The proposed site plan amendment for the project will go before the Arlington County Board at its meeting this Saturday, Jan. 25. The Shooshan Company hopes to bulldoze the distinctive blue building at the corner of Fairfax Drive and N. Glebe Road and replace it with a nine-story office building — to be used to house the Marymount University programs now in the Blue Goose — and a 15-story residential high-rise.
The request for increased density comes with a proposed donation of $1.15 million toward the Ballston beaver pond restoration project and improvements to the Custis Trail, and a $4.57 million contribution to the Ballston Metro west entrance project.
County Planner Samia Byrd said the contributions would connect the Custis Trail to a cycle track that the developer plans to build along Fairfax Drive. The final designs for the improvements “are still under review,” Byrd said, but they could include building a planted buffer between the existing sidewalk and Fairfax Drive and making the sidewalk smoother for pedestrians and cyclists.
The contribution to the Metro entrance is just one chunk of the proposed $75 million project. The entrance, which is partially designed and planned for the intersection of Fairfax Drive and N. Vermont Street, still has no timeline for construction, according to Byrd.
The Ballston Pond restoration project is already underway. Logs were removed that were holding the water in the pond and it drained completely by November. Construction on Ballston Pond to improve the habitat for wildlife is expected to begin in the spring.
The redevelopment, and demolition of the infamous building, drew criticism from historic preservation group Preservation Arlington, which named it one of the most “Endangered Public Places.” The developer has since agreed to keep some of the blue panels as elements in the new buildings, while others will be donated to local museums.
The “historical attributes” of the 1960s-era building will be “incorporated into the design of the proposed office building and landscaping in the public plaza and courtyard,” according to the county staff report.
Other community benefits proposed in the site plan include a $75,000 public art contribution, a $106,000 utility underground fund contribution, a $567,000 Transportation Demand Management contribution over 30 years, a public plaza and walkway, a $258,000 contribution to the Affordable Housing Investment Fund and LEED Gold certification.
Construction will remove the surface parking lot on the site and, because the office building will be largely used for education purposes, the Shooshan Company has requested a reduced mandatory parking ratio. The residential building includes 3,000 square feet of ground floor retail and 267 units, some of which will be committed affordable housing.
The proposal involves tearing down the existing 8-story building and replacing it with two new buildings. One would be a 9-story office and educational building, and the other would be a 15-story multi-family residence.
The L-shaped residential building would sit at the north end of the site, and would include 267 units. The ground floor would house about 3,000 square feet of retail space along Glebe Road. A landscaped plaza with specialty paving, lighting and planters would separate that building from the office/educational building at the south end of the site, at the corner of N. Glebe Road and Fairfax Drive. The plaza plan includes outdoor seating for the retail and food vendors. A wall would separate the outdoor retail area from the ground floor residential area.
Both buildings would sit on top of a 3-level underground parking structure, which would include 265 residential spaces. Currently, the Blue Goose has 202 surface parking spaces with an entrance along Glebe Road. The plan for the underground structure involves moving the parking entrance to the lesser traveled N. Wakefield Street.
The redevelopment proposal would keep the street lane configurations the same on Glebe Road and Fairfax Drive, but expand the width of the sidewalks. The developer would also provide a cycle track adjacent to the Fairfax Drive frontage. County staff will look at how best to improve bicycle and trail access with the wider streetscape.
In response to comments about the historic preservation of the existing Blue Goose structure (built in 1962) — which recently made Preservation Arlington’s “Most Endangered Historic Places” list — the developer has agreed to include blue panels on the ground floor retail space’s building facade and on part of the interior.
So far, it’s unclear if this will be the last time the Site Plan Review Committee addresses the Blue Goose development, or if more tweaks to the design are anticipated at future meetings. Once the committee feels a consensus has been reached on any outstanding issues, the project will move on to the Planning Commission, and then on to the County Board for final approval.
