Arlington, VA

Morning Notes

Tow Truck Chase Ends in Arlington — “A suspect involved in a domestic dispute in Prince George’s County lead officers on a chase through D.C. and into Arlington, Virginia, Tuesday night… police believed the suspect was armed and had kidnapped a young child, but the child was safe in Maryland.” [NBC 4, Twitter]

New D.C. United Player Dines at El Pollo Rico — “Great to see legendary #ArlingtonVA business, El Pollo Rico in @dcunited’s video introducing their new #10, Peruvian Edison Flores.” [Twitter]

Rave Review for New Rosslyn Restaurant — “Sfoglina exceeds the preview offered by the sfogline in the window. The fare is comforting to the core and will leave you wanting more of Trabocchi’s cooking. You’re in luck, he’s considering opening more restaurants in Northern Virginia.” [Northern Virginia Magazine]

ACFD Helps Retrieve Wayward Pentagon Flag — “When the flags came loose earlier this month at the #Pentagon, Truck 105 from Crystal City was called in for a rescue. Good work everyone!” [Twitter]

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If you live in Arlington, the Pentagon — specifically, its police force — wants you to leave drones off your Christmas list this year, at least if you’re planning on flying it locally.

The Pentagon Force Protection Agency yesterday tweeted a reminder that Arlington and the area around the Pentagon is strictly a “No Drone Zone.”

Not only is operating a drone near the Pentagon illegal, your drone could be forcibly brought down if it gets too close.

“Drones flying within the Pentagon Reservation may be subject to counter-UAS measures,” the post notes. That and criminal charges would make for a pretty unhappy holiday, the agency suggests.

Photo by Diana Măceşanu on Unsplash

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(Updated at 4:05 p.m.) An entrance to the Pentagon Metro station is expected to close soon, temporarily and during off-peak hours, to allow for water infrastructure work following flooding at the station.

A pipe burst on Nov. 27, filling part of the station with several inches of standing water. Metro says a new water supply pipe will need to be constructed, as repairs are not feasible for the original pipe, which runs under the Pentagon itself and dates back to the station’s original construction.

An exact date for the start of the temporary closure was not given. Shortly after a contract to construct the new water line is awarded, the north entrance to the Metro station is expected to close “outside of weekday rush hours,” Metro said.

More from a press release:

Metro customers entering or exiting Pentagon Station during off-peak travel times will need to use the “South Entrance” escalators or the elevators due entrance configuration changes associated with the construction of a new water supply line to serve the station’s facilities, including employee restrooms and maintenance sinks.

Dating to the station’s original construction, the original water supply pipe failed on November 27, sending water streaming into the station through air ducts and elevator shafts. The rush of water dislodged some ductwork, and caused a partial ceiling collapse in a service room. The station was closed for several hours to remove several inches water that had accumulated on the mezzanine level.

Because the original water line runs beneath the Pentagon — an inaccessible location — Metro engineers have recommended abandoning the original pipe and constructing a new water line on a new route around the building.

The Pentagon has been an active and supportive partner to expedite the construction process and necessary security clearances for workers. Metro has already engaged its contractor community and expects to award a contract as early as next week. Once a construction contract is awarded and a formal schedule is developed, Metro will update customers on the expected duration of the project.

CUSTOMER INFORMATION

Due to construction activity and security considerations associated with the portable restrooms, Metro is advising customers who use Pentagon Station to expect entrance configuration changes during off-peak travel times. The changes will continue until a new water line is constructed and water service is restored to the station, a process that likely will take several weeks.

Specifically, outside of weekday rush hours, the station’s “North Entrance” will be closed and all customers will need to use the South Entrance, which will remain open at all times.

During rush hours–Monday through Friday, 5:00-9:30 a.m. and 3:00-7:00 p.m.–the North and South entrances will both be open and available for customers. Elevator service to the station will be available at all times.

Rail service on the Blue and Yellow lines is not affected by this project.

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(Updated at 1:35 p.m.) The Pentagon Metro station is closed due to a reported water main break.

Photos posted to social media show riders walking through several inches of murky water to exit the station.

The flooding was first reported by Metro around 7:30 a.m. Blue and Yellow line trains are bypassing the station and buses were brought in to run between the Pentagon and Pentagon City stations.

“The flooding at Pentagon Station is the result of an apparent water main break,” Metro later said via Twitter. “Response personnel on scene addressing the issue.”

Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services inspected the water main break and determined that the line belongs to WMATA.

The station is expected to reopen by the evening rush hour, according to Metro.

