The Arlington County Board approved Tuesday a $12 million package of state and local grants for the relocation of Nestlé’s U.S. corporate headquarters to Rosslyn.
The food giant will receive $6 million in Commonwealth Opportunity Fund grant money from Virginia. COF money is incentive-based, and requires at least $36 million in capital investment and 748 new jobs with an average annual salary of $127,719.
That state grant will be matched by the county’s Economic Development Incentive grant and related infrastructure improvements. The $4 million EDI grant has the same requirements as the state grant but also requires that at least 205,000 square feet of space be leased.
The additional $2 million in infrastructure improvements is already planned in the county’s Capital Improvement Plan, said Christina Winn of Arlington Economic Development.
Winn said those improvements include the Corridor of Light public art installation on N. Lynn Street, the Lynn Street Esplanade and Custis Trail Improvement project, and relocation of bus stops on N. Moore Street.
The combination of grants shows “everybody giving a little bit to get so much back,” Winn said. She added that such incentives help Arlington stay competitive against its regional rivals, and that such programs are only used 7 percent of the time, when AED looks to attract big companies like Grant Thornton.
Board vice chair Katie Cristol said that she has previously been “skeptical” of such incentive programs, but that she sees their value in cases like this. Nestlé is projected to bring $14.2 million in net tax benefit to Arlington, and will bring an anchor tenant to the previously empty skyscraper at 1812 N. Moore Street. The move is seen as a big economic development win for the county.
“The case has been well made about what this means for Arlington County and why this is a significant decision on the part of Nestlé,” Cristol said.
Photo courtesy Monday Properties
Four clothing stores, two eateries and a coffee store will be open before the end of spring at the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City.
Women’s clothing store ELOQUII is now open in a pop-up location near Kate Spade New York, in the space once occupied by its parent company, the Limited, on the mall’s second level. ELOQUII offers clothing for women in dress sizes 14 and up, and also provides wide width footwear and accessories.
On the same level, Ministry of Fashion has opened its first mall location, having started in 2014 in Georgetown. It looks to provide quality menswear as well as clothing for women, and supports local businesses and talents.
Just two spaces down from Ministry of Fashion and near Macy’s is New York & Company, a specialty retailer of women’s apparel and accessories.
On the edge of the mall’s food court, Indian eatery Naan & Beyond opened earlier this month. The fast casual restaurant offers a variety of Indian staples.
The coming months will bring several new options at Pentagon City. Sugar Factory is slated to open April 1 on S. Hayes Street next to honeygrow as the mall continues to expand. The candy shop and restaurant is famed for its celebrity-endorsed Couture Pops.
The Nespresso boutique is now expected to open May 1 on the ground level at the S. Hayes Street entrance. The store will sell Nespresso coffee and other products and accessories, as well as offer complimentary tastings. The spot was once occupied by Belmont Jewelers.
Finally, The Shoe Box will debut at the Fashion Centre later this spring on the mall’s first level near Nordstrom. It brings more than 50 years of experience in footwear, and contains more than 30 luxury brands as well as its own self-titled house line.
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.
(Updated at 10:53 a.m.) A new fitness studio is now open on the ground floor of the Beacon at Clarendon apartment building.
The business, Neighborhood Barre, opened its doors at 1148 N. Irving Street about two weeks ago, according to franchise owner Eileen McCarthy.
Neighborhood Barre offers workouts that mix dance conditioning, pilates and isometric exercise techniques. This is the first D.C.-area gym for the company, which has locations in Tennessee and Alabama.
McCarthy, a longtime barre enthusiast, said she got the idea to open the studio after many years of trying different kinds of exercise routines.
“I had been doing barre workouts on my own,” McCarthy said. “It was a big stress reliever for me. It’s intense, but it’s not off-the-wall intense.”
The ballet-inspired barre workouts are suitable for people of any fitness level, she added.
Though she considered several other locations, McCarthy said opening a fitness studio in Clarendon was a “no brainer.”
“It’s just such a good mix of people and densely populated,” she said.
Neighborhood Barre currently offers five classes each weekday and three classes on Saturday and Sunday, but more classes are on the way, McCarthy said.
One of the owners behind a local burger restaurant has a new business venture that doesn’t revolve around food.
“One of the owners of Basic Burger has two little ones,” said Basic Play director Ana Castillo, who did not give the owner’s name. “Through his personal life, he’s realized there’s a limited number of businesses in northern Arlington that are dedicated to younger children.”
The play area, which is designed for kids under 40 inches tall, features soft BPA-free surfaces that are cleaned with non-toxic disinfectants after every play session.
“We strive to make sure our place is as welcoming and open to as many people as possible,” Castillo added.
Basic Play offers “open play” periods that last 50 minutes and cost $10 per session. The business also hosts birthday parties and special events.