Beauty Pageant in Crystal City — The annual Miss United States beauty pageant is taking place at Synetic Theater in Crystal City today and tomorrow (Saturday). Single women between the ages of 20 and 29 come from 55 states and U.S. territories to compete in the pageant. [Miss United States]
Marymount Launching Baseball Program — Arlington’s Marymount University is launching a baseball program, with a team composed largely of freshmen from Northern Virginia high schools. The team will play at Bishop O’Connell High School’s baseball field. [Washington Post]
County Still Reviewing Streetcar Finance Options — Arlington County officials are still trying to decide on their preferred funding mechanism for the Columbia Pike streetcar project. The streetcar could be built and in operation as early as 2017. [Sun Gazette]
Yelp Details ‘Yuppie’ Concentration in Clarendon — The business review site Yelp has published a map that shows the concentration of certain words in reviews. In the D.C. area, the word “yuppie” has the highest concentration in Clarendon. It also shows up to a lesser degree in Ballston, Courthouse and the Columbia Pike town center area. [Yelp]
Flickr pool photo by Ddimick
Kudla Advances at Wimbledon — Arlington resident and tennis pro Denis Kudla, 20, has advanced to the second round of Wimbledon by defeating Australian James Duckworth in five sets. Kudla entered the tournament ranked No. 105. [Washington Post]
Marymount Coach Wins Triathlon — Calah Schlabach, a 26-year-old triathlon coach at Marymount University, was the fastest-finishing woman at the Celebrating Heroes Triathlon in Columbia, Md. on Sunday. Schlabach finished the race — consisting of a 0.62 mile swim, a 16-mile bike ride and a 3.4 mile run — in 1:20:22.
Drafthouse Owner Named ‘Innovation Fellow’ — Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse owner Greg Godbout has been named a Presidential Innovation Fellow. In addition to owning the Drafthouse, Godbout is also a software engineer. He will now complete a 6-13 month “tour of duty” working on the RFP-EZ project, intended to make it easier for small businesses to bid on government contracts. [White House]
School Board Candidate Skips S. Arlington — Arlington School Board challenger Barbara Kanninen has held all of her published campaign events in north Arlington, skipping south Arlington entirely, says political blogger Ben Tribbett. Although she’s a challenger, Kanninen is thought by some to be the favorite in the race, thanks to high expected voter turnout in north Arlington. Kanninen will face incumbent James Lander in a debate at tonight’s Arlington County Democratic Committee meeting. The Democratic School Board caucus will be held May 9 and 11. [Not Larry Sabato]
John Paul Stevens to Speak at Cmte. of 100 — Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens will be the featured speaker at the May 8 Arlington Committee of 100 meeting. Stevens is an Arlington resident. [Sun Gazette]
AMEN Becomes ‘Arlington Thrive’ — Arlingtonians Meeting Emergency Needs (AMEN) has been rebranded as “Arlington Thrive.” The nonprofit still provides “same-day, emergency financial assistance to County residents who experience sudden financial crisis such as temporary unemployment or illness,” with priority given to families. [Arlington Thrive]
Annual Marymount Fashion Show — Marymount University will hold its annual fashion show this weekend. “Portfolio in Motion 2013” will showcase the work of Marymount fashion design students. It’s being held on campus in the Rose Bente Lee Center at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 4. [Facebook]
An innovative summer camp could spark new career ambitions among high school-aged girls in Arlington who feel up for a challenge. Long term, it could also help the Arlington County Fire Department meet its goal of recruiting more female firefighters.
The Girls’ Fire Camp, a free overnight camp scheduled for July 12-14, is designed to give girls aged 13 to 16 a taste of the firefighter’s life. Participants will work out, run drills and learn skills — all under the close supervision of ACFD staff. The department’s recruiting officer, Capt. Brandon D. Jones, described the camp as a “fun-filled weekend” in which high school students will “learn how to stay in great shape” while performing basic firefighting and emergency medical tasks.
“The department hopes to make a long-term connection with the participants,” Jones said. “After they attend this camp, some may be inspired to continue their ambition to become a Firefighter/EMT in the future.”
Though Arlington was the first fire department in the country to hire a female professional firefighter, in 1974, it has struggled like other departments nationwide to recruit women for the traditionally male profession. Currently, females comprise about 9 percent of the 300-plus member Arlington department. Nationwide, only about 6 percent of firefighters are women.
