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by Chris Teale July 21, 2017 at 1:45 pm 0

Construction crews have demolished the Cherry Hill Apartments just off Lee Highway, and a new four-story building is set to replace it.

The three-story garden apartments at 2110-2120 N. Monroe Street in Cherrydale have been razed, as well as two single-family homes next door. The former building had 77 units and was built in 1961 near a Safeway grocery store.

Building permits filed with the county indicate that 79 trees have also been removed from the site. Currently, diggers are removing any remaining walls and buildings from the property ahead of clearing the ground.

In its place, property owner Dittmar will build a four-story apartment building with 93 units as a by-right development, meaning it does not require Arlington County Board approval.

Material advertising the former apartments touted them as a “quiet, garden style community” with direct bus service to the Rosslyn Metro station.

by ARLnow.com July 20, 2017 at 9:15 am 0

Fairlington to Trap Raccoons — Following two well-publicized raccoon attacks in the past week, the Fairlington Villages condo association is taking action. In a letter to residents, the association says its Board of Directors has “authorized management to engage a wild animal control contractor to begin a program of trapping raccoons on the property.”

County Moves Forward on Fairfax Drive Ownership — “Arlington County wants to own State Route 237 (Fairfax Drive/10th St. North) from roughly Ballston to Courthouse. The County Board voted at its July 18, 2017 meeting to request that the Commonwealth transfer ownership of the stretch of road to Arlington.” [Arlington County]

Arlington Mulls Lee Highway Ownership — Now that it owns Columbia Pike and is requesting ownership of Fairfax Drive, should Arlington also consider asking VDOT for ownership of Lee Highway? “It’s an intriguing idea,” said one County Board member. [InsideNova]

Darbys Dish on Their Split — Even friends of Real Housewives of Potomac castmates Ashley and Michael Darby might not have suspected that the couple had split up before revealing it on a RHOP reunion show. The pair, who jointly own Oz restaurant in Clarendon, “still spend time together socially” but as of February both have separate apartments in Arlington. [Bravo]

Road Closures for 5K Race in Crystal City — The annual Crystal City Twilighter 5K race will shut down parts of Crystal Drive, Long Bridge Drive and other adjacent roads Saturday night. [Arlington County]

Photo courtesy “ARLnow Reader”

by ARLnow.com July 14, 2017 at 11:05 am 0

(Updated at 11:35 a.m.) A march from the National Rifle Association in Fairfax to the Dept. of Justice in D.C. is expected to make its way through Arlington tonight.

A rally for the Women’s March from #NRA2DOJ got underway Friday morning outside of NRA headquarters and around 11:30 a.m. marchers embarked on their 18 mile journey. The march is intended to “denounce the false and intimidating rhetoric of the NRA and send a clear message that our movement will proudly and bravely continue to strive for the respect of the civil and human rights of all people.”

The march is expected to reach Arlington in the late afternoon or early evening. It will head down Lee Highway before entering the District via Rosslyn and the Key Bridge.

While road closures are planned in D.C., police say that none are planned in Arlington, as marchers are expected to stay on sidewalks.

“Arlington County Police will be on scene and will monitor for any impacts,” said ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage.

The county’s Office of Emergency Management, however, said “there is a potential for traffic disruption” along the march route so drivers should “consider alternate routes.”

https://twitter.com/womensmarch/status/885861601345142784

Photo (top) via Twitter

by ARLnow.com June 27, 2017 at 3:35 pm 0

For those who want to ring in Independence Day with some backyard pyrotechnics, at least two fireworks stands are now open in Arlington.

With the Fourth of July a week away, stands along Columbia Pike and Lee Highway are offering various types of sparklers, whirligigs and other fireworks that are legal in Virginia.

The first stand is located in a parking lot near the corner of Columbia Pike and S. Glebe Road. The other is also in a parking lot, near the corner of Lee Highway and N. Harrison Street. Both have been offering fireworks at their respective locations, around the Fourth of July holiday, for years.

For those planning a year ahead, such fireworks stands will often offer deep discounts after the holiday.

by Chris Teale June 6, 2017 at 11:00 am 0

A 7-Eleven on Lee Highway in Cherrydale will close by the end of the month, and local residents are concerned for the future of other business nearby.

