(Updated at 10:50 a.m.) As rumored, a 7-Eleven store will be replacing the former Lee-Lex Service Center along Lee Highway.
The service center closed in 2016 and is currently being torn down. A recently-posted sign on the fence surrounding the property says that a new 7-Eleven store will be coming soon.
Property records show that the property at 5747 Lee Highway was purchased in January 2017 for $1.65 million by an LLC associated with the home address of the owner of a D.C.-based architecture firm.
According to the chain’s website, there are existing 7-Eleven stores at 2525, 3901, 4505, 5030 and 6730 Lee Highway.
Safety improvements on three Custis Trail intersections have begun.
The project will reconfigure bike lanes at N. Quinn and N. Scott streets, as well as widen the Custis Trail. Other safety improvements include curb extensions, ADA-compliant curb ramps, trail separation from Lee Highway, and crosswalks with higher visibility.
Construction has temporarily closed a lane of Lee Highway. Jersey barriers have been erected to form a bike detour along the right-hand, westbound lane of Lee Highway between N. Scott Street and N. Oak Street.
At least one Arlington bicyclist took to social media to cheer on the bicycling infrastructure, saying the jersey barriers were “better than 99 percent of bike facilities in the U.S.”
This temporary facility for a closed-for-maintenance bike trail is better than 99% of bike facilities in the US. Thanks to @arlingtonva, @VaDOTNOVA, and/or @BikeArlington? Really professional all around. #bikedc pic.twitter.com/xtlZmOGPKi
— Salim Furth (@salimfurth) February 28, 2018
In addition to the Lee Highway lane closure, the north legs of the intersection at both N. Scott Street and N. Oak Street will be restricted to one lane. Northbound traffic will be permitted only at the N. Scott Street intersection, while southbound traffic will be permitted only at N. Oak Street intersection, according to the county.
Detour signs will be present to guide drivers out of the North Highlands neighborhood.
The bus stop for the ART 55 and WMATA 3Y buses will be relocated from the construction zone to the west side of the N. Scott Street and Lee Highway intersection. Part of the construction includes plans for an improved bus stop with a bench.
Project funding comes from a Federal Highway Administration bicycle and pedestrian safety program grant.
Work hours are scheduled for 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. from Monday through Thursday, and between 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Fridays. The project web page notes that construction is anticipated to wrap up at all three points in May.
The Custis Trail project is being done in concert with the N. Lynn Street esplanade project, for which the Arlington County approved additional funding this week.
A community meeting is being held tomorrow night to discuss a proposed development that would bring The Children’s School to the former Alpine Restaurant site on Lee Highway.
The Children’s School, a subsidized daycare center for Arlington County teachers, is planning to relocate as its long-time home — the Reed School building in Westover — is renovated and turned into a new elementary school.
A flyer for the meeting — to be held at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Lee Highway Alliance (4620 Lee Highway) — says a three-story building has been proposed for the Alpine site, which has sat largely unused for the past eight years.
“Two-hundred thirty-five children, aged 0-5, would be housed in a three story building that tapers at the rear towards the Glebewood townhouses, with rooftop play areas,” says the flyer. “Integration Station, which is a pre-school for kids with special needs, would also be part of the application (about 30% of 235 children).”
“Daycare would open at 6:45 a.m. and close by 5 p.m — not open on weekends,” the flyer continues. “The site is approximately 19,400 square feet. This is a by-right application under a use permit. The preliminary drawings illustrate an attractive, glass-paneled contemporary and playful design for the school.”
The site is owned by Arlington businessman Brian Normile, of BCN Homes and Liberty Tavern, and would be leased to The Children’s School, according to the flyer. The Children’s School would temporarily move to Ballston during the approval and construction process, it says.
The flyer lists “impacts to Glebewood Historic District,” green space and tree coverage, and parking — the plan calls for 40 mostly underground parking spaces plus drop-off spaces — as some of the issues for further community discussion.
Photo via Google Maps
Lee Highway is currently blocked at the Spout Run Parkway due to a crash in the middle of the intersection.
Initial reports suggest 2-3 vehicles were involved and at least one person might have been briefly trapped in their vehicle.
Police and firefighters are on scene and all lanes of Lee Highway are temporarily blocked due to the emergency response, though some lanes are expected to reopen shortly.
