Arlington, VA

Firefighters battled a house fire in the Penrose neighborhood this morning.

The fire was reported around 11 a.m., on the second floor of a duplex on the 300 block of S. Courthouse Road.

Firefighters from nearby Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall arrived on scene and quickly doused the flames. Arlington County firefighters searched the home and set up fans to remove the smoke from inside.

No injuries were reported, according to ACFD. S. Courthouse Road remains closed in the area due to the emergency response.

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(Updated at 3 p.m.) Arlington had an unusual occurrence this morning: two drivers in two separate parts of the county struck parked cars, flipping their vehicles over, within 5-10 minutes of each other.

The first incident happened on N. Danville Street, in the Lyon Village neighborhood near Clarendon. The driver of a white Toyota sideswiped a parked SUV, flipping the sedan on its side.

By the time ARLnow arrived on the scene, a crowd of neighbors had gathered and a tow crew had already placed the car back on all four wheels. No injuries were reported.

Minutes later, police and firefighters were called to the 200 block of S. Barton Street, in the Penrose neighborhood, for another overturned vehicle.

This time, a young male driver of a black Jeep sideswiped a parked vehicle, flipping the Jeep on its roof.

The driver was able to get out but was in a daze, a neighbor said. He was transported to a local hospital after initially refusing medical treatment, we’re told.

Police closed both sections of road while the wrecks were cleaned up. Officers could be heard remarking at the uncanny timing of the two crashes.

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Morning Notes

Utility Pole Catches Fire in Penrose — “100 blk S Wise St, Power pole fire. Area structures may experience power disruptions as the power company addresses the issue. Initial fire crews had to wait for ⁦@DominionEnergy⁩ to arrive to take down power, after which they could extinguish the fire.” [@ArlingtonVaFD/Twitter]

Robbery from Clarendon 7-Eleven — ” At approximately 4:46 a.m. on June 7, police were dispatched to the report of an armed robbery. Upon arrival, it was determined that the suspect entered a business, approached the counter and stole a jar containing an undisclosed amount of cash. The suspect attempted to flee, however, the victim ran after him and the suspect produced a knife and hammer and struck the victim. During the altercation, the jar fell and shattered. The suspect fled in a green Nissan pick-up truck.” [Arlington County]

Library Material for Confronting Racism — “We have compiled a list of books, movies, podcasts, articles, and organizations where you can learn more about structural racism in the United States, how to engage with and act against anti-black racism, and what you can do to eradicate systematic racism and fight for justice in your community.” [Arlington Public Library]

Local Mail Carrier Dies from Coronavirus — ” An Arlington community is mourning the loss of its beloved mailman who died over the weekend from COVID-19 complications. Jesus Collazos suffered a stroke about a month ago that was caused by the coronavirus. Collazos was 67-years-old and and was most looking forward to being a grandfather to his three grandchildren.” [WDVM]

Evictions in Va. Temporarily Halted — “The state’s Supreme Court issued the ban Monday following a request from Gov. Ralph Northam. It extends previous orders that had put a hold on evictions, but expired last month. Under the new rule, even renters who have been threatened with eviction but have not been served a formal notice cannot be legally removed from their homes until June 28 at the earliest.” [DCist]

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Firefighters battled an apartment fire in the Penrose neighborhood Thursday morning.

The fire in a second floor unit of a three-story, garden-style apartment building on the 2000 block of 4th Street S. was first reported around 9:45 a.m. Firefighters from nearby Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall encountered heavy smoke upon arriving on scene, but were able to quickly extinguish the flames.

Residents in the apartment were able to get out as the fire spread and there were no injuries to the occupants or firefighters, we’re told.

A dog that was inside the apartment, however, was not able to get out. Firefighters attempted CPR after removing the dog from the apartment, but it succumbed to its injuries, according to Arlington County Fire Department spokesman Capt. Justin Tirelli. The dog’s body was wrapped in a blanket by rescue personnel.

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.

Map via Google Maps. Staff photographer Jay Westcott contributed to this report.

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Don’t tell the Caped Crusader, but someone swiped the name of his family’s estate for use as the name of a small garden apartment building in Arlington.

“Wayne Manor” may conjure up images of Batman, but it’s also the name of the apartments at 500 S. Wayne Street in Penrose, according to county property records.

The apartment building was built in 1963, 24 years after the Dark Knight first appeared in comic books. The “Wayne Manor” name doesn’t seem to appear on apartment rental websites, but it was prominently featured on a commercial property sale listing from 2011.

