land,’ says Lindsay Stroud, a structured-finance broker with the commercial real-estate firm Savills. One possible solution: more office-to-residential conversions like Park & Ford.” [Washingtonian]

It’s August 1 — Partly cloudy throughout the day, with spotty rain possible later. High of 86 and low of 72. Sunrise at 6:11 am and sunset at 8:21 pm. [Weather.gov]

Photo courtesy Leslie Koch

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(Updated at 10:15 a.m.) Work is continuing on the former site of the Febrey-Lothrop House, also known as the Rouse estate, in the Dominion Hills neighborhood.

ARLnow saw and captured photos last week of what appears to be excavation activity at the site at 6407 Wilson Blvd, including the removal of trees.

The site is now owned by New York-based Kennedy Lewis Investment Management, according to county property records, after it was sold late last year. Some 40 single-family houses are expected to be built on the site, dubbed The Grove at Dominion Hills, by home builder Toll Brothers.

More on the homebuilding plan, below, from an update posted last month by the Dominion Hills Civic Association.

Toll Brothers indicated most homes would be about 45 feet wide on lots around 60 feet wide; however, lots will vary in size, most around 8000 square ft. Homes would be customized to the buyer with a variety of colors available for exteriors as well as options for interiors.

The audience was also eager to know the timeline for construction. At the time of the meeting, the Toll Brothers representatives indicated that grading work on the Madison Street home sites could begin as soon as six weeks from early May, which would be in about mid-June, 2022. However, all is dependent on the Arlington County approval processes. If the timeline continued as plans, construction on homes is projected for late July and as the representative put it, “you could have new neighbors by February.”

The home prices are anticipated to start around $2 million.

ARLnow reached out to the investment company about the work currently being done and if they are partnering with any archeologists or historians during this phase. Previously, local preservationists asserted that the site — which was once home to as many as 15 enslaved people and also potentially used by an Indigenous hunting ground — is historic and potentially contains artifacts, though a County Board report called artifact claims “speculative.”

“We have no comment on the matter,” a spokesperson for the company wrote back in an email.

In March 2021, the historic Febrey-Lothrop House that sat on the nine-plus acres of land at the corner of Wilson Blvd and N. McKinley Road was demolished. That came after a long battle by local preservationists, including the Arlington Historical Society, to save the aging house and estate from demolition and development.

However, attempts to get the county to purchase the site or to give it a local historic designation failed.

Portions of the house may have dated back to at least the Civil War, including an ​​ornate wooden compass floor inlay built into what had been a library, preservationists argued.

In the late 19th century, the house was sold to department store ​​magnate Alvin Lothrop. He knocked down most of the previous structure to build his own colonial revival style home, inspired by George Washington’s Mount Vernon.

The house stayed in the family after Lothrop died but reportedly was leased to Howard Hughes, the famed aviator, inventor, and businessman. He hosted lavish parties there, inviting guests like movie star Jane Russell and Washington football team owner George Preston Marshall.

The house and estate — which at the time was even more expansive — were sold to Middleburg, Virginia-based developer and amateur steeplechase jockey Randy Rouse in 1951. He broke up most of the estate to form the surrounding neighborhood but kept the house and close-by property.

Giving the house another brush with Hollywood history, Rouse married Audrey Meadows, who had just been cast on the TV show “The Honeymooners.” But commuting from Arlington to New York for filming supposedly stressed the marriage and they divorced soon after.

Rouse owned the house up to his death in 2017 at 100 years old. A trust in his name owned the property, but it opposed the historic designation and moved to sell the property for redevelopment. Ultimately, the house was torn down early last year.

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Morning Notes

Rain showers and thunderstorms at the Marine Corps War Memorial (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Cruel Summer in the Pool — “Arlington’s four summer swimming teams in the Northern Virginia Swimming League had a combined losing record of 9-11 this season. It was the first summer since the 2012 campaign that the four had a cumulative losing mark… This summer Overlee also was the only one of the four with a winning mark, at 3-2.” [Sun Gazette]

Arlington = Jersey City? — A TikTok creator, talking about her viral map comparing parts of the D.C. area with New York City area locales: “I completely understand that people are going to disagree with this, but it was Arlington and Jersey City — you know, being literally across the river from a big economic center that people commute into. I think the way people in DC talk about Arlington — it just sounded very familiar to some of the things that I’ve heard people in Manhattan saying about people who live just across the water in New Jersey.” [Washingtonian]

