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Morning Notes

Rosslyn Lands Trump HQ2 — President Donald Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign will be opening a satellite office to its Trump Tower headquarters at a Rosslyn office building. Arlington has previously been home to a number of presidential campaign headquarters. [Politico]

Popular Popcorn Purveyor Opens at DCA — Chicago’s Garrett Popcorn Shops now has a second location in Arlington. Garrett’s new shop is now open in the pre-security section of Reagan National Airport near Terminal C. [Twitter]

New APS Weather Plan — “Superintendent Patrick Murphy on Dec. 6 announced a new plan for dealing with tricky-to-forecast winter storms, after the school system kept schools open for an unexpectedly potent November snowfall, a decision that sent many parents into spasms of outrage… If inclement weather threatens for the following day, Arlington school officials will announce a two-hour delay by 6 p.m. the previous evening.” [InsideNova]

Jamestown No. 1 on Best Teacher List — Arlington’s Jamestown Elementary School is No. 1 on a new list of “Greater Washington’s best public school teachers.” [Washington Business Journals]

APS Fails to Get Easement for Construction Crane — “Arlington School Board members on Dec. 20 are slated to approve an increase in the construction contract for the new elementary school being built adjacent to Thomas Jefferson Middle School totaling just over $292,000. The project initially assumed that the contractor would be able to use a tower crane on the site, but the school system was unable to come to terms with nearby property owners for the necessary easements.” [InsideNova]

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

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Morning Notes

Shatner: Arlington E-Bike Rules ‘Barbaric’ — E-bike enthusiast and Priceline pitchman William Shatner, better known as Star Trek’s Captain James T. Kirk, said via Twitter yesterday — in response to a tweet from the sassy Arlington Dept. Environmental Services Twitter account — that Arlington’s prohibition on e-bikes on local trails is “barbaric.” [Twitter]

Kojo Coming to Crystal City — WAMU 88.5 is bringing the Kojo Nnamdi Show to Crystal City for “a town hall-style discussion about how local officials, businesses, and community members in Northern Virginia and the region are reacting to Amazon’s decision.” Those wishing to attend the taping can register online. [Kojo Nnamdi Show]

Upgrades for Ballston Senior Housing — “The Arlington County Board [Tuesday] approved a low-interest loan of $3.025 million in federal Community Development Block Grant funds to help renovate The Carlin, a 162-unit, 10-story building located at 4300 N. Carlin Springs Road. The Carlin serves low income elderly residents who are 55 years and older.” [Arlington County]

‘Arts District’ Near Crystal City? — “Even before the specter of Amazon’s second headquarters put stars in everyone’s eyes in Crystal City, Stratis Voutsas and Georgia Papadopoulos, managers of a trust that owns many buildings on the neighborhood’s ‘restaurant row,’ were dreaming up a plan to bring more people across U.S. Route 1 to the neighborhood… The trust wants to build an open-air park and plaza on a parking lot and site of a Greek restaurant the trust owns behind some of the 23rd Street restaurants. It would have artist spaces tucked below, facing onto 22nd Street.” [Washington Business Journal]

Amazon News Roundup — Amazon’s HQ2 search was about “selecting locations with specialized kinds of talent that meet certain needs,” and “Crystal City… puts Amazon closer to tech talent, but also to government leaders, cloud customers, and the U.S. Department of Defense.” Crystal City is built upon the former Abingdon Plantation and the new Amazon presence “affords us the opportunity to recognize and memorialize the lives of those enslaved there.” Meanwhile, a former JBG executive who left to help build a $3 billion development in Tampa is returning as the company prepares for Amazon’s arrival.

Nearby: New Wawa and New Restaurant — A new Wawa is coming to Vienna, making it the closest Northern Virginia location to Arlington for the beloved convenience store chain. And an acclaimed chef is planning to open a new Italian restaurant on N. Washington Street in the City of Falls Church.

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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DC Lash Bar Set to Open Monday at Ballston Quarter

DC Lash Bar, a beauty shop specializing in eyelash and eyebrow enhancement services, is set to open Monday (Dec. 3) in Ballston Quarter.

Located at 4238 Wilson Blvd, the beauty shop salon is behind the CVS on the first floor of the mall. The Ballston Quarter spot is the second location for DC Lash Bar, which has its flagship store in D.C.

The “official” opening date was moved from today (Nov. 28) to Monday. The delay, according to a spokeswoman, was due to some final installations being pushed back to after the Thanksgiving holiday.

Owner and co-founder Josie Philippe decided to expand shortly after the 2016 opening of the original Georgetown shop, according to a press release.

“We’ve seen an incredible response to our eyelash and tanning services,” Philippe said. “Opening a second shop just made sense; we’re excited to expand our capabilities and increase the number of customers served.”

