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Clarendon Apple Store Back Open Today, Following Brief Closure

The Clarendon Apple Store is back open today (Monday), after closing briefly over the weekend.

The shop at Market Common Clarendon started turning customers away Friday afternoon, citing a leak in the ceiling due to problems with the apartments above the store.

But an employee at the store told ARLnow that those problems have been resolved, and the shop is now open on its normal schedule once more.

One of the store’s hefty glass doors remains missing, however, still replaced with the black plywood visible from the store’s exterior Friday. Some stains remain visible on the store’s ceiling, and the shop’s large video screen along the back wall wasn’t turned on as of Monday morning.

The management company for the apartments above the Apple store, Avalon Clarendon, did not immediately respond to a request for comment seeking clarity on what caused the leak.

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Lululemon at Market Common Clarendon Moves for Renovations

Market Common Clarendon’s Lululemon store temporarily moved to “The Loop” this week as its 2847 Clarendon Blvd location undergoes renovations.

The athletic retailer announced the move on the store’s Facebook page Sunday (June 24). As of Tuesday evening, the store was still holding its “Rooftop Sweat Series” on the roof above its old store.

The new, temporary location at 2700 Clarendon Boulevard occupies the space previously taken by the Sabrina Cabada pop-up art gallery. The location neighbors the Apple store and Origins.

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Worker Hurt at Market Common Clarendon

A workplace accident sent one person to the hospital Tuesday morning.

The incident happened around 11 a.m. on the second level of the Market Common Clarendon shopping center.

Initial reports suggest that a worker fell 10-15 feet from a scaffolding, possibly suffering a broken leg. The injury was believed to be non-life threatening.

Photos by Melanie Pincus

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Gallery Clarendon Opens, Beginning Temporary Stay in Former Restaurant Space

(Updated at 4:25 p.m.) Gallery Clarendon opened its doors Wednesday (June 20), using two floors of gallery and studio space to showcase the work of local artists.

Located at 2800 Clarendon Boulevard, the gallery is a temporary project of the Arlington Artists Alliance. It occupies the space vacated by Mexican restaurant Fuego Cocina y Tequileria in October 2016. Admission to the gallery is free, although pieces may be purchased, and there are plans to begin offering art classes within the next few weeks.

The length of Gallery Clarendon’s stay depends on when Regency Centers, which also operates the Market Common Clarendon shopping center, can find a permanent tenant for the site. Sandi Parker, managing director of galleries at the Arlington Artists Alliance, said they anticipate being open for at least a year.

“I always liken it to staging a house — it looks better when there’s something there,” Parker said. Regency Centers was “very generous to allow us to use the space,” she added.

The gallery is planning a grand opening for sometime in September, Parker said.

For both events, “we really want to engage with the Clarendon community,” Parker said. They plan to have “some of our potential teachers on site to work with kids,” and hope to partner with local businesses to elevate receptions, she added.

The art on display will change at opening receptions held on the second Friday of every month, Parker said. Reception attendees will have the opportunity to meet and converse with artists.

The gallery had aimed to open in April, but complications in obtaining an occupancy permit from the county caused delays.

“This is kind of a unique space in that it was originally a restaurant/bar… so it’s a change of use,” Parker said. Safety updates like replacing lights were also necessary after the space’s lengthy vacancy, she said.

Now that the gallery is open, Parker said they look forward to getting to know the Clarendon community.

“We’re excited,” she said. “We’re hoping that we’re going to meet a lot of Clarendon residents and… find a whole new market.”

Regency Centers operates several properties in Northern Virginia. Although Jan Hanak, the company’s vice president of marketing and communications, said he wasn’t aware of any other arrangements like this one, the corporation is  “certainly interested in those types of uses because it creates a certain type of buzz at the property and brings new people in.”

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Local Nonprofit Aims to Put Knitting on Display in Clarendon This Weekend

Local nonprofit Project Knitwell will celebrate World Wide Knit in Public Day this Saturday (June 9) with an event in the “The Loop” at Market Common Clarendon.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., community members can join Project Knitwell volunteers to learn how to knit, enter a raffle and experience the wellness benefits of knitting in person.