Another Gun Caught at DCA Checkpoint — “A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) prevented an Alexandria, Va., resident from bringing his loaded handgun onto his flight this morning, July 25. It was the 16th gun detected by TSA officers at the airport so far this year.” [Press Release]

Brittany O’Grady’s Latest Project — From actress and Arlington native Brittany O’Grady: “I’m filming an Amazon show called The Consultant, with Nat Wolff and Christoph Waltz. It’s about a man who takes over a company, and my character and others are challenged on their morality. I’m also excited to finally play women [rather than teenagers]. The storylines get deeper.” [Northern Virginia Magazine]

A Spring and Arlington’s Oldest Home — “This land was originally patented by Thomas Owsley in 1696 with the caveat that he had to build a house on the land within a year or forfeit rights to the land. It’s believed that Owsley built the stone house that sits at Dawson Terrace Recreation Center, one street west of the Spring Site. If true, it is the oldest house in Arlington County…  The spring is located inside a spring house at the bottom of a stone stairway at the end of North Scott Street.” [Atlas Obscura]

It’s Tuesday — Cloudy, then rain starting in the afternoon. High of 80 and low of 73. Sunrise at 6:06 am and sunset at 8:27 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Arlington House, as seen from the Kennedy gravesite at Arlington National Cemetery in 2011 (staff photo)

(Updated at 12:45 p.m.) Local lawmakers have again introduced legislation to officially remove Robert E. Lee’s name from Arlington House.

For fifty years, “Arlington House, the Robert E. Lee Memorial” has been the official name for the National Park Service-managed mansion that sits on top of a hill at Arlington National Cemetery.

But in recent years, there has been a push to drop Lee’s name from the memorial and return it to its original name of simply “Arlington House.”

In 2020, Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va) proposed legislation to do just that since Arlington House lies in his district. The bill was co-sponsored by two other local representatives, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va) and Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Va), along with D.C. Congressional delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton.

Beyer said at the time that the legislation was partially inspired by requests for a name change from descendants of those who were enslaved at Arlington House. However, the bill never got out of committee and no change was made.

Two years later, though, these local lawmakers are trying again with a bicameral push.

The House bill is co-sponsored by Beyer, Connelly, Wexton, and Norton while a new Senate bill is sponsored by Tim Kaine (D-Va). The legislation, if passed and signed into law, would strip the Confederate general’s name from the house he once lived in.

“If we are serious about ending racial disparities, we need to stop honoring those who fought to protect slavery,” Kaine said in a press release. “I’m proud to be part of the effort to rename Arlington House, and am going to keep fighting for the kinds of reforms we need to create a society that delivers liberty and justice for all.”

This year’s bills are very similar to the one from 2020, Beyer Communications Director Aaron Fritschner confirmed to ARLnow, save for small language changes including adding a formal historic site designation.

If the legislation does pass, the mansion would officially be called “The Arlington House National Historic Site.”

The building that now sits inside Arlington National Cemetery was first built by enslaved people in the early 19th century to be the residence for George Washington Parke Custis. It was also intended to be a memorial to George Washington, Custis’s adoptive grandfather.

Custis’s daughter Mary Anna Randolph Custis married Robert E. Lee in 1831. The soon-to-be Confederate general was known to be a cruel and sometimes violent head of the household.

During the Civil War, the Union Army seized the house as well as the grounds and turned it into a military cemetery.

In 1955, Congress passed legislation to designate the house as the “Custis-Lee Mansion.” The name was changed again in 1972 to what it is today, “Arlington House, the Robert E. Lee Memorial.”

For years, Arlington House was featured prominently in the county’s logo. That changed last year after a push to remove the house from the logo, in large part due to its formal name and association with Lee.

(An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated Lee’s relationship to the house and property.) 

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Editor’s Note: The following article first appeared in the ARLnow Press Club weekend newsletter. Thank you to Press Club members for helping to fund our in-depth local features.

The phone rings on a stormy afternoon in Halls Hill and 92-year-old Hartman Reed swivels in his chair to answer it.

“Hello, Crown Cab,” he says.