Wayne Manor Apartments is a four-story, 15-unit, walk-up apartment building situated in the Penrose neighborhood of Arlington, Virginia. Built in 1963 and continually renovated over the years, the subject property has a history of consistently high occupancy levels with rental rates that have seen substantial growth over the last few years. Situated on a 19,250-square foot parcel of land, Wayne Manor Apartments totals 11,925 square feet of net living area… A majority of units have been updated with new kitchens including microwave ovens, bathrooms, and flooring, providing tenants with a modern living space. Due to the property’ s superior unit conditions, ample on-site parking, and the neighborhood’s recent growth and new development, top rents for one and two-bedroom units have immediate potential for growth.

Located in the Penrose neighborhood of Arlington, Virginia, the DC MSA’ s most desirable sub-market, Wayne Manor Apartments is in close proximity to public transportation, areas for recreation, new development, educational facilities, dining, entertainment, and employment hubs.

Unfortunately for Bruce Wayne wannabes with similarly deep pockets, the apartment building is no longer listed for sale.

Photo via Google Maps

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The Giant store at Penrose Square is adding a new online pickup kiosk.

The grocery store just off Columbia Pike, tucked away in the Penrose Square building at 2501 9th Road S., recently was issued permits for interior alterations to create an online pickup area near the front of the store.

Staff at the Giant confirmed to ARLnow that the area will be turned into a place for guests to pick up groceries they ordered online. When the new section will open is currently unknown.

The company has been rolling out the new curbside service called Giant Pickup since July, according to Supermarket News. Orders must be $30 or more and come with a $2.95 fee.

Hat tip to Chris Slatt. Photo courtesy @SRtwofourfour/Twitter

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A box truck that provides mobile paper shredding services caught fire at an Arlington County office building Wednesday morning.

Firefighters managed to extinguish the small blaze in the truck’s shredder before the flames could spread, as seen in a fire department video below.

The truck was parked outside 2110 Washington Blvd in the Penrose neighborhood, according to scanner traffic. The building contains offices for Arlington’s Dept. of Human Services and Arlington Public Schools.

https://twitter.com/arlingtonvafd/status/1143912926614474757?s=21

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A man was cut by a drunk, knife-wielding acquaintance during an physical altercation that spanned two different locations early Sunday morning, according to Arlington County Police.

Police say two men who knew each other got into an argument that turned violent in a Ballston apartment around 1:30 a.m. Sunday. The intoxicated suspect then drove the victim to Penrose neighborhood, near the 2nd Street S. entrance to Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, where the altercation continued, said ACPD spokeswoman Kirby Clark.

The victim reportedly escaped after the suspect fell asleep in his car.

“The victim was able to exit the vehicle safely after the suspect stopped the vehicle and fell asleep in the area of 2nd Road N. and Washington Boulevard, where officers ultimately made contact with the suspect and took him into custody,” Clark said via email. “This is an ongoing investigation and the reason(s) why the dispute initiated, as well as the circumstances surrounding why the suspect transported the victim in his vehicle, will be determined as part of the investigation.”

The suspect was identified as a 20-year-old resident of Ft. Myer.

More from an ACPD crime report:

MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 2019-05190107, 900 block of N. Pollard Street. At approximately 7:05 a.m. on May 19, police were dispatched to the Office of the Magistrate for the late report of an assault. Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 1:30 a.m., the victim and known suspect were inside a residence when they allegedly became involved in a physical altercation in which the intoxicated suspect struck the victim multiple times and tackled the victim. The suspect then produced a knife and threatened the victim, and strangled him. The suspect and victim exited the residence and the suspect drove the victim to another location, where he again threatened the victim and cut the victim with the knife. The victim was able to escape after suspect fell asleep in the vehicle. Investigating officers located the suspect in his vehicle and he was taken into custody without incident. Robert Reyna, 20, of Fort Myer, Va., was arrested and charged with Malicious Wounding, Strangulation, Abduction, Assault and Battery and Underage Possession of Alcohol. He was held on no bond.

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A vacant storefront under the Penrose Square Apartments on Columbia Pike (2501 9th Road S.) is currently bulking up for a transformation into an F45 gym.

F45 is a gym franchise that started in Australia and has been expanding throughout the D.C. region, with recently-opened locations in Ballston and Tysons. The new gym is underneath the Giant grocery store on the second floor of the complex, sandwiched between a barber shop and a dry cleaner.

Trip O’Connell is the very enthusiastic managing partner of the Penrose F45. He also manages the U Street F45, which opened a little over a year ago.

“We were the first location in D.C.,” O’Connell said. “It’s been going great. We have a lot of people in the area who liked the vibe and wanted more.”

O’Connell said he turned his attention across the Potomac, where there were already successful F45 gyms like the one at Pentagon Row.

“Finding locations is tough,” O’Connell said. “There’s a lot of new builds going on in Maryland and D.C. and Virginia, but those locations always jack rents up.”