The DC Lash Bar in Ballston Quarter location will offer eyelash extensions in natural, classic, volume and hybrid sets; eyelash lifts and tints; eyebrow shaping; and tinting and henna treatments. Airbrush tanning is currently only available at the Georgetown location.

To celebrate the Ballston Quarter opening, DC Lash Bar will offer ongoing discounts on its signature services at both locations.

Staff members of both stores are legally certified in eyelash extensions and licensed cosmetologists and estheticians.

The store’s opening next week marks yet another business starting to serve customers in the development, after Ballston Quarter previously faced a handful of opening delays.

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Morning Notes

Amazon in Talks to Come to Crystal City — Per a widely re-reported Washington Post scoop, Amazon “has held advanced discussions about the possibility of opening its highly sought-after second headquarters in Crystal City.” An Amazon executive, meanwhile, tweeted that “the genius leaking info about Crystal City” is “not doing [it] any favors.” [Washington Post, Twitter]

Crystal City Isn’t Alone — “Amazon.com Inc. has progressed to late-stage talks on its planned second headquarters with a small handful of communities including northern Virginia’s Crystal City, Dallas and New York City, people familiar with the matter said, as it nears a final decision that could reshape both the tech giant and the location it chooses.” [Wall Street Journal, Washington Business Journal]

Jewelry Store Coming to Ballston Quarter — “ninetwofive, formally Wuayra Peruvian Silver Jewelry, is offering sterling silver jewelry and fine accessories in its new location at Ballston Quarter in Arlington, VA beginning this November.” [PR Log]

Officials: We’re Listening to Boundary Concerns — “Arlington school leaders say nothing has been cast in stone when it comes to adjusting elementary-school boundaries, but that the clock is ticking toward decision-making… The schools whose boundaries are in play in this round of adjustments include Abingdon, Barcroft, Drew, Fleet (the new school to replace Patrick Henry), Hoffman-Boston, Long Branch, Oakridge and Randolph elementaries.” [InsideNova]

APS Asked About Graduation Rates — “Arlington school officials are being pressed by one board member to be more specific in analyzing data related to graduation and drop-out rates of minority students. School Board Vice Chairman Tannia Talento says minority students — those classified as black, Latino and Asian — could end up ‘falling through the cracks’ if more attention isn’t given to their individual cases.” [InsideNova]

Miss Steindorff Remembers — A nursing home employee in Minnesota used social media to help a former Walter Reed Elementary teacher, Miss Steindorff, remember the names of students in one of her classes, as depicted in a photo she kept. Students in alumni groups the employee reached out to helped fill in the gaps in Miss Steindorff’s memory, while sharing their own fond memories of their teacher, shortly before she passed away. [Presbyterian Homes & Services]

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Morning Notes

Civic Federation Holds Candidate Forum — The unofficial kickoff to the local fall campaign season took place on Tuesday: the Arlington County Civic Federation candidate forum. Contenders for County Board, School Board and Congress squared off in front of a standing-room-only audience at Virginia Hospital Center’s auditorium. [InsideNova, InsideNova, Blue Virginia]

Drug Take-Back Boxes Deemed a Success — “In June, Arlington County installed three permanent drug take-back boxes to address a crucial public safety and public health crisis facing communities across the country – prescription drug abuse. In the first three months of the program, the public safely disposed of 407 pounds of unused, unwanted or expired prescription medications. Due to the success of the program, the police department is exploring expanding the program.” [Arlington County]

New Commuter Store Opens — A new Arlington Commuter Store opened at the Pentagon on Tuesday, near bus bays 7 and 8. [Commuter Page]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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Roots Canada Set to Open in Pentagon City Mall Next Week

Lifestyle brand Roots Canada will open up shop in a 3,200 square foot space within the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City next Friday (Aug. 10).

Though a display in front of the forthcoming store, pictured above, advertises Roots as coming Aug. 11, a recent press release from the company, Fashion Centre at Pentagon City’s website and ads in the Pentagon City Metro all set the opening date as Aug. 10.

Next Friday’s opening in Arlington will come the day after Roots opens for business in Georgetown (3259 M. Street NW).

The two D.C.-area sites follow three new stores that opened this June in Greater Boston. Roots aims to have between 10 and 14 new retail locations open in the U.S. by the end of next year, according to an April press release.

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New ‘Pop-Up’ Store Coming to Rosslyn Next Month

(Updated July 25 at 3:55 p.m.) A new pop-up store is setting up shop in Rosslyn’s Central Place Plaza next month.