Two men broke into a Lee Highway pharmacy and stole an unspecified quantity of prescription drugs, according to police.
The burglary was reported early Monday morning at the Walgreens at 3130 Lee Highway. The store was closed for a period of time while police investigated, a tipster told ARLnow.com.
More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report:
BURGLARY, 2018-01290031, 3100 block of Lee Highway. At approximately 5:56 a.m., police were dispatched to the report of a burglary just discovered. Upon arrival, it was determined that two unknown suspects forced entry into a business and stole prescription drugs. Suspect One is described as a black male, between the ages of 25-35, approximately 6’0-6’5, with an athletic build, wearing a black sweatshirt with a grey hood, black pants, white shoes and a black mask. Suspect Two is described as a black male, between the ages of 25-35, approximately 6’0-6’5, with an athletic build, wearing a black jacket/sweatshirt with a black hood, black pants and tan gloves. The investigation is ongoing.
Photo via Google Maps
Garbage Truck Crash — Among a number of other potentially weather-related crashes this morning, a garbage truck ran into a utility pole on the 4600 block of 27th Street N., near Marymount University. Dominion crews responded to the scene for a report of downed power lines. No injuries were reported.
Four Mile Run Valley Meeting Cancelled — A meeting of the Four Mile Run Valley Working Group, scheduled for tonight, has been cancelled. The cancellation is due to county staff reviewing “key pieces of the 4MRV transportation analysis,” the county wrote. “Staff will provide an update on the process schedule and timeline at the next scheduled meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 6.” [Arlington County]
Lee Highway Planning Moving Forward — “Funded with two county grants, donations and sponsorships, the Lee Highway Alliance is now back on the front burner of Arlington’s planning agenda, said county board Chairman Katie Cristol, who promised forward movement in the next couple of months.” Meanwhile, businesses along Lee Highway are generally supportive of redevelopment, according to the alliance. [Falls Church News-Press]
ACFD Helps Battle Fairfax Fire — Arlington County firefighters assisted Fairfax County on an apartment fire near Tysons Corner early this morning. About 34 residents were displaced by the fire. [Twitter, Twitter]
Photo courtesy Dennis Dimick
Linda’s Cafe is an unassuming, long-time diner at 5050 Lee Highway in Arlington, serving a clientele that includes families and senior citizens.
The restaurant is not active on Facebook and doesn’t have a website that we could find. On Yelp, diners are mostly satisfied with the service and the food — “the service is good and the staff is nice,” is a typical comment. A sign in the window touts “excellent burgers.”
But on Twitter — at least over the past year or so — Linda’s Cafe has a much different personality: quarrelling with customers, warning of speed traps along Lee Highway and saying “f*** the pilgrims” on Thanksgiving.
One long-time customer who contacted ARLnow said the Twitter account is not befitting the character of the restaurant nor the values of its customers.
“Their servers, chefs and other employees have been spouting profanities, talking about… controversial subjects on their restaurant’s official Twitter account,” said the customer, who did not want to be named.
Reached by phone, an assistant manager who said his name was Luciano seemed confused when asked about the Twitter account, saying he was aware of its existence but not the content. He declined further comment. The restaurant’s owner was traveling and not available for comment, we were told.
Photo and screen shots via Twitter
Furniture store Random Harvest has closed its location at 4522 Lee Highway.
The store, in the Lee Heights Shops, carried “an exceptional handpicked selection of furniture and accessories.” It closed just before the new year.
“It has been a pleasure to have been part of the Lee Heights community over the past 10 years,” a sign on the door reads. “But all good things must come to an end and this location of Random Harvest is now closed.”
The sign says the store’s inventory will transferred to the company’s remaining locations, in Bethesda, Georgetown and Alexandria. However, a 50 percent off “pop up sale” is planned at the Lee Highway store Jan 18-21 and 25-28.
The pharmacies at Rite Aid drug stores throughout Arlington County now have Walgreens branding, ahead of Walgreens finalizing its purchase of Rite Aid next year.
The Rite Aid stores in Pentagon Row (1301 S. Joyce Street), and on Columbia Pike and Lee Highway, all had signs added to reflect the switch to Walgreens pharmacies inside. There are other Rite Aids in Crystal City, Rosslyn and Westover.