Reed first started working for the long-running cab company back in 1958 as one of the first Black cab drivers in Arlington. He picked up customers in a Chevy. Today, more than six decades later, he owns the company, making it one of two Black-owned cab companies in Arlington.

Reed had a second notable job as well. He was also a firefighter at famed Fire Station No. 8 in Halls Hill. It’s believed he was one of the first paid Black firefighters south of the Mason-Dixon line.

“As I grow older, I now know how important it was to be first at things,” Reed tells ARLnow. “I now know what we did made it possible for others behind us to advance.”

For decades, Halls Hill had only a volunteer firefighter department. Even when the county started allocating money to other neighborhoods to pay their first responders in 1940, Arlington declined to do the same for Halls Hill. What’s more, fire companies in surrounding neighborhoods would not come into Halls Hill to provide help.

Finally, in the early 1950s, the county provided money to Halls Hill to hire professional firefighters. Reed, straight out of the Navy, was one of the first hired, starting on the job in 1952 at Fire Station No. 8.

He remains extremely proud of not just the work he and his fellow Halls Hill firefighters did, but the reputation they earned in the community.

“Just because we were Black, we were looked at as people who didn’t have the courage to go in and fight fires,” he says. “We had to prove ourselves. In most cases, I’d say we were outstanding as a company because we wanted to prove that we were as good or better than any other company.”

Hartman Reed’s firefighting helmet (staff photo by Matt Blitz)

Fire fighting wasn’t the only community need where Jim Crow reared its ugly head in Arlington in the mid-20th century. In an era there were fewer people had cars, cabs were neighborhood necessities. However, many white-owned Arlington companies would not pick up customers in Arlington’s Black communities like Johnson’s Hill, Halls Hill, and Green Valley.

So, two companies — Friendly Cab Company and Crown Cab — were founded specifically to service those neighborhoods. A number of the cabbies were firemen, including Reed.

In 1958, fellow Fire Station No. 8 firefighter Buster Moten started Crown Cab and hired Reed as his first driver. It’s believed he was one of the first Black cab drivers in Arlington.

For about 16 years, Reed was both a firefighter and a cab driver but he says the two jobs went hand-in-hand. For one, being a cab driver helped him “learn the territory.”

“You have to know where places are when a [fire] call comes in. You can’t be hunting around,” he says. “As a cab driver, you got to know the county a lot better.”

Cabs were also there for emergencies, like hospital visits, particularly since Arlington’s Black residents were often not allowed to go to the hospital closest by.

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Morning Notes

“Bike route sign at the intersection of 15th Street N. & Taylor Street directing bikes onto Taylor Street, which is a dead end” (Flickr pool photo by Cyrus W.)

‘Conservation’ Nixed in New Name — “The Neighborhood Conservation Program has a new name: Arlington Neighborhoods Program. [Three county departments] announced the new name for the interdepartmental program after almost a yearlong renaming process… The Neighborhood Conservation Program Review (NCPR) Final Report recommended changing the program name because the word ‘conservation’ often evokes a negative connotation and suggests exclusivity.” [Arlington County]

Big Scholarship Match for WHS Grads — “A newly announced dollar-for-dollar match could net the Wakefield High School Educational Foundation’s scholarship fund as much as $2 million over the coming year. It was announced June 2 that Henry ‘Ric’ Duques, a 1961 graduate of the high school, and his wife Dawn had made an up-to-$1 million pledge to the foundation, which will match funds raised by the organization for the year ending June 30, 2023.” [Sun Gazette]

Remembering Local Desegregation Efforts — “Our racial history commemorators have thoroughly marked the 1959 integration of Stratford Junior High School, a first for long-segregated Virginia. But those four African American student pioneers stood on the shoulders of a select group of older peers, whose legal efforts have gone relatively unsung.” [Falls Church News-Press]

New Monument at Arlington Nat’l Cemetery — “A monument now stands in memory of the first astronauts to die in their spacecraft, 55 years after a fire on the launchpad claimed their lives. Family members of the fallen Apollo 1 crew came together with NASA officials, space industry leaders and members of the space community to dedicate the new monument during a ceremony(opens in new tab) held Thursday (June 2) at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. The memorial is located… in Section 3 of the cemetery.” [Space.com]