Multiple anonymous tipsters said they heard the 7-Eleven at 3901 Lee Highway will close. One said the new landlord is refusing to sign a new lease with the convenience store. Former landlord Kostas Kapasouris sold the properties earlier this year, and confirmed in an interview Tuesday morning that the 7-Eleven will close by the end of June.

County property records indicate that Naqibullah M. Ismail bought the shopping plaza and the stores across N. Pollard Street from it in February. The plaza sold for $3 million, according to those records. Ismail, an Arlington resident whose LinkedIn page says he is the CEO of an Afghanistan-based contractor to the Dept. of Defense, did not respond to requests for comment.

Kapasouris also owned the buildings that housed Billy’s Cheesesteaks, Bistro 29 on one side, and the former Drug Fair building, which houses Sun & Moon Yoga, Sterling Frames, Company Flowers and almost housed the NOVA Firearms gun store until its lease was cancelled in 2015. He said the other stores should “hopefully” stay open for the foreseeable future.

Jim Todd, president of the Cherrydale Citizens Association, said that while all he has heard is “second hand or rumor” around the stores’ future, he hopes any possible redevelopment plans are consistent with previous guidelines approved for the area.

“Whatever happens, we hope that any redevelopment that might be coming follows the design guidelines set out in the Cherrydale Revitalization Plan and the Cherrydale Neighborhood Conservation Plan, and promotes the vision for the future of Lee Highway set out by the Lee Highway Alliance,” Todd said. “We also want to express our support for and continue to work with Kostas and all our locally-owned Cherrydale businesses.”

7-Eleven media relations staff did not respond to requests for comment.

by Kalina Newman June 5, 2017 at 3:15 pm 0

The first phase for the upgrades on the intersection between Lee Highway and N. Glebe Road are well underway after construction began March 6.

A spokeswoman for the county’s Dept. of Environmental Services (DES) said the installation of spaces for underground utilities should be done by the end of the year.

After that is complete, utility cables will be transferred underground from the overhead poles. Each individual wooden overhead pole will then be removed and any remaining existing overhead utilities will be rearranged.

Improvements include wider sidewalks, upgraded traffic signals, enhanced left-turn lanes and the installation of left-turn lanes for N. Glebe Road. The area will also get four new bus shelters with real-time arrival information, new streetlights and crosswalk markings.

Currently the construction hours are 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Fridays.

Workers may close a single lane of traffic in one or both directions along Lee Highway, Glebe Road or both during construction. Vehicles turning left or right might also be detoured as construction moves into the intersection itself.

Additionally, some bus stops in the area will be relocated and some sidewalks will be closed or rerouted to allow for construction. Off-street parking in the area may also be reduced in the coming months.

DES says it does not expect any changes to be made to the current design plan for the project.

by Chris Teale May 8, 2017 at 4:45 pm 0

Neighborhoods across the county are getting ready for Neighborhood Day, set to take place Saturday and feature a wide range of events and activities.

The day looks to bring together neighbors to strengthen bonds on blocks and across the county.

This year’s events are:

Jennie Dean Park Historical Markers Unveiling Ceremony
At noon, the park’s new historical markers will be unveiled, followed by a tour  of Arlington Food Assistance Center’s new office at 2708 S Nelson Street.

Seventh Annual Turtle Trot 5K Race
A chip-timed 5K race at Bluemont Park on a certified course. The race begins at 10 a.m.

International Migratory Bird Day Festival
From 9-11 a.m., celebrate International Migratory Bird Day by learning about migratory birds such as hummingbirds and osprey with hands-on activities, games, crafts, bird walks and more. Meet at Lacey Woods Park Picnic Shelter, 1200 N. George Mason Drive.

Lee Highway Alliance Events
The Lee Highway Alliance is hosting three events to celebrate at Woodstock Park, Big Walnut Park and Langston-Brown Community Center.

Tuckahoe Home and Garden Tour
The self-guided Tuckahoe Home & Garden Tour showcases recently renovated Arlington homes that solve common space and design challenges through creative remodeling.

Fairlington Home and Garden Tour
Tour a variety of renovated homes and gardens in Fairlington Village. Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased in advance or on the day.

Remove Invasive Plants
Increase native species diversity by helping with the return of ferns and wildflowers, and the animals that depend on them, in areas once covered in destructive invasive plants. The Gulf Branch Nature Center will host the event from 2-4 p.m.

Zumbathon
Join Enrique and special guest Mimi in a two-hour zumbathon from noon-2 p.m. at Penrose Square.