Although coffee is readily available at the office when Local News Now Founder Scott Brodbeck arrives, he typically brings his own. He knows that he’ll need the earlier jump start before leaping right in at the office and turning on the police scanner while sifting through readers’ news tips.
While the business aspects of Local News Now and much of the daily writing for local news website ARLnow.com are done at the MakeOffices Clarendon home base, covering news means being ready to go out on assignment at any given time.
“For us, the location is great. Being able to walk to so many things has been huge,” says Brodbeck.
Obviously, there’s far more to Arlington than just Clarendon, but being based at such a central location in the county makes for easy transportation to story locations. Staff usually walk, run or drive to stories, although Brodbeck explains that they have not yet delved into a very Arlington-esque mode of transportation while on the clock.
“We haven’t biked to any stories yet, but it’s something we’re considering,” he says with a laugh.
On one particularly busy news day last month, Brodbeck took the short walk from his office to a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newly opened Hyatt Place Hotel in Courthouse. He snaps photos and listens to speeches from corporate and county leaders as dozens sip champagne to celebrate the new development at the space previously occupied by Wilson Tavern, and Kitty O’Shea’s before it.
(Brodbeck refrained from imbibing the bubbly on the job, but isn’t opposed to an after-working-hours beer from one of MakeOffices’ kegerators.)
Along the way to the event, Brodbeck does what reporters do: He keeps an eye out for other potential stories. That means taking photos of progress at two nearby construction sites, investigating a “temporarily closed” sign at Five Guys (it has since reopened) and making a note to stop at the just-opened Blumen Cafe after the ribbon-cutting event.
Business does not come to a halt at Local News Now headquarters when Brodbeck and other reporters are out in the field. Back at the office, Director of Sales and Business Engagement Meghan McMahon gears up to meet with advertising clients. For her, location is also key for conducting work tasks.
“I work with a lot of local Arlington businesses. Being able to run in and out of the office to meet people… is very convenient,” she says.
McMahon’s life recently changed with the birth of her daughter and now another important aspect comes into play daily: balancing work life with being a mom.
Returning to a coworking space after maternity leave at first seemed overwhelming for McMahon, who suddenly had to factor breastfeeding into her daily routine. “When I first came in I saw that everything’s glass, everything’s open. I wondered where my privacy would be,” she says. “I was a little stressed about how to be in a working office environment and also be able to pump and do the things I have to do to be a new mom.”
But it turns out that MakeOffices Clarendon has an amenity McMahon wasn’t aware of at first. There are small, completely private, secure rooms called “wellness centers” that she now takes advantage of twice each work day.
“That was a sense of relief for me,” she says. “I can take a few minutes out of my day and go relax in the wellness rooms… It gives me 20 minutes of alone time so that I can get ‘mom stuff’ done.” (more…)
Construction on the new studio is currently underway, according to the business’ Facebook page.
“We’ve turned up the volume on the indoor cycling experience,” the Facebook page touts. “CycleBar unites you with riders of all ages and fitness levels by creating an unparalleled multi-sensory, intoxicating journey.”
CycleBar has dozens of studios throughout the U.S.
Photo via Facebook
Nook Play Space is slated to open at 5649 Lee Highway in mid-October, providing an alternative to play areas like Chuck E. Cheese, owner Maria Vogelei said.
She said that many of the D.C.-area play places she and her young daughters have visited are overcrowded and in dark, windowless spaces that are “completely outdated.”
At Nook, Vogelei said, children can engage in creative play without overstimulation.
Inside the 3,000-square-foot space, children who are five years old or younger can visit corners dedicated to art, construction, costumes, the senses and the city. For example, kids can build with white Lego blocks, explore a “forest” of bungee cords or play on structures that resemble an art installation of cardboard boxes, Vogelei said.
The design elements are “pleasing to the parent’s eye,” she said. “It’s a place parents would enjoy, too.”
Parents can buy monthly Nook memberships online for $120 for one child, with discounts for multiple kids. Day passes are $20.
Vogelei plans to keep the play space open seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Photo via Facebook/Nook
A new independent coffee shop is slated to open at some point in the near future in the Clarendon area.
The shop, called Blumen Cafe, is coming to the space that formerly held CD Cellar at 2607 Wilson Blvd, which is about halfway between the Courthouse and Clarendon Metro stations. Signs for the forthcoming cafe state that the business is “coming soon.”
Though we were unable to contact the proprietor behind the cafe, Andira Jabbari, for comment, real estate agent Kenneth Matzkin — who helped lease the property to Jabbari — was able to provide some insight.
The cafe will bring “high-end teas and coffee” and snacks to the space as early as some time this month, Matzkin said.
“They’re putting in a boatload of money to make it look nice,” Matzkin said. “They’re also going to open it up in the front so you could walk directly to the sidewalk from the space.”
