Sixty-eight residents of an apartment building in Crystal City were told this week that they have 14 days to leave due to damage from a fire in the boiler room last month.
One resident tells ARLnow the news leaves affected tenants scrambling for last-minute housing options. He says those told to vacate include an octogenarian who has lived in her apartment for three decades and “is unsure of where to go.”
“To say that this has caused turmoil and distress would be an understatement,” the resident said. “Finding alternative housing, coordinating a move, and dealing with the various challenges that come with such a sudden eviction is a monumental task in itself.”
On Aug. 21, a fire broke out in the boiler room of the southern wing of the Crystal Plaza Apartments at 2111 Richmond Hwy. Industrial hygienists, air quality specialists and engineers, among other specialists, assessed the impacts to every apartment, according to a letter shared with ARLnow.
They determined some apartments need new flooring, cabinetry, walls and systems to remove all residual soot and other pollutants — work that would require tenants to vacate, the letter said. The notice gave them 14 days, the minimum required by Virginia law, to leave.
The notices were dated Sept. 14, after owner Dweck Properties learned from an industrial hygienist that these apartments would need a more comprehensive assessment and, possibly, extensive remediation work, a Dweck spokesperson tells ARLnow.
These additional assessments are contingent on apartments being vacant, the spokesperson added. They would determine the scope and cost of work as well as how long it could take.
“This notice was needed to ensure we could access units for repair if required,” the spokesperson said. “We are now working with each resident on their transition — identifying alternative apartments, understanding each of their timing needs, and assisting them in any way we can.”
Before this notice, the resident says a community-wide notice went out a few days after the inspections, describing which apartments suffered the most damage and required immediate work.
“Our apartment was not included in this list,” the resident said. “It is essential to emphasize that since the fire, we had received no communication or updates regarding our situation.”
The Dweck spokesperson did not say whether residents also received the community-wide notice.
In its letter, Dweck was apologetic and offered to cover $2,000 in moving expenses per unit.
“The fire incident has had a wide-ranging impact, and we are so very sorry for the disruption it has caused,” the letter said.
Since the letters went out, Dweck tells ARLnow it has taken more steps to ease these transitions. In meetings convened Monday and Tuesday, Dweck told residents it would also cover insurance deductibles up to $500 and reimburse residents for rent paid from the time of the incident to the time they move out.
“While some of this work requires units to be vacant, our inspection team is revisiting all of these 68 apartments this week to see if there is any possibility of performing remediation while the apartments are occupied — in apartments that potentially require less work,” the company spokesperson said.
Seafood restaurant Chasin’ Tails is swimming out of Arlington and about a mile down the road to Falls Church, co-owner Au Dang confirms to ARLnow.
The decade-old restaurant that’s inspired by backyard crawfish boils is heading to Founders Row, a new development just over a mile from its current location at 2200 N. Westmoreland Street in Arlington’s East Falls Church neighborhood. The move is expected to happen possibly in June, depending on permits, with the closing and opening of the restaurants happening simultaneously.
The move was first reported by the Falls Church News-Press.
While it’s not a big move distance-wise, Dang says setting up in the new development is a good opportunity for the restaurant.
“We saw an opportunity at up and coming Founders Row,” he says. “It wasn’t anything about the current situation. It’s just an amazing spot in Falls Church.”
The development will actually be home to three restaurants from the same ownership group, Happy Endings Hospitality. Chasin’ Tails will be joined by Roll Play, which currently has a location in Tysons, and Vietnamese restaurant Nue.
All three are different concepts and will have “separate experiences,” Dang notes.
Dang and his co-owners, which includes his brother, aren’t completely leaving Arlington, though. They still own the Happy Eatery food hall in Rosslyn, which opened in late 2019 under the slightly longer and more risque name “Happy Endings Eatery.”
The last decade hasn’t come without its challenges for Louisiana-inspired Chasin’ Tails, but it’s all led to this point of expansion, Dang says.
“We had hard lessons to learn,” he says. “We’ve taken all the knowledge we’ve acclimated to make improvements in interior design and overall branding. This is the best we have to offer.”
For longtime customers, Dang knows this may be an adjustment but anticipates they make the trip across the border and join them in Falls Church.