Tara-Leeway Heights Community Day
From 1-3 p.m. at Big Walnut Park, the Tara-Leeway Heights community will host an event complete with food vendors, games and more.

LBCCA Celebration and Movie Night Series Kick-Off
The Long Branch Creek Civic Association will bring the community together to celebrate from 5-9 p.m. at Troy Park. The event will include a moon bounce, games and activities, potluck dinner, snacks, beverages and an outdoor movie screening.

Ashton Heights Neighborhood Yard Sale
From 8 a.m.-noon, visit the Ashton Heights neighborhood for a community-wide yard sale.

by Chris Teale May 5, 2017 at 9:55 am 0

Saved from closure by a new owner, House of Steep on Lee Highway is now in the process of adding new ways for its customers to relax.

The Cherrydale business at 3800 Lee Highway had been set to close late last year, after founder and previous owner Lyndsey DePalma suggested it was not making enough money.

But it was bought by long-time customer Patrick Vaughan and reopened in January, and now Vaughan is looking to bring some new ideas.

The tea house and “foot sanctuary” will soon offer wine to customers, after filing a license application with Virginia ABC. Vaughan said that new innovation could help turn House of Steep into more of a wine bar in the evenings.

“I envision people having a glass of wine while doing a sit and soak essentially, or getting a foot massage,” he said. “The theme of the place is relaxation, so to me I know a lot of people consider a glass of wine at the end of the day the ultimate relaxation.”

Vaughan said he also hopes to expand walk-in availability for House of Steep’s reflexology and massage services. Previously, he said, customers would have to schedule an appointment 24 hours in advance, but Vaughan said he wants to have a system where people can be seen straight away or an hour or two later.

House of Steep’s community outreach is also set to be expanded. Vaughan, a trail and ultra-marathon runner, said he has already partnered with the charity D.C. Capital Striders to host a weekly run from the store. He has other plans too.

“We’ve been proactively inviting community groups to host their meetings in the space or holding wellness seminars or doing open mic nights,” Vaughan said. “We’re definitely trying to create a little bit more of a community environment space for people to use throughout the day and evening.”

by ARLnow.com May 1, 2017 at 4:35 pm 0

A collision between two cars that left one on its side closed two lanes of Lee Highway near the Key Bridge Marriott Hotel in Rosslyn.

The crash happened around 4 p.m., near the intersection with N. Oak Street. A driver heading west on Lee Highway in a grey Audi collided with an Infiniti looking to turn right from N. Oak Street. The two collided, with the Infiniti left on its side.

Police closed the two outside lanes of Lee Highway, but left traffic through in the right-hand lane with an officer directing traffic.

Paramedics were dispatched for three reported injuries according to scanner traffic, none of them said to be life-threatening. Medics did not appear to require a stretcher, as it was removed with no one in it.

Just before 4:30 p.m., crews were preparing a winch to upright the stricken Infiniti. The Audi’s front was smashed in and it was still in the roadway.

by Chris Teale April 19, 2017 at 12:15 pm 0

Police have closed a section of N. Glebe Road where it intersects Lee Highway after road construction crews hit a gas line.

Crews accidentally hit the line near the Wells Fargo bank, leaving a distinct odor of gas in the surrounding area.

Officers have shut the northbound lanes of N. Glebe Road near the accident, while firefighters are on scene out of an abundance of caution.

Workers from Washington Gas are at the scene to fix the leak. The road construction continued as normal on other sections of N. Glebe Road.

Drivers should seek alternate routes and expect delays.

by ARLnow.com April 4, 2017 at 10:05 am 0

(Updated at 11:30 a.m.) A Maryland man has been arrested and charged with half a dozen counts of assaulting police officers and medical personnel.

Police were called to a restaurant on the 4700 block of Lee Highway last night just before 10 p.m. for a “report of a disorderly subject.” The name of the restaurant was not released, but Metro 29 Diner, Thirsty Bernie and Cowboy Cafe are located on or near that block of Lee Highway.

The suspect then became combative and assaulted five police officers and bit the finger of a paramedic while in custody, according to police.