But Matzkin cautioned that the end result is still subject to change.
A new fertility center has arrived in Ballston.
Shady Grove Fertility has a location now open at 901 N. Stuart Street in the Ballston Metro Center Office Towers, the center announced last week. Dr. Anitha S. Nair, a reproductive endocrinologist who leads the Arlington office, will treat men and women fighting infertility.
With its Ballston clinic, Shady Grove Fertility currently has 19 full-service outposts in Virginia, D.C., Maryland and Pennsylvania.
“In response to the growing demand for Shady Grove Fertility services in Northern Virginia, we’ve located our newest office in Arlington, VA, within steps of the Metro to provide additional convenience for our patients,” Shady Grove Fertility’s medical director Eric A. Widra said in a statement. “With Dr. Nair being a longtime resident of the city, we’re excited to provide the Arlington community with the experience and success we’ve achieved throughout the region.”
Photo via Shady Grove Fertility
A new barbershop called Roosters is coming to Pentagon City.
The shop will be opening on the ground floor of The Acadia at Metropolitan Park apartment building, near the corner of 12th Street S. and S. Fern Street, according to “coming soon” signs in the window.
“Roosters Men’s Grooming Center provides an authentic barbershop experience in a modern, upscale, and unpretentious environment,” says the company’s website. “Our focus is on delivering consistent, exceptional service, and providing men an escape from their busy lives.”
Services offered include hair cuts, shaves, beard trims, facials and hair coloring. Discounts are offered for active duty military, police, fire and EMS personnel.
“We believe you deserve to have a space of your own, so sit back and enjoy the charm and comforts of an old school barbershop updated for the modern man,” the website said.
No date was given for the expected opening. Roosters has existing locations in 21 states, including locations in Ashburn, Herndon, Leesburg, Reston, Vienna and Bethesda.
Other ground floor businesses in the Acadia building, both opened and planned, include Sweetgreen, Orangetheory Fitness, Corepower Yoga and European Wax Center.
The Earth Treks climbing gym in Crystal City is expected to open soon, perhaps by late July.
ARLnow reported last year that the gym in Crystal City was expected to open in “late spring,” however the opening date has since been pushed back.
“We’re presently targeting the second half of July,” said Earth Treks VP Chris Jenkins. “We’re in the home stretch, but I still don’t have an exact date.”
He said the company may wait a month or two after the gym’s initial opening to hold a grand opening event.
“We are going to have a member’s ‘grand opening’ party, but not immediately after we open,” said Jenkins. “As it would be open to members primarily we like to have a little breathing space between when we open the doors and when we have our first big event celebrating it so we have some time to build the membership base.”
The gym features a 35,000-square-foot climbing area along with training areas, dedicated yoga and group fitness rooms and private climbing teaching areas.
This will be Earth Treks’ first Virginia location. The company has three other gyms in Maryland, located in Rockville, Timonium, and Columbia.
Photos courtesy Earth Treks
The aptly named “Couples Retreat Day Spa” is holding its grand opening, according to a sign hanging from the awning.
Couples Retreat, according to the signage, offers various massage and reflexology services. It is advertising a $65 per hour rate.
The storefront is located next to Revolution Cycles and across the street from Whole Foods.
B&C closed last August, two and a half years after first opening. The business remains open in Alexandria.
Hat tip to Eric LeKuch
Another barre studio is coming to Arlington.
Xtend Barre, which has existing locations in Alexandria, D.C.’s Shaw neighborhood and Bel Air, Maryland, is coming to 2008 Wilson Blvd, on the ground floor of the 2001 Clarendon Blvd apartment building. Construction is underway but no opening date has been announced.
“We’re opening with almost 40 classes on the schedule including our signature Xtend Barre class, Xtend Technique, Xtend Stick, Xtend Suspend and Xtend Petites,” the company said on its website. “We are incredibly excited to announce our opening day and we can’t wait to meet you at the barre!”
The owner of the studio, Kelly Wilkinson, said she discovered the ballet-based barre workout about a year ago and fell in love with it. “It was fun, energetic and made me sweat,” she in a blog post.
Xtend Barre joins a growing list of barre studios in Arlington. Among them are Lava Barre, down the street in Rosslyn; Neighborhood Barre, which is coming to Clarendon; plus Pure Barre and Barre Tech, also in Clarendon.
“Neighborhood Barre is a unique workout that combines dance conditions, pilates, and isometric weight training to carve and sculpt the muscles of the arms, legs, seat, and abs,” said the website. “We are also a fitness boutique carrying a range of apparel from brands such as Beyond Yoga, Alo, and Splits59.”
This is the first D.C. area gym for the company, which has existing locations in Tennessee and Alabama.
Photo courtesy Ian B.