Fortune magazine reported in October that Walgreens plans to close nearly 600 of the more-than 1,900 Rite Aid stores across the country as part of a $4.3 billion deal to buy the company.
That transaction will close in the spring, Fortune reported, after which some Rite Aid — and a few Walgreens — stores will be closed if they are within one mile of another drug store the company owns.
Beyond the changed branding for the pharmacy services, everything else appeared much the same in local Rite Aids.
An establishment called “Miso Men” will replace the Asian Kitchen restaurant on Lee Highway, but few other details are available about the new spot.
A sign on the front of the eatery at 5731 Lee Highway shows the new restaurant’s name, but no permitting applications have been filed with the county yet, nor with Virginia ABC.
Inside, some work appears to be underway, although the building was empty when an ARLnow reporter stopped by Tuesday. Other signs for Asian Kitchen are still up, including in its parking spaces.
“We are currently remodeling,” reads a sign on the door. “Coming back soon.”
The restaurant is close to a now-closed car repair center, which shuttered after more than 30 years. It is also near the original District Taco.
The incident was reported around 1:15 p.m., on the 4500 block of Lee Highway. Police say a man pulled a knife on two women who were getting into a car in front of the Chipotle.
“The victims were able to safely leave the location and the suspect fled the area on foot,” said ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “No injuries were reported.”
“Police have established a perimeter and a K9 track will be attempted,” Savage continued. “The suspect is described as a black male with a full beard wearing a dark hoodie. Expect police activity in the area.”
As of 2:05 p.m., police had a possible suspect in custody, according to scanner traffic. The suspect was later positively identified by witnesses and charges are pending, said Savage.
Before the arrest, schools in the area were notified of the attempted robbery as police searched for the suspect.
POLICE ACTIVITY: ACPD Investigating an attempted armed robbery in the 4500 block of Lee Highway. Suspect displayed a knife and fled area on foot. No injuries reported. Police remain on scene investigating.
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) December 4, 2017
A fire on the eve of Thanksgiving has damaged well-known local restaurant Caribbean Grill.
The fire broke out around 11 p.m. inside the restaurant at 5183 Lee Highway, according to fire officials. It was “caused by hot coals that fell out of [a] grill on to combustibles nearby.”
A large fire response was dispatched, but the fire was quickly extinguished and only minor damage — including smoke damage — was reported. No one was injured. The restaurant filled with smoke and firefighters remained on scene to ventilate the structure afterward.
— Arlington Fire (@ArlingtonVaFD) November 23, 2017
A few more pics from tonight’s restaurant fire. No injuries. Fire Marshals are investigating. pic.twitter.com/EK2qXxyjBh
— Arlington Fire (@ArlingtonVaFD) November 23, 2017
Wednesday night was a busy night for the Arlington County Fire Department. Around 7 p.m. last night, firefighters battled a brush fire in the woods on the 3000 block of N. Quincy Street, in the Dover Crystal neighborhood.
A fire department spokesman estimated that the fire, which was extinguished without incident, scorched about 400 square feet of woodlands.
#Breaking: Engine 103 & FM 113 were on scene of a brush fire in the 3000 block of N Quincy St. The 🔥 was extinguished & there was no extension into any dwellings. #AlwaysHere4U pic.twitter.com/NdZKvZyfG9
— Arlington Fire (@ArlingtonVaFD) November 23, 2017
Two neighbors of a planned child care center on Lee Highway filed a lawsuit in Arlington Circuit Court this month to try and stop it opening.
The suit, filed by N. McKinley Street residents Francisca Ferro and Cornelius James Coakley who live right behind the property, is against the proposed Little Ambassadors Academy, which is planning to open at 5801 and 5901 Lee Highway. The Arlington County Board approved the plan at its September meeting.
Little Ambassadors, which already operates two child care centers on Lee Highway, is planning to open another facility that would have space for up to 155 children aged 20 months to 5 years old.
The center would be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and have its rear parking lot converted into an outdoor playground, while the loading area next to N. McKinley Street would be modified to have 20 parking spaces.
But in a complaint filed on October 18, the pair allege that the child care facility will negatively affect parking, traffic congestion and noise in the neighborhood, especially for local residents.