“We want to spread the word that working with your hands and knitting and making something can have health benefits,” Project Knitwell Executive Director Michelle Maynard told ARLnow. “The science is starting to catch up with what knitters and other crafters already know.”

World Wide Knit in Public Day launched in 2005 with 25 events around the world, according to its website. Last year, “there were at least a thousand, if not more of these events in 54 different countries,” Maynard said.

This event is Project Knitwell’s first in recognition of World Wide Knit in Public Day, and it joins a long list of programs the nonprofit has offered since its founding in 2010. Volunteers have taught knitting to patients and families at the Virginia Hospital Center, in after-school programs for at-risk youth and through summer programs for children and young adults with cancer.

Project Knitwell communicated with businesses located at Market Common and beyond to help put together a raffle basket and several prize bundles, Maynard said. The basket and bundles consist of items for knitters and non-knitters alike, including a $50 gift certificate to the Cheesecake Factory, hand-crafted needle point protectors and a number of yarns.

Raffle tickets will be $10 each or four for $20. The first 24 attendees will also receive a free cupcake from Williams-Sonoma, Maynard said. The event’s Facebook page recommends that attendees take the Metro to avoid road closures due to the Armed Forces Cycling Classic.

For first-time knitters, Maynard said she hopes the event demonstrates that knitting is fun.

“It’s something that is a great way to pass the time, whether you’re on public transportation or in a hospital waiting room,” Maynard said, “It’s a great alternative to [being on] your screen, and [instead] doing something with your hands that involves a rhythmic almost meditative aspect to it.”

File photo

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Free Concert Series Comes to Market Common Clarendon

Market Common Clarendon is hosting a free concert series called “Rock the Loop” from May through July.

The concerts are held from 6:30-8:30 p.m. every Thursday at “The Loop” in the shopping center.

Here’s the full concert schedule below:

  • May 17 – Gary Smallwood (Classic Rock/Blues)
  • May 24 – Shane Gamble (Country Rock)
  • May 31 – Driven to Clarity (Acoustic Covers)
  • June 7 –  Hand Painted Swinger (Pop Rock)
  • June 14 – Chris Bruno (Popular Covers)
  • June 21 – Yellow Tie Guy (Rock/Alternative/Folk)
  • June 28 – Smokin’ Lounge (Pop/Rock/Jazz)
  • July 5 – Brian Weber (Rock/Blues/Folk)
  • July 12 – Elizabeth, Phil & Chris (Rock/Latin/Go-go)
  • July 19 – Nina Casey Trio (Acoustic Blues/Swing)
  • July 26 – Phil Kominski (Acoustic/Folk)

Market Common Clarendon is also offering free concerts for kids each Friday through August, starting at 10:30 a.m. each day.

Photo via Facebook

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New Escape Room on the Way for Market Common Clarendon

(Updated at 5:45 p.m.) Arlington is getting another escape room, this time in Clarendon.

Fairfax-based Bond’s Escape Room plans to open a second location in Market Common Clarendon, according to a press release. The company is aiming to open the escape room by August.

Bond’s and other escape rooms give participants the chance to solve a series of puzzles and riddles in a timed setting.

“Our goal is to give our guests an exciting, innovative experience that will leave happy memories,” Egor Bondarev, the company’s CEO, said in a release. “We will have a total of twelve rooms (six regular-size games with six miniature games), all designed by our escape room enthusiasts who create the kind of games that we’d want to play.”

Bondarev told ARLnow via email that the escape room will be located at 2800 Clarendon Boulevard, Suite 910, just above Sephora.

Bond’s first opened its Fairfax location along University Drive back in 2015. The company’s website bills it as “the largest escape room venue on the East Coast.”

This announcement comes just a few weeks after Richmond-based Ravenchase Adventures revealed plans to open an escape room along Columbia Pike. The company’s website says that venue will likely open in June.

File photo

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Clarendon’s Barre3 Studio Postpones Opening

Clarendon’s new Barre3 studio was set to start its first classes today (March 5), but has postponed its opening day.

