Some safety and accessibility improvements to a busy intersection in Pentagon City, near Costco, could move forward soon.
If the Arlington County Board awards the contract, which it is slated to do this weekend, the S. Fern Street and 15th Street S. intersection would to get a new traffic signal, while the existing paver crosswalks — which appear to be deteriorating — will be replaced with marked crosswalks.
The southwest corner would get a curb extension and the southeast corner will get new curb ramps and curb and gutter. Arlington County says the project will have “minimal impacts” to nearby properties, according to a board report.
The report says says it is undertaking this project because it probably won’t happen in conjunction with private redevelopment projects. Arlington County uses the bevy of development in Pentagon City and Crystal City — including Amazon’s HQ2 — as a vehicle for providing public benefits such as revamping old streetscapes.
“This project is part of the ongoing Crystal City/Pentagon City Accessibility and Safety Improvements in the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) that makes repairs and improvements to crosswalks and curb ramps, traffic signal upgrades, landscape upgrades, bike facility upgrades, signage and striping modifications, and streetlighting,” according to a board report. “The project focuses on areas outside existing, discrete projects and private developments that are making similar improvements.”
This intersection is a few blocks from the Pentagon City Metro station and right by Amazon’s second headquarters, the first phase of which is under-construction and the second phase of which obtained Arlington County Board approval earlier this year.
The nearly $698,000 contract, which includes almost $91,000 in contingency, is slated to go before the County Board for approval on Saturday.
It will mostly be covered with a $635,062 grant from the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority.
The project is part of an ongoing program to upgrade traffic signal infrastructure, per the county report.
“Transportation Engineers use a variety of methods to prioritize signal upgrade locations, including the type of signal, age of the infrastructure, and the type of roadway facilities impacted,” according to the county website.
The report says staff will update the community in the weeks leading up to construction and periodically during construction via an email group list, a construction notification letter, the project webpage and the neighborhood-based social network Nextdoor.
Groups of teens were behind some chaotic scenes in Arlington over the weekend.
The latest Arlington County Police Department crime report has three separate items involving groups of juveniles. The first two incidents happened in Pentagon City, at or near the mall.
The first happened late Friday afternoon, when a group of suspects allegedly threatened a security guard during a shoplifting attempt. Three suspects — ages 18 and 19 — were arrested on assault charges.
ASSAULT BY MOB, 2022-10280198, 1200 block of S. Hayes Street. At approximately 4:21 p.m. on October 28, police were dispatched to the report of an assault by mob. Upon arrival, it was determined a Loss Prevention Officer observed a female subject allegedly conceal a pair of sunglasses before confronting her and recovering the merchandise. A group of male suspects with the female subject then approached the Loss Prevention Officer and allegedly made verbal threats while at least one of the suspects displayed a knife. No injuries were reported. The suspects fled the scene prior to the arrival of police and responding officers located three suspects in the area. Suspect One ignored the commands of officers, resisted arrest and was taken into custody with the assistance of additional arriving officers. During a search of Suspect Two incident to arrest, a folding knife was recovered.
The crime report notes that “all three suspects were released on unsecured bonds.”
That night, police responded to Washington-Liberty High School for a report of four teens sneaking into the football game against McLean (W-L won 43-13), running through the stands and twice pushing someone to the ground. The bike-riding, ski-mask-wearing suspects fled the scene and police are still investigating.
ASSAULT BY MOB, 2022-10280255, 1300 block of N. Stafford Street. At approximately 9:10 p.m. on October 28, police were dispatched to the report of a fight. Upon arrival, it was determined four unknown juvenile suspects climbed a fence and entered the stands of the stadium. As the suspects were running through the stands, they knocked the male [victim] to the ground twice before fleeing the scene. The victim refused medics on scene. The suspects are described as males wearing black hoodies and ski masks and riding bicycles. The investigation is ongoing.
The next day, around 5:30 p.m., a report of groups of teens fighting inside the food court at the Pentagon City mall drew a large police response.
One girl who was wanted in D.C. was arrested and now faces additional charges after allegedly assaulting police.
ASSAULT & BATTERY ON POLICE, 2022-10290193, 1100 block of S. Hayes Street. At approximately 5:32 p.m. on October 29, police responded to the report of a fight involving groups of juveniles inside a food court. Responding officers separated the groups and no significant injuries were reported related to the fight. During the course of the investigation, one juvenile was determined to be wanted out of Washington D.C. and she assaulted officers as they attempted to detain her. She was taken into custody and petitions for Assault on Police were obtained.
The police response to that incident was noted on social media.