As recruiters get more creative in their quest for diversity, fire camps for high school girls have proliferated. Since the Tucson Fire Department joined with the neighboring Northwest Fire/Rescue District to open its inaugural Camp Fury for girls in 2009, other jurisdictions have followed suit. The Ashland Fire Department in Massachusetts runs a Camp Bailout, the New Hampshire State Fire Academy runs a Camp Fully Involved and the Utica Fire Academy in New York offers the Phoenix Firecamp.
“The camp is a really great idea,” said Capt. Anne Marsh, an EMS supervisor and 15-year veteran of the Arlington department. “We want our department to represent the general population. So many people come into the fire department as part of a family legacy, and women have simply not had as many role models to follow.”
Campers will spend the two nights, with chaperones, at Marymount University. During the days, they will participate in activities that include physical training, a fire extinguisher class, hose drills and an aerial ladder demonstration. They will tour the Arlington fire stations and, treat of treats, dine with the on-duty crews.
“The idea is to put the possibility of becoming a firefighter on the front burner for them,” said Arlington firefighter/paramedic Jennifer Slade, a seven-year veteran of the department, “but we’re also trying to incorporate fun into it, so it’s not just learning.”
“Even if they don’t go into the field,” Slade added, “hopefully they will talk to their friends about how much fun they had.”
The camp is limited to 16 participants, who must fill out an application that includes an essay. Those interested can call 703-228-0098 or visit the camp’s web page for more information.
Photos via Arlington County. Michael Doyle is a journalist and Arlington resident. He is a member of the Cherrydale Volunteer Fire Department.
Rabbit Closing — Just days after telling ARLnow.com he had reduced hours to lunch only, the owner of Rabbit Salad and Grill (3035 Clarendon Blvd) in Clarendon has apparently decided to completely call it quits. The restaurant will close on Friday to make way for Fat Shorty’s, a beer and sausage restaurant. The new restaurant is expected to open in early April. [Washingtonian]
Carlee Becomes Charlotte City Manager — Former Arlington County Manager Ron Carlee has taken a new job as the city manager of Charlotte, NC. Carlee had worked for Arlington County for 29 years, but left in 2009 for a job with the International City/County Management Association. Carlee’s new salary is reported to be $290,000 per year, a 15 percent increase over his predecessor’s salary. [Charlotte Observer]
Chuck Todd to Give Marymount Commencement Address — Chuck Todd, Chief White House Correspondent for NBC News, will give Marymount University’s commencement address this spring. He’ll speak at D.A.R. Constitution Hall on May 19, the same day the University will award Todd the honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters in recognition of his career in journalism.
Concern Over Unlicensed Cabs — County Board members voiced concerns about reports of unlicensed taxis operating in Arlington. They asked county staff to investigate the issue and report back. The Board oversees the county’s taxi business by allotting a fixed number of operating certificates and regulating fares. [Sun Gazette]
Sun Gazette Office Moving — Today is moving day for The Sun Gazette. The paper’s office is being relocated from Springfield to 6704 Old McLean Road in McLean. The move is intended to put advertising and newsroom offices in the heart of the paper’s coverage territory, which stretches from Arlington west to Great Falls and then south to Vienna and Oakton. [Sun Gazette]
Girl Scout Cookie Sales Start Tonight — As a reminder, Girl Scout Cookie booth sales start at 3:00 today in Arlington. The first day of booth sales might be a bit soggy, as a wintry mix of snow, sleet, freezing rain and rain is expected to start early this afternoon.