The hold up is due to “the unexpected surprises that come with construction, permits and inspections,” according to an email sent on Friday to those who had signed up for the first week of classes.

The email didn’t specify a revised opening date for the barre studio to open at Market Common, and emails to the location were not returned over the weekend. A later email from the chain to customers noted that at least one additional free class would be held before opening their doors “this month.”

Many of the first week’s classes were free for locals to try out the studio, but anyone who had signed up was removed from the class list and had an extra free class added to their accounts for any of the local locations.

The chain also has a nearby location in Washington’s Georgetown neighborhood, but this would be the first Arlington addition.

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Morning Notes

Murder of Crows Pooping All Over Shirlington — A large contingent of crows have taken up residence in Shirlington, and locals are getting fed up with cars and sidewalks being covered in bird doo-doo. [WTOP, NBC Washington]

Design Contest for 2019 ‘I Voted’ Sticker — “In an effort to gin up voter enthusiasm during what is expected to be a slow 2019, Arlington election officials… plan to hold a competition to design a logo for next year’s election.” [InsideNova]

Arlington No. 3 on ‘Best Counties’ List — A new list of “best counties” in the U.S. ranks Falls Church — a city — No. 1 while Arlington is No. 3 and Fairfax is No. 6. The list was compiled by the website 24/7 Wall Street. [WTOP]

Mitten Given the Boot By Grand Rapids — The city of Grand Rapids, Michigan is restarting its search for a new city manager after an outcry from residents and interest groups. Arlington Deputy County Manager Carol Mitten was among the three finalists for the job to speak at a community forum, prior to the city announcing the restart. [Fox 17, MLive]

Police Recruiting for Student Safety Patrol Camp — “The Arlington County Police Department’s School Resource Officer Unit is currently accepting applications to the Summer Safety Patrol Camp. This weeklong camp is offered to incoming 4th and 5th grade students who want to participate in safety patrols during the upcoming 2018-2019 academic year.” [Arlington County]

More on Market Common Redevelopment Approval — The redevelopment of a portion of Market Common Clarendon will widen a narrow sidewalk that was the source of resident complaints, among other community benefits. Arlington County Board member Christian Dorsey hopes the project can help “bring a little funkiness back into Clarendon.” [Arlington Connection]

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

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Morning Notes

Market Common Redevelopment Approved — The Arlington County Board last night approved a plan to redevelop a portion of Market Common Clarendon. The project is described as “a major renovation and expansion of a commercial-retail block in the heart of Clarendon,” which will preserve the A&R Engravers building and widen the Wilson Boulevard sidewalk at Edgewood Street. [Arlington County]

Gondola Idea Not Dead Yet — “A gondola connecting Georgetown and Rosslyn adjacent to the Key Bridge is still in the works,” with those on the D.C. side of the Potomac continuing to work on it despite Arlington’s public reticence. However, the project now faces an exceedingly complex Environmental Impact Study. [Washington Business Journal]

Man Shot and Killed in Philly IDed — A local man who was shot and killed by an off-duty police officer in South Philadelphia after allegedly deliberately striking a pedestrian with his car has been identified. Per the Philadelphia Inquirer: “Khalil Lawal, of the 100 block of South Frederick Street in Arlington, Va., was shot early Monday morning by the officer in the face, torso, and legs, police said.” [Philly.com]

Mitten Under Consideration for Michigan Job — Arlington Deputy County Manager Carol Mitten is among three candidates under consideration for the job of City Manager in Grand Rapids, Michigan. [Grand Rapids Business Journal]

Ship’s Hatch Under New Ownership — Long-time military gift store Ship’s Hatch has been sold to a new owner. Founder Mary Beth Cox, 73, is retiring after more than three decades of running the store in the Crystal City Shops. [Washington Post]

Flickr pool photo by GM and MB

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Market Common Redevelopment Plan Goes Before County Board Tuesday

The Arlington County Board is set to debate the redevelopment of a section of Market Common in Clarendon, including of the former IOTA Club and Cafe building.

The Board will hear from developer Regency Centers as well as public testimony later today (Tuesday, January 30) on its plans for the area around the 2800 blocks of Clarendon and Wilson Blvds.