Appears to have been an assault, fight & possible robbery at Pentagon City Metro. #Police were also in the mall. At one point @ArlingtonVaPD wanted all available units to respond & some help from @VSPPIO. @MetroTransitPD also on scene. @ARLnowDOTcom @matthewyoung31 https://t.co/C7ah2QfnxP pic.twitter.com/4HIvQhwBuE
— Dave Statter (@STATter911) October 29, 2022
TEEN BRAWL— Pentagon City Mall at 1100 South Hayes St in Arlington. Around 5:30 p.m., police were called when about a dozen kids were fighting in the food court. They fled into Metro (jumped turnstiles). #wmata @ARLnowDOTcom pic.twitter.com/jcaym5N1GJ
— Alan Henney (@alanhenney) October 29, 2022
Arlington County has removed two apparently “abandoned” trash cans in Pentagon City.
Earlier this week, a resident posted on social media scenes of overflowing trash cans near the intersection of 12th Street S. and S. Eads Street, across the street from the Pentagon City Whole Foods.
Despite the post, the trash cans were not immediately emptied. The Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services (DES) said on social media that the offending trash cans were, in fact, not the county’s responsibility.
The pile of refuse — including many bags of dog waste — continued to grow.
DES has since decided to remove the trash cans, after concluding they were “abandoned” by their original owner.
“The Solid Waste Bureau determined that the two overflowing receptacles were abandoned and removed them this week for safety,” DES spokesperson Peter Golkin wrote in an email.
Trash should be disposed of in other nearby receptacles, he said. The closest trash can handled by the county is three blocks away at 12th Street S. and S. Hayes Street.
It remains unclear to whom the abandoned trash cans belonged. Golkin noted that “ownership has not been determined.”
ARLnow reached out to developer JBG Smith due to its ubiquitous presence in the neighborhood and the fact that the trash cans were in front of a banner bearing the company’s name. But a spokesperson there said, “it’s not theirs.”
Now, the bins and the pile of doggie waste bags, plastic water bottles and cardboard coffee cups stacked on top have gone to the great landfill in the sky.
Back in May, the neighborhood had similar trash troubles that Golkin attributed to “increased seasonal tourism and more weekend events.”
He said at the time that the Solid Waste Bureau was shifting schedules and doing weekend checks to ensure full trash cans were being emptied in a timely manner. This is still happening, Golkin noted this week.
“The Solid Waste Bureau is still continuing with weekend stops in the busy Pentagon Row area,” he wrote.
Work to rebuild Army Navy Drive through Pentagon City and improve safety and transit along the corridor is officially underway.
This morning, Arlington County and the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority ceremonially broke ground on the long-planned Army Navy Drive “Complete Street” Project, which is intended to make the current multi-lane expanse of Army Navy Drive between S. Joyce Street and 12th Street S. more friendly to pedestrians, cyclists and transit users.
The project includes shortened pedestrian crossings, dedicated transit lanes between S. Joyce Street and S. Hayes Street, planted medians, new traffic signals at five intersections, and in some places, narrowed or reduced vehicle travel lanes. There will be a protected, two-way bicycle lane along the south side of Army Navy Drive.
Work kicks off as the number of workers and residents in the area is projected to significantly increase in the coming years. Amazon is preparing to build the second phase of its HQ2 — known as PenPlace, and which includes the iconic “Helix” building — at the corner of Army Navy Drive and S. Eads Street, while continuing to hire toward its goal of 25,000 employees. Meanwhile, JBG Smith has filed plans to add 1,668 residential units to surface parking lots at the nearby RiverHouse complex.
For the next three weeks, road users will see signs of crews setting up for the Army Navy Drive project, like cones and a construction management trailer, says Mark Dennis, project manager for Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services. In mid-November, people will start to see demolition work.
“Both sides of the corridors will have markings and indicators that the entire area is a working construction zone,” Dennis told ARLnow. “There will be slight changes in traffic patterns to accommodate lane shifts that are needed.”
He said drivers will need to pay extra attention to navigate these changes.
Before scooping ceremonial dirt with gold-colored shovels, local and regional dignitaries celebrated the expected benefits of the project.
Arlington County Board Chair Katie Cristol said the project will make Army Navy Drive safer for pedestrians and cyclists and more convenient for bus riders. It will also slow down drivers, improve air quality and reduce stormwater runoff, she said.
“It’s better for all of us because providing safe, accessible and multimodal transportation is a key part of the economic competitiveness of Pentagon City and Arlington overall,” said Cristol.
NVTA CEO Monica Backmon celebrated the project for “getting people out of their single-occupancy vehicles and giving people options.”
The transportation authority said in a press release that it has invested more than $227 million into transportation projects located in Pentagon City, Crystal City and Potomac Yard, known collectively as National Landing.
A fight inside a hotel led to gunfire and a police investigation early this morning in Pentagon City.
The incident reportedly happened at the DoubleTree hotel at 300 Army Navy Drive around 2:30 a.m. Monday.