More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report:

ASSAULT & BATTERY ON POLICE, 2017-04030296, 4700 block of Lee Highway. At approximately 9:52 p.m. on April 3, police were dispatched to the report of a disorderly subject inside a restaurant. The responding officers escorted the subject outside and as they were conducting the investigation, he allegedly became combative and assaulted multiple officers. Once in custody, the subject bit the finger of an Arlington County Fire Department Medic attempting to evaluate him for injuries. Jorge Luis Quintero-Amaya, 28, of Temple Hills, MD was arrested and charged with Assault & Battery on Law Enforcement (x5), Assault on Medical Personnel, Resisting Arrest, Obstruction of Justice and Failure to ID. He was held on no bond.

by Chris Teale March 7, 2017 at 4:55 pm 0

A new women’s clothing and accessories store opened December at the Lee Heights Shops, replacing the recently-shuttered Lemon Twist Arlington.

Lemoncello Boutique at 4518 Lee Highway is a family-owned store that sells clothes for women of all ages, including young children and babies. It opened under different ownership from the previous store.

It also sells gifts and other items, including photo frames, jewelry and beauty products. Brands sold include Vineyard Vines, Scout and local jewelry designer Second Daughter, owned by Jessica Speckhard.

Lemoncello replaced Lemon Twist, which sold similar items and brands from the time it opened on Lee Highway in the late 1980s until it closed last year.

The store was part of a small retail fashion chain.

As of yet, the other Lee Heights Shops store to close recently, Bradshaw’s Children’s Shoes, appears not to have been replaced. It shuttered last year due to the owners’ retirement, after the store had served Northern Virginia since 1834.

by ARLnow.com February 27, 2017 at 11:55 am 0

Police car lightsA man is suspected of breaking into some 30 cars in north Arlington over the weekend.

The break-ins and thefts happened in the area of the Overlee pool along Lee Highway, and were first reported around 6 a.m. Saturday.

Police say the man fled the scene after a resident confronted him, as he was breaking into a neighbor’s car on the 6000 block of 23rd Street N.

The cars that were broken into were unlocked, according to an Arlington County Police Department crime report. More from ACPD:

LARCENY FROM AUTO (Series), 2017-02250088, 6000 block of 23rd Street N. At approximately 6:11 a.m. on February 25, police were dispatched to the report of a tampering with auto that had just occurred. A witness confronted a suspect he observed inside a neighbor’s vehicle. The suspect fled the scene in a maroon colored sedan. The suspect is described as a black male, approximately 5’10” and weighing 160 lbs. He was wearing a black hoodie and black pants at the time of the incident. While canvassing the area, police discovered approximately 30 unlocked vehicles were entered and numerous items of value stolen.

by Tim Regan February 7, 2017 at 10:05 am 0

Wider sidewalks and new bus shelters are coming soon to the intersection of Lee Highway and N. Glebe Road.

Construction crews broke ground last month on the preliminary stages of a large improvement project that will eventually include the installation of left-turn lanes on N. Glebe Road, bigger sidewalks, four new bus shelters with real-time arrival information, and new streetlights, crosswalk markings and traffic signals. The improvements “will improve traffic flow and pedestrian and bicyclist safety,” Arlington County said.

Workers are currently installing underground equipment in parking lots near the intersection, but the larger improvements aren’t slated to arrive until sometime next year at the earliest.

“Construction began in January on the first phase, utility undergrounding. This is expected to last 18 months,” said Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services spokesman Eric Balliet. “The second phase, streetscape and transit stop upgrades, is still in design.”

Once the design is finalized, it will take workers about a year to finish the job, Balliet added.

In the months ahead, commuters can expect road work to start at the intersection. Construction hours within the roadway are 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. Some night work will also occur between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. on weekdays and weekends, the county said.

Workers may close a single lane of traffic in one or both directions along Lee Highway, Glebe Road or both during construction. Vehicles turning left or right might also be detoured as construction moves into the intersection itself.

Additionally, some bus stops in the area will be relocated and some sidewalks will be closed or rerouted to allow for construction, the county said. Off-street parking in the area may also be reduced in the coming months.

by ARLnow.com January 26, 2017 at 6:25 pm 0

Commuters heading westbound on Lee Highway and southbound on the Spout Run Parkway should expect significant delays due to a tree that fell on a car near the Lyon Village Shopping Center.

The tree fell on the car just past 6 p.m., at the height of the evening rush hour. A police officer arrived on scene shortly thereafter and reported that no one had been injured.

A traffic camera appears to show the tree down in the roadway and one lane of traffic squeezing by on the left.

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