New Elementary School Approved — After a years-long process that included neighborhood opposition and lots of community discussion, the Arlington County Board has approved a use permit and ground lease for a new elementary school on the Thomas Jefferson middle school and community center site. [Arlington County]
Rosslyn Farmers Market Approved — Also at its Saturday meeting, the County Board gave the go-ahead to a new FreshFarm Markets-operated farmers market that will be held at the new Central Place public plaza in Rosslyn. The market will be open on Wednesday evenings from April to November. [Arlington County]
Bebe Closing at Pentagon City Mall — The Bebe store at the Pentagon City mall will close by the end of May. It’s part of a larger restructuring for the struggling young women’s clothing retailer. [Patch]
County Board to Honor Trees — “Arlington has about 755,400 trees of at least 122 species that provide $6.89 million in environmental benefits to the County annually in pollution removal, carbon storage, energy savings and avoided stormwater runoff. The Arlington County Board will honor 10 of these trees as Notable Trees at the April 25 County Board Meeting.” [Arlington County]
Blue Virginia’s School Board Endorsement — Local Democratic blog Blue Virginia has endorsed Monique O’Grady in the race for the Democratic endorsement for Arlington School Board. The endorsement cites incumbent James Lander’s recent controversial remarks about a murder victim as a reason for not endorsing him. [Blue Virginia]
Flickr pool photo by Ameschen
(Updated at 2:50 p.m.) A severe thunderstorm that ripped through Arlington just after lunchtime has left some debris and damage in its wake.
In Pentagon City, part of the facade and roof of the Macy’s at the Pentagon City mall was damaged and a portion of it fell onto a car. One minor injury has been reported. As of 2:45 p.m., workers were on the roof inspecting the damage.
According to scanner reports, a tree fell on a car near the intersection of Route 50 and Park Drive. The two occupants of the vehicle were shaken up but not injured.
A tree fell into a home on the 1400 block of N. Wakefield Street, a few blocks from Washington-Lee High School, according to a fire department dispatch. The tree caused damage to the front of the house, but did not hit a car parked next door.
A number of other instances of trees and utility lines falling have been reported around the county, including at the intersections of S. Wayne Street and 6th Street S., S. Adams Street and 8th Street S., and 31st Street S. and S. Randolph Street.
As of 2:45 p.m., just over 550 Dominion customers were without power, according to the company’s outage map.
Via Twitter, residents say the storm brought hail in addition to very strong winds.
— Tyler Suiters (@TylerSuiters) April 6, 2017
— Maka (@makalea_b) April 6, 2017
— WTOP Traffic (@WTOPtraffic) April 6, 2017
Today's storms⛈have caused many down trees. These are pics are of a near miss on the 1400 block of N Wakefield. Thankfully no injuries! pic.twitter.com/WpICI0AIE6
— Arlington Fire (@ACFDPIO) April 6, 2017
— Ryan Miller (@RyanMiller_WX) April 6, 2017
— Brendan (@kiteboardr) April 6, 2017
From today through April 15 in the Nordstrom Court on the mall’s first level, shoppers can have their photographs taken with the Easter Bunny.
Times vary each day, but the bunny is around until 8 p.m. each day except Sundays, when he leaves at 6 p.m.
Appointments with the Easter Bunny can be made online for those wishing to skip the line. A $10 non-refundable deposit is required for reservations.
And on April 2 from 9-11 a.m., children and young adults with special needs can have their photo taken with the Easter Bunny in an adapted environment in the same location.
The environment will be adjusted to support the sensory, physical and other developmental needs of children of all abilities. Those interested are asked to RSVP ahead of time.
Easter this year is on Sunday, April 16.
The Free People store has closed in the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall.
The boho-chic women’s apparel retailer closed its doors Sunday, according to a sign in the window, which directs shoppers to other Free People stores in Georgetown, Tysons and Montgomery County, Md.
At one point, Arlington was home two Free People stores; a location in Market Common Clarendon closed in 2015.
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.
The Pentagon City mall Apple Store, which closed for renovations last September, is due to reopen this weekend. A grand reopening party is set for Saturday, March 4, at 10 a.m.
“You’ll love what we’ve done with the place,” the company wrote on the store’s website and in an email.
“There’s a lot more to see at your new Apple Store in Arlington,” said the email. “Stop by on March 4 to take a look at what’s changed and try the latest Apple products.”
According to the aficionados at MacRumors.com, the store is slated to reopen with a “next generation” design that includes indoor trees, wood tables and 6K video screens throughout the store.
Last year, the Clarendon Apple Store also temporarily shuttered for a facelift. That location reopened in September.
File photo. Hat tip to Chaz P.
A restaurant serving “adapted versions of Indian classics” will be opening in the Pentagon City mall food court area, perhaps as early as Wednesday.
Located between Haagen-Dazs and the Garrett Popcorn Shop, Naan & Beyond will serve dishes like Tandoori chicken, biryani, meat or veggie rice plates, roti rolls, naan sandwiches, salads and other various specialties.