ARLnow Cartoonist’s Work Highlighted — “But the father of two has long been a fan of the art form and in the past year, he has become a community cartoonist. [Mike Mount] creates weekly cartoons for an online news outlet in his Northern Virginia county, capturing within those scribbled squares the weird, comical and relatable parts of living in one of Washington’s suburbs.” [Washington Post]

Nature Center Advocate Keeps Advocating — “Look up ‘indefatigable’ in an online dictionary, and a photo of Duke Banks might pop up. Recently given the brushoff – politely but for the second time – by the County Board, Banks is not stopping in his efforts to restore hours that were cut at Arlington’s two local nature centers during the pandemic. Banks pressed his case at the May 24 meeting of the Arlington Park and Recreation Commission.” [Sun Gazette]

It’s Monday — Clear throughout the day. High of 80 and low of 61. Sunrise at 5:45 am and sunset at 8:32 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Morning Notes

A pedestrian tunnel under Route 50 near the National Guard Readiness Center (Flickr pool photo by Cyrus W.)

DCA Sign Changes Start Tomorrow — “We’re making it easier to find your gate! Beginning June 4, we will be updating our signage to include a letter in front of each gate number. Don’t worry, no airlines or gates are actually moving!” [Twitter, DCist]

Summer Reading Program Underway — “The Arlington County library system’s summer-reading program kicked off June 1 and will run through Sept. 1. ‘Readers of all ages are invited to immerse themselves in reading, participating in 500 free programs and explore the 2022 theme, ‘Oceans of Possibilities,” library officials said.” [Sun Gazette]

Weekend Road Closures — “There are planned road closures to accommodate the 2022 Armed Forces Cycling Classic bicycle races, which will take place during the weekend of Saturday, June 4 – Sunday, June 5, 2022.” [ACPD]

New Name for Park Near HQ2 — “Before the HALRB’s meeting of May 18, it looked like “Teardrop Park” would be a runaway choice for the new space, which will be bounded (in a teardrop shape) by South Eads Street and Army Navy Drive and bisected by 11th Street South… But at the HALRB meeting, Berne stopped that train in its tracks by countering with “Arlington Junction Park,” which would pay homage to an important trolley-line nexus of the last decade of the 19th century and the first four decades of the 20th.” [Sun Gazette]

Free Donuts Today — “It’s National Donut Day on Friday, and several eateries in Virginia and Washington, D.C., are offering a sweet deal or two to lure in donut lovers across the state.” [Patch]

Paper Calls for Return of SROs — “One wonders if Arlington’s School Board members will have a change of heart, now that there is a national drumbeat for more, not less, public-safety presence in schools. Sadly, one presumes not.” [Sun Gazette]

It’s Friday — Mostly cloudy throughout the day. High of 78 and low of 65. Sunrise at 5:46 am and sunset at 8:31 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Take a drive through Fairlington and you will see sprawling acres of modest Colonial Revival-style condominiums with manicured lawns.

Once, they were garden apartments and townhouses, built between 1942 and 1944 to house the masses of defense workers who flocked to Arlington during World War II.

The complex is one marquee example of Arlington’s World War II-era garden apartments. Other examples include Arlington’s first complex, Colonial Village, and its second, Buckingham Village.

While denser than exclusively single-family-zoned neighborhoods, they are roomier, greener and lower to the ground than mid- to high-rise developments along Arlington’s Metro corridors. That is, they fit the definition of “Missing Middle” housing stock that Arlington County is looking to increase.

Today, Arlington is once again facing a housing crunch, one that is expected to tighten as Amazon hires more workers and companies spring up in its orbit. Garden apartments were once a solution to Arlington’s housing problems 80 years ago. But as Arlington County considers a plan for allowing “Missing Middle” housing in all residential area of the county, the “Missing Middle” of 80 years ago — these low-rise, gentle density developments — are worth a look.

Arlington’s housing history

Garden apartments first came online in the 1920s and were billed as a more spacious and light-filled alternative to denser, taller tenement housing, says George Mason University Mercatus Center fellow Emily Hamilton, who studies housing and development.

“Their setting, in park-like areas, was also shaped by the ‘garden city‘ movement, which started in the UK and was influential in the U.S. and based on the belief that urban housing should be surrounded by greenery, even in the city,” Hamilton said said. (Reston is nearby example of a planned “garden city.”)