O’Connell said that he was lucky to find the space in Penrose that had previously been occupied by 9round Fitness, a boxing-oriented gym. Currently, O’Connell and his partner are in California getting final approvals from the F45 HQ, but if things go smoothly he hopes to start a pre-marketing campaign on May 15.

“We’re hoping to start running people through test classes,” said O’Connell. “If that goes smoothly, we’re looking at an opening mid-June.”

The plan is to offer first-time visitors a two-week free trial on which they can take as many classes as they want. After that, membership is $55 per week for unlimited access to the gym or $45 for those purchasing membership for those signing up to the gym early on.

It can sound like a steep price, especially with the $10 per month Planet Fitness moving in nearby at Pentagon Row, but O’Connell said the program offers a specialized workout routine.

“The F45 program speaks for itself,” said O’Connell. “Everyone’s heard about high-intensity interval training. F45 breaks new ground on how that applies to a workout. You’re coming to a new gym every day and it’s the same room, but a different set-up.”

O’Connell said the free trial gives people a chance to experience the program first-hand and get hooked.

“We want people to come in and try it,” said O’Connell. “You can’t describe the feeling of doing it with 36 other people — getting through the pain of the workout, and then it’s over. Unless you get people in the door to experience that, it can’t be described.”

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The county is moving forward with long-held plans to narrow lanes and widen sidewalks on Columbia Pike near the Penrose neighborhood, but not everyone is on board.

County staff presented an updated version of the plan last week to the Penrose Neighborhood Association. It calls for narrowing the lefthand travel lanes on the Pike east of S. Wayne Street down to 10 feet, and narrowing the righthand lanes, next to the sidewalk, to 11 feet.

The project is slated for the section of the Pike between S. Garfield Street and S. Quinn Street, staff told ARLnow, and the total Columbia Pike right-of-way width is expected to remain 56 feet width.

It’s also part of a years-long plan to improve the Pike and add more room for pedestrians and bicyclists. However, attendees at the meeting said they fear tighter lanes could mean trickier turning and more accidents for cars.

“The goal of the project is to make Columbia Pike a safer, more accessible route for all users by creating a balance between pedestrian, bicycle, transit and vehicle spaces,” said county transportation spokesman Eric Balliet in an email Monday.

Even after the presentation by the county, some local residents remained skeptical.

“No satisfactory or convincing reason was offered by the county regarding the plan to reduce the lane size,” said one man. “It is quite concerning that a main hub such as Columbia Pike is expected to suffer significant lane reductions that will likely create traffic backups and accidents.”

“At the meeting we discussed many scenarios, like could a school bus pass a garbage truck, could a Giant delivery truck make the turn into Adams Street, could an 18 wheeler pass a bus on the left,” Penrose Association President Maria “Pete” Durgan said, adding that county staff agreed to look into the questions.

Bailliet said the plan is based on “urban street design guidelines from the National Association of City Transportation Officials,” which “recommend that lanes should not be greater than 11 feet as they may cause unintended speeding and assume valuable right of way at the expense of other modes.”

Bailliet says the new lane widths have also already been rolled out in other parts of the Pike, including on the sections between:

  • Four Mile Run and S. Wakefield Street
  • S. Oakland Street and S. Garfield Street
  • Washington Blvd and Columbia Pike interchange

The plan was listed in the the bike component of the county’s Master Transportation Plan, which the County Board updated last week. In it, the county said it intends to build “wide multi-use trails, or wide sidewalks, along at least one side of Columbia Pike in the areas east of S. Wayne Street and west of Four Mile Run” for bikes and pedestrians to share.

“It is tackling a tough question,” the Penrose Neighborhood Association’s website said of the revised lanes. “With only a limited amount of right-of-way, how should that space be allocated? Turn lanes? Street Trees? Wider sidewalks? Bike lanes?”

The reason to widen the sidewalks, Bailliet said, was in part to allow a more vibrant and business-friendly streetscape, but also partially to provide a way for cyclists to connect with the designated bike boulevards that run parallel the Pike.

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(Updated at 12:22 a.m.) Arlington County is set to celebrate the opening of a new section of the Washington Blvd Bike Trail today (Nov. 30).

The event will take place from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. along the new bike trail on the east side of Towers Park (801 S. Scott Street). Capital Bikeshare bikes will be available for attendees to try out the trail after remarks from the speakers.

Construction on the trail began in January. Work zipped along over the last few months to complete it before the end of fall.

The new 10-foot-wide trail runs between Towers Park and 2nd Street S. in Penrose, to provide more seamless access for cyclists and pedestrians to a previously constructed trail between Arlington Blvd and Walter Reed Drive.

https://twitter.com/BikeArlington/status/1064897660421758977

This story has been updated

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