The Unsuck DC Metro Twitter account highlighted a number of photos posted on social media, showing flooding in the station:

https://twitter.com/cacaobunni/status/1199665701629374464

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Morning Notes

Water Taxi Coming to Arlington? — The Potomac Riverboat Company, which operates a water taxi between the Wharf, Georgetown, Alexandria and National Harbor, is reportedly considering new commuter-oriented routes, includings a stop at the Pentagon. [ALXnow]

Dems Want to Boost State Affordable Housing Funds — “Virginia Democrats are salivating at what they might be able to achieve now that they’ve finally won unified control of state government, particularly when it comes to affordable housing… new money from the state could be ‘rocket fuel’ for efforts in Arlington if developers can pair that cash with existing funding.” [Washington Business Journal]

Pentagon City Mall to Host New Holiday Display — “Residents and visitors are invited to Fashion Centre at Pentagon City’s inaugural Festival of the Trees! From November 23 through December 24, a variety of Christmas trees decorated by local nonprofits, including Arlington Food Assistance Center, Animal Welfare League of Arlington, Doorways for Women and Families,” etc. [Fashion Centre at Pentagon City]

Zone 4 Leaf Collection Starts Today — Arlington County’s vacuum leaf collection effort is continuing, with crews starting to roam “Zone 4” neighborhoods including East Falls Church, Arlington Forest and Arlington Ridge today. [Arlington County]

Congregation Returns After Redevelopment — “On Sunday, November 17, Arlington Presbyterian Church (APC) celebrated their homecoming. APC returned to their former site opening a new worship, office and multi-use space on the ground-floor of Gilliam Place, a 173-unit affordable housing community developed by the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH) along Columbia Pike.” [Press Release]

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A woman was robbed by two people on Columbia Pike near the Pentagon on Monday evening.

The robbery happened just before 5:30 p.m. on Veterans Day, at the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. Joyce Street. Police say a patrol officer was flagged down by the victim, who reported being robbed by a pair of suspects, one of whom was armed with a gun.

“The victim was walking in the area when she was approached her from behind by two suspects,” according to an ACPD crime report. “The female suspect demanded her belongings and cell phone, while the male suspect brandished a firearm. The suspects fled the area with the victim’s belongings prior to police arrival and the victim ran to seek assistance. The victim was not injured.”

“Suspect One is described as a white female, with a skinny build, brown hair, wearing a pink shirt, a dark colored vest and dark pants,” the crime report continues. “Suspect Two is described as a heavy set white male, wearing a black vest, white shirt, white hat and jeans. The investigation is ongoing.”

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Lebanese Taverna is hoping to open its “LebTav” fast-casual concept later this month in Ballston.

It’s part of a new expansion push by the Arlington-based local chain, which includes a new location that’s planned to open in the Pentagon late next year.

As previously reported, the new restaurant in Ballston will be located in the former Taylor Gourmet space at the corner of Wilson Blvd and N. Quincy Street. Signs are up on the doors, the windows are covered and construction is still underway inside.

Lebanese Taverna has existing, full-service Arlington eateries in Westover (5900 Washington Blvd) and Pentagon Row (1101 S. Joyce Street), as well as a market at 4400 Old Dominion Drive.

LebTav offers a smaller but similar menu to the full-service restaurants, and existing locations in Rockville and Silver Spring, and is opening another in a former Taylor Gourmet space in D.C. A PR rep tells ARLnow that the Ballston location is expected to open at some point in November.

A press release from commercial real estate firm KLNB, below, notes that Lebanese Taverna currently has a dozen locations in the D.C. area.

KLNB, the leading mid-Atlantic multi-service commercial real estate firm, has announced that Lebanese Taverna will open three new “LebTav” fast-casual concept locations within the next two years: Ballston in fall 2019, K Street in early 2020, and inside the Pentagon in late 2020, in addition to the recently opened Farragut Square location on 17th Street in D.C.

KLNB principal, Steve Combs, and retail specialist, Kelley Milloy, represented Lebanese Taverna in all three deals.

Founded in 1979, the Lebanese Taverna Group currently owns and operates 12 locations around the Washington, D.C. Metro area, and has been recognized by numerous media outlets and publications as having the region’s best Mediterranean cuisine. KLNB has worked with Lebanese Taverna since the opening of its first location and has helped the restaurant group open all subsequent locations. The restaurant group is family-owned and operated.

Recently, Lebanese Taverna has evolved to adapt to their customers’ changing tastes and needs. “The new LebTav brand and fast-casual concept is a response to these changing consumer trends,” said Combs. “For savvy business owners like Lebanese Taverna, that meant launching a new concept in target markets around the region. From a real estate perspective, it was critical to the business plan that we work with the owners to find unique spaces that reduced the restaurant group’s footprint and aligned with the fast-casual atmosphere they wanted to cultivate.”

Last year, Lebanese Taverna rebranded three of their locations in Annapolis, Congressional Plaza Rockville, and Downtown Silver Spring to “Lebanese Taverna Cafes”. In each case, KLNB helped Lebanese Taverna find and move the restaurant to another space within the existing shopping center, cutting down their square footage.