“Upon arrival, it was determined a group of four male subjects had been involved in a fight inside a hotel,” said an Arlington County Police Department crime report. “The subjects left the scene prior to the arrival of officers. Responding officers canvassed the area and recovered evidence confirming a shot had been fired outside the building and located damage to the exterior ceiling. No injuries were reported.”
A resident of an apartment building next door said that the commotion woke people up in the middle of the night.
“There was something crazy going on near Lenox Club apartment complex,” an anonymous tipster told ARLnow this morning. “Woke us and people up all over the building and at the DoubleTree… Sounded like screaming and maybe gunshots or someone taking a baseball
bat to the walls.”
“The investigation is ongoing,” ACPD said.
It’s that time of year again.
An opening date has been set for the Pentagon Row ice skating rink in Pentagon City, and it’s less than two weeks away. The seasonal rink, currently under construction, will open on Tuesday, Nov. 1, a spokesperson for the Westpost shopping center tells ARLnow.
The nearly-7,000 square foot rink located in the plaza at 1201 S. Joyce Street is said to be the “largest outdoor ice skating rink in Northern Virginia” and the second-largest in the state.
It also opened around the beginning of November last year, which was a week earlier than the prior year. It remained open until March. The rink maintains special hours on holidays and other public school off-days.
Reservation are required to skate but the online reservation system did not appear to be working this morning. Last year admission was $10-11 and skate rentals were $5.
(Updated at 2:30 p.m.) A Filipino food festival is coming to Pentagon City this weekend.
“Filipino Chef’s Night Out” is set to take place this Friday, Oct. 21 from 6-10 p.m. inside Sparrow Room. That’s the cocktail bar and dim sum restaurant located behind Bun’d Up at Westpost (formerly Pentagon Row) on S. Joyce Street.
The festival is a collaboration between local restaurateur Scott Chung and six Filipino chefs in honor of Filipino American History Month. It will feature the six chefs serving a “specially curating tasting box” to each attendee to go along with a night of karaoke and mahjong.
The line-up of local chefs includes James Beard nominees, the executive chef from one of America’s best restaurants, and RAMMY award winners. They’ll be cooking up traditional Filipino dishes with a modern flair like pork belly kare kare, beef tapa, and biko.
The evening event costs $75 per person. Both Sparrow Room and Bun’d Up will be closed to the public starting at 6 p.m for the duration of the night.
Chung, who co-owns Sparrow Room and Bun’d Up, told ARLnow that this is the first time he’s doing something like this, though he was inspired and encouraged by last weekend’s night market at Westpost.
“[Our festival] is the same idea, giving chefs a platform outside of the restaurant to celebrate their culture,” Chung said.
The chefs will be putting together about 150 boxes and Chung expects them to sell out.
Bun’d Up first opened in late 2019 and, about a year later, added Sparrow Room to the back. It’s styled as a “speakeasy” cocktail bar with a focus on the resurgent 19th-century Chinese game of Mahjong. The bar also offers classes to teach the game.
Between the night market and “Filipino Chef’s Night Out,” Chung says the popularity of these events makes it clear there’s an appetite for these types of festivals in Pentagon City.
“It really gives me ideas for what can be done with the space,” he said. “We can have a lot of success here. “
(Updated at 4:25 p.m.) Sixty-some years ago, developers paved paradise in Pentagon City and put up parking lots to serve residents of the RiverHouse apartment complex.
And after a few stops and starts, property owner JBG Smith is poised to reach its longtime goal of redeveloping the vast parking expanse along S. Joyce Street, which at this point is only partially utilized by residents. Today (Monday), the developer officially filed its plans to turn parking into apartments with ground floor retail, condos, townhouses and senior living facilities.
JBG Smith plans to preserve the three existing buildings along S. Joyce Street and add 1,668 new units and nearly 28,000 square feet in retail. The proposed development of the 36-acre property will increase density on the site from 49 to 91.3 units per acre.
This filing comes eight months after the Arlington County Board adopted a new sector plan intend to shape development within the 116 acres comprising Pentagon City. It replaced a 45-year-old document that reached the end of its life in the shadow of Amazon’s under-construction second headquarters.
“Following the County’s adoption of the Pentagon City Sector Plan, our team has had the opportunity to meet with local residents, neighbors, County Staff and other community stakeholders,” JBG Smith Senior Vice-President Matt Ginivan said in a statement. “We are grateful for their time, insight and input, which have helped shape our proposed plans for the RiverHouse Neighborhood. We look forward to continuing to collaborate in the coming months as we advance a shared vision for our neighborhood.”
Not all that engagement was positive. Last fall and winter, the plan reignited old concerns about redeveloping the surface parking lots and open spaces surrounding the complex. The density the plan envisioned at the RiverHouse site prompted a group of nearby residents to form a movement criticizing the county for a lack of community engagement and petitioning the County Board to moderate its approach to growth.