Regency Centers is proposing a renovation and extension of the former Education Center building, which would include expanding it into the building that once hosted IOTA and the former home of A&R Engravers (2836 Wilson Blvd).

It would also add a fourth floor and an outdoor terrace to the building; create what county staff described as a “ground level arcade” along N. Edgewood Street; allow buildings to host retail as well as office space; and beautify that section of Clarendon Blvd to make it more appealing.

Across the street, renderings have also shown a revamped courtyard area known as “The Loop,” with several new eateries or other stores in the central median of the shopping center, and seating areas nearby. Currently, that area has a small park with a fountain and benches.

A letter from the Planning Commission noted its unanimous support for the project at its January 17 meeting. The project also received the backing of the county’s Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board and Transportation Commission.

HALRB chair Joan Lawrence said the mural for the former Conklyn’s Florist should be preserved for its historical significance. Under the development plan, it will be moved to the building wall above the preserved A & R Engraver’s building.

That building was built in 1941 and is identified as historic. The building that hosted IOTA, the source of some controversy last year as activists worked to save the local music venue, restaurant and bar, is not identified in a similar way.

“The ‘Conklyn’s Florist’ former sign is no longer a sign as defined the Zoning Ordinance and should be treated as a piece of historic art and not as a sign to be regulated,” Lawrence wrote in a letter to the Board. “The HALRB feels strongly that this piece of art should be preserved and its connection to Arlington’s history acknowledged. The use and placement of a historic marker that does this should be included in the project.”

The Board is expected to vote on the project at its recessed meeting tonight.

Images via county staff report

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Barre3 Workout Studio Coming to Market Common in Clarendon

A workout studio is coming to Clarendon’s Market Common.

Barre3 is set to move into the shopping center at 2800 Clarendon Blvd, above cosmetics store Sephora and between beauty salon Acqua Nails and the space formerly occupied by Indian restaurant Zaika.

The studio’s classes give a full-body workout, including by using a barre typically used by ballet dancers for balance.

“Barre3 mixes athleticism, grace, and the latest innovations designed to balance the body,” Barre3’s website reads. “Whether you have ten minutes or an hour, each full-body workout optimizes every moment with moves that adapt to your body for maximum results.”

This new, approximately 2,600 square foot studio will be the first in Arlington. The only other one in Virginia is located in Old Town Alexandria.

No word yet on an opening date for the Clarendon location, which looks set to be part of a revamp planned at Market Common by developer Regency Centers.

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Developer Promises No IOTA Demolition in Market Common Revamp

The developer behind the plan to spruce up Market Common in Clarendon moved to assure residents last night that the IOTA Club and Cafe will stay where it is.

In the latest round of renderings of the project, Regency Centers showed the fixture of the local music scene in its same spot at 2832 Wilson Blvd.

After hearing reports that the venue might be demolished, local residents and IOTA regulars began a “Save IOTA” campaign, and had over a dozen supporters at the open house.

And surrounded by those supporters in front of a copy of the rendering on the wall behind him, Regency’s vice president of investments Devin Corini said IOTA would not be torn down.

“None of this is getting razed,” he said, gesturing to IOTA’s current building.

For those behind the campaign to save IOTA, Corini’s assurances were welcome news, but they are still waiting to see how the plans evolve.

“I think it’s encouraging they’re already including community feedback and they’ve said today they don’t plan on changing IOTA’s building,” said Melissa Mannon, one of the campaign’s organizers.

But another aspect of Regency Centers’ plan raised some questions: the proposal to do away with a permanent playground in the revamped courtyard area on Clarendon Blvd, known as “The Loop.”

John Fitzpatrick, senior construction manager at Regency Centers, said the new courtyard could have temporary amenities like an ice skating rink in the winter, space for outdoor movies or a farmers’ market, or a splash pool in the summer for kids. He said new options would open the space up for different uses.

“We’re creating a different experience,” he said. “We could create multiple kid experiences.”

But on boards and posters set up around the room for people to give their opinions, the plan received some negative feedback.