AP Scores Edge Up for APS Students — The average Advanced Placement exam score for Arlington Public Schools students edged up from 2.88 in 2011 to 2.89 last year. In 2010, however, the average for APS was 3.08. The national average is 2.83, on a 1 to 5 scale. [Sun Gazette]
DJO, Marymount Sign Baseball Agreement — Bishop O’Connell High School and Marymount University have finalized a joint use agreement for the high school’s new baseball field. “The future of Catholic education depends on strong partnerships between our high schools and universities,” said outgoing Bishop O’Connell President Kathleen Prebble. [Arlington Catholic Herald]
Arlington Homes For <$500k –A real estate blog has found 15 “starter homes” under $500,000 on the market in Arlington. “All of the properties… come with at least one parking space,” writes Amy Rose Dobson of Curbed. “Most of them have just entered the market within the past week and will probably move fast.” [Curbed]
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
Ft. Myer Daycare Investigation Widens — What started as allegations of assault against two workers at a daycare center on Ft. Myer has widened into a worldwide probe of military child care hiring practices. At least 31 daycare staffers at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall have been suspended after investigators found “disqualifying factors in their records, including history of drug use and past allegations of assault.” One official called it “a severe lapse in the background checks system.” [Washington Post]
DoD Relaxes Security Standards for Some Buildings — A loosening of the Department of Defense’s security standards for commercial office buildings may make it easier for the DoD to lease office space in Arlington (and elsewhere). Earlier this month, the Pentagon reversed a policy put in place in response to 9/11 that required that leased office space meet stringent anti-terrorism security standards, even for administrative offices within the DoD. [Washington Business Journal]
Marymount Seeking to Redevelop Ballston Property — Marymount University is pushing ahead with a plan to redevelop its 50-year-old “Blue Goose” building at the corner of N. Glebe Road and Fairfax Drive in Ballston. The university has proposed replacing the aging building with an office building and an apartment building. [Sun Gazette]
Science Focus Teacher Wins Recognition — “Arlington Science Focus School Principal Mary Begley was named Administrator of the Year by the Greater Washington Reading Council at its annual conference in Fairfax” on Wednesday, says a school press release. [Arlington Public Schools]
Flickr pool photo by Damiec
The incident started earlier in the evening as a minor altercation between two students who lived in the same dormitory building. According to police, the suspect in the case — a 20-year-old student — confronted the victim in another student’s dorm room following the altercation.
At one point the suspect shoved the victim, and the victim responded by punching the suspect in the face, possibly breaking his nose, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. The suspect then took out a small folding knife and cut the victim across the lower area of the stomach, from the front of his body to his back, exposing his intestines and cutting his pancreas, Sternbeck said.
When police arrived they found a large crowd of people around the victim, who was holding a t-shirt over his stab wound. They also observed someone throwing beer and liquor out of the room where the incident occurred, according to Sternbeck.
The victim was transported to the trauma center at Inova Fairfax Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Police found the suspect in a dorm room with his girlfriend. There was blood “all over the room,” Sternbeck said, primarily as a result of his broken nose.
Francis Joseph “Frankie” Maguire, 20, of Burke, Va., was arrested and charged with malicious wounding. He was to be held without bond until his arraignment, scheduled for today. No charges have been filed against the 18-year-old victim at this time.
No word on what the argument between the two men was about. Court records show that Maguire has also been charged with selling drugs on school property and the distribution of marijuana.
After the incident, Marymount’s Director of Campus Safety sent an email to students assuring them that “this was an isolated incident, and there was no danger to the campus community.”
Photo courtesy Arlington County Police Department
A fight between two students at Marymount University landed one of them in jail and the other in the hospital.
According to police, early Sunday morning a 19-year-old student hit another student in the head with a bottle during a physical altercation, causing a laceration. From this week’s Arlington County crime report:
MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 12/09/12, 2800 block of N. Glebe Road. At 3:45 am on December 9, a subject involved in a physical altercation hit a victim in the head with a bottle, causing a laceration. The victim was transported to the hospital, where he received stitches. Michael Pelham, 19, of Arlington, VA, was arrested and charged with malicious wounding and destruction of property. He was held without bail.
The rest of this week’s crime report, after the jump.
The speaker will be former New York Times correspondent, political analyst and best-selling author Steven V. Roberts, husband of ABC News political commentator Cokie Roberts.
His lecture, which is free and open to the public, is entitled “From The Times to Twitter: The Role of Media in the 2012 Campaign.” The event is being held on Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 7:30 p.m. at the Reinsch Library Auditorium on Marymount’s main campus (2807 N. Glebe Road).