“We thank you so much for the support,” he says about the restaurant’s customers. “But we hope they visit us in Falls Church.”
Editor’s Note: Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.
It’s is far from the only cybersecurity company working in Arlington, but DivvyCloud carved out a niche as a cloud-focused security option that not only fixes gaps in security coverage but makes it easier for a company to see where its security is weakest.
Today (Monday) the company moved into a new 13,000 square foot office at 2111 Wilson Blvd, an office over six-times larger than its old 2,000 square foot office in Rosslyn. In a press release, CEO and co-founder Brian Johnson said the office expansion is a result of adding new employees, with more expected down the road.
“[Since 2018] the company has grown from 20 to 55 local employees — an increase of 175 percent — and plans to reach at least 120 employees within the next year,” Johnson said.
The company has netted some sizable investments over the last year, along with new contracts with customers from Pizza Hut to Fannie Mae. In an email to ARLnow, Johnson said the expansion is justified by an increasing need in cloud-based coverage — particularly in light of recent major data breaches.
“In our recent report, we found that 77% percent of respondents reported having two or more clouds, yet less than half of respondents were able to accurately identify the risk of misconfiguration in public cloud as higher than the risk in traditional IT environments,” Johnson said. “Countless major data breaches, including Honda and Capital One, have been caused by misconfigurations just in 2019 alone. As a result, more and more companies are realizing the need for an effective solution to prevent misconfigurations and properly secure cloud and container infrastructure.”
The Rosslyn Post Office could soon be on the move.
The U.S. Postal Service is proposing relocating its office in a building at 1101 Wilson Blvd elsewhere in the neighborhood.
Officials have yet to identify a new spot for the post office, but they hope to move it to “a yet-to-be-determined location as close as reasonably possible to the current site,” according to a news release.
The USPS says that, if it approves such a change, “there would be no change to post office box numbers or ZIP codes.”
A Postal Service spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on what prompted the USPS to consider a relocation.
However, the USPS is planning a public meeting to discuss the proposal tomorrow night (Wednesday) at 5 p.m. at 1911 N. Fort Myer Drive. The Postal Service will then accept written comments for the next 30 days following that gathering.
Anyone interested in submitting them can send them to:
Real Estate Specialist
U.S. Postal Service
PO Box 27497
Greensboro, NC 27498-1103
USPS also operates several other post offices near the Rosslyn location, including ones in Clarendon, Court House and at Fort Myer.
Photo via Google Maps
Anyone who has to face moving faces concerns and worries about hiring the right company. Whether you’re moving a home, apartment or office, only qualified specialists can organize the move and ensure the safety of the client’s property.
It is important to distinguish professional movers from the usual loaders. This is due to the fact that almost every car driver today boldly calls himself a mover, although he does not have the necessary knowledge, skills and tools.
Experts identify a number of key features that a professional mover has. First of all, it is the presence of a page in the popular social networks. Most of the amateur teams do not bother creating accounts on Facebook and Google+. If you find the moving company’s page in at least one of the social networks, be sure to visit it.
When first viewing the account, you can easily figure out how often the creator visits it. It bodes well for a company when you can easily find customers’ reviews, answers to frequently asked questions and all sorts of useful customer information. For example, take a look at this Facebook page and this Google+ account.
A trustworthy professional mover will post photos and videos of their work and customer feedback As a rule, professional movers spread on their pages photos and video of the work performed or the feedback of the customers, so potential customers can estimate the quality of services and the professionalism of workers.
Pay attention to customer reviews. Visit the testimonials sections of websites, social media and Yelp, and read what clients have to say. On some sites, you can even call the phone number of the reviewer or message him or her directly. Satisfied customers will be happy to tell you about their experiences.
Another important point is the cost of the services offered. Professional movers appreciate their time and energy. Prices that seem too low can be a red flag for shoddy services. You want to be sure to hire a company that takes pride in their work, is responsible and has proper work permits, if applicable.
There should be a broad range of staff responsibilities at a reputable company. You should be expect them to offer you a number of employees, packaging materials and a selection of different vehicles at your request. Each team should have an appraiser, a logistician, a team of loaders. Large professional movers have at least eight managers and several teams of specialists. Only in this case the company can stay in touch and respond to orders.