“We need the tot lot, not free-form seating,” one wrote. “Tot lot remaining is critical! Don’t make it for older children,” wrote another.

“The tot lot as it is now is the single most vibrant part of the complex — it is active all the time and helps people come here to shop – a great marketing tool,” wrote a third.

Under the plan, just over 21,000 square feet of office space would be added at Market Common, along with another 21,000 square feet of new retail space, including a new upper level. The office building at 2801 Clarendon Blvd will receive a drastic makeover, including new retail tenants.

The plans were unveiled last night at a community meeting inside that building. As well as renderings for viewing, attendees watched a promotional video, sampled food from local restaurants, talked to Regency Centers staff and listened to a classical guitarist playing outside.

“What was once strictly office will be reformatted to provide additional shops, restaurants and increased activity,” said the video. Corini said there has already been “remarkable” interest from retailers in moving into the revamped space, and a number of attendees expressed support for the plans, but others were not so convinced.

“Looks like a Mickey Mouse town — devoid of culture — only looking to put khaki pant brands and day cares to get support,” wrote one attendee.

Regency Centers says it is still refining the designs and taking feedback from the public. The company has submitted initial plans to the county but has not yet submitted a final site plan for County Board approval.

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An Early Look At Revamped Market Common in Clarendon

The redeveloped Market Common in Clarendon will include a revamped courtyard area known as “The Loop,” according to a rendering released by the project’s developer and architect.

The rendering by architect Antunovich Associates shows several new eateries or other stores in the central median of the shopping center, with some seating areas nearby. Currently, that area has a small park with a fountain and benches.

It also appears, based on the rendering, that the sidewalks could be widened in the central space and that some on-street parking spaces could be removed.

A spokesman for Regency Centers, the developer behind the Market Common revamp, said they want to create a “gathering space for the local community.”

“As it sits now, the space is really just an environment to walk or sit in,” said spokesman Eric Davidson. “We want to activate it and take advantage of its design.”

The site plan is still in the preliminary review stage with the county. Regency Center’s plan is to rezone and redevelop a group of buildings along the 2800 blocks of Clarendon and Wilson Blvds.

The renovation would add a fourth floor and approximately 26,784 square feet of additional space to the office building at 2801 Clarendon Blvd. The plan also calls for improvements to the open space at the corner of Clarendon Blvd and N. Edgewood Street, new private outdoor roof terraces and the installation of a “partial green roof.”

Community members have previously expressed concerns about an aspect of the redevelopment plan, which could spell the end of Clarendon’s IOTA Club and Cafe.

A campaign to save IOTA is underway, although Regency has said previously it has wants to keep the music venue in place.

Regency will host an open house on the future of Market Common on May 10 from 6-9 p.m. at 2801 Clarendon Blvd.

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UPDATED: Heritage Brewing in Clarendon Opening Tonight

(Updated at 2:25) The finishing touches are being made to the Heritage Brewing Company’s new gastropub, set to open tonight at Market Common (2900 Wilson Blvd) in Clarendon.

General manager Kyle Kearns said the team anticipated being ready for customers the past few days, but tonight is actually the night and they’ll open for dinner at 5 p.m. with a limited peak menu, several mainstay draft beers as well as some limited edition and seasonal brews.

Heritage had originally intended to open in February. It began a Kickstarter campaign last November to help fund the restaurant’s launch.

Kearns said that with representatives of Manassas-based Heritage Brewing Company in D.C. for the Brewers’ Association Conference, it was perfect timing to open tonight.

“We were looking for the right opportunity in terms of everything lining up for when we could open, so today happens to be the day,” he said.

Booths handmade from barrel pieces have been added, and three sets of draft beer taps have been installed. The new gastropub touts 18 craft beers on tap, a contemporary food menu, cocktails, wine, Veritas Coffee and takeout options.

“Our small team is built around a culture of passion and pursuit,” a section on the website reads. “We are passionate about our work and fortunate to have the privilege of crafting and melding that which we love. Our pursuit of excellence extends beyond our craft and process, and into our lives as proud citizens, dedicated friends, and loving family members.”

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