The Rosslyn Business Improvement District is preparing to open “The Alcove” in a roughly 5,000-square-foot space at the corner of 19th Street N. and N. Moore Street, next to Nando’s Peri-Peri. The store is set to open to the public on Aug. 8, and remain in place through the end of September.

The BID says the store, which will be the first brick and mortar pop-up the group has ever set up, will primarily be anchored by Turning the Page, a D.C. nonprofit selling used books, CDs and DVDs. Proceeds will benefit students in public schools.

The store will also offer “artisan-made products, food and beverage items, apparel, art and even bridal accessories,” according to the BID, and plans to court additional vendors, like local artists selling their wares on Etsy.

The BID plans to hold interactive events in the store, including “musical performances, fitness classes, DIY workshops and readings by well-known authors.” The Arlington County Public Library is also organizing more than 20 events for the store, including author talks and a “maker series” that allows both adults and kids to explore art, books and crafts.

Sponsors for the store include JBG Smith, Davis Construction, Gensler, Streetsense and Capitol Drywall.

The shop will be open from 11 a.m to 8 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.

Photo courtesy the Rosslyn BID

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Ice Cream Shop Appears to be Coming to Shirlington

It looks like Shirlington will be getting its own ice cream shop.

An application has been filed to convert a storefront at 4150 Campbell Avenue into an “ice cream take out” business. There is a frozen yogurt store a block away, but no other ice cream shops in the neighborhood.

The exact storefront could not be confirmed, though Knits Etc. at 4150 Campbell Ave recently closed and is currently vacant.

Hat tip to Chris Slatt

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Premium Canadian Clothing Store ‘Roots’ Coming to Pentagon City

Roots Canada, a premium leather and clothing outlet, will be opening a 3,200 square foot store in the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City in August.

A Roots store also will be opening on M Street in Georgetown.

The Canadian apparel company’s long-term plan is to open a minimum of 100 stores in the U.S., adding in a press release that the two D.C. area stores will help the company reach its 10 to 14 U.S.-store goal by the end of 2019.

As of February of 2018, Roots Canada had 116 stores in Canada, three stores in the U.S., 10 partner-operated stores in Taiwan and 32 partner-operated stores in China.

Photos courtesy Roots Canada

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Five Retailers Announce Plans to Open in Ballston Quarter

Ballston Quarter is naming five more shops ahead of its planned opening this fall, with both local and national retailers signing up for space in the new development.

Forest City, the company that owns and manages the former Ballston Common Mall, announced the site’s first round of retail tenants on April 26.

The stores set to move into the 850,000-square-foot development include:

  • Francesca’s: ​A national clothing and jewelry boutique with more than a dozen locations in the D.C. region. The store will be located in a roughly 1,700-square-foot space in Ballston Quarter.
  • Gossip: A women’s fashion boutique “with a West Coast vibe” offering clothing and accessories priced under $100. The store will move out of a Crystal City storefront to set up shop in a 760-square-foot space.
  • Potomac River Running: ​A family-owned, Virginia-based running specialty store. The company plans to relocate its current Ballston location along N. Fairfax Drive to a 1,430-square-foot space in Ballston Quarter.
  • Steadfast Supply: ​A D.C.-based creative retail shop and curated events hub. The store will be the company’s second location in the D.C. region, with a 1,025-square-foot space.
  • Scout and Molly’s: ​A North Carolina-based fashion boutique with 35 locations nationwide. The company will occupy a 1,141-square-foot space at Ballston Quarter.

Some stores at Ballston Quarter are set to start opening this fall, to go alongside holdovers from the old Ballston Common Mall, like the Regal Cinemas and Sport & Health club.

Forest City previously announced that the new development will also feature an 18-restaurant “food hall” and several “experience-oriented” businesses, like a recreational culinary school and an indoor play space.

By the time it’s finished, Ballston Quarter is also set to feature a 22-story, 406-unit apartment building and 176,000 square feet of office space.

Photo courtesy of Forest City

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New Ballston Bike Store Replaces Freshbikes

Less than three months after Freshbikes closed its Ballston location, another bike store has opened its doors in the space.

After 11 years in business, Freshbikes closed its Ballston location  “due to circumstances outside our control,” according to a message on the store’s website.

The bike store closed its two other regional locations as well.

In its place, Spokes Etc. opened this week.

Tyler Flowers, Spokes Etc.’s manager, said he isn’t worried about a lack of demand for bikes in Ballston and thinks Spokes Etc. will do just fine along the Metro corridor. The store faces competition from nearby Conte’s Bike Shop.

Though Freshbikes is gone, its sign is still there due to permitting issues, Flowers said. Once Spokes Etc. puts up its own sign in several weeks, it will hold a grand opening, he added.

