Arlington, VA

A new trendy clothing and accessories store is now joining the ranks of businesses opening up in the Ballston Quarter mall.

Called Francesca’s, the new store opened today (Friday) and sells women’s apparel as well as shoes, hats, jewelry, and hair accessories.

Ballston is one of several D.C. area locations for the chain, which also has opened up shop in the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, as well as in D.C, Tysons, Springfield, and Alexandria. Despite the local expansion, the company has also faced some recent struggles.

The new store occupies a 1,600 square foot space on the second story of the mall, across from another women’s clothing store, Gossip Boutique, and watch retailer Bering.

A PR rep told ARLnow that the store is offering a buy one, get one 60% off deal through Wednesday, August 21.

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Update at 5:15 p.m. — The store is actually expected to open next week, a PR rep says, correcting an error in an earlier press release.

Earlier: Hot on the heels of UNTUCKit’s Pentagon City opening, fellow trendy clothing store and caps-lock enthusiast G-Star RAW is set to open a location this fall.

The “eco-friendly, luxury denim brand,” as a press release describes it, is expected to open in October next to the Victoria’s Secret on the first level of the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City.

The Dutch fashion brand is a destination for Canadian tuxedo enthusiasts, in addition to celebrities and race car drivers. G-Star RAW sells jeans, denim shirts and jackets, in both men’s and women’s varieties, in addition to an array of non-denim clothing and accessories.

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A new LensCrafters store is now open in Ballston.

Last week marked the grand opening of LensCrafters in Ballston Quarter (4238 Wilson Blvd). It replaces a former LensCrafters store at the mall that closed prior to its renovations. 

Located on the ground floor of an outdoor portion of the mall, LensCrafters offers eye exams and sells prescription glasses, sunglasses, and contact lenses. 

“Customers can expect to find innovative technology, the newest styles, and unparalleled personalized service,” at the store, a mall PR rep said in an email. “They offer a wide range of prescription lenses for eyeglasses and sunglasses, perfectly tailored to your lifestyle.”

The location is open Monday-Saturday, from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. and on Sunday, from 12-6 p.m.

The store is running a 50% discount on complete pair of glasses though Friday, Aug. 2. 

Photo (3) courtesy Ballston Quarter

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Morning Notes

Ribbon Cutting for Revamped Rosslyn Safeway — “Safeway will unveil renovations to its Rosslyn store at 1525 Wilson Boulevard in Arlington, VA, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony scheduled for 10 am on Friday, July 12.” [Press Release]

More on Real Estate Boom Forecast — “Real estate agents and local economists said inventories are so sparse that some popular Zip codes in Arlington and Alexandria show no homes for sale at all. They added that investors are pouring into the market, looking to turn homes into rental properties.” [Washington Post, InsideNova]

Acosta Signs Books in Clarendon — CNN correspondent Jim Acosta showed up to an sparsely-populated Barnes and Noble store in Clarendon for a “surprise signing” of his book “The Enemy of the People: A Dangerous Time to Tell the Truth in America.” [Twitter]

Workers Vote for Strike at DCA — “On June 12, airline food workers who prepare, pack, and deliver food and beverages served onboard American Airlines flights departing from Reagan National Airport voted 100% to strike when released by the National Mediation Board.” [Press Release]

New Local Store at DCA — “The District of Columbia Department of Small & Local Business Development (DSLBD) and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) today celebrated the grand opening of the Made in DC retail pop-up at Reagan National Airport, providing a new national and international presence for local makers and small business owners.” [Press Release]

ARLnow’s Press Release Section — For the next week, we’re experimenting with posting press releases directly on a special section of our site. Let us know what you think. [ARLnow]

Photo by Vernon Miles

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UNTUCKit, a clothing brand focused on untucked, professional shirts, has just launched a new store in Pentagon City.

The new store opened late last week on the second floor of the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall.

According to a press release:

UNTUCKit was created in 2011 to solve the problem of the long, sloppy look of untucked and ill-fitting dress shirts, by designing shirts that are meant to be worn untucked. They’ve since introduced categories ranging from t-shirts and polos to sports jackets and performance wear — plus, the launch of women’s and boys’ lines in 2017.