“We want to grow and change with our customers. LebTav is a refinement of what has been successful in the past. We took the greatest hits of our traditional menu and utilized smaller retail space paired with a fresh design to cater to our busy customers,” said Grace Abi-Najm Shea, Executive Vice President, Lebanese Taverna Group. “KLNB helped us bring this new concept to life. As a restaurant owner, the space in which you operate is critical to your business. KLNB has grown with us and we look forward to many more successful years to come.”

Lebanese Taverna has had a banner year. 2019 marked the restaurant group’s 40th anniversary in business – an achievement for which they were honored by the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) at the annual RAMMY Awards Gala with the Honorary Milestone Award. They were also honored by the National Restaurant Association as a Faces of Diversity Award winner.

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Morning Notes

Congrats to the Nats — Fireworks could be heard in parts of Arlington as the Nationals won the World Series in Game 7 just before midnight. [Twitter, Twitter]

Nats World Series Run Helps Local Startup — “BreakingT’s business is very much staying in the fight. The Arlington T-shirt retailer had already seen a significant boost from the Nationals’ playoff run… Until last week, BreakingT’s biggest revenue day was during the All-Star Game hosted at Nationals Park last July. But each of the three home World Series matchups have now exceeded that.” [Washington Business Journal]

Severe Storms Expected Tonight — “Hazardous Halloween weather is possible in the Washington area and many parts of the Mid-Atlantic, where a line of storms, some of which may be severe, will sweep through during the evening. ‘A potentially dangerous weather event is unfolding for Thursday,’ wrote the National Weather Service serving the Washington region.” [Washington Post, Twitter]

Chick-fil-A Customers Cause Crystal City Cycling Consternation — “Diving deeper geographically from streets to blocks and overlaying vehicle type, a story starts to emerge from the data. We already knew the majority of bike lane blockages were on Crystal Drive, but now we can see that the 2100 block of Crystal Drive is where all the action is, why? Chick-fil-a!” [Greater Greater Washington]

Kudos for Hot Lola’s in Ballston — “Got a hankering for a fried chicken sandwich? Forget Popeyes — go for Hot Lola’s’s version in Arlington, says a new report. Washingtonian says Hot Lola’s hot-chicken sandwich are the best in the D.C. area, tied with Wooboi in Herndon for the No. 1 spot in their list of the top five in our region.” [Washingtonian, Patch]

Paul Rudd’s Pentagon Ice Cream Connection — “While searching for the quickest route to the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City from my apartment, I went down a weird internet black hole and discovered that the Google Maps photo for the Baskin-Robbins at the Pentagon features Paul Rudd dressed as a Baskin-Robbins employee. What’s the deal with that?” [Washingtonian]

Tomorrow: Horticultural Event at Arlington National — “Friday Nov 1: Join ANC’s Horticulturist for a walking tour of the cemetery’s Memorial Arboretum. We’ll look at trees, shrubs and perennials that survived the wet spring and hot, dry summer of 2019.” [Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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The annual Army Ten-Miler race returns this weekend for the 35th year in a row, prompting several road closures.

Runners will hit the pavement to compete in this 10-mile race on Sunday, October 13, following a route that starts and ends at the Pentagon and takes runners into D.C. via the Key Bridge, and back to Virginia via the 14th Street Bridge.

The race course is set to avoid the Memorial Bridge again this year, after detouring from the under-construction bridge for the first time last year.

Participants will be released in waves, with athletes in the Wounded Warrior division kicking off the day at 7:50 a.m.

The Arlington County Police Department announced a long list of road closures in a press release earlier this week.

The department said it’s planning to coordinate closures the day of the race together with the Virginia State Police, U.S. Park Police, and the Pentagon Force Protection Agency.

The closures include:

  • Route 110, between Rosslyn and Crystal City, will be closed in both directions from 5:00 a.m. to approximately 2:00 p.m. Motorists may use the George Washington Memorial Parkway as an alternative.
    • There will be no access to southbound Route 110 from N. Marshall Drive
    • The public may access Arlington National Cemetery from N. Marshall Drive
  • I-66 westbound will be closed from Washington, D.C. to N. Scott Street from 5:00 a.m. to approximately 10:00 a.m. Motorists may use the George Washington Memorial Parkway or Route 50 as an alternative route.
    • To access I-66 westbound, enter from N. Scott Street in Rosslyn.
  • I-66 eastbound, Exit 75 will be closed from 5:00 a.m. to approximately 10:00 a.m.
  • North Lynn Street, from Gateway Park to the Francis Scott Key Memorial Bridge will be closed from 5:00 a.m. to approximately 10:00 a.m.
  • The exit for Route 29 North/Key Bridge from the George Washington Memorial Parkway will be closed from 5:00 a.m. to approximately 10:00 a.m.
  • The Francis Scott Key Memorial Bridge will be closed in both directions, with no vehicular access from 4:00 a.m. to approximately 10:00 a.m.
  • I-395 HOV northbound from Crystal City to the 14th Street Bridge will be closed from 6:00 a.m. to approximately 12:30 p.m.
  • Eads Street from Army Navy Drive into the Pentagon/ northbound I-395 HOV lanes will be closed from 5:00 a.m. to approximately 12:30 p.m.
  • I-395 southbound HOV exit to S. Eads Street / Pentagon South Parking lot will be closed from 5:00 a.m. to approximately 12:30 p.m.
  • Route 27 in both directions from George Washington Memorial Parkway to I-395 will be closed from 7:00 a.m. to approximately 10:00 a.m.
  • Army Navy Drive from S. Eads Street to 12th Street S. from approximately 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
  • 12th Street S. from S. Eads Street to Long Bridge Drive from 8:00 a.m. to approximately 12:00 p.m.
  • Long Bridge Drive will be closed from 12th Street S. to Boundary Channel Drive from 8:00 a.m. to approximately 12:00 p.m.
  • Boundary Channel Drive will be closed from 8:00 a.m. to approximately 12:00 p.m.

Race attendees are encouraged to use Metro to get to the race via the Pentagon or Pentagon City Metro stations.

Those traveling by ride hailing services like Lyft, Uber, or Via are asked to use the drop-off point for runners at Army Navy Drive and S. Hayes Street.

Photo via Flickr Pool/Rob Cannon

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A $17.2 million overhaul of the Boundary Channel Drive interchange along I-395 is in the works.

Plans call for overhauling the existing, difficult-to-navigate interchange near the Pentagon and Crystal City with two rotaries, to be installed on either side of I-395.

The 150 and 160-foot wide rotaries aim to merge traffic from Boundary Channel Drive and the Pentagon Access Road on the left, and the Boundary Channel and Long Bridge Drive on the right. The project would remove I-395’s two southbound loop ramp, and add a new multi-use trail, shared by cyclists and pedestrians, connecting the Mt. Vernon Trail to Long Bridge Park.

The project will be managed by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and is expected to cost around $17 million.

The Arlington County Board will review an agreement for the project during its upcoming meeting this Saturday. As of Tuesday, the project was featured on the Board’s consent agenda, a place usually reserved for items expected to pass without debate.

Officials hope the redesign will better connect to the long awaited Long Bridge Park Aquatics Center and better serve area commuters, as staff noted in a report to the Board:

The Interchange serves the Pentagon (five million square foot office building with 25,000 employees), Pentagon City (12.7 million square feet of office, 2.3 million square feet of retail and over 13,000 residential units), Crystal City, Long Bridge Park plus its future park expansion and the future Aquatics & Fitness Center, which is expected to draw regional visitors from Maryland and the District of Columbia, as well as from the areas south and west of Arlington in Virginia. The existing interchange design is dated and will need to be redesigned to better serve the transportation needs of the existing and future land uses in the area.

The county held public meetings to showcase the designs in 2015, during which staff noted feedback “varied greatly.” The points staff said residents agreed on included:

  • There needs to be fewer ramps onto I-395
  • Rotary islands need to be designed to not allow cars to speed
  • Pedestrian crossings need to be designed to reduce conflicts with cars and bicycles

County staff also noted that plan for the trail meets goals set by the newly-upgraded bike element of the Arlington County Master Transportation Plan to make it easier for cyclists and pedestrians to use the Mt. Vernon Trail.

“The Mount Vernon Trail connection is an extremely critical part of the project and will create a much-needed link between Long Bridge Park and the trail,” the staff report said.

Image 3 via Google Maps

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One person was taken to the hospital after a hazmat incident at the Pentagon’s bus bay this morning.

Arlington County firefighters, including a hazmat team, were called to the bus terminal outside the Pentagon around 9 a.m. for a report of the driver of a Metrobus having medical symptoms after smelling a chemical odor on the bus.

A police officer also reported similar symptoms, according to scanner traffic. The officer was treated on the scene and released, but the driver was transported to Virginia Hospital Center for evaluation. The driver was reported to be in good condition, Arlington County Fire Department spokesman Capt. Ben O’Bryant said.

Firefighters did not find anything hazardous on the bus.

“Crews believe there might’ve been a refrigerant leak on Metrobus that caused a couple people to feel ill,” O’Bryant told ARLnow. “[The] bus was shut down, and no dangerous readings were found when crews ran meters through the bus.”

Shortly after the bus driver was transported, ACFD turned the scene over to WMATA.

File photo

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