Interested attendees are asked to RSVP by calling 703-526-6872.
Voter Registration Deadline Today — If you want to vote in the upcoming presidential election and haven’t registered yet, today’s the last day to do so. Oct. 15 is the deadline to register to vote or update your address for the Nov. 6 election. Registration applications most be postmarked by today or submitted to Arlington’s Office of Voter Registration (2100 Clarendon Blvd) by 5:00 p.m. [Arlington County]
Marymount ‘Blue Goose’ Will Be Demolished — Marymount University’s distinctive but aging “Blue Goose” building at the corner of N. Glebe Road and N. Fairfax Drive in Ballston is set to be demolished and redeveloped. The actual demolition is still “a few years away,” according to a school spokeswoman, but the planning process is now getting started. [Arlington Mercury]
Metro to Miss Cell Phone Deadline — Tomorrow is the deadline set by Congress for Metro to have all of its underground tunnels and stations wired for cell phone service. The agency will miss the deadline and doesn’t expect to meet the mandate until the end of 2015. [Washington Examiner]
High School Football Update — In high school football action over the weekend, Yorktown came from behind to defeat Langley by a score of 24-14. The Patriots are undefeated with a record of 7-0. Washington-Lee and Bishop O’Connell both lost on Saturday afternoon. And Wakefield is still looking for its first win of the season after losing its homecoming game to Falls Church by a score of 41-6.
Committee Debates Aquatics Center — Arlington’s Committee of 100 debated the merits of the planned $79 million Long Bridge Park aquatics and fitness center last night. A park bond that would help fund the center is on the Nov. 6 ballot. [Sun Gazette]
Marymount University and Diversity — WUSA 9’s Peggy Fox profiles Marymount University, which she says is one of the “most diverse regional universities” despite a “race blind” admissions process. Instead of considering race during the admissions process, the university instead actively encourages minority students to apply. The U.S. Supreme Court will soon consider a case that challenges the legality of affirmative action, which allows race and ethnicity to be considered in school admissions processes. [WUSA 9]
Construction at Hayes Park — Due to construction behind the tennis courts at Hayes Park (1516 N. Lincoln Street), the park’s parking lot will be closed from 7:00 a.m. today to about 2:00 p.m. [Ballston-Virginia Square Civic Association]
Leverett was struck by a car while walking his dog near his Northwest D.C. apartment Monday morning. He was later pronounced dead at a local hospital. The accident happened after the driver of the striking vehicle suffered a medical emergency and ran off the road, according to WJLA.
A visitation for Leverett will take place from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday). A memorial service is scheduled on Monday, Oct. 8 at 11:00 a.m. Both events will take place at the Joseph Gawler’s Sons Funeral Home in the District (5130 Wisconsin Ave NW), according to the Marymount website.
A separate memorial service is taking place on the Marymount campus. That service is planned from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 17. It is to take place under a tent on the school’s Ireton Lawn. In the event of inclement weather, it will be held in the Lee Center.
Marymount also announced that it is setting up a scholarship fund in Leverett’s memory.
The university described Leverett as “a passionate historian, a southern gentleman, a humorous storyteller and, above all, an outstanding teacher and advisor.”
Professor Leverett was a member of Marymount’s faculty since 1991. He held degrees from the University of Alabama and the University of Illinois, and his teaching focused on European history. During his tenure at Marymount, Professor Leverett developed a number of courses, including The History of Modern France, Comparative Revolutions, and Women in European History since 1700. Additionally, he worked with other faculty to develop two team-taught, interdisciplinary graduate courses: Shakespeare: Text and Performance and Gender, Race, and Empire in 19th-Century British Literature. A popular and engaging teacher, Professor Leverett brought history to life by focusing on people and their stories.
Marymount President Dr. Matthew D. Shank reflects, “Everyone who knew Rhett Leverett would agree that this was a man with a great heart. He will be remembered for many things, including his kindness, his sense of humor, and his unfailing dedication to Marymount University and our students.”