UNTUCKit at Pentagon City was the brand’s 61st store nationwide and the third in the region.

“We’re excited to be here, even closer to the District,” said Tomas Kurtz, assistant manager at the Pentagon City location. “It’s a new brand and we’re excited to see it grow.”

Kurtz said the store stands out for the way staff works closely with customers to find the right cut and style for them.

“It’s interesting because it’s not at all like a department store,” said Kurtz. “If you come in, you get fitted and staff will help walk you through it. It’s very personalized.”

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Ballston Quarter will soon welcome a new clothing retailer, store owners say.

Women’s fashion boutique Scout & Molly’s is set to host a ribbon-cutting for a new Arlington location on Wednesday, June 5, according to a press release about the opening. On Saturday, June 8, the store is scheduled to host a grand opening.

The North Carolina-based company sells clothing and shoes from mid-to-high-end brands including French Connection and Spanx.

“On Wednesday evening from 5-7 p.m., guests can enter for a chance to win a raffle prize and enjoy a free gift with purchase,” the press release noted. “During Saturday’s Grand Opening Celebration from noon-6 p.m., everyone will have the chance to select a surprise egg, with a discount or special gift waiting inside.”

Grand opening attendees will have a shot at snagging $15 gift cards, which store owners said will go to the first 50 customers on June 8.

“Women of all ages and styles will feel like they’re browsing in their best friend’s closet, with a wide array of options for unique gifts, an outfit for a special occasion, or just seasonal fashion inspiration,” said Betsy Abraham, who co-owns the Ballston shop with her mother Jane.

The pair opened their first Scout & Molly’s franchise in Reston two years ago.

Mall owner Forest City announced last April that Scout & Molly’s would open in the newly-renovated Ballston Quarter, along with four other new retailers.

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Morning Notes

Fatal Crash Along I-395Updated at 10:05 a.m. — Virginia State Police are investigating a fatal motorcycle crash that happened on the ramp from northbound I-395 to Washington Blvd. [ARLnowWTOP]

County Board Planning Tax Rate Hike — “Owners of a typical Arlington single-family home will see this year’s real-estate tax bill rise 4.95 percent to more than $8,400 under the county government’s fiscal 2020 budget slated for approval this week. County Board members on April 18 tentatively opted for a 2-cent increase in the real estate tax rate, bringing it to $1.026 per $100 assessed value and making Arlington the only jurisdiction in Northern Virginia’s inner suburbs to impose a tax-rate increase on homeowners this year.” [InsideNova]

UNTUCKit Coming to Pentagon City Mall — Internet-born clothing brand UNTUCKit, which specializes in button-down shirts intended to be worn untucked, is planning to open on the second level of the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall, next to Nordstrom. [Twitter]

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Customers walking into the new luxury shoe store “JŪS4thqtr” on Lee Highway may be surprised to be greeted by a wall of juice bottles.

The real way in is through a refrigerator door, which pushes open into a showroom with illuminated shelves of footwear and display cases holding high-end fashion.

Founders Shadi Ello, 24, and Mohamed Sha, 27 told ARLnow that the speakeasy entrance is all part of a feeling of “community engagement” they wanted to cultivate since opening last month. It’s also why they show only display shoes, Ello said, to encourage customers to ask store employees about sizing and color options.

“The minute someone puts that on their foot, it’s a wrap,” said Ello, who explained the store only carries “deadstock,” or never-before-worn sneakers purchased from retailers. “This is not a Foot Locker.”

The store is located in an unassuming, low-slung shopping center at 5139 Lee Highway. Initially, Ello said he was worried about attracting enough customers to a high-end boutique in “deep Arlington” but so far they’ve had enough customers to start running out inventory.

JŪS stocks about 4-5 glow-in-the-dark Yeezy 750 Boosts that run $1,000 and several sneakers from the Off-White Airmax 90 collection for $750. For women, there’s a selection of kicks from Adidas and Travis Scott in size 5 for $500.