Spokes Etc. already has five other locations in Northern Virginia including Alexandria, Belle View, Fairfax, Leesburg and Vienna.

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Another 7-Eleven to Open Along Lee Highway

(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.

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Italian Lingerie Brand Intimissimi Opening Store in Pentagon City

Where once there were gadgets, there will now be bras.

Italian lingerie brand Intimissimi is opening a new store at the Pentagon City mall, in the former Brookstone space.

Intimissimi, which boasts nearly four times as many stores worldwide as top U.S. lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret, announced plans to expand to the U.S. in 2015. Since then it has opened more than a dozen U.S. stores, from New York to Los Angeles and points in between, while positioning itself as “a more refined alternative to Victoria’s Secret.”

Intimissimi is hiring for its new Fashion Centre at Pentagon City location, which is being paired with a store for parent brand Calzedonia, which offers “Italian legwear and beachwear.”

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Morning Notes

Spokes Etc. to Take Over Freshbikes Store — Northern Virginia bike retailer Spokes Etc. is expected to open in the former Freshbikes location in Ballston by the end of March. “[Spokes Etc. President Jim] Strang said the store will stock his main brands, which are Specialized and Trek, and he plans to pick up one or two boutique bike brands to complement them.” [Bicycle Retailer, Spokes Etc.]

Arlington Near Last for Snowfall on East Coast — Based on a chart from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Arlington and D.C. ranked 65th among 68 eastern U.S. cities for snowfall this season, with a measly 3.3 inches. Only three deep south cities recorded less snowfall than has been reported at Reagan National Airport. [Patch]

More DCA Construction Impacts — Due to construction, Metro walkway airline kiosks and bag drops for Delta and American Airlines at Reagan National Airport are being relocated to the National Hall in Terminal B/C today. [Twitter]

Flickr pool photo Lisa Novak

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Young Columbia Pike Business Owner Opens Electronic Repair Shop

When James Sampson was 14, a few of his friends were hit with the red ring of death — the notorious Xbox problem that devastated gamers globally. Instead of buying new devices, they turned to Sampson — who soldered some of the wiring in the devices, along with some other tinkering, and brought them back to life.

He saved his friends hundreds of dollars, and his only training was a few hours spent watching YouTube video tutorials.

“It became a lot of people calling me asking me to fix their cell phones, laptops, just any device they had,” said Sampson. He began referring people to an actual electronic repair business — until he realized that the shop was making a lot of money.

The now 23-year-old has now gone into business himself, opening up Wireless Rxx last week at 2340 Columbia Pike. Sampson works alongside longtime electronics repairman Mario Vasquez, who has been in business for about 26 years. Sampson does the microelectronic repairs and soldering while Vasquez focuses on more traditional electronic appliances.

The pair complement each other technically and linguistically; the Chilean-born Sampson’s first language was Spanish, so he’s able to help the many nearby Spanish-speaking customers and Vasquez as he assists English-speaking clients.

By the end of the first week, Wireless Rxx made back their $700 rent without any marketing or advertising — and without the planned “old retro vibe” interior design changes, including new neon signs and flooring. The building itself, which Sampson calls “old and tattered,” stands out from the luxury mixed-use development across the street.

Wireless Rxx saw around 27 customers, and earned around $1,700 in the first week, with many flat-screen television repairs, laptop fixes, and cell phones that needed to be unlocked — though Sampson runs serial numbers and other phone identification numbers to make sure that he isn’t unlocking a stolen phone.

While many Arlingtonians might be excited to get a new phone and toss their older model, many low-income residents are finding value in the service, Sampson said, as they are able to pay significantly less for what is in most cases a relatively minor fix instead of buying an entirely new product or waiting weeks for a manufacturer repair.

“It’s a mix of what the market economy put up,” said the young entrepreneur. “You either have to wait for your fix — because if you break your phone and you go to Apple, it can be a $200 or $300 price tag — or if you take it here, it can be under $100.”

He has friends who are either recent immigrants or on college scholarships with less money to spare. They’ll go to Sampson with their younger sister’s iPads and $20 or $30, looking for a repair. It helps them maintain a decent standard of living without spending money that they don’t have for a brand new device, he said.

Sampson buys dead devices from customers, which he either fixes, sells, or recycles responsibly with a certified e-recycling company. Most electronic components aren’t safe for general trash collection.

He stressed the importance of proper electronic recycling, noting the dangerous chemicals in lithium batteries, which are found in many electronic devices. Poking one can result in chemical burns.

“If something’s broke, you can still fix it. You can still put maybe a third of the device’s [cost] into fixing it, and it’ll be a working device as opposed to buying a new one,” said Sampson. “Especially in our society right now, we just throw things away.”

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