The company VA Movers is a good example of professional movers who know their duties very well. They have their own packaging materials and vehicle array, which can guarantee a high quality of services and strict adherence to contract terms. Companies that do not use the services of intermediaries are confident in their abilities.
Have a good move!
The preceding article was written and sponsored by VA Movers
Romo the dog, a long time beloved fixture of the Adams Morgan neighborhood in D.C., is settling into his new life in Arlington.
The 150 pound bull mastiff/pit bull mix became well known in D.C. for his habit of sleeping near an open window in owner Tiffany Scourby’s condo. Passersby took to the droopy dog, and a Facebook page and Twitter account dedicated to Romo soon sprang up.
Romo, along with Tiffany and her husband Peter Scourby, moved to the Forest Hills townhouse community in the Arlington Ridge neighborhood earlier this summer. So far, Peter says Romo has taken to his new life outside of the city.
“He’s enjoying the space more,” said Scourby. “We went from 1,000 square foot condo to 3,000 square feet.”
Although Scourby says there aren’t any windows in the new home with quite the foot traffic of Romo’s Adams Morgan haunt, the pooch has been given a bed by a window and has scoped out prime napping spots around his new home.
The couple says that like their dog, they are enjoying the newfound space Arlington affords.
“I’m a Virginia boy,” said Scourby. “I like the ‘burbs, and I wanted space. There’s a country club down the street, and I can see the Washington Monument from my house.”
Romo’s Facebook page has more than 3,000 likes and counting, and since moving the couple has discovered that some of their new neighbors are long-time Romo fans.
“When we first got here, a neighbor we hadn’t met yet said, ‘Oh my God, that looks like that Romo dog!,'” said Scourby. “When we told her it was him, she just screamed. Apparently she was one of his followers on Facebook.”
The move to Arlington won’t be the only change for Romo this summer. Peter says Tiffany is eight months pregnant and is due this September.
“[Romo’s] gonna have a little brother soon,” he said.
Photos via Facebook
Update on 6/18 — The proposal to move the library has been withdrawn.
County leaders got an earful about the proposed relocation of the Columbia Pike Branch Library at a town hall meeting last night.
“An angry standing room crowd” holding “signs and banners” loudly engaged library and county officials at the Arlington Career Center, a resident who attended the meeting tells us.
Career Center and Patrick Henry Elementary School students were among those speaking out against the move. Officials in attendance included new County Manager Michael Brown and Library Director Diane Kresh.
The proposal to move the library from Walter Reed Drive to Arlington Mill Drive, further down Columbia Pike, has attracted a torrent of criticism from those who live near the library. One post about the move on the Arlington Library Blog has attracted more than 100 comments, most of them negative.
Deputy County Manager Marsha Allgeier, who also attended the town hall, had this to say about the meeting:
Last night’s meeting was productive. We will continue this conversation with the community on whether it makes sense to move the Columbia Pike Branch library from its current location on Walter Reed Drive to the Arlington Mill Community Center on Columbia Pike. Staff will continue to listen to the community until the County Manager feels he can make a recommendation to the Board. The decision on the design of Arlington Mill can be made without a final decision on whether the library branch should be moved. We will take as much time as needed to make a good recommendation to the Board on the future of the branch library, a library meant to serve all of Columbia Pike.
The Sun Gazette reports that change-of-government supporters took advantage of the public anger and gathered “several dozen” petition signatures outside the Career Center.
Photo via the Library Blog.
Arlington Public Library officials are considering moving the Columbia Pike Branch Library from the Arlington Career Center on South Walter Reed Drive to the soon-to-be-redeveloped Arlington Mill Community Center, near the western end of the Pike (see map).
The potential move, just revealed to the public, may be necessary if an expansion of the Career Center eats into the library’s current space.
The revamped Arlington Mill Community Center is expected to have a floor or two open for the library, should it be forced to relocate.
The plan is being presented for public comment on the web and at a town meeting to be held at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 16, at the library.
“We recognize that any move presents challenges for the community,” a spokesperson wrote on the Library News blog. “We want to hear from you about how such a move would affect your use of the Columbia Pike branch.”