The most expensive shoe is the ‘Not For Resale’ Air Jordan 1s selling for $1,500.

“The shoes just generate foot traffic,” said Ello, who acknowledged many of the shoes “are outrageously priced” by design. Most of the store’s revenue comes from its apparel, he said.

The clothing sold at JŪS includes a $35 JŪS-branded shirt, $200 for a leather body vest from Maryland designer Daniel Green’s brand “Insane Cult”, and a $1,000 Dior sweatshirt.

Ello, who grew up in Arlington and attended Wakefield High School, expected most of his customers to be in high school or their mid-20’s, and was surprised by the number of middle schoolers shopping to resell kicks.

He jokes that the 11-year-olds “like to give me a hard time” about the prices but he enjoys them coming by.

“It’s not illegal, and it’s keeping them in a safe, clean environment selling shoes,” he said.

Ello, Sha, and a third co-founder say they signed a lease in the shopping center six months ago.

After three weeks of steady business, they say they’re working on turning the basement into a space for photo shoots and pop-up fashion galleries. The store’s Instagram account has already filled with some of the modeling shots.

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The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City may welcome a new candy store next month.

“Why Not Candy?” is scheduled to open in the third floor of the mall next to the GNC health and nutrition store on Wednesday, May 1, according to the mall’s website. The confectionery shop will feature an “ultimate candy ‘fun room’ with an unending supply of tasty confections,” the website says.

It will open in a 1,541 square-foot space, according to the store’s leasing agent.

Pentagon City mall will be the second location for the owners, who opened their flagship store In nearby Springfield Town Center two years ago, according to a Facebook page. It’s also these second sweet-tooth temptation in the mall: restaurant and candy shop Sugar Factory opened in the Fashion Centre two years ago.

The Fashion Centre is bringing a bevy of boutiques onboard this spring, including watch retailer Invicta. Women’s clothing store Windsor is also expected to join the mall in the a 4,500-square-foot space near Lids, reported Northern Virginia Magazine.

Photo via Flickr user sayo ts

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CVS Pharmacy is planning to open a new store in the Village of Shirlington next year, the shopping center announced this afternoon.

The CVS will open a 10,906 square-foot space at the intersection of Campbell Avenue and S. Randolph Street, apparently in the the former Ping by Charlie Chiang’s and the current Cheesetique spaces.

Ping closed permanently last year. Cheesetique is moving to a larger location in Shirlington at 4024 Campbell Avenue, the former home of Luna Grill and Diner, according to a press release.

There’s still no word about might be coming to an even larger, vacant space in Shirlington — the former Capitol City Brewing location at the corner of Campbell Avenue and S. Quincy Street. A PR rep declined comment today.

Village of Shirlington owner Federal Realty Investment Trust said in this afternoon’s announcement that the new CVS is expected to open in the fall of 2020.

More from the press release:

Federal Realty Investment Trust (NYSE:FRT) announced today that CVS Pharmacy will join the Village of Shirlington at 4060 Campbell Avenue in 2019.

The new CVS Pharmacy location will open fall of 2020 in a 10,906 square-foot space at the intersection of Campbell Avenue and South Randolph Street at the center of the Village. The new store will offer an expanded selection of healthier foods and wellness products in addition to a full-service pharmacy, bringing best in class health and beauty needs to the Village.

Preceding CVS’s arrival, Cheesetique will relocate to a larger restaurant space within the Village at Shirlington at 4024 Campbell Avenue, allowing the locally-grown purveyor to expand its specialty cheese and wine shop, restaurant seating, and private dining offerings.

“We are thrilled to provide the Village at Shirlington with a new amenity that will meet the needs of the surrounding community,” said Dan Corwin, Director of Asset Management at Federal Realty Investment Trust. “We consider the Village to serve as both an entertainment and dining destination to greater Arlington, as well as a local hub for the many individuals living in and around Shirlington, and we believe CVS Pharmacy will provide Campbell Avenue with more conveniences that attract our local customers daily.”

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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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