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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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Ulta Beauty in Pentagon Row Schedules Opening Date

A 10,000 square foot Ulta Beauty location is set to open its doors at Pentagon Row later this week.

The opening of the 1101 S. Joyce Street location is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Friday, February 23. The store “will feature 20,000 beauty products across 500 brands, as well as a full-service salon.”

The first 100 shoppers on Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be given beauty products and makeovers. Gift recipients will be given a “beauty treat” valued between $5 and $100, and can choose between a discounted first hair or facial appointment voucher at the in-store salon or skincare bar.

Ulta Beauty currently runs 1,058 locations across the country, according to a company press release.

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Morning Notes

More Stuff Coming to Ballston — Even more hip food-and-drink spots are on the way for Ballston. A 3,000 square foot Union Kitchen Grocery store is coming to the ground floor of the revamped Ballston Quarter mall, at the corner of Wilson Blvd and N. Randolph Street, while a Compass Coffee cafe will also be opening in the mall. [Washington Business Journal]

Wheels Stolen Off the Lot at Dealership — Someone stole tires from three vehicles parked in the lot of a car dealership on Lee Highway just after midnight Wednesday. “An unknown suspect(s) removed the tires from and tampered with multiple vehicles in the parking lot of a business,” police said in a crime report. There is no suspect description and no surveillance footage, we’re told. There is a Toyota dealership on the 4000 block of Lee Highway, where police said the crime occurred, but also a Honda dealership nearby. [Arlington County]

Garvey Confident About Amazon — Arlington County Board member Libby Garvey is optimistic about Amazon coming to the area. “I think Amazon is very likely coming here,” she said at a Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce conference, shortly after it was announced that Northern Virginia, D.C. and Montgomery County, Maryland were among the top 20 finalists for Amazon’s HQ2. “We have got everything here.” [Washington Business Journal]

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Signs Up for New Verizon Store in Clarendon

The planned Verizon store in Clarendon is expected to open in mid-December, according to the company’s website.

Signs are up for the store at 2930 Clarendon Blvd, and Verizon said the store should be open on Monday, December 11. Originally, it had been planned to open late last month, but that has been pushed back.

It replaces the former Pinkberry froyo shop, next to Cava Mezze. Verizon stores offer wireless plans, smartphones, cases and other products and services. The only other Verizon-operated store in Arlington is in the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall.

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Superdry Now Open at Pentagon City Mall

A British-based clothing store is now open at the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City.

Superdry opened a 5,600-square-foot store next to Kate Spade New York on the mall’s second level earlier this month.

The chain offers “vintage Americana and Japanese-inspired graphics with a British style,” and is known for, among other things, its Windcheater jackets that keep the worst of the weather off. It also has clothing for men and women, and does a line of sportswear.

Its only other location in Virginia is in Tysons Corner, with another at the Clarksburg Premium Outlets in Maryland.

“Inspired by a trip to Tokyo in 2003, Superdry fuses design influences from Japanese graphics and vintage Americana, with the values of British tailoring,” reads a blurb on the mall’s website. “The result – unique urban clothing, with incredible branding and an unrivalled level of detailing. Such distinctiveness has gained the brand exclusive appeal, as well as an international celebrity following.”

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