“The Special Use Permit materially impacts Petitioners in a way that is different from the impact on to the general public, by greatly increasing traffic and safety concerns in the vicinity of their residences as a result of the expanding the number of cars permitted to traverse and park in the area,” the complaint reads.
The complaint against the County Board and Little Ambassadors rests on four claims.
First, they allege that the Board did not give neighbors sufficient notice that a hearing on the planned child care facility would be taking place.
By law, those nearby must be given at least five days’ written notice, but Ferro and Coakley said they only heard about the hearing on September 14, two days before it was scheduled to be heard by the County Board.
Second, the pair argue that the County Board broke the Dillon Rule, which limits the power of local government by leaving it up to the state government to delegate powers to localities.
Third, the complaintants say that in having the county Department of Human Services decide on the maximum number of children that can attend, and by having the county Zoning Administrator approve the center’s parking plan, the County Board did not have the power to delegate those tasks and should have done it themselves.
Fourth, the pair also dinged the Board for an “unreasonable exercise of legislative function” in approving the center, meaning it should not have been approved, and said the center’s parking plan violates the county’s Zoning Ordinance.
Arlington zoning calls for one parking space on site for each staff member at a child care center, with one parking space also provided for every 10 children that attend. The complaint says the 20 on-site spaces and four off-site spaces do not add up to enough parking.
In May, the Board added a staff member to the Dept. of Community, Planning, Housing and Development to suggest changes to Arlington’s zoning ordinance to help child care centers open.
At the time, Board vice chair Katie Cristol told ARLnow that “our biggest obstacles are within the zoning ordinance in terms of the number of parking spaces required by childcare centers or the amount of indoor vs. outdoor space.”
No hearing date has yet been set for the case.
A new pet store will celebrate its grand opening this weekend at the Lee-Harrison Shopping Center.
The festivities, which include free pet nail trimming, raffles and giveaways, begin at 10 a.m. Saturday.
As of Friday morning, staff were putting the finishing touches on the store, which has pet toys, food, beds and health products among others. It also offers a grooming service for cats and dogs.
More from a Kriser’s press release:
Kriser’s Natural Pet, a specialty retailer focused on natural pet food, supplies and grooming, debuts its seventh location in the DMV Metro Area with a Grand Opening celebration on October 21st & 22nd in Arlington’s Lee Harrison Shopping Center at the corner of Lee Hwy and N. Harrison St.
“Kriser’s is thrilled to continue serving the pet parents of Arlington and to further our mission of helping pets in this vibrant community live a happy, healthy, natural lifestyle,” said Brad Kriser, founder & CEO. “Every day, we strive to provide pet parents with the best natural products, services and education to help care for their furry families. To have the opportunity to touch even more families in Arlington is an honor. We can’t wait to become a trusted resource and partner to more local pet parents.”
Kriser’s warm, welcoming shopping experience and highly educated staff are focused around a carefully curated selection of natural food, treats, toys, supplements and supplies from trusted brands that they feel good about recommending. Kriser’s second location in Arlington will also offer grooming services by professional, caring groomers using natural products.
Kriser’s Lee Harrison location will offer a number of activities and promotions throughout the Grand Opening weekend:
- Free pet nail trimming (Sat & Sun from 10am-4pm)
- In-store raffles for store merchandise and grooming gift cards (Sat & Sun)
- Free reusable shopping bags (Sat & Sun)
- Free waste bag holders (Sat only)
- Free engraved pet ID tags (Sun only)
- Free can lids (Sun only)
- Samples and product giveaways all weekend
- PLUS Doorbuster raffles both Saturday and Sunday, whereby people in line each day at 10 a.m. will have the chance to win gift cards for on-the-spot shopping sprees.
Kriser’s will host another event on Saturday, December 12th to celebrate their first month, with free pet/ parent digital photo portraits, goodie bags for the first 50 pets and more raffles and prizes. For store events, hours and details, visit http://www.krisers.com.
A section of N. Cleveland Street off Lee Highway will be closed until this afternoon as crews make emergency repairs to a water main.
A spokeswoman for the county’s Department of Environmental Services said the repairs on the 1900 block of N. Cleveland Street in the North Highlands neighborhood are being made to a six-inch water main. The spokeswoman said the water for between 50 and 100 customers will be affected.
Repairs are expected to be completed by 3 p.m. The street is closed in the area, with a detour in place.
Photo via John B.