The restaurant is hoping to open either tomorrow or Thursday, a company rep said today at the mall.
Naan & Beyond has three existing locations in the District listed on its website,
A Nespresso boutique is coming to the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City.
The store is located adjacent to the mall’s main entrance off of S. Hayes Street, in the former Belmont Jewelers space. Demolition of the store’s interior started last month.
Belmont is relocating to a different storefront on the first level of the mall and is expected to reopen March 1.
The Nespresso store is scheduled to open at some point this spring, offering “a world of unique coffee experiences.” There are four existing Nespresso boutiques in the Washington area, according to the brand’s website: two in Tysons, one at Westfield Montgomery mall in Bethesda, and another in the Friendship Heights neighborhood of D.C.
Before it was Belmont Jewelers, the storefront was home to the Tourneau high-end watch store, which was robbed by four hammer-wielding men in 2013.
Though the Lunar New Year is technically already upon us, the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City is planning to mark the occasion next week with a party.
The shopping mall at 1100 S. Hayes Street is scheduled to ring in the Year of the Rooster with dragon and lion dances, “Asian-inspired fashion shows,” and in-store discounts on Saturday, Feb. 11, from noon-5 p.m.
The event will also have food samples, a tea ceremony, calligraphy demonstrations and live music from a Chinese instrument ensemble, organizers said.
“To help guests fully immerse in the diverse atmosphere, Fashion Centre at Pentagon City will team up with the Asian American Chamber of Commerce to host a traditional-style Chinese Spring Festival, complete with activities and entertainment,” a press release for the event says.
The celebration will take place on Metro level of the mall’s food court.
Image via Fashion Centre at Pentagon City
Renderings of the planned 9/11 Pentagon Memorial Visitor Education Center are up at the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall.
The renderings, located next to the elevator bank in the food court area, show the vision for the gleaming center, with a wall of glass allowing visitors to see the side of the Pentagon that was struck by Flight 77 on 9/11/2001.
The visitor center is set to be built within the highway cloverleaf at the junction of Columbia Pike and Washington Blvd, within easy walking distance of the existing Pentagon Memorial.
At last check, the visitor center was expected to be built by 2020.
The mall display encourages shoppers to donate to the project. The Pentagon Memorial Fund is asking for special individual donation of $90.11 to help build the center.
More on the project, from the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial website:
The Pentagon is the only 9/11 attack site without a visitor center or museum to explain the historic significance of the site. Among the hundreds of thousands of visitors to the Memorial each year, few know that this memorial is different from all others in Washington, DC in that it is located where the event took place. Research showed that there is a unique teachable moment at the Memorial to explain the events on 9/11; the stories of the victims and heroes; the role of the Department of Defense and Pentagon; and how the United States and governments around the world are working to help prevent another 9/11.
With the guidance of the project’s official education partner, National Geographic, the 9/11 Pentagon Memorial Visitor Education Center’s interactive exhibits and education programs will give visitors a sense of the broad impact of the tragedy from a variety of perspectives. Stories of the courage and resilient spirit demonstrated by Pentagon employees, first responders and residents of the area will be shared throughout the exhibits…
There will be a multi-media interactive exhibit space, a Children’s Education Area, a Reflection Area, conference and meeting rooms, an Auditorium, and a Sky Terrace.
The 9/11 Pentagon Memorial Visitor Education Center site is in a dramatic location, right where the attack of 9/11 took place and adjacent to the 9/11 Pentagon Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, and Air Force Memorial. Its orientation corresponds to the path of Flight 77. This thoughtful arrangement creates a powerful backdrop to heighten the experience for visitors as they arrive at the 9/11 Pentagon Memorial Visitor Education Center.
Jolly Old Saint Nick has set up shop at the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City for boys and girls who want to get their Christmas wishes heard early.
Santa Claus has been keeping office hours at the mall since Veteran’s Day (Nov. 11). He’ll continue to be available for photos right up until 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve, according to a Facebook post.
This week, Santa is working from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Wednesday. He is taking Thanksgiving off, but will be back for the traditional Black Friday shopping mall madness, working a 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. shift.
Whereas Saint Nick used to have a simple setup in the food court area, he now has his own veritable Christmas forest one floor up, near Nordstrom.
This year Santa has at least two special photo sessions scheduled. This coming Sunday, from 7-9 p.m., Pentagon City mall will be hosting a pet photos with Santa event. Next Sunday, Dec. 4, from 9-11 a.m., Santa will have a free, private event for children and young adults with special needs.
Athleisure retailer Lululemon has quietly opened a “seasonal” store in the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall.
The Canadian yoga pants purveyor’s new, apparently temporary location is on the second level of the mall, above the food court. The store will be holding a grand opening celebration this weekend.
“The window wraps are down and we are thrilled to be joining the Pentagon City community for the holidays,” says a Facebook page for the grand opening. “Whether you need advice on the best wear to support your winter adventures and sweaty pursuits, or simply need to take a few deep breathes during your holiday shopping, our doors are O P E N.”