But that trend didn’t pick up in Arlington until 1935, when 245 Colonial Revival-style buildings were built on 55 acres and named Colonial Village, writes Gail Baker, a former member of the Arlington County Historic Affairs and Landmark Review Board. Construction began on Arlington’s second complex, the 100-acre Buckingham Village, in 1937, and was completed in the 1950s.

Hamilton says demand shifted toward single-family homes in the mid-century, as living standards and federal financing made buying a house more feasible.

As a result, garden apartments became a “starter option” for families, according to historian Charlie Clark.

“A lot of Arlingtonians who are middle-aged homeowners got their start in the garden apartments in the 40s and 50s,” he said. “Then, they ambitiously rose the economic scale, and wanted a single-family home with a yard, and ended up in other neighborhoods.”

By the 1970s, as the regional population grew and Metro was built these garden apartments faced development pressure. Colonial Village was broken up: some units were conserved, others were converted in condos, and still others were razed and turned into office buildings.

The county preserved Buckingham through an affordable housing deal and the units at Fairlington Villages were converted into condominiums and sold. One selling point was that their Colonial Revival façades were maintained, Baker writes.

Fifty years later, garden apartments are some of the last affordable dwellings to rent in the county in part because the buildings are dated, Hamilton says. And development pressure is mounting, as these buildings are reaching the end of their useful lives.

“It’s interesting,” Clark said. “They were probably considered middle-class when they were built, but they probably have declined a little bit in terms of economics.”

A collection of them near Rosslyn, on N. Ode Street, will be redeveloped as a high-rise affordable housing complex. Meanwhile, the owners of a similar complex along Columbia Pike will be redeveloping its property with townhouses.

Arlington County pre-empted speculative redevelopment of a third garden apartment complex, the Barcroft Apartments, by brokering a deal with Amazon and developer Jair Lynch Real Estate Partners, which agreed to preserve 1,334 units on the site as committed affordable units for 99 years.

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Morning Notes

Deer in a local neighborhood (Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann)

Memorial Day Closures — County offices and facilities like libraries and community centers will be closed Monday for the Memorial Day holiday. Metered parking will not be enforced. But trash collection will continue as normal. [Arlington County, Twitter]

Tree Group Opposes ‘Missing Middle’ — “A tree-advocacy group believes proposed changes to Arlington housing policy could have a cataclysmic impact on existing tree canopy in the community. ‘Tell the county ‘no’ – do not enact policies that further reduce our tree canopy,’ the Arlington Tree Action Group (ATAG) said May 20 in response to a county-government proposal on possible zoning changes.” [Sun Gazette]

Chamber Supports New Ballston Metro Entrance — “I am writing to express our strong support for full Authority funding of Arlington County’s $80 million application for the Ballston-MU Metrorail Station West Entrance. This project is a critical improvement to the regional transit network and supports the Authority’s programming goals of modal and geographic balance… As we move forward, its construction will be very important to the success of businesses in Arlington.” [Arlington Chamber of Commerce]

W-L’s Royal Rowing History — “In the spring of 1958, under the guidance of head coach Charlie Butt, a group of teenage rowers from Washington-Lee High School (now Washington-Liberty) performed so well at stateside races that they earned a spot at the Henley Royal Regatta in England–becoming the first public high school in America invited to the iconic race, which dates to 1839. But first, they needed money.” [Arlington Magazine]

County Now Offering Boosters for Kids — “After federal approvals, Arlington County and other providers are offering the COVID-19 vaccine booster to children aged 5 to 11.” [Patch]

County Polling About Pickleball — “As Arlington’s population continues to grow and sports trends change, the Department of Parks and Recreation recognizes there has been a shift in the use and demand for outdoor athletic courts. Our Outdoor Athletic Court Project includes creating criteria to identify existing courts that are candidates for permanent pickleball lines as well as identify an existing amenity to convert into a permanent pickleball facility.” [Arlington County]

Storms Possible Tomorrow — From the National Weather Service: “We’ll stay mostly dry and cloudy for the remainder of today with highs in the 60s across the area. We are monitoring the potential for an unsettled start to the long holiday weekend this Friday with severe storm/flood threats.” [Twitter]

It’s Thursday — Overcast throughout the day. High of 71 and low of 60. Sunrise at 5:49 am and sunset at 8:25 pm. [Weather.gov]

Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann

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