Currently, RiverHouse has three apartment buildings:
- 13-story “James” building at 1111 Army Navy Drive, with 452 units
- 16-story “Potomac” building at 1400 S. Joyce Street, with 647 units
- 16-story “Ashley” building at 1600 S. Joyce Street, with 571 units
It also has six tennis courts, a private outdoor dog park, picnic tables, two outdoor swimming pools, a jogging trail and a community garden, according to the complex’s website.
JBG Smith proposes development divided into three parcels:
- A “north parcel” between James House and Potomac House with:
- two 7-story, 80-foot tall apartment buildings, one with 401 units and 13,079 square feet of retail and another with 551 units and 14,680 square feet of retail
- A “central parcel” with:
- an 88-foot-tall condo building with 164 units
- a 97-foot-tall building for seniors, with 185 units with options for independent and assisted living and memory care facilities
- an 84-foot-tall apartment building with 102 units
- A “south parcel,” located south and west of Ashley House, with:
- 265 units of three- and four-story townhomes, with two to four bedrooms and a mix of private and communal outdoor spaces
Bread & Water has closed its standalone “cube” location in Pentagon City after four-and-a-half years in business.
The outpost of the Fairfax County-founded artisan bakery — which in addition to baked goods also offered coffee, tea, sandwiches, salads — first opened in February 2018 at what was then Pentagon Row (now Westpost). It was generally well reviewed online.
The business told customers in an email this morning, below, that it was closing in Pentagon City “effective immediately.”
Hey Bread and Water friends…we just wanted to let you know that effective immediately our CUBE – Pentagon City location will be closed.
We’re so grateful for all the support from our amazing customers here. We have loved our time at the Row, but we’ve got big things planned for our Alexandria location and sister restaurants (shout out to Bun Papa & BeeLiner Diner). We look forward to serving you at our other locations.
See you soon.
Reached by ARLnow, the business said it simply declined to renew its lease.
“Lease was just up,” said company founder Markos Panas. “Bread & Water and the team are doing better than ever and we’re focusing on bigger things… We are moving full speed ahead!”
It’s unclear what, if anything, is planned to replace Bread & Water in the small, standalone space at 1201 S. Joyce Street, near the shopping center’s plaza that hosts the ice rink during colder weather months.
Hat tip to Paul W. Matt Blitz contributed to this report.
It appears that Pentagon City mainstay Tasteful Delight has closed.
The signage is now gone at the long-time Chinese food restaurant on S. Joyce Street. There’s also a lock on the door, plus the interior looks like it has been cleared out. As further proof, online ordering is no longer available on the restaurant’s website and its phone line has been disconnected.
It’s unclear when exactly Tasteful Delight did serve its last meal, with the last Yelp review being from early September.
ARLnow has reached out to the email listed on the restaurant’s website but has yet to hear back as of publication.
Earlier this week, a tip came in that expressed disappointment that the restaurant had closed because “the food was really good.” On NextDoor, there was similar sentiment.
“It was by far the best American style Chinese food I’ve food in the area.” Another says that they “feared” the day it would close and “almost fell to my knees cursing the sky” when they realized they would no longer be able to order from there. Overall, Tasteful Delight garnered 3.5 stars on Yelp.
In 39 days, some 30,000 runners will descend on Arlington for the first in-person Marine Corps Marathon since the onset of Covid.
The in-person race on Oct. 30 — canceled in 2020 and 2021 — comes with a new Pentagon City location for the gateway to the Runners Village, the sprawling area providing “essential pre-start support” to runners, including portable restrooms, baggage drop-off and a water station.
“We are excited to announce the new Runners Village Gateway for the MCM and MCM50K is now located at the intersection of Army Navy Drive and S. Fern Street,” organizers said in an email. “This new Runners Village Gateway is only a change in location for participants.”
The village used to be located in the Pentagon North Parking lot.
The start line for marathoners is located on Route 110, just before the Memorial Drive. Runners will cross the finish line in front of the Marine Corps War Memorial in the Rosslyn area.
Participants taking the Metro are encouraged to use the Pentagon Metro station, but now can also ride to the Pentagon City Metro station. Metro will be opening at 5 a.m. on event morning, except for the Arlington Cemetery station which will open at 8:30 a.m.
Signage and volunteers will help direct runners to the village.
Those who drive will have free parking available at the underground lot near 23rd Street S. and Crystal Drive. A shuttle will transport runners to the Runners Village Gateway and at the Finish Festival to transport them back to their cars.
Additional, paid parking can be found at the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall.
The Runners Village for the 10K is located on the National Mall, near the start line for that race. Registration is still open for the 10K, according to the website.
Registration is also open for the one-mile Kids Run. The race, open to children ages 5-12, will take place on the Long Bridge Park esplanade next to the recently opened Long Bridge Aquatics and Fitness Center. This race was held at the Pentagon North Parking Lot in prior years.