Lululemon has an existing, permanent location in Clarendon.
Hat tip to @AlexWestEndRes
Lubber Run Community Center Redevelopment — With voter approval of a “community infrastructure” bond that funds it, work is set to proceed on the redevelopment of the Lubber Run Community Center. Design work on the new four-story, $47 million facility will wrap up next year. Construction is expected to take place in 2018. [InsideNova]
Arlington to Keep One of the Last Kenneth Cole Stores — Kenneth Cole is closing 63 stores in the U.S. to concentrate on online and international operations. One of the fashion house’s two U.S. locations to remain open indefinitely: the store in the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall. [Bloomberg]
TransitScreen Expands to Coworking Spaces — TransitScreen, which was founded in Arlington in 2013, is expanding its presence from apartment buildings to coworking offices. The creator of screens that show the schedules of various transit options — including buses, trains and Uber vehicles — has announced that it has struck a deal with another Arlington-founded company: MakeOffices. [Bisnow]
AED to Host ‘Arlington Premiere’ — Arlington Economic Development is continuing its outreach to startup businesses. Next month AED will be hosting an event called “Arlington Premiere,” which is billed as “an exclusive reception welcoming new businesses to Arlington County.” The event will take place in Crystal City and will include networking opportunities for business owners. [Arlington Economic Development]
Cat Stuck in Tree — The Arlington County Fire Department was called last night for a cat that was stuck in a tree. Yes, that does actually happen. [Twitter]
The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City and the under-renovation Ballston Quarter mall will allowed to have more signs, larger signs and temporary projected images.
The County Board voted unanimously to make the changes to the county zoning ordinance.
From an Arlington County press release:
Citing the unique challenges Arlington’s regional shopping centers face in an evolving retail market, the Arlington County Board today approved new, tailored sign regulations that will apply to Ballston Common Mall (the future Ballston Quarter) and Fashion Centre at Pentagon City.
The Zoning Ordinance changes adopted by the Board include the type of signs allowed at urban regional shopping centers; the amount of sign area; placement and sign characteristics. Under the amendments, regional shopping centers will be allowed a larger amount of sign area and more flexibility in where signs are placed. They also will be allowed to have freestanding signs and temporary projected images.
“Our two big malls are important to Arlington’s economy and are centers of activity in the Ballston and Pentagon City neighborhoods,” said County Board Chair Libby Garvey. “The County listened to the business community and the neighborhoods and I’m pleased that we were able to move quickly to adopt common-sense changes to the Zoning Ordinance that will encourage these shopping centers to increase their placemaking, be creative with their signage and stay regionally competitive.”
The Board voted unanimously to approve the changes to the Zoning Ordinance.
Following recommendations of 2015 Retail Plan
The Board’s actions follow the recommendations of the Arlington County Retail Plan, adopted by the Board in July 2015. The plan calls for studying opportunities to reposition and redevelop aging urban regional shopping centers.
The Retail Plan recommends that Ballston Common Mall and Fashion Centre increase placemaking efforts by pulling storefronts to the street; creating multiple entry points and creating activity and attractions on the outside as well as inside. Ballston Mall is currently being redeveloped into Ballston Quarter, incorporating many of the Retail Plan’s recommendations. Fashion Centre also is being expanded and remodeled. To support the redevelopment and repositioning, staff studied the centers’ characteristics and looked at examples throughout the country.
The new regulations are tailored to the unique character of these centers — their built form and the concentration of retail, entertainment and restaurants they offer. They also support the transformation recommended by the Retail Plan by providing more sign area and placement flexibility on facades that have been opened up to the street. The regulations could be used by an urban regional shopping center through an administratively approved comprehensive sign plan.
The Zoning Ordinance amendments were discussed at a public meeting on April 7, 2016. The amendments also were reviewed by the Zoning Committee of the Planning Commission as well as a number of other stakeholder groups and commissions including the Economic Development Commission, the Arlington Chamber of Commerce Government Relations Committee, the Planning Commission and the Commercial Real Estate Development Group.
Police say the women, both from the District, “became combative” when an officer attempted to detain them following a theft from a store in the mall Saturday night.
They’re now facing a combination of assault on law enforcement, obstruction of justice, theft and contributing to the delinquency of a minor charges.
From an ACPD crime report:
ASSAULT ON POLICE, 161008041, 1100 block of S. Hayes Street. At approximately 9:20 p.m. on October 8, an officer working the mall detail received a call from a store employee advising that a larceny had just occurred in their store. The officer located individuals matching the description made by the mall employee and attempted to detain the subjects to conduct the investigation. The subjects became combative and struggled with the officer. Backup officers arrived on scene and the two subjects were taken into custody. Ebony Cloyd, 36, of Washington DC, was arrested and charged with assault on law enforcement, obstruction of justice, petit larceny and contributing to the delinquency of a minor (x3). She was held on no bond. Prana Bell, 41, of Washington DC was charged with obstruction of justice and contributing to the delinquency of a minor (x3). She was held on a $5000 secure bond.